purposefully undefined

landscape with sky

I once asked a friend of mine, artist Donna Romero, “How are you?” After a long pause she answered, “I’m very in between the trapezes right now.” Though transitions, passages, holding patterns, time outs, and in-betweens are part of metamorphosis, they can … Read more

uncle!

balancing rocks

Dad used to play-wrestle me and my brother on the living room carpet when we were kids. We were all friendly, but also really intense. My brother and I tried to get the best of our strong dad, who’d end up pinning us until, laughing uncontrollably from his tickle tactics, we’d shriek “Uncle! Uncle!” so he … Read more

like me!

grace's granny and granddad in their store in arkansas

One afternoon in the Black Forest, toward the end of a hike, my husband and I paused for teatime, which is a very big deal here in Germany. We found a booth at our favourite place, Café Diva, placed our orders, and, at some point, I joked with my husband in a way that may not have been totally one hundred percent … Read more

it's all been said

restaurant in alsace, france

What’s the point of writing anything? Hasn’t everything (and then some) already been said? Go ahead, think of something you want to write about and then search for it on Google. How many zeros are there in the number of results that came up? This could be depressing. … But it’s not. … … Read more

writing through the shoulds

vines over a walkway

As a wee tot, I happily drew a tree by drawing a vertical brown line then adding a green circle on its top. I loved it. So simple! So true! So pretty! Then the teacher stooped down to tell me my tree was “wrong.” I remember going perfectly still with shock. Then I felt a rush of horror that I’d disappointed the teacher (good student that I was), a crushing sadness as I began to … Read more

open or closed?

blossoms

Mom and I often talked about passion – while driving cross-country through the southern U.S., while sitting in her tiny living room (decorated in purples and reds) when she lived near me for a while in Vancouver, many times on the phone. She yearned for passion, but it continued to elude her. Then she died. … Mom’s activities would fool you into thinking she was passionate. For example, … Read more

hand-holding for writers

hand clip

Because the ways I most love to create require my hands, when my dominant hand was recently hurt, I freaked out. The problem peaked the day of a dinner hosted by a friend here in Germany. When I told the small crowd how my finger had swollen and turned purple, one of the guests, an occupational therapist, took a real interest and recommended a hand doctor she knows. … A few days later, standing at … Read more

tooting your own horn

trees in winter snow

“The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which is responsible for the global strategic maple syrup reserve ….” Where do I begin? How about telling you that this sentence fragment quote is not fiction. It comes from an article in the Globe and Mail, the national Canadian newspaper. Next, I’ll tell you how delighted I am to live in a world that includes The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ), because … Read more

weird writing habits that work

leaf styles

Permission is hereby granted to do whatever’s necessary in order to write what you want to write. How do you know what works for you? By experimenting widely and wildly. By maximizing whatever already works. By combining weirdnesses. … Read more

how to build writing confidence

venturing toward writing confidence

Writing is something we figure out how to do every time we do it. Being confident about writing has to do with trusting one’s ability to figure out how to write, over and over again. … Read more