2019 What hills…

What hills are those, my love

That are so bright and free?

Those are the hills of heaven, my love

They’re not for you and me.


I woke up this morning and, as usual, was not sure what mattered most. It’s hard to know how to serve the historical moment you’re in and still live your one, rare,  life. I think sometimes were are like ants or cells or bacteria, effective only at great scale, an undulating population curve breaking beyond our capacity. Then I think, well, teenagers still fall in love and do really stupid things, and I feel okay again.  This morning I woke up and decided to wade into restarting an old webpage. I’m pretty sure it’s not what matters most.


This is my stance on 2019 so far. Keeping a close eye on it. Maybe I’m also not welcome in my own house for bad behavior. It’s unclear.

Having finished my second novel (it took years) I’m not sure where to be given the state of the nation and where we are. I get the idea that art matters but art with a political agenda is usually pretty bad and even if you do try to go that way good characters destroy all your intentions and betray you. You feel sorry for all the wrong people. It’s why I love novels, they are brutally apolitical in this way. Like sex, what you think should turn you on never matters as much as what does. But it makes it hard to tell yourself you’re fighting the good fight showing up to your laptop in your underwear.

I spent some time helping to organize unions in the fall. Something I used to do all the time. Met a lot of very cool geologists. Got to read legal briefs and interact with people who weren’t imaginary. I’m about to get to meet a whole bunch of home care workers. Working people cannot get a goddamned break in this country and that’s a fact.

It’s also a hard time to know how to say what you want to say without ending up in sh$tfights about the part that doesn’t matter. Sometimes I’m this:


Then I end up back at the part where there are teenagers falling in love and making terrible mistakes and it’s alright again.

Will be writing. Will be organizing. Will be playing music. Will make a go of 2019.


  1. You’re pretty cool too Vanessa, thanks for all the help getting us organized. I look forward to reading more of what you write moving forward :).

  2. You posted a couple of weeks ago, in part, “Will be writing. Will be organizing. Will be playing music. Will make a go of 2019.” WOW. Hey Vanessa, it’s Fred Mills, and we corresponded numerous times, so many years ago when I was doing a LOT of indie music reviewing, including Bell and The Pinkos. As it turns out, then, music somehow can bring things back to the present, since this afternoon I was stacking up piles and piles of CDs to get rid of – the family recently downsized, so part of my mandate now is to clear out as much non-essential music as possible, and maybe even some of the (cough/choke/gasp/sob) essential music as well. Since I’m going through the CD boxes backwards, I cam upon the Pinkos CD and have not gotten to my “B” box yet. And there you were. Immediately moved that CD to the “keep at all costs” pile, and plan to do likewise when I get to that “B” box. So I said to myself, wow, wonder what she has done in recent years, and then of course I found your blog here. So I’m just popping in to say hi, very happy to learn you are apparently gearing up for new endeavors. All my best to you, your family, your friends, and even your fans who might spot this comment on your blog, ‘cos you were always one of the good ‘uns. Keep us posted on the writing-organizing-playing music… 😉 All the best, Fred

  3. I found your blog via researching Sarah Bowlin . . . I love ants, optimism, and scathing critique, so if I can get wordpress to let me ‘like’ your entry, I will – I’d hit the ‘love’ button if there were one available.

  4. I found your blog via researching your Sarah Bowlin. Your stance on 2019 is a welcome read – I love ants and the references to people as the biological creatures we are. I’d ‘like’ your post if wordpress would ever recognize that I’m signed in.

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