Monday, December 26, 2011


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As a writer, I think a lot about transitions. When I’m working on a story or article, I want things to flow smoothly from one scene or idea to the next, always trying to make the ride less bumpy for my readers. But transitions in life aren’t always so smooth.

Last week, my father passed away, just two days before his 77th birthday. We had been planning a big party for him with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Instead, we laid him to rest four days later, on my birthday.

It’s hard to believe he’s really gone. Perhaps I’m still a bit numb. But I’m grateful that I’m surrounded by a loving family, and through us, his legacy will live on.

I am wishing you all a new year of smooth transitions, in writing and in life.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Our life experiences influence us every day, as do the experiences of those close to us. Some call this baggage. In his new novel, author Mel Bosworth calls it Freight

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As writers, it’s likely that some of our freight makes it onto the page. And it should. It’s meaningful stuff and readers can relate because they live these real lives too. French author Marcel Proust said: “We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.” Perhaps part of that process is writing about it.

Mel Bosworth's novel is a small book about the big things we all carry around inside of us. “This unflinching, quirky novel follows a flawed yet lovable everyman as he searches for Home. We never learn his name. Nor do we learn her name – the woman whose freight is still too much for him to carry. But we know he likes soft things. We know he works through pain. We know his childhood still clings to him, despite his graying hair. And through knowing him and all his freight, ours is easier to bear.” (From the back cover.)

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There is something freeing about finding the right words to carry our burdens onto the page. When we get the words right, they take some of the weight from our shoulders. Again, from the book: “At some point we become a bulging hose or a screaming faucet. We stand in the yard or we hunch at the sink and we have to turn the spigot. . .we become the water, spilling all over the place, and into ourselves. It’s the release we crave, the release we need so we can make more room inside ourselves. . .”

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When I read a story where the characters go through something that I’ve been through, it helps me to feel less alone. There’s a Bible verse that sticks in my head, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galations 6:2) Perhaps God has given us the gift of writing as a means of sharing our burdens, and in the process, lightening the burdens of others. On a planet where more than seven billion people inhabit less than 2% of the Earth’s surface, there’s no reason why anyone should have to feel alone. Maybe we just need to open up more, and share our freight.

Do you put your freight onto the page?