Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Treasures in my Life

I am writing about treasures in my life. It’s this weekend’s theme in Pandora Poikilos’s fun Blog-A-Licious Tour. You don’t have to be in the tour to blog-hop and comment. Great subject, right? It’s a valuable exercise to call up affirmations, especially when you’re stressed, overwhelmed or just plain whiny. If you’re hopping over from Janu’s blog, welcome. And I hope you’ll jump on over to David’s blog, the one after me, when you’re finished mine.

I treasure my writing community—online friends and face-time associates, my longstanding writing group, my zany retreat buddies, my wise agent and the various editors with whom I’ve worked.

I treasure my native imagination. Without it, I’d be lost. I’ve had big fun making up characters like, Johar, a fifteen-year-old Afghan poet and weaver, and futuristic inventions like a credit card skimmer, imbedded in one’s wrist.

My family is a treasure. I’m proud of my sons—one teaching history and geography in a former palace in China, and the other, a fourth-year Arabic student interested in working for a humanitarian organization, who just returned from Cairo. I’m proud of their brave and fearless stance as they traverse the globe. Was it all of our family travels when they were little tykes that inspired them? I’d like to think so. I also treasure the fact that my hubby and I have been friends for so long.

I treasure my years as a painter, and I treasure art, as it has complimented my journey into narrative. For writing, as painting, is about “brushing in” vivid scenes, plot and characters, and layering—a layer of scaffold, a layer of detail, a layer of suspense, a pulling-back layer of compression, a final glossy varnish that pops the story to brilliant highlights and shadowy depth.

I treasure my students, for they inspire and amaze me.

I encourage you to jump over to the blogs below, also in the tour, to read about what others treasure. But first, leave me a note about what you treasure!

1. Dilman
2. Debbie
3. Shelley
4. Lucy
5. Karen
6. Shannon
7. Dora
8. Hope
9. Janet
10. Karen
11. Janu
13. David


  1. I'll be hopping over soon. ;).

  2. Fabulous list of treasures and fabulous post =)

    I also treasure the writing community, online and in person. I treasure my imagination. I treasure my husband and our three animals; they are patient with me as I pursue my dreams and they provide loads of inspiration and encouragement.

  3. How very inspiring, thanks Catherine.

    What do I treasure? My family, of course. The quiet space between breathing in and breathing out. An astonishing string of words that transports me to a mood or place in time or into the inner chambers of a stranger's heart. And speaking of hearts, an overflowing heart. The little yellow finch that dives freefall from the tree outside my study window. Nature, with a capital N ...

    You ask hard questions. I'll be back to participate in the hop.

    from Cathy at While the Dervish Dances at

  4. Catherine,

    I treasure my children. For the sake of their privacy, I call them Little Totsy and Mr Boy. I love, love, love them. My heart smiles, thinking how much.

    I treasure my ability to dream and imagine places beyond where I am physically. Whether that's through painting or writing, going "elsewhere" has sometimes been my saving grace.

    I treasure my spiritual connection to God, whom I can totally be myself with, without apologies. My number 1 support system, He is.

    I could go on and on but I'll save room for others. :-)

  5. I treasure the big beautiful children's book writers community. And I fear we're not far off from the implanted credit card. YIKES!

  6. I treasure my daughter, my imagination, my laptop (hee hee--but seriously I couldn't live without it), the amazing writers I've met in person and online, my faith, my family... Wow, I have a lot to treasure. Thanks for reminding me, Catherine.

  7. Love your treasures Catherine. I am #2 on the list. Thanks for sharing with us :)

    Going back to find post on your imaginary characters you mentioned in the post.

  8. Lots of treasures, Catherine, but I'm curious to know which one is the most treasured treasure!

  9. Gee, Dilman, do I have to pick just one?!

  10. Hi Catherine

    Your post is wonderful - it's very touching!

    I treasure my wife and my cats, my family and friends, my health and my happiness. I also treasure my hopes and dreams.


  11. You should be very proud of what sound like amazing young men and of yourself for helping them grow those wings. I find it hard on my heart as a parent of small children that I'm giving them all the strength and courage to go out and take on the world...and that that means I will someday have to let them go do it. :)

  12. Shelley, take heart--they go but they come back, and go, and then come back. They always want and need to relate to their parents!

  13. My students are treasures for my writing too, some of them are well disguised treasures.
    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

  14. ahhaha, Charmaine, yes, diamonds in the rough. But they do polish up to a fine sheen when they put in the work. Such pleasure to witness.

  15. Sounds like a lot of fun. I will check them out. Treasures are something to be reminded of from time to time. Life happens so fast that we don't always remember to appreciate what we have.

  16. You have some very nice treasures. My treasures are my family, my friends at church, the friends I've met Online, and my health.

  17. It is a challenging question! How to answer truthfully without being trite...

    1. My growing ability to notice what's going on in the moment.

    2. My meditation teacher, brian arnell, and the sangha (community) at Springboard Studio in Philly.

    3. People I love and who love me.

    4. the view outside my writing space. (My daughter named the groundhog "Richard.")

  18. Hi Catherine - my name is Janet, I'm #9 here from the tour list. It is so wonderful to see so many treasures in your life! And it's so cool how I've found on this tour so many of us treasure family, friends, and life itself. Great post! Thanks for sharing. ~Janet~

  19. Hi Catherine. I sent you an email, but haven't received a reply so will try here. You are the winner of my contest for a copy of Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines. When you have a chance, please send me a mailing address. Thank you and congratulations.

  20. Hi Catherine. This is an uplifting blog entry so thanks for sharing. I treasure my precious daughter, writing, creativity, imagination, nature. Being close to the people I love when they need me. Life can get challenging, but remembering our treasures can keep us sane.