Monthly Archives: December 2011

Reverb11: Writing

(I loved Reverb10, where I was sent a writing prompt every day of December. It was a great way to reflect on the year and set some goals. Alas, Reverb11 is not going to happen unless I do it. So, I’ve collected the prompts from last year, exchanged a few of my own, and will select one every day.)

Prompt: Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

I do a lot of writing every day. I blog. I write tactful e-mails. I mentor young poets. I write lovely letters of recommendation. Funny Facebook updates for personal and professional accounts. Blurbs. I help teenagers with their essays. I re-write recipes. Notes. Presentations. Reviews.

It’s all really good stuff. It’s just not the kind I want to be doing.

My mother said something to me this year that’s been stuck in my head. I had read her a letter of recommendation I wrote to get a second opinion. She loved it and said “You know, its funny. I minored in creative writing in college, and you majored in it. But I ended up being really good at writing “This Shit Has Got To Stop” memos and re-wrote manuals that get used all over the world. You write beautiful letters of recommendation that I am sure help kids get into college. We used our skills and training, just not in ways we’d imagined.” My mother firmly believes that everything in life is a prerequisite for something else, and I do think she’s right. But, but…

I’d like to also write things for me. Not just blog posts and letters. Fiction. The stories in my head. I can’t get rid of all the writing I do – it puts food on the table. But perhaps in 2012 I can squeeze a little more writing out? Just for me. Just a little bit…

PS. Last year I wrote this.


Reverb11: Community

(I loved Reverb10, where I was sent a writing prompt every day of December. It was a great way to reflect on the year and set some goals. Alas, Reverb11 is not going to happen unless I do it. So, I’ve collected the prompts from last year, exchanged a few of my own, and will select one every day.)

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2011? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2012?

This is going to sound like a silly answer to this question, but I asked the Tofu Dude his name this year. Every week we buy tofu at the farmer’s market – it is so good! – and every week I make small talk. It felt odd to see someone every week and not know his name. Finally, I asked. It was awkward. I think he thought I was hitting on him.

I love my farmer’s market. I love how good the produce is, and how good I feel after spending a Saturday morning buying my food from people. Real people. Like Kai, my Tofu Dude.

As far as community in 2012, after looking at last year’s answer, I think I’m just going to let it happen. You can’t plan community, not really. I will stay open to whatever or whomever 2012 brings my way.


Reverb11: Wonder

(I loved Reverb10, where I was sent a writing prompt every day of December. It was a great way to reflect on the year and set some goals. Alas, Reverb11 is not going to happen unless I do it. So, I’ve collected the prompts from last year, exchanged a few of my own, and will select one every day.)

Prompt: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

The other day we drove back from Tahoe and the family vacation over the holidays. We were listening to This American Life and something Ira Glass said was so completely brilliant that I stopped the recording for a second to digest it.

I think that podcasts – This American Life, Vanguard, Vegetarian Food for Thought, etc … kept me in a place where I was learning and intrigued and full of wonder. I love learning, and I love the moment where I went ‘wow!’ like a child or an eager student.

PS. Last year I wrote this.