Loose women of low character, High-dollar hijinks + A surprise party: News from a Summer on the Move, in 6 Parts and 4 Cities

August 1, 2011

$25K feels so nice!

Congratulations to The Secret City! (See my interview with founder, Chris Wells.) They surpassed their fundraising goal of $25,000 and as of this writing, are headed toward $30,000 with 7 hours to go till the end.

BIG yay. It’s a love fest for art and artists. And a celebration of support. I donated three Story Charmer interviews to the coffers, and can hardly wait to see who I get to work with in coming weeks, to help midwife their creative projects.

Helping artists to do their art = Yum

Loose Women of Low Character

Summer started for me in New York City, where I went to see my play staged. The show played at the Gene Frankel Theatre, as part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festival, was directed by Shauna Horn, produced by Natasha Lee Martin, and created by Tifanie McQueen and Brandi Grey.

These lovelies brought together thirteen women to write monologues, short plays and poems, that laced into a single narrative of love, sex, regret, celebration, and doin’ it different. Thusly, Loose Women of Low Character had a rightful, raucous, artful, elegant expression. It made me cry and laugh.

It was fabulous. Expansive. And reuniting with the writers five years after its original production was a beautiful thing.

Growth + redo’s = Yum

Grams keeps giving

From New York I traveled to San Diego for Gramcracker the Superstar Granny’s memorial service. She died last spring at 100, and inspired and challenged till her last day. Sitting in the church she and my grandpa helped build, listening to stories from the women who were her friends, the adults she had helped raise in community as children, and my own contemporaries was as intimate as sitting around in the living room telling stories. Grams used to hold church in her living room before there was a building for it. Fitting.

Afterward, the family chilled out in the backyard with beer and grilled salmon and beach weather. Twinkle lights and togetherness made precious in that moment not only Grandma, but the lives we’ve spent together, all of us growing up through our paces.

Time + perspective = Grace

Past and present in a party

After San Diego, my lovely boyfriend convinced me to hang out with friends in Santa Barbara for the week so he could come spend the long weekend with me there, a mini-vacation. The night we planned dinner at a friend’s place turned out to be a very early, very surprising surprise party for my 40th birthday.

It was all love and history, the faces looking back at me both people I hadn’t seen for 15 years, and those I spend time with regularly. There was singing and poetry and roasting and toasting, and such joy to make me never forget my birthday again (this has happened). Special thanks to my man and the team of my wonderful friends he tapped to infuse so much love into one place.

Surrender + love = More love

Stories for 40

Life is transformation. We grow from now to next. We start, we journey, we end.

No secret, I’m a story junkie. Inherent in the nature of story is transformation. The subject starts one way, journeys, and ends another way, having learned or lost or loved.

For the 40th I threw for myself at home in Portland, we had a storytelling party. Friends and acquaintances mingled and chatted, and then we gathered in a circle to hear each others’ stories unfold as the sun set in the big sky behind us. Summer settled in with evening, and framed the memories we each shared in the telling.

We witnessed change and grace and pace. We were moved and lifted.

Sharing + listening = Creation

August’s creative blaze

September 11, 2011 marks the ten-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City, and the beginning of a journey I hadn’t yet noticed I was on. I stood on the corner that day in New York, watching the Twin Towers burn. And didn’t realize till years later that, yes, I was witness to that awful, striking moment, but in the same moment witnessed my personal history, stack up and slam against it.

Whatever does that mean? That’s the story I have been writing and rewriting the last six years. And the one I’m spending my time on this month, my creative August.

Listening + writing = Living

Happy summer

Come along with me as I continue the deep summer dive into the creative spirit.



{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ronna August 2, 2011 at 7:46 am

Pema’s writing + her heart = My deep encouragement this day.
Ronna recently posted..No more practice (or perfection) required.My Profile


Pema August 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm

= Thank you



Lianne August 2, 2011 at 10:31 am

Happy Birthday, dear Pema. My fellow Leo (what does that mean again? 😉

My favourite equation Surrender + Love = more love.

add my love into that equation xox


Pema August 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Happy birthday! That means you’re generous and loyal and at least a little bit fabulous. :)

Love multiplied and returned.


Dave August 2, 2011 at 11:59 pm


Surrender + love = More love



Duane August 13, 2011 at 8:47 pm



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