Friday, January 30, 2015


I started a secret blog so that I can write what's really on my mind.

My friend Doug once said that if everything that is really going on in our minds were played out for the world to see, like a DVD, we'd all be busted. That statement has resonated with me for nearly nine years. And so now I'm doing a little experiment.

I'm writing what is really going on in my mind, laying it out for the world to see, the good and the terribly ugly. Because I'm too scared to do that here. I'm hoping that doing this - writing about, for example, the prayers and Scripture I read to my children every day alongside how I hate my neighbor every day - will.....well, clear things up a bit? I've been feeling pretty murky lately. So maybe it's a therapy thing. Let's write about how the gospel is working amidst the sin. Let's be honest about the sin, without reveling in it, and the gospel, without creating a facade.

But here's the thing. Now that I've started writing this secret blog, I already find myself wanting people to find it and read it. Am I so arrogant? Yes, even as I am deeply insecure, I am oh so arrogant. Nonetheless, it will stay secret, and maybe people will find it and read it, and maybe not. Probably better not.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Crick in the Neck

When I have babies, I get massive neck and shoulder pain. I just complained to my five-year-old, who said, "Maybe the chiropractor doesn't help you." My answer: well, maybe. I think he does though. 

I've always been a person who god "cricks" in her neck. (Is that what everybody calls it, or just my strange family?) I missed at least one day of school because I couldn't turn my head. I've just always slept funny, I guess, and the vertebrae round my neck are my enemy.

And then when the baby comes, and the nursing begins, there's all that looking down, terrible posture, etc.

I once had a crick in my neck for nearly four months. That was the first time I tried a chiropractor. He had me coming in a couple times a week for nearly a month to get that pain gone. But it worked. It was incredible. My neck was fabulous, until now. 

So, does the chiropractic work? I think so. But it is annoying that the pain takes so much work to get rid of. And then comes back. But we'll blame the baby this time.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Writing vs. Editing

I might be committing to a part-time writing job, and it makes me nervous. Why? What is the deal? Here's the deal.

I knew from the beginning of my professional writing career that I wanted to be an editor.

I have only finished (to the very last word) ONE novel. (Though, to my credit, I have written substantial chunks of another four.)

When I took Writing Short Stories in undergrad, I waited until the day before the short story was due to sit down and write it.

When I worked at Boyd Street magazine, I hated writing feature stories. This is a major confession. I hated writing them...until I started writing them. And then I loved it.

When I started that short story, I loved it.

When I sit down to write, I love it.

It's getting there that is the problem.

On the other hand, when I'm given somebody else's project to work on, I can't wait to get to the computer and work on it. I want to shut up my children, lock them away. I want to work!

So here I am being offered a writing job, and I'm terrified to say yes. I'm uncomfortable. What if I don't want to sit down and write these projects?

I just need to remember that when I actually do it, I love it. When I actually am writing, I love it. I will keep repeating this to myself.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

My husband called me out on something today.

There's been this stress sort of creeping around since I lost my job, and the stress is:

on my end - I'm terrified of doing a crap job
 on his end - anger that I'm terrified of rejection

There's a slight distinction there. He thinks I'm afraid of being rejected, which maybe on some level I am, but the real problem is that I haven't been busting my butt to get new jobs because I'm afraid of not doing a good job. And also, because in my heart of hearts, I want to be lazy. Thus a new stresser between us:

on my end - I think it's okay to be lazy
on his end - he is terrified of rest

So, what is a couple at odds to do? Encourage each other anyway. You've rested more because of me, and that's okay because rest is good (it is, buddy). And I've changed a ton because of you, because I'm not a raging, callous, stubborn maniac anymore. All is well.

But still, that insecurity. I decided to just go for it today, and I have him to thank.

Monday, April 08, 2013

1,000,000 Words

Moving forward on the novel is going well, except I didn't write all weekend. Hopefully today I can sit down for at least an hour and get some new work written. It is REALLY hard not looking back at what I've already written, but I've made a vow to myself. I will. not. look. back! Unless I HAVE to look back to remember something, and even then, I'm only doing search and finds, not big reads. I really want to do this. I haven't COMPLETED a novel since graduate school.

Stephen King somewhere wrote that one does not become a good writer until she's written 1,000,000 words. I wonder whether emails and edits and status updates and Tweets, etc., count toward that 1 mil because I have to say: the prose is coming easier this time around. It's far from great, but I'm not laboring over it like I used to. I remember sitting at the computer screen thinking that nothing would ever come. Writing maybe two pages in an hour. Perhaps the story is just more concrete in my mind than those stories were, but I'm moving. I didn't think this was possible for me. It's kind of exciting.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Writing Therapy

I started writing something. 

In the past, I've plotted and plotted and plotted and dossiered and dossiered and dossiered and then started writing and almost immediately given up. 

Yesterday, I just started writing. I've had the idea for a while, a few months. I've sketched a very brief outline of some possible characters. But I did that weeks ago. I didn't even open up the character file yesterday. I just started writing. 

I listened once to mystery writer Carolyn Hart talk about how she writes intuitively. She'll know the basics of a story (who the protagonist is, who the antagonist is, who done it) before she starts writing, but that's it. I remember that blowing my mind. I was taught to plot! I was taught to know everything! And here was this incredible writer who chugs out a book every four to six months, and how does she do it? She just writes. 

I decided maybe that would be best for me yesterday. I was reading John Miller's The First Assassin and thought, like I often do, I can do that. Why don't I write something? Except I actually had this idea in the back of my mind and did it. 

The verdict? I'm only five single-spaced pages in, but I think it's viable. And the weird thing is, it's coming fast. At least so far. I usually sit and labor over page, worrying about everything before moving on. This time, I'm just moving. And having the experience I do editing, the prose actually isn't so terrible on first run. It's not great, not perfect, but it's working. My husband even liked it, and he is Mr. Critical. 

So, there you go. The way to cheer up my jobless blues is to write something. If I keep at it, I might let you know what it is I'm working up. 

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Day 2 of No Work

I did not know what to do with myself yesterday. Only three months back to work, and without NEEDING to be on the computer, what was I to do? Clean my house?! Play with my children?! I walked around staring at things and doing nothing - then wanted to get on my computer again.

Okay, so the truth is I DID play with my children and clean my house some, but I'm trying to make a point here! (without incriminating myself)

The other truth is, I kind of felt like Charlie Brown all day. I felt VERY sorry for myself and kept imagining a gray cloud hanging over my head. Poor, sad, jobless me.

Today, I'm back to normal. That didn't take long! I'm on the job hunt and figuring out how to get my name out there. (Turns out, if you know one highly networked person, and that person Tweets about you, you get a million more followers over night. So now I am under more pressure to be cool on Twitter in hopes of finding work.)

It's going to be almost impossible to replace my job with Heath. It was just so perfect. But there are plenty of writers out there who need editors. I think the best thing that has come from this is the realization that I want to work again. I love it. I love editing. I love working with writers. I love being creative in that way. I missed it. So there you go.

Side note: my daughter is carrying around a hymnal and doing a procession from the stairs to the play room. When she gets to the dining room, she stops and bows, as if before the crucifix. She even had me make her a cross on a pole that she can carry around the house. This Anglican business is pretty awesome.

As far as reading goes, I've given up on London and picked up John J. Miller's The First Assassin. A semi-promising start. My first impression is that it's a dude's novel (how non-feminist is that?!), but I've only read a few pages. He certainly has the rules down. There is a gun in the first sentence.