From Here to Hear

By Amanda Cleary Eastep This is a rare morning of solitude. Sitting in the gray light, I feel the damp air sift through the screen door behind me as the smell of rain lays itself across the skin of my bare neck and right shoulder. I’m listening. …in between the clicking of my too–long–for–typing–quickly fingernails […]

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Two stories and one picture from the other side

loch-lomond

by Amanda Cleary Eastep We stepped up to our ankles in the cold water, careful to keep our footing on the gray and brown mosaic of smooth stones beneath our pale feet. This simple act was a pinnacle moment–leaving our shoes on the gritty sand of the “bonny, bonny bank” and walking together into Loch […]

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Travels with a Plantser

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I dragged the line on the Google map from the A1 highway to a road along the coast of the UK that looked like a long piece of birthday crepe paper that had been crumpled up and (uselessly) stretched out again. According to Google calculations, taking that squiggly route will add […]

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Look Out, Labor Force. Generation X is coming…right after our hip replacements

By Amanda Cleary Eastep “I’m a Millennial in a Gen Xer’s body,” he said. I was interviewing the former VP of concept and design for McDonald’s for an alumni magazine article. In recent years, his career trajectory had shifted from corporate to the social and public sector, which included a stint in Kenya helping a […]

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Seismic Shift or Gentle Nudge (& a sneak peek!)

Sneak peek, dear Readers! You will find the rest of this post about “faith shifts” in a new space I’ve been building with author and friend Michelle Van Loon. MORE on that SOON! By Amanda Cleary Eastep I always imagined that someday I would be one of those people who younger Christians look at with a wistful […]

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The Joy of Snow Eaters — Defining the second half of life

woman-sparkler-snow

By Amanda Cleary Eastep The young girl was standing in the snow, wearing only pajamas and snow boots. My car had just rounded the curve in the road that separates our condos from the apartments. The girl, about 8 years old, stood in the strip of yard beside the apartment building, her hands cupped and full of snow, […]

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Hitting the reset button on your life

By Amanda Cleary Eastep My breakfast was so pretty I took a picture. And posted it on social media, of course. I felt proud, like it was my kid, and this was her first day of Kindergarten. Ok, sure, it was just two fried eggs sprinkled with roasted and crushed kale, diced fresh tomato, apple […]

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The Terror of Our Blank Pages and Days

girl-sun

By Amanda Cleary Eastep Nothing is more exciting, or more terrifying, than facing a blank page. That’s true for more than writers. Today, my lifelong friend faces a blank page each day. It seems to her that little is left of the story she spent so many years painstakingly writing in blood tears prayers struggles. […]

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An Encouragement Roundup: Writing, Reality, and Wartime Heroes

shoreline

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I read. A lot. About writing, art, marketing, business, religion, and homesteading. That’s in between the novels. I do this primarily to learn. But I also do it to encourage myself, which is something I’ve needed more lately. Writing as an intentional practice has been arduous. As an emotional and spiritual […]

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That “Thing” You Never Finished? It may take more than magic

many-books

  By Amanda Cleary Eastep Do you know which creature in the animal kingdom has the longest gestation period? Elephant? Nope. Frill shark? Ha! What’s so big about a 3.5 year pregnancy? The answer is a woman with an unfinished novel she started in college that insists on being born butt first. Technically, I finished […]

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