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Here goes…

The boot camp class I took wrapped up a couple weeks ago. It was intense and amazing and I miss the community we formed. I wrote (nearly) every day. Sometimes just a few paragraphs, other days multiple pages. I have the beginnings of many essays and stories.

I was so inspired by all the amazing essays that my classmates shared.  These writers threw themselves out there with brutal honesty. And I guess I did too. Feedback was positive. And really very helpful.

The course gave me the confidence to start sending more work out there. Beginning right now. Or, this week, actually. I promise. To you, to myself, to the flying spaghetti monster. Here goes…

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CNF Boot Camp

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I’m in my second week of an online class through CreativeNonfiction.com. It’s called Boot Camp and I’m loving every minute of it, but am wishing I had more time to give to it. We post 300-ish words daily, and then post 1,000 each Friday. If we do this we get feedback from the instructor. Either way, we also give feedback to each other.

I’m blown away by the quality and honesty of the writing that I’m reading. There is something freeing about the anonymity of an online class that opens up a writer.And I’m getting more confident in throwing my work, and myself out there.And because I’m writing every day, I’m starting to feel like a writer. Know what I mean?

Someday I’ll share that personal writing here. Or at least a link to it. In the meantime I’m grateful for the warm up, the fresh snow and plans to have lunch with a friend today. It’s the little things, really.

Happy Humpday!

Family

I’m Over at Blogher

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A few weeks ago I saw a comment on a Facebook post looking for mothers who feel strongly about the danger of concussions in youth sports. As a hockey player and mother of a soccer/hockey player, I offered the other side of the conversation. About how Husband and I are not holding Daughter back from sports she loves because Something Might Happen.

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Well, Blogher responded. And I wrote something. Now it’s live. And I’m so excited. Enjoy!!

http://www.blogher.com/worth-risk-3

dream

A New Year…

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The last few weeks have been spent shopping and baking and wrapping and celebrating. And we’re not done. We’re having friends over for New Years Eve and then our annual Best Neighborhood Ever Progressive dinner is this weekend. Thankfully, I was able to take some time off to slow down and fill up. I’ve been writing a bit, thinking a lot, and reading constantly.

I also signed up for a class through Creative Nonfiction and I can’t wait for it to start. The class I chose requires me to write 300 words each day,  Monday-Friday. I can find 300 words, right? I KNOW I can crank out 300 words. Just these two paragraphs are 110 words already. Now it’s at 115, see how easy?

And with the new year comes a fresh attitude and hopefully some fresh snow. I’m not making any resolutions this year, I’m not going on a diet, I’m not going to tell myself I’ll do something just to do something. I’m just going to try to smile more, eat more vegetables and slow down.

So here’s to a New Year. Enjoy!

(179 words)

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December 1

And then, suddenly, it was December. There is snow on the ground, lights on the house, pine boughs in the pots on the porch. Lists have been made, gift wrap has been purchased, meals have been planned. I love the holiday season. I love the planning, the gift-giving, the cookie-baking, but mostly I love the 24th and 25th when family fills up our house with food and laughter and cookies. Yes, more cookies.

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It’s not only December, but December 1st. Which means it was our dogs’ birthdays until they passed away nearly two years ago. Facebook was kind enough to remind me of this date. I had all but forgotten it. All but forgotten that for 11 years we celebrated Bogey’s birthday. We had a few parties over the years, but every year, without fail, we brought him across the river to Petco. We let him pick out a toy and some treats and without fail he swiped a few from the friendly cashiers. When he was 10, we adopted Lovely Luna and she just happened to have the same birthdate (or it was close enough). We had one lovely day two years ago when they turned 11 and 1. Luna wore a party hat, Bogey did not. We sang happy birthday and we showered them with affection and treats.

Three months later Luna passed suddenly from a lung infection. Two months after that Bogey passed too slowly and too painfully from a broken heart and a worn out back.

We still have sad days when we miss his snorts and cuddles and we miss her chatting and smile. But we gave them good lives. And they gave us beautiful memories. So today, I will think of them and their antics and be grateful that we had them for as long as we did.

Happy Birthday Bug. Happy Birthday Lovely Luna. You are missed.

books

Blogging for Books: The 13th Gift

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I requested this book, the 13th gift by Joanne Huist Smith, nearly a year ago. Right after the holidays. And after all the planning and gift wrap and sequins and bows I really had no interest in reading a book about Christmas. Yet here we are, in early November and I’m starting to plan Thanksgiving and Christmas (I know, I’m one of those.) I figured it was a great time to set the tone and start thinking about the holiday season!

The 13th gift is a memoir, “A True Story of a Christmas Miracle,” of a family in the wake of the father’s unexpected passing. The author doesn’t go into the details of his death, other than he had a heart condition and passed in his sleep, but rather the book is about how a stranger’s unexpected kindness, in daily gifts, brings the family back together.

At the beginning of the book, Joanne and her three kids are falling apart. School is skipped, meals are not made, emotions are raw. But 12 days before Christmas they receive a gift on their front step. Each day another gift appears. At first Joanne does not like the gifts, but after a few days the gifts bring the family back together until the family realizes that even though they lost a husband/father, there are still people that love them and are looking out for them.

By the time Christmas day arrives, the family has put together a holiday to remember. And by the time I finished the book, I was in the holiday spirit. I’m making lists and planning meals (because yes, I’m one of those.) Joanne and her family lost an integral part of their family that year, but with the help of strangers, and loved ones, they were able to find themselves and each other.

If you’d like to read it, leave a comment and I’ll share it with a lucky reader. I can’t be the only one starting my holiday shopping already. 

 

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Big Magic Words

“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life.”

– Elizabeth Gibert, Big Magic

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Lunar

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A late walk with neighbors. And then a beautiful moon. After a beautiful day.

 

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Beautiful

A blue jay still landed right outside the window. A wasp is trying to eat my apple. A rabbit is rummaging below the deck. Enjoying.