Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Slice of Life: In appreciation of writing communities

Every Tuesday, the writing community of Two Writing Teachers hosts Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants. 

Many of us participate in the Slice of Life Challenge in March when we write every day. It's hard. We all know that. And at the end of the month, we're proud. We all feel that. And so grateful to Stacey for the vision she had to start this ritual over ten years ago. 

I completed my fourth of five 10-day residencies for my MFA in creative writing, and I have that same April 1st feeling but in an exponentially more intense way. For ten days, I shared a space and place with about forty other people who wanted to write, analyze, and critique books, stories, essays, poems, sentences, and words. Days began early, ended late--readings finished around 9 each night. Daily workshops went on for three hours in the morning, and if I took a break from afternoon seminars, I wrote. 

The Solstice MFA Program reflects its name. It changes lives. Meg Kearney is the director, and at the beginning of each residency, she impresses on all of us the importance of shedding any envy we have for other people's writing. "Fall in love with someone else's writing," she tells us in her opening remarks. She reminds us that when given the choice between being smart and compassionate, choose compassionate. "You're all helplessly intelligent, or you wouldn't be here," she says. Intelligence shows up when you're being kind. Our Solstice writing community is a well of energy, a source of intensity and creativity. 

I share this for two reasons. Maybe someone in this SOL community would be interested in the Solstice program--it works well for a teacher's schedule-- and also because I'm winding up for a thank you to this SOL community. Writers need energy--the magnetic spin of people in their world who share passions and understand why (or how) we sit down, sometimes more than once a week, and spin stories. Today as I write, I'm alone in my bedroom, but I'm not really alone since I know that when I hit publish, you'll be there. 

Happy Writing,

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Slice of Life: Underwater Adventures on the Fourth of July

Every Tuesday, the writing community of Two Writing Teachers hosts Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants. 

When Paul asked who wanted to go out snorkeling, my first response was no. The water's cold. Other people will want to go and there won't be equipment for me. I'm reading a really good book.

And then I remembered my One Little Word which is brave. And I remembered my resolve over the weekend to be a little more adventurous. And I thought about being with my best friends and talking about the power of the word YES.

I think everyone was a little surprised when I asked which wetsuit I should wear, and my nephews really got a kick out of watching me wrestle myself into it. There was no way I was going to snorkel in 68 degree water without a suit, though, so I fought through that wetsuit and got it on. Paul realized I was serious and he helped me with fins, then had a mask ready for me.

We stayed in the water for a while, and we spotted starfish, giant horseshoe crabs, blackfish, and lots of small fish. Paul was hunting for stripers, but maybe they were in deeper water. I haven't snorkeled since our Christmas vacation, and I forgot how peaceful it is to be in the water and feel part of the underwater world.

Almost as peaceful as the beautiful Fourth of July sunset we got to enjoy.

Happy Slicing and Happy Fourth!