This is a blog for a writer, because in my deepest parts, I am a writer, but this is not a blog about writing.
It’s about you and me.
And from me to you: Thank you for spending time with these small stories. I think we’d make good friends.
WHO I AM
I am Torrie, a Minnesota woman. I spent my childhood writing, and camping, and dressing up like a nineteenth century farm girl. Good years, though they were, I spent a lot of time alone, which made me imaginative, and made me creative, but it made me lonely too.
As a pre-teen, I spent a few years trying to like Top 40 music, thinking it would help me fit it, but then on a whim, I put on my mom’s Bruce Springsteen: Greatest Hits CD, and when the saxophone comes in on “Born to Run,” about a minute and fifty seconds into the song, something within me snapped into place.
When I was sixteen my dad got me printed by sending a short article I’d written for my high school newspaper into one of Minnesota’s state newspapers. On Christmas Eve, ’08, the Star Tribune published 302 words of me.
I went to college, and in my first year, my bedrock got rocked. The doors of learning were blasted off their hinges as I came to realize how big the world really is, but as the universe expanded, everything else inside me started to slide out of place.
I slipped away from who I was, and for a long time, I thought I was never going to find my way back. I was not who I thought I was. That much stayed true, but once the doctors told me what the debilitating chasm, yawning wide inside me, was (anxiety), I was able clawed my way back into someplace better than where I’d been before. It took me months to come home.
I finished school, graduated, degrees in English Literature and History, and started working in history education.
This whole time, every year and every month since I could write my words, I was writing. Writing, and trying to find ways to have my breath snatched up by beauty. I’m way too young to say “here’s what I’ve learned,” but in my short years, I have learned some (not a lot), and here’s what it is: There’s beauty and worth in more than just the awesome. In Minnesota, we have Lake Superior, and if you want to stand in awe, stand at her shores, but in all the space that’s not the North Shore, we have flyover land–suburbs, and fields, and trees, and prairies, and lakes upon lakes upon lakes upon lakes. Flyover land is not treasured land, and to see it as such, I’ve had to train myself to look at the world all around like Calvin, (of he and Hobbes): There’s treasure everywhere.
Writing is how I sort through the gravity and grace of being alive. Writing is a path to and from myself. It’s the way I know to make sense of it all. I call this space what I do – she breathed deeply – because the first draft of my first novel started with these words. She breathed deeply. They’re a placeholder for the pride of my writing life, the working title, the name of the file.
They also became a rallying cry. In my novel, I write of a woman who decided, after twelve years, to wake from sleep and ask for what was not necessarily hers by right. When I decided it was time for me to do the same, I looked to her, and wondered if I knew, when I was fourteen and first imagined her, that she would help save me a decade later.