Dear Seattle: A Love Letter

Dear Seattle,

There is something humble about the way you sneak into my life every day. A fleeting glimpse of the Space Needle out the bus window. The tap-tap-tap of a queen’s confident stride down a 2am street. A dazzle of pink spreading across the mountain-tipped sunrise. You slide unassumingly into my morning smile as I remember: I live here.

To think that it’s been a year already. A year of Orca Cards and coffee shops. Of library books and houseplants. Turbulant cycles of summer and rain. Every day I wake up feeling privledged. My morning tea comes wrapped in a felicitous notion of belonging.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved a city before. The picturesque cobbles of an old English town and the tolling of bells hung high in a Minster. There I learned how to live. I learned how to break my heart, how to forget. But here, with you Seattle, I’m learning to be. Just to be. Nothing more complicated.

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Excuses (Part 1)

Today is the 102nd day of 2017. In that time, I’ve written a measly two blog posts. Two. That means there have been 100 days this year that I haven’t posted anything. What a sad state. I had grand intentions of spending more time writing this year. Not only did I want to continue my passion for personal blogging, but also to explore the realm of short stories and poetry. Instead, I haven’t.

There are plenty of reasons why this is the case. If I am totally honest, none of them stands up to scrutiny. No matter how well-defended or how deeply felt, they are at their core just excuses. Here are a few of my favorites:

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Write.

Easy reading is damn hard writing.

These wise words come from Nathaniel Hawthorne (maybe) and represent the essence of one of my two 2017 New Years Resolutions. Last year, I read a lot. I wrote some – mostly for work and on my personal blog. This year, I want to push myself further. I haven’t written a short story since high school. Fiction is not my forte. I firmly believe that writing broadly and without reservation will help me become both a better writer and a better reader. Reading and writing are essential parts of me – and they are both parts I want to continually build on. Therefore, in 2017 I resolve to write more – more blog posts, more short stories, more poetry. To help keep myself accountable, I intend to enter writing competitions and post my work here.

I must admit, my true inspiration for this New Years Resolution came from an unlikely source. Poo. More specifically, I was one of the winners of DefeatDD’s third Poo Haiku campaign. This was the first “writing competition” I’ve entered since elementary school – and it energized me. Winning was just the icing on the cake.

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Seriously, I’m an award-winning poo-et. It’s my only claim to fame. Let me have it.

Unlike reading challenges or my 2017 fitness goal, my writing goals for this year are a bit more nebulous. There is an endless selection of writing competitions that take many different forms. I plan on trying my hand at a few different styles of writing and getting inspiration where I can. My hope is to enter at least one competition a month – but I’m not sure how realistic this is. Also, some competitions have restrictions about posting your entry before the winner is announced.

To circumvent this, I will likely post what Anne Lamott calls “short assignments.” It’s the same concept as eating an elephant one bite at a time – breaking down a larger story into a series of smaller components. I like the concept, and it seems like a good a place as any to start my hand at the great wide world of authorship.

 

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