500 Words, and the Laughter of a Family

It is mid-morning, and I just wrapped up a Live Chat for The Conscious Booksmith. When I was first creating this course, I wasn’t certain I would enjoy these chats - I’m not an active Facebook user in general, and wasn’t too keen on the idea of having to spend additional time here - but they have been my favorite part of the course. Watching everyone support and encourage each other has been wonderful, and I will never tire of seeing others get energized and inspired enough to take action towards their dreams.

I’m shifting my Facebook presence away from my personal page towards this new “Page” page. The idea of having to construct and promote an entirely new platform for my work feels a tad daunting, but I have been yearning for a new space to stay connected, share work-related news and offer a new writing series. Am I right to think it will be easier to do this here on Facebook rather than my website/blog? Technology and social media are changing and evolving at such a rapid pace it is hard to know how to keep up, but this feels like a move in the right direction.

The new writing series is called 500 Words, and the intention is to share brief chronicles and musings of my day-to-day. Not that my day-to-day is so fascinating - it involves a lot of laundry - but the challenge I am interested in exploring is related to brevity. 500 is not a lot of words, and setting this limit will help me practice my writing in a new way as well as make the idea of daily “free writing” as inviting as possible. I don’t have to come up with a compelling narrative or “bigger message.” I only need to write.

We have family visiting from Detroit this week - my husband’s nephew, his wife and their three kids. Last night after dinner, they sat down in our family room to view all the photos they’d taken on their visit so far, projecting them on our television screen where most of them elicited huge squeals of laughter. Pictures of their mom making a funny face because she was eating or squinting, or a picture of one of the kids caught mid-blink when the shutter was snapped. Their dad would zoom in on the funniest areas of each image, sending everyone into hysterics. This would continue until another kind of picture came up - one that captured a softer look on someone’s face, or two of the kids sitting next to each other with the sweetest smiles on earth, each lost in their own happy thoughts. The pictures where everyone stopped laughing, sighed, and said, “What a sweet picture.” The ones where something more internal was exposed on camera, where beauty was less about the angle of the sun and more about the intimacy of the composition. The ones that let any viewer know - this was a family.

Christine Mason Miller

Santa Barbara, CA

Writer * Artist * Storyteller * Guide