Valerie Ihsan is the author of The Scent of Apple Tea and Smell the Blue Sky: young, pregnant, and widowed, winner of the B.R.A.G. Medallion for Top Indie-Published Books. She co-chairs the Mid-Valley Chapter of Willamette Writers and teaches various workshops on writing, and on grief, such as “Booze and Chocolate Aren’t the Only Ways to Cope: Turning negative emotions into art.” She’s a successful freelance editor through her company, Yellow Pen Editing, and is also a certified bereavement facilitator, and licensed massage therapist.
I am a conundrum.
I am a mother, a failed housekeeper, a reader, a disgruntled non-vegan, a procrastinator, a writer, an urban-homesteader, a future ex-pat.
I am a fringe A.D.D.-er, an advocate for my teenagers' special needs, a sugar addict and a frequent consumer of chocolate, cheese and olives.
I am a wannabe living simply seeker and a not-so-closet book junkie that wants to travel many places for long vacations involving rat-race jobs to fund them and foreign oil guzzling, carbon foot-printing airplanes to take me there.
I want to hang my clothes to dry and raise chickens and rabbits and knit and write on my idyllic farm and take my dogs running on my land, but I also want no responsibilities and to live in a little cottage across from a city park with a container garden on my porches and have gatherings at my home amongst friends.
I want to move out of the country and escape the mad busy-ness that prevents closeness between friends and lovers to a place where the cost of living is low enough that our jobs keep us together in goal and spirit and commitment, rather than apart.
I want to move out of the country for the excitement and new challenge and for new writing fodder. But I don't want to because I'd miss decaf mochas and my writing group and Bhangra dance lessons and Bikram yoga.
But more important, I'd miss the friends I've finally made -- the ones that take longer and longer to make the older I get.
I'm disorganized and wish I weren't. I'm in love with a Turkish man. And I blog.
Also, I'm obsessed with India: the culture, the language, the religion, the music, the dancing, and the movies.
I've served in the United States Army, own land in Costa Rica, and live with three big dogs, two kids, and one Turk.
Welcome to my world.
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