Writing

Love

Last fall, on a camping trip, my husband found a rock painted with a mandala design. On the back was the hashtag #WCPR and the phrase, “Keep, or re-hide.”

I did a little research and discovered that WCPR stands for “West Coast Painted Rocks” and painting and hiding rocks as random acts of kindness is their mission.

And just like that, I had a new hobby.

Last night I hid painted Valentine rocks at the local grade school. This morning, I got love in return. Best. Investment. Ever.

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Even better? I’ve been asked to come to school and teach the kids how to paint rocks. And to tell them why I hide them for others to find.

Because it’s fun.

Because it’s kind.

Because it’s love.

Rock on!

Chris

Gifts

I sent a story out on submission this week that I’ve been working on for awhile. A story I wonder if I’m qualified to write, in ways, and, in other ways, know without a doubt I’m as qualified as they come. A story that made me read and reach and learn, until my brain hurt. A story that flowed like water, like air, like life, until my heart sang. A story who’s spark came out of a blackness so dark I wasn’t sure I would ever see again. A story that reminds us starlight is everywhere, the darkness just makes it easier to see.

Happy Earth Day, my loves. You are, each and every one of you, a gift to me.

Peace and love,

Chris

 

Pacific City Writing Retreat

I gave myself a treat last month and went to the coast all by myself with the goal of writing until I felt like stopping, instead of stopping when I got interrupted. It was glorious. I took a walk down the beach first thing.

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I wonder how many haystack rocks there are in the world?

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And then I got down to writing.

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The view was inspirational.

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And this got me off the couch and out onto my balcony.

The next day I climbed the dune. I wasn’t at all sure I could make it to the top. It’s been awhile since I tried. However, I discovered there are many, many different angles to take photos from. I took advantage of all of them. Long advantages. With lots of deep breathing. And luckily no puking.

And, one step at a time,20170125_10321420170125_10333720170125_10354020170125_104112 I made it to the top.

Instead of the traditional giant leaping run back down the same side, I took a slower, gentler route down the backside and around.

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The sand reminded me of wood grain.

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And the combination of textures was lovely.

Back to writing. All day.

I’m working on a novel about loss and darkness, rediscovery and light. It’s not easy to write and my hope was that by getting away from home and all its distractions and interruptions I would be able to focus and get some words on the page. It worked. I did. Seven new chapters.

I ended my mini retreat by treating myself to a salmon dinner at the Pelican Pub.

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I think I might have to make a habit of this.

Peace,

Chris

Resolution Revolution

Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year. Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2016.unnamed

  1. Telling people I am a writer and believing it myself.
  2. Finding an awesome critique partner.
  3. Being told I give good critiques.
  4. Participating in the 12X12 Craft Book discussions.
  5. Finally finding a way to write a picture book about loss.
  6. Getting a spark for a story while on vacation.
  7. Getting a request for a Revise and Resubmit from an agent for that story.
  8. Finding a much better balance in my writing life.
  9. Writing a story with a door as a main character who has a great personality.
  10. Started using a treadmill desk.
  11. Passed the 150 rejection mark. (But no word on the R&R yet.)
  12. Used the emotions from the election to spark a girl power story.

Peace and Love and Writing!

Chris

You Had Me at Light

I’ve been working on a story about loss. The story is going well, I think I’m getting good words on the page. But in order to find the words I want, I’m going back into memories that bring up a lot of sadness.

Yesterday, I finished a really good revision. The story is close. Very close. And writing it brought me close to tears. So I did what I always do when I need to remind myself that life is also a part of death. I took a walk.

“C’mon, world. Make me feel better. Make me remember joy,” I said.

The day was grey, but not so wet I needed to wear rain gear. Cola, as always, was thrilled to go and immediately found a stick, found a puddle, found a gopher hole. A dog is a good companion when you are looking for joy.

As I walked, the sun began to peek below the clouds. The tops of the bare trees became gold. Light seeped around the edges.

“Nice, world,” I said. “Thanks.”

And then I turned the corner.

And cried. And laughed. And cried some more.

Because I asked for a reminder that life is good and I get this. The most amazing fucking light show I could imagine, complete with a sprinkle of rain on my upturned face like tears from heaven.

I always feel better when I get off my butt and take a walk. But this? This was ridiculously healing.

Peace and love,

Chris