Newsletter from Theresa J. Barker | Author, December 2017

Sketch by Theresa Barker.

I’m sitting at my desk this Monday morning. We had fog this morning and it gave a mythical look to the world outside, a spooky feeling, as though anything could come out of the mist – elves, ogres, witches . . . or just the coyotes that live in the ravine behind my house. This morning I feel like the bird I sketched above, standing on a rock, hunkered down against the wind.

Works-in-Progress

Sketch by Theresa Barker.

I’m working on flash fiction, some realistic and some science fiction/fantasy. “Medusa,” a retelling of the Greek myth in modern-day, “Arctic Refuge,” a near-future tale of a parent too wrapped up in virtual reality visits to his ancestors’ homeland to see his daughter’s need for face-to-face connection, and “Before the Storm,” a tense drama of two sisters striving to reconnect after a mother’s illness in spite of, and because of, their shared childhood bonds.

And, I’m learning to sketch! =^.^=

Good News

Sketch by Theresa Barker.

Three of my flash fiction stories have appeared this year, two in UK Grievous Angel and one in Every Day Fiction.

Our monthly reading series in Seattle, Two Hour Transport,  found a new home at Ada’s Technical Books in November.  😀

 

Writing Tip

Sketch by Theresa Barker.

Do you ever feel stuck when you want to start writing?  Consider subscribing to a “poem of the day” from a poetry organization.  I get daily poems from The Poetry Foundation and from poets.org (Academy of American Poets) delivered to my in-box.  When I want to start a new piece of writing, I pull up that day’s poem-of-the-day, find a phrase or line that intrigues me, and start writing.  Bonus:  set a timer for 10 minutes and write as much as possible.  When the timer rings, go back and pull up a new poem, find a good line, and continue your writing.  The rhythm of the poem, the intensity of emotion in its content, the richness of its language will all infuse your writing newly and take you in unexpected directions!

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful holiday season!  *<<<-   (holiday tree?)

Eleven keys to being more creative

Sketch by Theresa Barker.

by Theresa J. Barker

Are you looking to be more creative?  I know that I’m always searching for new ideas or new ways of thinking that will enrich my creativity.  This is a list I wrote last year.  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Always be as true as you can be.  Even if it is not quite as true as it will be next month, next year.

Don’t be afraid of imagination.  It will take you places only you thought of, but that other people will wish to go, too.

It’s okay if you can’t think of what to create next.  Eventually you will.

It’s never trivial to do exercises.  They are often more important than Serious Projects.

Breathe.

Seek out fellow creators to hold the space for creating.  But don’t waste time with unpleasant, nasty, or mean people.

Try not to obsess.  It will work out, one way or another.

Don’t be afraid to give time to your work.  Even if it seems like play.  (Especially so.)

You can always learn from coaching another.  Also from studying the work of another, even if they are famous, dead, unknown, or just around the corner.

There is trying too hard.  Keep in mind that it often comes to you when you let go but still remain engaged.

Design is magical.  So is creation.  So are you.

Fiction: Eve’s Tale

by Theresa J. Barker

Author’s note:  This story was inspired by Ursula Le Guin’s story in the New Yorker, “She Unnames Them,” in which Eve leaves Adam by giving him back her name.

Eve’s Tale

The interviewer sat across the desk, shuffling papers. “So, you left your last position because . . .”

Eve shifted in her chair. “Let’s just say it didn’t work out.”

He looked at her dubiously.

She shrugged. “The management and I didn’t get along.”

“I see. References?”

“Uh … not exactly.”

He jotted notes on the yellow pad in front of him.

“Previous experience?”

“I’ve done a lot of housesitting,” she said, leaning forward. “Been a caretaker all my life.”

He jotted more notes. “Experience with animals?”

“Yup. Tons.”

“Oh?” He looked skeptical. “Dogs? Cats?”

She took a deep breath. “Dogs, cats – yeah. Horses, pigs, cows, chickens, ducks. Yaks. Birds, parrots, cockatiels – you know – all those exotic breeds.”

He was scribbling notes furiously. She chuckled to herself.

“. . . spiders, gnats, mosquitoes,” she went on. “. . . termites, ants, bats, owls eagles – let’s see, seals dolphins, whales . . .”

He put down his pen. “Really.”

She grinned. “Oh, yeah.”

“Whales?”

“Some of my best friends, in fact.” She relished his look of disbelief. “They tell the best stories.”

“Uh huh.” He was leaning back now, arms crossed.

She cocked her head thoughtfully. “I think it’s because they live such a long time. You know, over a hundred years. And talk about family. Aunts, grandmothers, cousins, nieces, grand-nieces, all over the place. “

“And do they move!” She flung out an arm. “Way down south in the winter, up north in the summer. They see most of the planet.”

“Well.” He leaned forward, picked up the papers, glanced through them, looking down. “I think we have everything we need.”

“So do I get the job?”

“We’ll be in touch.”

On the way out, she thought about the interviewer for a moment. She knew he didn’t believe her. They never did. Without a past, without references, it was hard to get anywhere in this town.

But she was a woman who made her own future. She was a woman who beat the odds, bested a serpent, and got kicked out of the Garden of Eden by the deity, after all. She was a part of the world. She was the world.

She did have one thing on her side. Walking down the sidewalk toward the bus stop, she sent a message to the mosquitoes. A little surprise for the interviewer when he arrived at his office tomorrow morning.

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