Writing Down the Bones

Up north in July, I read the book "Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within" by Natalie Goldberg. Originally published in 1986, her guidance remains timeless. Sharing her own experiences as a writer and a teacher of writers, Goldberg parcels out her wisdom in short chapters. If you have any interest in writing, I highly recommend this book!

A few of my favorite bits of Goldberg's wisdom: 
  • Basically, if you want to become a good writer, you need to do three things. Read a lot, listen well and deeply, and write a lot. And don't think too much.
  • Listening is receptivity. The deeper you can listen, the better you can write. You take in the way things are without judgement, and the next day you can write the truth about the way things are. 
  • Use details. They are the basic unit of writing. 
  • Don't identify too strongly with your work. Stay fluid behind those black-and-white words. They are not you. They were a great moment going through you. A moment you were awake enough to write down and capture. 
  • Often, as I write my best pieces, my heart is breaking. 
  • Go further than you think you can. 
  • The deepest secret in our heart of hearts is that we are writing because we love the world, and why not finally carry that secret out with our bodies into the living rooms and porches, backyards and grocery stores? 
  • Let go completely. Let yourself totally be a writer from now on. 
  • Rather than following the rules, have a friendliness toward existence....Don't be a Goody Two-shoes just to be a Goody Two-shoes. It is not based on any reality. 
  • It's pretty nice to be talented. If you are, enjoy, but it won't take you that far. Work takes you a lot further. 


Thursday Morning Thoughts

Over the weekend I was looking at historical quotes about racism and social justice. I stumbled across this quote by Helen Keller.

In 1912, she stated, “When shall we learn that we are related one to the other; that we are members of one body; that injury to one is injury to all? Until the spirit of love for our fellow-workers, regardless of race, color, creed or sex, shall fill the world, until the great mass of the people shall be filled with a sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice cannot be attained, and there can never be lasting peace upon earth.”



Justin and I got married on Saturday! It was a joyful day. We had our intimate ceremony at the garden of a friend. 

Below are a few photos. Our photographers were Alexandra and Bharath of AB Photography, and we LOVED them and their style! Highly recommend!


tiny flower

doesn't always
an extensive mass
of soil

can happen

there are spaces
where roots can stretch


Weekend Update

Good Sunday evening to you!

I have returned from #LoveFest2017. My sister-in-law and I threw a joint wedding shower/bachelorette party/love fest/girls weekend. She and my bro have their US wedding reception coming up later this month, and Justin and I are soon to be wed, so we thought it would be a great time to gather together a gaggle of girls and celebrate all that is good and beautiful.

Mom, Karen, and I headed south yesterday and got back this afternoon, and in between we met up with other friends in West Des Moines for sunshine, crafting, laughter, good food, and friendship. It was a blast, and Sweta and I surprised one another with crowns. Such fun.

Here's a link to this week's Post-Bulletin column. It's about the importance of curiosity.

Have a great week!


Birdy birdy

A couple weeks ago on vacation, we explored Grand Marais on a particularly windy day. This little birdy was watching the waves and taking it all in. Here are a couple more photos from that day. 


This Week's Column

This week's column is about the Gitchi-Gami.

Here's the link. 


Sheep and Goats

Did I already show you these photos? 

A few months ago I visited a farm to meet some sheep and goats. The Boehms generously and graciously let me come for a visit. 

The first goat truly cracks me up. I love it. 

Have a great Friday! 


Summer Bug

Cicada at Assisi.
He reminded me to pause and notice creation's beautiful, buggy details. 


July 17. What?!?!

It is July 17, and I am in utter disbelief. July is moving so very swiftly. It has been a magnificent month!

My sophomore year college roomies came to visit from a Friday night to a Sunday morning earlier this month. It was delightful. We had such fun. Here's a column all about it and a couple pics courtesy of my pal, Sarah.

Here's another recent Post-Bulletin column...

This one is about Rochester. 

Last week I was up in Lutsen with my mom and fiance! We had a wonderful week of nature and relaxation and adventure. It was a perfect combo platter. I love vacation. Entirely. I just love every single drip drop of it. Lake Superior...a soul sister of sorts.

I haven't yet gone through the hundreds of photos from the week but when I do, I'm excited to post and write about it. My goal is to get back into a regular writing and blogging practice. The last few months have been very full but heading into late summer & fall, things shift into a more chill pace. I'm grateful for all of it; life is good.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!