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Founder: Heart.Soul.Pen.® for women writers & the Women’s Writing Den. Essays: @NYTimes @WashPo @LATimes @BuzzFeed. Author: “Restless in L.A.” www.robinfinn.com

I am a Spiritual Person and all that, but I still want to know what I am waiting for, when it is coming, and what specifically it will look like when it arrives.

Do you have a weird sense of waiting, as if something is about to happen? I am plagued by the sense that something is coming but I don’t know what that something is. It’s not a feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’ve had that feeling years. And the other shoe has dropped dropped dropped. No, this is not foreboding or apprehension or fear. This is a different feeling: a feeling like something good is going to happen, some real change is going to occur, a new chapter is about to unfold. …


Whether you share it or not, never apologize for wanting to write

Photo by Ana Tavares on Unsplash

After a decade and a half of not writing, I picked up a pen again when I was forty years old with three kids under ten. I signed up for a writing workshop but quit after two classes. I couldn’t handle the feelings of unworthiness that the workshop triggered. Everyone seemed interesting and cool and talented. I felt like a living cliché. I didn’t see any value in my self-expression.

Sadly, I knew I wasn’t alone. Now I am a writer and a writing teacher, and when women show up at my classes, they often tell me, “I am not…


Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

The thing I understand after losing my mother is that, no matter how old you are, you always need your mom.

When my son called from college and said he was doing well, I felt like I could rub my hands together and say, “My job here is done.” He was making new friends and hanging out with his suitemates and taking that tough Chemistry class and texting to say he finds it fascinating. I ordered him a Rosh Hashanah box from Hillel and he said he would pick it up on Monday.

My daughter arrived back at her liberal arts college on the East Coast and moved into a University-owned house for seniors. She sent us a video room tour…


Photo by Zac Ong on Unsplash

Some things you can’t outrun, no matter how fast you type.

I set my timer for twenty minutes and vow to write without stopping. I tell myself not to judge, not to edit, not to think, not to cross out, or hit delete, or re-read. Just keep my fingers dancing across the keyboard, I tell myself. Just keep moving, I tell myself. This is what I tell my students, and this is what I am repeating over and over again in my head while I type.

Just keep moving is a good strategy for writers because it keeps us from getting bogged down in our thoughts. For me, thinking is not…


Image by Robin Finn via Canva

When I was young, I had space in my life but I didn’t know how to fill it. When I became a mom of three, there was never enough space for me. Not ever. Not until now.

In the trees outside my back yard, the crows are having a family gathering and caw caw cawing while I sit outside in a patio chair that feels as if it has fallen into space. In the space where I sit, time is measured in inches, as in 48 inches from the shallow end of the pool to the edge, while a little boy clings to my hip demanding, “Take me back to the steps. …


Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

Whether I was hanging out with friends in high school, or bringing back a fiancé from New York, or collapsing inside the front door with two babies in a stroller and one on my hip, when I walked into my parent’s house, I felt the hum of home.

Today would have been my parents 58th wedding anniversary. My dad died eight years ago. My mom passed away last year. It is hard for me to accept that both of my parents are gone. It doesn’t seem so long ago that my brothers and I sat in the family room watching Luke and Laura’s wedding and yelling to my mother to come watch with us.

I think about the feeling in the house when my three kids are home — my oldest home from college, my middle home from the sandwich shop where he works, my youngest home from…


Photo by ahmad kanbar on Unsplash

I am bored of taking walks and paying bills and lying down and walking around in circles, like my dog who has always loved to pace. I am pacing, too.

The coronavirus didn’t help stimulate people, at least not people like me. As a writer and a teacher, I did get a lot done. But as a mole, someone who can burrow deeply into a hole, it kind of gave me permission to dig down deeper and never leave my house. And then there was the slow life. I know everyone talked about how great it was to slow everything down. It was good in a lot of ways but, for me, who has been making her way through grief since I lost my mom last June, slowing down seemed…


A long, long time ago in a galaxy not so far away.

I ask my therapist: “Is this normal? Is this perimenopause? How will I feel when both my oldest and middle are gone?”

A friend gave me a heart-shaped rock. It was painted with glitter and had been signed on the bottom by an artist. The top was scratchy from where the glitter was baked in. The bottom was smooth. I liked the weight of it in my hand. I looked at this stone and turned it over. Why couldn’t I remember who had given it to me or for what? I felt bad that I didn’t have a clear memory, but I don’t have clear memories about a lot of things.

When I think about my kids when they were little, sometimes…


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It made me realize how hungry I was for good stories.

I just read a story about something good, people sharing their humanity and saving a life. It made me realize how hungry I was for good stories.

I sat alone with my glass of Cabernet and my chicken tikka masala and my garlic nan in a makeshift outdoor patio in L.A., reading The New York Times on my phone. My husband went to Costco, my youngest to Universal for a movie. …


Sometimes, I want to sit on the floor and scream “I want my mom” like a little kid on the first day of preschool.

That girl’s got blue, I thought to myself, looking out at the water. Blue sea, blue sky, blue shorts, blue water, blue inside. How could I possibly look at this scenic view and feel blue?

I was feeling serene and sad. Comfortably ensconced in trees and water and nature, one of my favorite places, and yet I could feel how hard it was to control my darting mind. I thought about my kids at home: my 21- and 18-year-old young adults watching the house, and my youngest at summer camp. There was nothing to worry about, and yet my mind…

Robin Finn

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