Chad Alice Hagen

Life, Books, Resist Dyeing & Writing

boxes of fountains pens

Lordy, It’s been hard to maintain a daily writing schedule.  Maybe I’m not cut out to be a writer even tho I really, really love how I feel sitting here at my temporary desk on the screen porch (a rusty table that the antique dealer, knowing a rube when she saw one, told me it came straight from a cafe in Paris) listening to the catbirds in the maple tree and on my third cup of coffee.  I’m dressed in black so I could be mistaken for a real writer, say Neil Gaiman –  if he were a 70 year old red head hunting and pecking on a keyboard and occasionally looking for ideas by staring at the neighborhood cats stalking squirrels, the carpenter bees chewing the porch timbers or the wind moving the leaves.

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Thank you for your patience, as mine was wearing a bit thin. I believe I have also worn out at least two chat person at Word Press. What your posts will look like from now on – fingers crossed- will be the beginning of the post as this is…

And by clicking on the “read more” link, you should be brought to my live blog post. Or lordy I hope this works. If not, I will try tomorrow… And If it does work, I’m going to bed early and reading

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coffee and itchy eyes

Today we write, my coffee and me.  We write despite the lawn mower crunching song of a neighbor who seems to delight in challenging any stick, tree limb or rock outcropping in his way. We write with pollen blowing across the keyboard.  I could stop and vacuum and then wash this porch, washing the floor, curtains, furniture and shelf with its dusty plants and rocks but all that work would interfere with blowing my nose and trying to aim eye drops into reddened eyeballs.

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How things get done around here.

Leon inspects the troops

It’s new book design time again at ye olde crumbling stucco tiny house. I’ve been mulling around some ideas since last December just before I came down with multiple cases of the flu (Named, I believe – flu a, b, c, and might as well be dead). As I recovered, I had to look all over the studio for the book prototypes because in my foggy delirium I packed everything away thinking “at least I got that much done.”

But I’m excited to start again – pausing here to wipe the keyboard free of tree pollen. The warm weather has returned and we’re deep in the green down here. I don’t think I could live anywhere that did not have an early spring. The trees are fully leafed out. Multi-flora roses and honeysuckle bring sweet smells and horrendous sneezing.  Even the giant carpenter bees are back (if they even left). They will, if the temps are over 60 at nite, chew through the evening hours with me laying below on my comfy porch bed trying to imagine just how big their wood chomping jaws could be. They are beyond annoying. 

The Books: I’m designing a book with luscious paper that will take fountain pen ink well without shadowing the other side of the page. I write almost exclusively with my colorful assortment of cheap fountain pens because, hmm, maybe they connect me with an elegant world out there – a world where I could sit here all day, with multiple refills of French Press Vermont coffee and maybe a lovely basket of morning buns from the OWL Bakery, instead of just realizing that right now at 4:45 pm I still am in my pjs.  I did brush my teeth. 

The next book was started years ago when I was teaching in Holland.  It is Coptic bound but the pages are folded in unexpected ways which informs the shape of the cover. I’m really excited about this one and will teach it in July during my last session at John C Campbell Folk School. I’m sure it’s not unique given the long and wide history of hand book binding, but I’m pretending it is, unless you, the reader inform me otherwise.

Ack! Time to get dressed and out to help put up signs for this Saturday’s annual “Voorhees’ get out the junk yard sale”.  Thanks for reading.  My learning curve on this WP blog will be continuous, but steady. 

NOTE: Items to check out while you are reading this new post – I have added a few pages – notably the class schedule for not-so-far away workshops AND information about how to join classes I hold right here in my studio.  (And a few which are placeholders)  And please sign up to follow this blog because I will be posting a lot more now that I’m not spending my time in airports. (More on that later or you can check out my Patreon page here:

Hello dear blog followers. After all these years of not a peep I am back sending out my blog with Word Press instead of Blogger. My brain is a bit worn out after getting this far but I’m learning to navigate this new blog platform and actually amazed that I wrote the word ‘Platform’. I will be posting regularly now as I have started a writing class on line with my favorite writer – Neil Gaiman and I have been told to write, write, write every day, even if the page contains complaints, moans and groans.

I am not sure if Word Press will notify you that a blog has been published. Probably if you are reading this, something happened. But I do hope we can get reacquainted once more.

Book Production

I have saved the 37 blog posts from Blogger and someday I will figure out how to included them here, in the meantime I’ll just continue on from this momentous (I learned to post this blog!) day – I am still in my wonderful house in Asheville, NC, never to leave unless someone gives me a ticket to England – I have stopped teaching at places that require a plane for transportation but I am teaching small workshops in my studio and it is working out beautifully. Plans are to re-start ETSY next week (I think I may have mentioned that plan at least 46 times in those old blog posts. Nothing is as embarrassing as going through old writings and counting how many times I’ve apologized from not writing, not opening the ETSY shop, not writing in a timely fashion, and not writing for two or three years.

My sweet companion Leon died last January. He was the subject of most of my photos for almost 14 years. I can’t imagine ever finding a kitten like him and so for a while this house will probably fill up with rodents and large insects until I find a suitable new kitty.

And now this test post is finished as I need a lovely beer. Thanks!

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