October has been full. It’s been full like a teacup, overflowing because the pot keeps pouring into it, and it’s been full the way I am after a really big dinner.
I’m learning more about choosing to say yes to things that fill me up like a teacup, and not like indigestion. It’s a process.
I hope you’ll enjoy this peek into my full daily life, and share a little of yours with me, as well.
This is a sequel to Austin’s lovely (and short) book Steal Like an Artist. That one was all about finding more ways to be creative, this one is about sharing that creativity with the world. As someone who doesn’t love traditional self-promotion, but still wants to communicate what I’m doing as a writer, I found a lot to love about this book.
Even more lost stories (from magazines and such) have surfaced since the Bippolo Seed (published a few years ago). This collection was fun because it included another Horton story, and another Grinch. If you’re a Dr. Seuss fan, you’ll want to check this one out.
So many people loved this quirky, Australian book, and I wanted to love it, too. For weeks I read it, not really getting into it. I finally finished it on a plane. It wasn’t a bad book, but I’ll have to think long and hard before picking up the sequel.
This is the latest from one of my favorite British chick-lit writers. I’m always on the edge of my seat when they come out, but her last novel (The Runaway Princess) wasn’t all that I had hoped. I was thrilled to find that this one returned to the tight writing, interesting characters and engaging plot that I’ve come to expect from Hester. The protagonist is a wedding planner, her boyfriend is a food critic, her best friend is a chef, and the whole thing is set in a hotel. I loved every minute of it. Just the thing for these cool fall evenings.
This collection of essays written about the contributors’ relationships with scripture really made me think. I reviewed the book here.
While we wait for Parks and Rec to start, my roommate has been introducing me to 30 Rock. (We are already on season 3!) This is another show that I can’t believe I haven’t seen before now. It’s funny, smart and harkens back to another show about a group of television writers, for me: The Dick Van Dyke Show.
I’ve been loving Mindy and New Girl. I’ve heard some say that they aren’t loving what New Girl has become. Honestly, I find the show so relatable as a single woman (yes, sometimes they do exaggerate things, but some of it is pretty real). Either way, my roommates and I quote it back to each other (and even sometimes watch it live together).
I’d like to catch up on The Big Bang Theory, and check out Selfie and A-Z, but I haven’t yet.
Last November, at the Over the Rhine concert, I heard Noah Gundersen play live for the first time. His songs were so moving, and he offered a Noisetrade download soon after. I added him to my regular rotation. This month, he came to Spokane and I spent a blissful evening listening to him live, suspended in so much music that I forgot my feet hurt. I haven’t been able to listen to much else, since. His music is a little sultry, and sometimes sad, but the beautiful kind of sad. Right now, I can’t get enough of Cigarettes (an extended metaphor about a bad relationship), First Defeat, and Liberator from his album Ledges.
Jesus Feminist (by Sarah Bessey) is now available as an audiobook. Naturally, I wasted no time in requesting it from my local library and letting the (very good) reader help me re-read this book. It was about time.
I listened to this on my commute and found myself constantly in tears. It isn’t that I had forgotten how life-giving Sarah’s book is, just that some time had passed, and it struck me again as if for the first time. I’m still letting these wonderful words ring in my ears.
I went to two really cool fundraisers this month. One is for an organization called Big Table which centers specifically around those in the restaurant and hospitality industry. I love this organization, not only because it encompassing two of my favorite things: food and restaurants, but also because they see people that others overlook. This year’s fundraiser was internationally themed and included food from three different countries (they even stamped my “passport”).
The other was called Bedtime Stories (for a humanities organization in the area). Four authors (two poets and two fiction writers) were given a prompt: Things That Go Bump In the Night. They wrote pieces and read them aloud. Such a great way to spend an evening.
There was a concert in Spokane that I wanted to go to (American Authors and Echosmith), but I knew that the venue would be crowded, and it was at the end of a long week. In a strange twist of fate, the radio station we advertise with at work called and asked if any of us wanted to go to a small acoustic show with the same two bands. I got to play hooky from work and listen to them play the songs I knew. Such a lovely gift for a Friday afternoon.
Here in Spokane, we had an arts month in October. The events culminated with a ball at our grand hotel this evening. I had the opportunity to go with dear friends, dress up in a costume, and dance to the cupid shuffle.
My friend Nicole went as Jackie O, and I was Twiggy. Together, we did the 60s.
Perhaps the most exciting event of this month was my trip to Denver to speak to English majors at Colorado Christian University. I plan to write more about this, but suffice it to say that I was welcomed with open arms, the students asked questions and kept me past time, my speeches flowed evenly, and it was very hard to come home from being a visiting author.
I spoke a bit about my writing journey (and life as a post-grad English major employed in my field), and then held a workshop about my writing process and some of the more specialized details, for the interested.
It was all such a delight.
I’m Pregnant. So Why Can’t I Tell You? by Abigail Rasminsky
I found this piece very thought provoking, and a question I’ve thought about for other blessings in the early stages.
This just made me laugh so hard. Satire at its best.
Is This a Golden Age for Women Essayists? by Cheryl Strayed and Benjamin Moser in the New York Times
As a female essayist, I found this a very thought provoking piece.
Redefining Family by Tracy Simmons on Spokane Faith and Values
Tracy came to my church and gave this sermon. I had been away from church for one reason or another the past two weeks and I cried all through it. These are much needed words.
Where I Am: Four Houses, Four Turning Points by Kristin Tennant
I’m so delighted by this new collaborative blog about place (You Are Here), and I was captivated by Kristin’s piece there. It’s about several different homes.
In Transit by Addie Zierman
I loved everything about this piece which reminded me to listen and see.
This was a big and exciting month for me, on the writing front (and otherwise). A lot of happiness and nervousness at the same time.
As I told you last month, my piece won the Junia Project’s first blog contest and it went live this month. I wrote about Martha (and Mary) and how Jesus loved and saw them both. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d be honored to have you visit.
For National Mental Illness Awareness week, I told my own story, to an overwhelmingly supportive response. I can only hope as much for everyone who tells such stories, and I’m glad to be part of making the thought of doing so seem less scary.
In the de(tales) series, Saskia Wishart wrote about the confusion and loneliness of grocery stores in other countries. My lovely pastor, Liv Larson Andrews, wrote about potlucks. Kelli Woodford wrote about a pencil, and hustling for worthiness. Jason A. Ney wrote a bit about how his relationship with swearing has changed. Christie Purifoy wrote about how bread has intersected with her life, and how the relationship has changed over the years and places.