Beginning Again

universalgrit

February embraced me with her gray folds. Hibernation-worthy fatigue walloped me after a harsh winter and, frankly, a long year. Looking back, I could see  why  I was exhausted. Surgery. Recovery. A cross-country move. A CROSS-COUNTRY MOVE. Heart-breaking goodbyes, soul-mending hellos. Card board boxes. Fucking boxes. Unknown quantities of pizza. Big changes. Small changes. Using GPS to get everywhere in a city that, while new, feels familiar with the sturdy, Midwestern sensibilities of my youth. Being the New Girl. Again. Navigating social circles. Again. A broken leg for Henry–a full-leg cast and crutches through the mounds of January snow. Abby was sick. Henry was sick. Abby was sick. Henry was sick. Hubby was sick.  Then I got sick. The temperatures hovered around zero for weeks. I didn’t write. I didn’t run. I ate many french fries and drank red wine and my muffin top flourished. 

I judged the progress I made with my new life and our new…

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You’re Asking the Wrong Question

Red's Wrap

Jan - Purple 2

I’m sorry. Let me say this in the kindest possible way. Asking me what I will do to stay ‘young at heart’ as I get older is ageist.

Why would anyone assume that it is better to be young at heart than old at heart unless being old at heart implied a lot of unpleasant, undesirable things. Of course, that wasn’t the intention. Assuming that young is better is a deep cultural belief, one that is, unfortunately, absorbed by many people as they age, making them mourn their younger selves rather than enjoying the age they are.

I was already young at heart when I was young. Then I was middle-aged at heart and now, I think, I’m probably old at heart. And I’m here to tell you, all of you 40-somethings filled with dread about the future, it’s more interesting over here on the other side than you might…

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Toss It, I Say

Lisa Stowe - The Story River Blog

Many years ago while driving down the freeway, my son pulled his sock off, opened the window, and held it out. In his mind, the wind would fill the sock like a balloon (which he’d lost out the window earlier) and slow the car. Instead, there’s a little white sock out there on the shoulder of a road, slowly decomposing.

I remembered that today, thinking about my writing process. So picture me speeding down the highway, ripping the following pages out of a rule book and sending them flying.

Writers must outline. Rip, gone.
Characters must be developed before you start the story (or writers must use character dossiers). Rip, really gone.
Keep your theme/premise in mind as you write. Also gone.
Know the motivations of your characters. That one went very fast.
Write every day. Rip, with laughter.
Write a thousand words a day. Rip, with hysterical laughter.

Why…

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The Field Trip

Carter Gaddis

He came around the corner, distraught, and found me in the family room.

His face broke.

Tears gathered and fell.

“Mommy just told me you can’t come on the field trip.”

Small sob.

“I want you there. I want you to go. I want to be with my daddy.”

He wrapped his arms around my waist and buried his face into my shirt.

I put my hand on his head and told him I was sorry.

“I have to work. I want to go, too. I wish I could. But I have to work.”

I told him we could make our own family field trip. I told him to think of adventures we could have on the weekend.

The tears stopped. He stepped back. Our own field trip? That sounded promising. He seemed to feel better.

I did not.

_______________

The next morning I got into my car and began…

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Writing retreats aka binge writing: pros and cons

DoctoralWriting SIG

By Susan Carter

I am at a desk overlooking trees soaking up misty rain. This post represents a spasm of procrastination from the article that I’m writing on what is for me a new area of research interest.

Beside me I have an ambitious stack of reading for the week; I need to get my head round recent literature. In front of me, the laptop, currently showing my resurrected Endnote library—somehow I have lost a more recent version so need to move on and recreate. Around me, other women academics are also writing, including a couple of them finishing their PhD theses, and a couple who are newly graduated and now pumping out articles to meet their post-doc grants’ mandates.

It’s the third day of one of Barbara Grant’s writing retreats for academic women. I have read five articles and skimmed two journals—two books and another five journals sit waiting…

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