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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blissfully Bald indeed

As I type this, I have nearly 100% less hair than I did the last time I posted.

One rockin' dancer Donna (photo used with permission)

My progression toward baldness began with reading the post “Blissfully Bald,” in which my friend Chris (From the Bungalow) announced that he and his wife, Karin (Pinwheels and Poppies), would be shaving their heads for St. Baldrick’s. Their inspiration,Donna’s Cancer Story, chronicled one girl’s 31-month battle with cancer.

I’d seen references to Donna’s Cancer Story since September, but it seemed like such a commitment to follow a 31-day blog series. Also, really depressing. I couldn’t imagine a more depressing read.

After reading “Blissfully Bald,” I knew I’d have to read Donna’s Cancer Story. That Friday evening, I settled in and began reading about Donna.

I cried. Oh, how I cried. But I also felt barriers between me and others removed by growing understanding. Through Mary Tyler Mom‘s open, raw descriptions of her daughter Donna’s life with cancer, “them” became “us.” “Those parents” became “someone who could be me”; the children, “someone who could be my son.”

My world grew simultaneously smaller and larger.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The company that kept me going

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my struggles budgeting time.

One of my most frustrating such challenges is finding time for writing, or, more accurately, editing. Three already written YA novels await my editorial attention, but it’s tough carving out time to tend to them.

Lack of time makes my progress slower, but it never stops it altogether. I can’t let it.

There is, you see, someone to whom I owe my time and effort.

Read about her over at Martine’s.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Experiencing books

Once a quarter during college, I’d receive my financial aid and go on a book-buying binge. I’d vow to spend my remaining money wisely enough that I’d be able to keep the books.

Once a quarter, nearer its end, I’d look at my books and wish they were nutritionally as well as intellectually sustaining. I’d then haul them to Smith Family Bookstore, where I’d trade one form of sustenance (books) for cash for the other (food).

Only a handful of books survived my college days. Fewer still moved overseas and back with me. Twice.

Early last year, my dear friend Sarah started recommending books she knew I’d like. A Brief History of Montmaray didn’t just suck me into its own pages but back into reading. By the end of 2011, thanks to copious readwalking, I’d read 40ish books. Most of those were ones I’d bought myself, which meant I was adding books to my shelves* knowing I really would be able to keep them this time around.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

My countdown to being bald!


On Saturday, March 24, 2012, I’m shaving my hair for St. Baldrick’s childhood cancer charity. Please look here for information on my inspiration and on donating.

Thank you so much for your support!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Choosing baldness. Choosing hope.

I’ll be bald in eleven days.

There was a time I swore I’d never have hair shorter than chin length again. At 18, I’d made the unfortunate mistake of dozing off at the hands of a new stylist, who thought I’d look just fabulous with one-inch hair.

How wrong you were, stylist. How wrong you were.

Despite my old vow, I choose baldness now.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

The care and tending-to of story ideas

Concealed in my closet amongst actual shoes there rests a Converse shoebox full of something else. Something altogether unshoelike.

Twenty years ago, I tucked every story idea that danced through my head into that same shoebox. I was too full of story ideas, beginnings and characters to actually sit down and develop any of them, but I’d get around to it someday.

Someday, I knew, those little scraps of paper would metamorphosis into page after page of beautiful tales.

In my mid-teens, I met my first boyfriend and stopped opening the shoebox. Still, I moved the box with me when I headed to Los Angeles for law school.


After you’ve read the rest of this post over at Avery’s Book Nook (a delightful nook indeed!), I’d love your thoughts–over there–on your own story ideas. Do you keep them? If so, for how long? Have you ever found yourself revisiting any of them later? I’d love to know what you do with the ideas you can’t yet use!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A love letter

Is this a love letter? Yes. Is it a romantic love letter? No. I hope you’ll read on nevertheless.

In May 2009, my brother-in-law requested my feedback on a scholarship application essay he’d written. True to my contract profession self, I butchered the letter like I was getting paid a million bucks for each word altered or removed.

Something like this.

To make sure my bro-in-law understood exactly why I’d treated it so brutally, I wrote him a letter that I started with ginormous font text cautioning him, under no circumstances, to read my edits before reading my explanatory letter.

I revisited that letter today because I wanted to remind him he’s more than numbers and letters on med school applications. I’m posting it here with his consent, and a request for you:

Please try to see yourself through the eyes of those who love you. There’s a reason they love you so.


I’m biased where you’re concerned. I totally own up to that. I think you’re tied for something like second or third most awesome person in the world, ever. To be fair, though, I reached this conclusion only after knowing you for many years, and seeing the amazing capacities of both your heart and mind.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Budgeting ain't for sissies!

It’s been five years since I got myself into the habit of budgeting my money.

Likely in the middle of budgeting

I hated it at first. Before I started keeping track, it was easy to pretend I had more money than I actually did.

With all my paycheck dollars divvied up into clear budget categories, it was much harder to keep up that daydream.

Budgeting wasn’t without its benefits. Looking at the totality of my debt and expenses in one place allowed me to create a realistic plan for paying off my debt. Within a few months, I found my debt diminishing instead of growing. I was delighted to see the numbers going down, if a little less thrilled that my law school debt was still in the six-figure zone.

Five years later, it’s easy to see how much my budget benefited me. It was absolutely worth the teeth-gnashing and fist-shaking at the beginning.

Recently I’ve been faced with another budgeting question:

Why didn’t I ever try budgeting my time?

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