October 30th, 2007
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jack, originally uploaded by amanda de vuono.

photo from the “how to wreck a journal” flickr group.

October 27th, 2007
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excerpted from the article “Writers & the War Against Nature” published in the Shambhala Sun, november 2007 issue (this article is excellent, you must seek it out).

October 26th, 2007
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I have been experiencing some pregnancy complications in the form of early contractions which put me in the hospital for a short stint. This is pretty scary at five months. so i am having to slow down a bit (a lot) and care for my body more, doing everything i can to keep my belly calm. I’ve been talking to the baby and telling him he has to stay in there for a few more months, it’s not time for him to make his debut in this world just yet. so currently I am in bed reading thich nhat hanh and enjoying the fall leaves just outside my window.
you’d be amazed at how much beauty and connection with nature there is to be had even while in bed. I am in the process of making my room into a healing space complete with good smells, oils, things from nature, tea and lots of books. I brought in a few branches from the yard and am slowly attaching tiny things to them, bits of wool, plastic colored juice lids, tiny pieces of tissue paper. these things make me happy. right now as I write this there are the most beautiful shadows of leaves dancing around on my my bedroom floor. and I awoke to a dense fog that highlighted some sunbeams coming through the trees. my husband is handling all of the household stuff, the white wolf naps by my side, both helping me to feel safe and loved at every turn.
while i am not supposed to be working for a brief time, a lot of this is directly connected to the book i am working on. and so it continues to write itself in small pieces here and there.
little things are coming in that make me feel good…
…andrea from hula seventy took one of the exercises from the guerilla art kit and assembled what she called “the smallest guerilla art army”. you can read about their adventures here, (which brought tears to my eyes).
…i got a handmade bunny for the baby (named “autumn”) from hop skip jump. (you all know how hard it is to do this, you have to be ready and fast when they go up for sale!)
…i love this woman’s work! pieces of her life story come out in her work and made me cry.
…just taking in the colors and textures at purlsoho is healing. i’m so drawn to small bits of color right now.
…following the continuing adventures of dan price.
…the perfect store for me, the curiosity shoppe (link from the ever fabulous jen gray.)
george perec has made my life better.
*if you have any suggestions for soothing creams, oils, potions, bath stuff, etc. they must be made of natural smells [read: no fake fragrance oil], organic, and good for pregnancy), I would love to hear them.

October 12th, 2007
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I have had The Golden Notebook on my ‘to read’ list for many years now, I even bought a used copy which I left in canada due to weight constraints (damn). But now I have to read it. Look at that beautiful face.
an important article on the state of healthcare for freelancers. I was one of those freelancers who couldn’t afford it the first year I lived in this country. It is not just an issue for the poorest in the country, as the article states. When I went to get a physical for immigration purposes, I could only go to two doctors in my area who performed that service, (this was where people who have no money go.) I was told I could only pay cash, that my credit card was not welcome there, and I did (and still do) question the level of care that these people are receiving.
an interview with me at Emerson, (called “If Artist’s Ruled the World”) in which I wax on at length about a few political and philosophical isses, (namely education). The author of Emerson, Dale Conour, is the editor for Sunset Magazine, (which I love to read when I’m in california).
I have recently ordered many books by Georges Perec for my research on the new book. If you have any suggestions for other writers in the same vein that are readable (I struggled with Certeau), please write me.
If you haven’t seen this already prepare to be amazed. This one IS for real.
I enjoyed this new website about bas jan ader’s work, waiting for the new documentary to come out on dvd, site design by Superfamous.

October 10th, 2007
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from the London Times fashion blog

the Times Sunday Style Magazine (UK) to feature Guerilla Art Kit, (date to come)
and I am going to be doing a regular small piece for the Guardian UK Kids section, featuring a new guerilla art exercise every week!
life is never dull around here.

October 9th, 2007
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Did you think I wouldn’t notice the large, moving television ad you have slipped in on the bottom of every single page?
My first thought was, “not you too.”
I am extremely saddenend by the new addition of ads on amazon. As a consumer I am tired of being subjected to ads in ever area of life, and feel that the visual bombardment is unecessary (as well as having a negative impact on society as a whole). I want to say to Amazon, it is too much to have it here too! TOO MUCH.
As a long time shopper on Amazon I would like to say for the record that I will be forced to take my purchases elsewhere now so that I can shop ad free.
I would hope that you might reconsider this decision and give people a choice to shop in an ad free environment. I believe there are a lot of consumers that are tired of excessive ads and we would like to have our voice heard by big companies like yours.
Until that day, it was great knowing you.
Keri Smith
*emailed to customer service, orders@amazon.com, resolution@amazon.com and mailed to
Jeff Bezos
1200 12th Ave., Ste. 1200
Seattle, WA 98144
**update Oct 10: I guess my voice is more powerful than I thought, the ads are gone today! hooray!

October 4th, 2007
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life is so exciting when you discover new thread that is running through everything, so that you begin to see it everywhere you look.
and when the theme comes out of the book you are writing and jumps out and grabs you by the throat, and then lulls you into a kind of exploring, pulling place. as like when you are wandering but you don’t exactly know where you are headed but you have this feeling that there is something around the corner that is really big and important. something you might like to share with the world except you don’t exactly know what it is.
or maybe you just want to share with people the beauty of the unknown. this is the theme that runs through me these days. though I only discovered it recently. this thing that makes living worthwhile.
the not knowing how anything is going to turn out.
the not knowing what is around the next corner. I read in an article from the 60′s that the reason that people enjoy live performance is that it is something that can never happen twice. Each performance lives in the tension of ‘not knowing’ how this moment will go. the same could be said for a painting. nothing happens the same way twice. each time you do it there are subtle differences. humans are imperfect and prone to variation, unlike machines. and deep down we love this about ourselves and crave more of it.
Corita Kent wrote, “The thing about art that delights us and confounds us is that it never happens again…Uniqueness confounds us because there are no rules for guides. There can be no science of the particular.”
nature is also prone to this variation. this is what makes collecting leaves and stones and twigs so endlessly fascinating. the variations become more obvious the closer you look, something that looked simple at first becomes intricate and more detailed upon further investigation.
we have to at some point live with the idea that we cannot know. I was overjoyed to discover a new book on this theme by Rebecca Solnit, which I am savouring like a good wine (which I cannot have right now). The title is “A Field Guide to Getting Lost”, and she deals with getting lost in a literal sense (in the woods), and also a metaphorical one, lost in one’s head, or lost in the sense that one surrenders to the present moment and whatever that brings. She describes the unknown as a transformative place through which growth emerges. But we can’t know what that entails when we enter into it. a conundrum of sorts, yes?
“How do you calculate upon the unforeseen? It seems to be an art of recognizing the role of the unforeseen, of keeping your balance amid surprises, of collaborating with chance, of recognizing that here are some essential mysteries in the world and thereby a limit to calculation, to plan, to control. To calculate on the unforeseen is perhaps exactly the paradoxical operation that life most requires of us.”
It is not a coincidence perhaps that I am contemplating the unknown at this point in my life. Pregnancy (and birthing) are a direct trip into the unforeseen, so much so that you are given time (9 months) to contemplate the fact that you have no idea what you life will be like in the near future, but you are very aware that it is about to change in a big way. It feels comforting to know that it is really out of your control, I am reminded of this every time the baby moves in my belly, that something much bigger than me is occuring and I am just along for the ride.
i have become aware that if any real discoveries are to be made i can only find them by entering into this unknown place. otherwise I am just repeating what I have learned in the past, which doesn’t involve any risk. the unknown is not always comfortable.
but it’s not always about comfort.
The closer man gets to the unknown, the more inventive he becomes.”
~Buckminster Fuller

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