Small Victories

I like the fancy night out. I like cake.

I like the gold star, I like the big win.

I like wearing a fancy dress and getting my hair blown out for the awards night where I finally might be recognized for all my hard work. For example, I totally had a blast at the UMAC (United Methodist Association of Communicators) awards dinner in Albuquerque last month. And yes, my name was on a few certificates and awards.

Recently, I’ve been published in some awesome venues. And last month, I did a reading of a couple of funny essays at a hip East Village club — Felt so good, like I was coming home. These were home runs for me and my writing — big wins in a lifetime of convincing myself to be content with small victories.

But I had one recent victory that I keep dwelling on. See, I started this creative writing workshop at lunch time. And I’m not very good at promoting it, so I’m sorry if you didn’t know about it. We meet on Wednesdays.

While I’ve led many of the sessions, (I am an unstoppable teacher), most of the time we rotate leadership. Last week, one of the shyest and most consistent members of the group, J.C., led our group of five people.

J.C. offered a simple suggestion for our time writing together: Make a list of five things you are grateful for. Then write about one or two. We wrote for 20 minutes. And then we read out loud. J.C. read hers, and it floored me. My jaw dropped open.

J.C. wrote that she was grateful for me and for our creative writing workshop. And she noted the exact date the workshops started, March 16, 2011.

Wow, it made me feel as if my life’s efforts — these little things I do, especially the ones that I take on when no one asks me to —  mean something to someone. And my whole messy life makes sense. It feels great. Small victories? Small wins? I don’t know. Maybe the seemingly small victories are the biggest deals of all.

About our Wednesday writing workshop

Mandala Occupies Washington Square


Yesterday I was in Washington Square Park along with hundreds of other Occupy Wall Streets supporters.

Let me come clean, I would like to say that I was there for the demonstration, holding a witty, anti-establishment placard, but I was actually just passing by to meet my friend and fellow writer, Dan Wakefield, to commiserate on the writer’s life.

We weren’t the only peripheral people there. Right near the arch, there was a mandala being created from huge ziplock bags full of colored sand. The artist would step in and leave his shoe print in the art as he sprinkled colored sand like powdered sugar on the cement.

I loved the colors. And it was amazing that in this square crowded full of protesters, families and college students, there could be sacred art on the ground. No one stepped in it, except the artist.

It seems everyone respects art — much more than they respect the greed of corporate America. Times are a’changing. Let me get my placard and come up with some witty words.