Category Archives: Lists

10 lessons I’ve learned from both running and writing

In honor of the 50,000th word of my novel (which I wrote this week) and because I realized the other night that I started running (well, walking, which progressed to running) and writing within a few weeks of each other last fall, here’s a tribute to two of the most meaningful activities in my life right now.

10. It’s ok to take it slow.

Dave and I started out walking around the ‘big block.’ Then, we found a 3.5 mile loop, and got up to walking it three times every week. Finally, we started running in a couple of chunks. Then we started going 2 miles, and now I can do 3 some of the time. Sure, I could have done 3 once or twice at the beginning, but I wouldn’t still be doing it now, because it would have been too painful. How do I know that? Because I’ve tried it before.

Writing is similar. I started out trying to write an hour every day, but it was too much for me. The time intimidated me, and so I stopped trying entirely. It wasn’t until I went down to 30 minutes daily that I could write consistently. Now, my minimum goal is still 30 minutes but I usually write longer than that (though not usually an hour). Something is better than nothing, and a little something often becomes a bigger something later on.

9. Pain isn’t always bad.

No one told me how much running hurts. Now, part of that has to do with the exercise-induced asthma (more on that later) and the old cracked vertebrae. But those don’t account for all (or even most!) of the pain. My legs hurt. My neck hurts. My shoulders hurt. And it all ties back to running. As long as I’m upping my distance, I don’t see this changing. But I’m getting stronger and my body is healthy, so the pain is part of the process, as opposed to being a reason to stop the process.

With writing, the pain is more inside of me. I wonder if what I have is good enough, if anyone will ever want to publish it, if it will ever make sense to anyone other than me. I wonder if it’s worth my time and my energy. I also hurt because I write about things that hurt. Some of these are in me, my own hurts, and some of them are things I stumble upon in my characters or their lives, and I feel their pain.

8. If it’s not worth doing for internal reasons, it’s probably not worth doing.

There are a million possible external reasons to run. Some want to look better in others’ eyes. Some want to be stronger. Some want to run a race and get a decent time. But the sore muscles, the time spent not only pounding the pavement but also dressing, warming up, cooling down, showering, etc., and enduring the incredibly slow progress my body makes in improving cardiovascularly (due to the asthma thing) wouldn’t be worth it for me if my motivation didn’t come from inside. But I want to take care of my body. I want to avoid the heart disease that runs in my family. I want to know if, despite the asthma, I can be a runner. And so I endure it all.

There are at least as many possible external reasons to write. Getting published, impressing someone, seeing your name on a cover or in a by-line are all in this category. But the time, the effort overcoming doubts and wonderings, and the emotions I experience as my characters experience them wouldn’t be worth it if I wasn’t really writing for myself.

7. Doing something I love, and that is definitely right for me, can still be hard.

Getting out the door to run sometimes takes an act of God. Pulling out this computer to write often does, too. These are two of the things that give me a lot of fulfillment right now, but neither is easy for me. They’re natural, but hard. Somehow, I think we often expect that, if God wants us to do it and we want to as well, it’s going to be easy. But it’s not necessarily, and that’s ok. Sure, there are the glorious days when I feel myself with the energy to speed up as I head into my third mile, and there’s the fabulous feeling of having so much to say that I’m lost in a scene for 45 minutes, but those don’t happen every day. Often, God calls me to the toil, the work, the long slog through ankle-deep mud, with the glory entirely out of sight. This tests my faithfulness, my trust, my ability to live for the long-term, not the short. And, I’d like to think, helps make me into a person who might eventually be good at these things.

6. It’s ok to get some help.

When I run, I have to use an inhaler. I feel like I’m cheating, but if I don’t I feel like I’m pulling every breath through cheesecloth pulled tight over my windpipe–I can get air, but it’s harder than it should be. And my novel? Started from a random writing prompt I found somewhere online. That also feels like cheating, except that I know the idea was in me before the prompt helped birth it. But the help is ok. Just because these are things I want to pursue right now (and things I think it’s good for me to pursue right now) doesn’t mean that they are things I have to do all by myself.

5. I don’t have to be the best to be legitimate.

I have a couple of friends who run a mile in 6:30, and that’s after they’ve run several. I am not like them. I’m lucky if I can run a couple of 8s in a row, I can usually put up 10s, and on a hard day I’ll run 12s. It’s easy to think, “Oh, I’m not a real runner because I can’t do it as fast as those people,” but that’s not true. Runners just run.

I also know people who’ve been published more than I have, who have writing credits that far outweigh mine.  It would be easy for me to say, “I’m not a writer until I’ve been published at such-and-such a level or so-and-so many times,” but that’s not true, either. Writers write.

4. It helps to have goals.

This is a tricky one for me. If I set a goal for myself regarding an activity that I love, I can focus more on reaching the goal and less on enjoying myself while I get there, which makes the fun activity a lot less fun. But in both running and writing, goals have helped me name my internal motivation and see things through. I want to run 10 miles a week consistently, and I want to write a novel this year. Neither of those are huge goals, and I might get beyond them quicker than I think, but they help me keep going. They help me focus my energy and steady myself on a course. I’m someone who can be easily distracted, and the goals keep me from doing that.

3. It’s ok to have a bad day.

Sometimes, my allergies are so bad that it’s hard to breathe even with my inhaler. Other days, an old back injury springs up and I just don’t think I should keep going. It scares me to stop, to not run as far as I’d like to, because I’m afraid I’ll never achieve my goals. But one bad day doesn’t negate the work I’ve done previously or indicate that all of the future days are going to go the same way. In fact, when I take the breaks my body needs, it seems better over the long-haul.

Some days, every word I write feels painful. Other days, all of the words just feel cludgy (this is one of those days, by the way). And on a few days, I forget to sit down and write entirely. But working through these difficulties, or changing projects for a day and writing something else, doesn’t hamper my overall progress. In fact, getting through that has shown me that taking a break can be good, that I won’t lose my place in my story or the emotions of a scene just because I need a rest from it.

2. It’s important for me to listen to myself.

This is tied to the previous thought. When I run, I need to listen to my body. If my knee hurts, I can determine if it’s just because the muscles are sore around it or because I’ve tweaked it, but only if I’m paying attention to it and have paid attention enough in the past to know the difference. If I’m tired, I can decide if I need to stop or push through it, but only if I know how the different kinds of tired feel in my body.

When I’m writing, I need to hear my heart from my heart. I’m not sure that makes sense, but it’s the best I can say it today. When I don’t listen that way, the words get wooden. The dialog doesn’t work. I write scenes that I end up deleting because they don’t jive with the rest of the book or the character. But when I listen to myself, when I stop writing for the world out there and write just for me, there’s flow. Sure, I need an audience, but they’ll know that what I write isn’t genuine if I don’t listen to myself in the process.

1. It’s ok to make mistakes.

I’m still learning how to run so my knee doesn’t hurt. It sounds crazy, but the position of my foot and how I hold my legs makes a world of difference. Sometimes, I do it wrong and end up in pain. But my body heals and gives me another chance. And, since I’m listening to it, I’m not going to intentionally or misguidedly do it wrong again. I might forget. I might be unable to find the stride that’s right, but it’ll be ok.

One of the characters in my novel is completely different now than she was at the beginning. Some of that is change in her, but some of it is the fact that I didn’t quite know who she was when I started. And just the other day, I looked at two of my characters, at how they interact, and thought, “You’re his mother, aren’t you.” I didn’t know that before. Sure, I’ll have to go back and change all of these things, weave my story together in a slightly different way, but I never would have found these things out if I hadn’t written through them, kept going, and found what was right later.

There are so many more lessons and thoughts and ideas that these two activities have brought me, but there’s my 10 for today. Have a Happy Easter, everyone! (Saying that reminds me of the radio announcer I heard on Friday…the Christian radio announcer, nonetheless…who wished everyone a “Happy Good Friday,” which seemed a little…um…misplaced, to me.)

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Filed under Becoming, Lists, My Days

A Meme

I found this meme a while ago but forgot to finish it. Enjoy!

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I don’t know about perfect happiness–I’m tempted to say “heaven” but I don’t think that’s what the question is getting at. I think that I would be deeply happy knowing that I was doing what I was made to do. Even if it was uncomfortable, just KNOWING this would make me a deep, comfortable sort of happy.

I would also love to have lots of tea, some space and time for silence every day, and to know that the words that come from my heart (both spoken and written) had touched people deeply.

2. What is your greatest fear?

Losing Dave suddenly and violently is what comes to mind first, but I think that I’m actually more afraid of finding out that no one actually loves me, that everyone things derisively of me, and that they keep me around so they can laugh at me behind their backs.

3. Which living person do you most admire?

I admire most people who I know for something, but I’m not at all sure I want to list them here. It would be a long, long list. So, among famous people, I admire Marion Jones for telling the truth and Lindsey Lohan for getting her life back together.

4. What trait do you most deplore in yourself?

My distrust of myself. Don’t think too hard about the regressing loops that will create in a psyche.

5. What trait do you most deplore in others?

I hate it when people make quick, absolute judgments about how someone should be or live or perform a task when they don’t have all the details and don’t really want them. I hate it even more when they don’t care what is actually possible and not possible and just think things should be done their way.

6. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Independence. I don’t advocate co-dependence, but I think that interdependence is a better approximation of where we should be, given the reality of what it means to be human.

7. On what occasion do you lie?

I hate this question. I lie when I get caught doing little things that embarrass me or that I’m afraid the person asking me would look down on me for. It’s usually in a moment, before I even realize that I’ve done it.

8. What do you dislike most about your appearance?

I wish I was longer-waisted.

9. What is your greatest regret?

There are a lot of things that didn’t go the way I would have planned them, but I don’t think I had a choice in a lot of them and so struggle to call them regrets. I could say, for example, that I regret getting deeply involved with a non-Christian guy at the end of high-school, but even that I did for decent reasons at the time and got some HUGE things out of.

10. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Dave (I’m keeping this to earthly things, for those who are concerned.)

11. Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be brilliant with words, both spoken and written*

*I wrote that before and I’m leaving it, because it’s still true. Also, I don’t know if what I’m going to write next is specifically a talent. I would love to be about to use my words (both spoken and written) and my desire to sit with people and love them where they’re at, to facilitate grieving. We each have so much to grieve, even when we’ve lived fairly “easy” lives, and walking through that can help us find Jesus in new ways.

12. What is your current state of mind?

I’m tired but contented to sit on my couch and type.

13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would be less afraid, particularly regarding what people are going to think of me and what I need to do to be accepted.

14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

These are all up there, about the same level: Surviving and thriving during the three weeks I spent mostly alone on an intensive retreat. Being part of one of the closest communities of college friends I’ve heard about. Living, studying and backpacking in Europe for 6 months. Surviving and thriving in my first year of marriage. Deciding to go back to therapy. Making the choice not to pursue a graduate degree in Philosophy.

15. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be?

I have no idea. A little yellow flower? A dark Palamino? Benazir Bhutto? A dolphin?

16. What is your most treasured possession?

My artwork and writings, and the notebook I kept during my three-week retreat.

17. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Seeing that God is real but not being able to bring yourself to believe in him.

18. Where would you like to live?

New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, but not necessarily in that order.

19. What is your most marked characteristics?

Correcting poor grammar, like in this question. Seriously? I’m straightforward, but I can be gentle when I show truth. I’m stubborn as a rock if you attack me head on but supple and teachable if you make suggestions and ask questions. I ask good questions, both with my head and my heart. I love people, and I love giving them words that help them live.

20. Who are your favourite writers?

Louisa May Alcott. Lois McMaster Bujold. Lauren Winner. Annie Dillard. J. K. Rowling. Dorothy Sayers. J. R. R. Tolkien. Madeline L’Engle. Fyodor Doestoevsky. David Benner.

21. Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Jo March

22. Who are your heroes in real life?

I don’t think I have any. I have occasionally put people on a pedestal like that, but I have trouble keeping them there. Generally, anyone who gives their life for another, particularly when it’s simply a part of their job (like a policeman, fireman, military member).

23. What is it that you most dislike?

Could we get any more general? Traffic. Allergies. Stupid movies. The “entertain me” attitude that’s so prevalent lately. People who say they care but don’t.

24. What is your motto?

I don’t have one. The closest thing I’ve found lately are Jesus’ words to Peter, James and John after the Transfiguration: Rise, and have no fear.

25. Favourite journey?

Traveling to Italy and Greece through my school. It was a graduation present and a last Hurrah! for several of us who were close.

26. What do you most value in your friends?

A willingness to hear my heart and then be with me where I am, without trying to change me or fix me.

27. Which word or phrase do you most overuse?

I sound like such a California girl lately–“Awesome,” “Totally,” “Cool.” Online, it’s gotta be “Wow.”

28. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Um…drawing a blank here (ask me about fictional characters…I identify with loads of them). I don’t know about identify with, but I find Mary, Queen of Scots, absolutely fascinating.

29. What is your greatest extravagance?

Shoes, books, and eating out. And, in the future, Macintosh electronic equipment.

30. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

I’d have us share deeply with comfort and ease and without the need to produce or squash feeling.

31. What is your favourite occupation?

That I’ve had? Teacher. In general? Writer, particularly back in the old days where female writers were a little odd and mysterious.

32. What is the quality you most like in a woman?

The ability to empathize well.

33. What is the quality you most like in a man?

Ditto.

34. How would you like to die?

I’d prefer to just drift away in my sleep, with Dave nearby. Either that, or I’d like to die for someone else.

35. If you could choose what you want to come back as, what would it be?

Just for the record, this is a terrible final question. Maybe just a little yellow flower, on a hillside in the Pacific Northwest, bringing joy and not caring an iota for myself.

Now, for my tags (because don’t you always tag someone with these things? But please feel free to participate if and as you desire):

Christianne

Kirsten

Tammy

Di

Terri 

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Filed under Links, Lists

Memes, this time for real

Christianne tagged me for these last week. Though I’m not feeling a lot better, I am bored being at home by myself, watching movies I’ve seen a million times. So here goes…

I’ll do the 1-2-3 meme first. The rules are as follows.

1) Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2) Open the book to page 123.
3) Find the fifth sentence.
4) Post the next three sentences.
5) Tag five people.

Ok, the closest book to me right now is my Bible, since I just finished my Ignatian retreat section for the morning. But I’m torn, because the next-closest book is probably much better for this particular purpose–it’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which Dave and I are reading out loud. Actually, after the Bible, I’m equidistant from Harry Potter and at least a whole shelf of books, since the bookshelf is right behind the couch. But I’m assuming that the meme is aimed at books I’m actually reading right now, so Harry Potter it is.

Hmm…on the other hand, maybe I’ll do the meme with both and let you decide which works better.

So, the Bible.

Ok, I hate to quibble with meme writers, but do you think they mean the fifth whole sentence, or the fifth period. I’m going to go with the fifth whole sentence, you know, for the purpose of scientific objectivity and all.

Page 123 lands us in the middle of Numbers, just after the men who were spying on Canaan come back and give their report. Sentence five says, “Or would that we had died in this wilderness!” The next three sentences read: “Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?”

Maybe this is more apropos than I had thought.

In Harry Potter, page 123 brings us to the scene at the Quidditch Cup where the Dark Mark has been projected into the sky and everyone is trying to figure out who put it there (I think…it might actually put us right before that happened…I haven’t read the book in quite a while).  Sentence five gives us Hermione’s deep, passionate statement, “Oh, I can’t believe this,” which she follows up to by asking, “Where have the others gone?”

Then, the narrator steps in: “Fred, George, and Ginny were nowhere to be seen, though the path was packed with plenty of other people, all looking nervously over their shoulders toward the commotion back at the campsite. A huddle of teenagers in pajamas was arguing vociferously a little way along the path.”

Ten points for using “vociferously” in a sentence.

Exciting stuff, eh?

**********

Now, for the more serious, more bookish meme.

1) One book that changed your life.

I’ve saved this for last in the hope that I would be able to up with something definitive. The best I can do, though, is mention The Inner Voice of Love, by Henri Nouwen. Several years ago, I went on an intense three-week retreat. When I left, the man who led the retreat gave me this book. It articulates some of the cries of my heart with words better than I could ever come up with. Nouwen talks about freedom and honesty and showing our true faces to the world as someone who knows what that journey is like, inside and out. He let me know that he wasn’t alone, and that my own journey fell into the great archetype of spiritual journeys everywhere. His words were both personal and profound, and the book still says some of the things in my heart better than I do.

2) One book that you have read more than once.

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. This was the first book I ever fell in love with, and it is one of the few that I’ve actually reread a bunch of times. I adore this book. I have identified with Jo ever since I was a child–the writer, the one who was different but still loved, the one who couldn’t do all the things that were expected of her but who ended up doing so much more. Also, I never had sisters and I felt like these girls were that for me. Amy, Meg, and Beth were my sometime female companions and Laurie my rich older brother. It was great fun.

Actually, I recently discovered that the version I’ve read and re-read was abridged. Abridged! The horror. I finally got my hands on the whole version and I love it even more. Now, if only I owned it…

This question was hard for me, because I’m not a big re-reader. There’re two reasons for this, I think. First of all, I know all good parts and get frustrated when they don’t come quicker. Secondly, I remember the feeling of a book so deeply that recalling the actual events isn’t that important to me.

3) One book you would want on a desert island.

Honestly, probably Celtic Daily Prayer. Most of the prayers in this book haven’t been handed down through generations like the ones in the Catholic Missal or the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, but they’re beautiful. It’s from a community of people who live together in Northumbria, England.

When I came back from the retreat I mentioned before, I felt unmoored. I was so different inside that my regular, outside life felt foreign. The morning prayer in this book gave me structure and cocooned me while I found my bearings again. I would imagine that, were I lost on a deserted island, I would feel at least that undone inside and would need something to hold me while I figured out how to survive. I would miss my fiction, but this would be better for my soul.

4) Two books that made you laugh.

The first book in this category is A Civil Campaign, by Lois McMaster Bujold. This is one of those gems that no one has ever heard of, and I can’t possibly say enough good about it. It’s late in a series of the best space-romp I’ve ever read. Now, I’m more of a sci-fi fan than many are, but I would like this book anyway (actually, I’d like the whole series). It has some of the best characters I’ve ever met, some great one-liners, some deep ideas, and one of the most fabulously-written scenes I’ve ever read. The author’s stated way of writing is to think, “What is the worst thing that could happen to this character?” Then, she puts them in that situation and watches them get out. Truly, it’s hilarious and human and beautiful.

True story: When I first read this book, I would sit in my room reading it and laugh out loud. One of my friends still refers to it as “that book” because she kept coming around the corner to see what was so funny and seeing that cover.

This book, by the way, also fulfills the category of What one book would you recommend to everyone in the world, if you could only recommend one? It truly has something for everyone–romance, intrigue, people putting their feet in their mouths. (The meme didn’t ask for this category, so it’s a freebie.)

The second book that made me laugh is Regency Buck, by Georgette Heyer. I’m not usually into romances, nor regency books, but this book (and many of Heyer’s, actually) is fabulous. I first “read” it when I listened to it on tape during a long drive. It covers the story of Judith and Peregrine Tavener, who are orphaned. They decided to go to London before they come of age, against the wishes of their guardian, who they have never met. They have adventures in snuff, driving at breakneck pace, fighting matches, and suitors for Judith before everything works out (of course) in the end. Seriously, it’s a light, hilarious read.

5) One book that made you cry.

 My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok. Christianne gave a great rundown of this book, which I just read for the first time a few months ago. I cried for Asher’s heart, for his pain, for the fact that the person God so clearly made him to be could never have a place with the people he loved. It made me want to love people wherever they’re at, to let them know that God’s mission for their lives is important to me, whatever it is and whatever they have to do to fulfill it.

6) One book you wish you’d written.

There are so many, but what comes to mind here is Girl Meets God, by Lauren Winner. I love how she owns this book, how she talks about what she feels and thinks so straightforwardly. She knows herself and holds her stuff so well. She might be wrong, but she seems willing for that to be true and for everyone to see it if it is.  I also love her heart. She walks so courageously and with her arms wide open.

7) One book you wish had never been written.

Excuse Me, Your Job is Waiting, by Laura George, or any other book about manifesting your own destiny (including The Promise). I think those ideas are so close to the truth and yet so far away that they’re dangerous. They seem like cheap religion, like getting what you want from “God” without having to make any commitment. Maybe that’s overly harsh, but it disturbs me. (I refuse to link to this book…it’s that awful.)
8) Two books you are currently reading.

Actually, none. Well, one–the Bible. See, I’ve given up reading books that aren’t the Bible for Lent. I found myself spending a lot of time reading and I wasn’t sure if I was hiding or running from something, and so I decided to give it up and see how it went. Also, I’d love to read the Bible all the way through, from beginning to end, again. I haven’t done that for several years.

I guess I could also put on this list the book I was in the middle of reading when Lent started: The Power of Personal Storytelling, by Jack Maguire. It’s all about how to take events or series of events from our lives and make them into stories that mean something to other people. While the book is for people who want to tell their stories verbally, I hoped to find gems in it about the power of storytelling in general and how to tell my own stories and those of others in writing in such a way that they would have power for others. From what I read, I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but if you’re interested in story and what it means that we each have stories, it seems like a good resource.

9) One book you’ve been meaning to read.

Um…this is such a long list that I won’t put it all here. But here’s a selection:

In the end, I can’t leave out Til We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis. I think it’s one of the most brilliant (and important) books ever written and, while it didn’t quite fit into any of the categories above, I must mention it. If you care about who you are and who God is and how those stories work together, this book is for you.
Now, to tag some people:

Stephanie, at What’s in a Name?

Heather, at elbereth-elentari

Jenny, at JJ

Sharon, at Lasselanta

Emily, at Laundry and Lullabies

Ingrid, at This dreamcrossed twilight…

I have no idea if you’re all still blogging, and if you read here, but if you do, please play along if you so desire.

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Filed under Lists

Writings

The problem with wanting to be a writer?  It takes lots and lots of time spent writing.  That’s why I’m not around here as much…that and the pretty crazy season we’re moving into at work.

Several people have asked me what writing projects I’m working on right now, so here’s a list for those who are interested.

Wisebread.com–Wisebread is a personal finance blog aimed mainly at young people who are in the workforce for the first time, though in reality the audience seems much broader than that.  I write weekly or bi-weekly, and I stay at it though it’s not my favorite topic because it’s good for me to write regularly and to get feedback from an audience, because I get some money from the ads on the site, and because I love the team of writers I get to work with.

The blog–I’d love to do some personal essays on here, though right now it’s probably going to remain a lot like it has been–newsy, fun, and a lot about me.  I like blogging and it helps me keep in touch with people I care about but don’t get to see very often.  It’s good practice for me as a writer, too.

Storytelling and Spiritual Growth–I’ve been thinking on this topic for a while and am finally pulling my thoughts together into an essay.  Honestly, it could be a lot longer than that, but writing it out concisely helps me solidify what I’m thinking.  I’m not quite sure of the market for this piece yet (though it’s more a matter of, “Which market?” not, “Is there a market?”).  I’m writing this because the topic is something I’m interested in that I also think is importan.  It’s in the “one and a half draft” stage, so it might be some time before it’s ready to publish.

Fiction exploring grief–Grief is something that I’ve latched on to over the last year or so as important, both in general and in the direction of my life (I’m exploring what it would take to work with grieving people).  This story will explore the necessity of grief in the story of a woman who loses her soldier-husband in Iraq and tries to love again several years later.  It’s also in the “one and a half draft” stage.  I wasn’t sure, for a while, how long it would be, but now I believe it will be a novel.

Personal essay/memoir on engagement–When I was engaged, I thought a lot about what that meant and what was going on in that time and recorded some of it.  I also wanted to find some literature on what happens when you’re engaged beyond the wedding planning, but I didn’t find anything that looked like what I was looking for.  I’d like to turn my musings on my engagement into a book for engaged couples so they can think about and use that time as more than a crash course in event planning.  This is in about the stage as the two pieces above.

If you’re wondering about my “one and a half draft” stage, it means that I’ve done a good deal of free writing on the topic and I’m now putting those ideas into a structure and format for the first time.  So I’m revising what I have but it’s not coherent enough to be deemed a draft.  So many of my bigger pieces are in this stage because free writing is easy for me, so it goes quickly and is something I did before I recommitted myself to my writing.  Organizing and piecing together the ideas I write about in different areas is much, much harder, and I’m doing a lot of that now.

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Filed under Lists, Writings

With grateful hearts

I’m thankful for Dave, my Love, who walks with me and holds my hand. Without him I’m not sure I’d have had the courage to continue growing these past several months. He is truly a Great-Hearted man who welcomes others with warmth and gentleness.

For my girls, the ones here and the ones far away, the ones I’ve known forever and the ones I’m just meeting. Thank you for being wild, free, anguished, angry, joyful, uplifting and everything else, and for sharing it with me.

For my family, none of whom ever tell me that my dreams are out of reach, and who have always encouraged me to follow the things I see, even when no one else has those same visions.

For winged words, that help me travel my path even stronger than before.

For a renewed openness to creativity and a freedom to create, to follow that path and see where it takes me.

For choice and its power.

For safety in that awful accident that could have been so much worse.

For a God so great, so strong, so mighty that He can stand firm and let me lean on him. For His faithfulness, beyond anything we could imagine. For His steadfastness in drawing and calling our hearts to become what he made them to be.

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Added to the list of “Foods that DO NOT Reheat Well”

Right behind “french fries” and “ice cream cake” (does it count if you never heat it the first time?) comes (Ta Da!) Pad Thai. Wow…nothing like dried out chicken and sauce and uber-sticky noodles to make me long for better days…like, you know, Saturday, when it was fresh.

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Thursday Thirteen, #2

Thirteen things I’m excited about this week

1. Dave graduates tomorrow.

2. He didn’t have to write his last paper because he did so well on the first one.

3. His baccalaureate party is tonight. It will actually be more fun than graduation. Maybe because they feed us, and we can talk to people.

4. He got the job, and now they have the ok to hire him, too.

5. We celebrated last night.

6. I had trout…

7. …for the first time in a long time. Trout is a big eatin’ fish in Colorado, but not so much out here.

8. We also went to the nickel arcade (where video games go to die).

9. We got enough tickets for a stuffed turtle, a camouflage rubber duck, and a deck of cards. Aren’t we cool.

10. I got to play Skee-ball…

11. …and DDR (Dance, Dance, Revolution).

12. We decided we’re going to Nevada for Ken’s wedding next week. I love road trips, and we need to get out of town!

13. Dave is happier and more relaxed than I’ve seen him…maybe ever. At least in a long time.

Read other’s Thirteens and join the fun here.

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