October 20, 2015

Memoir, The Art of (The living of)

Well hey there, stranger. Nine months into 2015 and here I am, out of nowhere. I had not been missing the blog at all most of this year, but in the last few weeks, I've had the urge again. The urge to both journal, and share, and I'm not on Twitter, and Instagram doesn't favor those long comments, and then, hey, forehead slap, what about MY BLOG?


These posts, whenever they come, will likely be short little microbursts rather than Big Deep Posts.

And so:

I'm reading The Art of Memoir, by one of my literary heroes, Mary Karr. (I wrote a big gushy post about Karr awhile back in this post.)  Suffice it to say that though she's from East Texas and I'm from Southern California, her people are my people in fundamental ways.

The book is a fast read, but I'm purposely reading it in short ten or fifteen minute bursts. My current morning ritual is to get the kids off to school, make coffee & breakfast, read a writing/craft book while eating, then write until I have to go to work -- which only gives me about half an hour of writing time, most days. But routine is a topic for another time.

Last Tuesday wasn't a great day, or evening. I pissed off a friend by bailing out on a reading I'd said I'd attend in OC. I attended another reading, in much closer Fallbrook. Sometimes stepping out my insular bubble is a good thing, but that night I felt raw, pointless, and very alone in my weird writer-head.

And I had this thought, ringing through me, that sometimes the writing is not about charging my laptop, the daily word count, the submissions, the rejections, the research, the reaching out for community.

Some days, the writing is all about the hard things, the brokenness, the sadness, the isolation, the swirl of shit that makes me feel I need to write a memoir in the first place.

That was Tuesday.

January 7, 2015

SNOW! (The Best Day)

I can't think of any time in my life when I would have declared New Year's Eve as the best day of the year.

But maybe, very possibly, this time it was.  The best for last.

In the very early morning hours of December 31, it started to snow here in Temecula.  Slowly, lightly, but snow it was. I woke the kids, per their requests.  (My Facebook feed was lit up all the previous day with locals talking about the forecast of predicted snow & wondering &  hoping & betting if it would actually happen.)

For context: this is Southern California.  About five miles north of the San Diego county line, our little valley sits at about 1,200 feet elevation. The temperature stayed in the 90s into early November, and the last time it snowed here was 2004. (And it sure didn't snow like this.) 

New Year's Eve was the best day. The longest day. We were up and outside around 1:30am, back inside for hot cocoa when it turned back to rain an hour later, asleep briefly and then up for good around 5:30am, when it started snowing in earnest. And of course, the kids still insisted on staying up until midnight, to ring in 2015. (We made it, barely. Also, I'm incapable of napping.)

The best day, the longest day.  Other words: Magical. Awesome. Amazing. Unbelievable. Magical, again. Narnia. The last day of the year! What a way to go, 2014.  We'll be talking about it...forever.

January 5, 2015

The Rambling Nest

Well, check me out. I went and changed both the look and the name of the blog.  The Reading Nest is now the Rambling Nest, and believe me, I pondered long and hard over how (and whether) to make this change.

I considered starting a whole new blog, but that didn't appeal. I want the "rambling" part of the title to reflect the many day trips, road trips & vacations I love to experience with my family. Since I already have quite a lot of posts on the "old" blog on that topic, I didn't want to lose them for good...nor did I want to copy them and somehow insert or transport them over into a new blog.  (When I decided to start blogging again, it wasn't because I wanted to suddenly start devoting hours and hours to tweaking and fixing a blog.)

There's still a lot here I want to change...most especially the URL [fixed!]  but also the About Me page, my photo, post labels and classifications, etc.

In the end, I decided that the old Reading Nest name reminded me too much of the subjects I most ended up ignoring here...I had neither a book review/bookworm blog, nor was it a "nesting" type of home decor/lifestyle blog.  And after a year away, and feeling so much differently about blogging in general, the old name felt like a too-snug and too-itchy sweater that I just wanted to shed.

The Rambling Nest, for me, is a nod toward my ever-present wanderlust for new roads and sights to explore. It's also about my "rambles" as a writer, working on essays and memoir & seeking out the writing life while mom of two busy, smart kids. And the "nest" still acknowledges my introvert tendencies to nest safe & cozy at home with a good book.

If you're new, welcome. If you've been around these parts before, welcome back. Hope you like how I've spruced up the place.
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