Monday, July 23, 2012

Writing Life

Though it hasn't been obvious here on the blog lately, I am first and foremost a writer.  In fact, I have been writing more over the last year than ever before in my life.  Regular readers of The Magpie's Fancy might be puzzled by this statement, as there has been little evidence of any real writing activity here during that same period.  The cupboards have been bare.  Not a can of beans or a box of saltines for you to nibble on as you wait for me to get my act together and bake some cookies or whip up a proper pudding.

I promise that will happen soon.  Once we are in the new house at the end of August, you won't be able to get rid of me!

In the meantime, one half of my brain is thinking gardens and French doors and room colors and bead board, even as the other half writes and writes and writes.  What I am writing is still top secret for now, but I can tell you that its presence has taken up so much of my existence that there has been little room for much else, including blogging.  That is a good thing, though, for as a beloved professor once told me, "Write every day, even when you don't feel like it, even when you have no time, even when it gets in the way of the rest of your life."  She was right, and I do.

Even as I type this, I recognize how slightly crazy and selfish it sounds, but I don't care.  A writer writes.  A writer also reads--maybe even more than she writes.  And this writer takes very long walks.  Walking helps me write.  So does washing the dishes by hand.  So does daydreaming--not worrying or obsessing, but real daydreaming of the sort that allows for surprises and possibilities.

I hope some of my writing students--both past and present--see this post, because I often give them this advice about the writing life, and I want them to know that I don't take it lightly.  The writing life is uncompromising, demanding, and difficult.  It also brings moments of great joy among the soap suds and reveries.  For me it comes down to this: discipline leads to discovery.  It is that simple, and I wouldn't want any other life.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Come August 30th, this is the 1937 Cape cottage that Mr. Magpie and I will call home.  We found out on Monday that the offer we made on it was accepted, and we've been scrambling all week to finish the loan paperwork and get the ball rolling on the million and one things that need to happen before we close.    

All that matters to us now, though, is that we've found our little corner of the world, surrounded by gardens and grand old trees.  This is the the third time we've bought a home, and as the old saying goes, the third time's a charm.  We looked at several houses, and bid on a few that we failed to get, but the moment we stepped into the backyard of this house, we knew why.  This was the place we were meant to find.  Yes, I believe some things are meant to be, and I don't question those things.  A little faith can go a long way in a wicked world.  

It feels right to be closing during the same month that Mr. Magpie and I will be celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary.  During all those years, we have called ten different places home, and I've loved each house, apartment, and condo where we've laid our heads, but honestly, I just feel blessed that every night we've had a roof to keep us dry and walls to keep us safe.  Home for us will never be a mansion.  It will always be the place where meals are shared and memories made with each other and with the people and animals we love.  As the English poet Robert Southey wrote, "There is a magic in that little world, home; it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits."

I'll be sharing much more about the house in the weeks and months to come.  It has been a long wait for this place, and I feel like Dorothy after far too long a stint in Oz.  I can't wait to kick off my ruby slippers and leave them by the kitchen door.  

xo Gigi