August #Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for coffee today.

I link my blog with others at Natalie the Explorer to celebrate Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Let me get you your first cup of coffee.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have been more social this week than the last 10 years. I had a lovely lunch at a brewery with an art teacher friend who I used to work with. I had an intriguing lunch with a wellness teacher friend another day who I used to work with. Both women were from the same building, but we are all other places now. They are the types of friends that it doesn’t matter how much time stretches in between meetings! It always feels like I just saw them.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had my last class with Sara Lippmann and my flash fiction workshop this week. What a talented group this was! I felt like the most baby writer but learned a ton, which was the point. I have some great connections now and some insightful feedback for three stories I will revise and send out within the next month.

If we were having coffee I have been writing every day at my new desk! It is perfect and now I feel like I have a great spot for my Zoom calls which is consistent.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have a few obstacles I am still trying to get through from my past. Most of it involves waiting on other people. Chris keeps reminding me that it will all be done soon and then I do not have to worry about it anymore. Not sure what I would do without that man! I can only control so much. Mail has been part of the problem and where things are going and who actually has them!

If we were having coffee I would tell you my good writer friend is writing amazing stuff on her blog. Check out Robyn Neilsen here. Not only is she a talented short story writer, but she also writes novels!

If we were having coffee I would tell you Jami Attenberg started #1000wordsofsummer again. You can check out her substack here or follow the hashtag on Twitter.

If we were having coffee I would tell you it has been so hot and humid here I am not sure I am in Indiana. I refer to being outside as being pressed in a panini machine. Thank goodness for air conditioning. I am traveling to Colorado this week where my weather app tells me the temperatures are cooler, especially at night. I hope this is true information.

If we were having coffee I would tell you we had dinner with my son this weekend. Him and I played the family edition of the “We’re Not Really Strangers” game. It was not as intense as the original version we played, but still fun!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am making writing plans for the fall. There are a few balls up in the air and when I catch them I will be able to figure out which courses I am teaching. I have been submitting this weekend as well which is always a good thing! I will come back from Colorado with a notebook full of stories so those will have to be worked through next month. There is also a writing challenge I participate in for the month of September which will focus on revision for me. I am also taking a writing class at the beginning of September. Lots of great writing jobs in the works!

I hope your Sunday and the week are filled with full face smile joy, surprise hugs and kisses, and fabulous food and drink.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

#IWSG AUGUST

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

August Question

The awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG are Tara Tyler,Lisa Buie Collard,Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery!

August 3 question – When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

I do not write for a specific audience, I try to let the story emerge how it wants to. In earlier iterations of my writing life I had a beta reader I kept in mind but it didn’t change how I wrote the story. It only crossed my mind whether she would like it or not.

Many of my stories start from a prompt or emerge from my daily freewriting. When I respond to prompts I try to write to the prompt like no one else would. I try to not write to the obvious response to me. I am always striving to describe objects and situations in a way I have never heard before. This method brings a surreal or dreamlike essence to many pieces which I love. I love to read those texts as well.

When I share a story I do hope there is an aspect that a reader can resonate with so they enjoy the experience.

While conducting a session on Flash Fiction this week the idea was expressed that once writing is “out there”, whether that be published in print or online, it is no longer the author’s story. It becomes a new experience for the reader based on their perspective and background. We shared personal times of being in a workshopping situation where a reader saw our stories from a different angle we never expected or saw until the critiquer mentioned it.

Trying to anticipate whether a reader will enjoy or resonate with a piece is almost impossible to predict. In writing groups I have often heard the expression that if a reader didn’t like your writing, then they were not your reader.

We all have preferences and tastes. Isn’t it wonderful we all have so much writing to chose from to find our favorite flavors!?

Last July #Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for coffee today.

I link my blog with others at Natalie the Explorer to celebrate Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Let me get you a cup of coffee.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am obsessed with K-Ming Chang this week. [Well, not only this week…] I have been listening to as many interviews with her about her new book as I can. I find her process interesting and she speaks well. You can check out one video here if you want to watch and learn. Hestia is still an obsession and musical chairs and menus are in the wings….we will see what shows up in a story.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am anticipating my writer retreat in Colorado. I leave on August 9th and am pumped to be in real-life classes with Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish! I plan to come back with a notebook full of writing to revise and submit.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have a new desk! We picked it up in Florida and I adore it. Chris is finishing the top so it is perfect for my work. There are three drawers for all my stuff that are nestled underneath the top. I even have bookcases in my space now which will be full by the end of the weekend I am almost certain.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I found a new podcast about writing! It is called Cabana Chats and is about writing and community. I am binge listening in between writing and reading!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am still trying to catch up on work that I neglected during the trip to Florida. I am always surprised by how much email piles up when I ignore my inbox!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I made chicken saag this week and I am so thankful for finding a recipe that matches the taste of what I used to get in my favorite Indian restaurant. Chris and I devoured it!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have lunch plans this week with friends I haven’t seen in years. This morning was a wonderful start and a great breakfast. I have been able to get a ton of work done today as well. Thankfully I am not melting in Indiana!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I hosted my Topic Talk on Flash Fiction on Saturday. It went well and the discussion was fun. I was able to share many of the flash fiction publications I faithfully read and hope to be published in soon!

I hope your Sunday is filled with deep love, comfortable temperatures, and the beverages of your liking!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

July Post 4th #Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me today! It is Sunday and it snuck up on me today. It has been a busy week and I am sure you have experienced the same! Thank you for joining me for coffee today. I link up at Natalie the Explorer with other writers who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Let me pour your first cup of coffee for you.

If we were having coffee I would tell you we traveled to Florida this week. It was a road trip! There were all kinds of new things to see for me and notes taken. I found I can write in the truck and not make myself car sick so that was a relief. The mountains were beautiful as always. I also do this silly thing where I lean forward in my seat when we cross a state line and yell, “I’m in [name of state] first!” and then I giggle like I am 5! It never gets old.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had my first Zoom with my Sara Lippmann flash fiction class this Wednesday. We were in Georgia and could not find a hotel room so we stopped at a Starbucks since I knew they had wifi. It was a great experience and the writers in the class are amazing. I am soaking up as much learning as I can. It is the first time I have been in a workshop experience like this and I am gaining a lot of insight into my own writing. The other writing is fantastic as well but we write critique letters to the writers sharing that week which is new [and wonderful] for me as well. Does anyone have a writing class they would recommend?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I finished Thunder and Lightning by Natalie Goldberg and it was the book I needed at the time! I have lots of plans for rereading and writing when we return from the trip. What are you reading right now?

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I need some help with a situation that you may have been in…my late husband’s disability check has been hanging on hold in my account by the government since January. The man at Chase told me there was no real way to speed it up even though I am entitled to the money. They did say it could take a year to get it released BUT I was wondering if anyone else has dealt with this situation successfully. If you have, please send me a note through my contact page on the site. I appreciate it!

If we were having coffee I would tell you my life has changed in so many great ways over the past month. There have been a lot of wonky circumstances but right now I feel like if I am not careful I will wake up and it will be a dream. There has been so much aligned with all aspects of my life and career. I feel lucky and blessed many times over. The universe is conspiring to help me and it has pulled through in amazing ways. One of the best areas of improvement is Chris is in my life. He has made everything better. I am also working with people I adore and doing the thing I love – writing. I can also spend more time with my son. It is a good life!

If we were having coffee I would tell you writing is going well but the schedule has been a bit off since I am not at home right now. That is to be expected of course with traveling. Living reaps lots of great material for the writing so that is great too!

I hope your Sunday is filled with deep love, comfortable temperatures, and the beverages of your liking!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

July Post #3 #WeekendCoffeeShare

We are back to Sunday once again. Thank you for joining me for coffee today. I link up at Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Let me pour your first cup of coffee for you.

If we were having coffee I would tell you today is the last day for my Natalie Goldberg retreat. It is online which I am thankful for. It has been a lot of writing over the past two days and I suspect there will be more of the same today. Natalie is funny and the time goes by quickly. She doesn’t understand how much she is revered and when people ask questions they stumble over their words in awe. I am glad I participated in this event. There will be another retreat in December and I am looking forward to that one as well.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the running has been moving along fairly well. I have been running/walking for about an hour each day. One day I went 5 miles which was great. It has been wiping me out more than what I remember to be normal but it will get better as I keep going. We have had 2 days of rain so that has changed the schedule this week. It is ok though. There will always be more days to run.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I started reading a book called The Swallows by Lisa Lutz. It is about a creative writing teacher at a prep school. I like the structure and the story. Each chapter is from a different character’s point of view and it is written well.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you more new recipes came out of the kitchen this week! All were a hit. My son came over for dinner on Monday and that was fun. He even joined in for my PUSH group meeting.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I was part of a freewrite group on Friday which is so much fun. We write for 10 minutes to the same prompt and then share. The conversation then always leads to other topics pertaining to writing.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my dreams have been vivid the past few days. Natalie said that was normal during the retreat times. I have remembered so much more of the scenes the past two days as well.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have been thinking about risk and what that looks like especially in the aspect of writing. I hear writing teachers talk about this concept and wonder what it looks like for individual people. Risk doesn’t always have to mean danger.

If we were having coffee I would tell you there are many things I am looking forward to in the upcoming week. There are classes through Centered with Sarah Selecky, a trip to Florida, my PUSH meeting, reading, and writing projects! I am loving my life.

I hope your Sunday is filled with snuggles in bed, guffaws, and new ideas.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

July Post #2 #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up at Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for chatting with me today. Let me pour your first cup of coffee.

If we were having coffee I would tell you this week has gone really fast. It has been busy but in the most wonderful of ways!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I met up with a friend on Thursday I haven’t seen in years. Reconnecting with friends has been a blessing with moving back to an area where I had lived for so long. We went to a little Thai restaurant and I was able to try a new dish – Panang Curry. It was delicious and I would order it again. It was nice to catch up and hear about her life over the past several years. We both had a lot of changes. I was glad to hear that the book club I was a part of with her still exists. I am looking forward to reconnecting with the group soon.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I started running again. I have started a new streak and I think the weather will not fight me at this time. It feels good to be out there for the health and the enjoyment of it rather than the competitive drive I had before. I need to get back into the shape I am more comfortable with.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I was able to make dinner for my son this week at the house. He had requested homemade sloppy joes and I was finally able to make them for him. He was even able to take leftovers home. It was a really wonderful visit after grocery shopping and a trip to Barnes and Noble! I will turn that boy into a reader yet!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I traveled to a new town this week and had lunch on the water at a cute restaurant. The salmon sandwich I had was amazing and the company was even better. I was able to get a lot of writing done while my man did some work. The drive there was through a torrential downpour of rain! We also went to the Journeyman Whiskey distillery today which is about an hour away after we went out for breakfast. The tour included a tasting of several spirits. Then we had a lovely lunch and a walk through the cute little town. They are actually building a new distillery in our town but it won’t be open until next year. We might or might not have brought home several bottles of our favorite part of the tasting!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I attended a writing circle on Sat. that was lovely. It is a method I have followed many times and one I have used myself where a poem is read, pull lines are provided, and then a constraining writing time is shared. In this group, we just read our writing with no commentary which I experienced with my Natalie Goldberg class several months ago. It is a nice change even from just lines that resonate with the other writers.

I hope your Sunday is filled with laughter, something beautiful, and a surprise!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

#IWSG JULY

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

July Question

The awesome co-hosts for the July 6 posting of the IWSG are J Lenni Dorner,Janet Alcorn,PJ Colando,Jenni Enzor, and Diane Burton!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience, or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional!

July 6 question – If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

It is probably the obvious answer and one that many will say, but Harry Potter is the world I would choose. Magic, trains, and creatures! There is a magic that was created by J. K. Rowling. Wands and the costumes. Even the great hall and the food is something I would want to indulge in.

I have always been that person that would have loved to have gone to boarding school. I am sure I have it romanticized, but the idea of focusing on learning, reading, and writing is enticing. I think this is why the MFA has appealed to me over the last decade. I believe I would have thrived in that environment.

I loved undergrad and the feeling of being on a campus. My grad school was online so did not capture the same types of feelings.

I am living in a college town again so maybe I can get myself into some classes and recreate that feeling again.

How would you answer the question?

July #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for chatting with me today. Let me pour your first cup of coffee.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I moved on Monday. I purged and cleaned the week before. I am trying to get to things that are all my favorites. Through this process, I have realized just how many filled notebooks I have. My goal is to transcribe and organize them in the Google drive as quickly as I can. I am finding lots of gems in those handwritten pages. My daily practice of generative writing continues but more work of revision has been coming later in the mornings and afternoons. Lots of notes are being added to the KEEP app to write about later.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am reading more which has felt wonderful and fuels my writing. I am continuing to read Crossings and am enjoying it immensely. You can read more about that here.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am attending a little get together today with friends for the holiday. It should make for a fun and interesting afternoon.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you this week seemed to have gone by quickly. There was lots to do this week with sorting and putting things away in the new place. Some things are trying to find their correct spots, but it will all be sorted in time. I was able to cook so that is always fun. There was lots of reading, submitting, and writing which means the writer’s life is in full swing.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I attended a Smoklelong event where the author, Steve Almond, was interviewed on Saturday. He has a great class about obsession you can watch here.

If we were having coffee I would tell you this recharged life of mine has been wonderful so far. I keep having to remind myself it is not a dream, but a reality. I am able to spend so much more time with people I love and dedicate my time to the activities I love. It truly is a gift.

I hope your Sunday is filled with fun, good food, friends, and affection.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

Three [3] Things #SOL22

Inspired by Holly from Poetry Forge – An interesting way to inspire a conversation. The first two stay the same and the third thing is chosen by the person sharing the list.

On (some) Tuesdays I write and post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts.

Something of Beauty

This recipe: Chicken Broccoli and Rice

Something of Interest

The Hermit’s Mirror Unlocking the Court Cards Workbook recommended by The Tarot Lady. Both of their sites are amazing if you are tarot curious.

Something Soothing

Being with the person you feel truly loved and protected by and being able to share life with them every day.

What are your three things?
or
What is the third category YOU would select?

I would love to hear in the comments.

Last Sunday of June #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for chatting with me today. Let me pour you a first cup of coffee.

If we were having coffee I would tell you Tuesday was the summer solstice. In Monday’s PUSH meeting, we talked about changing rhythms. In Tuesday’s Topic Talk I hosted an event in Centered. I always do a tarot spread for solstices and used Linsey Mack’s spread from her newsletter this year. I sometimes change it to bend to my will but this time I used it as is and shared it with the group.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I recommend the book, Crossings by Alex Landragin. It is a book you can read out of order. It is also about a manuscript you are not supposed to read. How intrguing is that?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I was at a conference at the beginning of the week. I am not sure I should call it a conference since it was three days of data work and plan writing for the school I am leaving to achieve its goals. It was a nice time to spend with a couple of friends from work and revisit some great memories in Wisconsin Dells. Coming back I was pretty exhausted. There was lots of work to do still though here in the apartment.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I went to Indiana and had lunch with my boys on Thursday. It was great to share their company and to have local pizza I haven’t had in a while. I had items from the apartment to drop off to them which was the purpose of the drive. I was in the car from 10 am to 8pm except for the lunch so that was tiring. I met a friend from my old job for a drink which was nice when I returned to Wisconsin.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am so thankful for air conditioning this week. The temperatures have been in the upper 90’s. It was great weather to move furniture down the stairs and to the Goodwill. (Insert sarcasm here…) But, it needed to be done!

I hope your Sunday is filled with beautiful words, good food, and sunshine (but not too much that it blinds you!).

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!