Friday 11 January 2013

First time FREE on Amazon: SIX PIXELS OF SEPARATION, my Pushcart-nominated essay

UPDATE: 6 pm, January 11th: "Six Pixels" just hit #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Authors. 

It's #16 in Kindle Memoir. Thanks for your support!

 “What a fantastic essay! I love it more with each reading!”
~ Sylvia Legris, Editor, Grain Magazine

For the first time FREE on Amazon, my short essay SIX PIXELS OF SEPARATION. Love, literature, evolution, the Holocaust, Oregon, Quebec, the Nez Perce Indians, Wikipedia, AIDS, short, the whole catastrophe.

Then-editor Sylvia Legris liked it so much, she submitted it for consideration to The Pushcart Prize and Canada's National Magazine Awards (the latter in TWO categories!).

The 2010 Fishtrap Fellows Cabin, Fishtrap Writers Conference & The Gathering, Wallowa Lake, OR


I: Irrigator evolution

A couple of summers ago, I flew from my home in Montreal across the continent to Oregon for the first time, on points cadged from my husband. He travelled a lot for work. Because I quit science to pursue art several years back, I sponge off him shamelessly these days. And not just for plane tickets.

From 32,000 feet, it was clear how parched the West is. I flew over mountains and deserts, greys and browns and ochres interrupted by the occasional mystifying emerald disk, round as a wedding ring. Until I saw the incomplete ones, pies with a serving removed, I thought the circles were waste pools, for mine tailings, say, or reservoirs of nuclear leftovers. It turned out they were crop irrigation circles, verdant patches in the desert created by enormous metal irrigators. Later, seeing these behemoths up close, I was reminded of bicycle wheel rims—the irrigators appeared to be composed of hundreds of them, as though the wheel rim was some missing link that the irrigator had ascended from via dark evolutionary forces of increasing complexity.

The next day, Rich Wandschneider—the outgoing, founding, and soon-to-be-ex-executive director of Fishtrap,1 the conference I was attending—drove a group of us  from Portland, 260 miles inland, to Wallowa Lake, the site of the conference. Only the third owner of an irrigation system ever makes any money with it, Rich confided, “The first two owners go bust."

...Tonight, reading a collection of Raymond Carver’s short stories, I discover he is from Oregon. Clatskanie, according to the book jacket, not far from Portland. Born in 1939. Because these facts come from a book, I may have more confidence in them than in those gleaned from Wikipedia. Wikipedia is unreliable because, as Conrad Black wrote me, it “can be written by anyone.”2 In this new knowledge economy age, though, large-scale creative collaboration is also considered a strength. The Carver book is What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

Actually, this piece you are reading might just as properly be called “What we talk about when we can’t make love.”
             My husband and I could not see eye to eye tonight and so I am in my son’s bedroom, seeking consolation from Raymond Carver...

Always free for Amazon Prime Members.

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