Category Archives: writing

Family of Three

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No, we don’t have a kid. Nor will we for the foreseeable future.

I’ve discovered I need to clarify that as often as possible.

But we do have a typewriter.

The typewriter belonged to a faculty member at Undisclosed University who, after a long and successful career as a teacher, had decided to retire. She is a published author, and as far as I know hasn’t given up on writing (she just released a new novel in the past year and has a contract with one of the larger publishing houses). At the end of this semester, she put out a table in the hallway outside of her office and started piling up books that she no longer wanted so passers by could take them away to good homes.

I walked away with an armload every time I walked by. My husband (a graduate assistant at UU) had his office right across from her, and gathered a few books for himself as well. We’re not the kind to pass up on free books.

One afternoon I came home to find my husband parked at the dining room table brooding over a large metal object. He looked up at me, beaming.

“Look what I found!”

I looked. Before him was a large mechanical typewriter. It was in stellar condition. The word “ROYAL” was stamped in large silver letters above the keyboard.

That scene from You’ve Got Mail popped into my head: Meg Ryan coming home to what’s-his-face, the columnist, toying with a new typewriter at the kitchen table, and she points out that it’s only one of several.

“It was Mrs. Page’s,” he told me. “It’s in perfect condition.”

“Mrs. Page’s?” I gasped. She’s a published author. I took her introductory Creative Writing course when I was a sophomore in college. Her novels are excellent; she’s personal hero of mine.

We own her typewriter. The typewriter she used to draw up her first published manuscript. I don’t put much stock in the concept of luck, but I feel that surely now that I have her magical typewriter, anything written in this house is blessed with success by the spirit of the beautiful woman whose novels have touched so many hearts.

The typewriter is our baby. By “our,” I mean my husband’s. He found the user’s manual online in PDF format and studied it on and off for days. He bought a new ribbon for it on eBay. He sent hours figuring out how to set margins and indents–even how to make columns and line spacing. I found index cards with snippets of typed phrases scattered in odd places around our apartment for weeks.

“Look at it,” he said once or twice, “there’s no wires, no circuits, nothing! One hundred percent mechanical!” He’d hammer down a few keys, each keystroke sounding like the rapport of machine gun fire. “I want to use it to type out my papers next year.”

I made a mental note to buy some ear plugs.

So far this summer, it has sat quietly in a wicker chair, waiting the day it will move into my husband’s new office. But for now it waits, it’s mechanical calm encompassing so many of our hopes and dreams. For my husband, it seems to symbolize the possibilities and promise of a new semester at seminary. For me, it represents writing, and the hope that with a little determination and a little effort, I can be finish something, shove it over a transom, and hope for the best.

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I’m Back

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Hello, loves.

I’m back.

It’s been too long.

I’ve been married for almost one full year. I’ve got another year of graduate school under my belt. I’ve had a big girl grown up job for a year.

I’ve barely written a thing.

So I’m back.

I started this other blog, and it scares me. My subject matter scares me. There’s so much I don’t know and I’m passionate about the topic but very poorly equipped to talk about it. There’s so much that could be said and I can’t possibly say it all at once.

I find myself in the same predicament I was in when I started this blog almost five years ago. I was in college, working towards a degree in creative writing but hardly doing any writing at all. I had hoped once I got out of college I’d have a job that would pay me to write things, but I’ve no such luck. And I haven’t written because I haven’t felt free to write and I haven’t been making the time to do so.

I need a place where I can write like me.

So I’m back.

10

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You just knew I would do a countdown, didn’t you? I can never resist them.

There are ten days left until Sam and I get married. Technically nine and half.

There is a pile of beautiful flowers in my room, which are slowly being transformed into beautiful wedding decorations by my talented mother.

Our apartment is almost completely put together. Our kitchen could not be better equipped.

I am almost used to saying “our” instead of “my.”

My dress is almost done.

Our sand ceremony vase arrived in the mail.

I’m almost to the end of my last week of work before the wedding.

Everything is coming together. Just as it should.

And I cannot wait.

Remembering

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I hope I never forget what it was like to step out of black and white into technicolor light.

I hope I don’t forget what it was like to wander about in a London-worthy fog, my eyes dimmed by the perpetual dusk that dyed my waking hours a waking nightmare.

I want to remember being too weary to think the thought of rising from my tear-soaked couch to climb the stairs to my empty room.

I’ll admit to wishing I could forget the words.

But I want to remember the crackling embers of indignation that ignited an inferno in the depths of me hot enough to melt the iron the words had soldered to my soul.

I want to remember the rush of opening my wings wide after years in a cage and spreading them to the rising dawn.

I want to remember the rainbow after the flood, the olive branch my feet found for rest, the dazzle of the light glorifying miles of murky water.

I want to remember the words washing away in the water of your love.

I want to remember and never forget the first rain of color after the long draught of night.

For the valley makes the mountain all the taller for its depths.

Mondays

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Here’s the thing about Mondays:

Nothing looks overly optimistic on a Monday. Even with a fresh start or a new beginning. Even if the sun is shining.

Honestly, you can’t expect too much.

Some days you’re Holly Golightly. Some days you’re Cat. Some days, you’re both.

Every Monday I realize that one of the most twisted results of the fall was that one day men would have to survive not by fighting the thorns in the earth, but by locking himself as far away from the earth and sky and open air as he can for eight hours of every day just so he can afford to eat.

I know there’s a day coming when that won’t be necessary anymore. And that day will last forever.

But the meanwhile can be a Monday sometimes. And the weekend can seem forever away.