Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and the kids are going to be with us. What’s the perfect Thanksgiving without having your kids? May there be champagne. May there be great love because we all need more of it. I am grateful for my children for being wonderful and for loving me. I am grateful for a few good friends, for trees and sky, for times when I don’t have anything that I have to do. May there be more of them. Tonight we start with the pies. Tomorrow morning I’ll go for a run before I start cooking. Don’t know how far just so I get going on the running.

Books worth reading:
Citizen by Claudia Rankine
Patter by Douglas Kearney
Lila by Marilyn Robinson
Hum by Jamaal May
The New Testament by Jericho Brown

Articles worth reading:
Blackness as the Second Person by Claudia Rankine

https://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/blackness-as-the-second-person/

When a Child Kills

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/31/opinion/sunday/reflections-on-a-shooting-range-death-from-one-who-knows.html?_r=0

Gang Rape at UVA

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-rape-on-campus-20141119

Ursula K. LeGuin’s speech

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/nov/20/ursula-k-le-guin-national-book-awards-speech

Evidence of Things Unsaid

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/11/barack-obama-ferguson-and-the-evidence-of-things-unsaid/383212/

Published in: on November 26, 2014 at 11:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Great reading with Shelly Savren and Maxine Hong Kingston!

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Now that this book tour has ended, I am going to finish this book/books and get going on my running, Pilates and some serious Mark/Kate party time. I like feeling the very edges of my life spilling over the edge like the old maps where you could sail to the end of the world and over the edge there be dragons, serpents, all kinds of big slimy creatures and the dark. That’s where I like to go, down over the edge into the dark thinking place.

I’m planning some writing retreats in 2015, some friend time, writing time, dream time, and time with my kids. Mark and I are going to have some crazy great time. I want to drink champagne and run on the beach, and all that stuff. I’m going to run like a maniac, and do Pilates like a maniac. Maybe not a maniac.

But the book tour was roaring fun. Because people like the Goldilocks Zone and it’s fun to read from. And the Echo Light book is good. Reading last night with Ron Kortge and Bill Trowbridge was amazing. They were so much fun.

Now I want to buy a Christmas tree and have the kids decorate it the day after Thanksgiving. When they were little, the bottom half of the tree was decorated and the cats would sabotage those ornaments and there would be glass shards all over the floor and they would keep putting up more for the cats to pull down.

They were crazy kids and they made Mark crazy. Especially Steve. Steve would get into trouble at school and once even kicked a kid at the playground who was being mean to his sister. “Why’d you do that?” “He had it coming,” Steve said.

My ex and I were trouble makers. We had it coming, these crazy kids. But Mark had been a good kid, he didn’t know what hit him. They’re grown up now and it’s still a lot of fun. Mark and I like adventures. Here’s to holidays, writing, beaches, champagne, and having fun times with our kids.

Published in: on November 24, 2014 at 10:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Book Tour ending with a splash

http://www.bookcellarinc.com/event/poetry-event

http://www.bookpassage.com/event/kate-gale-maxine-hong-kingston-shelley-savren-afternoon-poetry

There will be more book events in spring. Austin, Charlottesville, Boston, conferences in Boston, Mendocino, Ghost Ranch, but nothing like this. 2015 will seem like a sabbatical year after 2014. And yet, it’s been glorious. Hanging in different cities with my home girls: Terri Grimm, Karen Shoemaker, Darlene Chandler Bassett, Mary Johnson, Jen Kohan, Peggy Shumaker, Nicelle Davis, Cynthia Hogue, my daughter and daughter-in-law, Tobi and Molly, it’s been glorious connecting with so many writers and the big readings with Gregory Orr, Ursula LeGuin and Maxine Hong Kingston are really fun too and make me feel like I can pretend I’m a bigwig too. Speaking of wigs, if I wore a big wig, could I be a bigwig? That’s one of those phrases you never have to ask for the origin. You know it. A big wig was someone with a big wig.

If I am ever important to people outside my familia, I’ll walk down 5th avenue and I’ll sing out loud. But until then, I’m content knowing that we’ll all be hanging together for Thanksgiving a mash of stories, language, joy, great food and wine. Also tequila.

All my friends who have made this book tour magical, thank you! Karen and Terri you rock! Dave Mainelli for setting up this event in Omaha, Chad for the event in Wayne. Peggy for making Arizona fun. Cynthia! you rock. Darlene for everything. Mary, you held my hand.

And Mark! I’m coming home Monday!

Published in: on November 22, 2014 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Thanksgiving!

http://www.bookcellarinc.com/event/poetry-event

I can’t wait. Tobi and Stephen haven’t both been here for Thanksgiving for three years and this year, they will be here and Jared for Thanksgiving and for Christmas we’ll have Jared and Kelly, Tobi and Molly, and Stephen so we are going to have a great time. Our family is crazy fun to be around. Movies, food, wine, tequila, pies, turkey, stories, magic.

But for Thanksgiving, here is what I am looking forward to:
Hanging with the family.
Four whole days that I don’t have to drive anywhere.
The food.
Molly’s dad Mark and Jared and Stephen playing music and jamming.
Running every morning.
Getting caught up on sleep.
Finishing my book.
Going to see Interstellar and Mark says we are going to Fury as well.

The dinner plans:
Salad
Lime/garlic soup
Stuffed pasillas
Squash and sweet potatoes
Green rice
Turkey
Stuffing
Cranberries—both kinds
Orange cranberry relish
Tortillas and rolls
For dessert
Flan
Pumpkin, pecan and cherry pies

My favorite parts:
cranberries
Turkey drumsticks

In case you haven’t planned your Thanksgiving yet, remember this. It’s your meal. You should just make whatever you like eating. We like turkey and some of our family members are ridiculous about stuffing, but we try to make whatever we all like.

Published in: on November 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Why Southwest Airlines is way better than Frontier, why American sucks

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  1. The peanuts. It seems small but they give you peanuts.
  2. The other free snacks they give you like cheese crackers, cookies or Chex Mix. (I prefer the Jet Blue chips and Southwest needs a red chips.)
  3. The free soda, juice etc.
  4. They are nice to you!
  5. They let you bring 2 bags for free.

Why Frontier sucks.

  1. The Frontier staff go to a little kick-the-customer’s ass training and it shows. They like to snap at you like they’re a German shepherd and you’re a Frisbee. It’s downright uncomfortable.  However, there are no flight attendants and airline staff as well trained in ass kicking as American Airlines.  Their training isn’t the customer is always right. It’s more like F@# the customer.  You knew better than to fly with us in the first place. We don’t like our customers and people know that so if you chose to fly American, that’s your personal problem, clearly you have issues with masochism and they have problems with sadism so there you are a match made in the skies.  A German shepherd with a Frisbee is nothing.  American Airlines staff laugh at such amateurish notions.  They up the ante.  “Do I  get a hotel to stay in?” I asked an American Airline attendant in DFW after they stranded me there.  She pulled out a blanket and tossed it at me. I caught it before it hit my face. “Take a blanket,” she said.  Vouchers are unknown to them. But back to Frontier.  They’re no slouch in the rude department. Last week when I was flying them, I was taking only my laptop and purse to Colorado.  You know my motto, “Do I look fantastic in this dress now? Yes?  Pretty sure I’m going to look fantastic in it again tomorrow morning.”  The lady at Frontier was trying to argue with me that she was going to charge me to check the laptop because it wouldn’t fit on the plane.  Seriously?
  2. The only free thing on a Frontier flight is the water. They charge you for TV which is free on Virgin, Jet Blue and Delta, so the TV is useless.  They charge you for crackers, cookies, peanuts and every ounce of luggage.
  3. Rumor is they are thinking of charging for each block of toilet paper. Can’t you see some lady hustling down to buy four squares for her husband who forgot his wallet?  It makes me laugh to think about it.  Avoid Frontier and American Airlines.  That’s my advice.
  4. The nice domestic airlines are Jet Blue and Virgin followed by Delta and Southwest.
  5. The nice international airlines ? I love British and Singapore and Lufthansa. I hear good things about Quantas.  Next time I’m going Down Under, I’m going to try it.  Iceland and New Zealand have nice airlines too.  Mark did not enjoy the Russian airlines.  He complained that the food was inedible and the lights and television didn’t work.  Plus, he had to stop off in the Ukraine for 17 hours.  Hey, I had to layover in Istanbul.  But Turkish Airlines is really nice. The little Irish airline Aer Lingus serves a lot of booze.  Lufthansa too.  Americans don’t drink as much as they used to. Maybe they’re all smoking weed.  Hopefully not the captain on this flight though.  Fly safely, my friend.

Los Angeles River

Yesterday I visited the LA River Restoration Project.

Sometime we will all be able to hike along the river, kayak its rapids, dream in wetlands.  I felt the mist rising and the concrete walls caging the river and then letting it loose.   Tomorrow St. Louis.

jv 034

Published in: on November 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

The anniversary event was an amazing success!

2014-11-14-Red-Hen-Press-800x510-copy

The readers were gracious and wonderful and we sold out! Thank you to everybody who came and helped and contributed.

 

This week the last leg of the book tour:  St. Louis, Nebraska, Chicago and San Francisco.

 

November 19th Wednesday St. Louis, Missouri

Reading on Wednesday night at Left Bank books in St. Louis, Missouri at 7 pm with my pals Ron Koertge and Bill Trowbridge

http://www.left-bank.com/event/kate-gale-william-trowbridge-ron-koertge

November 20th at Wayne State, reading with Bill Trowbridge

 

November 21st at Sidedoor Lounge at 7 pm in Omaha

With my Nebraska friends, Karen Shoemaker! At the Sidedoor Lounge in Omaha

http://www.unmpress.com/shell.php?Page=author_events

 

November 22nd in Chicago

Reading with Ron and Bill again at 7 pm in Chicago at Book Cellar

http://www.pw.org/content/kate_gale_william_trowbridge_and_ron_koertge

 

November 23rd in San Francisco

Reading with Shelly Savren and Maxine Hong Kingston at 4 pm at Book Passage in San Francisco

http://www.bookpassage.com/event/kate-gale-maxine-hong-kingston-shelley-savren-afternoon-poetry

P.S.Someone asked me about the latest picture I posted on FB.  Seriously, why are you questioning my love for giraffe tongues?  They are long and blue and prehensile.  Enough said.

Published in: on November 17, 2014 at 11:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Red Hen Press anniversary full house, last minute jitters

http://redhen.org/events/champagne-anniversary/

The day before the event I am always breathless, as in, I can’t breathe.  Too many things happening at once. No. Stop. I want to say, but the train keeps rolling. And things go wrong.  Things you wouldn’t even imagine.  We try to think it out in advance and then, really, no, this isn’t happening, and it is.

Mark and I wake up and start drinking cup after cup of coffee.  I imagine  that I will go for a run, but I never do. There isn’t time. I start to panic even though there isn’t a reason too. Nicelle is coming to help, bringing Maggie and William and Nathan are coming and Elaine, Petra, Gina.  We think about how last year we served bagels to everyone helping, this year nothing.  Too much was going on by the time I got into the car.   I keep trying to get myself to take a breath. I keep saying it is all waterunderthebridge. But I am in the water under the bridge and when I look up, what I see is the underside of the bridge.  In that underside is a dark void of tangled branches, birds’ nests, old stories, cobwebs, bats.  That’s what I see. All that dark smudged against the sky.  I can’t really see the sky.

Tobi and Molly will be here shortly.  They love me! and Tobi will take board meeting notes and after the board meeting, there’s drinks and then there’s the cocktail party and then we’re home.  The event tomorrow will be fantastic, if you still want to come, we’re sold out, but let us know and we will find you a place.  When it’s over, we go out to celebrate Kelly, Tobi and Molly’s birthdays and then I’ll relax, my shoulders will come down from around my ears, but right now, all I see is the dark underside of the bridge.  I know the sky is there and I know the sky is waiting.

If you haven’t bought a ticket yet, email me and let me know if you want to come.  It will be great, I promise you that. My email is kategale@verizon.net.

Overthehorizon.

That’s where poetry and stories come from, and that’s why we started all this.

I just wish I didn’t make mistakes. That would make life so much simpler.  I spend a large percentage of my time, kicking myself.  Kate, use your brain! I say, over and over as I fall asleep and as I wake.

I want to be a different Kate.

That other Kate would never screw up, where is she?

See you tomorrow!

This Kate.

Published in: on November 15, 2014 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence

giraffe-tongue-jpg (1)

This image and this blog post are not connected but I like giraffes and their tongues.

Okay, awkward subject here, but let’s dive in.  In the article in Vanity Fair, Jennifer Lawrence complains bitterly about the leakage of nude photos of herself that she’d sent to her boyfriend.  They were in a long distance relationship and she was sending him photos to keep things going and these got leaked.

Let’s pause here a minute and say that what keeps a relationship going is contact.  If you see someone once a month, things move along slowly.  If you escalate to once a week, they speed up and at the point of daily contact, the ball is rolling.  So if you want to keep yourself at the top of the pile of things your partner thinks about, daily contact is good.  And if part of the “meat” of your relationship (stop what you’re thinking right now) is sex/intimacy, then some instagram, snap chat, selfie photos are going to keep him/her remembering why they got involved with you in the first place.  The current photo mailing is certainly safer than the photocopy machine ever was.

But back to Jennifer Lawrence. Like other celebrities before her, Kate Upton and Rihanna, she complains that her privacy is being invaded.  Okay, that sucks.  But, she also says that she is angry at anyone who looks at these photos and adds that she can’t be your friend if you look at the photos.

  1. She just un-friended millions of people.
  2. Lots of people who hadn’t looked at the photos went ahead and checked them out after that Vanity Fair interview because they suddenly realize that something interesting must be afloat.
  3. If you look at the photos, you are not committing a crime, whatever she may think, and I am going to give you a hint here. She looks like a nude girl.  She has the same stuff other nude girls have, boobs and queenie all in place.
  4. Naked actresses generally have perfect female bodies, but come on, she looks like most of us looked at 25. There is nothing surprising, shocking, lewd or heinous about the human body.
  5. The anti nude thing with actresses seems clear to me. Here is the message they want you to understand. I am classy.  I am not Kim Kardashian.  Don’t worry Jennifer honey, we never thought you were Kim Kardashian.  You’re an actress, she’s a booty queen.  We know that.  We know how classy you are.  When you’re older, you’ll see what we mean Jennifer.  I put myself in Jennifer’s shoes.  Let me see, if I were making the money she’s making and people wanted to see me naked because I looked so good, I’m pretty sure I’d survive.  You’ll survive Jennifer.  The universe is going to buy you a mocking bird and it will sing.
Published in: on November 14, 2014 at 5:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Life of the body, life of the mind

What do you talk about?

If you want to know what you care about, think about what you talk about and what you spend your money on. That’s what you care about.

I have friends who, sick or well, think and talk about books and writing.  I recently spent a couple days with a friend who is preparing for a major operation.  What he spent his time talking about was people, books, flying, travel.  Finally I asked him about the operation he was going to have and he explained it, he even drew me a little sketch.  I like sketches of the bones.

We all have to live in our bodies and when something is wrong with our body, we are reduced to thinking about that.  We dwell in our bodies and we can’t un-dwell ourselves without dying.  Fully experiencing life does involve feeling and being at a cellular level.  Feeling joy, fear, loneliness, anger, frustration.  In Colombia I felt emotions that I don’t usually feel.  I felt lonely, frustrated, small, weird, out of place.  I felt the same on the trip to Salt Lake City until I met up with Nicelle and Nicelle’s son JJ threw himself on me in the street.  All of those feelings are worth feeling.  It’s good to own all one’s experiences fully.  But, Stephen Hawking doesn’t tell everyone he meets how he’s feeling and he’s probably not feeling all that good.  He lives a life of the mind.

My mother-in-law likes to talk about her doctor visits.  We’ve all had the experience of visiting an elderly person where you go to their house and then you sit there for hours and after you hear about their doctor’s visits, you are out of things to talk about.  They’re watching television, and you start to get restless if you’re me, and you think, Is this what you do?

I like the life of the body, I like running a long ways and doing Pilates which is really hard and feeling myself out at the edge of my physical abilities.  I like figuring out what energy stuff I need for running (energy cubes and low cal Gatorade.) I’m finishing my book tour next Sunday and then I have 12 weeks to train for the marathon so I’m going to be thinking about running.

But much more interestingly, I have just completed a collaborative art/poetry project with video artist Heidi Kumao, and I am knee deep in a video opera called Youtube with composer Michael Roth, have promised my collaborator on the Black/White project a final edit by this weekend, and I have my memoir to finish up over Thanksgiving break.  All of these writing projects are more interesting than my health struggles which are much aided by shiatsu and I’m getting one of those wooden pillows which is supposed to help, and then running.   Diets are boring. Stories can be amazing.  What I can’t wait to do is on Mark’s and my next long drive to Phoenix or Pismo is to plan our next books and to feel those future stories piled up before us not at all like white elephants, more like ocean waves pulled by the moon, full of fish and fishy ideas.

Published in: on November 13, 2014 at 2:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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