Ready? Set….WRITE ALL THE THINGS! Erma Bombeck’s annual contest opens January 4th, so get your wheels turning and start writing your personal humor or human interest essay! The winner receives $500 and admission to the annual Erma Bombeck writer’s workshop! __________   Writer’s Digest – you can submit anything from poetry to fiction to horror to memoir and MORE. Writer’s Digest is also rich with information for writers, a forum, blog, and writing prompts. __________   Creative Non-Fiction, True Stories, Well Told offers online classes as well as contests and submissions. “Essays must be vivid and dramatic; they should combine a strong and compelling narrative with a significant element of research or information, and reach for some universal or deeper meaning in personal experiences. We’re looking for well-written prose, rich with detail and a distinctive voice.” ____________ The Sub It Club does a monthly roundup of all the contests to enter that month. […]

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I wish I would have thought to write down every good thing that hit me in the gut that I’ve heard at recovery meetings. I haven’t. I would love to leaf through that notebook, to be reminded of all the simple truths spoken there. Many of them I’ve heard so many times, but on certain days, I finally really hear them. It would be so nice to look in my notebook, at a date in a corner, to see when I first “got” something and to ask myself if I still have it. In reality, I have no way to do that, except to keep going back. That’s how I’ll be refreshed, I think. When complacency or pride slips in, I can hustle in the door and it will slam behind me and everyone will turn to see and then I’ll sit down and hold my coffee and be changed. All the truths […]

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September 26, 2012

I’m sad. Which makes very little sense considering I’m excited and happy. I spent the day with my cousin and her groom on Saturday, taking pictures. Their wedding took place at a beautiful camp on a beautiful lake surrounded by beautiful fall leaves. My cousin, she is almost strangely similar to me. She’s creative and sensitive, giggly and anxious, friendly and maybe a little scared. Her eyes are the brightest blue; they matched the lake in the background. She is many years younger than I, and her youth shines from her skin and her smile and her hair is the most beautiful blonde flowy hair.  When I was her age, I downed Dr. Pepper like it was water and furiously chewed the left over ice cubes. Amby does the exact same thing. I’m working on editing some of the pictures from her day so I can send them to she and Michael before […]

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Just Write {45}

July 23, 2012

She toddle-followed me to the door, getting nervous. She always wants to go with me, through any door. She wants outside and me. She loves both a whole lot. Elsie Jane, my little but fierce follower. I was dropping her at daycare for the first time. She and her brothers will be there two days a week while I work. Write. Work. Write. Mother. Yes, I bit back tears when I drove away and no, they weren’t guilty tears. They were mother tears stripped of guilt because I’m learning it’s not so much about what I’m doing but what I’m thinking about what I’m doing. I could so easily ask myself if it’s wrong for my kids to be away from me when I’m not actually punching any type of clock, but I’m not. I’m a late bloomer, always so slow to grow up, fighting it. So I easily question myself, assuming I […]

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The parenting books don’t detail things that can’t be explained. Like the emotions you go through with a premature delivery and hour after hour in the NICU and then hours pacing around the dining room table with a crying infant. “…I passed the weeks in an exhausted daze, unable to get my mind around the ways my life had changed. And for the first time in my life, I felt desperate for words, for some way to express the changes I was undergoing as an isolated new mother.” ~Kate Hopper “Through my blog and teaching I discovered exactly what I expected: women–mothers–crafting memoirs and essays dealing with issues of identity, loss and longing, neurosis and fear, ambivalence and joy.  I found stories about transformation and how the authors see themselves in relation to the world in which they live. Last time I checked, this was the stuff of which real literature was made.” […]

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all the time is here

August 10, 2011

I wake up thinking about another creative endeavor. I think this makes 5 Big Things I dream to do in the world. Number one is mothering, creating humans that live like this. Then the others, they are all of the other artist parts of me, reaching out and begging to explore the story of this life. I wake up with that new idea and then I feel the tap tap tap of the start to the day and I’m on my feet with breakfast and answering questions and rubbing away the sleep from all of our eyes. I’m reaching all around. We talk about finding balance and she has none and neither do I. We talk about accepting that in motherhood and then I think it’s impossible to accept that all at once. The only way to do acceptance is in moments. The balance is not in the big picture. It is in […]

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on having it all

February 23, 2011

I’ve been a SAHM for about five years. Now I have childcare a few days a week for a few hours and during that time I leave the house, my children in good hands, and I work. But when people ask what I do, I don’t really know how to answer. I wish we could all just say “I work” and leave it at that. Yeah, all of us, mothers or not, gainfully employed or not, because life is work. I wish that a work title wasn’t just another way for people to gauge each other’s worth because we’re all worth the same whether that makes some of us uncomfortable or not. So anyway. I’m working on things, a number of things, writing and editing and creating things. The thing is, only one of these gigs pays me (currently)…and only a little. So all this work can feel less valid, I mean, if […]

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but only with help

October 5, 2010

I love October. You should see how it waddles when he walks. It’s the absolute most hilarious and adorable thing you’ve ever seen. And he wiggles it on purpose and calls it his chubby butt. October brings that feeling with it, you know? Like things are about to get hard before they get better. Like you’re dressing up for something you don’t want to wait for and you don’t want to recognize that it might be cold and tiring when you try to live it out. And it’s exciting and depressing at the same time and it leaves me in the throes of fighting the funk and I am. I was a stay at home mom who blogged as a hobby before. And now I’ve somehow become a writer and I feel like I’m embarking on winter, a season to hibernate and rest but there’s no time for that. A book proposal won’t […]

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the view from here

September 8, 2010

Asher is napping and Miles is coloring.The dog is snoring on the couch behind meand there’s a fly sitting on the bottomof the computer screen.It’s been sitting there for minutes and minutes,like it’s not sure what to dolike me. Oh and there he isso now I know.Asher, calling out The words on the pagewill have to waitlike the fly. The view from here pullsand so I go to them.No nap for Asher todayand this is how it is. I do what I can when I can,I write words or sometimes I don’t,because there’s no predictingor planning, really. And it’s very very good,the view from here. ~~~~~ Comments are closed on this post. I think they’re broken anyway.Thank you for visiting me. Thank you for allowing me to pop up in your inbox and for reading my words, silly or serious. I appreciate you. ~Heather

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september holds

September 1, 2010

Let’s just get this question out of the way at the beginning, shall we? How is it September 1st already? There. No answer? Me either. It’s inevitable, summer is bound to slip away. She does it every year. She is sneaky and good at hiding. I was thinking it might be fun to look at the brighter side of falling into fall. So. Here are some things that are up and coming in the land of the EO: On September 11th, I’ll be speaking at the first-ever Minnesota Blogger Conference in St. Paul. My session is 45 minutes long and is called “Authentic Blogging: The benefits and risks of sharing your personal life online.” I plan to dance and sing. Kidding. I’m really looking forward to this, friends. I wish you could all be there. Except I don’t, because that would make me nervous and I’m currently not all that nervous. Anyway. The […]

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I’m well{ish}

August 23, 2010

So I disappear for a while and then I come back with a random post, waxing philosophical on crying strangers. Am weird. Then so many of you were kind enough to say something along the lines of Um…okay, Heather…but how are YOU? I’m well{ish} I’m trying to make friends with the middle. And by that I mean that I struggle to be okay with not being perfect while I also mostly just want to cave to being the opposite of perfect. For example, I feel so much more peace these days about all things motherhood. I used to ruminate and worry much more than I do with sobriety in my pocket, and it’s strange new territory. Because as an addict (and a human being) I have this all or nothing tendency. So. That whole peace thing is bordering on laziness. Believe me. I know. I live here. Yesterday I did more nothing than […]

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in our way

August 22, 2010

I’m sitting here with some acoustic folk. Not folk as in people, but with folk music, and I’m wondering about the lady that’s crying in the next room with her friend, the one who is raising her crinkly brown napkin to the corners of her eyes to dab and sniff. I can see her because of the french doors and their glass panes, ten of them. I wonder why she’s crying but I’m not going to listen. I could take off my headphones and listen, but I want to honor her story, her sense that it’s hers and only shared with a friend, in their own space, in the coffee shop they share with me. A place that feels very safe. And I wonder why so few people actually check on crying strangers when they’re not with a friend, and if they do, is it because they really care or because they’re curious […]

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August 18, 2010

Summer is chasing into Fall like its catalyst is a hurricane. And I’m off to the races right alongside it, leaving behind my peace these days.I’ve got to sign off for a while to try to grab a hold of some semblance of order, a connection with my boys, a plan for schooling I’ve yet to find, for writing, answering, listening, for the preparing for the speaking, and for embracing the days. I’m the kind of person that feels a heavy ache over disorder. The state of my home is the state of my head and heart and I’ve been thrown off, tired, in a funk. Sometimes I just need a break from the beautiful and overly engaging worldwide web. But you knew this…we all do. Take care of you, friends. I’ll see you soon. COMMENTS ARE CLOSED. I still really like you though. Thank you for allowing me to pop up in […]

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August 16, 2010

I think back on it. Back before we moved, nearly eight months ago already. I think back on the difference and I compare for a while. I feel sick to my stomach for a while. Then I feel grateful for a while. There was rarely anything that could interrupt my drinking routine. And if something came up, I almost always found a way. You’d be amazed at how there’s always a way when your will is that strong. But one night, after Miles had been sleeping for an hour or so and I was getting sufficiently buzzed, or trying to, anyway, he woke up with a cry. This rarely happened, and when Ryan and I went to him, he threw up and threw up and threw up. His sheets and pillow, his floor, his little blankie, everything covered in vomit. I sprang to action and forgot my wine. I held him and cleaned […]

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{This post is sprinkled with photos of women who are The Real Deal. Just so you know. Links to them are at the end of the post.} All around the bloggiverse, posts are being written about BlogHer ’10. Posts that are filled with excitement and joy and fear and disappointment. Posts that are filled with feelings. loads of feelings. If I’m being honest, I’m hesitant to raise and add my voice to this current choir. Maybe because I’m afraid it won’t be heard and I want to believe it matters. Or maybe because I know many of my readers aren’t bloggers so blogging about a blogging conference and all of its strange nuances would, for them, be too foreign to understand. I don’t know. I guess I’m posting this because what I have to say is universal, and maybe it’ll shed some light on what is currently a mostly unknown subculture of good […]

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toolbox of the soul

July 27, 2010

Every once and a while the thought passes through my mind that I should get started on painting the kitchen. We still have much to do in updating our not-so-new-to-us-anymore house, and we’re still trying to take it one room at a time. Anyway, I don’t ever start painting, that’s what I’m trying to tell you. First of all, I actually quite hate painting, it’s far too mind-numbing for me. I abhor endless repetitive sameness, unless we’re talking about a daily routine that makes me feel safe, but then again, that gets old, too. Hellooooo ADD brain! What was I saying? Okay, so. Painting. You see, the thing is, I can’t get started. I know I won’t get started unless I ask Ryan to get started for me. And then I have to get out of the way because he’s coming up and down the stairs and looking for all the right things […]

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Hi, my name is Heather and I’m here because I have a story to tell. Actually, pretty much everything I’m experiencing as of late is coming alive with what my friend Ann calls a fireworks display of story-telling. I feel like a bit of a spectator to myself, while I watch doors opening like I never even once dreamed they would. Click, the locks are turned and the creak of the swinging door blasts through my ears while I wait for the BANG! It’s exhilarating and shocking and terrifying. I sit dumbfounded at the chance to share my entire story, all that my heart-gut leads me to tell, through a book. I will meet with an agent in New York City while I am there for the BlogHer conference. I will sign my name. And then I will surrender to the chaos of life as I juggle writing, motherhood, being a wife, blogging […]

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