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“When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am.” May 29, 2014

Posted by Christine Coleman in Uncategorized.
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Amazing wisdom — had to share.

The Daily Post

Maya Angelou by Spanglej, CC BY-SA 2.0.Maya Angelou by Spanglej, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.

Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with Van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall love with the music of Coltrane, the music of Aretha Franklin, or the music of Chopin — find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that it was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.

When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, how…

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You Don’t Need The First Of January To Start Over December 26, 2013

Posted by Christine Coleman in Uncategorized.
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The best lines: “Just promise yourself that you will take full control of your life, and keep that promise. That’s all the resolution that you need.”

Thought Catalog

I have probably made—and broken—over 20 New Year’s Resolutions in my life; 2014 will undoubtedly be no different.

On Thanksgiving I lay awake for hours, imagining what the next year would be like. I explored all the opportunities that 2014 would bring me, the clean slate I would have, how I would start over.

Then it hit me—there are no real do-overs in life. If becoming a new, better person was so easy, we’d all be angels by now, earning whiter wings every new year. We’d beat out Apple for records of the latest improved model ever—for instance, I would be Me v. 24S or 25.0.

But it’s nowhere near that easy. January 1st isn’t a ticket to a better life.

I pulled a lot of shit this year. Did a lot of crazy stunts that I can’t even begin to explain, much less apologize for. I made some new…

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33 Inspiring Reasons Why You Should Write More October 12, 2013

Posted by Christine Coleman in Uncategorized.
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Of course, I do write every day — whether it’s blogging about baseball or writing at work. But I know I’m not writing enough, or enough of what I want to be writing …

Thought Catalog

1. Write because you have something to say.

2. Write because you’ve always wanted to.

3. Write because you only just realized that you might die next week, or tomorrow, or five minutes from now, and you want to leave something behind for posterity.

4. Write because you have a secret fire burning inside of you and the only way that you can fan the flames is by sharing your thoughts with someone else.

5. Write because you’re bored and don’t have anything better to do.

6. Write for yourself.

7. Write for another someone else, or maybe everyone else.

8. Write because you love seeing your stats counter-surge every time you post something. Write because nothing satisfies you quite so much as seeing others share what you’ve written. Write because you like the attention; there’s nothing wrong with liking the attention.

9. Write because it fills the emptiness in…

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What a difference a week makes April 1, 2010

Posted by Christine Coleman in Exercise, Uncategorized.
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Ben Butterworth Parkway, Moline, IL, 4-1-10

Last Thursday and today have one thing in common: it was very windy both days. A week ago, the temperature when I headed out to run after work was 48 degrees. Combined with the wind, that was enough to send me to the gym. Today: 84 degrees. So down to the river I went.

With a temperature like that on April 1, it wasn’t surprising the riverfront was even more crowded today. (The river was also, as several boats were out.) I dodged all the walkers — and endured all the runners passing me — and took it slow and steady. Today’s running program called for two stretches of eight minutes at a time, which is a new high. Driving to the parkway, I gave myself an internal pep talk. And, yes, I was calling on my inner Chris Carpenter to make it through the second section. Happily, I survived!

The Mississippi is encroaching onto the parkway in certain areas. Over the last two weeks, it’s risen a bit higher each day I’ve been there. Today, at the first area that floods, the river is lapping at the asphalt path and the mud shows that it has crossed the path on occasion. I believe the latest flood forecasts call for only minor flooding this year. Hopefully that’s the case. Two years ago, there were two major floods that closed Ben Butterworth Parkway for parts of the spring and summer. The unfortunate price to pay for taking advantage of such natural beauty.

A lifelong love affair with books March 21, 2010

Posted by Christine Coleman in Uncategorized.
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One of my bookshelves

I read too much. We all do anymore, with e-mails and Web sites and blogs and Twitter and whatever else taking up so much of our days, both at home and on the job. I’m a traditionalist who still gets a daily newspaper delivered too, plus I have a couple of magazine subscriptions. And all of that reading each day makes it a challenge to find time for my first love: reading books. I do find the time, just not as much as I’d like.

Once I learned to read in first grade, books became my constant companions. Every car ride, even if just to my Grandma Coleman’s house twenty minutes away, meant bringing a book with me. I loved buying books (a habit that still continues) and checking them out of the library (one that hasn’t, since I own so many books I still haven’t read).

I’d do whatever it took to get books too. When we were 11 or 12 years old, my next-door neighbor Terri (now novelist Therese Fowler) and I used to ride our bikes a couple of miles to the tiny branch library adjacent to a fire station to check out books. Though it’s vague, I have a recollection of transporting the books in a free backpack from Hardees. We’d ride home and get to reading.

Exploring the books my Grandma Coleman and Grandma and Grandpa O’Brien had were a high point of visiting them. When I first read Grandma C’s copy of “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” I found a kindred spirit in Francie Nolan with her reading of a book a day and desire to read all the books in the world. That book, from 1943, is mine today and has been read so many times it’s now fragile with a broken and frayed binding. Last fall I purchased a paperback copy. The story is identical and still captivating, but seems out of place in this new package. My other grandparents had more non-fiction books – I absolutely loved reading an encyclopedia of television shows Grandma had, about the shows I could remember and the many that were before my time. Grandpa had an almanac in his bedroom that I enjoyed picking up, flipping through and reading random entries. Today, it’s on one of my bookshelves.

Yes, I have multiple bookshelves plus a couple of big tubs full of books. Most are ones I have yet to read. Last year I made two reading-related New Year’s resolutions: to not buy any books so I could read some of the ones I had and to read 40 books for the year. I did pretty well with the first one until late summer. When I went to Madison, Wis., for Labor Day weekend, my friends Jan and Mike and I went shopping at a couple used book stores. One was even having an extra sale that weekend! It was too good to pass up, so I drove home with 10 new-to-me books. Around the same time I also joined my friend Linda’s book group. So that was a legitimate reason to buy a new book every month – plus it gave me the opportunity to talk about books (among many other topics) with a great group of women. And, somehow, I did fulfill the resolution of reading 40 books for 2009.

This year: no book-reading resolutions. And I am finding it more difficult to find time to read so far this year – it took me months to finish a terrific baseball book, “Sixty Feet, Six Inches,” even though there was a fascinating online discussion going on with my Twitter Cardinals friends. It also took some cramming late last week to finish reading Julia Child’s “My Life in France” for yesterday’s book group. Like making the time to write, reading too is all a matter of priorities.

My favorite way to spend the day remains curling up on the couch with a book and getting lost in another world, whether fictional or factual. And, if you’ll excuse me, that’s what I’m going to spend a little time doing right now …

***

On another book-related note, congratulations to Jeanne Matthews, one of my 2005 Iowa workshop classmates, whose first novel will be published June 1! “Bones of Contention” is a murder mystery set in Australia – learn more at www.jeannematthews.com. I just ordered a copy and look forward to reading it this summer.