Dear Reader 11.1.20

Dear Reader,

Thank you for stopping by this week! It’s an absolute shock to realize we have entered November, the gateway to all things festive and holiday, when it seems that we just joined spring and the longer, sunnier days. It seems COVID has a way of either compressing life to make the passage of time a blip, or extending it to feel like two or three lifetimes. Whereever you’re experiencing this pandemic, I hope you’re healthy.

Writing has been going well. Now that I’m back in school, albeit remote, I’ve found my stride in balancing the demands of the classroom (which occasionally consume 12-14 hours of my days) and the actuality of living life. It’s not easy, and it’s not always a balance, but recognizing and learning how to set boundaries has become one of my newly-formed skills.

Quite by mistake, I’ve found my writing is centering on an issue I’ve spent a lot of time working through on a personal level these last several years: emotional triggers. I have discovered a deep interest in exploring my triggers–that is, when I have a negative reaction to a person, conversation, event, or moment–why? You think the answers would be simple, and you’d be wrong. Many of these have come from journaling, but lately in that process, I’ve found that the trigger boils down to a single word or phrase. This is where the story starts. Some of the pieces that have come about from my process are on my Instagram, some I’ve posted here on my blog (Words Don’t Wait), and some I’ve gratefully had shared with readers of blogs and publications (Creative Nonfiction Hauntings).

This month, I’m on to something a little more wild and unpredictable: NaNoWriMo. For the uninitiate, that’s National Novel Writing Month, which I started doing each November sometime back in 2010? 2011? (If you’re a NaNoWriMo’er, let’s be buddies! Buckeye_BethM) While I stopped writing fiction somewhere around 2013, I love the pressure and atmosphere of trying to write a manuscript (or, for me, a loosely connected series of essays and memoir) of 50,000 words in 30 days. Writing is a very solitary place to live, and having other tortured, creative souls to cheer on and root for is a welcomed break in the otherwise monotonous process. Since I write nonfiction, I’m technically considered a NaNo Rebel, which I kinda like. Makes me feel like I should be writing in a black leather jacket and boots, instead of pajamas with coffee cups on them! The project’s title is Things You Don’t See, which is a title I’ve been flirting with since becoming a widow back in 2016. There are so many things people think they know about others, when the truth is far more interesting and heartbreaking. We’ll see how that goes!

In the meantime, I’ve also become fascinated with learning the stories behind the actual pieces my friends and others have written. I’m toying with the idea of interviewing some writing colleagues to share there stories here on the blog. Might happen, might not. But I find I’m just as interested in the product, the story, as I am with the process, or the moment the thought/life event/conversation/random occurrence found its way into pixels or ink. Stay tuned!

On that note, it’s a ridiculously sunny day from the plate glass window here at my coffee shop in west Columbus, so I’ve got walking to do. Thank you for reading, as always, and don’t be a stranger! Say hi on Instagram, Twitter, or here. In the meantime, Happy Writing!