field notes (3.25.16)

“Frustration is not an interruption of the process, frustration is the process.” – Elizabeth Gilbert (keeping this in mind)

Crafting a playlist for my current WIP: so much fun. This is the first time I’ve ever done this for a project and it’s incredibly helpful. It’s remarkable what the right music can do to evoke a time period and recall memories.

“Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you, because it will.” – Cheryl Strayed

Reading: JESUS FEMINIST by Sarah Bessey and WIRED FOR STORY by LISA CRON (both books are so insightful that I purchased them both so that I could just go ahead and write in them.)

Making hotel reservations, pre-purchasing tickets, checking hours, making lists, checking them twice, niggling over all the little details in preparation for my upcoming road trip.

Epoch: a period of time marked by distinctive features, noteworthy events, a change in conditions.

I’ve got some intentional letting go to do. And I’m not sure how to do it. I need to do something physical to mark my release of old thoughts, ideas, heartbreaks, anger. So, I’m carefully considering what this may look like. Trying to close an epoch in my life.

field notes (3.18.16)

Reading: THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO by Gae Polisner and WIRED FOR STORY by Lisa Cron and A TANGLE OF KNOTS by Lisa Graff

Neck deep in my preparation for my upcoming SCBWI conference

Honing an essay that is taking me down some wild back alleys: I love it when this happens, when I can let my bossy mind take a backseat to my wild, knowing mind…

Putting together a play list for my current WIP. I’ve never done this before; it’s never occurred to me. But, with this WIP, the music is practically walking up to me and asking to be included. That’s my clue to pay attention. And start downloading music.

Went to a bluegrass concert last weekend that almost killed me with happiness: Monroe Crossing, you are beautiful. (Also, live music, people. Live Music!)

How Annie Dillard wrote PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK

Note to self: “Writing starts internally, personally. We start writing about ourselves, our emotions and we do this for years. And then maybe we look up and start to realize that other people have needs. Encouragement, for example. And then we write about that. And we keep moving, radiating outward: to family, friend, neighbor, community, region, culture, world. To making this world a better place by extending empathy and understanding and love, love, love. We leave behind navel-gazing because we understand the story is bigger than us (but also includes us) and because we understand history and context and the idea that we are all living stories. We have experience in this world. And we see where we fit in. Our views become more global, encompassing, compassionate.” – Kelsi

field notes (3.11.16)

Hey! My latest column was published this past weekend, REMEMBER: YOU’RE THE BOSS.

Reading BONE GAP by Laura Ruby, A LONG WALK TO WATER by Linda Sue Park and FOREST OF WONDERS: WING & CLAW also by Linda Sue Park.

Digging this quote: “By all means, take these intellectual risks. But not when you’re skydiving. Being uninformed doesn’t make you a renegade. It merely makes you uninformed.”  – Seth Godin

Went to a utilize-your-smartphone class and it was a disaster. (The whole debacle was a reminder of how much I HATE wasting my time and how much I value autonomy and personalization in education.)

Note To Self: Any piece of writing (essay, novel, picture book, etc.) is just a breadcrumb trail though a forest of ideas and thoughts that the writer makes for their readers with the purpose of leading them along a trail of their own making (hopefully without too many detours.)

field notes (3.4.16)

Friends, we made it through February! Which means we are through with the darkest, coldest days of winter. (This is a BIG deal in Minnesota).

It’s March 4 (March Forth!) one of the most fortuitous days of the year.

Went through the speaker/presenter list for my upcoming conference and reserved and started reading so many book. My favorite so far: WOOLBUR by Leslie Helskoski

My friend, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, just released her marvelous book, THE MARVELOUS IMAGINATION OF KATIE ADDAMS. It is a delicious story. Go buy a copy or 10.

Loving this quote, Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton

Reading: DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy, SEX & VIOLENCE by Carrie Mesrobian, JESUS FEMINIST by Sarah Bessey and WILD by Cheryl Strayed (this is the second time I’ve read this book, this time I’m reading it to study its structure.)

Practicing and pondering the immense power in self-care. May turn this into an essay?

Another quote that is resonating with me these days, “Our idol of the autonomous individual is a sham; the truth is we expect everyone to be the same and dismiss as elitist those who are working through a call to any genuine vocation.” Kathleen Norris , THE CLOISTER WALK