The Next Thing and the Next Thing

Summer is coming to a close, which means the children go back to school, Henry starts preschool three days a week, and football season begins. Now that we’re done with this thing, onto the next thing. The clouds are racing and changing across the sky, moving the weather and the seasons along, and now it’s almost fall. Would ya look at that.

Who am I kidding? I’ll be whining all fall
about this guy being on the road.

This might be the first year I am not overcome by anxiety about Brandon’s travel each weekend. Maybe it’s because nobody in our family is playing soccer, so I don’t have any Saturday morning, standing in the cold and rain, cranky spectator obligations. Maybe it’s because the kids are getting older and more manageable on my own. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and able to occasionally recognize the lonely Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights without Brandon around after the kids go to bed for what they are, or can be: my weekly writer’s retreat, my silence, my repose. Maybe I’m just at a really steady and secure place, not overwhelmed by job decisions or graduate school or babies, just… here.

Don’t hold your breath, though; I will probably find myself sitting in our living room a night not too far in the future, alone with my laptop, pouring tears and capital letters into this blog, waiting waiting waiting for my husband to come home.

Voted “Most Powerful” for the Ashland University
MFA Class of 2015

Keeping in the spirit of weekly writer’s retreats, though, I am very excited about this fall. I finished my MFA at Ashland University this summer, and I spent the last few weeks reorganizing and writing a few additional pages towards my manuscript, American Honey. I am really pleased with this final draft… or at least this I-think-I’m-ready-to-send-to-agents-and-editors draft, and my plan this fall is to send it out into the world of agents and editors. If you are by some magical coincidence an agent or editor reading this now who sees the need for a collection of memoiristic essays about the first decade of marriage, temptation, desire, and love, well, ahem, I’m available by email, phone, or post. I can even access a fax machine.

One of the essays in the manuscript was just published online by the litmag Full Grown People, “Careful Intimacies.” To me, it captures the spirit and tension throughout this collection. That essay I linked to above about soccer, “The Worst Soccer Mom,” is also included.

I’m also continuing as a regular contributor to Off the Page, a ministry of Our Daily Bread, and I’m loving that monthly exercise. I write twice a month for them. It’s where I’ve been going to hash out the things I think about on the way to work, listening to audiobooks, the matters of faith that matter most to me right now. Here are a few of my most recent posts:

Today: Sabbath Afternoon – “If you haven’t done so lately, it’s time to grab a picnic blanket before the warm days slip away and the evening sun skitters over the horizon in the hurry of new autumn notebooks…”

August 5: Know Thyself – “One of the things I love about this world (and there are many of them) is the synchronous connections that happen throughout the whole body of knowledge. I was reminded of this again recently…”
July 22: At Least Ten Best Things about Girl Friends – “Greeting Cards We are called to encourage each other, and so we buy and send and give them on a whim. Thinking of you! we say. Hang in there! we say. You and me, we’re…”
July 8: Gas Station Evangelism – “An older woman pulled up behind me the other morning as I was pumping gas. She got out, walked straight over with her Bible in her hand, and said she had a verse for…”
This Day in History:
2013 – Just Call Me Sarah “All Heart” Wells (oh Lord, what a day at church this was.)
2011 – Soccer Mom Fail (the origins of “The Worst Soccer Mom” essay)
2008 – Seconds from Shaken Baby (the good ol’ days… ugh)

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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