So much has changed since my last readergirlz update! The theme of that change? Follow the creative river of life instead of forcing it into what I think it should be. This began with a return to my true love - writing middle grade fiction - in my books After the River the Sun (2013 Atheneum) and Eva of the Farm (2012 Atheneum). Following are three more examples of following life’s river.
One: On a solo trip to Italy, I abandoned forever my futile attempts to keep a perfect writer’s journal. (You know--those perfect journals with things pasted in them, immaculate, designed.)
Instead I began keeping a “Word Mess” - a notebook where I scrawl images, rough dashes of poems, bursts of emotions and wisps of thought. The Word Mess is full of cross-outs, arrows, and smudged erasures. A perfect swamp of disorder. What liberation! I fell in love with that most basic of writer’s tools - the pencil.
Two: I started a blog series called 7:30 BELLS. Every Tuesday I post about what made me feel alive that week--what makes the bells ring. The discipline of have a regular “column” keeps my eyes open. Follow the series.
Three: On a hike with my husband, I picked up a stick dabbed with moss. “Look,” I said, “It’s a fairy wand.” He asked, “Are you really going to carry that for the entire hike?” I said, “Yes! ” Now I am making fantastic sculptures out of wood, stone, and moss. (I can use a drill press! I have a toolbox full of tools I love - chisels, gouges, rasps. Maybe one day I will sell these sculptures. Maybe not. That doesn’t matter.
Because the most powerful thing I’ve learned in the past five years is that outcome doesn’t matter- making, creating, living does. When you let go of where you think your life should lead, and follow the river instead, wonders await.
Stay tuned for what’s around the next bend. I know I am.