For My Writer-Mom: A Bouquet of Memories


My writer mom worked as the editor of our local newspaper, covering news all over the county. If a reporter couldn't make it to an event, Mom would grab her camera, reporter's pad, and pen—and quite often her daughter—to capture the news herself. This meant that whether I wanted to or not, I … [Read more...]

Not So Fast at Soul Stops, Pt. 2

Sunset Kids LOVE Not So Fast

If you're moving a little too fast today, feeling rushed and stressed, I encourage you to take two minutes to listen to the following song. I suspect you'll be grinning by the time the Smothers Brothers step in to help with the ending, and you'll feel far more relaxed, even groovy: When … [Read more...]

Not So Fast at Soul Stops

Not So Fast book balanced on van

I overheard one of my daughters talking with her sister on the phone: "Well, hurry up," she said, "but don't break any laws." Despite over a decade of committing to a slower, more sustainable pace, "hurry up" has crept into our family's vocabulary. Then again, perhaps it is our more relaxed pace … [Read more...]

How to Form a Daily Habit: Don’t Break the Chain

Seinfeld Calendar January

My junior year in college, I started scribbling each day's to-do list the night before. I'd always include "wake up" so that I would have the pleasure of marking off one item first thing in the morning: a visual sign of accomplishment. I've always joked about how pathetic it was to include "wake … [Read more...]

Coming Home to Scotland – The Poetry of Place


Until 2001, my mom thought our genealogy traced to England and Germany, but that year she and her brother discovered to their surprise that the ancestors they presumed were English actually came from Scotland. After tracing our family name to Kirkcudbright, where Robert Burns visited the Selkirk … [Read more...]

Simplify Life with Habits

habit routines rut to run in

“You need a rut to run in.” When I read that years ago in a book about home education, I bristled. A rut? People get stuck in ruts and never change, never take risks, never explore new possibilities. Ruts feel like tedium. Monotony. Boredom. Ruts seem unimaginative and unattractive. Everything in … [Read more...]

Need Inspiration? Don’t Just Sit There – Do Something!

Don't just sit there do something

Whatever your profession—writer, designer, editor, entrepreneur, writing coach, consultant, educator, farmer, parent—the turn of the new year reminds us we're looking at a fresh calendar full of possibilities. How do we make the most of it if we're lacking creative inspiration? Stefan Mumaw, … [Read more...]

Winner of “Cracking Up” by Kimberlee Conway Ireton

Cracking Up book cover

Last week's book response highlighted Cracking Up: A Postpartum Faith Crisis by Kimberlee Conway Ireton. I decided to include a book giveaway. Commenters on that post were entered into a drawing to win a copy of Cracking Up (except a few who said they already owned a copy). I wrote out each name … [Read more...]

Book Response – Cracking Up: A Postpartum Faith Crisis

book response cracking up.jpg

As an editor and writing coach, I quite happily end up with a lot of books. I'm going to introduce you to some of them. These won't exactly be reviews, however. I'd say these posts will read more like a response to each book. Today, I'm offering my personal response to Cracking Up: A Postpartum … [Read more...]

Food on Fridays: Closed for Good

Food on Fridays fruitbowl

Sometime in early 2009 I spontaneously decided to start a food-themed link-up. Because "food" starts with the letter "f", I named it Food on Fridays. That's the story of how Food on Fridays began. Now I will tell you its ending. About a month ago, in the midst of facilitating a writing … [Read more...]