Our Spring Will Come

IMG_9121

Sidewalks are the new riverbed. Water rushes down the slightest incline over cracks that break your mother’s back. Liquid leans over the frozen curb and flows down the path of least resistance.

But not you, little boy. You pick the hard way. Continue reading

Chicken Soup for the Jealous Soul

Photo by Nate EmbryHow do you feel about secret recipes, that little pinch of special spice that only so-and-so knows to add to get the perfect combination of flavors? Food blogger and author Molly Wizenberg says the idea is ridiculous. “Recipes are by nature derivative: rare is the recipe that springs, fully formed, from thin air, without the influence, wisdom, or inspiration of other prior dishes,” she writes, “Recipes were made to be shared. That’s how they improve, how they change, how new ideas are formed and older ones made ripe.”

I think we can apply that to pretty much any creative pursuit, from cooking to writing to making music. Sometimes we’re guilty of keeping trade secrets trying desperately to make legends of ourselves and maybe that’s supposed to make us happy. But like the story of the Little Red Hen, if a person isn’t willing to lend a hand to see someone else’s idea come to fullness, they’re not going to reap the benefits when the bread is baked.

I remember one literary agent I chatted with said that at certain writing conferences he attended, even in casual conversation out at dinner, authors would zip their lips about their current projects so as not to leak any details that might give their fellow writers an advantage. It’s a lonely career when you see your contemporaries as competition.

Today, I’m looking at jealousy and the staleness it brings to the creative life. Come on over to my friend Charity’s place and try out my not-so-secret remedy, like a little Chicken Soup for the Jealous Soul.

{This post contains an affiliate link for Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life, a book I “devoured” for my book club last summer. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you, defraying some of the cost of running the blog. The book contains witty and moving stories based around some of Wizenberg’s favorite recipes. Enjoy!}

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Snow Days, Slow Days

slowdayssnowdaysWe’ve lost track of the snow days and cold delays. We haven’t had a normal week yet this year. Some days it’s looked like a ghost town around here, everyone behind bolted doors, nothing moving over the streets but snow drifts. I sort of like it that way. Continue reading

We Are Poetry

{Sign Up for the Story Circle through (in)couragers Today!}

Image 3

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading several works-in-progress, offering little bits of free-time for writing proposals, editing prologues line-by-line, and helping writers dream in the right direction.

The novelist with her first draft, the photographer and her poignant captions, the memoirist with her hard days on paper, the children’s writer/illustrator with a fresh idea. As I sift through their work, an old verse comes to mind, the one that talks about how each of them is God’s poeima. But when I go to look up the verse, I barely get into the sentence before I’m held in place by the smallest word. If only I had the flourescent yellow highlighter from my college days, that one word would be glowing…we. Continue reading

Be More than a Comment at the Bottom of a Post

{Psst! Registration for (in)RL opens today!}

Photo by Nate Embrey

It was like I was peeking through a slat in the fence, watching these would-be friends with boards and nails and hammers in the yard, their words building up a space for women to belong.

I read their stories on the (in)courage site and whispered my comments down below, like a little knock at the gate. I clicked over to each of the writers’ personal blogs linked from the site and took it all in, a stockpile of exquisite material uncovered. But there was something biting at me like little mosquitos hovering over summer grass. Continue reading