My 2018 – A Review

The timing of milestones and important events are easy to forget. It can be hard to answer questions about which year things happened or what was done at a certain time. I  had to consult my calendar to write this post.

Here are my key moments from 2018, or at least the ones that currently come to mind or were on my calendar.  Continue reading “My 2018 – A Review”

John C. Campbell Folk School

For years, my mom had been talking about wanting to take a class at the John C. Campbell Folk School and she wanted me to go with her. Over a decade ago, we’d attended a summer program for educators at Savannah College of Art and Design and had a blast. We decided to have another mother/daughter experience and go to the folk school this summer. I found places for my kids and Mom found us a house/pet sitter. Mom chose a woodturning class and I chose the writing class.

I didn’t pick a “one word” for myself this year, but one that would have fit is “risk.” I’ve been choosing to step out and do things that don’t feel safe. Choosing to take a writing class with strangers fit “risk” well. I knew I’d be faced with writing prompts with a time limit, followed by sharing with the strangers in my class. Continue reading “John C. Campbell Folk School”

Poetry Festival

I misread the schedule and arrived early this evening, to the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival. This festival started on Wednesday, with some inviting workshops during the day.

My day job meant I couldn’t attend any of those, sadly. Upon my arrival at the registration table this evening, I was greeted with, “You’re the last one!”

Continue reading “Poetry Festival”

From the Back of the Line to the Front

In my university days, I had to give speeches in various classes. I can’t remember many of the topics, but I remember the feelings and settings well. With limited class time, it took several class sessions for all of the students to give their speeches. One of my classes was a night class, which met only once per week.

EVERY time, I would sit in the back, nervously fidgeting through each classmate’s speech, hoping I wouldn’t have to go next. A blizzard in the Sahara desert was as likely as my volunteering to go next. The teachers never assigned an order for us to speak. Instead, students would volunteer. I watched others go up, one by one, as I sat frozen in the back. Continue reading “From the Back of the Line to the Front”

Road-Trip Cinquains

My boys and I left today on a trip to visit my dad in S.C. I miss the opportunity to write with all that time on the road, but I can still create as I drive. Today I formulated some poems, scratching them down on a notepad on my lap with one hand. They aren’t very legible on the paper, of course, but since they came from my brain, I can still decipher them.

I was recently introduced to cinquains, a poetry form, on One version is a stanza composed of 5 lines, consisting of 2-4-6-8-2 syllables with no rhyme scheme. Other versions include rhyme schemes, but the ones I have written thus far do not. Here are the ones from today. They are each separate poems.

fingers counting
syllables for poems
needing to have the exact count

girls’ night
mother, daughter
watch Dancing With the Stars
fascinated by stars’ dancing

I smile
hearing my boys
laughing in the back seat
I savor the moment of joy
a gift

wanting freedom
wanting escape from doubts
striving instead to know I am

two, four, six, eight
followed by a two
each line carefully counted out



Braving On at the Brave On Conference

*This post is a follow-up to an article I wrote for Red Tent Living. You can read that article here.

Anticipation can be a tricky thing. We’ve probably all experienced being excited about something that is upcoming. We have our hopes and dreams of how it will all play out. When the time comes, reality is rarely exactly like our expectations. Instead, it can be anywhere from what we envisioned to being a big disappointment with our hopes dashed. Close to the former is when our hopes aren’t met like we expected, but the experience is still fabulous. Which would this be for me?

Continue reading “Braving On at the Brave On Conference”

The Written Word

“That’s really important to you,” my friend said. Her statement invited me to be curious about why it is so.

I had been telling her about how I often scan or take pictures of cards or notes that I send, so that I can look back and see what I wrote. She also knows that I often keep cards, letters, and e-mails that are sent to me by friends. I have file folders of correspondence in  my room and, in my basement, a medium-size box. That box is full of notes that were written back and forth in high school and college classes, before the days of texting. Why are these written words so important to me?  Continue reading “The Written Word”

Writing Outside the Lines of My Blog

There have been baby steps and giant steps for me along the way, with my writing.

My first hesitant baby step was starting my blog. I used no names, even my own, and only shared it with a small group of people who felt safe to me. That first blog post was Loss, in October 2014. It wasn’t until a year and a month later that I shared a blog post, This Painful and Beautiful Story with the privacy setting of “public” on Facebook. Continue reading “Writing Outside the Lines of My Blog”