Thanks to a generous and sanity saving Lincoln City Fellowship, I'm back in the canyon for a few weeks this summer. I'm here to work on a longer-form project based on The Regular Jenny and the Summer | unscripted series, in particular. I won't be posting lengthy essays on the blog this time, but I'm keeping up the discipline of my daily canyon runs, and written reflection as a practice.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I'm not that confident in my photography. So this summer, like before, I'll be taking pictures (smartphone style, I'm not getting fancy) as I run and write and listen and breathe deep in Topanga. Every few days, I'll choose one image - redolent or ridiculous - to represent 900 words... leaving me 100 in which to say something about my trail adventures, work in progress, or whatever the canyon reveals this time around. I'm calling the series 1000 Words Worth.*
I'm also adding a scrappy little rescue mutt to the mix - meet CJ! They tell us he's a Yorkie mix - we think he's got a bit of Jack Russell, maybe some chihuahua, and, if I had to guess, a pinch of coyote somewhere in his bloodline, so he should fit right in in Topanga. If he cooperates, he'll be my running buddy, and sounding board for whatever I'm mulling over or writing that day. He joined our family at Christmas, so he's had time to get used to me talking to myself a lot, and he listens very intently when I bounce ideas off him, with his scruffy head cocked and his sweet brown eyes staring deep into mine. I think he looks a little like Kurt Vonnegut - all professorial eyebrows and tufty moustache - which strikes me as very auspicious. Also, he's got really big ears... the better to hear you with, Topanga, dear... so I think he'll be a formidable partner in this slightly-more-scripted summer.
Happy trails and happy tails.
*Check out the work of my friend, the brilliant Ninja Poet, Maya Stein, who's a master of short-form ritual writing practices - her 10-Line Tuesdays, which rock my world weekly with the "damn, I wish I'd written that," feeling, were part of the inspiration for this new way of handling the canyon's bounty. Do yourself a favor and sign up for them.