Category Archives: Mackinac Island

I’ve Moved!

Click here for the same blog, exciting new address!

Anyone remember the Jeffersons? Sammy Davis, Jr.? Put them together and you get:

Nope, I’m not a published author yet, but after blogging on my own for two years, I celebrated my 70th post by pitching this blog to Chicago Now, which is Tribune Media Company’s online community of Chicago-area bloggers. I pitched RIDING THE WAVES via Chicago Now‘s online pitch form and heard back the same day. My blog was accepted!

So what does this mean?

It means I keep doing what I’m doing, but I might do it with a little more spring in my typing fingers. I’ll keep writing about RIDING THE WAVES, but now, I may have the chance to share it with even more readers. It means I’m sitting up a little straighter (which is great…I tend to slouch).

It means that Chicago Now believes my writing deserves a shot at something a little broader, a little wider-reaching.

It means I might get to connect with some new readers and possibly hear back from them.

These are all great things.

When I first began blogging in January 2010, I hadn’t a clue what to write about, so I searched for inspiration everywhere. In the process of doing so, I formed an unconscious habit of seeking inspiration; not only did that help me become a better writer, but it also grew me as a person. I’d ask people what motivated them to do inspiring things and investigate how certain situations came to be. I constantly pondered how I might incorporate many of the inspiring stories into my own life.

Some of my most “popular” (meaning “widely-read”) blog posts have ranged from my children’s entrepreneurial behaviors (How A 12-Year-Old Shags An iPad) to the suicide in a nearby park (Nichols Middle School Bomb) to the worry I felt when my husband and son sailed through the same storm on Lake Michigan that killed two fellow sailors (Trying Not To Cry) to an interview with a guy formerly known as Barry (How I Got To Interview The President Of The United States). Each of those posts serves as a distinct mile-marker on my newly-discovered writing journey. I’ll always remember how those events moved me so deeply that I couldn’t wait to write my feelings about them. Whether they made me laugh or cry or shake my head in disbelief, they each inspired me to sit, breathe, write and exhale.

Expanding my blog to a potentially wider audience on Chicago Now feels a little scary, but then so did talking to President Obama. What I’m telling myself as my blogging branches out is exactly what I told myself when the camera lights went on during the Obama Hangout: It’s just you & the person in front of you.

When I spoke with the President, I didn’t let myself think about anything other than the fact I was talking to a guy who used to live in Chicago. When I write my blog entries, I always try to write as if I’m talking to you directly…not to a slew of readers who may pass one of my posts on to someone else. The only way this works for me (and the way I keep my head fastened on tight) is to write with an honest focus, just to write what I’m thinking — as if I’m talking with a friend over coffee. It’s essentially a stream-of-conscience style, but that’s how my mind works. I’m pretty simple.

I hope you’ll visit my new site on Chicago Now and continue reading RIDING THE WAVES. And, if you’d like the latest posts delivered to your inbox, just put your email in the subscription box.

You’ve been with me from some of my earliest posts, and I’m grateful for the support, the comments and the encouragement. Thank you for RIDING THE WAVES along with me. This is getting pretty fun!

Click here for the same blog, exciting new address!

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Trying Not To Cry

I’m sitting in a hotel from a gilded era, The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan, awaiting my husband and son as they sail the 333 mile Race to Mackinac.  The boys and six other men left two days ago, and I’ve just learned that two members of another boat died in a violent storm last night. I do not believe anyone’s ever died in the Mac before this.  I’m in a state of suspended disbelief.

My husband and I are scheduled to sail to a nearby island for our 20th wedding anniversary, which is in two days from now.  I cannot even let myself think about that journey.  I am entirely focused on my boys’ safe return.  My other two kids are running around the hotel…which is as Grand as promised, and I am fighting tears.  The flag at the top of the hotel has been lowered to half staff.

I am trying my best not to cry, but I am failing.

I received a voicemail from my husband this morning, very brief, letting me know that they dropped their sails in anticipation of the storm and that they’re all fine.  The call was quick and to the point, but it said exactly what we needed to hear.

“Hey, uh, it’s us. I know you called a couple of times, uh, but we were, uh, preoccupied with, uh, incoming storms.  I just wanted to let you know that, uh, it hit, uh, but we got the sails down and we’re fine…but anyway, it’s uh late, um, I’m sure we’ll get a chance to talk at some point tomorrow.  Love you and we’ll talk to you soon. Bye.”