We rolled over the year at the home of Keaney Rathbun and David Brandt, two amazing cooks, who made a ridiculously fabulous Polynesian-themed dinner. The below cake was consumed before midnight, but I had to include it as it was still happily in my belly as we rang in the New Year. Photo includes baker David and photobomb yam.
Guests included the lovely Grace Weston, Michael Payne, and Lisa Kaser, seen here modeling her homemade party-themed fascinator.
Stephen's work at Froelick Gallery.
Nicholas and laundry.
Drinks with Kathleen Lane at Vintage Cocktail Lounge.
Bradley K. Rosen's Bunkie Spills and Rene Denfeld's The Child Finder on Powell's Staff Top Fives display.
My Valentine's Day card to Stephen.
Stephen's Valentine's Day card to me.
I had to work on Valentine's Day but before I left in the morning, I hid some tiny hearts around the house. Each said, "Remember when," and had a memory inside. This is a picture Stephen took when he'd rounded up what he thought were all of them (although a few found their way into daylight over the next days and weeks.)
February snow and happily-un-removed Christmas lights.
Nicholas and blanket.
Frost on the windshield, taken from inside the car.
Portland March for our Lives.
Tabitha Blankenbiller's book launch at Powell's City of Books.
Stephen with Shawn Levy.
Killer robot weather report.
I don't know what this is. It might be related to killer robots.
Starting to decide on the order of paintings and stories for The Untold Gaze.
Karen Karbo and Lidia Yuknavitch at Broadway Books.
Stephen's work on display at PUB Gallery of Art at Peninsula College in Port Angeles. In the background, checking it out, is the lovely Gloria Moe.
That time our neighbor gave us a chicken egg that was the exact color of our house.
My underskirt: Rigoletto, Portland Opera.
Stephen was visiting artist at Peninsula College in Port Angeles.
Julia Stoops and publisher Laura Stanfill at the Parts per Million book launch at Powell's City of Books. This was before most of the crowd arrived.
Sam Saxby, beloved intern for Forest Avenue Press, introduces Julia.
Stephen's photoshoppy tribute for Walt Whitman's 199th birthday.
Spinning in my Rigoletto dress in the green room of the Keller Auditorium.
The supernumerary ladies of Portland Opera's production of Rigoletto.
Liz Scott and Laura Stanfill at Mother Foucault's Bookshop.
Stephen, Colin Farstad, and Margaret Malone at Burnt Tongue, Crush Bar.
A couple of Stephen's paintings up at Froelick Gallery.
Amie Zimmerman's book launch for Oyster at Turn, Turn, Turn.
The surprise Doug Chase left for me at my desk at work on my birthday.
The card Stephen made for my 49th birthday.
Gem (one of many) found on our hike for my birthday.
Circling in on the final file for The Untold Gaze.
My birthday card to Stephen was very elaborate with many pages and I wrote about it here, but here are a couple images from it.
Lovely shenanigans for Stephen's big birthday party. Left to right, that's Michael Payne, David Brandt, Keaney Rathbun, Stephen, Lisa Kaser, and Grace Weston.
Birthday party setup. I tried to take a picture of the S that I'd tried to string up in lights in our tiny dogwood tree. Not my best effort.
Lovingly-decorated (by Stephen) envelopes containing author contracts for The Untold Gaze.
Tom Spanbauer's I Loved You More up on Powells' 25 Books to Read Before You Die (21st Century Edition) list.
With Ken Jones and Courtenay Hameister at KBOO radio after the interview she and I did in honor of her book Okay, Fine, Whatever.
Hidden sea of flowers at Oak's Bottom (our anniversary hike).
Nicholas and sunshine.
Giant inflatable flamingo on rooftop as seen from my dentist's office.
Some pictures from my August trip to California for my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary. Family, food, games, the beach. Mom not shown as she was most often behind the camera.
And meeting my new niece for the first time!
Elly and cone.
Brian S. Ellis at Slamlandia, at Literary Arts.
Some of my writing group, the Gong Show, playing Thursday hookie from group to go watch Brian read. Left to right: Bradley K. Rosen, Shannon Brazil, Brian, Doug Chase, me.
The image I made/stole for the Portland Writers' Picnic.
At the Portland Writers' Picnic: Gypsy Martin, Carmel Brethnach, Ashley Walker, Parag Shah, Steve Arndt, and Sara Versluis.
Shannon Brazil set up a table at the picnic this year with local authors' books, including books by Rene Denfeld, Debby Dodds, Monica Drake, Margaret Malone, Karen Karbo, Mindy Nettifee, and more. With Shawn Levy and Davis Slater.
I spotted Rene Denfeld's The Child Finder at the grocery store!
Nicholas and blanket, part two.
Stephen and I were honored to be asked to host the 25th (and final) Burnt Tongue.
The Untold Gaze arrives!
At the open house we threw for our authors and contributors to The Untold Gaze. With Aliza Bethlahmy, Sue Hayes, Brian Kent Carrier, Gretchen Nation, Laura Bieber, Robert Hill, Liz Scott, and Dian Greenwood.
Our impromptu bartender, Dan Berne.
Contributor Steve Arndt checks out the stacks of contributor copies waiting in the studio.
Nicholas reaps the benefits of the cheese plate.
The Untold Gaze on KBOO's Between the Covers: Stephen Rutledge reads his piece.
Stephen and host Ken Jones.
Contributors Liz Scott and Bradley K. Rosen, who were next up to read, listening in.
Time travel, as proven by restroom graffiti.
Nicholas and grin.
Back Fence PDX, when my camera made B. Frayn Masters' head look like it burst into flames. With Co-host Mindy Nettifee.
Where I work at the Powell's Industrial Warehouse, there's a train track and once or three times in a while, there's this train engine that will run along the track, all ringing and dinging. I heard a man owns this thing for fun, sort of as a collector. He runs it out and then, a little while later, runs it back again.
We had our first Untold Gaze event at Froelick Gallery.
Our readers for the evening. Adam Strong.
Whitney Otto with one of Stephen's paintings in the background.
Suzy Vitello signs books with the help of Froelick Gallery Director Rebecca Rockom.
The second Untold Gaze event was at Powell's City of Books, where they put Stephen up on the marquee.
Surprise Stephen O'Donnell masks in the audience.
I asked the authors in the audience to stand. This is only part of the group, captured at this particular part of the audience. Seen here are Margaret Malone, Liz Scott, Robert Hill, Steve Arndt, Scott Sparling, Doug Chase, Bradley K. Rosen, and Lisa Kaser.
Lidia Yuknavitch reads from her story "Judith et Holopherne."
Stephen at the podium.
In the signing line: Monica Drake, Jude Brewer, Lidia Yuknavitch, Margaret Malone, Scott Sparling, and Doug Chase.
Stephen signs a copy for my writing mate Christy George.
Then there was Tammy Lynne Stoner's book launch of her novel Sugar Land at Powell's.
Along with special guest Kate Carroll De Gutes.
They had cookies made to look like the book cover! Here's part of mine.
Next up was Kat Gardiner's book launch for Little Wonder. Here she is signing a book for fellow Dangerous Writer Krista Price.
And a hug with Holly Goodman.
Doug Chase and Tracey Trudeau.
Nicholas and sun, part two.
I interviewed poet Justin Phillip Reed at the Whitsell Auditorium as part of the Film to Page series - we talked about the film Alien and how it influenced his work. Not long after, he won the National Book Award.
Also I photoshopped myself as Sigourney Weaver in the movie, because why not.
The third event for The Untold Gaze was at American Legion Post 134, with a whole host of writers. This was our "adult" show, where we could show off some saucier images and stories. Stephen even read a story he wrote based on one of his paintings. (Sorry for the quality of these. I took them.) Lisa Kaser.
And David Ciminello who came appropriately dressed for his story about a romance between a she-man and an ape.
Our audience. Dead center in back are Stephen's mom Mary O'Donnell, long-time family friend Mickey Park, and contributor Kathleen Lane.
Electrified building-in-progress seen through the window at the party after Lit Crawl.
After far too many years, we finally made it to the Multnomah Whiskey Library which commissioned Stephen to paint a portrait of a famous whisky maker for its walls. Here are Stephen, David Brandt, and Keaney Rathbun sampling the wares.
And the painting, right there over the door. Colonel James E. Pepper.
And there it is on the menu. How cool is that?
Stephen read a story as part of the November 2018 edition of Songbook PDX.
Stevan Allred's book launch for The Alehouse at the End of the World at Powell's City of Books.
A huge crowd.
And a goddess bearing donuts. Nikki Shulak.
A trip to Palm Springs with my wonderful friend Laura Stanfill to commune with an assemblage of women writers.
Monica Drake, Laura Stanfill, Liz Prato, Suzy Vitello, Michael Keefe, me.
Stephen and I were honored to be included in Courtenay Hameister's "A Very Bookish Christmas" book fair at the Siren Theater. Here Courtenay and Sheila Hamilton (and someone my camera didn't see) share a selfie.
And we sold copies of The Untold Gaze. Here is Juniper Fry with her copy.
The saddest Christmas tree lot ever.
Solstice moon under which we threw into the fire wishes that came true and we hope will come true. No, I can't tell you. That's against the rules.
Our Christmas card for this year.
A luxurious Christmas brunch Stephen made.
A patient dog waits for treats that came in Lulu and Pops' Christmas basket.
We had plans to spend New Year's Eve as we did when the year began, with Keaney and David, Lisa, Grace and Michael, good food with good friends, but a middle-of-the-night fall out of bed and a trip to the ER for four stitches in Stephen's lip prevented that. It was a scary experience but it could have been way worse.
Still, that's a sad image to end the post on. So instead, I think I'll show off some more. And end this with books. First, a handful of book covers I designed this year. This Never Happened by Liz Scott (University of Hell Press), Besotted by Melissa Duclos (7.13 Books), The Alehouse at the End of the World by Stevan Allred (Forest Avenue Press) The Animals After Midnight by Jeff Johnson (Arcade Publishing), and The Place You're Supposed to Laugh by Jenn Stroud Rossmann (7.13 Books). Wow, that's a lot of red, yellow, and orange. Not pictured because we're on the verge of doing a cover reveal very soon is This Particular Happiness by Jackie Shannon Hollis (Forest Avenue Press).
And finally, The Untold Gaze, which we designed together and was a huge amount of work this year (and previous years) and a huge labor of love.