About me

I am a university professor by training (yes, an English teacher) and a Unitarian Universalist. I don’t think of myself as a writer (may be part of my problem…), yet I write every day–not necessarily “creative” writing but writing nonetheless. I love taking photographs, yet I don’t consider myself a photographer either — I fly by the seat of my pants too much! I am earnest, creative, and idealistic. Also, I smile and talk too much when I am nervous, and I tend to take on too many interesting projects and get burned out. I started this blog when I was on sabbatical leave (fall 2007 — spring 2008), during which I wanted to accomplish two things: (1) complete the manuscript of my grandmother’s memoir, and (2) figure out a way to create and sustain a more balanced life. I am still trying to meet those goals….

28 Responses

  1. I am 43, a woman, born in California but living in the mid-west, married since 1984, no children, an artist, and a husband who is a university professor (btw, he is on sabbatical leave this year).

    I was led to your blog through an alert for feminist theology. I was completely intrigued by some of the things we have in common. My grandmother was raised a Lutheran, but became a Unitarian. She recently died at age 100.

    I also don’t consider myself a writer, but I write everyday. I fill a 70 page notebook per month. I recently wrote an article that will be published in a magazine (hasn’t come out yet), but that was by request, not my own idea to write and submit for publication.

    I’m still in the evangelical world, although I’m in a Christian Reformed environment now (for last 15 years), which is pretty thoughtful on the spectrum of evangelical subcultures.

    I’m completely intrigued by cultures and how they work, and how we are all recipients of a cultural life, both consciously and unconsciously. I too want to read what ever I can get my hands on regarding the “history of God.” I’m excited to be living in this narrative we all find ourselves in. From some of the things I read in your writings, we may have a similar framework by which we regard life. I’ll be interested to follow your response to the history of God. I’ll also be intrigued to hear more about your grandmother. I’m wearing my grandmother’s wedding ring these days. It is one of the few things of her belongings I somehow became the recipient of, and I treasure it. She wore that ring for over 70 years, and it is now on my finger. Our grandmas are amazing.

  2. Sorry, I’m such a newbie I didn’t know my comment above would show up here. I don’t want to clutter up your “about” page. I hope you can remove it.

  3. Hi, Lisa,

    I was very excited to learn that someone out there was interested in
    what I have to say! It does seem like we have a lot in common. I
    would love to hear from you in future as I write more on topics of
    mutual interest.

    Do you WANT me to remove your first comment because there’s personal
    info? Or are you just feeling weird about your comment being there
    because it’s my “about” page and you think you shouldn’t have

    From my perspective, I like your comment being on my blog because it
    is interesting how strangers can connect. Also, frankly, it
    encourages people to comment and get involved in the conversation I’m
    trying to foster. I’ve seen comments on most folks’ “about” pages, so
    it’s not unusual. If there’s anything you said that you’d rather not
    be public, I’m sure I can remove your post, but as far as I’m
    concerned, I have absolutely NO problem with it! 🙂

    Thanks for visiting my site!

  4. Hi ‘Grandma’, It’s Fiona Veitch Smith, aka The Crafty Writer here. Thanks for linking to me, by the way. I see that the Modern Matriarch is on your blogroll too – fabulous site! I was very touched to read your post about your Grandma. Both of my Grandmas died last year, three weeks apart. One was 83, the other a week short of her 101st birthday. The one grandma was an angry atheist and hated my faith, the other was more of a pragmatic believer – good, sturdy, methodist, who never got emotional about anything, particularly God.
    See you again soon,

  5. Thanks, Fiona, for visiting my site. Sorry about the loss of your grandmothers. Must have been quite a contrast to visit the two of them. Do you ever write about either of them?

    I love your site — very helpful.

  6. I haven’t managed to write about them yet as I had a bad relationship with one and she even requested that I didn’t attend her funeral. I tried to reconcile with her for 10 years, but she was too proud to do so. So I can’t write about one without thinking of the other. It’s all a little raw. I do find though that they come out in my fiction. I wrote a short story and a play at around the time they were dying. Both pieces have grandmothers in them. In the one story there was an ‘evil’ grandmother and in the other a bitter grandmother who laid everything to rest before she died. The play has actually already won two awards and all the critics say the grandmother was the strongest character.

  7. In regard to my original post, you can leave it up. I was concerned about interfering with the purpose of your “about” page rather than my privacy. Thanks! I’ll keep following your blog.

  8. veitchsmith — Cool, Fiona! That’s a great way to use difficult personal experience for yourin one’s writing. I can see why it’s hard to write about one without thinking of the other. What’s your play title?

    Lisa — thanks for checkin in from time to time. I think we have much in common. It’ll be nice to get your take on things!

  9. hi
    I have big problem is writing. please any one advise me

  10. Hi, Kaled,

    I recommend The Crafty Writer blog for help with writing. The person who runs that blog is great and very helpful at posting suggestions. I have a link to her on my blogroll on the bottom right side of my blog.

    Good luck!

  11. I’m very excited about finding your interesting blog today. I can hardly wait to read all about your adventures in Peru. I have traveled to Brazil and Bolivia, but at that time, could not go into Peru safely because of Shining Path.

    Best regards,
    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas (in the Middle East)

  12. Yes, I can see how unsafe it would have been in Peru when the terrorists were active. The villages are so remote that it would be easy for Sendero to isolate and attack. Happily, things are a bit more secure at present, though the long-term effects of that phase of their history can still be felt.

  13. I didn’t realize you blogrolled me, I give you linky love back girl!

  14. Hey, no prob, Chaos. Love your site!

  15. I came across your blog when doing a search about my country, Peru. I don’t have much experience with blogging, but I felt compelled to leave you a comment (so I hope I am doing this right!)

    In a couple of weeks I will be embarking on a trip to Peru–specifically to my great grandmother’s home town. She passed away two days before her 107th birthday (in April 2006). My great grandma and I were very close. When I was in graduate school, I began a memoir project, one about Quetita’s (her nickname) life and all that she lived through in Peru from 1899-2006. Like yourself, I found a period of no production, not even a single word–but now, finally I am ready to write again. After reading your blogs (and adventures through my country) I have to say that I am even more inspired to embark on my own adventure and find what I hope to find in Peru.

    Anyway, I wish you luck in your project.. and I look forward to reading more about it as the days go on!

  16. P.S. — The pictures you posted of people in my country were great. I really enjoyed the blogs about your trip. I am sure that you have heard this many times over, but thank you again, from another Peruvian 🙂

    (Oh, that that comment above was from me–I just created an account and logged in as Lily107 🙂

  17. I was so touched to read your comment! Thank you Lily107 for your kind words, and I am sorry to hear of your loss. What a fascinating coincidence that we are both working on our grandmothers’ stories and have the Peru connection, too. It warms my heart that my words and pictures have touched you. I feel so humbled by my trip to Peru. It is hard to put into words what I feel or to understand my complex reactions — I am still trying to process it all. To know that there are people out there who are reading and responding to my work makes me feel so lucky.


  18. I too was taken aback by all the things we have in common! Did I mention that I am an English Prof. as well? 🙂 I live in MA (I have since I was ten) but I went to grad school out in California (Riverside), and I fell in love with the place! I noticed you grew up in California as well–though I am not sure if you mentioned what part. This Fall, I will be looking for a teaching position out there. I’ll be looking around here as well, but Southern California is really where I would like to be. I miss the beaches! Although I do have to say that nothing beats our New England Fall season 😉

    Oh, I meant to tell you that I was sorry to see that you got sick in Peru. I do hope you were able to try a variety of our wonderful cuisine before getting sick however :(. Also, I know the Parque Kennedy very well–my house is just a few blocks over actually. When I am in Lima, I walk there every evening that I can. There is this place called Sandwhich.com that serves the best Lucuma shakes I’ve had.

    Anyway, thanks for commenting back! Take care and I hope that your writing is going well!

  19. I had a lovely “steamed” whole cooked in tomato and garlic sauce in Huarmey, but that was about the extent of my sampling of the cuisine in Peru. I saw a lot of other lovely dishes, but wasn’t able to enjoy them myself. I did have pan con palto for breakfast once — yum! I love avocado. I hear there is a Peruvian restaurant in Boston. Maybe I’ll have to go there to sample some dishes!

    Good luck in the job search.

  20. There is one in Sommerville, its called Machu Picchu. The food is amazing there. My family and I try to make it out there at least once a month 🙂 The Lomo Saltado–my favorite dish–is very good there. I believe its right on Sommerville Ave. But I’ll have to get back to you on that one. I do recommend this place highly though!

    Oh, and pan con palta! My favorite Peruvian breakfast. There is a bakery around the corner of my house in Miraflores. Every morning at 6am the air is filled with the scent of freshly baked bread. I can’t wait!

  21. Yummo! I’ll have to take my family and check that out. Sommerville isn’t far.

  22. I started at the top here & got about 3 comments in before I thought, “I love these women!” So glad I found your page. Looking forward to reading on.
    Thanks for writing!

  23. Hi, Ruth! Yes, isn’t it neat how blogs can provide us the opportunity to meet such neat people?! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  24. I enjoy reading your blog and now that we can meet here or at mine instead of just via Paul’s blog, I have added you to my blogroll too! 🙂

  25. Thanks, Diane! That’s very nice of you. 🙂

  26. writinggb, where are you? It looks like you haven’t posted since 2009. You were one of my favorite bloggers back then. My husband loved your lefse posts. Do you have a new blog, or are you writing the book? Just checking in.

    • Thanks, Linda! I’ve been swamped with a monumental work project and thus haven’t been doing any blogging or writing beyond my university gig. 😦

      I do hope to get back to it all next year, but there’s no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel right now for me. I appreciate your posting and checking in. I miss reading your blog. Simply no time, though. I’ll have to play catch up later!

      Take care!

  27. writinggb, you showed up in my google alerts today. Funny, how time just keeps on ticking away and we are drawn back into it when there’s a message waiting for us. My message today was to click on your site and remind myself that you held a significant space for me in the early years after Owen’s death. Thank you. I remember my late nights and early mornings reading your blog, always hopeful that what you were doing would be a reprise for what I was doing. It was, and I am grateful. I hope you and your family are well.

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