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January 2001


Previous Issues

January 2000
February 2000
March 2000
April 2000
May 2000
June 2000
July 2000
August 2000
September 2000
October 2000
November 2000
December 2000

For technical support for these newsletters, please e-mail: arachne@pantarbe.com

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We Hope To See You At Our Next Celebration

Sunday January 7
4-9 PM
Bruce Taylor’s Condo

For directions: Please phone Bob Olson at (425) 747-3879.

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Art Sharing
Sunday December 10, 2000

We met at the home of Duane and Katie Dolan, which was cleverly decorated to the theme of “stars”, both both celestial and full-sized movie varieties. Marilyn Michael read one of her essays. Roberta Gregory showed her drawn-art Opal Whiteley story. Carl Sloan demonstrated a few of his composite-slide portraits. Jan D’Arcy talked about her new illustrated book with accessory cloth puppets. Bruce Taylor read his new story “Christmas Elvis” from the upcoming book Evil Dreams. Bob Olson read from his book Memories with a Christmas Attitude. Katie Dolan gave us a word game on based on “stars”. Seiko Olson taught us how to make origami stars. Suzanne Bessey, Lida Sloan, Pippin Sardo, and Duane Dolan listened and participated in our activities.

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Other Stuff

Bruce Taylor’s new story, “You know who I am by the Songs That I Sing”, will be published in Talebones (Issue #21).

Interested in learning how to critique a story or looking at writing a novel? Bruce will be teaching classes on those subjects starting in February at North Seattle Community College and Shoreline Community College. Please call him for details 206-323-5483.

Upcoming FOKUS meetings:

  • February 4th, Carl and Lida Sloan’s
  • March 4th, Bruce Taylor’s,
  • The first week-end in April – a sleep-over at Bob & Seiko’s ocean-front home in Ocean Shores.

    If you want to advertise something your are doing in our newsletter please call Bob or Bruce. This is an excellent free bulletin board for your announcements.

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    Bruce Taylor's Editorial: Creativity or Friends

    The nightmare went like so: I’m at work and I’m supposed to go to lunch at 11:00, but the clock is messed up and reads 11:30. My co-workers tell me to go ahead, the time isn’t right. So I go down and stand in the serving line but the server just cannot get it right about what to serve me, and keeps giving me the wrong thing and I finally get something that sorta looks edible. Just as I’m starting to sit to eat, I look out the window to see a woman wrestling with and fending off someone who is clearly dangerous and crazed. I rush out to help and in the ensuing struggle, we subdue the person and we are taking her to get locked up when, somehow, she escapes. Dismayed, I head back to lunch but no elevators take me to the cafeteria, the doors are locked, and no matter how hard I try to get back in, I can’t. I’m despairing, I’m hungry and, just then, four friends and a swanky cat, proud, tail high, appear, join me and keep telling me, “It’s O.K., we’re here. We’re here for you.”

    Well, what’s it mean? It kinda goes back to my on-going struggles with expectations and how I keep hammering away at how important it is to watch out for them. Between what our creativity is, and how we can manifest it, there’s a big, big difference. What the dream is telling me, I think, is that it simply wasn’t the right place or time for me and what I do creatively, as far as gaining a larger acceptance of what I do as a writer. However, I am not at fault for that: the clock itself is messed up. And even when I am in the cafeteria getting nourishment, I’m still not getting what I think I need (larger recognition) and, because I chose to help out someone in need (having a job in the helping profession, albeit, part-time), my energy went there, to help (even though the person got away). Pain, suffering and injustice will always escape our ability to contain it. The price I paid by helping was that I got locked out of the cafeteria and further nourishment (recognition) for who I am as a writer, but guess who was there and also gave me nourishment and sustenance?

    My friends.

    It was a tough dream, based on bringing up my worst fears about my creative future, but what it was also showing was how balance is crucial in one’s artistic life: it isn’t a matter of creativity or friends, it’s a matter of creativity and friends who value you as friend and an artist, whom you must value in terms of the gift of their friendship, and never let them forget it. For in the end, I think that creativity is not only about discovering who we are, but in that discovery, we come to have a new and deeper relationship with ourselves, others, and the world. And how empty the world can feel without someone with whom to share our discoveries, joys and—sorrows. Creativity is a wonderful gift, but if taken to extremes, it may well play havoc with nourishing and loving friendships that, in the end, may be every bit as important as our art. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to end up like a woman writer did, five or so years ago in Paris—a writer of mysteries, making a living from it, well known, but no close friends. After not being seen for a few days at her usual haunts, people became curious and she was finally found in her home, dead, surrounded by fifteen cats. That’s not the way I want to go. It’s so important to let your friends know you appreciate them and so, to all my friends: thank you and may 2001 see you all with an even deeper richness of creativity and friendship.

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    A Poem By Pippin Sardo:

    To Bianca Sardo Pak on Her 2nd Birthday

    Snow bright and swan’s flight
    Bianca Pak, your name means white.

    White is window touched by frost
    Ferny patterns and crystal moss.

    White are heaps of cloudy towers
    And spicy-scented jasmine flowers

    White is softly feathered dove
    But to us your name means love

    (Bianca means white in Italian. Pak means white in Chinese.)

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    Last updated:  January 4, 2001