By: Laura Ritchie
By: Laura Ritchie

I was invited by Angie McMonigal – my partner-in-crime for the Photo Inspiration Challenge – to join a blog hop project that introduces writers, photographers, bloggers, and other creatives around the Internet world. As part of the project I was asked to answer a few questions and then introduce some of my favorite writers. So here goes…

1. What am I working on/writing?

Currently I am in full-time preparation/anxiety mode for a speech that I am giving tomorrow Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist. As a writer, I am definitely more comfortable in front of a computer screen than I am in front of an audience, but I also think that it is important to step out of our comfort zone now and then to do things that really challenge us. So this weekend, I will take a deep breath and a giant step out of that comfort zone to speak about connection and story-sharing – two issues that are very important to me. Despite my nerves, in a weird way, I’m kind of looking forward to the experience.

In addition to a number of professional freelance writing projects that have consumed me over the summer, I am hoping to get back into a regular blogging routine soon and expect to be knee-deep in edits for my upcoming book shortly.

2. How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?

I often struggle to summarize my writing in a word or two, but I generally write about the human condition with a splash of spirituality thrown in. Although much of my work comes from a somewhat spiritual place, I don’t consider myself to be a spirituality or faith writer. Because I tend to take a rather pragmatic and practical approach to spirituality, in many ways, you might not even think of it as “spiritual” in the traditional sense. Through my writing, I try to find ways to connect by finding the common ground, examining certain universal truths, and celebrating the human condition. I’m not sure if I actually accomplish that or not, but that’s what I try to do. That’s how I try to set myself apart.

3. Why do I do what I do?

The simple answer to this is connection. I write to connect to myself and my own personal growth, and I write to connect to others. My writing consists largely of story-sharing, which I believe is critically important to connection on both a personal level and in our relationships.

4. How does my writing process work?

I tend to do a lot of writing in my head. In fact, I think that I have written entire blog posts while running on the treadmill. Unfortunately, much of this gets lost if I don’t immediately write it down so I’m trying to be better about jotting down notes – random feelings, thoughts, observations, etc. – and then making sense of them later. When I do sit down to write, I generally throw it all on the page without working about structure, let it sit for a few hours or a few days, and then smooth out the edges.


Introducing Angie McMonigal, who invited me to this Blog Hop Project

CRP-McMonF11-567bw-2Angie grew up in a small town in rural Wisconsin, but has always been fascinated by big cities; their towering skyscrapers, constant energy, and seemingly endless options had her longing to be a part of that world. Since 2000 she has spent most of her time living in Chicago with her husband, raising their two children, and focusing her creative energy on photography.
Her work has been internationally awarded and nationally exhibited. She focuses on exploring the broader urban landscape, its architectural details, and how we express ourselves within this landscape. The contrast between these expansive urban scenes and the abstractions achieved by isolating their details is of particular interest to her. It’s a study in various perceptions of common subject matter–a way to see the whole by appreciating its detail–how we reveal a detail of ourselves while moving through these spaces.
To see more of her work, you can visit her website or connect with her on facebook, google+, flickr, instagram and twitter.

And Introducing Samantha Brinn Merel who writes at This Heart of Mine

PictureSamantha is a lawyer, runner and pop-culture junkie living in the suburbs of New York City. She drags herself out of bed to run at dawn, does all her writing at work, and spends her nights in front of the TV with her equally television-addicted husband. You can read more of her work on her website – This Heart of Mine – and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.



And Introducing Bill Dameron who writes at The Authentic Life

Bill DameronBill Dameron is a writer, father, husband and IT Director living in Boston. His written work can be found published in the Boston Globe, in literary journals such as the Saranac Review and 5X5 and has been regularly featured in The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and Yahoo US News. You will find interviews with Bill on, Solidus and   He has been selected as a Blogher Voice of The Year in 2013 and 2014. His personal blog is The Authentic Life. He and his husband, Paul are the parents of five children. They escape every weekend to their cottage by the sea in Southern Maine. You can read more of his work on his website – The Authentic Life – and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


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