How Writing Others’ Stories is Writing a Better Me

Last Thursday driving east to where home used to be, my mind swelled with stories.  It always does, but they used to be about me.  This time in the eight hours from Pickens, SC to Hampton, VA, I was bursting with ideas from three interviews in the days prior.  Evan, Sue, Chris.  When I visit, I’ve got so many friends and family to see that I couch surf from home to home, no desk in sight.  Those had been vacations.  Now, I’m a writer.  Where would these people’s stories come to life?

Summer Shift: When Teacher Becomes Storyteller

On Friday, I woke up a teacher for the last time in the foreseeable future.  My classroom is now boxed in my carport storage, an easy fit.  The question was what to do with my rolling teacher desk.  My principal called it the Cadillac of carts, I called it my classroom on wheels, and my students called it fidget toy one-stop-shopping. I unpacked it in the carport, put the screws back in, looked around at the sea of green and blue country, heard the birds, felt the breeze, and realized I’d unlocked the greatest writing real estate.

The Lessons I Learned at Alternative School

For ten months, I’ve chanted it every day with my kids at alternative school, our mantra: “This is my life.  This is my story. I will love it or regret it based on my daily choices.”  The first recitation alone didn’t change me, but repetition worked it into my DNA. Our choices, love or regret them, write our stories. Could all our pensive meanderings for how to live a better life really boil down to something so simple?

The Juxtaposition of Life and Death

Another of winter’s intermittent episodes forced me to bundle up and brace for the cold as I set up on the front porch for a much-needed writing indulgence.  White puffs of breath remind me I’m alive.  The patio heater my parents gave me, Charming’s pilfered grad school hoodie, and Gram’s blanket can’t seem to warm … Continue reading The Juxtaposition of Life and Death

If Grammy’s Not in the Garden…

Indian style on my white wicker love seat contributing to the annals of my passionate three-year affair with “Writing Nights” as my Google Calendar reminds me each Tuesday, I’m sitting still on the outside. Still, on the inside I’m bouncing between competing obligations to prioritize deadlines, courting time in the hopes she’ll favor my attempts … Continue reading If Grammy’s Not in the Garden…