Turning 40: 40 Years in 40 Sentences

What sets me apart from most people in my life is that I was alive when Jimmy Carter was president. Then, when I was one, Ronald Reagan took office and we moved into the house my Republican parents live in to this day. I began a lifelong love of reading in that house by going through my father’s electronics catalogs and attempting to read the descriptions of the latest eight track and Betamax players.  Continue reading →

Turning 40: The People Who Changed My Life

I’ve been fortunate so far to have lived my life surrounded by people who support me. My dad worked extremely hard his whole life to make sure I had not only my basic needs of shelter and good nutrition met, but also that I had opportunity to explore my interests, learn, and ultimately become a successful adult. Later in life, I found wonderful friends who provide emotional support, encourage me to accomplish the things I want to, and make life better just by their presence. Additionally, many people throughout my life have inspired me in small and big ways, have (sometimes unbeknownst to them) been role models, and have changed my opinions and perspective. I appreciate all these people so much for their influence on me. But here at the halfway point, there are two people who, in crossing my path, literally changed the entire course of my life and who I am fundamentally as a person.  Continue reading →

Turning 40: Why I Write

At three days away from turning 40 years old, I haven’t been published, and yet I continue to write and call myself a writer. I’m not published because I haven’t ever submitted anywhere or queried an agent. Sure, I’d like to be published some day, but that’s never really been the point for me. The effort required to submit to agents and magazines and to market my work seems like it would sap all the fun out of writing. For me, the point is the process itself. I write because I have to. I have to explore ideas on paper and play with words and get creative. I’ve loved the written word since I was very, very little. Even though writing is an intrinsic part of me and a huge piece of my identity, it hasn’t always come easy. I took a nearly two-decade hiatus from creative writing, something I regret now even though I know I can only look forward. I did this exercise—a history of me as a writer in ten chapters—as part of a class I took and thought this would be a great time to share it on my blog.  Continue reading →

Turning 40: Lists, Part 2

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s. These lists are more random, while yesterday’s were more about who I am as a person.

Things I’ve Quit Because My Ego is Too Big

  • Girl Scouts in second grade because I wasn’t voted president
  • 4-H Club in third grade because I wasn’t voted president
  • Flute in fourth grade because I didn’t get first chair
  • Softball in elementary school because I didn’t like my position in the batting order
  • Musicals in high school because a new girl joined our school and was a better singer than me so she got the lead my freshman year instead of me
  • Plays in college because no one wanted to cast me in a lead role my first semester
  • Gettysburg College because I didn’t instantly have a massive group of friends who thought I was awesome
  • Many, many jobs because I didn’t get to do exactly what I wanted and thought was best

Continue reading →

Turning 40: Lists, Part 1

Yesterday kicked off a week-long series of posts all about me as I’m about to turn 40. The next two posts contain lists. Factual, thoughtful, silly, defining, wishful, nostalgic – all sorts of lists about who I am at this point in my life. Something interesting to look back on in the coming decades as I continue to learn more and have experiences and meet people, all of which leads to personal change. None of these are in any particular order. I’d love to hear how some of my readers define themselves in these categories. Feel free to share in the comments! Continue reading →

Turning 40: I Don’t Look 12 Anymore

Twenty-nine and seven one-thousandths. No, that’s not a fraction from the world’s worst third grade math problem. Twenty-nine is an age and seven one-thousandths of an inch is the diameter of an average human hair. When I was twenty-nine, a single, coarse, dark-brown hair sprouted from the underside of my chin. I already had a handful of gray hairs tucked under a bed of various browns on the front, right side of my head, but at least those grew from the part of my head that female hair is supposed to grow from. Continue reading →

Running Season

On March 7, I went for my first run since October 21. That’s right, the woman who claims she is now a runner went almost five months without running at all. But when my first half marathon of the season was only nine weeks and two days away, it felt like time to get moving. There are three main reasons I haven’t run in all this time. Continue reading →

Well I Would Hike 500 Miles

My two year unofficial hiking project is complete. Yeah, I missed my mark by a few weeks (February 19, 2017 to March 9, 2019) but close enough. In just about two years, I’ve completed 100 distinct hikes. I use word “hike” loosely in this context to mean anything from a two mile stroll up a wide, well-maintained, packed dirt road at sea level with no elevation gain to a nine mile, 4,000 ft + elevation gain, nine-hour slog that sometimes required my hands to pull myself up the steepest spots. Some of these were trail runs, some were on snowshoes, and one was completely through water that was waist high at some points. What they all have in common is that they were in nature, not on any kind of pavement. Sure, I put hundreds of additional miles on my feet in this time, roaming around Zurich, Venice, Milan, Madrid, Beijing, Shanghai, Portland, Kansas City, and so many other great urban areas, and I completed countless recreational runs on pavement and duplicated many hikes, but this post only counts unique wilderness missions.  Continue reading →

The Novel: To Query or Not to Query

As this entry posts to my blog, I am wrapping up my third year at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers retreat. This is a wonderful annual event held at a Franciscan Retreat Center in Colorado Springs. The center is in the perfect location, easily accessible from Boulder but far enough that I really do feel like I am getting away. The mountains are all around, making a quick hike or trail run easy to fit in between stints of writing in one of the quiet, cozy nooks of the residence hall. It is remarkably inexpensive but the rooms are so comfortable and they feed us three delicious meals a day.

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Sanctuary 2.0: Surrounded by the Best People

No, I’m not a Trump fan! Far from it. The Trump administration does not have the best people, but Boulder does. Prior to last week’s post, it had been a while since I posted about living in Boulder. But since my company is not moving to Broomfield (yuuuuuge sigh of relief!) and I’m staying in my adorable rental house another year, I thought I’d do a shout out post to a couple of local businesses who provide excellent customer service and make living in the People’s Republic of Boulder so awesome.

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