Posted in writing

The Essence of a Writer in 300 words or less…

In 300 words or less, describe how writing encompasses your life.  This was for a “writing calendar” which sadly did not come to fruition in time for a 2011 publication. This was my submission, coming in at 296 words. If you recognize yourself in this, maybe you, too, are a writer, and you just don’t know it yet;

“You’re awfully quiet,” I was startled out of my reverie by my husband. “She’ll be okay.”

            We were on our way to the emergency room with six-year-old Abby, her ankle badly swollen.

            David had mistaken my silence for concern. I was too embarrassed to correct him. Only another writer could understand. As soon as we were in the car I’d gone inside my head, narrating my own life.

            Driving down the highway, Mary caught a glimpse of her reflection in the car window, noting the dark circles under her eyes.

As a child, a world inside my head had come in handy on the long walk to school and in the classroom when I was bored by lectures. Besides narrating my life’s script, I made up elaborate scenarios and characters I used for English assignments. This continued into college where at least one term paper was peppered with poetry. Then as a mother raising eight children, writing as a creative outlet became a way to save my sanity.

            Sometimes I feel sorry for my husband and children, living with a wife and mother whose mind is so often elsewhere.  Bad enough I am an avid reader pulled away by a good book, but they have to deal with an unseen competitor for their time, my muse.         

“Yes, I know she’ll be fine,” I said, turning to smile reassuringly at Abby.

            Her head swiveled slowly from the window and I saw the clouded eyes that gradually cleared with the recognition that Mom was talking to her. She smiled slightly.

            A future writer, perhaps?



Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Certified grief counselor and Senior Service librarian for the James Kennedy Public library. Popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing, couponing, utilizing your creativity in everyday life, and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015. Grief journal to be released in 2018.

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