I write this blog because I love stories, real and imagined, short or long. I love words, their shape and sound and taste in my mouth. I write because it makes me happy. But other things make me purr, too — bowls of tasty soup, skeins of soft yarn, chocolate, my four children, digging in the dirt and my geeky husband — and many of these things end up in my writing.
I’m a desert girl who knows where the scorpion waits and can sing the song of the coyote, but now find myself in a soggy city covered in sad clouds. When I moved to Seattle, I got myself a pair of red rain boots and an umbrella, but the rain usually is so fine, soft and gentle that I could stand for an hour, get covered in a thousand misty droplets and still not be wet. Damp? Yes. Cold? Yes. But not wet. I wear my boots and use my umbrella anyway.
Long ago I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in journalism and jumped into a career as a reporter. I worked my way up from tiny newspapers where I did it all — took pictures, wrote stories and designed front pages — to a job at the Las Vegas Sun. There I reported on the military and flew to Haiti to cover Operation Restore Democracy, and covered courts and was chased by a mobster charged with bribing a judge. Eventually, I moved away from hard news and into literary journalism, producing stories like this and a series like this.
Along the way, I married Marcel, moved to Amsterdam, became pregnant and poor, but continued to write, freelancing for The Christian Science Monitor, Psychology Today, Hong Kong’s Apple Daily and translating a piece for Harper’s magazine about the Dutch environmental minister’s belief in gnomes. But as my belly expanded the bank account shrunk, and we were forced to say goodbye to all that tasty cheese and chocolate and returned to Reno.
There’s an inverse relationship between mothering and writing; with the birth of my daughter there was more to write about, but less time to write. That tension grew with the addition of twin boys and then another son, until children gobbled up my time like goldfish crackers — by the fistful. In a desperate act to force myself to commit ink to paper and keep a part of myself that I was in fear of losing, I launched The Slow-Cooked Sentence. My essays and blog excerpts have been published in The Mothers Movement Online, Mamazine, Story Bleed, and in the anthology “Twice the Love: Stories of Inspiration for Parents of Twins and Multiples.”
This blog is a place gritty with reality and twinkling with magic, a place where risks are taken. It’s a place to eat chocolate and make soup. I’ve got new projects simmering that will keep The Slow-Cooked Sentence fresh, so I hope you will continue to visit.
There’s a story index, an RSS feed and the option to have posts emailed to you. Offsite, you can get new entry notifications on Twitter and Facebook. My email is levyrachael (at) gmail (dot) com.
Photographs and writing
The words and photos belong to me, unless otherwise noted. While I like taking pictures, I have a crush on words, and sometimes find my camera fails to illustrate what I write. This is when I turn to Flickr and the wealth of talented photographers and artists who license their work through Creative Commons. I am infinitely grateful to those who share their work, free of charge. Thank you. In an effort to give back to the arts communities, I have licensed many of my pictures under Creative Commons. They are yours to use. I only ask in return that you give attribution. They may not be used for commercial purposes, nor may they be adapted.
The writing is stickier because someday I hope it will be my bread and butter. While I admire writers who release their words to the world to be legally and freely reused and remixed, I’m not there yet. On the other hand, if you want to reprint something found here, contact me. I like to say yes.