about bliss

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

daily bliss: gloom busters

At November's end, temperatures plummet, skies grey, and darkness descends early. Somedays, gloom is all too ready to descend and grow.

These days, I take comfort in simple pleasures:

flannel sheets and faux down comforters

early morning yoga or walks

twice daily cafe au lait

steel cut oats with brown sugar, walnuts, and dried fruit

a small fraser fir twinkling with white lights

warm hugs and supportive ears from family and friends

streaming internet music

student engagement

cooking and baking for the ones I love





Monday, November 29, 2010

haiku: thanks

kindness of strangers
bubbling lasagne, red wine
eighteen months of bliss

Sunday, November 28, 2010

bliss eats: sweet sunday soup

I bought this seven pound butternut squash at the last farmers' market of the year, and decided today would be the day I'd test my Wüsthof chef's knife against its sturdy shell. I cut it into eight big pieces and roasted until tender. I tucked most of the wedges in the freezer, but saved one for a warm, sweet, orangey soup that was taking shape in my head. 

I made a batch of veggie stock and cooked two pounds of dried cannelini beans. I set aside some of each for the soup. And then I played with flavor and hoped for the best. 

This soup, which I've decided to name Sweet Sunday Soup, is hearty and yet light. It's perfectly satisfying after eating Thanksgiving foods in a variety of forms, and is warming on a cold late late fall night. 

Sweet Sunday Soup
3 cloves garlic 
several carrots, cut into small pieces
1 rib of celery, diced
part of an onion, diced
4 small yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 sweet potato, diced
part of a butternut squash, roasted and diced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh thyme
2 cups of cooked cannelini beans
several cups of veggie stock
several cups of water
salt and pepper to taste
fresh spinach
parmesan cheese, grated

Saute the first four ingredients in olive oil until they brown. Toss in the potatoes and sweet potatoes and cook for a few minutes. Add stock and water, along with the herbs. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until potatoes are crisp-tender, then add the beans and squash. Cook until flavors meld and all vegetables are tender, adding liquid as necessary. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Tear spinach into soup bowls and then ladle in the hot soup. Garnish with cheese. 

Serve with warm cornbread. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

daily bliss: lazy long weekend

Ahhh, the coveted holiday four day weekend! Thursday feels like Friday and Friday feels like Saturday and Saturday feels like Saturday and Sunday, well, feels like Sunday with a tinge of Monday (but we won't go there just yet).

There's plenty of time to laze on the couch after lunch watching the Food Network; to linger in bed listening to NPR Morning Edition buried under warm soft layers; to empty summer's terra cotta pots and to buy a small cute christmas tree and place it in the stand; to walk or drive downtown to spend a few hours in a bar or coffeeshop connecting with one's significant other; to page through Martha Stewart cookies cookbook and drool over the gorgeous photos whilst debating the merits of chewy versus crispy cookies; to take one's daily shower right before bed to warm up and invite sleep; to listen to the tapping of keys and whirring of dishwasher and the crisp still late late fall silence. 

And tomorrow there will be plenty of time to read and grade and email for work, exercise, bake cookies, trim the tree, do the laundry, and listen to football. 

Savor. Enjoy. Surrender. 

Be right here, right now. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

daily bliss: date day

For sweetest day, G planned an awesome day of fun activities we both would like, from wandering the Mitchell Bio-domes to watching Japanese flower arranging (Ikebana) to dining at a Japanese restaurant.

I wanted to plan a date that centered around some of G's favorite activities, and so today we walked in the blustery cold to a local tavern to watch football, drink an adult beverage, and shoot darts.

As Auburn trailed Alabama at halftime, we took to the dart board, and G, who has been shooting on a league for 15 years, showed me the basics. I loved watching him think and release the dart, and he made many impressive shots.

I'm proud to say I hit the board most of the time.

As the game returned, and Auburn began to build momentum, we focused on the television, and I cheered as Auburn steadily moved toward victory.

A quiet post-holiday afternoon, a little bonding time, and a whole lot of fun were just what I needed today.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

giving thanks


cafe au lait and paperback novels

ruby red grapefruit and fast flowing pens

meandering conversation and dark chocolate truffles

alarm-free mornings and thick warm sweaters

indie music and the sunday times

unexpected surprises and neverending kisses

woolen slippers and soaring violins



mom and dad


grandmas and grandpas

aunts uncles cousins

g's family




fellow humans


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

daily bliss: new traditions

As the wind howls outside and whips around mixed precipitation, I take a break from prepping vegetarian cornbread stuffing, making roasted garlic gravy, and baking a maple bourbon pecan tart to reflect on the blessings of this holiday, and the chance to create new traditions.

Since G and I are merge holidays this year, spending Thanksgiving here with his family and Christmas in Michigan with my family, I have a chance to see how my town ushers in the holidays.

Tonight G and I watched the local holiday parade, cheering for my colleagues and students, waving at adorable kids, and sipping coffee from the new, narrow shop. Santa, by the way, has officially arrived.

We joined a group of G's friends, back visiting family for the holidays, at a local bar/pizza place for laughter, stories, and beer.

When our take-out order was ready, we headed home to eat pizza slices studded with red pepper flakes and piles of vegetables.

And now, we're doing our cooking and baking and food prep.

We're blogging, the soft clicks and clacks of keys in syncopated rhythm.

They blend well.

And so do we.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

daily bliss: frost

That time of year...again...sans snow...

[photo to be added when blogger decides to cooperate again]

the frost performs its secret ministry...

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Frost at Midnight"

Monday, November 22, 2010

daily bliss: auntie

I am blessed to be an auntie to this charming young lady, who calls me Auntie Jess. Isn't she adorable? She's also very smart, super sweet, and highly verbal. She'll be four next month. And, she'll always be my special niece!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

haiku: loss/memory

cold november night
miles rolling underneath tires
a friend says goodbye

for S and her family: remembering N, a man full of love, faith, humor, opinions, with many tractors and nifty gadgets and a loving family and a generous heart, who died four years ago today.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

daily bliss: family/story

I'm spending a few days in Michigan, a pre-holiday visit, if you will, relaxing and visiting my family after some busy weeks at work. One Grandpa recently had a pacemaker installed, and the other is slowly recovering from a nasty bout of skin infection, so I was especially glad to see them. And, I enjoyed surprising my Grandma at the outlet mall where she and Mom "just happened" to be shopping. Tonight I chatted with an Uncle and cousin who stopped by after an evening in the woods looking for deer. And, this afternoon, I watched the Gilmore Girls and sipped tea with my mom, and talked politics and planned an early morning walk out to the blueberry field with my dad.

But mostly, I love to listen to their stories.

Stories of a daily nature, of local travels.

Updates of family I won't have a chance to see this time.

Stories from the past: one great-uncle's loving gesture to his childless wife, one grandfather's harrowing experiences as a prisoner-of-war.

Stories in the making: new holiday traditions and widening family circles.

Story creates and sustains us.




Friday, November 19, 2010

daily bliss: hats

Two summers ago, I bought this chunky, fun hat at a sidewalk sale, and tucked it away until winter. It's still my favorite headgear, and attracts positive comments every time I wear it. Now, I'm a little distressed that I need to wear a hat (i'm never ready for the temperature free-fall), but at least this one brings joy to many:)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

daily bliss: writing groups

Our bookshelves are lined with writing advice books: Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg, Ralph Keyes, Brenda Ueland, and many others.

I took a few fiction and poetry writing classes during my graduate school years, studying with Gordon Henry, Judy Troy, and Natasha Tretheway.

Back then, I gathered in coffeeshops and homes with friends and classmates to share fiction and poetry and hybrid prose.

And now, I'm in a writing group with four other women. We meet once a month to share our writing and provide insightful, productive critiques.

And the part of me that's been quiet, and mostly solitary, and shut up in academic prose, soars.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

daily bliss: blogging, part two: how blogs changed my personal life

Blogs brought me a boyfriend.

(blogger should use this as a selling point, yes?)

My friend B stumbled on Gregg's blog about two years ago, and told me I might like it. "He's all zen, and funny, and a writer." So, I clicked over, read the blog description, tried to puzzle out the title, and bookmarked it. I checked back every so often and wondered about this guy. Where was he? Was he single? He seemed like someone I could relate to. He wrote about cheering for a losing football team from my home state. He described taking his parents to see Garrison Keillor. He made me smile and laugh and dream, just a little, of romantic possibility.

And then one April day, I clicked over to his blog and my heart started thumping. He wrote about attending a poetry reading at a local college.

My college.

A reading I organized.

And so I came out of lurkdom and left a comment, and, well, the rest will be a lifetime movie, according to my Mom's hair stylist.

I love our story so much that I never tire of sharing it.

When I was single, people would tell me to do things I loved as a way to meet people.

What I most love are reading and writing, baking and yoga. These are either solitary activities or predominantly female activities.

And yet the advice worked.

Our love of words brought us together.

How very poetic.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

daily bliss: blogging, part one: how blogs changed my professional life

NaBloPoMo definitely tests one's blogging fortitude, with a daily challenge to write something. In a month that tests my mental fortitude—November's sudden chilly grey damp days are always a shock to my system—this practice of opening up my blog post box and filling it with words and images grounds and paralyzes me.

(secret confession? days of haiku are days with no inspiration, or great inspiration but no mental, physical, emotional energy to actually write the post I have in mind.)

Tonight, though, I want to celebrate this medium, which has brought me great joy this week. For the past three years, I've been using blogs in the classes I teach. I create one blog for the class, add the students as authors, assign a weekly post deadline, and turn them loose. Some students take to the digital writing space immediately, while others founder for words. I wanted to study how to best use blogs in the class, and to explore how this kind of writing can help teach students how to think, read, and write in an academic discipline. And so, earlier this fall, I applied for a rather competitive fellowship that the UW-System supports.

I was selected to represent my college, which means access to workshops and presentation forums, as well as financial support (ipad, anyone?!?). I'm thrilled to study and share my love of the blog space, and to bridge my personal and professional interests in this way. I'll begin the project late next Spring...stay tuned for more updates!

(stay tuned for blogging, part two: how blogs changed my personal life.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

daily bliss: slippers and ugg boots

Tonight I'm padding around the house, reading and responding to student drafts, monitoring items on ebay, tidying up our small space, wearing drawstring pj pants, a soft grey tank top, hoodie, and my dirty, faded, tall pink Ugg boots. (and, in the interest of full disclosure, I must add that I'm wrapped in my oft-mentioned pink fleece blanket.)

While these boots have outlived much of their original purpose--keeping my feet warm and dry during winter's finest storms (largely because they don't succeed at the dry bit)--they make  fabulous "slippers" when my wool mary jane haflingers won't do. These boots are cozy and broken in, and, as long as I'm not standing for long periods of time, so comforting.

Now, as long as I don't have to wear these--or any--boots outdoors for another month or so, I'll be happy-ish.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

100 words: sensuous

I'm participating in a weekly writing challenge: 100 words. Each week, Velvet Verbosity posts a prompt, and participants write 100 words, in any form, that evoke the word. This week's word: pleasure. 

stillness of early morning, the sun rising pink and orange over steely Lake Michigan
laughter, tinkling or guffawing, rising and falling
swirling, sipping a glass of seductive pinot noir
colored leaves, or gentle snowflakes, floating to the ground
swimming in words, lapping through the pages of a thick novel
swaddled in a fleece blanket, pink
four layer cake, white with berry filling and whipped cream, or chocolate, with 
         sticky caramel pecan frosting, savored
samuel barber’s “adagio for strings,” soaring and hollowing
a warm hand pressed in the small of the back
the free-flowing scrawl of a fast-moving pen

Friday, November 12, 2010

daily bliss: afternoon coffee

Between 3:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon, I love to have a mug of cafe au lait and a small snack, if I'm at home. Sometimes I flip on the Food Network or the Gilmore Girls to keep me company.

Today was special. My mom arrived at 3:30, and we set about making coffee, steaming milk, and arranging snacks. The banana bread I made was still slightly warm, and mom brought pear crostata. As we sipped and nibbled, we chatted and settled in for a weekend visit. What a blessing to spend this blustery weekend catching up.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

haiku: fuel

michael pollan talk.
chocolate scone, chai latte.
deep conversation.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

twd: not-just-for-Thanksgiving cranberry shortbread cake

Wisconsin, in addition to the distinct honor of being home to the Germanic trifecta of cheese, sausage, and beer, is the cranberry state! This time of year, our local grocery store sells cranberries, all ruby and firm, in red netted bags. I buy a few bags each time I'm at the store and stash the extras in my freezer for tasty treats long after the cranberry holidays have come and gone. 

This week's TWD recipe, selected by Jessica, of Singleton in the Kitchen, features a thick layer of cranberry orange jam nestled between layers of a soft, dense cake with a crisp outer crust and the delightful butter flavor of shortbread. 

I baked the cake on Sunday, and offered it up to our dinner guests, Gregg's parents. Everyone liked the cake, and G declared it better than the classic apple pie I also served. I love how not-sweet this cake is, and I love the textures. I'll definitely make this again, perhaps in the middle of summer, when cranberries are but a dream in the bog, but stacked abundantly in my freezer. 

Monday, November 08, 2010

monday morning musings

One cup of coffee too many yesterday evening taught me that I've reached that regrettable age of caffeine intolerance. Boo. Hence last night I tossed and turned, my mind filled with bizarre dreams and worries. I woke for good at 6:00 when I heard an intermittent chirp--that tell-tale sound that one of the detectors/monitors needs new batteries.

As the rising sun burned off a layer of fog, I sipped my coffee and read for classes today, pushing aside the worries and anxieties. They came crashing back once I laced my shoes up and set out for a brisk walk after a hearty breakfast of well-dressed steel cut oats.

A few weeks ago, I encouraged my students to do a pair of writing exercises: write down your current stresses, and then, after a break, write about your blessings. Linking these two writings helps reframe the brain, theoretically.

And so, though this blog is more about bliss than stress, this morning I'm going to take my own advice. It won't be polished or pretty because an 11:00 class awaits, but I need this more than anything this morning.

Concern about my family: my 92 year old Grandpa is recovering from a severe infection, and is currently at a "facility"--somewhere between the hospital and home--until he regains strength. This is making all of us a little more aware of mortality, the swift passage of time and how we spend it, and the kinds of connections we make with each other.

Concern about my job: how will the recent election results impact my standing as a (often vilified) state employee? I'm sure financial hits are coming, but I don't know to what extent. And, as I continue on the tenure track, I worry about choices I've made to redirect my career, namely to write more creatively and less scholarly, to stop working on projects that brought me little joy, and instead write in my voice, from my heart, to connect with the readers I most want.

Concern about the holidays: this year Gregg and I are merging our holidays, which is wonderfully exciting, but stressful, too, as we leave the comfort of our established rituals and enter into a new way of celebrating with each others' families. I feel nothing but love from and for Gregg's family, and am so blessed to have them in my life. Still, the holidays are, well, the holidays. Filled with tradition and memory and expectation--qualities that can be both positive and negative. Making new traditions and memories is a happy form of stress, as well as a kind of loss.

Missing my friends, both locally and scattered around the country. How did we all get so busy that reconnecting seems a chore more than a joy?

And the anxiety of body image, of worst-case scenarios, of generalized worry seems to be gaining strength. Yoga and walks and journaling and talking are effective ways to manage these troublesome thoughts and feelings, but at 2:00 in the morning they don't quite work.

A loving family, including a fabulous boyfriend/co-habitator/co-conspirator, parents, brother, two sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and G's family, who have taken me into theirs so warmly.

A diverse and wide circle of friends, including many kindred spirits.

A job I mostly love, with many non-material benefits.

A cozy home in a lakefront town.

An open heart, mind, and soul.

Access to healthy food and wellness centers and yoga studios.

Good health.

Numerous writing outlets.


Hot tea and cafe au lait and soft sweaters and a cloud bed and a reliable car and a strong social network and chocolate and kindness and hugs and kisses and an amazing music collection and warm memories and...


(i feel better already. namaste, my friends.)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

haiku: kitchen magic

dishwasher churning
swell labor saving device
lulling me asleep

Saturday, November 06, 2010

daily bliss: saturday simplicity

Eating oatmeal with brown sugar, dried cranberries, walnuts, and cinnamon.

Stretching and breathing throuh a sixty minute power yoga class at the gym.

Grading a stack of short essays.

Being silly with Gregg.


Walking to a new coffee shop owned by a former student.

Wandering the video store picking out movies.

Gathering groceries.

Cooking and eating a simple autumn/winter meal of whole wheat couscous with assorted roasted vegetables, tossed with olive oil and smoked spanish paprika.

Being silly.

Watching  I Love You, Man.

Laughing out loud throughout most of the aforementioned movie, especially at Paul Rudd's character.

Thinking about how dreamy Paul Rudd is.

Answering yes when Gregg asks me if I think Paul Rudd is dreamy.

Baking and eating a small apple pie.

Drinking vanilla chai tea, laced with maple syrup and half-and-half.


Talking to my mom.

Reading Happily Ever After, the fourth book in Nora Roberts' Bridal Quartet.

Snuggling in the cozy flannel sheets and faux down warmth of our Cloud bed.

Sleeping for an extra hour.

Friday, November 05, 2010

butternut squash and apple ravioli with apple cider beurre blanc

Last Sunday, I was struck with culinary crafting fever. I wanted a project meal. You know, the kind that takes many steps--none of them difficult--but many just the same.

This was my incentive to grade, grade, grade and tidy, tidy, tidy.

And so it was that at 3:30 in the afternoon I was roasting butternut squash, caramelizing onions and shallot, and kneading pasta dough before the trick-or-treaters arrived.

I toasted walnuts, crisped sage, roasted garlic, made applesauce.

Did I mention the many steps?


Here they are, in rough quantities and approximations because that's the way I cook when I'm inventing a dish the first time.

Pasta Dough
I use a recipe from Lidia Bastiannich, which contains egg and olive oil. You can use your favorite recipe, or, to simplify matters, use wonton wrappers.

Ravioli Filling
My "recipe" made more than enough filling for 14 ravioli. I packaged up the leftover filling and stashed it in the freezer for another meal, when I don't have quite as much time to play.

1 medium butternut squash, seeds and weird stringy stuff scooped out, cut into wedges. Toss with olive oil and roast on a baking sheet or in a glass baking dish for 30ish minutes, depending on the size of your wedges. Allow to cool, and then peel.

3 cloves of garlic, roasted.

Several shallots and part of an onion, caramelized slowly on the stove top. I deglaze the pan several times with wine right at the end.

2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced, simmered with a bit of water until they break down into a rough sauce. Sprinkle with fresh nutmeg.

Combine all of these ingredients in a large sauce pan; season with salt and pepper. Thin with water as necessary, and puree with a stick blender.

Crafting and Cooking the Ravioli
Cut your pasta dough into whatever size squares you prefer. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of half of your squares. Don't overfill. Don't underfill. You need to play around with the filling amount to get it just right, I'm afraid.

Dip your finger into water, and trace the edge of the squares with filling. Place an unfilled square on top and press together. The water should act as a glue of sorts. I like to then crimp the edges with a fork to ensure a tight seal.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; salt it generously. Add a few ravioli at a time to the bubbling water; don't crowd them. They'll flip and swim and sway. When the pasta seems to have suctioned to the filling, they're done. Remove from the water and place on a platter or baking sheet. Repeat until all the ravioli are cooked.

Apple Cider Beurre Blanc
The day I made this dish, I listened to a podcast of the Splendid Table and listened to a guest wax poetic about beurre blanc, a classic French sauce that combines reduced, flavorful liquid with rich, cold butter for a silky emulsification. I thought of the half-gallon of cider in the fridge, and decided to experiment. I sauteed shallots in a bit of butter, and then added a few generous glugs of cider. I cooked it on medium high until it was reduced, and added a few pats of cold butter, whisking them in one at a time. A bit of salt and pepper completed the sauce.

Toast walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts.

Crisp a handful of sage, on the stove top, in olive oil.

Final Assembly
Add the ravioli to the warm sauce, and swirl around until the ravioli are coated. Plate the ravioli next to a bed of beautiful steamed spinach, and garnish with the toasted nuts and crispy sage.

Sip a lovely Riesling, like my favorite Kung Fu Girl variety, chat and laugh and sigh and smile with your favorite people as you delve into the flavors of fall.

Enjoy! We surely did, after all the ghosts and witches and cows and dragons and ups boys left, their plastic pumpkins or spare pillowcases stuffed with candy.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

daily bliss: found

I'm wrapped in my favorite pink fleece blanket with a green scarf wound around my neck as the 37 degree air drafts ever-so-slightly through the wall of lake-facing windows.

But I don't mind.

I enjoyed a blissful afternoon.

Due to a canceled meeting, I was able to leave work earlier than I have in weeks, nay, the entire semester. I actually blocked out time this afternoon to work on my writing--my non-scholarly, creative writing. And, I planned on attending a challenging yoga class.

And so, I drove to Kohler, to sit in a soft leather chair next to the fireplace at the Craverie, sipping a latte and crunching a deep chocolate biscotti. I wrote approximately 900 words of a piece that is becoming nearer and dearer with every word; it's inspired by a great-aunt who had a grown-up, life-size dollhouse of sorts, something that strikes me as sweet and sad all at once; it's about family and it's about having and not having babies.

Once my caffeine cooled, and my word flow slowed to a trickle, I drove to the nearby market, to buy Alterra coffee beans (this week's special: black and tan, a mix of sumatra and nicaragua. mmmm.), browse the wine, and check the dairy (Oikos honey greek yogurt for 80 cents cheaper than my regular grocery store? yes, please!).

Then it was time for yoga, a 75 minute Baptiste Power Class I was convinced would kick my ass.

And it sorta did.

And it was amazing.

The studio features in-floor radiant heat, which is kept at 85 degrees, so you're enveloped in warmth from the moment you roll out your mat. A wall of windows looks out onto a "lake," or, more aptly, a pond. As we moved through our vigorous practice, the geese rose and fell, the clouds hovered and lifted, the sun set.

On the way home, I picked up a pizza from my favorite pizza place, Il Ritrovo, and called Gregg. He turned on the oven, and soon after I arrived, the pizza was reheated, our wine glasses were full, and we settled in to re-watch Stranger Than Fiction. Writing and baking? Emma Thompson and Will Ferrell? What could be better?

Today was the day I've been needing for months, a day that I could spend a large chunk of not grading or teaching or chairing a committee meeting, not cooking or cleaning or planning. A day to set aside time for myself, alone, to go off and find my bliss, which has been playing hide and seek this fall.

No longer.

I'm relocating my bliss in books and words and yoga, and reconnecting with myself.

Namaste, my friends.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

haiku: fabricating fall

wool and fleece and down
corduroy and cashmere
please, no angora

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

twd: peanuttiest blondies

I grew up eating brownies. Dense, low, fudgy brownies. When I started baking my own, I tossed in handfuls of chocolate chips to provide pockets of pure bliss.

I never made blondies until I joined TWD.

Seriously, what was the point? A handful of chocolate chips in a buttery, sugary, cookie-esque base?

No way. Give me brownies!

But then I made a batch of blondies and marveled at the caramel, butterscotch notes to the base, punctuated with rich chocolate and toasted nuts.

I'm a convert:)

These blondies rely on peanut butter and roasted peanuts to create a rich, dense foundation. I used milk chocolate chips (more than Dorie required, actually, because I love chocolate soooo much). A hint of cinnamon heightens the complexity of these bars, and makes them a perfect partner for a chai latte.

Thank you to Nicole of Bakeologie for selecting this recipe and reminding me of my newly found Blondie love.

Monday, November 01, 2010

nano, nablo

November, in case you're not a writerly type, is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This wildly successful movement was started by Chris Baty in 1999, to encourage folks with novelistic ambitions to crank out 50,000 words in one month, and to give life to their unwritten stories. I have attempted NaNoWriMo on two occasions, beginning with energy and enthusiasm, and fumbling at about day 10, when the daily pace became unsustainable given my day job of helping others craft words and read stories.

The blogosphere-twitterverse-facebookland radiates with writing energy today as friends virtual and real dive in. I wish them endlessly flowing, fast pens; receptive, fat notebooks; and boundless, creative momentum.

As for me, I'm sticking with National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo (which, I've just discovered does not exist in wikipedialand--quick! make a page!)), which I have successfully completed about four times now. I'll blog all month, writing posts short, rambly, poetic, and utilitarian.

It may not be a novel draft.

But it will be writing.

Thirty days worth!

Hopefully, with readers.

Stay tuned.

And, won't you join me?!?