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Lots of writing, reading, signing, and painting going on around here...

Cleaning Up, Cleaning Out

Stuff. Everywhere. Inside the old concrete block walls, table after table in the old elementary school gym was stacked with stuff. Good stuff, stupid stuff, old stuff, new stuff, what-the-hell? stuff and five car loads of stuff I'd brought, too, were arrayed in a vast organized mess of stuff. By the day of the sale, all of the stuff I'd help arrange and price had gotten up my nose and given me a massive allergy headache.

The last of the stuff from the leftover remains of Henry's mother's house made up the five car loads I'd contributed, providing a decidedly gilt-encrusted theme to the stuff displayed.  Read More 
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Blank Square Days

The end of March brings completely crap weather around here. One day it's 60 degrees and the very next I'm turning on the heated car seat and it's snowing. OK, well not snow in the sense that you have to shovel it, but enough that the top of Mt. Jefferson is white, the deck out my window is dusted, and school in Ashe County is going to be meeting on yet another Saturday to make up for a snow day.

Meanwhile, my crocus are blooming, the lawn guys have done the heavy work ripping up the old landscape fabric and the mulching is done. We've put the bright red cushions out on the newly stained and spruced up outdoor furniture on the porch, and, thus far, on the warm days we've resisted buying any fragile plants.  Read More 
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Back from El Salvador

I made it back from the Habitat building trip to El Salvador very early on Monday morning, about 1:00 a.m. It was a great trip. Believe it or not, no whiners! Good folks all, including especially the masons and the homeowner families. No one got hurt. And, we accomplished quite a lot on the two homes we worked on.

I had a momentary panic attack when I found out that one of the team members was a Lutheran pastor. Shit. How was that going to work?  Read More 
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Here's my "wordkeepers" essay from Saturday.

My reading at “wordkeepers”
Saturday, January 15, 2011

More Viewing Confessions, by Chris Arvidson

Those of you who joined us here at Wordkeepers in November will remember my confession regarding the viewing of both crappy and excellent Christmas movies. Today, here and now, I’m going to make a further heinous confession. What I reveal to you here however, holds the promise of redemption.  Read More 
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"wordkeepers" this Saturday

Come on out to Bohemia Gallery in West Jefferson, NC, this Saturday (1.15.2011) for our next "wordkeepers" salon, 4:00 p.m. See our groovy poster at right.

We'll be featuring Julie Townsend reading from her new novel "Seafood Jesus," which is coming out in March. We'll also hear from me, Scot Pope, and folks on our open mic portion of the program. Read More 
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The Pressure's On

There is no end to how I can pressure myself. I have successfully done it again royally.

On Saturday, November 20, a couple of writer pals here in the neighborhood are getting together with me to do readings of our latest stuff. Read More 
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And So it Goes

Tomorrow is my mother-in-law's funeral. I'm not much for funerals. Then again, who is? Some people appreciate them I suppose, and even say they find them comforting. Not me.

Henry is sadder than I think he expected to be. His mom was 86 and for the past 2 and a half years, she has lived with us in this duplex in West Jefferson.  Read More 
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Today I mailed off a set of excerpts from my manuscript "No I Don't Want to Hold Your Baby." Along with those 20 pages was a newly constructed cover letter and a one-page synopsis. The package with its two crisp and clean copies is now on its way to the NC Writers Network Manuscript Mart folks. They will assign them to an agent who I'll meet with for an assigned half hour at the upcoming NCWN conference in Charlotte. Read More 
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Tire Trip

Staff road trip! I drove up to West Virginia the other morning, right before the weather turned back to fall and summer finally got left behind. With me went Carol, George, Courtney, and Twelve Grain from the National Committee for the New River staff. It was a Courtney organized clean up affair. I was the designated driver, not because of heavy alcohol consumption, but because I had the car the we'd all fit in that day.

We met up with NPS rangers from the New River Gorge National River, a new area VISTA worker, and got wet and dirty and nasty pulling tires out of the river and off the shore. We ended up with three rafts full for the day.

What, I ask you, is the deal with people dumping tires in the river? They don't belong! Is it a Southern thing? I sure didn't see any in the Betsie River in Michigan a few weeks ago? Read More 
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It Was Great!

The On the Same Page Literary Festival was fabulous in the extreme. I enjoyed it so much that going back to work on Monday was difficult. It was an extraordinary line-up of writers who were generous with their time and attention. Not a diva among them, and check out this list! Robert Morgan, Daniel Wallace, Fred Chappell,  Read More 
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