A year ago at this time, I was facing the biggest adventure of my life (thus far). I was in the process of upending my entire life and leaving behind everything I’d ever known to move across the country. For those of you who have moved around a lot, this is probably no big deal; but you need to understand where I was coming from.
I had lived my entire life in the same city (I won’t say how many years it’s been, but I will say that when I graduated college, neither I nor any of my classmates had cell phones). Anyway, I’ve lived in a few different homes/apartments, but always within a 10-mile radius of my parents’ house and the area I grew up in. Change has always come slowly for me, and I’m very fond of the familiar – even if that familiar is uncomfortable or less than ideal.
I’ve always loved traveling, but the thing about traveling for vacations is that when it’s done, you come back home – home to security and the familiar. Leaving my familiar surroundings to make a permanent move to a place I’ve never been is an entirely different ball game.
When the opportunity presented itself for me to move, I could have said no. Nobody would have judged me; in fact, very few people would have even known that I’d made some sort of a decision at all. I could have stayed in the familiar and gone on with my life.
But instead I said goodbye to my parents and friends, packed up my books and my cat, and left my familiar east coast city for a tiny north-western town that I’d never been to before. And I’m so thankful I did it. Continue reading
Just for something a little different, this week I thought I’d share a poem that I wrote. I’m not much of a poet, but as I stood outside in my yard the other night and watched the evening around me, a few lines came to mind; and now I’m sharing them with you. Enjoy! Continue reading
I recently wrote a post about seeing the details. Details add richness and flavor to stories and to life.
Along those same lines, seeing the big picture is just as important. Where I’m living now in north Idaho, everything is big: the trees, the mountains, and especially the sky.
Writers are observers. We need to observe life in all its grand scope and small detail—places, things, people, events, words, emotions.
A couple of weeks ago, I moved from one state to another one—literally across the country. Since everything about my new home is new, I’m in major observation mode right now. There are so many details that may or may not ever make it into a story. But whether a certain detail actually makes it into a book or not isn’t really the point. Every detail observed and pondered is another wrinkle on the brain, another thought or sound or smell added to the richness of experience.
Details like the dirt road I drive on every day that leads up to the house where I’m staying. I’m learning the spots along the road where the rain has eroded the dirt into a washboard surface, and the spot that looks smooth but the dirt makes the car fishtail ever so slightly whether the road is wet or dry.
Details like the lichen that grows in abundance on the trees. So many different kinds and colors: