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February Afternoons

It’s Wednesday afternoon and I’ve just finished baking a double batch of red velvet cupcakes to take to my co-workers and hospice patients tomorrow.

It’s been a nicely busy week with good days at work and social gatherings in the evening. Today it was sunny and not extremely cold. It feels like a whole different world when the sun is out these days. My mood immediately brightens and my whole attitude feels lighter. I can hardly begin to imagine how glorious Spring will be.

Tonight Greg and I are going to get the keys to our new place and take measurements and ooh and aah over this apartment we’ve been dizzy with anticipation to see again ever since we signed the lease. We officially move in on the 29th but we’ll get to start taking over small stuff in the next two weeks, hopefully making the big moving day a little less traumatic.

I think we both have the sense that beginning life in this new home will be a real starting over time in both of our lives. Or at least it will provide a new and incredible plateau from which we can continue climbing upwards. We both have plans to begin new writing projects once we get settled and moved in and I really feel that life there will be the beginning of really feeling like Chicago is my home.

Lots of things are in the works right now. I’ve been working on a lot of little writing projects and reconfiguring some ideas about my larger writing projects. My book, it seems, will take some more work to make it into something original enough to be publishable. Seems that another dead parent cancer memoir ("while beautifully written") is just that — another dead parent cancer memoir.

I’ve been feeling discouraged about it lately but it’s about time for that to stop and for me to just begin reworking it. And Greg and are I scheming a new online project that we’ll hopefully launch next month. And I’m also in talks with some other writer friends about plans to expand Life in Chicago. We’ll see how everything pans out and I’ll definitely be posting updates.

Lastly, Greg has a new piece up today on Jargon Chicago about how he wooed me to Chicago. It’s one of my favorite of his recent pieces and I highly recommend reading it. All it Takes is a Mixtape.


  1. Happy Valentine’s Day, Claire (and Greg)! That’s what I really stopped by to say, but dear goodness me…your book hasn’t been picked up yet? I am dumbfounded!! With all the dreck that’s getting published right and left these days, it’s inconceivable to me that anything leaving your keyboard would not be worlds better than a lot of what’s already out there on the shelves.
    Re-working has got to be the very toughmosttoughest part of the process for any writer — and for an off-the-cuff already-excellent one like you, nigh on to impossible.
    But as you know, so many ultimately successful authors have been turned down repeatedly on their first turns out the gate. Difficult not to let it get you down, and no consolation, I know, but you certainly are in good company.
    Anyway, I’m ever-so-happy for you both that the moving process is about to begin. Here’s to new chapters, in every sense of the word!

    Comment by Carroll on February 14, 2008 at 10:59 pm

  2. (Chortle!)
    Greg’s piece is great!! You (and now you two) have introduced me to more good music over the past couple of years than I can remember. Loved the rationale behind his choices and am bookmarking his recommendations for future exploration.
    Thanks, Greg (and I’m glad you got the girl :-)

    Comment by Carroll on February 14, 2008 at 11:12 pm

  3. Carroll, you are simply THE best blog reader. If you ever come to Chicago Greg and I would be honored to have you over for dinner.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on February 15, 2008 at 10:12 am

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