Greetings, fellow Web wanderer. So glad you stopped by! My name’s Melanie, and I’m a recovering environmental lobbyist, having escaped from nearly thirty years on Capitol Hill. My soul remains green, and I enjoy working locally in my community and occasionally consulting on environmental initiatives.

climate rally 027.mel close

Looking for new adventures, I went back to school on a whim and in 2013 completed a Masters in Writing at Johns Hopkins University. Just as I was getting comfortable calling myself a freelance writer and retreat leader, I was invited to join the Pastoral Team at my community church. So now I’m a pastor, too. Whatever were they thinking?

Wild Goose 2013 028.b

I guess God has to work with what’s around — so here I am, humbled but excited by this new role. I love connecting and sharing stories with other pastors who blog. You’ll find no “preaching” here; just honest searching and sharing the mystery. I’m a Jesus follower, but I hope not the scary kind that drives people away from faith and spirituality. I’m into social justice, contemplative practices, and loving others as best I can.

love thy neighbor

Anyway, I’m told that every “serious” writer (a somewhat dubious label) must have a blog, so that’s what brings us to this point. I love stories of all kinds. Because truth is stranger than fiction (and also because writing fiction is freakin’ HARD), most of my writing consists of essays, profiles, and memoir. I hope you enjoy the people and places I present. Oh, and you might stumble across a poem now and then, too.

Skip over to my Flirting with Fame page to see the pieces I’ve had published. (Of course, I’m sitting on the best stuff, waiting for someone to recognize its brilliance and publish it in some glossy pages somewhere.)

Writing has been spiritually and emotionally healing for me, and I enjoy encouraging others to explore writing as a path to serenity and personal freedom.  I believe we’re put here to love and to learn from each other — I hope that my journey will be of some use to you, and I trust that your stories and comments will help me grow as well.

Two favorite quotes that I try to keep close to my heart:

Albert Einstein:
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle…the other is as though everything is.”

And Liberty Hyde Bailey:
“The happiest life has the greatest number of points of contact with the world, and it has the deepest feeling and sympathy with everything that is.”

Welcome to Writing with Spirit!




30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Erik
    May 18, 2015 @ 21:35:29

    Are you planning on publishing your brother’s book? I’m very interested: I really liked Panic Among the Philistines.


    • melanielynngriffin
      Jun 01, 2015 @ 15:05:34

      Really? That’s so cool to hear! The book is very dated; it’s another literary criticism piece. How did you come across Panic?


      • Erik Semmelmeyer
        Mar 01, 2021 @ 14:44:01

        I read Panic in Harper’s Magazine when it was published there & later found the book.

        I would love to read “Book Wars” even if it’s dated.

      • Erik
        Mar 01, 2021 @ 14:46:29

        I read Panic when it was published in Harper’s and later found the book.

        I would love to read ‘Book Wars’ even if it’s dated.

  2. Soul n Spirit
    Oct 01, 2014 @ 09:57:07

    Hello,I m Soul, your follower. You may check my post to see my recommendation for your blog. I hope you like my views on your blog.

    I have nominated you for Premio dardos award. http://soulnspiritblog.com/2014/10/01/another-award-premio-dardos/ Please accept this and it is entirely your wish to do the needful.


  3. napperscompanion
    Sep 30, 2013 @ 09:27:44

    So you’re surviving the Hop. I graduated from the Writing Seminars in–gasp–1985. Studied with Barth and Grumbach. Also snuck into undergrad poetry workshop with Elizabeth Spires.I don’t even know who’s there these days. Good luck with your writing. The game’s pretty tight these days, huh? Peace and thanks, John


    • melanielynngriffin
      Sep 30, 2013 @ 09:31:18

      Fantastic! I wish I had the time to take a poetry class before I graduate. “Tight” is not the word – I think I must be crazy. Are you rich and famous? Give me some encouragement, here!


  4. Jane Weaver
    Sep 09, 2013 @ 03:27:07

    Am I allowed to make another comment? I am enjoying reading your blog because you are so genuine and humble, yet poised for fame. How refreshing!


  5. Yvonne Montgomery
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 14:03:07

    I like your blog. Thanks so much for stopping by Writer in the Garret and making me aware of you. Cheers!


  6. Yasmeen Baloch
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 02:29:12

    reliable 🙂


  7. Linda K
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 11:15:55

    My favorite quotation is one that plays nicely with those you favor. It’s from Abraham Lincoln — “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Here’s to happiness. And thank you for sharing your thoughts.


  8. sheilamariegrimes
    May 16, 2013 @ 16:44:46

    You are soaring like the eagles …enjoy the view! Thanks for visiting my blog. It’s a pleasure to visit yours!


  9. change it up editing
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 09:45:48

    I found you through a comment you posted over at Oliver’s Literature and Libation (one of my most favorite blogs), and I’m so glad I did–can’t wait to read more!


  10. Akanksha
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 02:13:27

    Hi…This site is amazing.!! A good collection of posts. I enjoyed reading them & hope many more will follow. Glad to meet you here 🙂


    • melanielynngriffin
      Apr 06, 2013 @ 13:10:34

      Thank you – that’s nice to hear! Thanks for visiting and following. I’ll pop over to visit you, too!


  11. Rohan 7 Things
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 05:08:19

    Great little blurb, very nice to meet you 🙂

    Yes the “serious” writer needing a blog thing is very dubious, after all I’ve seen many comedy writers with blogs as well (see what I did there?).

    Bad jokes aside I love that you are gaining such healing benefits from writing and encouraging others to do the same 🙂

    Take care, all the best Melanie!



  12. Carrie Rubin
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 12:29:30

    I love that Einstein quote. Makes such good sense, and yet it can be so difficult for us to view things as miracles. We just get so caught up in life.

    Thanks for stopping by my site. I appreciate it!


    • melanielynngriffin
      Apr 06, 2013 @ 13:10:05

      That’s my favorite quote. I have a calligraphy version of it by my front door, and it is the tag on all my emails. Its says it all, as far as I’m concerned!


    Jan 19, 2013 @ 00:00:55

    Excuse my informality, but I enjoyed reading a couple of your articles, and look forward to reading and learning more. I just tapped your FOLLOW button… THANKS! Any words of wisdom you ask… sorry, I can’t resist it… this is what I decided after 69 years of living on this planet and watching people… “Your value as a human, to yourself and others, can ONLY be diminished by you.”


  14. laurabennet
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 19:59:19

    Thanks for checking out my blog, Melanie! I love your sense of humor and can’t wait to read your work. I should have blogged about the “Dreaded Blog” and now…the dreaded twitter…omg so much for a writer to do!


    • melanielynngriffin
      Nov 05, 2012 @ 02:02:17

      Thanks Laura! I know, my mind bounces from one idea to another – I’ve got quarter-blog posts written on scraps of paper all over the house. Thanks for visiting & commenting.


      • laurabennet
        Nov 05, 2012 @ 14:32:24

        I can relate! Writing with anything on anything.

  15. Alex Levinson
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 20:15:52

    Wow — this is great stuff. Great to read. — Alex L.


    • melanielynngriffin
      Oct 05, 2012 @ 01:21:41

      Thanks, Alex! I’m having a blast w/ this. ‘thanks for visiting!


  16. Julia Moellers
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 16:31:35

    I know what you mean! It’s hard to tell if anyone’s actually reading what you write, sometimes, but satisfying to put something “out there,” regardless. I just started my own blog here, and found you when I searched through gmail contacts who are also on WordPress. I guess my mom has sent us both mass emails. 🙂
    I am at http://thejoyunderneath.wordpress.com/ if you’re interested. Good luck in all your writing endeavors!


  17. Julia Moellers
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 22:29:53

    Hey Melanie –
    Just wanted to say I’ve enjoyed following your blog. I’m Vickie Thurston’s eldest – we’ve met a couple times and I’m sometimes at church with the fam. Good to see you on here!


    • melanielynngriffin
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 22:44:40

      Oh wow – great! Thanks for letting me know. I’m really glad you like it – seems weird, pouring so much of myself into the ether. And then – a comment! Oh, there are people out there! Thanks for reading. Do you have a blog?


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