Words

Doing or Being?

“Turn left. At a quarter of a mile turn right.” When my husband and I get in the car at our home in the Chicago area to visit relatives in Missouri, we plug in our GPS device and get directions for every turn. And turn we do, left and right and left again…until we get […]

A Bridge to Span the Divide

It almost ruined our friendship. A cancerous disagreement gained cells every day while it remained unspoken, avoided, skirted in conversation. The longer it remained buried, the bigger it grew, until it could no longer be ignored. Through tears, we hashed out our grievances, listened, apologized, and contended for hours over the phone and in person, […]

Disagreeing with Myself and the lies we tell

I talk to myself a lot. It’s the joy of being an introvert. When I stop to think about it though more than talking to myself I disagree with myself. I talk down to myself and I question my actions almost on a daily level. I disagree, I second guess and I never come out […]

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 […]

Learning to Dwell in a World of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

“Dwell.” The word hit my ears in a wooden classroom nestled amongst a wooded college campus and mansions of the uber-rich. Then, it seemed, I had all the time in the world to dwell. The words from novels and poetry uncurled, sinking directly into my poet’s heart. Words were the quickest way to dwell in […]

Holding My Words

“I don’t know what I think until I write it down.” Joan Didion   Tonight I get to write in a quiet house. I can’t remember the last time this occurred. There are seven of us living in this house, ranging in age from six to eighty-five. There are days there are so many words […]

Books as Soulmates

Books are like soulmates— friends who meet us at just the right time and connect to our souls more deeply than we had anticipated. They teach us, help us, inspire and shape us. Madeleine L’Engle says, “Stories are able to help us become more whole, to become Named. And Naming is one of the impulses […]

The Birth of a Book

Several weeks ago, I had my first conversation with a literary agent. A real literary agent! She had contacted me, inviting an introductory phone call, and I was just beside myself with excitement. I spent hours researching her and her agency before gathering questions and talking points for our call. When it came time to […]

Ruthie’s Multicultural Book List

I’m THAT person, the one who’s constantly distracted by letters, words, print. It could be a menu or a magazine cover or a newspaper. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it comes across wrong, I look nosy or inconsiderate when glancing at words that are written on something that’s not mine. Oops. I can’t […]