Snipe Hunting for Writers

Ever since I learned to read, I’ve wanted to be a writer. For years, I’d daydream and talk about writing, but it was fantasy. It took a dash of midlife angst to make me, the Writer, a reality. In the last two years, I started writing for this blog and finished the first draft of a novel. It feels like I’m getting close to something. Or at the very least, I’m in the process of becoming something. I used to imagine myself as a writer, hunched over a little wooden desk, pen… Read More

50 Shades of Blue: The Use of Profanity at The Green Study

A friend of a friend was directed to my blog. Her first comment, after reading one of my posts, was, “she uses a lot of foul language”.  All that writing, all that effort and her takeaway was the occasional swear word? I’ve wrestled for years with my propensity towards the profane. As a parent, I managed to go the first 7 or 8 years of my daughter’s life without swearing in front of her. Lately, that’s been slipping, as I’ve struggled with health issues and exhaustion – just too tired of trying… Read More

The Dog Days of Blogging

The Green Study is on hiatus until September. As the smell of tar drifts in through open windows and the cicadas drone on, I wrestle with decisions and consequences. Anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time, knows this is a constant state for me – the wrangling of life out loud, never settled, never quite comfortable. I started writing for this blog in January of 2012. The intent was to get in the practice of writing out loud. I went quietly about my business, writing about things that… Read More

The Green Study Hits the Road, Jack

In preparation for a very long road trip to see family, I’ve packed the following necessary items: One front seat driver who believes there is no need to ask for directions, but constantly insists that I’m going the wrong way. One mini-me who will immediately alert me from the backseat whenever the speedometer number is bigger than the posted signs. A lot of dysfunctional baggage,  so that anything my family of origin says will immediately irritate me, no matter how innocuous. One large bottle of Tums to counter bad road food. One… Read More

So I Wrote a Novel…and Then I Avoided It Like the Plague

And one day, when I’m mere ashes being transported in a tacky vase to my destination of choice (my reading chair, of course), they will rifle through my meager possessions to find a two inch black binder covered in a thin layer of dust and decorated with geometric coffee rings on every other page. There will be notes in red ink hastily scrawled along the margins: Geez, time travel much? Get Strunk and possibly White, this grammar stinks! Schedule mammogram. Look up spelling of onomonopea omonomopia. Bread, milk, canola oil, trail mix… Read More

Hairshirts and the Good Enough Writer

Up until the 1960s, the hairshirt, or cilice, was worn by nuns and monks as a sign of repentance and atonement for sins. It was an undergarment usually made of rough cloth or bristly animal fur, occasionally with metal spikes, to create constant discomfort. My hairshirt is carefully constructed, not of animal fur or metal chains, but of anxiety, shame and depression. Taught early on that my value lie in aspiring for perfection, in not making mistakes, in being highly critical and highly criticized, I do not wear mistakes well. The last… Read More

Death by Writing

In 1967 Roland Barthes, a French literary critic, wrote an article titled “The Death of the Author”. His theory was that the writing and writer were to be regarded as separate entities, that literature should not be interpreted through the lens of knowledge of an author’s life. Therefore, to gain real readers, the author must disappear from the landscape or die a metaphorical death, allowing the work to stand on its own. I like that idea. I like the idea that whatever fiction I write, it will stand or fall on its… Read More

Drifting Towards Center

I’m wound pretty tightly. Lately, I’m having weeks where my schedule is so full, there is barely time to think. It means that I’m going to Sproing! at any moment. It finally happened yesterday – the unraveling, the unwinding, gears off track, springs shooting wildly off in every direction. I imagine myself to be like a cartoon, ending haplessly in a disassembled pile of parts. I began to drift mentally. I flopped down in the middle of a productive day to be decidedly useless. I perused the books on my shelves, listened… Read More

Oversharing and Blogging: The Thin Blabby Line

Lately, several bloggers I follow have written about issues of privacy and what they are willing to reveal about themselves in their blogs. One of my favorite bloggers, Molly at Whoa, Molly! refers to offline life as the Real Meat World, saying she reveals everything in real life, but is more hesitant online and tries to retain some vagueness. I’ve read a variety of blogs that are vague to the point of disconnect or ones that share so much information, that I suspect they are either fictitious or narcissistic. Some display a… Read More

The Green Study “Worst Job I Ever Had” Contest: Honorable Mention

An Honorable Mention from The Green Study “Worst Job I Ever Had” contest goes to Rebecca at Living La Vida London for a job with some bite to it. She was sent one The Green Study Coffee Mug, a cheesy postcard from Minneapolis and I made a $25 donation to the American Red Cross on her behalf to the International Red Cross organization (IFRC). Paper Girl In  A Dog’s World by Rebecca at Living La Vida London I’ve had a fair few jobs over the years. As a student, I haven’t had the… Read More