I couldn’t resist seeing you again.

Miss you IIHey folks. I know I said that the last post was the last post, but I’ve got good reasons for stopping by here again. One, a few readers recently subscribed here, while all the action is happening at the new place over there; and two, a few old subscribers have yet to click on the new site and re-subscribe.

I’m not much of a self-promoter, so really, I wanted to send out this quick post because what you’re missing by not clicking over at the new site is – specifically – an excellent interview with Megan Stielstra, author of Everyone Remain Calm. She’s a writer, the Literary Director and a performer with Chicago’s 2nd Story, a teacher at Columbia College and the University of Chicago, and a mother. All I did was ask a few questions, but what she’s done is share a wealth of writing experience and give readers what feels like a mini-writing workshop.

Really. Go there. Read Part 1 of the interview, where she talks about digital publication and the courage it takes to write – and tell – our stories. Then, study Part 2, because that’s where the mini-workshop happens, where she discusses good days and bad days and what to do with your writer’s block.

I’d hate for you to miss it.

And, if you decide to subscribe to the new site while you’re there, all the more fun!

Last Post, but certainly not The End.

What do Betsy Lerner, author of The Forest for the Trees, puzzles, and raison d’etre have in common? Find out by clicking over to the new site: ChristiCraig.com.

After today, that’s where you’ll find all the new posts — on writing, on life, on life as a writer (which means more author interviews and more guest posts). I hope you’ll join us!

It’s a secret.

Today, over at the new site, Laurel Mayer (debut author of the novel, Pushover), talks about secrets and plot twists in stories, and how to make them work for the reader.

Hope to see you there!

Staying in the moment.

Doing dishes :(What can doing the dishes teach us about staying present?

That’s what we’re talking about over on the new site.

Hope to see you there.

* Photo courtesy of tjshirey on Flickr.com

Tell me what you see.

“As human beings, we rarely see ourselves as others see us.” ~Heather Cashman

Imagine if you could see your world and yourself through another’s eyes. All those petty little details would fall to the wayside. That self-deprecation would be neutralized by the good that others see in us.

We’re talking about perceptions. Not here, but at the new site. Pop on over, read what light Heather Cashman sheds on the subject. Plus, get a sneak peek at her new book called – just that – PERCEPTION.

And, remember, the new site is where you’ll find me, in full force. In another week, this place will be quiet. So, if you like what you’ve been reading here, consider subscribing there.

Now, on to Heather!….

 

 

Moving Up and Moving Over

U-HAUL In 1993, when I moved from Texas to Wisconsin, I packed everything I owned (which wasn’t much) into a fourteen foot U-Haul truck and coaxed my sister into riding along with me. She was very kind. And, brave. She had three young kids who claimed her full attention at the time; plus, when she climbed up into that U-Haul, she sat down next to a manic twenty-two year old me, who knew nothing about long road trips or intense emotion that would come soon after leaving home 1000 miles behind.

That year, the Mississippi River flooded like crazy, so we drove more East than we might have otherwise and stayed over in Memphis, Tennessee. All night in my hotel bed, I worried that someone might cut the giant padlock I put on the truck and take my futon or my boxes full of thrift store jeans and worn t-shirts.

While I was anxious in Memphis, I didn’t think twice about driving that same U-Haul truck through the streets of downtown Chicago later on, paying a parking attendant $20 to squeeze the truck between sports cars and sedans, and handing him my whole set of keys — including the key to the giant padlock.

Silly me. I was all nervous and excited and so out of my element. It’s a good thing my sister did ride along, or who knows where I would have ended up.

Moving.

There are so many unknowns. But, at certain times in life, we take the plunge anyway.

That’s what I’m doing now: taking the plunge, moving again. Not from Wisconsin, but from the comforts of this blog. I’ve been at this address long enough to get my feet wet and learn what works (or doesn’t work) when it comes to running a site. It would be easy to stay here for who knows how long, but I’ve got an itch to make my own way into cyberspace.

So, I’ve rented a new place — my own domain: www.christicraig.com.

I hope you’ll come with me. Because, see…while I can pack up all my old content from here and bring it along to my new home, I can’t carry over any subscribers.

So click over, take a look around, and if you like what you’ve been reading here – the essays, the author interviews, the flash fiction – I hope you’ll subscribe there.

The new place won’t be half as much fun without you.

* Photo courtesy of ashmann 88 on Flickr.com

Wednesday’s Word: Kleptocracy. Say that three times fast, and then write a story.

The last few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking: about new routines, upcoming projects and books unfinished. Planning, but not so much creating. It seems right, then, to click over to Wordsmith.org and spend some time with the Wednesday’s word of the day* — and my muse.

(I hope she’s listening.)

Today’s word:

kleptocracy. Noun. A government by the corrupt in which rulers use their official positions for personal gain.

A word and definition applicable to many, I’d say.

*****

Head of Household

Under the muted glow of the nightlight, Nora pulled at her lip. In the mirror, she could see a growing line of blood trickle down the inside of her mouth.

“Damn,” she whispered.

“Guess I got a little crazy, huh?” Glen came up from behind her and put heavy hands on her shoulders.

“Crazy!” Nora said. “You bit me.” She wriggled out from under his grip.

“Yeah, just making sure you knew who was in charge.” He slapped her ass. Nora flipped him off and marched back to the bedroom. She heard Glen laugh, but he didn’t apologize.

Glen wasn’t always so rough and crass. It wasn’t until the day after they’d gotten married, when Nora woke to the sour smell of morning breath and Glen’s face staring down at hers, that he started declaring he was now “master of her domain.”

“Good morning?” she’d said, as she’d laughed and pushed him aside. She had thought he was kidding around.

The next week, though, he began claiming her time, telling her exactly how many nights a year she could go out with her girlfriends. No more Happy Hour meet-ups or impromptu coffee dates. And “Ladies night out” was a conspiracy, he said.

During dinners, he got greedy, taking much more than his share and leaving her with scraps some nights. She called him out on it, but he told her she’d just have to start cooking more.

“The King has a right to seconds,” he said on the night she served tenderloin. “And thirds.” He stabbed at the last piece on the platter.

And after the lights went out, he was like an animal in hiding most nights. He waited until she was almost asleep and too tired to fight back and he took her. Tonight, he’d been vicious.

“How’s the lip?” Glen asked as he crawled into bed.

“I can still taste blood…just so you know,” she said.

He patted her head and turned over without saying goodnight. Nora sat up on her elbow and studied the shape of his silhouette. When she heard his breathing slow to a shallow rhythm, she reached out and put her hand on his waist.

She squeezed.

He was growing fat.

*****

They Might Be Giants – Don’t Let’s Start from They Might Be Giants on Vimeo.

* Wednesday’s Word means write something – an essay, poem, or flash fiction – based on Wordsmith.org’s word of the day and post it by midnight. Past pieces from this fun writing exercise can be found under Wednesday’s Word on the sidebar to the right.