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Why does my mind go blank every time I try to write on a topic of someone else's choosing? I've been reading The Sun Magazine for years. If you've never heard of this magazine I urge you to check it out, especially if you're a melancholy literary/writer type. You can sign up for a free sample issue on their website. DO IT! You'll thank me. Every issue has an interview with a compelling thinker, author, activist or artist, etc., followed by essays, memoirs, true stories, fiction and poetry --- all peppered with amazing black and white photos that seem to transcend time. People who love this magazine, tend to really love it and consider it a form of spiritual or communal sustenance. I'm one of these people.

A couple in a tiny town right outside of Chico recently started a Sun Magazine group that meets in their home once a month. There are only a handful of us, but I am truly loving the amazing people in this group! All of us are writers of sorts and we often bring some of our own writing to share. The Sun has a section called, "Readers Write." This section is my favorite. At our meetings we try bring in something we have written on the "Readers Write" topic. Usually, when I sit down and try to write on one of these topics, I freeze up.

December's topic is "Fights." Lord knows I've had plenty of those. When I was 13 I chased my 11 year old sister around the neighborhood with a butcher knife until someone threatened to call the police. I can't even remember why we were fighting. The tv, maybe? My dad and I had nightly power-struggles at the dinner table, a few of which ended with me dramatically declaring that I was running away from home to live on the streets where I would be forced to launch my career as a prostitute--- all because I objected to my mother's meatloaf or something equally ridiculous. In college I fought "the state," "the status quo," "patriarchy," and "the man." Later I fought God -- tooth and nail -- my most fierce battle to date.

These days I fight myself: my propensity for anger and self-doubt, my negative thoughts toward bunnies and babies (read, "over-population"). I especially fight these negative thoughts when I'm driving on icy roads. If I don't, God will surely smash me into a mountain in an attempt to teach me for the millionth time not to hate.

Till then, I freakin' love my Sun magazine groups where we talk uninterrupted for hours about boring adult stuff like poetry, psychology, spirituality and politics.
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