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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Day of Renewal

At 12:01 pm, EST, as President-Elect Obama placed his hand on Abraham Lincoln's bible to take the oath of office and become President Obama, something very 21st century happened.

The White House website changed hands.

As I listened to President Obama's speech on my TV, my iBook in my lap, I clicked into the Presidential Blog (a blog! The President has a blog!), and saw that the new President had declared a proclamation. He declared today, January 20th, a Day of Renewal.

A Day of Renewal! What a beautiful idea. For many of us, 2009 really started today, not on January 1st. 20 days have passed since we made our resolutions. How are we doing on them? I know I could be doing a lot better. So how fortunate that today, on this Presidentially-proclaimed Day on Renewal, we get to take a deep breath, and start again.

Let a new era begin, both without and within ourselves. "The fierce urgency of now," President Obama said. Let us take this moment to re-dedicate ourselves to our goals and our dreams and move forward, filling each minute with the fierce urgency of now.

We are no longer asleep. We are wide awake to the world around and inside us, so let us meet it with renewed breath, faith, hope, urgency, and grace. Amen, amen, amen!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Surprising your inner critic

Happy January, everyone! Things are getting back to normal-ish around here after our extended winter break, freakish twelve day snow event, and holiday madness. The oldest boy is back at his university, the middle boy finally applied to a college this week, and the youngest turned in a science paper...on time. Thank you magic homework pixies!

I've had quite a writing holiday, too. I haven't done much in a month or so and I want to get back on track. To bring myself up to speed, I thought I'd re-read what I've written so far, then start on an 800 to 1,000 words per day goal. Sounds very do-able, and probably easier than my wish to find an exercise that I can do on a regular basis without dry heaving.

Here's the surprise moment for me: as I re-read my work-in-progress, I found that I liked it. I really liked it. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. My mouth fell open - where had I come up with all this? Sure, there were a few things I wanted to tweak along the way, but this was total vomit copy written during NaNoWriMo and I still thought it didn't suck. My lovely critique group (hello lovely critique group) knows that I can be pretty hard on myself. I am my own worst critic. For me to read my own work and react like this...well, it was a huge shock-o-roonie.

So what's surprised you lately? Family, friends, your work...what's given you a little smile that you never expected?