Archive | January, 2012

Flying Low, Looking Close

Olivia Newport crop circles

On a recent jaunt by air, I was on a plane that backed from the gate, rumbled to the runway, and then stopped. A few minutes later, the captain announced that some gizmo or other was not working, and without it, we would have to fly at an elevation under 25,000 feet rather than above […]

Mama Says #17

Mama Says #17

My mother has never been one to leave her bed unmade. She just doesn’t do that. Ever. (I did not inherit that gene. Just so you know.) My mother also is known to go on organizing binges. She went on one in her bedroom while I was visiting. I was minding my own business, working […]

Why Writing in Obscurity Counts

Olivia Newport heron lifting wings

Hello? Is anybody there? If you’re a writer, you know that question well! If you’re a reader, please answer! When I first started blogging, I asked on my Facebook fan page what people might like to see me write about. One of the questions was about my discipline as a writer. The two series I […]

Freeze Frame Moments

Olivia Newport baby robbins

Ever have a freeze frame moment? You walk in a room and instantly feel a significance beyond words. I have a young adult daughter who works full time, goes to college full time (yes, I’m proud), and has a social life. So she’s not home much, and if she is, she’s in the process of […]

Mama Says #16

Mama Says #16

My dad always kept gas in the car. When his illness made him unable to do this, my mother was still driving, and the days of full-serve gas stations were long gone. Others stepped in to be sure she had gas. She did not drive far—church, grocery store, pharmacy, library. She no longer drives, but […]

I Can’t Quilt, But I Can Write

Olivia Newport chair quilts

Straight stitches. Strong stitches. Even stitches. Patient stitches. Yeah, that’s where you lose me. Patience. My mother has made some beautiful quilts over the years, and I’m pleased to have some of them in my home. Last time I visited her, I wondered if she would notice if I packed up the one on the […]

10 Reasons I Love the Duck Pond

Olivia Newport duck pond ice

If you’ve been chasing joy with me for a few weeks, you’ve read about the duck pond before. I visit fairly often, and here’s why: 1. It gets me moving. The pond is small, nearby, and easy to circle. Twice around is about a mile—easily doable on a midday break. 2. It’s a destination. The […]

Mama Says #15

Mama Says #15

Honestly, I don’t know where my mom gets this stuff. The day was particularly windy. When Mom got back from walking the dog, she put both hands on her head to tame her hair and said, “It’s really windy out there. It makes you want to        take your wig off.” I haven’t laughed so hard […]

Five Things I Learned from Memphis

Olivia Newport Underside of Plane

A couple of years ago I worked with someone in Memphis on a writing project, and recently he invited me to hear about what they’re up to these days. So I went to Memphis. I listened to brilliant people explain their dreams for their city on the theme of health and wellness. Aside from the […]

Confessions of a Workhorse

Olivia Newport--a squirrel stretched too far

A decade ago I was an in-house editor at a publishing house. Deadlines were unrelenting and unforgiving. Because of the nature of the market we served, the product HAD to go out the door on time. Not three weeks late. Not three days late. We moved projects between editors and designers in brown paper bags […]