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 […]

Read More

Turning Up the Dark

pink hydrangea

By Amanda Cleary Eastep This is about the time of year I start writing about spring and gardening and the anticipation of warmer days. And hope. But just because the earth is stretching and ready to start a new day doesn’t mean we are. As much as I’ve been thinking about what to plant in my flower pots, […]

Read More

Watching the sun set, because it’s ok to know how it ends

sunset-rocks

By Amanda Cleary Eastep About 50 of us spread out along the shoreline. Silhouettes, and strangers joined only in our intention to witness the big event. The sun is about to set on the Gulf. I had run ahead of my husband as soon as we parked along Gulf Blvd., because I was sure the sun […]

Read More

Liked These Best in 2015 You Did

2015-blogs

“Impossible to see the future is.” – Yoda By Amanda Cleary Eastep We don’t know what 2016 will bring, but my year-end blog analytics gave me a chance to see what resonated with you in 2015 here at Living Between the Lines. THANK YOU for reading, liking, sharing, and commenting! If any of the Top 5 […]

Read More

Taking a Red Crayon to a White Wall

writing-workshop

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I’m back to volunteering to teach writing workshops at The Bridge Teen Center. What happens around that table never changes, not really, just the faces and the words. The need of these young people to express themselves is always there, despite their education or neighborhood or personal challenges. This is an updated post […]

Read More

What Your Purpose Is Not

woman-forest

Purpose. No topic is too big for the #wholemamas. Follow us over at Erika Shirk’s Overflow blog. By Amanda Cleary Eastep Every night I take it to bed with me, wake up with it, and feel it breathing down my neck when I’m not giving enough attention to it. (No, it isn’t an overly affectionate labrador.) It’s my […]

Read More

Half of a #WholeMama? The weird transition from Mommy to Mother

By Amanda Cleary Eastep My 18-year-old and I lay in the grass taking Instagram selfies (which I liken to showing vacation “slides” to the entire world). This youngest daughter returned to my arms recently after five months away, two of those in N. Africa. She wanted to show off her armpit hair, which is not nearly […]

Read More

Moving into Your Discomfort: When you are asking What’s Next?

looking-into-the-distance

By Amanda Cleary Eastep What’s next? It’s a year of transition for my family. High school and college graduations, a wedding, and a potential job change. And, for me, a sense of an impending–I hesitate to use the word–molting. (Ew, I know.) I’m shedding the skin of the first half of my life…kids grown, resume a solid […]

Read More

Why life between the lines matters more than you think

adventure-bus-car

By Amanda Cleary Eastep My son once had a dream that he found me dead beneath a pile of dirty clothes. Today, only a few weeks away from being a licensed counselor, he could probably provide me with an irritatingly accurate analysis of that dream. He dreamt it years ago during the divorce, and I can’t […]

Read More

Walk as Well as You Can

Running-girl

By Amanda Cleary Eastep Maybe it was your mother. Your wife. Your daughter, sister, grandmother, friend…even a historical figure. But at some point in your life, a woman made a difference in it. A big I-would-not-be-who-I-am-today-without-her kind of difference. Today is the last day of National Women’s History Month. (Nothing like jumping on the lesser-known […]

Read More