We Are Poetry

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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

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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

Writing Small While the Kids Are Small {A 2013 Retrospective}

writingsmall It had been three and a half years since I’d had a baby. I’d forgotten how my words would forget me, at least the written kind. They seemed to go down the drain with the dishwater or get lodged in the cushions of the couch where I sat for hours a day nursing the new addition.

One month I was full-throttle writing and interacting, posting daily in the Take Heart series, and the next month I barely existed on the Internet. In real life, I toggled between the cradling and fixing lunch and playing dollhouse and listening to the first grader read, three kids on three different schedules with lots of good things happening but virtually no time for documenting it.

Maybe I’d have a phrase or idea sweep across my mind, but the computer often seemed out of reach. It has happened to writers with much more on their resumés than I have on mine. When I read the preface to Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, I was puzzled to find that although she’d published seven novels, Winifred Watson had left off writing when Continue reading

Frankincense and Mercy {A Birth Story and a Thank You Note}

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merciMerci. It means “thank you” and it means the things I’m thankful for, all the ways you, my doula, acted out the full meaning of the word in “providing relief from suffering,” and showing “compassionate treatment of those in distress.” That was me when the water broke on Good Friday, life flowing out in the restless dark of Golgotha, like the spear to Jesus’ side. Continue reading

So, I Guess I Needed an iPhone Break {A Less Digital Life Postlude}

mmjiphonebreakI had just dropped off a meal at one friend’s house and was on my way to a birthday dinner for another. My bags were as full as my brain, overflowing with diapers, bib, baby food and somewhere in the bottom of my purse were my own belongings. I had grabbed my phone from the passenger seat where I had laid it after sending a text at a stoplight to ask for a high chair at the restaurant. Maybe I stuffed the phone in my purse or maybe I put it in the cup holder on the stroller, wherever I put it I did so on autopilot. Making my way into the restaurant, I balanced my friend’s birthday gift along the stroller handle and tipped the stroller up onto the curb. I hadn’t had enough foresight to look for the ramp on the other side of the entrance. Continue reading