Every day I walk by the Persian carpet store down the street from my apartment.  A few months ago, I caught the reflection of the buildings in the rug store window.  It looks almost as though the Mt. Vernon row houses are a design emerging from the pattern in the carpet.

Of course, as a textile enthusiast, I am always going to be attracted to to the designs and textures of carpets — and I particularly like this one.  I also love to the architecture of these old, nineteenth century Mt. Vernon row houses, with their brickwork and arcs and ornate entrances.

So I am drawn this layering of pattern and texture.  The resonance of organic and geometric shapes and warm color in both the cityscape and the Persian carpet, the way they interplay.

The image feels right just now: this resonance, this layering of place.  Back in the fall I mentioned that I received the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance’s Ruby Grant.  This winter I’ll use part of that grant to take a research trip for the last two stories in my collection.

That means that I’ll be away from my much-loved neighborhood for a little while, as I complete this book which spans from Baltimore to Japan to Hawaii to Seattle.  This story collection that layers refractions of place as its characters move across a shifting globe in the wake of war, and transport their complex webs of belonging.


These photographs of Dulkarian’s Persian Rug Co. are part of an interest in Baltimore windows that seems to have taken hold this past year in my photography (see here).  In the coming weeks, I’ll write about my research travel, but I’ll also continue to post a series of these Baltimore windows.

In that way, I can layer place here in my studio space just as in my story collection.  I look forward to taking you all along on the journey!


Blossoming / Ruby

When I moved into my new apartment almost a year ago, a dear friend mailed me a molten lava hibiscus so that my book (a collection of short fiction set in World War II Hawaii) would have a presence in my new space.

Earlier this month, I got some good news.  The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance has awarded my project a Ruby Grant — funds that will make all the difference as I finish the manuscript.  This support couldn’t have come at a better time.  And to prove it my hibiscus plant blossomed for the first time — three massive dessert-plate blossoms — the week the news arrived.

There will be some exciting book progress to share in the months ahead.  In the meanwhile, you can learn more about the manuscript in the Ruby Grant announcement.