A couple weeks ago, I had two 100-word stories accepted for publication within two hours of submitting! Record time. I was shocked. Keith T. Hoerner, the editor, said my work was “eloquent, daring, and splendid.” This was not the response I expected.
On Father’s Day, I returned home from Camp Scripps, which is Scripps College’s signature retreat created by and for alumnae. It’s a celebration of creativity and community. Our motto is “Everything Possible. Nothing Required.” I’ve been attending for the past twelve years. This year’s camp was our first in-person camp since 2019. I came home drunk with delight.
I recently took my first vacation since before the pandemic. When I pulled my luggage off the top shelf of my closet, it had cobwebs and a couple dead spiders!
Last weekend I [wo]manned a booth with four other She Writes Press authors at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. Having been super COVID cautious over the past two years, I was apprehensive about the prospect of being among crowds, as well as occupying close quarters with four other people, some of whom had been out and about for weeks, maybe months. Still, I knew it was time to step outside my comfort zone. I figured I’d mask up, keep my distance from others as much as possible, and hope for the best. But when I arrived, no one was masked, and oddly, I didn’t feel the need to don one. It was as if I’d returned to the world, and everything was normal again. It felt amazing to connect with people in-person. Saturday morning, a woman sprayed saliva while speaking, and instead of worrying about catching COVID, I saw the humor in it: me with my health anxieties, uber COVID cautious for over two years, coming face-to-face with a sialoquent within my first hour out. It was comical to me; I laughed. But I digress.
It’s a little early in the season for sunflowers, but they will bloom before too long—and look at this radiance! Wouldn’t it be great if we could all be this open? Writing and teaching make me feel this way. How about you? What brings out your inner beauty?
Last week, when I sat down to write my New Year’s letter, I felt a ton of resistance. I didn’t know why, but the thought of writing it made me both squeamish and sluggish. I procrastinated for a week.
“Just a reminder that you don’t have to make resolutions. Or huge decisions. Or big proclamations. You can just set some sweet intentions and take each day as it comes.”
I was surprised by the relief I felt reading the above Facebook post written by Barbara Bos in Women Writers, Women [’s] Books on January 1. I hadn’t realized how worked up I’d become approaching the new year. My inbox was flooded with “self-improvement” invitations and opportunities.
The holidays are here. And while it might be “the most wonderful time of the year,” it can also be the most stressful.
I keep a snow globe on my desk to remind me of two things: 1) how my mind works, and 2) what I’m made of (what’s inside me). You might think that a pile of five stacked rocks is an odd protagonist for a snow globe, but it resonates with me in four meaningful ways:
A few weeks ago at FedEx, I spotted a book near the checkout counter: Dare to Doodle. I picked it up, flipped through the pages, and thought, This is so cool! I was about to buy it when another voice kicked in and said, You suck at drawing.
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