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Okay… here are 5 books off my shelves…

1) The Enchanted Broccoli Forest

2)  Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error

3) The Blithedale Romance

4) Desert Solitaire

5) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings



My writing rituals are fairly ordinary and my workspace extremely mundane. Typically, I draft my writings by hand, where I absolutely must use a black felt tip pen, preferably a Flair. With this pen, I can recline and keep the ink flowing. Sometimes I write on my living room sofa; other times I’m at my local natural food store that has free wi-fi—a fact that is important and I’ll describe in a minute. Typically, I write either very late at night or early in the morning, such as right now.

So, anyway, my handwritten drafts just tend to be a list of notes, phrases that roll around in my mind, and perhaps some more complicated explications. Then I move to my PC and flesh out the text. Now, when I am creating digital art, I typically skip the handwritten bit and just go straight to my computer and start working. My computer is in my bedroom/library/office/storeroom…. See, I live in this really, really small apartment and most rooms are utilized in a multipurpose manner. No I do not write in the bathroom but I have had many inspired thoughts there.

I don’t have too many odd things around my workspace—just usual things like books, papers, music CDs, books, a vacuum cleaner, my bed, a DVD of Qi Gong exercises (which I watch on my computer because my DVD player is broken,) books and more books. Regarding books, the two that are right next to my monitor at the moment are Writing Down the Bones by Goldberg and Krause’s Color Index: CMYK and RGB Formulas for Print and Web Media.

I don’t usually listen to anything specific when I write or make art. At the moment I am listening to some guy on the radio ranting about the state of the world—oh, I just heard a crow caw right outside the window—really, I’m not making this up—and two bus lines roar by my front door every five minutes from about 5:30 am to about 9 p.m, rattling the windows and drowning out any other sounds. In hot weather, when I have my bedroom windows open, I can hear everything coming from the people who live in the building next door. I hear them talking, cooking, watching tv, entertaining, etc. This is usually followed by the sounds of my muttering something about their getting a room somewhere else and the loud sliding shut of said bedroom window.

I have no other writing rituals except when I work at my computer, I MUST have something to drink—it can be anything (usually coffee) as long as it is sitting on the right side of my computer—which is interesting because I am left-handed. Also, and more importantly, I can’t even begin to work unless I check my e-mail first. I don’t know why this is, but I cannot work until every unread e-mail is read. So when I am writing somewhere not my home, then I must find a place with a free wi-fi spot (such as my local natural food market), when I can plug in my Ipod and look at my e-mail. Oh, no, I’m not addicted at all to the internet, nope, not me.

My ending ritual is realizing that I have to be somewhere else, scrambling to sign off, and bolting out of the room–Such as now– It is now 6:20 in the morning and I have to hustle to get ready for work.

Have a great day everyone. I’m looking forward to reading about your writing habits.


Two wooden figures  on the upper shelf
wave to some hidden presence
bend their knees
in ritual parade
one kicks out at the set
of opera glasses as if it knew
them ancient and useless
The tiny carved cat disregards the lot
and shuts her eyes

And at that point a thunder clap
closed my electronic performance
so I took off with the book that explains
my  predicament:  Chaos theory; now there’s
an explanation for the break up
of pattern and its reconstruction and that, I think,
is the oddest thing
I keep at hand.

The rest is routine, a keyboard, Mac,
a WACOM that is refusing my direction
I cannot listen
to music, but strangely often
to someone who speaks to a far off microphone
as if the drone of someone else’s voice
will help to  find my own when the new pattern
has failed to form at the edges of that chaos,
age and history create

You talked of habit—most of mine need discipline
a question to be answered
a plan to make
a memory  to release
a view from far beyond the  walls of quiet room, or garden
an old letter
an attempt to picture a long-forgotten face
and now this challenge—the reply
too long perhaps—I thank you friend
for demanding a place in mine.

by Fran Sbrocchi

Who were the Bluestockings? A “bluestocking” was once a term of derision leveled at women who thought to improve themselves through informal intellectual and literary discussions.  Periodically,  the SFC Bluestocking Society convenes at the Taverna to carry on that tradition. A topic will be posted and Taverna members are welcome to post comments related to the topic. (When you post your comments, please click the “Blue Stocking Society” category.) For more information on the history of the Bluestockings, please feel free to peruse the minutes of their meetings.

Today’s Topic: Writing Rituals

I found a useful article at the BBC website about the writing rituals of several Irish authors. It made me curious about how each of you prepare to write or make art. Using these questions as a model, tell us a thing or two about your “rituals.” To get you started, I’ve borrowed a couple of questions/directives from the article and stuck in a couple of my own:

Describe your writing or art-making space.

Describe your writing implement, device, equipment, or tools you use to create.

What is the oddest object in your creative space?

Do you listen to anything while you create? If so, what?

Do you engage in any interesting habits, exercises, warm-ups or rituals before you settle down to create?

You may create a new post or comment below. Please categorize new posts to 16.04.08 Writing Rituals.


13.07.07– Today at the the Bluestocking Lounge:

It’s Friday the 13th.  What does this day conjure up for you?  Write or create some art reflecting the mystery and mythos of this day……

Post to category 13.07.o7 Friday the 13th or comment below.

A bewildered visitor to the Taverna asked me to show her the location of Lemuria on a map. I could do nothing more than point to the map on the wall and ask my fellow patrons, where in the world is Lemuria? When you have an answer, let us know……. — Lori


“Where is the World is Lemuria?”

Lori Gloyd (c) 2007

Digital Construction

In my morning newspaper, I read a commentary by Julia Keller entitled “From Vanity Press Era into the Blogosphere.” In this article, Ms. Keller examines the impact of blogging on the publishing industry: “Personal computers and the Internet’s ability to fling information far and wide have furthered the idea of Everyday Shakespeares.” She ponders the positive and the negative results of the blogging phenomenon. She argues that because of the economic imperative of publishers to produce “guaranteed hits” ala “Stephen King or Mary Clark Higgins”, it is virtually impossible for most writers to get published and whose works may only be read by way of the blog. In addition, she states that “Many blogs are better than many published books.”

However, she counters by stating that “the sheer blizzard of undifferentiated stuff out there will ultimately work against, not for, new voices. If everyone’s a poet, then nobody is.”

Since all of the regular writers and artists for the Soul Food Cafe make their works known via blog posting, then I think most of us would agree with her positive statements about blogging. But, do you think she might have a point with her counter-argument? Or not?

How would you respond to Ms. Keller’s observations about publishing on blogs?

Write your comments below or create a new post and file under the category “BS 15.06.07 Blogging.”

Lori Gloyd

Source: “From Vanity Press Era into the Blogosphere.” Julia Keller. The Los Angeles Times. Friday, June 15, 2007.

We receive many visitors to the Taverna from all over the virtual realm.  I’ve taken to writing some of these outposts on the Blogosphere.  For your perusal, amusement, and edification, I invite you to through the Portal to the World…..

Lori Gloyd (c) 2007

When I was young, on Good Fridays my family would go riding in the country. A California spring can be glorious! After the winter rains, the golden hills turn green and are sprinkled with orange poppies and all manner of wildflowers. We would pack an ice-chest with a picnic lunch and head up or down the coast or into the mountains. Some years, when Holy Week came early, it would still be wintery. Once we had our picnic in the back of my dad’s camper because the snow had not melted yet in the mountains. Another year we had lunch at an old Mission because it was pouring rain outside.

Our family has gone with the four winds but I still try to preserve that custom even though I now observe a more traditional Good Friday. I still feel nature calling on that day and I try to do some sort of outdoor activity. This past Good Friday a few weeks ago, I went to Madrona Marsh preserve, not far from where I live. This is a 20 acre vernal marsh surrounded on all sides by urban sprawl. The goal of the preservists is to replant the area with indigenous plants and to remove any non-native plants and animals.

This year we are in a severe drought. Because Madrona is a vernal marsh, it relies on the winter and spring rains to keep it wet. Normally, we have about 15 inches of rain during the winter. To date, we’ve had less than 3 inches. The marsh is so dry. I almost wept when I walked through the dried and drooping tule rushes. I started mourning in a way that seemed so appropriate for the Good Friday holiday. It all seemed so hopeless.

I wandered over to the Nature Center at the edge of the marsh. I began talking to the docent about the condition of the marsh. Then she said something surprising. “Yes, we are in a severe drought, but the tree-frogs don’t seem to notice. There are coming out each day and calling for their mates.”

I pondered this. Even in the most hopeless situation, life goes on. The tree frogs were singing. This affirmation of life in the midst of such aridness was stunning. How so very appropriate for Holy Week!

Text and Image: Lori Gloyd (c) 2007

From where I stood to take this photo of the rushes, I should be waist deep in water if we were not in a drought!

The seasons are changing.  In the northern hemispheres, we are mercifully emerging from an abnormally severe winter; in the southern regions, we are breathing a sigh of relief as scorching heat gives way to autumn.   How do you respond, if at all, to the changing of the season?  How is your response manifested?  For some the response is spiritual, religious, or cultural through the celebration of Beltane, Easter, Passover or Earth Day.    For some it is practical–raking autumn leaves or planting flower gardens.  For some it is creative– capturing the movements of nature in photographs or haiku. 

Share with us how the seasons are changing for you by commenting below or posting to BS 27.04.07 Seasons.

The spirit of altruism and generosity is wired into the human psyche.  I recently saw a number of people on the metro-rail reaching into their pockets for coins to give a homeless man on the train, even though it was fairly obvious that the train passengers themselves had very little to give.   Millions of people all over the world give of their time, energies, talents, and monies just because they feel compelled to do so. 

This week’s Bluestocking topic is about gift-giving and gift-receiving.    Discuss a special gift you once gave to someone, or would like to give to someone in the future.  Conversely, what special gift have you received in your life that has meant a lot to you?  Or what gift would you like someone give to you?   What acts of altruism have you witnessed in your life?

Comment below or post to BS 20.04.07 Gifts.  

13.04.07– This week at the the Bluestocking Lounge:

 Imogen Crest wrote this e-mail to me this week: ”

…I have an idea for some Bluestocking discussion as I came across a link that nearly had me in tears from the BBC Women’s Hour.  I think it’s important that women now know what the suffragettes did, I had no idea they went on such extreme hunger strikes to get heard.  It’s gross when you think how hard it was for those women at the coalface.  … The timeline is interesting, that women weren’t able to be mayor until 1907!

The section … has some audio and a slideshow which is effective from 1900-1909.  I also didn’t know suffragette was such a derogatory term to begin with. …The old photos are brilliant too.  Might as well celebrate their efforts.

So for this week, our topic is very broad.  With the Women’s Movement in mind, share whatever you like on this theme.  Please comment below or post to category “BS 13.04.07 Women”

05.04.07– This week at the the Bluestocking Lounge:

Now that we have recovered from one wild and raucus birthday celebration in honor of Vincent Van Gogh, I want to toss out this week’s Bluestocking discussion topic:  Is there any activity or habit in which you indulge that distracts you from your writing and art-making?   What do you do to break away from such avoidance activities. 

Please comment below or post a response to category “BS 05.04.07 Distractions and Avoidance.”

It is Vincent Van Gogh’s birthday on Friday and in honor of that day (March 30, 1853), the Bluestockings will be celebrating in the Taverna. If Vincent were to drop in (and who knows, in the ethereal world of Lemuria, he just might), he will probably bring his brother Theo who was a great support to him during his life. The question to discuss is this:  like Theo, who has supported you in your artistic endeavors, in small or big ways, financially, mentally, emotionally, in words or in actions. Post your piece to under the category: BS 30.03.07 Van Gogh & Mentor or comment below.

Our thanks to Mari for suggesting the topic this week.

16.03.07– This week at the the Bluestocking Lounge:

Robin wrote an account of an life-changing moment in Scotland in The Fall at the Taverna. Heather responded by commenting: “Well thank you very much Robin. I now have goosebumps from one end of my body to the other and they are all tingling. I will share a defining moment for me and feeling the presence of my maker. Wouldn’t it be a great Blue Stockings topic Lori?”

I think she might be right. This week’s BlueStocking discussion is “Have you ever had a defining moment in your life and felt the presence of a higher power?”

Either comment below, or make a new post to BS 03.16.07 Defining Moments.

Official Lemurian Tavern

Authenticated by le Enchanteur

What is the Soul Food Cafe?

The Soul Food Cafe is an international group of writers and artists whose global mission is to promote writing and art-making as a daily practice through the use of interactive web-based technologies such as blogging and e-mail groups.

Exploring Lemuria

Lemuria is the fantasy construct where the participants of the Soul Food Cafe post their work, andThe Taverna di Muse is one of many places and realms within Lemuria. To see some other Lemurian destinations, select one below and start your journey:

Riversleigh Manor
Murmuring Woods
Cyberia, City of Ladies
The Hermitage
On the Road with Enchanteur
The Digital Atelier The Cave of the Ancients
Lemurian Abbey
Halloween Party, 2006
The Heroine's Journey
Aboard the Calabar Felonway
The Pythian Games
Isle of the Temple People
Isle of Ancestors
The Temple of Solace
Grand Tour
Lemurian Tour
The Gypsy Camp

Joining Soul Food

If you are an intrigued visitor now wanting to join the Soul Food Experience, visit the Soul Food Cafe for instructions. Or you may write the SFC owner and manager heatherblakey @ .

Disclaimer– Copyright

The opinions expressed by contributors to Taverna di Muse on this blog as well as on public domains outside this blog are not to be construed as an endorsement by Heather Blakey or Lori Gloyd. Material appearing on this site remains the property of individual artists and writers.


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