Have you watched Rick and Morty? It’s my latest cartoon obsession. Half sci-fi adventure and half dysfunctional family drama, Rick and Morty is about a mad scientist and his grandson, as they hop back and forth between universes, having adventures and imperiling all of mankind.
It’s not a cartoon for everyone, but the stories are so good that they hurt! My ribs hurt from laughing, and my heart aches from all the feels. Here are a few reasons to check it out:
Creative writing is nothing like consulting. For the first time ever, I’m working alone.
What is home, exactly? I never used to question it, until we began traveling.
Traveling the world is like falling in love, only with places instead of people. That’s a good thing, but I’ve been feeling off-center since we returned to Seattle. Do you want to travel for months at a time? Begin by taking your concept of home and shattering it with a hammer. Now sprinkle those shards all over the globe. When you feel yourself being pulled in a dozen directions at once, that’s the nomadic life.
It’s tough to face the news these days. Do I need to choose between staying informed and being happy? I know I’m not the only one asking these questions. In a recent interview with GQ Magazine, comedian and actor Aziz Ansari had this to say:
I don’t think me reading the news is helping anything. I think it’s hurting me. It’s putting me in a bad state of mind. And I could see how someone could hear that about me and be like, Oh, you’re ignoring what’s happening in the world ’cause you don’t want negativity in your head. That seems very selfish. Maybe it is. I don’t know. It’s not like I was reading it and then, like, immediately taking action in a way that was helping to fix problems. I can still cut checks without reading the articles. I cut my checks, man!
I’ve been trying to solve my “the news is making me miserable” problem, but in order to do that, I need to talk about social media.
I don’t write much poetry, but there are times when prose doesn’t do the trick.
I wrote this poem to help myself climb out of this pit of despair I’ve been feeling in the wake of Charlottesville and everything else. It seems to have worked its magic, because I’m feeling like myself again.
How much do I love sabbatical-land? Oh, let me count the ways!
I’m grateful for summer, which has been full of barbecues, road trips, family outings, movie nights, and plenty of that once-elusive elixir: sleep. From my relaxed coffees with M, to our goofy Dungeons and Dragons games with the guys, to afternoons spent with a book in my lap, the last few months have contained everything I could have asked for.
Whistler, BC. July 2017
It’s been an interesting year! While we traveled from January to April, I felt myself letting go of my old habits, and loosening up. Then from May until July, I had a long and lazy summer, tossing away my plans and my calendar, and letting the days blur into one another.
Now, as fall approaches, I feel ready to do things again, and I’m glad! Here are some assorted updates on what I’m up to:
This story begins three years ago, the night Ambition left me.
Ambition slipped away while I was sleeping; it took me a long time to make peace with her departure. Up until that night, I had this fire-in-the-belly that made me passionate about goals and achievement and being successful. And without warning, all of that was gone. The solid ground beneath my feet had become a sheet of ice. I slipped into the darkness below, spluttering.
Ambition’s departure set me on a different path than the one I’d planned.
We’ve spent the last three days on the road in a rented car, rolling down that long strip of asphalt that runs from downtown Seattle all the way to Boston. I’m writing this blog post from the road, propped up in bed in a shitty motel with no wifi, and perhaps if I tell you how I got here, I’ll begin to understand it myself.
That’s how this blogging thing seems to work.
I’m officially on sabbatical now.
The last loop has been closed. My final invoice has been sent, and paid, and the payment is logged. My trusty blue box— the one that carries my facilitation supplies— is folded flat and gathering dust in the basement. I’m done with so many things! No more standing behind a podium, no more rehearsals to get the tone of a training session just right, and no more afternoons at the printer, picking up colorful charts and boxes full of binders.
I’ll miss those red metal buckets of Sharpies, fresh Play-Doh, and the soft zip sound that a flip-chart makes when you pull off a sheet.
And I’ll miss standing back and asking, “What do you think of this thing you’ve made?” Because most of the time, my clients created wonderful things! Plans and decisions and goals, of course. But also themselves. They remade themselves, year after year, and it was beautiful to watch. Like a field of flowers unfurling. Like a dozen jangly instruments coming together to sing a joyous song.
If you write, you’re a writer.
There’s no secret handshake, and no gatekeeper. The only permission slip that matters is the one you give yourself. And while you might choose to get an MFA degree, or to take a class, or get an agent, exactly zero of those things are required.
It’s easy to get lost in the forest of self-doubt! For years, I threw roadblocks into my own path. I told myself that I needed to do X or Y before I could be a Real Writer. And I convinced myself that writing was self-indulgent, not very respectable, and not important enough to spend my time on.