The Shotgun Method

The same colors were here in the mountains this morning,
but the sun hadn’t started to rise yet.
The orange was just a streetlight glow.

8:19 PM (16 hours ago)


ReWrite the Aquarium time as a shortstory.

Anyway you want. Just do it.

It’s a short story. It. there. Get it.

FREEWRITE RE: SPRING 2001 (Yes, I know the tense and pronouns are all over the place.)

show details 9:54 AM (2 hours ago)

Turn on lights to aquariums, better than lamps. Not fluorescent. Cold light, those fluorescents. Adjust the aerators and filters until the sound is less grating. Feel purely and truly happy for a minute…and then the sun comes up and shines through the window and the floor is dirty-ish, furry-ish with puppy hair.
Why the fuck do I have this dog?

Oh yeah, trying to rewrite my childhood. Yeah…except I’m not writing it, I am buying it. A childhood reconstructed on credit.

It is only in the early morning hours that I am dimly aware of my intent. The aquarium glow and first dawn blue-grey and a sleeping golden retriever puppy make me feel peaceful. Meaning that for about five minutes I can feel like the day will unfold differently…like maybe I can rewrite not only the past, but the future. The feeling is hopeful. And then the sun comes up. And the floor is furry and the puppy is biting my ankles and the clear light dancing on the aquarium substrate seems too wavery and I notice the water spots on the glass of the ten gallon tanks and the floor creaks above me as my roommate rolls over in bed. And to grab onto that happy and hopeful feeling, I feed the puppy. Lock the door. Drive to Fred Meyer’s and look at all the cars and this town must be the greenest place is the whole world! Everything shines damp and the tidy gardens that front the tidy lives lived in tidy homes. They are all in bloom.

Where are all these people going? …schoolandworkandschoolandwork…

I feel profoundly foolish for a moment. I look in the rearview mirror and I am pretty in a way that surprises me. Who the fuck is this wild-haired girl with the wide open brown eyes? She smells like lavender. She feels sick with the smell of lavender.

Turn on the blinker, always careful with the driving in town. So much to look at! And the signs all say the same thing but they look different, if only because of the sky behind them. And there are birds perched on rooflines and flying toward mountains and the clouds are strung low and tattered, but soft this morning…a little blanket for all the green.

And the puddles are bright blue with reflected sky.

Buying another aquarium. The comforting smell of pet supplies.

Something to do. A project to complete. A project that will end with a watery green-gold light rippling across the floor of my room in the dim light of tomorrow morning.

An imperfect means to an ideal end: a few perfect minutes in the very early morning.

A west facing room in Portland, Oregon. Spring 2001.


M. Beck drawing


show details Jun 1 (1 day ago)

What’s this about bookmaking?

A print-your-own garage?


Hey what did you study in school anyway?

Those things can very easily squishifie your hand. Still, for just plain gorgeous presentations theirs (Ha!) nothing like it.

(this text below is Shipman, but I couldn’t get the font to Courier.)

Like I mentioned down letter I went to tech school to get a 2nd footing in life. There were still some letter presses around. We got the tour but they were laughed off as dangerous and slow. HOWEVER, there was a furniture cabinet… absolutely slam full of type (could’a butcher an ox on it). Including what I think was about 288 pt. woodblock (aka ARCHDUKE ALIVE WAR FOUGHT BY MISTAKE) size. Altho now that I run that thru my head, that size type would have filled LINE at, WAR OVER WUT?

We also had a Linotype machine or 2, now, those suckers spoke to me in Olde American. I would liked to have run one of those just for the sheer hell of it.

Nice rainbow, BTW.

Things are definitely looking up. (Current: HAHAHAHAHA!)

I seem to recall your Great-Gran had a older white companion, she had her own little bungalow? This might have been some short term mercy before you became locally sentient. Locally-sentient! yeah!

(Below is a picture of myself: sentient, sentinel and ghost-y.)

(Or maybe just tired?)

I think I may have heard the name of your Uncle before. I can’t say for certain, but your Dad was kinda especially annoyed with that war (WW I, the Great War, the War to End all Wars). Matter of fact I think he gave me a book (thought he loaned it likely, but anyone loaning me a book outta have a clue by now), named The Donkeys heh… here:

Alan Clark… a semi-professional look at the Charlie-foxtrot that was the British High Command in the Great War. It was pro-military anti-war. I think maybe your Dad was trying to send me a message. I don’t have that book anymore. I lost it in the great storm of 1993. It lived at Dekle Beach, I read it usually once a year. Salt marshes are somehow conducive to speed reading and good comprehenshun. Srsly, you can look it. up. Really seriously tho, I read that book about 20 times and there is something about the smell of a salt marsh that makes you smarter. Which explains why I’m slipping. ha! I think I’m going order it. Some books need to be read and read and read and read. And then read again with note taking.


Heh, I’m hoping your Dad is still the optimist. Fishing for dinner requires a certain (joie deh French Woids Here) to pull off. But Bert did it at least once I know of. He amazed and delighted me by pulling up a couple of SheepHead from the Pier (not a dock dang it), like he knew it was gonna be easy. And very tasty too.

(Dude, it was totally a dock.)

Your folks spent serious time getting food ready, presentable and palatable, they were always forced to be generous. Ha!

Good heavens, I remember your Dad making just the most wonderful omlet. He spent days genetically programming the chickens, working with GE for a new stove, working with copywrite lawyers from Mars and just in general driving me crazy with hunger. Actually, there wasn’t enough. I don’t take a hint very well. My social skills aren’t the best now, but then they were on the level of Pol Pot. ha!

More sn0-k0nes tomorrow.

Last day of full school.

All will be well.

Take care of yourself

Clean the sink

LOL = that’s my goal every night.

Still, hey, it do-able.

First, clean sinks.

Then the back quarter (aka The Land That (edit) Forgot) ha!

And no, it not a quarter of a section, or a quarter of an acre even, it’s just a chuck of a yard.

Don’t 2nd guess yourself too much.


Unnamed McAlly

show details Jun 1 (1 day ago)
Oh yeah – I decidedly do not put a lot of effort into food presentation…or any other aspect of it. Don’t really think too much about it, until I’m like “Whoa! Got to eat now!” Just how I’m wired. The brain wires, not the caffeine wires.

I studied sociology in college. Not very practical…but, sort of…helped to deconstruct
the central casting of my childhood.

(Her name was Cara Mae. I loved her in the same way I loved Ms. Coleman, as someone who was old and kind and skilled in the ways of baked goods. Cheese straws and chocolate pie and coca-cola.)

So…that I could then understand ‘society’ and yet continue to be baffled by it. Yup. Real helpful. Ha.

I have NO training in the Arts or Letters. I dropped out of the one Art class I took in college and barely made it to mid-term in the comm. coll. creative writing class.

So, a practical skill like letterpress is pretty appealing, three day workshop and I am going to layout the cover for a zine-type sampler, artfully constructed.

(Current: I may call this sampler: “What I Did On My Summer Vacation: A 5-Paragraph Essay by A High School Dropout”)

(Man, I crack myself up.)


And then I am going to print the covers. Between now and then I might see what select items I might opt to put in said sampler. Who knows? That weblog is all over the place. Maybe excerpts from the different areas of focus: guess I should figure wtf those might be.

I might sell myself to a select subset of the masses as the next darling of the outsider art world. I meet all the criteria and to top it off…well, dang. Workin’ on the sell already:)

The nice thing is I can make my own rules…no parties, I get to say whatever I want and people will just be like, “Oh, whatever – she’s that outsider artist.” And they can roll their eyes and I can roll mine right back.

Might be a fun social/cultural experiment, though if I publish this…well, the methodology is fucked.

Okay. Better go.

(business disclosure.)


Re: Cobra, the Feds subsidize all but 35% (about 140.00 per month) – doable, if I ever get the paper work. Again: thank you federal government.

I figure the amount ‘they’ are covering me for is the approximate equivalent of gas mileage and time logged as a GAL…of course, that’s state level…but, whatever.

The dole is not my long term plan – but, it’s nice right now. Last time I tried to get Cobra – it was INSANE – like hundreds of dollars, not even an option. So…

Anyway – banging out a response to other line of correspondence.

Thanks for taking the panic for me…however, I am not inclined to panic right now about much of anything…not so much giving a shit about the nuts and bolts, paperwork, etc. Really having a hard time with that stuff lately. I guess my brain just finally got fed up with paperwork. Too bad. Got to be done:)

Yeah – they’ve got a really good operation here to help folks DIY books, and other paper-based media. I am pretty excited. Seems a practical move at this point.

A close old friend belonged to a letterpress co-op (Crack Press, dunno if it’s still around. I’ll probably check later) in Portland and I hung out there quite a bit, watching him run off album covers, flyers, etc.

The whole machine never made much sense to me at all. But, it was probably just because I was so distracted trying to make myself appear as if it did make sense. It will make sense now, because I am way smarter than I used to be.

I love the type blocks…sort of in a geeky appreciative way…it seems miraculous that anything was ever printed. That’s the upside of the digital era (among just a couple of other things:)(note quality scans on cheap scanner:)


I might sell myself to a select subset of the masses as the next darling of the outsider art world. I meet all the criteria and to top it off…well, dang. Workin’ on the sell already:)

The nice thing is I can make my own rules…no parties, I get to say whatever I want and people will just be like, “Oh, whatever – she’s that outsider artist.” And they can roll their eyes and I can roll mine right back.

Bwaaahahahahahaha bad, bad bad Faith is bad.

Ayn Rand goes to Asheville, gets mugged

and loses her audience

and a meme is born.

I swear that’s the last time I’ll use that name in this correspondence, I’d rather carry on a long discussion about folks who give their kids bizzare names and why tuna fish salad was a poor lunch box choice prior to Gemini VI and the invention of the lunchbox.

And frankly, I had forgotten about the new Cobra terms. I’m happy to hear that they are more reasonable. Panic burns a lot of energy, it’s a rush for a few minutes but gets old quickly. Now I’m out of gas.

See what you’ve done!


Jun 2 (1 day ago)

What is a meme? So, are you saying I shouldn’t sell myself to a select subset as the next darling of the outsider art world? (See: being persistent with the phrase…darling of the outsider art world, darling of the outsider art world…) (I guess I’ve always wanted to be Darling.) (Hmmm, Faith Darling, Outsider Artist…) (Hahahahahaha!)

(Marcus Beck’s Drawing)

(I could go to the Outsider Arts Festival in wtf (!?) NYC and get myself a booth and crochet sperm cells and be real sweet to everyone. I’m not very good at rolling my eyes at people…shrug and smile is way more my style…actually, avoid as much as possible is more my style lately. Been pretty damn squirrel-y. Good: add mild agoraphobe to my list of Outsider Artist qualifications. Ha!

The first time I saw the letters CV on someone’s website…I was like, whassa CV? All I could think about is the CV joint on an old van I drove…maybe not the van, maybe the old Nissan?

(Current: apparently (?) if this component of the car’s steering+axle contraption busts when you’re in a turn, you will not complete the turn, you will keep going straight – right off the edge of the mountain. I was so scared going down the Coeur d’ Lane Pass between Idaho and Washington (?) – my brakes were burning up, I imagined the creaking sounds of the 1-ton van flying down the mountain were a CV joint about fly apart.

I was certain I was going to die.

I was crying I was so scared and helpless, driving alone down a steep mountain pass (Summer of 1997, return to Portland from summer spent driving and sleeping in the van…where did I go?

Oh, “home” – of course:)

(It didn’t feel like home – of course:)

You know what I’ve realized: my memory isn’t so great, after all.


(Early Spring 2001)

Thank goodness That is done. I am really loving this disclosure business. FYI: I leave at least a shit ton and a half out of every story. The lingering queasiness re: my embittered and toxic posts of mid-May inform me that I am not cut out to lay blame and walk away indignant.

Righteousness never suited me well.

The Prodigal Dead Uncle, as a young boy.

In a way, I am really compelled to see how much I could eek out of Marcus Beck’s story. The thing is, there is only so much that can be learned from the sources we have available. And so any interpretation beyond obvious speculation is pure fiction…and I don’t really care much for fiction that is built upon the graves of kin or anyone else really. I do feel a kinship with this dead Uncle of mine. Our smiles are quite the same. And so I will admire his story, be utterly – if not momentarily – gripped by it. And then I will get on with my drawings and thread and stories.

Cocoon Interpretation on Montmorency Cherry Branch, cut this morning.

Which is probably what he would advise. Seemed to be quite earnest, if not a bit wayward.

(If Nicholas Sparks dares touch my Uncle’s letters to Frances, whoever s/he is – well, I’ll flat out kick his ass.)

(Not really, wellllll…okay. Not really.)

But, all I can really tell of his story is my experience of it, the piles of paper on the old dining table that belonged to his sister. The handwriting and drawings and a smile just like mine.

No, I absolutely DO NOT think I am my Uncle Marcus reincarnate. No way. He was right handed. He had moles. I dunno. It just seems a bit far-fetched. Toeing the new age line. I think it is more likely that I spent my childhood knowing of him (jeez, what did we talk about at the dinner table with Rach? The old and dead. She was in her eighties when I was born. Didn’t pass until I was sixteen. I’ve got a pretty awful picture of her on my 16th birthday. Between she and Miss Coleman – the elderly companion who lived in, well we always just called it Miss Coleman’s house. Ruby Coleman. Fine lady, very serious maker of chocolate pie and other such delicacies.
Dipped peach snuff, spat into a jelly jar. Folks were from Folkston or somewhere up 40.

Ms. Ruby Coleman, Shadowlawn
Camden County, Georgia
Late 1970’s

Well, they were old. Always very old. Rach (Marcus’ sister, my great-Grandmother) and me, a long time ago. Easter 1978 – it looks like. My brother must’ve been quite new.)

And Marcus was there as a picture in Emmy’s (Rach’s only daughter, another long story:)
old room, a helmet in a closet…”War is Hell” painted across the brow.

(jeez, these letters STILL smell like Rach’s closets. Or perhaps her closets smelled like letters?)

And so I’ve always known of him.

Most times, we have what we need when we need it, we just have to remember where we put it:)

Reading about The Runaway Uncle and his family’s sternly trying-to-be-compassionate response – a flurry of letters between Jan 2 – Jan 5 1917

Well, it’s all very reassuring because it helps me to realize that for my people, there has always been a touch of wayward, a bit of nervous, and an insight dark and brooding and it’s funny because I look at Marcus and see my whole little nuclear childhood family – parents, brother, self – in the elements of his face.

He even looks a little like my mom. Which is weird and likely just my imagination – since in 1917 – my mom’s family was still in Lebanon, oooh – except for her mom, a Tribble (awful last name, huh?) – from Alabama.

I think there is a letter from Prodigal Marcus postmarked from Selma. Hmmmm?

(Here’s the envelope, no telling where the letter is.)

Man, I gotta go to bed. Watch out for the blue snocones – that stuff is sick. I don’t let my kids eat blue food, cause it turns their faces blue and that is really indignified.

Speaking of indignified…is all this disclosure indignified?

It doesn’t feel indignified. Ownership, unapologetic. It feels good.

I am being mindful of bridges and fires and the knowledge that once it’s out there – it’s out there.

Someone told me once that one should never get tattoo on one’s face or neck – front or sides, back okay? – unless they were damn certain they didn’t ever want to work again, that they were not going back.

Email is like a contract. More erasable than a tattoo, but still…out there. I dunno. I don’t think I want to go back. I might want to go somewhere, but it might have to be a place that would forgive me a tattoo of a cicada at the base of my throat. Three dots high on my brow, not sure why. How’s this? No book = no facial tattoos.


In the meantime, I’m gonna just keep telling the stories.

(Current: And try to get a camera that is not my frickin’ phone.
Doesn’t do so well with tiny stiches.)


A meme…. a meme is to an idea as DNA is to a Lifeform. Ideas die, but a meme is tested by time and cultural if it works it stays and is passed on. That’s the fancy Sociological sorta definition (hey! was dat a test, noone said anything about any dang tests!) But in the sense I used it, I meant more of a a fad…. an internet Meme.

I’m going to ask a couple of questions….. of course I do ye moron is a valid answer, so is no, wut?


“the shotgun method leaves a lot of crap to wade through” – an unnamed ally

It does, indeed. I have so much to post. Too much, I know. I am trying to stake claims on myself and my ideas before the world has me for breakfast again. Before I lose my voice.

I am writing contracts. I hope I don’t lose my voice ever again.

—–Original Message—— From: To: ReplyTo: Subject: Re: IMG00080-20100531-1909.jpg Sent: May 31, 2010 8:02 PM

show details May 31 (2 days ago)

The same thing happened with graduate school…a sudden – and quite concerning inability to even conceive of my life as I had built it as even being mine. Not like: “oh, my life seems strange…lalala.” “But, ohmigodwhatthefuckican’


Happened a couple of other times, to varying degrees…

Very Bell Jar, but with far less silverware.

But, I don’t think it will happen again…I’ve dropped out about as far as I can drop. I’ll choose my footing carefully from here on out.


This makes me sad. I hope that this is not where my dead uncle was being encouraged to go when his father wrote him and pleaded: “Please come home and go to Peacock or some other good school.”

I’d run away, too.

This is a letter to the elder Marcus Beck, my dead great-great-Grandfather, from one Noble Siebold – who was the best friend of
the prodigal Marcus Beck. The family story is that they ran away together to Jacksonville.
The letter explains to “Dad Beck” that the clear spoken Noble is preparing for his Bar Examinations. There is no mention of the prodigal Marcus. He must have “died” by then.

The elder Marcus Beck was probably a bit troubled by this drawing, being a state Superior Court judge.

I hope that the prodigal Marcus didn’t die at all. I hope he went to ‘Paris Island’ and then went to war to get to France, to die a mythic death and start life all over again. The bravery of my dead uncle makes my heart hurt, makes it hard to breathe.

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