Getting Down to Business

Since January, I’ve been writing an amalgam of personal history and random thoughts for this blog. Lately though, as I’ve gotten bolder, commenting on other blogs with more controversial topics, I’ve taken a few “smackdowns”. This should be expected as a natural consequence of our right to free speech – the right of others to think we’re not ‘right in the head’. I’ve also received some comments on this blog that sent me right down a rabbit hole, tapping into my own insecurities about making my thoughts and writing public. I have… Read More

Quick Administrative Notes from The Green Study

For current, visiting and future readers : I’ve changed my Gravatar (see above). The purple tree lady didn’t jive with my idea of my blog. Neither does this one, really, but it’s kind of pretty and reminds me of my tattoo. I’ve decided to capitalize my blog title. It was really bugging the editor in me. I’m also introducing my first name into the mix. I am Michelle. I am a writer. It’s been 3 days since I’ve written anything decent. I’m spending part of this beautiful Sunday torturing myself with social… Read More

How to Pack When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite books was Nellie Bly, Reporter by Nina Brown Baker. It told the true story of Elizabeth Cochrane, a pioneering female journalist who wrote under the pseudonym Nellie Bly. In 1889, she presented the idea to her editors to take a trip around the world, attempting to make Jules Vernes’ Around the World in Eighty Days a reality. She took with her a sturdy dress made especially for constant wear, a coat, some underwear, a bag of toiletries and required currency. 72 days… Read More

The Art of Defensiveness

For weeks, I’ve been excited and anxious to start a writers’ workshop. I need critiquing and to learn how to revise and edit better. The workshop has started and I’ve gotten my first critique. My gut response, my very first thoughts out of the gate were: “Screw you! Your comments don’t even make sense. What are your credentials again?” Even as I’m thinking that, I start laughing at myself. I’m skilled at defensiveness. My husband said, “You’ll process the comments in about a year or so.” Having been the recipient and instigator… Read More

Uncommitted: Being Jack

In high school, we were forced to take an assessment called the Career Occupational Preference Survey (COPS). It was supposed to define the possible kinds of work you might enjoy doing, based on your interests. I was directed towards engineering, public relations or education career clusters. Nothing I do today remotely relates to any of those careers. My dream jobs run like this, in chronological order of when I thought “it would be awesome to be that when I grow up”: librarian, writer, English teacher, writer, architect, writer, spy, writer, accountant, writer,… Read More

Back-to-School Special: The AB…ZZZZZZZZZs

Like many parents who have spent the summer with their children, I’m counting down the hours before the start of school. I will also be participating in a school of sorts. Next week, I start a writers’ workshop that runs for a couple of months. I’ve attended writers’ workshops before and have a pronounced aversion to them. The Loft Literary Center has, with a sheer stroke of agoraphobic genius (and for those of us who loathe trying to find parking downtown), added online workshops to its curriculum. No more trying to avert… Read More

The Lint Factor

I have gazed at my navel. It is deep, but not unending. This is my 26th blog post and if I didn’t know myself, I’d refer myself to a good therapist. I’ve got another 5 drafts waiting to be rolled out.  Conventional wisdom says that you should “write what you know”. Ouch. 5 posts down the road and I might be tapped out. My blog posts started out meekly, touching lightly on subjects that I had an interest in but that were not as personal. Now I’ve got skin in the game…. Read More

Blogging Upstream

I started this blog approximately a week ago. To wrap up my week of writing about fitness activities, I was planning on an entry about swimming. It’s my day for a swim lesson at the Y. The immediacy of the experience makes it easier to write about, but there is a drawback to being scheduled after the kid lessons. If someone has an “accident”, the pool gets cleared for two hours and my lesson gets cancelled. This, of course, happens after I’ve wrestled myself into a swimsuit, showered and stood shivering poolside… Read More

Climbing the Wall

Shortly after I silently declared that I must write or die, I got the flu. Since the mental barriers were not successful in keeping me off the keyboard, my body jumped into the fray. My body has a point. I’ve put off writing anything for a long time. It’s worked like a charm – an editor’s voice isn’t in my head saying “that sounds pretentious” and anxiety attacks have been rare. Until this week. I was in a rock climbing class, halfway up a wall and I froze. My heart pounded so… Read More