Settings: the places that shape us

All the seconds run together now, and clocks don’t seem to matter much. Maybe they never did in a place where time and work and rest were measured more by when the rooster crowed and the sun set . . . when the rain came or didn’t and the first frost threatened. 

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Staying resilient, slaying parasites

writing

The man made a beeline for me.

I, and a few authors, had just finished leading a discussion about the importance of the voices of “midlife” writers.

This particular writer, who had been in the audience, almost seem dazed–eyes glassy, lips parted as if what he needed to verbalize hadn’t fully formed yet and was resting between them.

Then…

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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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This is us: the story of midlife writers and co-conspirators

By Amanda Cleary Eastep It was a year ago November that Michelle Van Loon and I met for the first time. I was attending the Deeply Rooted conference in Chicago with my daughter and two friends, and Michelle was a speaker. She delivered her message about restlessness (which just happens to be my middle name) […]

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Just like a 1970s sleepover gone horribly wrong

cleary-eastep-writer

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I stuffed my overnight bag into my narrow grammar school locker, already counting the red-handed seconds until I left my 4th grade troubles behind and walked two blocks to my best friend’s house for a sleepover. My presence always caused a bit of angst for my friend’s mother since–although I was […]

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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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Going Dark–or at least Going Dim–to find your way

writing

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I love going to the movies. I love sharing an overpriced pop, gorging on Good and Plenty smuggled inside my “movie purse” because it makes up for the pricey Pepsi, and watching people wander into the theater and spend that awkward 15 seconds making their personal seating preference known to an audience of […]

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