Getting back to her

by Lesley on June 30, 2010 · 10 comments

in writing

Get caught in the race
Of this crazy life
Trying to be everything can make you lose your mind
I just wanna go back in time
To American honey, yea

There’s a wild, wild whisper
Blowing in the wind
Calling out my name like a long lost friend
Oh I miss those days as the years go by
Oh nothing’s sweeter than summer time
And American honey

Gone for so long now
I gotta get back to her somehow
To American honey

(Lyrics to American Honey by Lady Antebellum)

Lately, there’s been a wild whisper calling out my name and I’m not sure what to do with it. This whisper is still very soft, but it’s there, and it’s wild. I try to listen to what the whisper is saying, but I’m distracted by my own voice.

I watched a web clip tonight recommended by Michele. It’s funny because before I was watching the clip I’d had a mini-meltdown. All I had wanted to do after work was squeeze in a quick visit to the gym before my week pass expires. I didn’t even want to exercise. I wanted to zone out in the steam room in an attempt to curb my adult acne and soothe my muscles which are hurting more than usual these days. By the time I left work at 7:20, I’d lost all enthusiasm to strip down in a locker room with a bunch of strangers. (Really- does enthusiasm ever exist to strip down with strangers? Probably not.)

I got home and went straight from work mode to home mode, which could be described in one hyphenated word: multi-tasking. As I defrosted dinner and made tomorrow’s lunch, all I could think about was what I wanted to get accomplished, and the tasks I wasn’t going to get to because it was late. I needed a a distraction from my inner turmoil of voices. And so, I watched the clip as I cooked. It’s a TED talk by brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor. In it, she compares the two sides of the brain. Here’s a paraphrase of what she says about the human brain:

“Our right human hemisphere is all about this present moment. It’s all about right here, and right now….what this present moment looks like, feels like, sounds like. Our left hemisphere thinks linearly and methodically. It’s all about the past and all about the future. Our left is designed to pick out details and details and more details about those details. It’s that little voice that says to me, “Hey you gotta remember to pick up bananas on your way home.”

Somedays, it feels like all I think about is how and when I’m going to pick up the bananas. I make lists so I don’t forget the bananas. If I do forget them, I worry about it.

Lately, I’ve put my blog on a grocery list right under the bananas. Over the last few months, this blog has been somewhat neglected. Ideas don’t come to me as easily, and the words don’t fly off my fingers quickly. I still love to write, but in this space I’ve felt cramped. I want to go back to American Honey; to the long lazy days in our rented RV when I wrote childish romance stories on pads of lined paper. I wrote without holding back; I wrote just for the sake of creating.

So I’ve made what feels like a big decision: I’m taking a self imposed blog sabbatical for the summer.

I actually got the idea after I read my friend Kristin’s blog. Kristin blogs regularly, and she just finished her first book which comes out next month. In one of her recent posts she quotes our college professor, Dr. Spencer. “If you live by technology, you will die by technology.” Over the last few months, I’ve felt like I’m dying by technology.

It’s time for me to pull out an old fashioned notebook and pen, and get to work. You see, I’ve also realized that for a long time, I’ve wanted to write a book. There are always things that have held me back; lack of time, lack of a good idea; lack of self-confidence; worry that I won’t be as successful as others, that I can’t make money writing, that I’ll fail.

Kelly also recently shared a great web clip. It’s a Tim Keller video that talks about Creation and Creativity. (It’s only five minutes. Watch it here.) I’ll leave you for the few months with Tim’s encouragement:

“…Create not because you have to, but because you want to. Because you know you’re made  in the image of God, because creating order out of chaos, and something out of nothing, is a good thing in itself.”

See you in September.

p.s. picture is my grandma, Lorraine, who I call Amie. Isn’t it a beautiful picture? To me, it says, “American Honey.”

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I looked at this photo again this morning...hadn't read to the very bottom last time. I looked at the photo and said to myself, "Wow, that really looks like Mom!" So I read again to see if you mention the photo...of course you did! So cute, and amazing! thanks for sharing it :)

Kristin Ritzau
Kristin Ritzau

Lesley! I just read this now! Thanks so much for the shout out and I'm glad that Dr. Spencer spoke to you through me. :) Blessings in picking up that pen and might I add some more words by another mentor in my life Anne Lamott - don't be scared of shitty first drafts. You have to get through those to get to the second, third, and fourth ones. Can't wait to talk more about this.

Lesley Miller
Lesley Miller

Katie, no judgment from me. :) Thank you girls for the encouragement. I'm already struggling through this writing process but it feels good to take a start.


Shoot. I used the wrong "your." Please don't tell my students and don't judge me.


You're blog will be missed this summer but it sounds like a great idea. And for the record, I'm still counting on you to become my famous friend. Jackie from Bunco doesn't count because she's just an acquaintance and didn't earn her fame like you will with your life-changing or just simply entertaining book.


I've always wanted to write a book as well, but I never thought of taking a blog sabbatical to do it. I suggested we move to Hawaii for a year instead, but Brett didn't think that was realistic. So, I kept blogging. *sigh* I'll miss your blog posts this summer, but maybe one day we could bring notebooks to the park and write together over frozen yogurt ;)

Amy Vogt
Amy Vogt

Good girl, Les. I pray you're blessed on your sabbatical. Also, I can't wait for your book either. Secretly, I hope I get to be in it somehow...maybe just in spirit. Love you!


Great idea, Lesley. Love those lyrics too. And, I second Michelle - I would buy your book too!


Lesley, what a lovely idea! Enjoy the blog sabbatical. And just so you know I'd buy your book! : )


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