Pushed Beyond What I Thought I Could Create

Participating in contests this year pushed me to write and photograph beyond what I thought I could create. Here is one of my favorite photographic entries. . .


. . .and eight of my favorite writing contest entries, in order of the ones I like best with a short excerpt from each. Simply click on the title to read the whole entry.

Blooming Without Color

I am colorless. . . As an adult, my pale complexion still produces false assumptions that I’m not healthy or that I’m tired, contributing to the perception that I am also colorless on the inside. Reactions to my appearance color my identity. I know I don’t have a monochromatic personality, but I often feel pressure to prove that to other people.

Building Our Souvenir Home

We haven’t taken many far-off adventures since our children were born, but whenever we leave home, I always bring back the souvenir of a wider perspective. Whether we spend a few days camping nearby, cross the country to visit relatives, or travel to another time and place while watching a movie together, my new eyesight gives me insight. The return trip is a journey home again, connecting what I learned to what I will do.

The Shoe Didn’t Fit But She Still Wore It

“It’s a strange thing; that disease had already taken her life,” Michelle said about her mom. “In walking, I wasn’t going to fund medicine to help her get better. But I felt a physical need to work some of that emotion out, to let out some of those hard and sad feelings.”

The Eight-Minute Love Story

Cozy in her covers, she peeked out at me and said, “I am sorry I made a mess.” I cupped my hand around her face. Her cheek was soft and warm, and again, for the second night in a row, love filled her eyes. When I returned to my room, it was 4:08 a.m. Only eight minutes.

Right there I stopped counting the eight-minute interruptions of the weekend and relished another eight-minute connection. Eight minutes to listen to a daughter on a car ride home. Eight minutes for a romantic goodbye while packing with my husband for a business trip. Eight minutes for a cherished hug and chat with a friend. Eight minutes to remember and encourage someone who was struggling. Eight minutes to love.

To know true love is to feel throughout these minutes as they evolve into stages, each beautiful and fulfilling in its own way.

Wonder-filled Expectations

Does every mother glimpse the potential in her child, feel inspired by awe and wish for the grandest fruition of those gifts? If so, why do we look upon ourselves with diminished eyesight, only seeing the limitations of our day-to-day reality?

Forgo the Fast Lane for A Seat At the Thanksgiving Table

“I am going to stop running through my life.” . . . That might be the first time that an epiphany caused me to literally sit down with my thoughts instead of jump up to start implementing them. I did sit down, filled my usual half-empty glass with gratitude for a thousand little finds and poured it into the days ahead.

Going to My Own Place

I adore the discovery of new paths leading to unexplored places. Going anywhere opens my eyes. Going somewhere changes my vision. Except, I am not going anywhere right now. I am not moving or vacationing or starting anything new, even though everyone around me seems to be.

From Cold to Hot

I wish I could create an adult-version of the “getting warmer” game to discover the hidden objectives in this season of my life. Of course, in that game the beginning and the end would be clear, and a thermostat would register when I turned toward the right direction. We could call it, “How to Always Be Hot.”

Which one do you like best?


  1. Rachel
    Jan 1, 2009

    Love you T- Happy New Year!

  2. Camille
    Jan 1, 2009

    Thank you so much for sharing these excerpts. I love being able to see what you’ve been doing. The Eight Minute Love Story intrigues me. I’m going to have to go read the rest of it.

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