• Category Archives Writing
  • Blogging for fun

    I recently took a couple unplanned weeks off from this blog. I’ve gotten a bit busier lately but I had no real reason to be silent. And I’m not apologizing. I’ve blogged for years, and I’ve inevitably written the “sorry I haven’t blogged lately” posts. You won’t find those here.

    Fairly early in my childhood, I learned the power of the written word. I wrote in diaries and found that it helped me sort out life if I just wrote things out. I also discovered that I could get action if I wrote publicly and from the heart.

    Looking back, I’m still impressed at some of the responses I got from heartfelt letters. Because of one indignant letter, a whole class schedule was changed in junior high. A museum in eastern Canada sent me a huge packet of information in response to a request. A company Fed-Exed me two gallon-jars of applesauce (and a dish towel) because I complained to them. And one letter, written around the age of 13, brought a police officer to my house to apologize for his actions.

    I spent the last 10 years writing publicly for a living. Because of me, California state officials launched investigations. My words were copied and pasted and linked on countless websites. I received emails from around the world, in response to my writing. Both the FBI and Dave Barry read my writing. I strongly suspect the CIA knew about a couple things I wrote. (No, I’m not a nutty conspiracy theorist. I just happened to follow a trail that led to them, and then I wrote about it.) My writing drew praise, complaints, anger, veiled threats, smiles, resentment and tears.

    Words are strong. When written from the heart, they can have one of the most powerful effects ever felt.

    When words are forced out, they lose some of that power. And that is why I make no apologies if I go silent on this blog. When I resurrected my website a couple months ago, I vowed that I would write for myself. If I had something to say, I would do so. If I didn’t feel the need or desire to write, I wouldn’t force it.

    Much of this is a repeat of my “Writing” link up there at the top of this website. But that’s OK, because I’m writing this blog post because I want to do it.

  • Wallowing in despair

    I’m skipping this week’s Friday Friend feature, not because I’ve run out of friends’ blogs to promote, but because I’ve been full of angst and despair. So, pardon me while I complain for a few bullet points. I promise to end this blog post on a cheery note.

    • In 36 hours, 12,000 people will be running the Portland Marathon. I, runner #2381, will not be there. My t-shirt, tree seedling and all sorts of other fun things are waiting for me, but a certain stress fracture in my leg ended all of that. I’ve watched my biggest goals for the year crumble to dust. It’s hard, because now I’m watching all the tweets and Facebook posts and blogs from people who are so excited to run on 10/10/10. I was one of them. The running nerd in me is crying.
    • My neck is mad at me. The last time it did this was six months ago, and it knocked me out completely for four agonizing days. I lost six days of running in what was supposed to be one of my highest training weeks leading up to a marathon. My big May race subsequently suffered because of it. At least this time I can function, but I think it’s going to cramp my weekend plans.
    • Writing is a struggle. A story idea finally started coming together and I was actually writing, but it’s not easy. I stalled yesterday, and today I’ve made absolutely no progress. Perhaps my waves of optimism and self-doubt cancel each other.
    • My quest to start a new life in a new place is going too slowly for my liking. I want to be there NOW. I want the move to happen NOW. I hate being in limbo.
    • As a direct result of the previous item, and the running injury, I can’t book plane tickets and make plans for Christmas and New Years yet. I’m anxious to get things squared away while I can still find reasonable airfare rates, but I have to prioritize things. Vacation, even if it does include seeing immediate family members, cannot be my top priority right now.

    OK, no more wallowing (for today). I said I would end this blog post on a good note, and I will. Since I probably shouldn’t tell my new favorite joke (don’t want to offend anyone), I will instead post this photo and say, “Aww, I was a cute baby.”

    Flat-footed and reading a book. Yep, that sums me up.

  • Writing snippet: The smackdown

    She moved in slowly; circling, evaluating. Then she took a step backward, waiting for the perfect position. Slowly, quietly, she shifted and began raising her right hand, ready to wield the deadly weapon. She took a step closer. And then she brought down her right hand. There was no noise, other than the thud of contact.

    The fly was dead.

    (Written July 12, 2005. I found it in a file of random bits, which I saved as “Sketches.”)