Why We Write, Why We Read

Writers write to make sense of their experiences and share their insights. Readers read memoirs to find inspiration, hope, and perspective.        “I haven’t read your book, but I can see why you wrote it,” one of my physicians said to me at a follow-up appointment. “It must have been healing to write.” I’ve reflected on this comment for two months now, not quite sure why I feel unsettled by it. Yes, writing Standing at Water’s Edge helped me process and make sense of my young son’s leukemia and the impact it had on our lives. Reliving (required, and very much a part of the process) and writing about those stressful years of [...]

2022-07-30T08:26:32-04:00July 30th, 2022|Categories: Books, Life Lessons, Readers, Reflections, Writing|Tags: , , , , |

Tastes Like Joy

Imagine you are 10 years old again. You peer into the future and see yourself now. What do you think about who you have become? What does your 10-year-old self perceive as your strengths? Your weaknesses? You might consider your physical health/condition, where you live, or what you do and how you do it. This is the reverse exercise of “what would you tell your former self.” Instead, think like a child. What does your child-self see in you as the adult they envisioned becoming? What surprises them? This exercise was a prompt in a week-long writing intensive last week—virtual, of course.* The purpose was to get us writing, creating new material. It’s also an opportunity [...]

2022-02-02T15:29:46-05:00January 31st, 2022|Categories: Childhood, Life Lessons, Play|Tags: , , , , |

As the Seasons Change, So Must We

Photo by author So, how was your summer? Did you get away from your routines and responsibilities and do something you enjoy? Or were you happy to stay home and catch up on projects that felt good after they were finished, if not necessarily enjoyable in the process? Perhaps some of each.   Alas, the iconic Minnesota State Fair end-of-summer-get-together started this week, meteorological summer ends August 31, and kids are getting ready to go back to school and college. Well, some kids, at some schools, in some states. With all the pandemic uncertainty of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, who knows what rules schools will institute (and parents will concur with) over the next [...]

When Life Interferes with Expectations

Photo by Anoir Chafik on Unsplash When life interferes with expectations, reflect and regroup, and then put one foot in front of the other with purpose and direction. Trust that you will find your way. Expectations After almost four months of not walking outside, I spontaneously slip out of my sheepskin-lined slippers and into my tennis shoes, grab a windbreaker and my house key, and confidently walk out the door. As I carefully step up onto the parkway trail across the street from my house, I take a deep breath and inhale the damp spring air. The trees bordering the spring-fed pond are just starting to bud; polka dots of green splatter the barren, [...]

Regrets: What To Do When We Have Them

istockphoto by stereohype “Have no regrets” my friend murmured after I shared my angst over decisions I faced as my father approached death. That was a decade ago, and I’ve been mulling over regrets ever since. Is it even possible to live life without the remorseful “I can’t believe I did/said that” torment we inflict upon ourselves? And how do we move on from this all-too-human self-criticism? I revisited regret this week. For my writing class, we were to write a scene in which a character does something despicable and then rationalizes his actions. I take my homework seriously—even after all these years—and I contemplated the assignment all week. Despicable is such a strong [...]

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