My friend Katherine Dunn is quite an artist and storyteller. Years ago, as I was immersed in the first wave of the on-line creative movement, Katherine was an artist I greatly admired not only for her considerable artistic vision, but for her life vision as well. I poured over her story of leaving a corporate job cold turkey to become an illustrator and artist after watching Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey. I dreamed of having faith like that and I was again inspired when she quit the East Coast to live out another dream of having a farm on the West.
She was always generous to me in words of wisdom, in moments of needy questions of direction, and in celebrating my work on occasion to those she thought might dig it. It’s my turn to give a shout out to her latest project: DONKEY DREAM: A STORY OF PIE & LOVE, which chronicles her move to the West Coast and all that came (incredibly and magically) after. It’s a full-color painted, scrapped, photographed and written memoir–and it needs help to be brought in this world. Watch the video and you’ll see what a great and unique project this is.
This project is already 75% funded, but won’t you help kick it to the funded level over the next 18 days? I know there may be a few of you out there all Kickstartered out, but this is a gorgeous hold-in-your hands piece of art. You can donate as little as you want and it won’t be charged unless it’s fully funded. A small donation of $25 will get you the book and a chance to win an original painting of Katherine’s. I have already donated and I can’t wait to get my hands on that book!
Please consider helping an artistic visionary get her book out there!
Pardon a little cabin fever bitching a moment, will you? Tonight we are expecting our fourth snow storm in a week, which means Gus will be out of school again tomorrow. Because of the holiday weekend, this means he will have been out of school for 6 days in a row. The week before he attended school 1.5 days due to 2 snow storms. Actually, since he has returned to school from the winter break, he has had ONE SINGLE WEEK of uninterrupted school. We were supposed to go away this weekend, but guess what? A snow storm blew in.
I also have my second cold in a month.
I am normally a winter lover. I love me a good snow storm, a good book, a good cold walk among the trees, soup on the stove, etc. but this is the winter that has me BEAT. Perhaps, you too are feeling winter beaten. If so, I salute you in my three layers to your three layers. I send a cough to your cough. I raise my hot beverage to your hot beverage and say, we will get through this! One day soon (though not soon enough) we will rise up in an elevator to spring and let the green world wash over us. Until then, my friend, do not stare too long that you see the icicles grow. I will try to do the same.
We learned last week that the bookstore where we met, The Capitola Book Cafe, is closing its doors for good. This was not a surprise, as we know people who are still involved, but it’s another relic of my history to go and it’s just too bad.
I have moved across the country several times over and every time I arrived in a new town the first thing I looked for was the bookstore. It was like that instant sense of “home” when I could find that store–I already knew everyone in there and in a way everyone in there already knew me. When I moved back to California, threadbare and limping from my last few years on the East Coast, The Capitola Book Cafe was one of the first places I went. I already knew it well from years ago, when I was a nanny living some blocks away and I thought all I needed to feel inspired or part of the world was a fancy cup of coffee and time to peruse a Frida Kahlo book. It was the early 90′s, so The Capitola Book Cafe had plenty of both. Now back in town a decade later, I often went to peruse the shelves aimlessly, to feel less alone, but really to ponder the plight of my life, which seemed bleak and lonely and confusing. One evening I sat on a stool by the biography section (of course!), with my journal on my lap, doing just that–worrying myself sick on page after page. I looked up and saw one of the clerks get ready to go. He was tall with a shaved head and glasses and he wore a gray hooded sweatshirt, which I watched him zip up, before waving to the other clerks and walking out the door. He looked like a drawing–the kind of drawing I used to make of part rock, part nerd boys. So I drew a little sketch of him in my morose journal entry and noted how much he looked like a drawing, and then went back to complaining on the page.
I didn’t know it, but I just drew a sketch of my future. Actually, while I was worried sick about what had and would become of me on that slow evening at The Book Cafe, I was sitting in a room filled of so many good things to come. I wouldn’t know it for another year, but the guy who just left, the guy that I just jotted down in my sadder than sad journal entry, was the love of my life. He was Graham. Behind the counter stood his best friend, someone who would become one of my dearest friends, Richard–and out of that would come several important friendships.
In that way, you could argue that Gus’ life began there. I sold my Great Gal Calendars in their calendar and card section and found some of the material that would go into the book version there. I gave a reading of my first book, The Artist in the Office, there. In the end, my habit of finding a bookstore was the thing that lead me to the best of my life.
The death of The Capitola Book Cafe was a long time coming, and I will be sad to see it gone the next time we are in town. You can buy books in the floating space of the Internet, happen upon interesting places, find like-minded voices, but you can’t smell the ink and paper from the shelved books, or see a famous poet get her daily coffee, or feel something like hope as you pull up in front of the glowing warm lights of the windows. As hard as a try, I have never been able to find true refuge in a web site, but I found it in The Capitola Book Cafe, along with every good thing that came after.