News: Love Every Moment & Young Arts

I’ll be on the road for much of the next few weeks, teaching, speaking, and visiting Richard’s family, so forgive me if blog posts are less frequent. But I wanted to share some good news before I head over the horizon.

First, my TEDxHomer talk from July is finally up on YouTube. My presentation received a wonderfully warm reception from the audience at the Homer, Alaska, event and from those who watched it on the LiveStream. It’s the deepest and most difficult talk I’ve ever given, coming straight from my heart. (Please bear with the microphone buzz at the beginning. If you turn down the sound, it helps.)

I am honored to have taken part in TEDxHomer, “Let’s Play,” and I am grateful to those who made my talk possible, especially Kathryn Haber, Adi Davis, McKenzy Haber, Janine Oros Amon, and Bill Tweit and Lucy Winter. (And of course, my friend and excellent traveling companion, Roberta Smith.) Please share the video link if you feel so moved.

The next news involves an organization I’m proud to teach for, YoungArts, the Miami-based national program that rewards excellence in young visual, literary and performing artists aged 15-18. Twice a year, I head for Miami for YoungArts: In November our writing panel gathers to read some 200 creative writing submissions from around the country (a preliminary panel winnows those from several thousand). Our job is to select the 25 or so top writers who will join us in Miami in January for a week of workshops, talks, and performances, where they’ll meet their peers in the visual artists, dance, theater, and music. The very best of “our” young artists are nominated for President’s Scholars Medals in the Arts, awarded at the White House each spring. (Five young writers won President’s Scholars Medals in 2012.)

The blue-tiled tower of the Bacardi campus with the Jewel Box in the background.

The exciting news is that YoungArts has just purchased a campus overlooking Biscayne Bay, just north of the arts district where the Arts Week performances are held. Not just any set of buildings either: the Bacardi Tower and “Jewel Box” Museum, an architectural landmark in tropical modernism style. Architect Frank Gehry has agreed to develop a master plan for a new arts campus, which will include performance spaces and year-round programing. It’s a huge and visionary leap for an already excellent program, and I’m honored to be involved in a small way as chair of the writing panel.

One more piece of teaching news: Lynda Hoggan, one of my coaching students, is featured on the front page of RedRoom this week. Lynda’s story, “Jungle of the Heart,” is a courageous and insightful coming-out of sorts for this talented writer who is also a professor of health and human sexuality. It’s the first in a collection of memoir-based essays about love, sex, and intimate relationships. Congratulations, Lynda!

The new moon setting over Mt. Ouray, a crescent note in a musical score drawn by utility wires.

Tonight I watched the new moon set over the Sawatch Range of the Rockies from my porch; tomorrow I’ll load my Subaru and hit the road for Santa Fe and then Albuquerque, where I’m a keynote speaker at the Women Writing the West conference.

On I go into this new phase–new moon, new path–loving my moments as best I know how.

Blessings to you all!