so i’m doing this spontaneous writing booth…

spring flowers

Oh hey Spring.

Yet another idea from Writing Down The Bonesa “spontaneous writing booth” at your local/church/neighborhood flea market/garage sale/get rid of all your junk event. Luckily for me, I read this chapter just a few short weeks before Gordon-Conwell’s annual Flea Market! So guess what I’m doing this Saturday.

A spontaneous writing booth.

So, what I’ll be doing is charging some tiny amount like 50 cents a poem, and people can come up and give me whatever topic they want and I’ll write about it. There will be no promises of beauty or hilarity or nonawfulness, just a poem, whatever comes out on the page.

I practiced yesterday.

I spent 10 minutes or so just thinking up random topics and spitting out a poem about them. It was pretty fun actually.

For instance, let’s take airplane. I was imagining a little boy giving me the topic.

I wanna be an airplane
Way up in the sky
Dancing through the clouds up there
Floating way up high
I want to feel the raindrops
Before they reach the ground
To look at birds from far above
And hear the high up sounds
And if I were an airplane
I’d fly right home to you
I’d love the wind, I’d love the sky
But still, I’d love you too.

Or a cherry.

I feel the juice
down the side of my mouth
to my chin
I ignore it
as I taste
the bitter sweet
of my first cherry of the spring
it is red
and deep
and delicious
it reminds me
how young I still am
but sweet, so sweet

So really I have no control over what comes out when I think of something, it just sort of happens. Natalie Goldberg says this is great writing practice, and also a great way of letting go of your writing, because you write it, and then you immediately give it away. No copies for myself, no coming back to edit, no throwing it away if I hate it, just writing, and giving.

It is also just another way of putting myself out there. I have no idea if anyone will offer me 50 cents for a poem. I could sit there all day and sell a couple of old sweaters. But I’m hoping at least some little kid will come up and want a poem about Batman. Whatever happens, I’m doing it, and it will be a good experiment no matter what it looks like. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Oh, I was also thinking about doing a 25 cent discount if the customer would write me a poem in return. I think that could add a little fun to things. Who knows, maybe someone secretly wants to be a poet and this is their big chance.


p.s. Baby G is a boy! We’re pretty excited.


why i write

why i write

Natalie Goldberg asked the question “why do you write?” in her book the other day (well, she didn’t ask it the other day, but I read it the other day), so I answered it in my journal, in another free writing exercise. My favorite part is the last part, I think it gets better and more real, which is what free writing is supposed to do, so that’s something. And so, without further ado, I give you, my answer.

Why do I write? I write because I always have, because I watched Cruel Intentions in the ninth grade and thought Sarah Michelle Gellar’s diary was awesome and wanted to be her. I wrote at first because I thought it was cool, because I thought it would make me cool, would make other people think I was cool. Maybe I still write for those reasons. But I write for other reasons.

I write because I have art inside of me, living and breathing and dying to come out of me, and because I don’t have another instrument to play (yet). I write because the thoughts get too crowded up there, when they have to stay inside, and because the page doesn’t talk back to me when I tell it what I really think. I write because I want to make something beautiful, because I know that if I just keep writing, on day I could make something beautiful, be a part of the grander scheme of beauty that goes on in this world. I write because I’m insecure, and because I think it will make someone like me. I write because I’m frustrated, and because words on the page are something I can control. There’s not much else I can control. I write because I don’t have a boss for my words, for what I write.

I write because I feel like I have to, but I have no idea why. I write because people tell me to, because it’s something that I somehow can continue to do, or at least come back to, when most things I try last a little while then die. I write because I’m a little bit schitzo, a little bit crazy in my head sometimes. I write to see what comes out. I write because it’s inside of me, waiting to come out. I write when I’m bored and I’ve banned myself from TV and social media, I write when I want to feel like I’ve done something, when I want to look back on my day and say “hey, look at that! It wasn’t a complete waste.”

I write because I make myself write, because I’ve told myself I would, because I’ve begun to call myself a writer. And then sometimes, in fact originally, I started to write because I wanted to record things, I felt like my life and my thoughts about life needed to be put down on something more permanent than the clouds of memory. I still write for that reason sometimes. I write when I feel smart, when I think I have something to tell someone, or when I feel clever and think I can make someone laugh. I write when things feel deep and important. I write because I want my friends, my family to know things. I write because people expect me to write, and because they don’t. I write because it feels like someone is challenging me to, like it’s some feat I can accomplish, some stamp I can put on my resume of life.

I write to connect with other writers, and to people who like writing. I write because sometimes, I like what comes out on the page. I write because part of me thinks I’m a genius, and the rest of me earnestly desires to be. I write because it helps me think, it makes me think, it multiplies thoughts into more thoughts, it tills fertile ground and readies it for flowers. Beautiful ones, I hope. I write because it makes me feel important.

I mean, when I think about it, why wouldn’t I write? Why wouldn’t anyone write? What a sad life, one that goes completely unrecorded on the inside, unexamined, untilled, like a wrapped present that never gets opened. What’s the point in not writing? Who cares if it’s horrible? It makes me feel connected, real. It ties me to things, to people, to life, the words become a part of me and then, when they are read, a part of the reader too. Now that’s pretty cool. It’s a connector. It’s a divider, too, don’t get me wrong, but even that division begins with a connection. It’s just one more way to connect. I can connect myself, to anyone, to anything really, if I just write about it. And it’s not until I start to write that I will know just how deep and wide that connection will go. Oh what fun to be a writer, to forge connections without need for consent. It’s like a VIP pass to the world, one I was never really supposed to have. I’m an intruder. And honestly, when you think about it, no one can stop me. With great power (real or imagined) comes great responsibility.


free-writing and thoughts about spring

I’m re-reading Writing Down The Bonesand I did some free-writing the other day when I was back in Nashville. It was the day after Easter, the sun was shining, and it felt like Spring for the first time this year. So here’s what I wrote, unedited and un-thought about, what ended up on the page in the time I gave myself to write.

Spring has come. The Sun has risen, the flowers lift their petals in gifts of praise to their life-giver, rehearsing amens for the drops that fall on their faces as they drink in the rain. The green grass dances to crescendos of wind that caresses as it blows, now gently, now boldly. Spring has come and the land is happy. Shadows are realer, they have taken over the landscape, hiding behind trees and people and buildings, waiting underfoot to jump out as each step is taken. Birds sing chorus after chorus of unpracticed tunes, each one the star in its own show.

It is Spring, and the world rejoices.

Babies are born, lives begin in the fog of the morning, opening weak eyes to the face of a mother, rays shining through to newborn skin and fur, glistening. Spring has come, and new lives begin their journey of praise. Little fingers and toes curl in adoration, paws are licked by grown up tongues, preparing the little ones for the world to come. Mothers pull babies to their bosoms, warming, comforting, cleaning and feeding. The time has come to nurture a new life. Spring has come, and a new life shines in this world.

He is risen, and Spring is bathed in glory unshining, glory that loves what it sees, what it hears, what it smells in the trees, the flowers, the birds. Spring pushes past frost, past frozen ground, into greatness and bright flowering praise. The world loves the Spring, it has waited for rebirth since the Sun took its reprieve in the night of the winter, peeking its head up for a time, no longer, giving the world hope, for the future, for the time when He will lift his face upon it in light, in praise, in glorified goodness.

Spring is here, and the Earth rejoices.


life in a post

So here’s what I’ve been up to these days, Instagram style.

I’ve been getting really crafty, and by really I mean marginally, but it’s been quite an adventure nonetheless.

owl onesie

We’ve had a couple of craft nights, and the picture above is of an appliqué onesie I made all by myself. And thenthe next craft night, I made an adorable little fabric flower to go with it! So if I don’t have a girl I may have to donate this to a little baby girl I know.

cartoon owl

I’ve also been doing some drawing, and as you can tell I stuck with the owl theme because they are so adorable. I actually saw an owl while I was on a walk with my friend a few weeks ago, it was amazing.

bird watercolor

And then, I finally got so excited that I actually went out and bought some watercolors. I swear I’ve done more than just birds. These just happen to be the pictures I have. It’s been pretty fun, experimenting with art again. I feel like a kid. Did I tell you I used to want to be a cartoonist when I was little? Well I did.

baby belly 14 weeks

Oh, and also I’ve been growing a baby. So that’s been a lot of work, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago. That’s me at 14 weeks.

baby belly 15 weeks

…and there I am at 15 weeks. Can you tell a difference? I’m not sure if there is one. But the baby’s growing! And using most of my energy to do it. That’s okay though, I have a feeling it’s going to be worth it.

throw back picture

I also found some adorable/hilarious childhood photos while I was home a few weeks ago, which I of course took pictures of on my phone so I could participate in “throw back Thursday” on Instagram. That’s our rabbit Solomon that we “won” on year (my mom’s friend rigged the Easter egg hunt so we would win all the animals every year). And my sister looks like she should be in Japan for some reason.

day at the zoo

And this is from the day that my brother got mad at my mom for putting sunscreen on him at the zoo and slammed the door to our station wagon and the keys got locked in the car so we got to spend the entire day there while my mom waited for the locksmith. When I posted this on Instagram my sister asked “where am I??” I’m sure many of you can guess what my response was.

Oh, and perhaps the best is this one.

preachers wives

This is a picture of me and my best friend at my grandparents’ house, most likely putting on some type of play, or perhaps giving a sermon of sorts. But what’s so funny about it is that we are now both seminary wives, on our way to becoming preacher’s wives. Okay, I admit, I don’t look much like a future preacher’s wife in this picture, but the Bible is just too funny, and Debbie seems to fit the part here pretty well. I was always the crazy one.

Marshall and Owen

And then it’s back to the present time, with Marshall brushing up on his baby skills. Doesn’t he look like such a natural? The kid is mesmerized. We think it’s the beard. They all love the beard.

So anyway, that’s my life in a post these days, I hope you’ve enjoyed the update. As you can see things are pretty exciting around here, as I’m sure you expected.

Happy Tuesday (I keep thinking it’s Wednesday ughhh)


a list of blogs you should definitely read

So right when I was starting this blog, switching from Blogger to WordPress, I also had this idea for a blog that would be a sort of daily showcase of the top blog posts that I found on the web every day. I put it on hold because I wanted to be a legit blogger for a while so people wouldn’t think I was just trying to take advantage of other people’s blog posts, but I still have the website name and hope to someday get it started.

So in that vein, I was thinking today I would just tell you a bit about some of my favorite blogs. I go through phases of keeping up with them and not keeping up with them, but they’re pretty solid, as evidenced by their large readerships. So here goes!

Food Loves Writing – this is my friend Shanna’s blog, she lives in Nashville and we were in a small group together for a while. She posts awesome recipes and writes wise words along with them. I’m never disappointed when I hop over there.

Kath Eats Real Food – a blog my friend Laura Lea told me about (she has a blog too!), apparently she was one of the first bloggers to record all of her meals online. She has great photography of yummy food, and now she has a baby so she’s started a Baby Kerf blog, which I know will be helpful for me once I get closer to my little one’s arrival! It’s even helpful now, as she started the blog during her own pregnancy. Another food/fitness blogger is my friend Sara, you should check her out too.

Apartment Therapy – duh. This is just a great blog for home owners/renters/design lovers, and they post several times a day which is nice. Always feeding the addiction. It’s nice too because they aren’t always posting about huge expensive houses with outrageous accessories, it’s a lot of real homes (and apartments–surprise!) that are designed by their owners, on their own dime, by gathering beloved pieces over the years, expensive, inexpensive, or free. Basically, it’s about real people and where they live. Also Design Sponge is great.

Joy The Baker and Shutterbean – back when I had a job that allowed me to have headphones in 8 hours a day, I listened to these ladies on their podcast, and they are hilarious. They also both happen to have amazing food blogs with great photography. They are fun to read.

Young House Love – I have to say I haven’t read this blog in a while, but I remembered it just a second ago and read back through some of the most recent posts and have already found some great DIY ideas that I pinned.

Style Me Pretty – I mean, why should I have to stop looking at pretty weddings once I’m already married? It’s too hard to stop, so I’m not gonna.

I’m sure there are more that I’m missing, but that’s all I’ll tell you about for more. Hey, do you have any blogs you think I should add to my list? Particularly baby blogs! I really need a good baby design blog to give me awesome nursery ideas. K thanks!


Oh also, this: