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What’s on Your Back Burner?

June '08

I have a small confession to make – writing was never my thing. No, I mean really; I literally avoided it whenever I could. My college curriculum was designed to prevent me from heading to the library to write papers. As a result, half my courses were lab sciences – even with meeting all the college distribution requirements.

I loved science and still do, but deriving even an ounce of pleasure from writing would have to wait until graduate school when I was working on my dissertation. At least that experience taught me that if I kept the pen moving, I might discover what I wanted to say and that my jumbled thoughts could find coherence on the page.

So with this history, it comes as a bit of a surprise to see my words in print this month. I have a short (actually very short) story published in a book, edited by Marna Krajeski called Household Baggage Handlers: 56 Stories from the Hearts and Lives of Military Wives.

When Marna first asked me to submit a story for this anthology, I felt like a bit of an imposter, because my former husband was only on active duty for four years after college. But when she asked again, I thought, why not?

But what to write about? I decided to make it easy for myself and simply start at the beginning when Jim received his Ensign’s bars. Once I had completed the mandatory 1200 words, I was stunned to realize that in a period of six months I had: graduated from college, been married, driven from New England to Georgia, set up a household, lived with a man for the first time, applied for and accepted a job offer as a Lab Instructor at the University of Georgia, made a new best friend whom I drove to the hospital when she was in labor and become pregnant with my own first child.

I’m stunned as I examine this list of changes, but then I was only twenty-one going on twenty-two. What did I know about life transitions and the energy they require? Certainly the last thing I expected during that period was to be writing about it years later.

So if there is an aspect of your life you have been avoiding, watch out! Don’t be surprised if you find yourself called to it at a later date. It may be simmering on a back burner in your mind just patiently waiting for you to pick it up. There’s always more inside you!

Happy solstice time,

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about Household Baggage Handlers, click here


  1. MB said on July 1, 2008:

    How wonderful to hear your musings, Bonnie! I appreciate them. I, too, have recently discovered my “inner writer”! Now, to make the time needed to nurture it is the challenge!

  2. Kate said on July 3, 2008:

    Thanks so much for sharing this story. It has me wondering what have I been avoiding, oopps I mean simmering!
    You are a gift!

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