An Introvert Walks into a Conference…

I’m in a hotel room in downtown Minneapolis, wrung out and exhausted from smiling and talking about my novel with other writers. My hobnobbing and pitching at a writer’s conference garnered two requests for pages from lit agents. I’ve already called and texted friends and family to squee about it. But as usual, the exhilaration has melted away into the realization that I will have to work harder than I ever have at digging in and writing. I do not spend a long time in joyland. The water’s too warm. The woman… Read More

The Space Between

An interval of silence when your arm no longer bows music at rest time to breathe An interval of rest between reps and sweat your muscle regroups lives to fight another set An interval of breath dozy conscientiousness before sleep carries you into the shadows An interval of quiet before the kids wake up and after the dog has been walked coffee steam swirls up your nose An interval of observation standing in lines watching the cashier have a good or bad day An interval of thought Mouth closed mind open walking… Read More

Small Talk and Slightly Bigger Ideas

Spring is a dangerous time for writing in my world. It’s the time I’m most likely to quit blogging. It’s the time when every new novel idea looks better than the one I’m working on. It’s the time when dust collects in the study. It was a tepid winter this year in Minnesota. I might need to move further north at this rate. Ride a melting glacier, run a homeless polar bear shelter. I’d like to see some studies on the impact of hot flashes on climate change. All I know is… Read More

Stories from the Road: Chasing Barges and Otherness

For a brief respite between drab winter and frenzied garden preparations, my family and I headed up to the North Shore on Lake Superior. We visited the local high points: Split Rock Lighthouse, Glensheen Mansion, an aquarium, a maritime museum. It was relaxing and enjoyable when we were together. Alone, I found moments to do what I do best. I recognized my Otherness. It’s hard not to feel apart and isolated these days. My disconnect from the political those who scramble to represent us, overpower us, quiet us, is becoming palpable. I… Read More

A Mind of One’s Own, Minimal Square Footage Required

I’ve been riding along the last couple of weeks as if someone else were at the wheel. I stare out the window as the landscape speeds by, lost in thought, lost in ideas, but not really lost at all. It’s the kind of drifting that loosens the nerves, unclenches the fists, allows the mind to be frivolous or deep, shifting from moment to moment. Books are in stacks about the study. I’ve meandered from one to the next, from Virginia Woolf’s loosely compiled speeches in A Room of One’s Own to Tim… Read More

Creating Space: A Writer’s Quest

After many years of constant motion, I set out over the last year to make deliberate changes to my life. I stepped down, resigned, said no, cancelled activities and walked away. When all the excuses were gone, I was left facing the most formidable obstacle ever to being the writer I want to be – myself. There’s a lot of talk about the corrosive effect of our distracted lives and it hasn’t been until I tried to sit still that it became truly apparent. I feel a little lost, a little uncertain… Read More