Friday, July 31, 2009

And I Thought I Couldn't Be Any More In Love

It's no secret that I am wildly, deeply, crazily in love... with Austin. Recently I was competing for a blogging position (and yes, shockingly enough it was a PAID position). I have no idea how I fared in this writing test-- haven't heard back. But it was fun when I got to the part where I had to describe this town in one sentence. So, using my skill at run-on sentences, I recalled the time when I was sitting in my car at an intersection, and I was totally broke and out of gas, and when a homeless guy asked me for money and I pointed out that I was broke and out of gas, HE offered ME a dollar. Yes, people, that is Austin, Texas, packed wall-to-wall with the most generous people I have ever encountered.

And so what happened today, while it wasn't a total surprise, was a wonderful delight. Preface: my kid, The Amazing Henry Mowgli Gillespie, recently headed west to Portland, where he may or may not turn his vacation into a more permanent move. I miss the hell out of him, and I call him every day (and, how sweet is this-- he actually answers), but I also try to just keep a lid on all this missing-him stuff, and to be really super happy for his adventure in the world.

Between us Henry and I probably know just about everybody in Austin. For instance, the kid that often waits on me at Cherrywood Coffeehouse is a friend of Henry's. His name is Eli. This morning I was talking to Eli about his dad, who is a well-known musician and producer in town. And I lost track of the transaction, walking out with my Rock Star bagel but forgetting my change.

It didn't even dawn on me for several hours that I forgot my change. Only when I accidentally spilled my purse in my office and some cash fell out did I add it up. I wouldn't have even done that except I hardly ever carry cash anymore so I happened to know how much I had (or should've had). More curious about whether I have early Alzheimer's than concerned about the eight bucks (which is about how much I spend on cigarettes in a day sometimes and I haven't smoked all week so that's the kind of math I use to rationalize such losses) I called the coffeeshop. Eli was already gone for the day. I left a message saying I couldn't figure out if I hadn't paid at all or if I'd forgotten to get my change.

The end.

Or so I thought. Another couple of hours passed and Henry called. Always a joy to see his name/pic on the iPhone but also, since he rarely initiates calls, I have a twinge of worry. I say, "Hello, honey," and try to sound cool before swooshing in an, "iseverythingokay....??" He, in his super sleepy super deepy just woke up voice grunts a monosyllabic yeah, then pauses, then asks me if I am missing eight dollars.

Because yes, Eli-- not having my phone number but having my son's-- texted Henry in Oregon to tell him to tell me in Austin to come and get my change.

I will say it again. I LOVE THIS CITY. Thank you Eli. That was so nice. Put it in your tip jar.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Hey Y'all,
Well, my cheapass calendar did not inform me that the original date I picked for my next writing workshop is, in fact, Labor Day weekend. A lot of interested folks became uninterested upon hearing this. So, after some consideration, I've changed the date of my next workshop. This one, too, falls on the weekend of a holiday-- Halloween-- but we'll have you out in plenty of time to go trick-or-treating. I would really appreciate you helping me spread the word on this. Below is the updated info.
Thanks, spike

Hey Y'all,
Time for another workshop. This one will be October 30th - November 1st at the lovely Griffin School in Hyde Park. Class size is very limited, so please contact me asap if you're interested. The workshop in May was great, we had a terrific time, and I got some good feedback so this workshop will be even better. Here's the info:

This 14-Hour Weekend Workshop Includes:
Friday Evening Lecture, 6 - 8 pm: State of the Art-- Getting Published in 2009
Saturday: lecture, assignments, intensive writing time Noon til 6
Sunday: Q & A, assignment, intensive writing, sharing Noon til 6
Group Dinner Sunday Evening

This workshop is designed to offer insight into the current state of publishing-- what with all the ways the Internet has changed the face of things. It is for both new and longtime writers, those looking for a public place for their voice as well as those looking to jump start journaling and writing for self and those seeking healing and personal growth through writing. It is primarily about memoir/first person writing though if you have other goals, you can email me to discuss whether the workshop will be helpful to you.

Spike Gillespie has twenty-six years of experience as a published writer and editor. She's the author of four published books and the co-editor of an anthology. Her fifth book comes out Fall '09 and she's working on her sixth book now. So, really, she's got the joy and hell of the whole process down pat.

The workshop cost is $200. You can make a deposit and then payments if you're on a budget, no problem. Email for more info and to sign up.

Friday, July 24, 2009


This week I am/have been:

Listening to:

Thich Nhat Hahn is the man. This is an excellent, ongoing, much needed constant reminder about trying to stay in the moment.


A food memoir. Pretty okay story. Very good recipes.


Lunch on Monday with Emily at East Side Cafe. I had the homemade ravioli made with beet greens from the garden, topped with tomato basil sauce, with a side of acorn squash with soy ginger sauce. For dessert-- apricot crostada.

Amused by:

Warren's kooky-food shopping spree at Fiesta.

Delighted by:

Today's mail featured NO BILLS plus a big envelope with the latest ROWAN knits magazine (my personal porno), the ROWAN newsletter, and a postcard ad for a knitting yoga retreat in Maine which I will be attending. Plus, as if that wasn't excellent enough, our tickets for RUFUS arrived!