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.
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?
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.
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.
If you would like to hear a little more about me, you can check out a rambling podcast interview I did in July 2012 – the interview starts 16 minutes into the hour-long program. If you can’t get enough, there’s a second half, which you’ll have to pay them to listen to!
Two favorite quotes that I try to keep close to my heart:
“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!