Recommended Reads: My Desert Island Writing Book

41dtozisuvl-_sx321_bo1204203200_Recently I’ve received several emails from readers on the topic of writing, asking if I have any advice on the topic or sometimes just wanting to chat. And I’ve realized that all of my best writing advice comes from people who have a heck of a lot more experience than I do, so I’ve decided to share a favorite book of mine at the beginning of every month.

For December it seemed only right to start off with Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. It was the very first writing book I ever read and if I were stranded on a desert island and forced to only choose one writing book, it would definitely be this one. While it’s not a how-to manual, Lamott’s book is packed full of helpful advice and encouragement. But the following are two of my favorite insights. In fact, they’re my two favorite tips about writing period. Read More


I Brought My Questions to the Sea

I stood at the foam-lace trim of
Mother Earth’s blue gown as her hips
Gently swayed back and forth.

I stood with my toes planted in the
Wet sand as the seagull overhead scoffed
In a language I cannot comprehend.

I stood on the shore as the breeze
Flirtatiously ran his salty fingers through
My hair, tying it into sailor’s knots.

I stood watching an orange starfish as
He was carried along with the tide and the
Waves tickled the souls of my feet.

I stood there offering heavy questions
To the goddess of the sea and she softly
Replied, “Just be, child. Just be.”


Rediscovering Messy Art

img_3333-2

From my walk, because I love yellow.

“If I could take nice pictures and had a camera, I’d love to photograph the changing seasons,” I thought to myself. Again. I wished I’d been blessed with the gift of photography on the day that talents had been handed out.

I had the same thought again a few days ago as I looked out my bedroom window, noticing how much the trees had changed in such a short period of time. And thinking how much fun it’d be to document the transition. “If I could take nice pictures and had a camera,” I began again. And then I stopped. Wait. I do have a camera.

Within a matter of minutes I was shoving on rain boots and grabbing my camera, throwing its red and white polka-dot strap over my shoulder as I marched out the front door. Whether or not I could take “nice” pictures didn’t even matter, I told myself. I enjoyed taking pictures, so I was going to take them.

Once I was outside, heading onward towards autumnal adventures, I turned my camera on and flipped through the last pictures I’d taken. They were vacation photos. I hadn’t touched my camera, not even once, since Ian and I had been on vacation. My camera had just been hanging by its strap in the closet, waiting.

Waiting for what? Read More


My Body

My body
Is not a temple
because those belong to deities.
Is not holy ground
because that can be desecrated.
Is not a building
because that can be owned.
Is not a pillar
because those can crumble.
My body
Is flesh and blood.
Is fire and magic.
Is mine.


The Fall Equinox: Changing with the Leaves

10930209196_2a8efcf3d1_o

Flickr CC Kim B.

“Have you ever thought that maybe the trees would enjoy seeing you change color too?” an advertisement for sweaters asked me as I looked through a clothing catalog. That was several years ago, but I think about the question every year as I pull out the plastic purple tub containing my sweaters and scarves. The shades of yellow, blue, and red being packed away neatly for next summer are so different than the autumnal shades on the chunky cable knit sweaters that I gradually go through, welcoming back each one as I place it on a hanger in the closet.

This is how I celebrate the fall equinox. By changing color, too. “I changed color for you,” I’ll say as I walk past a tree in all the golden glory of early fall just to ensure she hasn’t missed my own new color palette.

I’d wanted to do something a bit more this year to celebrate the fall equinox. I’d meant to put some research into it and maybe choose something that felt me enough to try incorporating it into my own private welcoming-my-favorite-season-of-them-all ritual.

“I missed the fall equinox,” I said glumly to my husband last night as he crawled into bed next to me.

“But that’s the nice thing about no longer being in your old paradigm,” he replied. I was raised in a religious paradigm that was seeped in legalism and guilt. “The fall equinox isn’t going to get mad.”

“But the fall equinox didn’t get mad before,” I said. “I didn’t even know when it was. It was demonic.” Read More