Dear Reader,

What an utterly dreary midwestern fall-winter day. On the far edge of fall and the front edge of winter, I woke up to a downpour of bone-cold rain and melancholy gray skies to match. As luck has it, my favorite Sunday-writing coffee shop (don’t worry, we’re all masked and hand-sanitized to the hilt), has a Big Band Era vinyl on the the turntable, and it’s quite a mood. Wish you were here.

Today hits the midway point of NaNoWriMo (see my last letter), and I should technically be adding words past 25K. I just broke the 20K barrier earlier this morning (writing about a dream and its connection to something bigger), so I know I’ll make up the missing words by the end of the month. I have been exploring a wonderful variety of nonfiction ideas in this writing, spanning from the societal expectations of female beauty (vs. the ones us girls grow up with) to rebuilding yourself after becoming a widow to poetry to uncertainty to white privilege. Quite a span, I think you’d agree, and these are great springboards to bigger pieces in the future.

NaNoWriMo is really a microcosm of my writing process. Every writer is different, every writer develops their own system and mode of interacting with words to create pieces. Mine is a very stream-of-consciousness method, where I get up and face the page every morning, never knowing what will come (sometimes nothing, sometimes magic), getting those words down, then poking and prodding and pondering later when one of the ideas comes back around. Some of the bits stick with me where the only way to get rid of them is to write them out, and some whisper later when I’m on the edge of sleep. So while I’m not pursuing fiction or a fully-fleshed novel draft during November like traditional NaNoers, the opportunity to write along other word wranglers and cheer them on is a wonderful break in the otherwise solitary life of writing.

This week I also did a lot of walking. I try to nail down 3 miles a day, but sometimes life has other ideas. You can see evidence of my last five-miler on my Instagram. I hate being indoors, and living next to a large, expansive, beautiful park makes a difference.

As a side note, this is where I write my letters to you each Sunday (or where I think I will, even when I don’t.) Give them a follow on Instagram. And if you’re in Columbus, I promise their honey spice latte will not disappoint.

On that note, the espresso is getting cold, and the music is calling me to work on that poem I started this morning. Here’s to another week full of sun and health, no matter where you’re planted. Say hello in Instagram or Twitter if you’re so inclined!

xoxo

Beth

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