The Stories Burning at the Back of my Tongue
On Saturday night, I sat in our barn and listened to Billy Coffey speak wisdom over a rapt room while hound dogs slept on the concrete floor.
He spoke of writer’s obligations and his own writing habits. He spoke of finding time to write and the obligation to keep going. He spoke of his books, and all of those spoken words were truth, truth to weigh like the sound of hummingbird wings.
But what I heard most was a man living his life and writing his stories on the terms that were right for him. He writes what he loves and what he knows, and he learns to write what he knows through the doing.
As I sat with writers all about me, I felt myself give in to Billy’s stories and to my own. A shift. A gentling toward something more true for me.
Last week, Philip and I found out that we had lost the baby we had worked months to conceive. The heartbeat had gone silent, an echoing gong of nothing in my belly.
I have known grief in my life, profound, life-stopping grief. Still, this feels even more hollow because a baby died.
Still, it is in the hollow that I often hear the echo of myself. And my own echo is always written, a song sung in black and white bouncing off the mountains.
This death, it is a homecoming for me. . . again.
I don’t know what this blog will become, my friends, and I don’t know that all of you will stay with me as it rebecomes. That’s okay. . . truly. I need to become more here in this place, and you may need to find new things elsewhere. I would be lying to say that it doesn’t scare me a bit to lose you, perhaps, because, well, platform.
Still, I know the promise that comes with telling the story burning against the back of my tongue.
So a shift to more story is coming here — stories of my life some and stories of what I see around this blessing of 15 acres. Stories of writing, too, of the shimmering days and the dark ones, too.
I hope you’ll stay with me for the stories because you want to read them, yes, but more so that you remember the stories you need to tell, so that you remember we need those, too.
I’d love for you to join us in a 31-day exploration of who you are as a writer. On Saturday, we’ll begin our journey to discover the what, who, when, where, and why of your writing life as it exists at this moment. Everyone is welcome from any genre and with any level of experience. Pay what you can for the course and join us. All the details and registration are here.
Originally published at andilit.com on June 28, 2017.