Category Archives: Writing

Mom-athy Part 2

I finally got back to work as an Artist (Writer) in Residence at the children’s hospital last week. My warm-up was an art project at a tree lighting ceremony for chronically ill kids. It went beautifully, but when I got home and discovered I just missed tucking my baby into bed, I was a wreck. All I could think was, how do moms do this? How did my mom do this? Late that night I was as actually happy to wake up at 1 and 4 and 6 a.m. to feed and snuggle my little one. I didn’t know how I was going to leave her for eight hours that day and worried over whether or not I’d left enough milk for her. This must be the Italian mama in me. You know the ones who cook the ten course meal and wonder if that’s enough. In any case, getting back into the swing of things went more smoothly than I expected. It helped that the other artist and dancer I worked with are amazing and that one of the first patients I met said she loved, loved, loved Shakespeare. What I didn’t expect was how much it would affect me to see unwell babies and their parents.

A few weeks ago, I created the word, mom-athy. Now I feel that its definition needs to be expanded. Evidently this sort of deep empathy extends not only to your own ailing child, but also to those of total strangers. You don’t usually take an infant to the hospital unless something is very wrong, so you can imagine the condition of the babies I saw when I first walked through the automatic doors.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Comments Off on Mom-athy Part 2

Filed under Health, Relationships, Writing

Vote for Courtney as Next Great American Pundit!

<a href="martin_145x100Our very own Courtney Martin is up for Next Great American Pundit at the Washington Post, and she would love your vote before tomorrow (Monday, Nov. 9) at 3pm EST!

Courtney’s blurb about her latest entry in the contest:

I may not have a Nobel Prize, but I did manage to work the phrase “inaugural orgy” into my column. Vote for the next Great American Pundit at the Washington Post now through Mon. at 3pm: http://postfun.washingtonpost.com/post/entry/americas-next-great-pundit-vote

1 Comment

Filed under Brag Round-Up, General, Writing

Lining Up Pennies

I am naturally organized. It’s one of my superpowers.

As a toddler, my parents once found me methodically pulling clean diapers out of their box, lining them up along the wall in the hallway, and then placing all of my stuffed animals in a diaper, one by one. As a pre-teen, I would empty my big container of collected pennies and line them up on the carpet in order of their year. Now, I take great satisfaction in a well-constructed Excel spreadsheet, and even my writing talismans on my desk-side table sit in a specific arrangement. I moderate Crucial Minutiae’s comments without second thought, and took deep satisfaction from re-organizing the weekly columns.

When I started meeting professional writers in my early 20s, I noticed that many of them, especially the most commercially successful ones, were naturally disorganized. They are brilliant writers and thinkers who, when they go deep into the writing process, seem to lose all sense of their physical world.

Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Art, Beauty in a Wicked World, Writing

And the Winner Is…

“Small Changes” by Jennifer and Christopher Gandin Le!!

Tonight was the Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition Screening and Awards ceremony, held at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. It was thrilling to see our work on a big screen and to hear the audience’s reaction. And it was even more thrilling to receive the Jury Prize, complete with big check and all!

For an encore, here it is again:

Written by Jennifer & Christopher Gandin Le
Edited by Matt Donaldson
Music by Liz Clark
Starring our brilliant friends and cohorts!

—–
Beauty in a Wicked World is a weekly column by Jennifer Gandin Le. It appears on Wednesdays.

6 Comments

Filed under Beauty in a Wicked World, Environment, Movies, Writing

Better than Drugs

Tuesday morning was the first time I left a twenty foot radius from my infant’s side. She’s still reticent to accept a bottle after a week of coaxing, but it was time for me to get back to teaching my Playwriting class. I had to convince myself that she would survive the two hours away from her primary food source while in the care of her doting dad. So, I borrowed Joe’s car and headed to the university, listening to NPR for the first time in over a month. A soldier was talking about the blog he kept in Afghanistan. He said that the Army offers medicine for depression, sleeplessness and anxiety, but that he found writing to be better than any drug.

Then, bam. I was rear-ended just a block from the university. Since this was the first time I was outside of the twenty-foot-from-infant radius, it was also the first time I had been in a car without her since she was born. My mind raced from oh my god I can’t believe that just happened to what if she were in the car with me? Would she be hurt? And what if this had happened, and she were in the car, and it was that first day or two of parenting when I kept buckling her legs through the arm straps? What then? Or what if this accident were worse, and something happened to me, and she can’t drink from a bottle?

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under All The World, Writing

Hundreds of Lions – Erin McKeown

mckeown9/9/09, huh? It’s an exciting day! It marks the last set of repeating, single-digit dates that we’ll see for almost a century (until January 1, 2101), and the Remastered Beatles catalog, Beatles Rock Band, and the new Apple iPod are all being released today.

But my favorite celebration today is my third wedding anniversary with the extraordinary Christopher Gandin Le. Suicide prevention expert, exquisite photographer (still and motion pictures), beloved friend, and the best damn husband and partner I could ever desire.

For our anniversary, he gave me the gift of music from one of my favorite artists: Erin McKeown. Since I first heard Distillation 9 years ago, I have loved this woman’s music, and have had a total crush on her as well. She’s excruciatingly talented across a wide variety of instruments and musical styles, her lyrics are poetic, her style is fantastic (check those Fluevogs!), and her live show is always fabulous. Oh, and she’s only 31; she’s been making great music since she was in college.

Her newest album, Hundreds of Lions, comes out this October on Righteous Babe records, and to raise funds for this self-financed album, she launched a very cool endeavor this summer.

Photo Credit: Nancy Palmieri

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Beauty in a Wicked World, Career/Life, Music, Pop Culture, Writing

Watch My New Short Film: Small Changes

This week, I’m sharing my own work, because I’m so dang proud of it. Chris & I, along with our incredibly talented Austin-area friends, created this 2 minute water conservation PSA in response to RainBird’s “Intelligent Use of Water” film contest. Austin is in the middle of the worst drought in 50 years, and last week, officials announced even tighter water restrictions, so this awareness-raising contest comes at a crucial time.

We had a great time making this film, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. Enjoy!

Small Changes from Jennifer Gandin Le on Vimeo.

Written by Jennifer & Christopher Gandin Le
Edited by Matt Donaldson
Music by Liz Clark
Starring our brilliant friends and cohorts!

—–
Beauty in a Wicked World is a weekly column by Jennifer Gandin Le. It appears on Wednesdays.

5 Comments

Filed under Beauty in a Wicked World, Education, Environment, In The News, Movies, Politics, Science & Technology, Writing