Julie and Julia

A few days ago, I was blindsided by the news.

Julie Powell had passed away.

I admit — my knowledge about Ms. Powell was largely limited to what I had read in her memoir, Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, and what I had seen in the movie adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. 

I remember leaving the movie theater with my husband, and trying to decide what to go eat. (There really is no choice —  after watching the movie, you have to go eat.) I also remember my husband telling me I should start a blog, too.

At that time, my husband knew I enjoyed writing. He knew I wanted to write more. But he also knew that between my teaching career and our young son, there wasn’t a whole lot of extra time left for my writing.

But, because he knows me so well, my husband also knew that if I had a deadline, a self-imposed assignment, I would do what I needed to do to complete my assignment. 

That was the start of my first blog. A blog I called “Wendy’s Weekly Words.” A blog I published on Wednesdays to keep the W-theme going. A blog that was all over the place in terms of what I wrote about. 

Still, it got me to prioritize my writing time which got me writing on a regular basis. It led me to my current blog; the blog you’re reading now, which exists on my own website. 

And it all started from a movie that only existed because of the book that came before it.

And that’s the full-circle of this — words have power. The power to lift and inspire and encourage. 

The power to see a story unfold on-screen and think, maybe I could do that too

Julie Powell’s story did that for me. 

Rest in peace. 

Giving Thanks to These 5

Each Wednesday, I publish a blog post on one of three subjects: books, boys, or bodies (specifically living with an invisible disability).

Beyond the post you read, though, there are the behind-the-scenes people that make this blog and this website possible.

Today, the day before Thanksgiving, I give thanks to:

  1. My son.  My eleven-year-old son is my greatest inspiration. The questions he asks and the ideas he shares have served as the inspiration for many of my blog posts and personal essays. 
  2. My husband.  It was my husband who first encouraged me to start my own blog. It was right after we had seen the film Julie and Julia. It was the nudge I needed to start to prioritize my writing and my writing time. And, he often serves as my photographer for my blog posts.
  3. My mom.  My mom has always been my proofreader. Since I can first remember writing school reports back in fourth grade, it’s been my mom who checks my spelling, my punctuation, my grammar, my lucidness. Though I may be in my forties, and not a fourth-grader any more, I still look to my mom to proofread each blog post before it’s published. 
  4. My dad.  Over the years, it’s been my dad who has shared his extra office supplies with me, which I gratefully accept. Every writer needs a stash of highlighters, binders, and printer paper. 
  5. My readers.  I am proud to say I have readers around the world. People I know and people I don’t know. Some of you comment on the site, some of you send me personal emails commenting on something you read. A few of my former students have found me via this website and sent me emails recounting their memories in my classroom. Those emails make my heart swell. 

My first blog started all those years ago, as a way to take my writing seriously. A self-imposed deadline. Since then, it’s become so much more than that. 

I’m not just writing. I’m being read. 

And for that, I am very thankful.