Progress

I have to walk away from making breakfast. I leave the burner on, the egg in the pan, and I leave the kitchen.

I am suddenly very aware of all the commitments, large and small, I have made to myself, to family, to friends for the next month … and how deeply afraid I am of disappointing anyone. My body tingles with the now-familiar electricity of anxiety as I walk up the stairs.Read More »

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August

The air is a little heavy with humidity but the temperature has fallen to reasonable levels. I can feel the tipping point coming. The point when you’ve clicked your way up to the very top of the first hill of the rollercoaster and everything pauses, frozen in time, until gravity takes over and you rush toward the ground again. We’ve risen to the peak of this summer season and we will soon begin the pell-mell rush into autumn and winter. But for now, we sit at the apex of the year, still and peaceful.

Sometimes

Sometimes it was difficult to force her body to move through the sequence of chores. Her feet would grow leaden and her fingers would refuse to grasp. The buckets and barrows that normally danced as she commanded would stand sullen and still as the afternoon light deepened.Read More »

Commitment

At the farm, we begin each circle by reviewing Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements:

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.

Often Sara asks the participants which agreement causes them to struggling the most. Agreements 1 and 4 are like breathing for me. If I am alive, I am practicing them. Agreements 2 and 3 have eluded me for 40 years now. Even now, after 2 years of intense effort, it takes all my concentration to even get close. Yesterday, as I contemplated the question of which is the most challenging, I finally decided that it’s the assumptions.Read More »

Chaos and Perspective

Last night, as I stood in the horse pasture, I looked beyond the fence to the field of soybeans next door. I ran my eyes along the chaos of green under the wide, post-storm sky, and recognized its similarities to the vast disorganization of my thoughts. Just as the first flutterings of panic rose in my chest, I turned a little and found myself looking down a series of perfectly straight rows, each exactly the same distance from the next. Immediately, the panic subsided, replaced by the realization that what looks and feels like chaos right now will eventually fall into organized lines. I just have to keep turning it over and around in my mind until I hit the right perspective.

Repost: Newbie Guide to the DFW Writers’ Conference

I initially published this on May 24, 2016 on a blog I shared with some fellow writers, The Missing Comma Club. Since DFWCon is less than a month away and I’m SUPER excited, I figured I’d repost.

I attended the DFW Writers’ Conference over the weekend of April 23-24. Having never gone to a writing conference (or a gathering of more than ten writers at a time), I was nervous. Not only did I survive my foray into the world of other writers, I came out with a number of new friends, a wealth of new knowledge, and an addiction to surrounding myself with the people of “my tribe”. Here are a few things I wish I had known in advance and which I plan to remember for the future.Read More »