Wednesday, July 18, 2012


the tomatoes are overloaded with fruit. i am amazed at what we've been able to grow from seeds this year!

The boxes are almost unpacked but a few remnants of moving still remain. Like the pile of dishes on the breakfast table. We got spoiled in the lofts with all that storage space! The plan is to build some shelves and all will be remedied. Now, if we could only find the time to build those shelves!

The cat is in love with the house. He can dig his claws into the carpet and take off like a bullet, down the hall, squealing to the left then right, right into my writing room. Yes. My writing room. Technically it's the spare bedroom (or Spare 'Oom for all you Narnia fans :)) but I've parked my little writing desk in front of the window and it's perfect for writing, school work, and just randomly watching neighbors do yard work. Ooops! Did I say that?!?

The ants have taken over a hornet's nest. Oddly enough, I don't mind because the hornet's nest is in the side of the house. They are now congregating around the ant bait I just oozed onto the siding. There are perks to being a bug man's wife!

I wrote my first ever REAL synopsis last night. It's for my Fiction Workshop but still: it was an amazing lesson in brevity. We were allowed a space of 250 words in which to describe our story, a story we were to take from a character we invented and developed last week. So I cheated and used a character I've been developing over the past two years. You wouldn't believe how much difference 2 hours will make! Not only did I develop the character (whose past was being very difficult to divine) but I also wrote a 5 page outline of the story, the plot, the conflict AND I know who the killer is. What? Of course I'm not going to tell you!

Five pages to 203 words and, aside from the nitty gritty details, it's all there. As I said, a lesson in brevity.

Have you ever written a synopsis? Ever taken a writing workshop?
Have you ever written five pages just to get to the meat of a story? Just to know where you were coming from, where you were going?
How can you kill every ant within a ten mile radius of your home without resorting to Napalm or a small, nuclear warhead?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ordinary Holiness

my view from here

I'm reading another Anne Lamott book. Plan B. Chapter one is as wonderful as I remember Traveling Mercies being. I'm struck by her honesty, clarity, and ability to translate the ordinary into the holy. Or maybe she just can see the holy that is the ordinary.

Ordinary holiness.

What would extraordinary holiness look like?

(Green tea, back patio, chirping birds - I wonder if they know we put out bird food yesterday?)

Lamott wrote about taking care of people around you. Alleviating local suffering especially when you feel powerless to save the world. I recall what I struggled with last week: the thought that I am seriously slacking in the area of giving back, of using talents, of sharing gifts. How I feel I'm skimping on the calling.

A song popped in my head. Don't laugh; it's nothing spiritual, at least not at first blush. It's the song played during the end credits of How to Train Your Dragon and the only line I can possibly extract from all that pop-soda cheer is -

"Let yourself go..."

Hmmm. Serendipitous. One week and the message is still the same.

Let yourself go...

What's one thing you could do to alleviate someone's suffering?
What would it take for you to let yourself go?
What, to you, does letting yourself go even mean?