Not the writing that pays the bills. Although, that’s been a slough too, to be honest. I read lots of cool newsletters and emails about writing newsletters and emails. They help. They add skills or ideas or just gumption.
You can do stuff with gumption.
I have a secret writing process I’ll never fully disclose. It involved random choices and brainstorming and generally thinking within rules I set for myself so that I can think outside the box. Well, it probably wouldn’t make much sense to describe anyway.
And they should be! Who wants to tick off things on a list when others are busy getting sunburned at the racetrack/festival/lake? Yet, for me, there’s always stuff. And I love that. If it’s not fathering stuff or soccer stuff, it’s stuff I must do as a writer and freelancer.
I’m so much better at this than I was just months ago. Weeks, even.
I didn’t get this lightning-bolt moment of the mindful upgrade. It came slow and steady, boring, really. A tweak here to the routine. Catching up on email. Setting rules, such as scrapping non-personalized email after it sits two days in the inbox.
Note: This post comes from a prompt in the book 300 Writing Prompts. On a flight from Charlotte to Phoenix last June, I asked the girl in the seat next to me to choose a prompt from the book for me to write about.
When I finished, the topic sparked an interesting conversation I’ll never forget.
Are there any lines that you simply will not cross?
Yes – although I can’t promise I never have, or I never will.
More to the point: How did they get there? For most of us, it’s picking up a Jennie Ritz novel or Lee Smith masterpiece or sinking your literary teeth into some Pat Conroy while on a Carolina beach trip and you find something. Something that resonates.
See, I got it all ass-backward with my favorite writer.
Corey Wheeland was a writer before she was my friend. She became a published author just last night. This same friend with a similar heart and a marvelous daughter that shines like she ate the rings of Saturn for breakfast had a book released on Thursday.
It’s fitting that I post a guest blog from a middle child on the same day my middle child signs her letter of intent to play soccer in college.
Yes, that’s a stretch. (And a way to give Hayden a shoutout. She’s signing with Piedmont International. She’ll walk in with a brace but no crutches as her recovery from ACL surgery continues. So proud of you Hayd!)
Laura’s the middle child starring on this page today.
She’s a valued blogging friend and wonderful wordsmith. No one beats Laura, a fellow parent, and writer, at headlines. Every headline makes you want to click. Her page is like an open box of vanilla wafers you won’t be satisfied with until you’ve had all of them.
I plan to do nothing about it. I log tons of miles in my new (yet unnamed) Hyundai Elantra. Some days, more than five hours worth. Phone chargers, makeup, snack wrappers, and slides get left in my car every day.
One child picked up a rock recently.
I won’t say which one. It took me back to days when I had young children (and better hair.) Rocks and toilet-paper rolls with stickers and construction paper adorning it made for the best gifts a dad could get.
Is anything in the universe as potentially awkward and comforting as the hug? Humans (or many mammals) have the innate ability to express love or like, congratulations or condolences by simply opening their arms and pressing together their bodies.
I compile a monthly post called 6 Words. Ernest Hemingway inspired it when he said any story can be told in six words. I ask bloggers, friends, strangers, and a few strange blogger friends to respond to a prompt.
Meaning, there’s some deep philosophical questions here. Well, one at least. And one about cheese, which to me is a sign of higher intelligence. Although, when I was in college, it didn’t really feel like a haven of higher learning.
Was it just me?
I once got an 8 – yes, e-i-g-h-t – on a science test. I stayed after to ask, “is there any mathematical reason I shouldn’t hit drop-add after this?” My prof, he of feathered hair and a beard before beards were cool, simply shook his head.
Take a look at his face, his car, or his home. All will have sustained some degree of damage in the process of fatherhood. Worry lines, spray stains on the ceiling of his car, and a host of tell-tales in his place of residence.
Busted furniture, chipped wall paint, crayon marks on … everything. Markers, too, and stray bits of strawberry, Goldfish crackers, and even beef jerky, in a man’s car, behind a man’s couch, and stuck in a man’s hair. That’s just the beginning, as any of you who parent know.