Contextual Moments Blog
Doors and Liminal Space
I have since learned that there is a moment in between as one passes through a door, leaving one place and entering the next. It’s called liminal space, a period of transition. It's a gap, and it can be physical (like a doorway), emotional (like a divorce or widowhood) or metaphorical (like a decision).
In the Silence
What happens in the silence?
Back in my acting school days, we were often encouraged to dwell in the small silences between sentences—to not feel compelled to speak straight through, but to allow the character to think, to consider, to ruminate, if you will. And then going even further back, I remember a one-act play, actually a “sketch”, by the avant-garde playwright, Harold Pinter, in which silences were a key aspect. Of course, the two characters were both in midlife and I was in my twenties; what did I know of broken marriages and broken lives where silence reigned? That would come much later.
An Author Posse
The Path to Healing
Opposite of Faith is Not Doubt, but Certitude
Why a Lenten Journal
I don’t remember when I became intrigued by the church calendar. Certainly not while I was active in Charismatic and Evangelical churches, where the only calendars celebrated were Christmas and Easter week. At my Methodist church, we acknowledged Advent with the lighting of candles on a huge wreath (3 purple and 1 pink) but they didn’t have much meaning for me. When my late husband and I adopted our children (aged 4 & 5), we had a variety of Advent calendars, one with tiny books that told the Christmas story and two others that involved daily chocolate. I don’t think I need to say which calendars were the most popular.
Best of 2021 But It's 2022
Writing a Story is Like Going on a Date
Looking Through the Fog
I have now had several opportunities to chat with people who have read my book and I am gratified when they pick up on one of the core themes that is underneath the "miracle" story: self-discovery. Jane Freedle had no idea who she really was by the time of her husband's death. For most of her life, she had been under the thumb of two men in her life, her father and then her husband.
What the? Time is Flying!
- Sister Jane received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.
- Sister Jane is now available in four major library systems in Maryland (Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, and Cecil). More to come.
- I have made several personal appearances and I have half a dozen book club appearances in the next two months.
- My book is available in several locations in town and I've had people yelling from across a street, "Irm, I LOVE your book!" It's quite humbling.
- Last week, I recorded my first podcast interview which will air Sept 13th.
Launch Party Success!
What a Character!
Quite a few “characters” have floated in and out of my life. I’m sure you could say the same. They are the colorful bits; they are the ones we remember for a long time.
Charlie rented one of our rooms on Park Avenue when I was a child. He had what I now know was a trigger finger, his ring finger, on his right hand. He was a heavy smoker and spent a lot of time hanging out on our porch. Gruff and grizzly, most of the time, he indulged a 2nd grader who had lots and lots of questions. And then he was gone.
Genres. Who Needs Them? Do You?
We are in a culture of labels.
We label people and attitudes and houses and neighborhoods and cities. And of course, books. In some cases, I’m aware that labels can be helpful. I certainly appreciate finding the right size clothing and I confess, if I’m at the used clothing store, I gravitate to familiar labels/brands. I’m glad that foods are labeled with nutrition facts and whether they are spicey. I’m grateful for the “skull & crossbones” to warn me of poisons and toxic materials.But honestly, haven’t we taken this labeling a bit too far?
Miracles as Viral News
Is This Book About Me?
When I give my little “elevator” speech about Sister Jane, I feel compelled to mention that she is, a) an older woman and b) grew up in a small town.
One friend immediately asked me, “what’s older?” I’m afraid to answer that. I know, whether I like it or not, that I am considered older. My worst birthday year was not when I turned fifty, but fify-five. At that point (although I think this category has since changed), I would be in the great miasma of fifty-five and up. I would be in that last check box. Now, if that doesn’t make a poor girl feel old, I don’t know what does. I’m curious what you all think? And although the last check box has changed, I’ve managed to grow into that one as well.
How Sister Jane, The Book, Was Born
We read memoirs and articles about writers - we want to be inspired. We attend conferences and subscribe to writer's magazines - we want to be encouraged. We talk about writing, a lot!