In The Writer's World

The State of the State

A beautiful morning walk.

Friday night I watched the Blazers play the Nuggets in the NBA playoffs. It was a home game, and I was hooked up to a friend’s ESPN, all by myself save for a dog and a bowl of ice cream. What started as just another game ended in an epic battle with four overtimes that made NBA history and kept me up well past my bedtime.

From a storyteller’s standpoint, this was one of the best: two tough, well-matched opponents determined to win. Each had their Achilles heel–injuries for two of the Trailblazers’ starters, and another team member out for the season. As the game wore on, neither side gave an inch. They played steady, they played hard, they played strategically. One of the Blazers played through extreme pain (and got slugged by an opponent for his sins); one of the Nuggets lost shoe during some very crucial play. Well worth my time; something they will tell their grandchildren about one day.

Because it’s a good story.

The State of the Novel

Blackthorn is launched.

Celebrating Blackthorn at Annie Bloom’s Book Store April 17. Bill Barry photo.

Thanks to all of you who showed up to celebrate the release of my fourth novel. I had a great time, and it was special to see each one of you. I hope you are enjoying the book! Reviews are coming in, and they are such fun to read. Please leave your brief opinion of the book on, Goodreads, or both. Word of mouth is super important.

What’s up next, you ask? Ahh, many things my darlings. Many things. I was asked to write an article for (Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network). It will give you an idea of what was going through my mind while writing Blackthorn. I hope to do more of this in the future.

Right now, it’s time to book more events, which is very tedious. But once they are booked, it’s all fun. I love doing book talks, and am available if you would like me to drop in on your book club and give a light-hearted presentation, or if you would like to host a house party. Just message me on FB or send an email. My Dear Friend Linda is hosting a Champagne and Tea party at her home in Spokane in early June. I am so looking forward to it.

There are two new Emma Golden mysteries afoot in that scary space I call my brain. One is set in wine country, the other in a very remote corner of central Oregon. I will say no more about them now.

Everything Else

Sunday afternoon I had the great fortune to attend a piano concert featuring Angela Hewitt. World class piano players are off my beaten path. Hewitt is a recognized interpreter of Bach, and it was an inspiring performance. I urge you to get off your beaten path now and then. If you haven’t gone to the Portland Art Museum or bowling in 20 years, surprise yourself. Do something fun and unfamiliar. I guarantee it will feed your creative soul and make you a better person.

Amy Newman in The Revolutionists. Photo by David Kinder.

On Saturday, it was Lauren Gunderson’s provocative, often hilarious feminist play The Revolutionists at Artists Repertory Theatre.

One of the best things I do for myself, and hopefully others, is review Portland area theatre. The first time I saw a real piece of theatre art it was love. Now, a major joy in my life is seeing contemporary and new plays like this one, which uses the very popular and effective device of addressing modern issues by placing them in a historical context.

My guest said, “Do you think plays were always this good, or are they just getting better?” For the most part, the latter. Playwrights like Lauren Gunderson, Lisa Kron, Anna Deavere Smith, Yasmina Reza and many other contemporary female playwrights have made today’s theatre a very different landscape than it was 20-30 years ago. I am so privileged to be able to help spread the word!

Until next time, Judy


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