I'm glad you are here to celebrate! Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details here. Celebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.
I turned my Instagram account public. I've been using it to collect & document celebrations. I love it. Please follow me there: @ruth_ayres to find celebrations throughout the week.
My family had the privilege of hosting 8 friends (slicers, teachers, writers) from 7 different states for dinner. It is one of those moments when you know as it's happening it is affirming you, changing you, and positioning you all at the same time. We laughed and cried and laughed laughed laughed.
Perhaps you don't recognize them from the photo. You will recognize them from their blog names. From left to right in the photo, you will find...
Ramona from Pleasures from the Page and Washington State
Linda from Teacher Dance and Denver, Colorado
Becca from Nguyen's Prairie Home Companion and Indiana
Christy from Read Write Inspire and Illinois
Mary Helen from Book Savors and Indiana
Kim from Write Kim Write and California
Lori from Colors of My Life and Memphis, Tennessee
Elsie from Elsie Tries Writing and Springfield, Missouri
Andy grilled for us. He'd do just about anything for these women. They handed back pieces of me when my writing life was fragile.
It is a risk to open our worlds to others. I place words -- honest, raw, beautiful, messy words on the page -- and build a story. Bit by bit my story unfolds in notebooks and articles and books and blogs (traveling through time from Inspiring Readers and Writers and Two Writing Teachers and now here).
I have a lifetime collected in scraps of stories, always turning to the page to gather words.
I look at this photo and it anchors me. It reminds me that I always get more than I give when I clack words and open my world.
Home is where I get to be wholly me. It is an honor to host these women who have helped me believe my story matters. They call themselves the Ruth Ayres Fan Club. It makes my cheeks rosy and my heart tingle. Andy claims presidency of the club. This makes me laugh.
I used to worry about getting the story right.
Now I know Story refuses to have anything to do with getting it right. Story defies perfection. Story refuses stagnation.Story laughs at being controlled.
As a writer the only right thing is to catch the story as it spins.
I celebrate finding this truth because I'm surrounded (in my home and around the globe) by people who write their stories because I write mine.
I'm pretty sure this is the best gift anyone can give.