Dina L. Relles

writer. editor. curious + common.


December is an ending, a precipice, a burrowing, a seek-and-find. Hunker down and emerge anew. Move on, move forward, what’s next, yes, but take it all with you.*

1 tandem swinging
2 sharing a hot chocolate with my son
3 a diner meal alone
4 when the TV is broken for weeks and the family rediscovers quality time
5 howling wind battering the windows
6 reclaiming some part of your old self
7 the click-click of a new keyboard
8 wine-warmed on a winter night
9 an acceptance from a journal you adore
10 Twitter
11 being trusted with another writer’s WiP
12 full-day kindergarten programs
13 reading something and seeing yourself there
14 prose poetry
15 discovering a new writer & this perfect little piece
16 finally (and for real) kicking your nail biting habit
17 a room full of bustle and rowdy where you feel you fit right in
18 literary friendships
19 morning pillow whispers
20 holding the door open for one another
21 freshly-fallen snow
22 Starbucks Pike Place roast
23 a nightstand teeming with books whose authors you know
24 Christmas eve with friends down the street
25 long, honest talks about religion
26 sharing your love of skiing with your children
27 a get well note my son left on my pillow
28 a common greeting we extend like an offering
29 these tiny breaths, in & out, in & out
30 the time to take notice
31 endings

*You can read more about my “good things” project and see all prior posts here.


November is a turning inward, a looking within, a warmth that comes from seeing we’re the same.*

1 a return to somewhere you once lived
2 getting right to the heart of the matter across a diner table
3 a night out with dear neighbors
4 alliteration
5 bonding on a sidewalk outside a bookstore
6 watching a combine work the cornfields
7 the chaos of a room filled with children, followed by quiet
8 a long drive on a late night
9 a fellow motorist gesturing out of kindness that your lights aren’t on
10 standing under the stars in a country sky
11 a warm car and hot coffee on a cold day
12 a first fight with a new friend
13 books in the mail
14 trust
15 your daughter’s independent spirit
16 a coffee ritual
17 a handwritten letter
18 the bond between brothers
19 a trip to look forward to
20 taking a hike in your own backyard
21 writing in your mind while on the road
22 a one-liner from a conversation with an old friend that stays with you: “art, to be good, often comes from raw pain
23 feeling full
24 a walk in the woods with ones you love
25 a book of beautiful poetry
26 pants that fit perfectly
27 a Pushcart nomination for a piece that’s a little part of your heart
28 a new Mac
29 a return to routine
30 an empty day

*You can read more about my “good things” project and see all prior posts here.



October is anticipation, and arrival, and a letting go, a leaving behind.*

1 a local boat tour
2 a family soccer game in the backyard
3 the perfect turn of phrase
4 pumpkin pie
5 rediscovering Counting Crows
6 celebrating someone you love
7 a full house
8 long talks late into the night with an old friend
9 giving yourself over to deep exhaustion
10 a picnic dinner
11 a Kathy Fish writing workshop
12 meeting an author you’ve only known online
13 a long drive alone
14 embracing the flash form
15 watching your children play with children of dear friends
16 sharing a coffee ritual with someone
17 a favorite diner
18 a new story idea
19 finding something you thought you’d lost
20 saying what you mean
21 a long shower
22 gathering leaves
23 a hopeful Submittable queue
24 this Bud Smith story at Joyland
25 a car cry
26 a well-received public address
27 finishing a book
28 a 15-year-old clothing item you still love
29 the sky after a storm
30 a sympathetic reader
31 neighbors opening their doors to one another

*You can read more about my “good things” project and see all prior posts here.

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September is promise and possibility.*

1 this Nate Ruess song
2 the common kindness of a store clerk
3 a long drive between two places you love
4 coming home
5 discovering a favorite red wine
6 going shopping in your own closet
7 staccato conversation amid chasing children
8 receiving a book in the mail
9 the ease of a Zappos return
10 hoodies
11 collective memory
12 a good podcast
13 feeling pride in a sibling
14 a day of getting it all done
15 black-and-white photos
16 picking your own basil from the porch to make pesto
17 dear family friends who feel more like second parents
18 an unscheduled day
19 finding coffee still left in the cup
20 focusing on one child at a time
21 your kids huddled in the back seat of the car, helping each other with homework
22 passing books and movies among neighbors
23 leaves on the ground
24 your daughter’s toddle
25 feeling lifted up by the lit community
26 wise words from one who knows you well
27 a weekday brunch with my man
28 first fall chill
29 watching your niece hold your daughter
30 the view of the farm

*You can read more about my “good things” project and see all prior posts here.


August is an ending, a reckoning, a coming to terms with what was and will be.*

1 cleaning your ear with a Q-tip
2 being among your people
3 rediscovering an old CD and still loving the songs on it
4 reviving your vegetarianism
5 havdalah

6 having the village it takes

7 beginning a new book and being instantly hooked
8 John Mellencamp on the radio
9 feeling ageless
10 registering for a Kathy Fish flash workshop
11 an acceptance from a bucket list pub

12 long farewells

13 walking someone home
14 crying in a car ride away from somewhere you love
15 sidewalk chalk
16 reaching the end of the laundry pile

17 a long drive with loud music

18 a good haircut
19 package deliveries
20 family reunions
21 when everyone looks up at the sky at once
22 homemade cards
23 pants that fit perfectly
24 errands in the evening
25 exploring an amusement park through your kids’ eyes
26 chocolate peanut butter ice cream
27 a family hike

28 the start of a new school year

29 a blog redesign
30 this love story
31 nearing inbox zero

*You can read more about my “good things” project and see all prior posts here.

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Dina L. Relles

writer. editor. curious + common.