Tuesday, October 29, 2019

November 13 in Spokane: Twenty Local Writers to Meet, Read Poems, Raise Funds

fifty percent of children arriving in the united states have no one to represent them in immigration court
On Wednesday, November 13, I'll join a dazzling lineup of local writers, all of us reading poems and short works for your enjoyment in order to raise support for Kids in Need of Defense (KIND).

Join us!

7:00-8:30 PM
35 West Main
Spokane, WA

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Author Photo, or how I met my friend Grace through photography and suicide

I met the photographer Grace June when she was in the last stages of the Survive Project in which she was photographing people affected by suicide, whatever that relationship, from having a person die that way to trying (not) to die that way. Death by suicide has a way of haunting a person left behind that, for me, other ways of dying have not. Grace's project felt right. Poetic, real, honest, immersive.

So, I reached out to her to thank her for doing the project because of how my sister died.
She asked if I'd want to participate.
Yes, please.

I hoped that participating might bring some catharsis since it would involve photography, art, and a way of approaching this death, these feelings, this experience that seemed more real to me than other traditional forms of mourning had.

We met in her studio, which is an old building like the old buildings in my hometown--paint flecking from the walls, gorgeous wooden stairs, large windows. It's likely what the house of my imagination looks like. It just felt right. Why aren't we all mourning by sitting quietly in artist studios?

We talked. She worked. This is the photograph she/we would end up selecting for the project.

Survive Project by Grace June
The Survive Project became the entryway to our friendship.

A few years have passed. It came time for author photos for Hezada! I Miss You. Naturally, I asked Grace if she'd do that, especially, to my mind, since Hezada! is the fictional transformation of my experiences living in a small town and grieving my sister.

Thankfully, Grace agreed. So, we spent last Sunday morning walking together, taking photographs as we made a path down to Riverfront Park where I walked every day after I returned from my sister's funeral. Every day. Walking. Because what else is there to do when your sister has died, and you feel like a very big mistake has been made? You walk.

And you walk and you walk and you walk.

On our walk, Grace and I found my favorite place in Spokane, a quiet place by the river hooded by trees and walled off by apartments where it smells like autumn, like childhood, like wet trees and rural Illinois, and we stood there being friends. That was good. We didn't take a picture of that. Grace thought to, then said, No, let's not ruin it with a camera.

That's why she's my friend, in a nutshell.

Here are a few of the results of our trying to find an author photograph with my face in it. Perhaps you can guess which one will appear on the back of the book.

Erin Pringle, photo by Grace June, 2019

Erin Pringle, photo by Grace June, 2019

Erin Pringle, photo by Grace June, 2019

Erin Pringle, photo by Grace June, 2019

Erin Pringle, photo by Grace June, 2019
Erin, photo by Grace June, 2019


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Visual Art, Writing, Grief, and More at the 2019 Spokane Writers Conference

 2019 Spokane Writers Conference
Spokane County Library
North Spokane Library, 44 East Hawthorne Road
Saturday, October 26 
Sunday, October 27
Free to all

North Spokane Library
I'm pleased to be a part of this year's annual Spokane Writers Conference, held by and at the Spokane County Library. I'm joining a roster of wonderful writers and instructors who will lead and participate in discussions and workshops about books, reading, writing, aspects of the drafting process, skills and drills, and everything you might imagine from here to there when you're thinking about words on a page.
On Sunday, October 27, I'll facilitate two workshops, both revolving around subjects that affect every aspect of my own writing process and that I doubt I'm alone in. I hope you can join me.


Using Visual Art for Inspiration

  • October 27, 2019
  • 1:15-2:15
  • Visual artists are often speaking to the same concerns, desires, and problems that writers are in our work. We cover ways of viewing contemporary visual art that inspire ideas on days when creativity feels beyond reach. Be ready to engage in several writing activities.
  • Sign up! (Free)
Here's why I wanted to create this workshop: I grew up surrounded by my father's love of art. Our backyard held his modernist sculptures that he re-spray painted every few years, and that I was attracted to but warned not to play near because the design inadvertently attracted wasps. He'd dabbled in wood sculpture, metal, plaster. His oil paintings hung in the garage that he'd converted into a workshop.

At the library, we'd sit between the shelves, turning the pages of the cement-heavy art books of Renoir and whatever other classics our rural library had. He drove the roads and walked fields searching for the best light, camera bag on his shoulder (and he'd made the red and yellow lanyard for the zipper pull, which still pleases me, though I'm not sure why).

I suspected, as did everyone, that my own life would follow similar but perhaps more explicit artistic avenues. Instead of a garage, galleries. Instead of only books, museums. In short, the way the American Dream colored my future in.

Life did not pan that way, but central to my storytelling, written or aloud, is the image. I simply work in the medium of words rather than oil, pastel, charcoal. And I feed my sense of self by viewing photography and art, participating in the dialogue that artists create through their images, and respond through language in the way I do.

As such, I look forward to facilitating this workshop on Visual Art as Inspiration, as well as the conversations, activities, and art we'll explore together.


Writing with Grief

  • October 27, 2019
  • 3:00-4:15
  • Mourning is a long and varied process, which may restrict or dampen creativity. We look at strategies for writing after the loss of a loved one and ways to write with the grief instead of fighting it or feeling overtaken by it. 
  • Sign up! (Free)
The second workshop I'll lead revolves around grief, which certainly would not have been my chosen topic years ago, but after a long decade of close death, from my father to my best friend to my sister, each dying differently, each beloved to me in different dimensions, their lives and the vanished nature of death has deeply imprinted my way of thinking, responding, loving, and thus, writing. (Not to mention that I grew up in a rural town that, during my childhood, was dying in population, trade, and hope, certainly set the stage of perspective on daily dying and the rituals connected to it.)

Because grief is such an intimate experience, often lonely, often isolating, often suffocating, we may not write, we may write pages and pages, we may not see the crisp lines of autumn leaves and lose the interest in waiting for the beauty to return, or believing that it will, or that it should in exactly the way it was before. With each death I experience, my writing seems differently affected. Beauty, grief, and language affect each other in ways we don't anticipate. Or, at least, I didn't. But this workshop will not be a monologue on my loss but tangible ways to navigate your writing through mourning, its relationship to identity and creativity--wherever you are in time and loss. While I am a fiction writer and prefer writing fiction to non-fiction, writers of any genre or level of truth-telling are welcome and encouraged to participate. 

(This is not necessarily a workshop on how to write about grief, though I'm sure we'll talk about that, this will be about writing while grieving, as I suspect grieving never ends, merely rubbing itself into one's identity until it's impossible to separate one from another. Perhaps I should have named it Grieving and Writing. Or just Writing.)

Please join me.

If you have any questions about my specific workshops, feel free to message me. Of course, direct any general inquiries about the conference to the librarians, as they are the ones in the know.

 Spokane Writers Conference
Spokane County Library
North Spokane Library, 44 East Hawthorne Road
Saturday, October 26 
Sunday, October 27
Free to all


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Novel news: Hezada has a book trailer!

Phoebe Waldron from Awst Press has created a fantastic book trailer for my forthcoming novel, Hezada! I Miss You.

It's better than a love letter, I think.
Or it's the best kind of love letter.
That's probably right.

Hezada! I Miss You - "All it Takes" from Awst Press on Vimeo.

Pre-order Hezada! I Miss You at https://awst-press.com/shop/hezada

Frog Voice, Frog King: I'm telling a story at Library Con

This Saturday, the South Hill Library is throwing a Library Con, full of fun, fantasy, fairy tales, and whimsy. So, of course I'll be there to tell a story. You've heard about the golden ball, or read about the frog at the bottom of a well, or seen a version of a terrible kiss, but you've never heard the way I'm stringing it together. A little Grimm, a little gender equality, a lot o' me. Come listen, come play, bring all of your children and any children you find along the way. 

(As I am in the midst of losing my voice, I won't have to work hard at all to sound like the frog.)

Story at 11 AM
Saturday, October 5th
South Hill Public Library
3324 S Perry Street, Spokane
View the full event schedule here: https://www.spokanelibrary.org/south-hill/ 

Artwork by Andrea Deszo here, https://tinyurl.com/y59mthf4
Splish, Splash, Rrrrrrbit: Imagining a Story

Come listen to storyteller Erin Pringle tantalize listeners of all ages with the timeless predicament of a child who loses a cherished toy, makes a bold agreement with a frog, then lives to regret the decision. Sometimes known as the frog prince, this version provides a contemporary take. The story will contain movement, listener participation, and, of course, a surprising ending. Story is geared to children ages 2-7, but no one is too young or old to hear this story.