Archive for January 7th, 2008

Writing Roots: The Light Green La-Z-Boy

Christina KatzBy Christina Katz

My articles in 2008 will each focus on a memory that led me to the writing life. I hope that my musings will encourage you to reflect on why and how you write and to honor and encourage the impulse that compels you to express in the coming year.

When I was growing up, we lived in New Hampshire or Massachusetts, moving in stretches of years as necessary for my father’s employment at the regional telephone company. But one thing remained consistent: a light green La-Z-Boy rocker/recliner was always placed next to a window in my pink and yellow decorated bedrooms with the white canopy bed.

I wrote about this chair quite often when I was in graduate school and afterwards, though I’m not sure I understood then why I found its memory so compelling. Today, I realize that the chair became a point of departure allowing me to pull a lever, tip back and let go or just to sit and rock and stare out the window until the words came.

Sitting in that chair became an informal ritual, paper and pen in my lap, thoughts unloosed from the present-day world, writing away. Mom would be downstairs preparing dinner, Dad would be watching the news, and my older brother, Scott, would be in his room with the door closed, like mine, listening to records on his stereo.

As far as I knew, they all remained at home while I crossed a threshold as real as the wardrobe in C.S. Lewis’s childhood tale. I didn’t have to crawl on my hands and knees or push aside heavy coats to emerge in a faraway place. I could sit. I could rock. And be swept away to an otherwise hidden part of my consciousness. Only to be called back once again for supper.

Today, my mother is still an excellent cook. My father continues to be well informed on current events. My brother is a professional musician. And I write. I wonder how much credit I owe to that sturdy chair? Such a basic thing, a rocking chair, and yet such a powerful threshold for an aspiring writer who did not know it yet.

A light green La-Z-Boy meant everything to my future. And because of my time away, dinner tasted even more wonderful, just as it does after any good tromp through the wilderness.
Christina Katz, author of Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids, is working on her second book for Writer’s Digest Books, Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform. She has also written over two hundred articles for magazines, newspapers, and online publications and has appeared on “Good Morning America.” Christina is a popular writing instructor who has taught hundreds of writers over the past seven years. She blogs daily at The Writer Mama Riffs and is publisher and editor of two zines, Writers on the Rise and The Writer Mama. More at

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