We could take it to the police and have them finger print it, I suggested. Flip rejected that outright. What then? The idea of returning grocery money to a little old lady sounded heroic. The idea of meeting a burly, tattooed, grizzled drug dealer on a Harley was terrifying. Flip shrugged. He, too, seemed to have lost interest. Coming to talk to you? The office was in the front of the store, just behind the courtesy counter.
The room was oppressive. The walls were paneled with warped wood paneling and the sheer amount of paper stacked on file cabinets, credenzas, and even the windowsill had to be a fire hazard. Donna pulled her glasses down her nose and stared at us. Donna was pretty in an older lady kind of way. She had very tight, uniformly curled blonde hair that I think was the result of something my sister called a permanent wave and she wore very pink lipstick. She always dressed in blazers and skirts, though she rarely left the little office.
He looked panicked. She completely ignored him. She just turned Flip around, gripped him at the nape of the neck and pushed his face toward her desk. His forehead lay flat on the wood and every time she wound up and landed that paddle, the top of his head shoved the folders on her desk a few millimeters forward. He kept talking as she hit him, but it was muffled both from the desk and his own tears and that just seemed to make her angrier.
And yet you could almost see her shaking with fury. It usually went away as quickly as it came on. Jimmy, get out of here! Get out. Get out!
He sounded furious at me, as though I was harming him by being there. I backed slowly up and just as I turned around I heard his mother. The sight of that puddle seized my insides. I could barely breathe and the orange soda and chocolate churned in my stomach. All I could think about was getting as far away from Flip, his mother and his humiliation as I could. I backed out of the office and ran out of the store. His folks were rarely at school events or church; they were always running that store.
I figure, though, that what I saw that day had a lot to do with why Flip always seemed so wildly inconsistent, why the part of him that drew people in like flies to honey was also the thing that drove them away. He might turn up and be the most caring, sensitive husband anyone could ask for. It was so light it looked like frost.
She was lying motionless, her thin legs drawn up to her chest and her head bowed forward. I looked around frantically for Carrie. I was afraid for Carrie. I lost my head. Wayne was huddled against the passenger door, his chin resting on his chest. He was dressed in his work boots, old, dirty steel-toed Red Wing work boots, the kind they carry at the farm supply. It was eerie. I opened my mouth to say just that—it was as though my brain were registering things backwards—and then I saw the rest: the pistol in his right hand and the mostly empty Wild Turkey bottle in his left.
The glass behind his head glistened darkly. I heard the sirens approaching and another car and then another pull into the driveway. He was walking swiftly our way, training his Maglite on the ground. I took her by the arm and led her across the field and away from the old pick up truck. The front yard was a carnival of blue and red lights, people were everywhere and radios were squawking.
She stopped a moment, put her hand out as though to push me to arms length. She took a long shuddering breath, and let it out, a sob, in one stream. She caught it, her eyes closed as if she were talking herself into something. She met my eyes for the first time, nodded and we kept walking. We are selling Casa Beahan in Seattle, putting all our worldly possessions in storage and going on the road for the foreseeable future. We are on a creative quest to find our new home. We have been digging in and re-evaluating our philosophy on living and working for many months.
I grew up watching my dad work day and night at his craft. It was so integral to his life that while it was grueling and wore him down, it also fed his soul. And, frankly, he was really successful— a nationally known furniture maker.
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B and I want that too. I have gotten a big, beautiful taste of that in the last few months. I left my career in the nonprofit world to pursue writing, and it is similarly something I feel like I never stop doing.
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I never stop writing. I wake up and read to push my writing further. Sometimes I get out of bed to put the ideas that were churning through my head as I drift off to sleep on paper. My vocation is my avocation. Anyone who knows us at all knows that we have been dreaming of opening up our own business. The idea has morphed through the years, but the plan is pretty simple to start: a community arts center, a place where people gather to do, learn, show and see creative work.
A place where we can write and paint and support others to do the same. As all this discussion simmered and the creative energy burbled we began to see this plan emerge—sell our house, pay off everything we owe, minimize our expenses, nest-egg some away and invest in a trip across the continent to find our next home. I can feel all of our collective creative energy burbling to the top. I am going to write this into a book.
What makes all these places different? How do we react, both individually and as a couple? How does our art change? Our quest over the next six months is actually quite simple. Our criteria is pretty basic:. But the decision to create a new life in the process, that feels big. To have a chance to soar above the mundane, to take a risk to live our life differently—that feels huge. Much to learn. Talk about two very different types of writing—but the awesome, stupendous, high-fiving, ass-slapping amazing thing about it is that I am writing all.
Words are coming out of my ears and I could not be happier about that. Getting adjusted to letting go of the non-profit world was both as easy as breathing and complicated. The power of language to impact and change the status quo in our neighborhoods, our communities and beyond is magnificent. There were a whole bunch of responses posted. I have thought a great deal about this article and the subsequent responses over the last few weeks. I agree with a lot of what he said. I also roll my eyes at self-absorbed narcissistic memoirs that seem to be a dime a dozen these days.
Will I be paying off my student loans until I die? The investment is worth it. I am a self-described rabble-rouser. To not address this would be shirking my obligation as such. I believe in the power of language to both divide and unite. Writing, like so many of the arts, has long been an elite activity reserved for those who had enough money and power and leisure to enjoy it. I want to be the kind of writer, educator and community member who does not put up walls, but breaks them down. I want my community to be conducive to all the writers.
I returned from my month-long writing retreat in Ireland to a whole new ballgame. I left my nonprofit work with a hard stop, spent four quiet weeks hibernating in the hills with the cows and kitties and fairies. Peppers—the writing annex, where everyone knew my name and what I was working on. But critical. For example:. I was [bad at math]. Then I [asked for help from my teacher and worked with a tutor].
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Because of this I [got a higher grade on my test]. I feel [proud, confident and less tense in math class]. I am in the last few days of my writing retreat. I feel peaceful and inspired, ready to crank out the last few pages to complete one project. I was worn out and worried all the time. I worried about my finances, my students, my career, my weight, my family.
B and I have long talks about how to live more simply so we can slowly start to spend more time doing what soothes and inspires. We want to spend less time chasing the bus to commute to jobs to take care of the customer or push for the outcome to show that we are competent and worthy of our paycheck. The trick, of course, is that in making that decision, I am faced with figuring out just what it takes to make me happy. And, it seems to me, this is not a one time project, but constant reassessment and adjustment.
This trip was my exercise in just that. In some ways, it been as much about establishing what is essential and what I can let go as it is about the writing. Because letting go of something will make room for better writing. Some of this is tongue in cheek, but really, I think the moral of the story is that all the things I do because I feel like I should are just cluttering out the things I do because they make me so very happy. Widgets Search. That is NOT what happened this spring. Nosy old man, Laura thought. How much? Would you mind helping me home, now? How do we know whose it is?
But he might not. Our criteria is pretty basic: Low cost of living—the less we spend on housing and transportation the less revenue we have to generate for ourselves. Community of creatives. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. This short and practical guide is written specifically for Christian writers who are ready to make money with their writing and step into the world of freelancing.
If you're wondering how to get started and where to submit your work, this guide will help. Also a section on writing contests. Includes sample cover letters, as well as many links and resources to Christian mar This short and practical guide is written specifically for Christian writers who are ready to make money with their writing and step into the world of freelancing. Includes sample cover letters, as well as many links and resources to Christian markets and helpful freelancing sites. Although geared towards Christian writers, this guide contains tips that can be applied to the general market, as well.
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Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , 43 pages. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 10, Kayla James rated it really liked it. Small but useful I was sent to get this book from another Faith Writers member. I love the links, but wish there was a PDF version.
All her tips were great. I sent off a greeting card submission and am looking at magazine work and contests. She helps you start building a writing career from right now, no previous samples required.
Plus, I love that it is a Christian writing book, but not enough to scare non-Christians away. I only wish she talked about discipline and keeping a writing schedule more Small but useful I was sent to get this book from another Faith Writers member.