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All the things I did this year (2021)

Happy New Year!

I recently read a newsletter–Spokes and Stitches, a pattern company I admire–where the writer did a round-up of all she had accomplished in the last year. I thought I’d do something similar, because I enjoyed the window into a small creative business. I wouldn’t call myself a business, but I thought you might also enjoy the window into a small creative life.

So, um…here is everything I did that was writing-related in 2021!

I’m really proud of my list. My kids have had very few normal weeks of school this year, between snow days, sick days, COVID days, holidays, and the school toilet breaking (not a joke). Sometime mid-last school year, I realized I was going to get no writing done, and I declared it a year off from any serious effort until September. It felt really good at first, and then it kind of sucked, and then it was up and down. I am very happy now to have free time, and every time school gets canceled or someone gets sick, it’s a toss up whether I can say OK and accept it, or if I flip out because really? Are you kidding me? The toilet broke??

(I’m just documenting the state of things for future parents to look back on. And maybe my poor children. Sorry, guys, your mom is trying!)

Anyway, I don’t want to glorify productivity, but I know that personally, it feels good to make a list of accomplishments when everything starts to seem like a big blah slog. I would love to know if you do something like this, with the things that matter to you. If you decide to make a list of your own, I would love (LOVE) to see it. Please let me know – you can email me or, if you share it on IG, tag me (I’m @likesoatmeal).

Wishing you nothing but happiness, health, and peace in 2022!

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Hey Wrong Brain!

Wrong Brain, you rock!

Did we meet at Wrong Brain Holidaze Bizaar?? I am delighted to make your acquaintance. That show is so fun! The organizers have so much awesome energy! I was there with my sister Monica, aka Malt Shop DIY.

Anyway, welcome to my website! I’m so happy you’re here. Here’s a little more about me.

At Wrong Brain, you might have seen my DIY Writing Retreat guides and some special DIY Writing Retreat kits–if you want to buy a guide for your friends and family, hop on over here. (If you would like a kit, please email me!)

You can see my other guides here in my online shop–buy them as printable PDFs and you can print them as many times as you like. Just please don’t share! Do you run a class/writing group/retreat of your own? Email me and I will give you a bulk discount (& can even do the copying for you).

Here are some of the articles, short stories, and essays I’ve written. I’m particularly proud of this short story that Moments Between Literary published (read online).

Thank you so much for stopping by! Want to talk about writing, reading, collaboration, literally almost anything? Email me–I seriously love to email with readers and writers.

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Welcome, Somerville!!

Perhaps you saw me striking this sweet pose along with my awesome sister Sonia.

Did we meet at SomerStreets, that awesome street fair where they close down Highland Ave to cars? Yay! Welcome to my website! I’m so happy you’re here. Here’s a little more about me.

At SomerStreets, you might have seen my DIY Writing Retreat guides and some special DIY Writing Retreat kits–if you want to buy a guide for your friends and family, hop on over here. (If you would like a kit, please email me!)

You can see my other guides here in my online shop–buy them as printable PDFs and you can print them as many times as you like. Just please don’t share! Do you run a class/writing group/retreat of your own? Email me and we will work out a way to get you all the copies you need!

Here are some of the articles, short stories, and essays I’ve written. I’m particularly proud of this short story that Moments Between Literary published (read online).

Thank you so much for stopping by! Want to talk about writing, reading, collaboration, literally almost anything? Email me–I seriously love to email with readers and writers.

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June

The past few months have been crazy–Andrew and I moved! We now live in a totally new neighborhood in South Seattle, the up-and-coming (or some may say up-and-came) Columbia City.

a photo of some blurry people walking under a street sign that says "Columbia City Bakery"

A move is as good a reason as any to shake things up, and I plan to shake things up here on the blog/site that is my name (I still feel weird about it, can you tell?). First of all, I’m going to write regularly about what I’m working on. It will be a little incentive to myself to keep writing and a way for you to see what it’s like to be a writer trying to be a writer–I feel like I work on too many projects, but maybe it’s just the right amount of projects.

a pink cover with a cupcake in the center, title: DIY Chick Lit/A Writing Guide

Second of all, I’m going to be writing a regular column-type thing on here about going to church. I need some kind of snappy title for it (suggestions welcome). Why should you care about me going to church? I don’t know. But I used to go to church, and then I decided I didn’t, and then I spent a year in an evangelical church (writing about it, which I will explain later), and then last year I stopped thinking about church at all.

All I know is that if I found another person like me who went to church, I’d be like, “TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LIFE” because I don’t know anyone like me who goes to church.

And by “like me” I mean a lot of things, implicit and explicit. On the surface, I mean someone like me in temperament: open-minded, relatively smart, and basically nice. Someone sarcastic and not generally into talking about politics or religion or things like this at all, really. But at the same time, someone who cares about church. For some reason, church is important to her.

Implicitly, I think I also mean someone who is in my same shoes: middle to upper-middle class, female. If I met another person in my life neighborhood who wasn’t into God but at the same time was into church, and who was basically chill, I would be very curious about her. I would want to know how she ended up going to church, what she really thought about it, and why she thought church was relevant at all.

a black icon of a mountain that says Valley & Mountain below it

These are the questions I ask myself from time to time and the ones I plan to write about here. I’m apparently in a time of thinking about it all again, so here I am, reviving Alicia’s spiritual journey (can we please not call it that). Unlike my explorations in evangelicalism, I hope to really join this church and see what happens. Because the church I found is pretty cool. So far, I’m pretty sure I’ve only alienated one person there.