Neile Graham (neile) wrote,
Neile Graham

Report from Week 5 of the Clarion West Write-a-thon

This started out as a calm, productive week and I got a lot of good hours working unplugged on the novel. I know I did at least my minimum unplugged hours, and I am now finished with chapters 5 & 6, which means I've completed Part 1 (of 3) of the novel.

Then things rather suddenly became chaotic as the students' internet was pulled because the regular residents of the house had continually used too much bandwidth. Our car was stolen and then found again (with an extra bonus! bumper draped over the back seat and trunk space). And some relatives visited who had never been in Seattle before. And of course we are winding toward the end of the workshop.

These are my excuses for my late report.

The poem this week is another one inspired by my mother (hi, Mom!). Hanging from my bookcase I have a a chilkat bag my mother wove. Chilkat is very different from the way the western world learned to weave, from the very way the yarn is spun in a Z twist, the opposite of the S that our yarn uses. My mother was a student of Bill Holm, and I suspect she heard him say these very words, because her love of Northwest arts and crafts had her pulling cattails to make a cattail mat, being claimed as a cousin so she could attend a native-only basket-weaving workshop, picking porcupine quills on the side of the I-90 as she and Dad moved me to Missoula for grad school, making her own drum from a deer hide (the deer skull lived in our freezer for many years and she needed the brains to tan the hide), and this. These were my old jeans as she prefers loose ones and those weren't tight enough to spin the wool on.

Thanks so much for your support of me and of Clarion West!



Creation Hymn

"You can't know anything, unless you can do it."
--Bill Holm

To learn is what matters, to be a maker
to know from the inside out, and in any case,
the usual wool is backwards for this,
so she starts from scratch,
in her daughter's tight jeans
spins a Z twist instead of S
rolls clouds of wool between palm and thigh


[The full text of the poem is available to anyone who sponsors me in the Clarion West Write-a-thon or will serve as an LJ or Facebook cheerleader.]

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