I started this blog in 2012. That seems crazy, but as many crazy things turn out to be, it’s true. When my littlest was a wee one and my oldest was barely into elementary. Before I realized the world had decided double spacing after periods was ridiculous. Much has changed in six years: no more babies, a few more gray hairs, all my children in school. I’m so glad to have recorded this time in essay form. To look back on and remember how I felt about it all, what I learned, what I still have yet to master.
But over the last near-year I’ve had little to say in this format. Suddenly the well dried up. My brain had become used to feeling an essay coming on almost weekly – I’d walk into Target and see an old woman holding hands with a younger one, doing laps around the store (I wrote a post on this if you’ll recall) and my mind would go into notice-and-contemplate mode, soon after, shaping my thoughts into paragraph form, begging to set them free through my finger tips. It was almost magical the way the essays emerged. But then it became clear that my site needed a revamp (which it still does). And then the ideas stopped coming.
My mind turned toward more flowery language, longer formats of story-telling, harkening back to my former love of writing short fiction. I’d see the sky and want to describe it, set a story beneath it, find meaning in its mood. Those fiction muscles that had lain dormant for a decade ached to be stretched again. To be put to use. And my brain complied. It shut off the personal essay valve and reopened the one that calls for plot and rising tension and ADJECTIVES. Whole short stories poured forth. It was marvelous.
So the essays have been on pause. I’ve had other things to do.
And I must say that, for now, the fiction fountain is still flowing and I’m trying my darnedest to put some out into the world (cross all your fingers). But the personal essay still holds a place in my heart, and in my writing life as a whole. And since I have six years worth of posts on this website (cross your other fingers for an overhaul), I thought I’d sift through them and choose my faves for a Best-Of collection.
Starting today, I’m going to repost some oldies but goodies, until the valve is reopened and I think in essay form again. There’s enough here to keep us busy for a while.
Happy reading, friends. I hope you welcome back these posts like old neighbors coming for a visit. They are sure happy to see you.