A Year in the Life, Week 31 – Your Perfect Opposite

November 30, 2013

This week’s prompt referenced the Griffin and Sabine books, which I meant to read once upon a time but which kind of fell of my radar. In particular, it talks about how the symbolism in Griffin’s letters implies that he is searching for his “perfect opposite” so he can live a balanced life. The starting prompt actually wasn’t about opposites at all — it asked instead to take three items and make them into symbols of something. The extension exercises delved more into the opposites theme, but I didn’t do any of the extensions.

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A Year in the Life, Week 29 – A Recipe

November 16, 2013

The prompt from A Year in the Life for this weekend was “a recipe” — that is, how do you put together something you know how to create well? It was ironic because I got this prompt when I sat down to write the night I finished my Once a Month Cooking for November. My husband was away at a workshop that weekend, so I spent one of my first weekends alone since I got married. Luckily, I used to be an expert in this field.

How to Spend a Weekend Alone


48 hrs solituide
Internet connection/computer
Protein bars and other quick or non-meals

If you find yourself alone for the weekend, don’t despair! This can be an opportunity for reflection, personal growth, and rejuvenation.

It’s best if you know in advance that you will be spending the weekend alone. This gives you some time to mentally prepare. Think of all the things you might do when your partner, family, or room-mates are away. You might watch the romantic movie that’s too cheesy for everyone else’s tastes, or watch all your favorite “shipping” moments fro your favorite couple without having to explain why you’re watching just 5 minutes of a dozen X-Files episodes.

Still, even if you look forward to some aspects of your weekend alone, all that time to yourself might feel overwhelming. This tentative schedule can help you get started.

Friday Night

The weekend is here at last! Give yourself some downtime — eat leftovers or order takeout, and settle in for a movie you’ve wanted to watch. If you like to stay up late when you’re home alone, watch a series marathon, or make the movie a double feature.


Sleep in as long as you like — no one will judge! But this is the day when you’ll feel better about yourself if you’re a little bit productive. Clean the house or run some errands in the first half of the day. Consider using the second half of the day for creativity. Write in your journal, bust out the magnetic poetry, play an instrument, or make homemade gifts. Feel the bliss of “losing yourself” in a creative endeavor.

As the evening rolls in, give yourself the chance to relax again. Curl up with a good book, or plunk yourself down in front of the TV. At this point, a little junk food might help you round off the night.


Go to a different church than usual — maybe one you’re curious about, or one you’ve drifted away from that you’re starting to miss. This gives you a new experience, and you don’t have to answer questions about why you’re alone at your regular place of worship.

This is a good day to get outside. Take a walk or a bike ride, and bring a book so you can stop in a pretty area, perhaps a park, to read. Reflect on and enjoy your last few hours of solitude.

Sunday is a good day for making something special to get you through the week ahead — a mixx CD to listen to in your car, or a batch of cookies to pack in your work lunches.

Before you know it, that door will open and the people you share your life with will return. Hopefully your time alone has given you a new appreciation for them — and, of course, for yourself!

A Year in the Life, Week Eleven: Prescience

July 12, 2013

This week’s exercise in A Year in the Life was to write about a word we’d learned from someone else, and the context in which we’d learned it. I wrote about the word prescient, which I learned from my best friend, Katrina.

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A Year in the Life, Week 9: My Motto

June 28, 2013

Today’s “Year in the Life” exercise asked me to write a “motto” for my life right now. I went for the first thing that came to my mind (because these exercises are supposed to be about writing, right, and not sitting there thinking of what to write?)

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A Year in the Life, Week Five: Spring

May 31, 2013

Today’s exercise in A Year in the Life was to write about the current season. I waffled over whether May 31 should be considered spring or summer, and I went with spring. This was one of those exercises that had me writing until my hand got sore, which is what’s interesting about writing from this book. Some of the exercises are done in ten minutes, and I don’t feel particularly moved by them. Others have me going until I’m surprised at how dark it’s getting, or, if I’m writing outside, how sunburned I’m going to be. But, without further ado, spring.

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A Year in the Life: Week 3 – Letter to a Columnist

May 17, 2013

This week, the writing exercise from A Year in the Life was to write a letter to a columnist giving “advice” about something you’ve been through.

Since so many people seem preoccupied with finding “the one,” I wrote about how my romantic life blossomed after I’d decided to give up dating “for good.”

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