In the year 2004 I returned home from a summer in New Hampshire, where my husband worked for a camp and I tended our children in the big green woods. I recall how excited I was to return to internet access, how I immediately set out to find six friends from college, to see if they were planning to attend our 20th reunion. No yeses, but I rediscovered a friend or two or three, and I wanted to tell them how I got here, to find out how they arrived where they are. One especially-dear writing friend suggested I start a blog. I didn’t know what the word meant. He said it was a commitment to write, so I said yes, I wanted a commitment to write.
I wrote a column for Amy, for the alumni newsletter of an organization I loved. Amy was kind enough to let me write articles for two years. When the alumni newsletter changed formats, Amy introduced me to Kirsten at Catapult magazine, who graciously welcomed my writing, though she’d never met me. I drafted a memoir while I worked as a writing tutor for a nearby college. I was tossed out on my ear from the local memoir class—no one would read after me, or critique my stuff, and the teacher said I’d need to move on to something more advanced, even if I felt like a new writer. (She is a lucky find of a teacher, in so many ways.)
Three years ago I snagged my first freelance paycheck for Interweave Spin-Off, a magazine for spinners of yarn, with a six-page piece titled “How to Host Your Own Yarn-Party for Children.” My second and third freelance pieces were for Living Crafts magazine. And I got a job with Ladies Home Journal and then More magazine.
And the last two years have been happily invested in grad school. I’ve worked harder than I thought possible, and my writing continues to surprise me.
Happy Writing Anniversary to me: I’ve been writing for five years. I just graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing, from a program I love, with students and faculty I enjoy and admire. “What’s Next?” is a huge question, with children home on summer vacation, I’m sending resumes, checking around, getting suggestions. Of course, I’m a writer, so what’s next is my writing, after vacation and after beaches and general August behavior. When kid-school starts, I will edit my favorite essay one more time, and submit it to literary journals. And then I’ll get to work on my story about learning to cook, for a food-writing anthology. And then I’ll edit and revise the stories about my work as personal assistant to a blind woman.
That ought to keep me busy.
Meanwhile I hope to write letters, if I can, and post some of my graduate annotations while I pull together my blogging-self once again. I started this blog as an exercise in gratitude, and in gratitude I continue.
Thanks for being here. You are very dear readers.