Where the Ego Fears to Tread

I just finished reading an essay on Medium by Meghan Daum, “My Life at 47 is Back to What It was Like at 27“. I’ve been thinking a lot about change and the idea that who we were is always going to be who we are. For someone like me, who is always striving to be better – a better parent, a better writer, a better human, the idea that our essence will remain essentially unchanged throughout our lives bothers me. Perhaps I’ve begun to see the threads of my life that… Read More

Acts of Reader Gratitude

Gratitude is one of those words that has become tainted and overused over the last few years. Gratitude journals ballooned into full-blown humble-bragging on social media, ad nauseum recitations of beautiful children or perfect autumn days or that special cup of coffee. I feel immense gratitude for the things and circumstances and people in my life, but also feel grateful that I can, for the most part, keep it to myself. The joy for me is not in the telling, rather in the being. But there is one form of gratitude that… Read More

Mythmaking and the Veteran

This post was originally published on 11/16/2013 As Veteran’s Day approached, my daughter came home with a form to fill out about any veterans she knew for the school display. She wanted to fill out the form about me and attach a picture on the bottom. I tried to encourage her to do a sheet on her great grandfather, who was a handsome man in his Navy dress uniform. I, however, have never liked pictures of myself. It’s not false modesty or some sort of facial dysmorphia, it’s just that unless it… Read More

Epiphanies at The Green Study

It’s been a productive week at The Green Study. Every surface is covered with books, files, and random Post-It notes. The white boards have hastily-scrawled notes and lists. After weeks of struggling with insomnia, I stopped struggling and sometimes I was up at 2:30 a.m. writing. It reset my brain to be up at odd times and ideas started pouring out. This post is a reflection of that – a little bit of everything. It’s the Spirit of Intent I spent a lot of time doing work for the League of Women… Read More

A Snapshot of Auld Lang Syne

I always find the time at the beginning of the new year to be particularly poignant. It’s around this time that I turn into an internet detective, in search of the people who were, for years at a time, part of my life and then no more. Where had they gone? Who had they become? As a writer, I put it down to an inveterate curiosity about stories. How did their story turn out? Some of it is predictable. The roommate who allowed her cats to replicate into a plague has postings… Read More

A Brief Hiatus at The Green Study

The Green Study will return on June 15th, 2017. It’s down to the wire on getting my novel draft out to some amenable friends and family for reader input. Thanks to my skillful procrastination, this will be like writing my senior thesis in college, except that I won’t be running to someone’s office, reeking of all-night coffee, cigarettes and stale sweat, clutching a mangled stack of papers. Fortunately for my beta readers, I will only be repelling the postal carrier and she’s used to that. Until my return in a couple of… Read More

2016: A Few of My Favorite Things, Part 2

I was trying a little exercise in gratitude with these posts, in an attempt to pull 2016 out of the crapper. Then I came down with a head cold. Welcome to crabby gratitude. Part 1 is here. The Teacher Becomes a Student Last month, I started tutoring high school English learners. I’ve not done it before and I’m still figuring out how to be useful. But it lit a spark. Over the years, I’ve studied French, Spanish, German and served as a Russian linguist in the Army. I was stationed in Germany… Read More

The Green Study’s “Positively Happy Nice Story” Contest: Honorable Mention

Today’s post wraps up the contest entries. Thank you to all the people who added a little positivity to The Green Study in the month of October! In November, I know many people will disappear into the deep hole of NaNoWriMo. While I won’t be participating this year, as I have a work-in-progress, I’ll be furiously writing away, word counts be damned. Take a breather and stop by here for some encouragement, a laugh or just a sympathetic, weary nod of agreement. I’ll be posting throughout the month, taking breathers from the… Read More

The Green Study’s “Positively Happy Nice Story” Contest: 3rd Place

3rd Prize goes to Cezanne at Pugaddinilgab for “The Love of a Grandfather”. Her essay made me think about the nature of sacrifice and service on behalf of others. Who paved the road for us? And how will we pave the road for others? She was sent one Green Study Coffee Mug and a scenic Minnesota postcard. I also made a $50 donation to the Philippine Red Cross. The Love of a Grandfather By Cezanne at Pugaddinilgab My grandfather used to tease me of being called “pugad de nilgab” or a granddaughter… Read More

Adult Education: A Neverending Curriculum

A wave of stale high school sweat wafted over me as I opened the door to the gym. Last week I started a community adult ed class for circuit weight training. I’ve taken a lot of classes over the years – everything from Chinese ink painting to yoga to first aid. It’s always the same. There’s a group of people who have been taking the class together since the dawn of time, who smell new blood in the water. I end up on email lists,  preceded by an onslaught of handshaking introductions,… Read More