Care & Feeding In Albuquerque

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At the end of September, I retreated. I spent four magical days in Albuquerque, New Mexico surrounded by other authors, learning and editing and talking and listening and laughing and writing and just being… still. Which is something I’ve talked a lot about14457348_10211129525020922_5240464678755916991_n here lately– this idea of rest and stillness, and the fact that it seems simultaneously necessary and a bit out of reach.

Leading up to the trip, I was very aware of what hadn’t happened since I attended last year. Most specifically that I hadn’t finished a book. I felt a little queasy about admitting I was still working on it. That it had been a slow year. That I still wasn’t quite sure where the whole thing was 14354956_10211120518395762_4196198396467923707_ngoing. And then suddenly I was in the Atlanta airport and there were familiar faces. People that I had become accustomed to seeing only as tiny square profile pictures were right there, in person. Giving hugs. And I knew instantly that this was going to be everything I needed.

Post retreat, Jessica Topper, wrote a lovely reflection in which she described the experience as “the care and feeding of writers.” I keep coming back to that phrase. About how really when I talk about rest and stillness, I think I’m talking about being kind to myself and seeking experiences that nourish instead of tearing down. I didn’t sleep all that much more than usual in Albuquerque, but I was heard, understood and encouraged. And I have rested. Now to finish that book …

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Huge thanks to Women’s Fiction Writers Association for creating this fabulous tribe (and especially to Orly Konig and the conference committee) and to Barbara Claypole White, Jessica Topper, and Mindy Miller for the photos in this post (because we all know I’m terrible at documenting my travels, or mostly anything except food & beer).

Be Still

There’s this weird light in the middle of the night. It’s a different dark from the just post sunset twilight, or the pre-dawn haze. There’s a depth to it that you can just sense somehow without even looking at the clock. File this under things I wish I didn’t know, but it’s true. I seem to be waking up quite a bit in what my Mom has always called the wee small hours of the night. Those little hours that stretch long, during which those thoughts that seemed mostly manageable in the light of day become large, lumbering, unwieldy giants. And once they’ve fumbled their way in, boy is it tough to evict them. Continue reading

Let Your Heart Be Light …

holidays!

My wish for all of you on this December 24 is a peaceful day filled with whatever it is that makes your heart happiest. (If you happen to be celebrating Christmas Eve, like me,  happy that, too!)

Also, if your heart is not so light and you feel more like you’re muddling through– be kind to yourself this season. The holiday blues are real and if you’re not feeling ultra full of elfin good cheer, it really is okay. Take care of you and know that I’m sending extra helpings of those wishes for peace your way.