Things Worth Sharing

Sometimes, OK most of the time, when I’m out mountain biking or trail running, it feels as if I’m simply out collecting ideas and connections that have been left along my route for me. I just have to gather them and bring them home.

Also, when I’m out biking and running, I often sing along, aloud, to the music I’m listening to.

Y’all homemade chai tea is delicious.

Brandi Carlile is a genius. Listen to “Save Part of Yourself for Me” for evidence.

I’m reading “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell, “The Game of Love and Death” by Martha Brockenbrough and “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert.

This quote is wandering around in my mind:

“Sell your expertise and you have a limited repertoire. Sell your ignorance and you have an unlimited repertoire. He was selling his ignorance and his desire to learn about a subject. The journey of not knowing to knowing was his work.”    

Richard Saul Wurman speaking about Charles Eames



Things I Thought Were Worth Sharing This Week

sunset 002

Brandi Carlile’s music. All of it. I’m in deep with these three albums: The Story, Bear Creek and The Firewatcher’s Daughter. Learning so much from her lyrics.

We got out first substantial snowfall yesterday = playtime on the fat bike

21 great picture book biographies to study

Oranges! We are gobbling them up over here

Early mornings filled with writing are quickly becoming my super power

Hoping to score some tickets to the Dixie Chicks concert this summer

Revisiting this page about Bullet Journaling so that I can better incorporate my writing goals into my days

from tamar adler

“Or I read passages from children’s books, which often contain the most limpid descriptions of food. The writer E. Nesbit’s stories seem to always end when, after quarreling, getting lost, getting stung, children find themselves — warm and tired in hay barns — eating cold chicken, bacon, boiled eggs, ripe tomatoes sprinkled with salt, and siphons of seltzer. Her stories leave me wanting to run and scrape and quarrel and eat cold chicken and ripe tomatoes, and those are all pleasant things to do.”


lovely links: September 2015


a nice kick in the pants from Brene Brown, because if you don’t need one, I sure do

an online display about Melissa Sweet’s “Balloons Over Broadway” from the University of Minnesota’s Children’s Literature Research Collection

Ira Glass!

What Writer’s Can Learn From “Goodnight Moon” from the New York Times

all about How to Read More from Austin Kleon

the more I write, the more I believe that all genres of writing are connected, so as a writer for children, I glean gems from 101 Cookbooks “Writing a Cookbook Proposal” maybe you will, too

obsolete library card catalog cards made into art

and finally, a brilliant essay from Susan Wise Bauer about why we mamas should be reading, not cleaning the kitchen

from e.e. cummings

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human can fight; and never stop fighting.”


from rainer maria rilke

“I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”



you’re the boss

When I was largely pregnant with my first child, I took a writing class with the amazing Marge Pellegrino. She’d give us an in-class writing assignment and we’d have 20 minutes to complete it. It never failed that before we could even start writing, someone would ask, “Is it OK if I…?” and Marge would say, “You’re the boss.” And then someone else would chime in, “But what about…” and Marge would say, “You’re the boss.”

Hearing those words oft repeated, it didn’t take long for me to find a new feeling of ownership with my words (and my life). That doesn’t mean that I don’t look to others for authority to apply in my life. It just means I do it a bit less than I used to.

Recently, I’ve seen how harmful this feeling of not having authority can be to creativity. In my watercolor class many students are interested in having specific rules to follow. I understand this, especially when it comes to learning a new skill. However, this need to be coddled can be harmful when it comes to that really sacred time when we begin something new – whatever it may be.

That first week as I sat painting at my kitchen table I’d think about what a disaster of a painter I was and I’d feel so unsure about what I was doing. But, I wasn’t afraid: of messing up, of making a mistake, of doing something wrong. I knew there was no way I could fail if I just kept painting. The only failure on my part would be to stop painting.

There was a distinct moment when I thought, “Am I following my instructor’s guidelines?” And in the next instant I realized that I am holding the paintbrush, I am making the choices, I am the boss.

At our next class session, it was clear that some students wanted the teacher to be present while they were painting and lean over their shoulder and tell them, “Yes, that’s allowed!” or “No, that’s not allowed.” And the problem with that is then the painting isn’t yours. My instructor may as well just paint it. You should just put down your paintbrush (or pen or sewing machine…)

I must be my own authority. You must be your own authority. It is the only way a person can ever do anything original or creative. Dive into the depths of your soul and make something out of it.

And if you are impatient and don’t want to make mistakes, you may as well not even paint or write or sew or really live. Because we all make mistakes. That is how we grow and learn and becomes more compassionate and loving. So, I say, get started. Make as many mistakes as possible as soon as possible because time is flying. And don’t you want to become real? Become authentic? After all, you are the boss.


from norman maclean

“If a storyteller thinks enough of storytelling to regard it as a calling, unlike a historian he cannot turn from the sufferings of his characters. A storyteller…must follow compassion wherever it leads him. He must be able to accompany his characters, even into smoke and fire, and bear witness to what they thought and felt even when they themselves no longer knew.”

Bon Fire001

today by mary oliver

Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.