Tonight I wrote a short Christmas letter to family and friends--a snapshot, not a tapestry of the year. We try to send a Christmas letter because we love to receive these annual updates from others as a way to stay connected. But Christmas letters, like Christmas fruitcakes, often get a bad rap. The ones we receive in our mailbox, however, don't usually fall into the stereotype of brag sheets. Instead, there's often humor, reality and humanity.
So I say keep writing your Christmas letters, even if you don't consider yourself a terrific writer, even if it's been a tough year--as it's been for so many--even if you write and mail your letter a bit late (as we usually do). People really do want to take a moment to sit down, read your words, hear how your story is unfolding. And who knows? Your story, your words, may touch, inspire and impact others in simple yet miraculous ways.
I love to play with words. To capture moments on the page. To explore the physical and spiritual geography of what I call "fly-over country." I write from imagination, observation and my own experience of wandering in fly-over country--the literal, physical spaces of my life on the Minnesota prairie and the inner territory of the soul.
I teach writing and serve as the director of the Creative Writing Program at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota. I enjoy cooking and traveling with my husband Jim, reading, practicing yoga, playing tennis, biking, hiking and gardening.