In the classical school where I work during the day, school leaders often talk about teaching children how to discern what is true, good, and beautiful. They do this by thoughtfully choosing which books to read, field trips to go on, and big ideas to discuss. In my own life, I have a tendency to […]
Podcast: The Secret to a Life of Words
Writer Nicole Walters meets us in The Mudroom today to share some highlights of her journey of words. She elaborates on the absolute necessity for collegiality in her writing life and describes her strategy for theme writing. References: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Nicole’s most recent Mudroom piece: “Grace in the Middle” http://mudroomblog.com/grace-in-the-middle/ Mudroom Podcast, Episode 5: Finding Grace […]
Meet Our New Writers!
We’ve been hugely blessed this year already by inviting three new writers to join our staff of monthly contributors. It’s not only a monthly writing commitment but a communal one. We want The Mudroom to be a family, writers and readers included. When we ask a woman to write for us we are asking her […]
Phillis Wheatley’s Revolution
She had words, from a birth language, spoken by a birth family, who gave her a birth name. Thieves tore almost everything from her, endeavoring to replace the originals with cheap imitations—like the new name they chose for her, from the boat that abducted her (The Phillis) and the family that enslaved her (Wheatley). But […]
Your First Idea is Trash
I heard this great thing about being creative: Your first idea is trash. It’s unoriginal. Your second idea is also trash. If you can get to the third idea, that’s where the magic happens. That’s the original idea. One idea, two ideas, three. As any creative person knows, getting to the third idea is hell. […]
Seven Suggestions for Living a Creative Life
Do you consider yourself to be creative? You should. Poet Luci Shaw explains why: “We who believe we bear God’s image must realize that the image includes the capacity to imagine and create, because God is himself an imaginative Creator.” All day every day, every one of us relies on our creative capacities to resolve […]
Women, Existing and Singing
It’s day 9,348 of COVID-19 panic and last night, I read a story from Shar Walker* about her grandmother and a gospel song. Shar writes, I can picture my grandmother swaying to the hum of a popular gospel song, “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” eyes closed and soft rocking. I knew she was drawing […]
Christa Wells Concert TONIGHT!!
Singer-Songwriter Christa Wells is going to bless us with a short, private concert tonight at 10:00 p.m. EST! All you have to do is join our Facebook group, Mudroom Mingle and show up tonight!! We are so thankful that Christa is willing to bless us this way. She’s an amazing woman with so much […]
It’s Authentic to Name Yourself
Drawing people is a jigsaw puzzle. You look at the photograph of the woman with the pixie cut and the flowing dress, her arms improbably easy as she falls through the air, and then you look past the whole for the parts. I start with the head, the slim cap of her hair, the eyes […]
Why Bad Self-Care Is a Kind of Sin
“This author really pissed me off,” I told my husband the other day. I brandished a book called Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, by Andrew Santella. My anger surprised my husband. He enjoys a heated debate while I tend to shy away from black-and-white argument. But this book? I ranted about it for fifteen […]
Wading into Chaos
I spend most of my waking hours creating. In this very moment, my office is cluttered with dozen of books, sticky notes, 4X6 cards taped to my walls, medical forms waiting to be filled out, snacks, empty coffee mugs, and camera gear needing to be put away. I’m surrounded by chaos. Genesis 1 seems to validate my experience that there is no creation apart from chaos.
The Fear and Beauty of Solitude
It was a cool October day and I was sitting on my favorite bench in my favorite garden in Pittsburgh—a little slice of green tucked in the side of the corner lot under a series of stained-glass windows lining the east wall of the synagogue. Beyond the walls, the busy intersection loomed; but inside I […]
When the Morningstar Hovers
I am alone And its ok. For 30 years I had four breathing beings tugging at me, (*five if you count my husband **six if you count my mother who lived with us for ten years) at my sleeve, at my knee, at times at my throat). ((at my throat because three of the beings […]
When a Story Happens: Madeleine L’Engle’s Impartation of Courage
Remember that time a story happened to you? It happened like a car accident or a record-breaking snowfall, like a check you weren’t expecting. One moment your life was clicking along as normal, a book in your hands; the next you stood motionless, a wave of words washing over you as relentlessly as the tide. […]
Spring has been slow in coming this year. Winter has lingered far beyond its welcome. There have been days, weeks even, when it seemed that perhaps this year, spring would not return. I’ve resented the freezing temperatures and the need for sweaters, wool socks, gloves, and coats. I’ve been ready to move on for weeks. […]
The Mudroom Turns 4!
We have been going strong for 3 years and we want to make our 4th year something special too. We’ve added a few features such as Dear Portia, our advice column with Heather Caliri and Flashback Friday starting next week, where we’re posting a piece from the archives. There’s too much good writing on here […]