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 […]

Simply Writing

Recently I began the practice of handwriting verses in calligraphy. Fingers grasped around a pen, slow movement forms each letter, each word, each phrase. This intentional placement on a vellum page brings me peace and focus. Ink outlines the meaning of each line, causing me to ponder….why did the author choose this word? What meaning […]

Meet the Princess of the Press: Ida B. Wells

This was first published in March 2015.  Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees Before Billie Holiday sang the lyrics above at Cafe Society, the first integrated nightclub in New York, another icon of […]

We Light Our Candles in the Darkness

I am fearless and fiercely protective of those I love: Just try coming for one of mine. As I wrote in my personal manifesto #GentlyAngry, “I aspire to live in peace, but I ain’t no punk.” “I encourage you never to mistake my quiet or my cool for anything, please. Draw conclusions at your peril. […]

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 […]

The Weight of Our Words

“Some words are elegant, some can wound and destroy, but all are written with the same letters.” – Paulo Coelho The laughing ceased as I walked into the room, turning to piercing eyes and whispers hidden behind folders. I inhaled deeply, trying to hold back the tears stinging my eyes. I wouldn’t let them know […]

The Curious Blessing of Rejection

Ten years ago, in 2006, I was rejected by a publisher.  It went like this: after four years of student ministry and thinking about a post-modern culture, I had an idea for a book that explored characteristics of student ministry in the context of postmodernism – a sort of analytical, practical, theological-yet-readable sort of book. […]