Monthly Archives: June 2011

take courage, fellow writer

The entry by Diana at onelitcoach.blogspot struck a chord with me.  The suggestion that writing – on a blog or in a journal  is “just a hobby” somehow implies an activity of lesser quality. Most bloggers that I read have extremely high standards for journalistic quality.

I began to troll through the dictionary and thesaurus looking at all the words that describe broad categories of the writing and journaling that I do and read:
Writer: a person who has written a particular text
Poet: a person who writes poems
Photographer: one who takes photographs
Teacher: a person whose occupation is to give formal instruction in a school
Crafter: a person whose occupation requires skill with the hands

So then I delved  deeper into the contexts of these definitions seeking to describe the layers of fulfillment I find in the writing I do:
Skill: ability to do something with expertise
Expertise: skill acknowledged in a particular field
Expert: a person with comprehensive and authoritative knowledge and skills
Experience: knowledge or skill acquired by such means over time
Avocation: hobby or minor occupation
Profession: paid occupation that involves training and qualification
Pursuit: action of following someone or something, activity of a specific time
Craft: activity involving skill

Diana quietly rebels against the connotation that her writing is categorized as a hobby, something done in leisure time and for pleasure.  While this may be true for many of us who blog, I believe that when a teacher of writing writes, and works to hone her skills as a writer so that she might be a better instructor of writing, then her writing is elevated to another level involving all of these contexts I have listed and defined.  These contexts move those of us who are dedicated to writing far beyond an activity done only for pleasure and in leisure time.

Courage Diana! Pursue your “hobby” with all your heart!

words to write by

Two Writing Teachers shares “Words that are speaking to me” and so I’d like to share my latest find.  I heard an interview on NPR yesterday with the singer/songwriter Josh Ritter.  Apparently he has just published a book titled Bright’s Passage.  I loved his description of writing – which captures how I feel on my best days.

“I would say that most good images come from an almost dilated spot in your mind,” Ritter says. “You know, when you get lucky, this sort of muscle opens up in your head and the images kind of come out very real, they just sort of fly through that opening and you just grab them as they come through. And you kind of mourn them when they stop.”

The whole interview is interesting to read, you can find it here.


I have a number of friends with sons – sons who challenge every bone in our bodies by being difficult to understand, going about their lives in manners opposite to the role models we so consciously placed before them, living in worlds they constructed for themselves and yet struggle to navigate. We check in with each other about our husbands and daughters but it is the talk about our sons that brings us to tears, hand wrenching and shrugged shoulders.

We are mothers who love our sons, and no matter how different their lifestyles are from ours, we do everything we can to be in relationship with them. I, myself, feel very lucky that despite all the difficult times my son has had and all the disillusionment I have had about him, he still comes to me and bares his soul.

Words from a few of my friends this week:
Mom #1:  “I’m wondering what message will come from my grave if I leave different instructions for each son. I definitely don’t want money to be plunked in the lap of my youngest son.”

Mom #2: “Oh I guess you didn’t hear that Z… is getting married.  Yeah school didn’t work out so well. He’s gotten a job at Target and I guess he figures marriage is the next step.  What can you do?  You can’t make them do what they don’t wanna. Luckily I like his girl friend.”

Mom #3 – me: (responding to a question from my son about why I’ve been so nice to him lately because he didn’t think he deserved it)
“Everyone deserves to have the slate wiped clean every so often.  You messed up big-time last weekend.  It’s a good time to start over.”

My friends and I are tough-love mothers, none of us have coddled these young men; certainly we have picked our battles.  I am comforted by their company and wisdom because I will surely need to tap it again.

taking another look

I went back to the cemetery again today.

I’m having a tough time transitioning to summer.  I’m realizing that I thrive on the feeling of accomplishment and progress that comes after a day of teaching and even though I love the way my summer days open slowly and gape at me with unknown possibility, I have uncomfortable itches to check things off a list, to be able to name things I’ve done at the end of the day.

So I’ve decided to go out for walks – and take my camera along.  I’m really enjoying my camera these days, and my photo journaling is a new way to explore my thinking – and loading them onto Picasa each day gives me that sense of accomplishment.

My walk today took me back to the cemetery.  It was a sunnier day than two days ago and I went hunting for this incredible angel I remembered seeing.

She stands on a tall pedestal at the intersection of the slender paths that crisscross the grounds, a wondrous choice for such an auspicious position on the grounds.  I wonder who she is a marker for and who chose this statue.  I wonder if they ever get to enjoy the sight of her the way I did today.    



I’m not sure why I felt drawn to visit the cemetery yesterday.  I was headed home and the sky was looking interesting, a little squall was moving in. I drove the winding lanes hoping to get a photo that captured the changing sky over the grave stones.  But I found the slope of the ground was too steep, the sky disappeared behind trees.

I took pictures anyway and when I loaded them onto my computer, it was this one which captured my interest.  I went looking for contrast of stone and sky but my lens caught the similarity of the living and the lost.

created by Two Writing Teachers


wake up and write –
this is my own personal admonishment to…

wake up
really! be awake
each and every day

and write
really! write

be aware
think! think feel breathe
find a way
every day

it doesn’t have to be here …. but it could be…..