Nicole Sharp


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A table for the end of the world…

With Thanksgiving in the air, I am given to reminiscing about some of my favorite meals. I don’t recall most of them,  not the food exactly and sometimes I’m not sure about the company, but what has remained are the feelings. Feelings from those meals have embedded themselves into my soul.  You see, I’ve gotten rather sentimental about the kitchen table over the years. Ever since the first time it dawned on me, life happens at the kitchen table.

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write words for a morning fall…


Write stories

Write books

Write nonsense

Write poetry.

Write songs

Write sage-full wisdom

Write winsome crap

Write blogs.

Write bullshit

Write heartfelt letters

Write mindless twitterings

Write it on pads of paper

Write it on cement in chalk

Write it in bathroom stalls.

Write it in library of congress-ed books

Write it in the sky with invisible ink

Write it in the hearts of my best friends

Write with indelible ink on my gravestone

Write using blue keys on a detachable keyboard.



And love.

And laugh.

And sing.

And dance

And help



And write dreary, dreamy, desperate odes

And witty, funny, only for friend reads

but don’t write of critics and publishers and agents and…

And get rid of the excess

And shake off bullshit

And don’t forget the muses (even if they are wrinkled and walking with canes).

and Write.

Write on the stars, in the core of the earth, in red dirt

Write in the water

Write only what I will read

Write only what I understand

Write for no one

Write from my soul, from my toes, from my heart

Write ridiculous things

Write insanity

Write pop cultue

Write til I ache

Write til I’m empy

Write when I’m empty

Write when I ache

Write when I can’t

Write when I have to

Write when I want to

And love

And laugh

And forgive

And forget

And move



And write.

Sunday morning thinking…

I’ve been listening a lot to Patton Oswalt lately. He cracks me up and I need the laughter.

He has this bit about how he knows he’s gotten old because he doesn’t hate any music any more. He said, there is music he likes and then there is music he just doesn’t listen to. And that’s where it ends. Then he goes on to say that when he was younger, there was music that he ‘hated’. HATED. He would go on wild rants and raise his blood pressure and talk about who’s selling out and who’s honing their craft and who is bullshit and who’s a genius. Backing up all his claims, of course, with his wonderful Oswalt perceptions.

I was thinking about that this morning and of course one thought began to flow into another. The new whirl of thoughts drifted to my time spent in Colorado. It’s today’s weather that brings on these new thoughts. It’s a cool gray morning, with slow, low clouds. A lot of the trees in the neighborhood have given up their harvest of leaves, others are still working on losing them. I see the light dusting of snow on the mountains beyond my window. Continue reading

City of Love…

Fall has quieted my internal riotous dialogue. The weather has changed, maybe over night, I’m not certain. The heat gave way to a briskness that itched at my feet. I spent time walking through the neighborhood, around parks, taking in the change. Then, the leaves came alive with their last show of the year. The few walks I’ve been on have me basking in the glow of yellow leaf trees.

I haven’t written much, I’ve been trying, but it’s been difficult. I’m not quite sure where I fit into this world now, my creativity is struggling in the 40-hour work week. I’m struggling as a cog in the corporate wheel. Internally, it’s been a rough few weeks, but the noise of ‘work’ seems to have quieted and the words are returning.

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working writer…

I got a job.

I hate that I had to get a job.

The writer’s dream is to be able to support one self with the money made by…well, writing.

The writing I was doing was not paying the bills, so I got a day job.

And I’ve had to take the past few months to come to terms with this idea. At first, I went ahead and jumped off the deep end of reason. Since I couldn’t make it as a writer, couldn’t make a livable wage as a writer, it was evident I must quit writing. So I viewed the day before I started my job as the last time I would ever write again.

If you’ve been reading the ‘ol blog here for a while, you know that none of that is true.

Of course, I knew it too.

So I just had to make a few adjustments to my attitude and figure out how to fit this new life in with my old ideals and blah blah blah.

There has definitely been an adjustment period. For everyone under my roof. For myself. For schedules. For meal planning. Hell, even the dog doesn’t understand what’s going on.

But good news…

I found my way back to writing this past week. Thanks to some amazing friends and one comment in general. I went to coffee with a friend and she asked how I was doing. No, that’s not quite, right. She asked if I liked the job. I broke down and cried my ‘woe is me crocodile tears’ (which is ridiculous because I have a job when so many people are looking for a job and also insert other worldly problems here…this is not something to cry over.) but I digress. Cry I did. Most of my tears were for the writer who wasn’t good enough so I decided the only thing to do would be to stifle that voice.

This friend sat back as I cried and said, “Oh thank God!”

What? Was she really happy that I was miserable?

Actually, yes, she was. She went on to explain, if this job made me happy, really made me fulfilled, then it was a good sign I wasn’t a writer at heart. The fact that I was having so much apprehension and resistance was a clear sign, the writer was still top dog.

So I let that marinate.

Then I started writing again.

Actually, I started reading about writers and day jobs.

And I read about JK Rowling. And Anne Rice. And I forgot about Stephen King and Frank McCourt and Toni Morrison and Madeline L’Engle.

They all had day jobs, a lot of them were teachers, and as the daughter of a teacher, I know how much free time they were lacking in that line of work. Not to mention most of those folks were married with kids.

So how did they do it?

They were writers and it was what they did.

I’m a writer. Because even though I tried to pretend to suffocate that part of myself. To give up. To make excuses. I added a forty-hour work week to my life and still managed to come back to the daily routine of writing this past week.

How is this going to work? Having a day job and writing?

It just is.

That probably isn’t the most insightful of answers, and I’m sure I could go deeper into the psychology and plan of it all. But the plain simple truth is that with each passing phase of my life, from single-dom to married. From childless to motherhood. From holidays to visitors. I’ve always made time for writing. This new phase of my life is no different.

So how to boil down the how to of writing while holding down a day job and all the other accoutrement of having a family and house?

You write.

Every. Damn. Day.


Summer Heat…

I’ve been thinking on a plethora of thoughts lately. The heat, however, has weighed me down and I’m not quite interested in following any of them down the road they are leading me. I’ve been reading Madeleine L’Engle slowly this summer, as if every paragraph is a conversation we’re having over coffee.

In the early morning hours, I’ve been writing. While the earth is cooled a bit and the air outside doesn’t threaten to choke me with its intensity. I wake with the early dawn and write outside as long as I can. I have three stories I’m writing right now, my morning mood dictates where I’ll spend my words.

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Short Stories…

Sunset photo by Grandpa Sharp

When I started writing, (in seventh grade), I wrote a full length book. That wonderfully rich monstrosity took me almost two years to write. It’s only 100 pages long and was hand written. The pink notebook cover has since come off and the tome is now lovingly held together with a rubber band.

It’s not great, the book. It’s barely good. But I adore every last thing about it.

I started several stories after that, book length stories, though they never made it to book length. I was trying to figure out how to write a book then. Hell I was trying to figure out how to WRITE back then. It didn’t bother me that I wasn’t finishing anything, because I was a writer and that’s what you do. I wrote to figure out how I wrote. Of course, at that time I wasn’t telling anyone that I was attempting to write in the first place.

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Carpe Camping…

The sun announces its morning rise into the sky with rays of ripe yellow. The light illuminates the green undergrowth along the floor of the forest. I did not come to the woods to live deliberately. I’m not certain anyone can do that anymore. So much of going to the woods has become an overpopulated trip that requires reservations in order for one to pitch their tent.

So perhaps I have reserved my right to come to the woods and live visitor-ly. Reserved the right to take part in the sacred ritual that has become camping. A ritual overrun by Pinterest ideas for the best camping hacks. A ritual inundated by signage hanging from fifth wheels and tent trailers and motorhomes promoting the idea of relaxing because you’re “camping”.

I biked around the well-preserved woods and caught glimpses of t-shirts that prompt life is better over a campfire, Happy Campers and camping hair, don’t care. When did camping become a culture? Maybe it always has. The move to go west young man, to go see the USA in your Chevrolet or to find your place on the open road…all of it came before kitchy t-shirts declared a person’s sense of self. So perhaps it’s always been a culture.

And I buy into it. I need the culture. I came to the woods in an attempt to breathe a little deeper and turn off some of the world and be wild among the others attempting to be wild themselves.

I came to the woods to be baptized in the chilly lake water.

I came to be purified by campfires made of five dollar bundles of firewood.

I came to drink the sun into my skin through a fine layer of SPF 70.

I came to enrich my spirit through a rented kayak.

The whole time I traipsed through my rented journey I photographed the wonder in order to make sure I remember it happened. (If an experience is had while camping in the forest and no one photographed it and placed it on social media…did it make a noise?)

I impose myself on the throng of life teeming among the pseudo wilderness. I greedily soak up the beauty. I gorge myself on glowing sunlight and the way it plays among the trees and the forest floor. The twitter of birds, the chirping chipmunks, the rummaging of foxes is my personal chorus. I trap the light of the midnight moon in my memory. I gorge my soul on the feast until I am over fed, over loaded, overwhelmed and finally made whole.

Rented or not, I came to the woods to duct tape my soul back in place for as long as it lasts.

The idea of home…

When the holiday’s come around, be it Christmas or Birthdays, I get a little put out. Not that it affects the whole day, well, sometimes it does, but sometimes it just turns my guts a bit. Why? Because I miss my family.

My hippie parents instilled such big wings on their children, myself, my brother and my sister that we took to flight and landed so far from where we were raised. One in Italy, one in Denver, and me in my Northwestern corner of the world.

And it’s good we did that. We had courage and strength enough to do that. And there is an added bonus of always having somewhere to go visit. Only, there are holidays and nephew’s baseball games and dance recitals and camping trips and birthdays I miss my damn family.

I read an article a few days ago that finally seemed to capture what it was I felt for the life I live between two places. It comes down to this idea: Idaho is where I live. California is home.

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Playing at the writing thing…

So, I was at coffee with an artist friend and the conversation bent toward our art, as it usually does when two or more artists are gathered. The conversation moved toward the question of ‘why do this?’ The answer has been several different things for each of us over the years, but one true theme seems to have stuck. There seemed to be one answer we could both agree on: We “art” because we have to.

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