amwriting

#metoo, dating my hubby, and my #rootedlife


In case you forgot, this year I’m all about some Aztec philosophy. I’ve been teased by some neighbors about it. I don’t mind the teasing. Because I’m rooted, yo.

As a refresher, I recently learned about this philosophy, Neltiliztli, which I’ve hashtagged as living a #rootedlife this year. I even made a nifty little infographic. You’re welcome!

I don’t necessarily get up every morning and ask myself, “Hey, Larrie. How are you going to live more Aztecy today?”

But, I’ve been able to review the things I’ve done and see how they related to it. Recently, I read some of my writing for a fundraiser for the Rape Recovery Center. The night included 9 other women writers and the theme was, #metoo. Chad organized the night, for the January event by Voices Heard. Each month, he organizes a night with a group of writers where he shares some of his stuff and the other writers take their turns. There’s always a theme and the times I’ve done it in the past have been stretching, hilarious, touching, and unique. The #metoo night rang true to these emotions. As I reflected back on it, I tied it in to my #rootedlife. That night, the piece I read was a letter to myself, addressed to 18-year old Larrie. I shared bits and pieces of my last 20 years. I talked about making mistakes. I accepted them. I talked about how that created a worthwhile life, in a round about way. I talked about courage. I talked about my actions.

I also listened a lot that night. There were funny stories, hard stories about rape, uplifting stories that came out of rape, crass stories, and some poignant poems. This was the ixtlamatiliztli part of things where I heard practical experiences from these other women. This was also the tlaticpac part of the night where this slippery earth we’re traveling along is managed better when we journey together. It was a night that reiterated to me the strength in coming together, picking each other up when we fall, sharing the hard, sharing the poignant, and sharing the laughter. And doing it with people from all different backgrounds.

Also, Nathan came with me. It was a date night for us, a unique date night. Afterward, we went to snack on sugary things at Cheesecake Factory with two pals, Lynley and Todd. Isn’t it nice when you find good couple friends?

Having a different style of date night gives your relationship a little bit of a recharge. I recently learned this so I’m going to share. It’s from The Gottman Institute and they’ve got some research that shows that engaging in novel experiences as a couple impacts the brain’s reward system. “Such novel experiences release dopamine and norepinephrine, the same chemicals which are released during early romantic courtship.” Twitterpated!

So mix things up.

Also, we helped raise money for a nonprofit that’s doing some serious good.

All in all, it was a good night of living the rooted life.

The garden of Edith


Pick up a copy of the July/August edition of Utah Life Magazine and you’ll find me, my Grandma DeeDee, and my son, Dominic.

I’ve pitched and submitted plenty of stories and pieces over the last several years. I’ve received oodles of “no thank yous” and non-responses. One evening, I sent in a pitch to this Utah Life and afterward, I thought: I should have polished that idea before submitting it. If you search the web, you’ll find lots of articles giving advice about what it takes to create a successful pitch. I know. You have to stand out in some way.

A few days later, the editor emailed me about it. He wanted it! What was my pitch? A story about the legacy of one of my grandmothers, specifically my grandmother, Edith, who is 100 years old, teaches my son piano (plus 19 other students each week), continues to work hard in her beautiful garden, and has left an impact in the lives of thousands of piano students.

Many of the work I do now as a writer is to meet somebody else’s needs. I write social media posts about finding a software development company. I write blog posts about using a VPN on the free wi-fi at the gym. I write website content for some of the projects with the LDS Church. I don’t write about things that I love, necessarily. Writing this article was daunting because I wanted to create a personal masterpiece. Talk about pressure, huh?

It took several drafts until I sent in the story. I was rejected.

But, this rejection was different. I was rejected with an offer to review things over the phone with the editor. “You bet,” I replied back. With the feedback from that phone call, I started over, working a new story. It felt a little bit like how it must be to piece together a quilt, taking sections at a time, then bringing them together, stepping back and appreciating the whole. I sent my new story in.

“You got it on this revision!”

It was a few months after submitting it until the print magazine arrived in the mail. Since then, I purchased several more copies from Barnes & Noble and found that they also carry it at grocery stories, drugstores, Costco, and Sam’s Club (in Utah). You can also order a copy from their website.

Will you read my story? Will you send a letter to the editor about it (editor@utahlifemag.com)? If you know of past student’s of my grandmother, will you tell them about it? If they send in letters to the editor and they print those up in the fall issue, I will take a copy over to her and we’ll read them together. That would be an awesome afternoon, in my opinion!