a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Yesterday, my dad sent me an e-mail requesting some old photographs of dogs we had throughout my childhood.  He wants to order prints to frame.  He has been doing some redecorating since his girlfriend (of twelve years) left.  I appreciate that my dad is finding peace in filling the holes left by her belongings with reminders of our past.

I dug out my tote of old photographs (a box to which my response has long been one of these days I need to scan these photos).  Fifteen minutes quickly turned into an hour of flipping through images.  Though, it was not the shuffling of paper film that drew me in.  It was the pleasure of being immersed in my history.

Early this morning, I finished Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson.  It was a quiet story about a girl, Ari, who learns about herself--her history, who she is now, and who she wants to become--when she finds herself unexpectedly homeless.  Just like Jacobson's As Small As An Elephant, it is filled with gem-like lines and special moments.   As Ari begins to realize her story is worth sharing, she says, "...I realize that I don't have to be ashamed of my truth." This is a message that, even as a grown-up, I cannot hear too often: my story matters, my truth is worth sharing

Sometimes the universe has this way of giving us just what we need at just the right moment.  I have been absent from this blog recently.  More importantly, I have been absent from my own writing life.  My photographs and Jacobson's words reminded me this weekend that I am made up of stories--stories I've shared and stories waiting to be shared.

Reading images of my past and reading Paper Things have served to inspire me to begin putting words on the page again.  What a timely happenstance!  Tomorrow night, the Teach and Celebrate Writers Twitter chat I co-host with Ruth Ayres will be guest hosted by Aimee Buckner, who will talk about the connection between reading and writing.  Please join us!