Nita Sweeney at UAPA Book Club

Nita Sweeney Appearance at UAPA Book Club

Upper Arlington, Ohio author Nita Sweeney’s running and mental health memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me back from the Brink, was selected by the Upper Arlington Progress Action book club for discussion at their October 30th meeting. Nita will attend the discussion to answer questions. Books will be available for sale and signing.

If you are interested in attending the event or for more information about Upper Arlington Progressive Action, please visit the UAPA website. You may also follow them on Facebook.

What Writers Eat: Hubby’s Birthday

What Writers Eat: Hubby’s Birthday

Ed, the #onehundredpercentgoodhusband, and I long ago stopped giving each other presents on holidays. Instead, we go to a nice restaurant. Yesterday for his birthday we ate at Houlihan’s, a mid-scale restaurant in Upper Arlington a few miles from where we live.

I may have squealed just a teensy bit when I saw the daily lunch special. MEATLOAF! At heart, I am still a farm girl and meatloaf remains one of my favorite dishes. Theirs version was sublime.

They gladly reduced the portion of mashed potatoes in favor of more garlic green beans. The crispy onions were a pleasant surprise.

Ed ordered the taco plate with the chicken tortilla soup. As is his custom, in the time it took me to take the photo of my food, he inhaled his. Someday I will learn to photograph his food first.

The Other Writer in Our House

I’m not the only writer in our house. Today, the Columbus Dispatch published yet another letter to the editor written by Ed Sweeney, my husband.

Ed penned his current letter Reach Out Before Assuming the Worst in response to a spate of “racial insensitivities” (I’m being nice here) in our Columbus, Ohio suburb of Upper Arlington. Ed belongs to a group of citizens called Equal UA which hopes to promote “an inclusive climate which encourages all people to feel welcome and participate fully within our community.”

Speaking to some Equal UA members, Upper Arlington Chief of Police, Tracy Hahn expressed her hope that citizens would talk to each other before contacting the authorities for situations which did not warrant a police presence. Ed saw the similarities between incidents in our suburb and the racial profiling of Smith College student Oumou Kanoute when a college employee called the police as the student was observed eating her lunch in a common area. Ed’s idea for the letter was born.

When Ed thinks of something to write, he doesn’t anguish over it. He jots it down, revises, and asks me to polish the result. Then, he sends it off. If he experiences angst, he doesn’t show it. Oh, he’s concerned with the quality, but it’s more important for him to get his message across before the moment is lost. As a result, the paper has published many of his letters.

I envy Ed’s ability to steer clear of mental land mines. He has a naturally thick hide and a strong spine. But most of all, he’s in the moment – writing, revising, asking for help, and submitting. If there’s blowback, he’ll deal with it when it comes. His passion outweighs his need to avoid criticism.

I will continue to study this strange creature I call my husband as I have for the past nearly twenty-five years. I will mimic his movements and perhaps absorb a bit of his thick hide and strong spine. Maybe in another twenty-five years, some of it will rub off.

Pass the Pumpkin Pie

“Action expresses priorities.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Anyone remember the back room at Nickelby’s bookstore? I attended a booksigning there one October more than twenty years ago. I hadn’t intended to stay, but as I leafed through a Writer’s Digest text on magazine articles, a man began reading a poem about a tree he’d cut down by hand. As his voice brought the words to life, I fell into the nearest overstuffed chair and spent the evening sipping mulled cider as he read.

This month there are twenty-three writing-related events listed on the Write Now Newsletter website. As the leaves turn, authors will read from their work, professors will lecture, and writers will conduct workshops on everything from creative journaling to making a living as a writer. Ohio State will host Dave Eggers and Margaret Atwood will trek to Gambier for the Kenyon Review Literary Festival.

We might not be able to sit by the fire at Nickelby’s anymore, but we have a bounty of alternatives. We can listen from a plush seat at the King Arts Complex, write at a conference table in the Upper Arlington Municipal Building, or lean forward in a wooden chair in Denny Hall 311. We can still hear an author read aloud, bringing the words to life.

I hope you’ll take time away from leaf raking and join me at one of the many upcoming events. The horn of plenty has long been a symbol for Autumn. What better reminder of the wealth of opportunities we still have here in our own backyard.

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