Tag Archives: writing

some stuff i wrote.

Last weekend, a good friend of mine let me know that there was a free writing workshop being offered by an author who was in town to speak at a church. As you can tell from my dusty blog (hello cobwebs) my spirit hasn’t exactly been… um… pleasant enough for blogging…

Oh well — if you can’t be honest on the Internet, where can you? 

I’ve been in a major life funk lately.

There I said it.

And I hate blogging when I’m in a funk because it makes me re-feel all my funky feelings and, because I write on the Internet, it subjects all of you lovely people to my funk, too.

It must have been providential, then, that this workshop was titled, Open-heart Writing; like open-heart surgery, it is painful but life-saving.

The author gave us three prompts (one at a time) and gave us ten minutes to jot something down (on PAPER! with PENS!) And, despite the time crunch and my inability to edit, I kinda liked the things I wrote. So I’m gonna share them with you, the Internet, in lieu of a funky-feely blog post.

Cool? Cool.

PROMPT 1: Describe the room.

The room is golden, both in color and in ambiance. It doesn’t sparkle though, fighting a looming tarnish. The windows pour in a summery stream of mid-February, south Florida morning, as I sit between a Diane and a woman whose name will always be to me, Also Talks WIth Her Hands.

Laura sits at the head of our mango-colored table, adorned with silver rings on her fingers and around her neck, and her crooked smile and quiet voice reminds me of Erica.

PROMPT 2: The most important room in my life. 

Converted

Walking along the maroon, cracked tiles, the soles of my shoes always stuck a little bit, presumably because there was residual barbecue sauce forever festering in the pores of the tiles. The smell has gone, but the look of the interior of Mickey Andrews’ Barbecue Joint (was that its name?) would always linger in the church corporate gathering area.

It was in this dark, awkwardly arranged ex-restaurant where I was reintroduced to a guy named Jesus Christ who, contrary to everything I’d ever been taught as a small, loud-mouthed girl, loved me so very much just the way I am.

Being a converted barbecue restaurant, the dining tables exchanged for handmade wooden cafe tables and broken stadium seats, it doesn’t really look like a church. Maybe that’s why I loved it so much.

There were no stained glass windows, only dingy double panes dressed in cheap, plastic blinds. There weren’t any bad, last supper themed murals. Instead there was a thick coat of dark red matte and framed artwork by members of the community. Instead of a chancel with an organ and handbells, there was a rickety, slapped-together collapsible stage precariously cradling a drum set and a few acoustic and electric guitars, as well as a homemade stool for the pastor to teach from.

PROMPT 3: Tell the story in this photo. 

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The hot, sticky air disguised itself as that of mid to late May, but the calendar, turned to the twelfth month, called its bluff. Comforted by the shelter of a banyan canopy, sweating in long sleeves, you and I struggled to keep up with a smaller, more wild version of ourselves, who had just learned how to walk.

Stifled by both the south Florida winter’s heat and the reality that a toddler and a clock ticking seconds closer to nap time were a volatile combination, our appearance was remarkably pleasant. The perfect little trio, an enviable Christmas card, telling terrible lies to all its recipients.

“Things are beautiful and perfect here! We love our life! Cheese!” was what we said on the sandy path, our unruly boy trapped in the binding and protective embrace of a tired and frustrated father. Deep in our eyes, though, the truth was louder.

Sadness, loneliness, and betrayal leaked out of us onto the card as the cruel sun climbed higher behind the defenseless branches. But we are here, alive and robust in perspiration, together in a beautiful and clumsy dance of survival.

Like the Spanish moss to the stretching limbs, we are committed to growing and stretching upward, downward, and in spirals.

The end.

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are you there, blog? it’s me, lindsay.

HELLO. Hi. How are you?

*crickets*

Yes. Yes. Yes. Okay. I realize I haven’t posted in, like, FOREVS. Please stand down, angry citizens. I come in peace.

If you MUST know, I’m currently in the process of revamping this whole blog thing. Turns out I have a little bit of a hefty following and I’m ashamed of the content I was feeding you. You deserve better than that. Yes, YOU. I mean look at that outfit you’ve got on. You’re a stunner. You deserve stunning blogs to go with that getup.

So, please, bear with me as I navigate this blog like a total n00b. Mo’ betta posts are in the works. They are coming soon. SWEARSIES.

In the mean time, check out these beauties. They’re my most popular posts. If my posts were my children, I imagine these posts would form the cool clique at school. But they wouldn’t bully the other posts, okay? I raised them better than that.

Y’ALL DA BEST. Stay tuned!

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follow me on bloglovin’!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

In a few weeks, a dear friend of mine, Google Reader, is going to the big RSS Feed in the sky. And so, I’ve started to follow blogs on Bloglovin’ and think you should follow me too!

So, do it!

Cool!

#RIPGoogleReader

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giving a crap.

Six days ago I moved from Tallahassee to Naples. Not even a week has gone by but everything is already different and changing so drastically that I can barely stand up straight. It’s as if the ground is moving swiftly forward beneath my feet and I have nothing on either side to hold to, either for stability or for stalling. We hit the ground running, as they say. (Stumbling, really, in my case.)

During my last bible study meeting with this guy before I moved, we spent the majority of our time fawning over ink pens, journals, and other writing instruments, particularly those that are well crafted and expensive because, he argues, if you’re going to write you might as well do so using the best utensils.

“Life’s too short to not give a crap about stuff,” he declared.

I wrote that sentence down in my journal the moment he said it and, while he carried the conversation elsewhere, I repeatedly ran over the phrase with more and more ink to make it stand out on the page.

Why? Because I find it way too hard to give a crap about stuff these days.

I think my Give-A-Crap turned off because I was moving away from a city and a community for which I have great affection and I knew, were my Give-A-Crap at all functional, I wouldn’t be. I would just be a walking, sort-of-talking-but-mostly-sobbing, mess of a girl. And no one likes a sad sack, am I right? I mean think of my poor husband, for example. To quote the always-lovely Emma Thompson from Love, Actually, “No one’s ever going to shag you if you cry all the time.”

boxes

Right now, our apartment is mostly unpacked and organized, but there is still quite the lengthy list of things that need to get done. I haven’t really started my job yet so, while my baby is currently napping, I really should be organizing my bedroom closet or unpacking the last few boxes or hanging pictures or sleeping or putting on some damn makeup for crying out loud or something rather than blogging but I just can’t do it because why. Who cares. I certainly don’t.

To compensate, I think my son’s Give-A-Crap has jumped into overdrive. At 10 months, he suddenly gives a LOT of craps about EVERYTHING. My sweet angel baby who used to go down for naps happily now screams bloody murder whenever I try to put him down. As I am no stranger to hyperbole on my blog I have to clarify that I’m not exaggerating here. He literally screams so loud that I’m legitimately concerned. It’s so bad that his voice has actually become hoarse in the past week. I’m not joking, guys. Kid really gives a crap.

Last night he really gave a crap about being awake unless he was in my arms which kept me awake all night. It’s been awhile since that has happened (sorry to burst your bubble, new moms I know — the sleepless nights don’t always end when the newborn phase does) so I was quite the emotional wreck this morning. A ticking time bomb, all I needed was a stern email from my new boss to cause me to crumple into a heap of sobs on my new, south Floridian tile floor and weep for the better part of an hour while my husband tried to hold us all together.

All of a sudden, this morning, I gave ALL THE CRAPS.

I gave ALL THE CRAPS about leaving Tallahassee. And about the first week living in a foreign land with zero friends. And about how my husband and I have actually been in a fight for the majority of our new life in Naples. And about the fact that I CANNOT STOP SWEATING. And about the fact that no matter how many times I Swiffer this EFFING tile floor my feet are ALWAYS black after I walk around barefoot. And about the fact that we didn’t have internet until FREAKING yesterday. (I know. I know. All of these are first world problems. Which leads me to…)

I then gave ALL THE CRAPS about GIVING CRAPS about stupid, meaningless, arbitrary B.S. that, if I’m lucky, won’t even hold a spot in my memory this time next year.

That’s a lot of craps to give at once. Not sure if you’ve tried to give that many craps at one time but it is exhausting.

So. Instead of unpacking the last few boxes that need to be unpacked or putting away the clothes that are just in piles in our bedroom or starting the OVERWHELMING load of laundry that is staring me down, I’m writing.

Because this is the one thing right now that isn’t too exhausting to care about.

Thanks for reading my crap.

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Filed under motherhood, on the job, rants

words to live by: franz kafka

Today’s WTLB is actually about writing (squeeee) but I think it can apply to most things. If you are passionate about anything — that is, if you have a soul — I think this quote should resonate with you.

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(Image Source)

 

Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.

– Franz Kafka

Have an intense, obsession-driven weekend.

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Filed under life, transformation, words to live by

friday favorite: being a writer.

Image

“You write a lot, Lindsay Durrenberger,” a friend observed this morning.

It’s true. I do. I can’t help it, honestly. I have to. It’s how I process things. It’s how I understand things. I cannot fully experience something in my life until I have written it out in words, be it in a story or an email or a blog post or a journal entry. Without words, my days have no life. (Side note: today is still unfathomable.)

Before I started writing this post, I did a Google search for one of my favorite quotes about writing so that I could cite the person who first said it. But the only thing that was returned was a link to my Tumblr, where the simple phrase is plastered across the header. (Which is ironic, actually, because, as my followers can attest to, I rarely post original content there. I typically use it to reblog stupid/weird/inspiring things I find that other people have written/composed.)

Did I coin my favorite writing quote? That can’t be right, can it? At any rate, here it is:

“Why write? Because, quite simply, it isn’t there.”

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it isn’t easy being green. with envy.

I’ve been dealing with some stuff.

That’s what I told a couple of my girlfriends in an email last week. Only I didn’t say “stuff”. I said something else. Something much more fitting to describe exactly what it is I’m going through.

Yesterday, I got an email from NaNoWriMo. When it hit my inbox it felt like a sack of pumpkins to the face. Oh yes. It’s October, which means that next month is November. National Novel Writing Month.  Has it really been a year since I touched my novel?

Let me give you a little bit of insight as to how my life looked a year ago:

I’d just gotten surgery to repair my ACL, an injury I sustained during an awesome dance class at an incredible studio. I was writing like it was my job (which, okay, it is my job but youknowwhatimean), my blog was getting roughly a bazillion hits a day (roughly), and I was taking on my biggest writing challenge ever — fashioning a novel (albeit a complete crap one) in a month. All the while, I was involved in four ministries, one of which I led, at my church.

I was doing it all, basically. I was the it-girl.

And then bam. On November 16th, I took a positive pregnancy test. A figurative slam on the brakes of life, if you will. A happy gear shift, for sure, but a gear shift none the less. I went from being completely focused on my life and my goals to turning down everything (including beer, dang it) that I wanted in order to put someone else — someone so precious and special — first.

I was thrown head-first into a season of rapid life-changes, both physically and otherwise. As I watched my body grow, I also watched important things in my life grow distant. It was almost as if I was taking up too much space to allow for anything else. A painfully obvious metaphor, of sorts. I stepped down. From a lot of things. I put writing on the back burner. I surrendered the ministries in which I volunteered (one of which I’d run for five years — that was pretty hard to let go). I removed myself from all of the “good” things in my life in order to make room for the “best” thing.

Make no mistake. When I saw his little face on July 19th at 1:34 AM, I could see why he was, indeed, the “best” thing. He was (and is) absolutely perfect. He is my whole world. 

That should be enough for me. It should. But guess what?

I’m human. I’m broken. So sometimes, it’s not. Sometimes, like right now, for instance, it’s not.

This year looks  a lot different than last year. I’m not dancing. I’m not writing as much. I’m most certainly not writing another novel, or even editing the one I did write, and I’m watching as all the ministries in which I served move on without me. Moreover, they’re moving on with other people. People who, by my account, are better and more lovable than me. My brokenness begs me to cling to the public affirmation associated with being involved in and doing everything, and so now, since I don’t have any of that, I don’t feel as though I am worthy of love. It’s especially hard because the only person for whom I’m “doing” things, the only person from whom I can receive affirmation, can’t speak. Can’t audibly affirm me. (Unless you count coos and the occasional but oh-so lifesaving smiles.)

To make matters worse, I had to go back to work. And my milk supply consequently dropped. So now I sit in my cubicle, praying that the one thing I — and only I — can do doesn’t slip away, too, making me (in my mind) completely and utterly useless. It feels like this thing — breastfeeding my child — is the only thing keeping me from being obsolete and unloved. As each pumping session shrinks just a little smaller than the last, I begin to panic.

Enter: envy. Pure, immature, annoying, soul-crushing envy.

I find myself envious (and bitter, to boot) of everyone these days. Stay-at-home moms who can answer the demand of their nursing infants and, therefore, don’t have to worry about a diminishing milk supply. Published writers who, because they’re published, are better at it than I. Singers, because dear GOD don’t ask me to sing. Songwriters. Artists. Friends. Not friends. Redheads. Brunettes. Blondes.

The list is endless.

Chances are, if I know you, I’m probably envious of something you have that I don’t. Even though what I have — a beautiful and perfect baby boy — is something you can’t ever have. Sure, you can have a baby boy at some point. But he’ll never be my baby boy. He’ll never be the perfect little angel I wake up to every morning.

It’s the nature of the sin. It doesn’t make sense. It isn’t God-honoring. It’s wrong and stupid and awful. And yet, here I sit, stewing in envy. The painful thorn in my side.

One of my favorite writers touched on this earlier this week when she lamented about the solitary nature of book-writing. The way she explained her feelings echoed mine. It’s as if I’m a duck floating atop a pond. Quiet and inconspicuously still above the surface, but furiously paddling my feet beneath, unseen and unappreciated by all.

Barf. Whatever.

Because this terrible ulcer in my heart wouldn’t stop festering, I had no choice but to open up about it to a couple friends. (In two completely unrelated lunch meetings, both over sushi, which I found to be adorably ironic.) I sat across the table from these two friends, friends I’ve known for years, friends who have seen me at my absolute worst, and I let them have it. I let them know that, yep, I’m still messed up. I compare myself to others and get really freaking jealous and it really sucks.

And they listened. And they challenged me to think differently. To be proactive and to make changes.

But change is hard and I hate it. 

This past weekend I took a short, 24-hour trip to my hometown to see my best friend’s little brother get married. It’s a four-hour drive, and since I had to take Dax with me, I had to drive at night. I hate driving at night, but Dax sleeps through the night now and also conks out during car rides so there was no way I was going to drive during the day if it meant my son would revert back to a nocturnal disposition.

My least favorite part of the drive, probably because of the low speed limit and lack of passing lanes, is driving east on highway 40 through the Ocala National Forest. As soon as I get on 40, I start counting the minutes until I can finally turn right onto 17 and get the hell off of 40.

But this time, it was different. I wanted to stay on 40 forever.

In the dead of night, the Ocala National Forest should have, by all accounts, been pitch black. My Camry and I should have been shrouded in complete darkness. But we weren’t.

The moon was full, and so it poured buckets of silvery moonlight across the land, transforming the forest completely. The trees were a mass of dark, almost-black-but-just-not hunter green against a slate sky and clouds disguised as clumps of charcoal. It was devastatingly beautiful — a type of beauty that could only be seen in the dark of night. As much as the sun could try during the day, that type of allure was only achievable with the overwhelming glow of the full moon. (I tried to take a picture of it with my iPhone but none of the photos did it justice. So hopefully my words will.)

It reminded me of me. And what I’m going through in this time. Though I am, indeed, walking through a “dark” period, a night which has gone on way too long with the hope of dawn too far off in the distance, there is hope. There is truth. There is light.

There is light in the truth my friends bring me through honest, raw, desperate conversation. There is the reality that, though I am broken and have weak moments, I am loved and valued, even if I am not publicly esteemed as such right now. And though I’m currently wrestling with this beast of a sin, I can beat it because I am a daughter of the Most High. A princess.

A broken princess. A messy princess. But a princess, none the less, bathed in the sweet, soft moonlight of grace.

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