Feb 24, 2022 • 40M

Podcast Ep. 2: My Journey As A Writer

Early in the pandemic, I was a guest on "The Check Out" Podcast with Jill Schacter. Here's that episode, in which I discuss my writing life, the importance of connection, and speaking my truth.

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Christine Wolf
An examination of writers' real lives, shared through essays, interviews, tips, & raw vulnerability. Author and writing coach Christine Wolf hosts semi-regular episodes exploring writers' journeys.
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During the pandemic, I received an invitation to appear as a guest on The Check Out Podcast.

Host Jill Schacter envisioned the platform as a way to hear from different voices in the community, discussing our unique lives and describing all the ways our public library fits into them. Launched during the pandemic, Jill created a unique approach to bringing our city together.

During the interview, Jill and I sat at opposite ends of my dining room table while producer Steven Johnson of SJ Connects managed the sound equipment. It felt exciting and scary to welcome someone into my home, especially after feeling so isolated for so long. If memory serves, our episode was one of the first that Jill hosted in-person after the pandemic began.

During our discussion, you won’t hear us mention how nervous we both were about having a face-to-face interview (versus Zoom), or how we spent a few weeks prior to the recording double-checking our safety protocols and logistics. We tried to keep the focus on the interview itself, even as we sat six feet apart wondering if virus particulates were floating around us.

What a pleasure to speak with Jill, and then, later, watch how brilliantly Steve edited everything together! I can only hope to work with someone as talented as Steve on my own podcast!

Here’s the episode description, followed by a transcript of our discussion:

The Check Out
An Interview with Christine Wolf
Hosted by Jill Schacter

Christine Wolf, a longtime Evanston resident, describes herself as an author and enterprise journalist. She wasn’t always a writer. She’s previously worked in advertising and spent years teaching. About 15 years ago, she decided to write and jumped in with both feet, often exhibiting a good deal of emotional bravery in the kinds of topics she tackles. In this episode, we talk about her writing path, stories that matter to her, and how she engages the community through a career that is now focused on storytelling and making connections that can make a difference. The Evanston Public Library has played an important role in her writing life. Learn more about Christine’s work at christinewolf.com.

TRANSCRIPT

Jill Schacter 0:08

Welcome to the checkout the podcast of Evanston Public Library. I'm Jill Schachter. So what exactly will we be checking out here? This is a podcast celebrating and educating on all things Evanston, including cool people doing amazing things across the diverse spectrum of the Evanston we love. Along the way, you just might learn a little something about the role the library plays in our community.

I'm here today with Christine Wolf, a 23 year Evanston resident. Christine describes herself as an author and enterprise journalist. But Christine wasn't always a writer. She's previously worked in advertising and spent years teaching. But about 15 years ago, she decided she wanted to be a writer and jumped in with both feet, often exhibiting a good dose of bravery in the kinds of topics she takes on. Today, we're going to talk about her writing path, the kinds of stories she likes to tackle, and how she engages the community through a career that is now about storytelling and making connections that can make a difference. Christine, welcome to the checkout.

Christine Wolf 1:23

Thanks, Jill.

Jill Schacter 1:24

So you, you are a bit of a shapeshifter, I would say, first, the ad exec and the preschool teacher and now a writer, can you tell me a little bit about the turning point where you decided, I'm going to be a writer, I'm going to do this?

Christine Wolf 1:42

Oh, absolutely. Thank you for having me. And for asking about my story. I, you know, I have always loved to write. And I started writing in my journal when I was seven, eight years old. And I always go back to that, and I tried on a lot of different types of hats, I suppose. You know, working in business, and then teaching I loved I loved the second one, I wasn't so good in the business world. But after 10 years of teaching, I just was feeling like I wanted to take a short break and write a children's book and then go back to it. But once I dove in to the writing world, and figured out that that's where my people were, I never looked back. And it just it came from deep within it really almost was unconscious.

Jill Schacter 2:35

So you're a really a unique kind of storyteller, I feel like you come at storytelling from a lot of different angles. At the library, we present storytelling in many different forms. We've had a Storytelling Festival for many years, we have authors come in and do readings, both for adults and for kids. We have theater students from Northwestern presenting stories as theater. You sort of arrived on the scene as a writer at a time when the internet was really there were a lot of new opportunities for writers. How do you see sort of your your position as a writer? What kinds of storytelling sort of gives you the most energy? Or do you find the most exciting or? You know, you're it's a bit of a new world for writers, there are a lot of different ways to get oneself out there. You don't have to depend on traditional publishers as much. And talk about that a bit.

Christine Wolf 3:32

Absolutely. You hit it. Absolutely. I stepped in to the world of writing at a time that how could I have ever known. Everything was morphing and changing and the flexibility was the flexibility of the industry was just unreal.

Jill Schacter 3:54

I mean, it's really democratizing.

Christine Wolf 3:57

Right. And the big publishing houses were closing or merging. Editors were becoming agents. And people were self publishing like crazy. And I just I remember thinking, "What have I stepped into?" I just really wanted to write a children's book and then go back to teaching preschool. But when I realized the world of publishing was so ... there was so much opportunity. I didn't even know where to put myself, so I tried to put myself everywhere. I mean, I really was grabbing stories where I could to fill my blog. I just wanted content out there because I wanted to show that I was a writer.

Jill Schacter 4:40

And like, back when you stepped in is when writing really started being called content you right?

Christine Wolf 4:45

It wasn't even called content when I started. I just remember thinking, Okay, so my goal is to be a published author, so I can prove to everybody that I've taken off my year and and spent my time wisely and not selfishly and I realized in the beginning of my year off to write that there was no way I was going to get a book published, I had so much to learn. So I, you know, created a blog, I don't even know how I knew how to create a blog, I think people were creating blogs and I thought, well, I'll do one. And as soon as I started putting what is now called content onto the blog, I'd get feedback. And that was just so rewarding. And maybe the feedback was just from my mom -- but you know, then she would share it with somebody. And then at the same time, Facebook was sort of popping up. And so I got brave enough to share here and there. And that sort of took off. And that led to patch.com, which was a brand new hyperlocal news source. And that kind of turned me into a columnist without knowing what I was doing. And then that turned into a column [through the Pioneer Press] with the Sun Times, and then the Tribune...and Chicago now. There are no limits, I guess the point, right, and and that's a, that's a beautiful thing, especially when you just don't even know what it is that you want to put out there. You just know that you want to put things out there and make connections.

Jill Schacter 6:11

You describe yourself as a storyteller and a connector. So tell me about those. How those two roles intersect, like, what what connections are you hoping to make,

Christine Wolf 6:28

I am trying to make connections that are authentic. So the easiest way for me to relate to people is just to hear what their stories are. And what I find most meaningful when I meet somebody new is asking them about themselves. I think one of the easiest way to ways to get to know people, is just give, give some space to hear what it is about them.

Jill Schacter 7:00

So in the writers life, I imagine there's a lot of room for serendipity. And one thing I know is that when you first started out as a writer, you were working on a children's novel. But then that experience amazingly dovetailed into interviewing President Obama on a Google Hangout. Can you talk a little bit about how that all came about? Because that's pretty big deal.

Christine Wolf 7:30

It was just crazy. And it was serendipitous. And I really think it was just a matter of not trying to do anything except just be who I was, and to listen to the stories that were within. So the whole thing came about. And maybe I'll just back up a little bit. But I started writing a children's novel, because I thought incorrectly, that that would be easier than writing for adults. And the reality is writing for kids is chock full of kind of guidelines, and, you know, parameters, and you really need to speak to children at the age that they're at. And so I just stifled your free and it was a really huge learning curve. And as I was doing that whole process of learning how to write for children, I was digging deep into learning about my protagonist. And at that time, it was in 2012, the State of the Union had just happened. And Google put out a call for people to submit questions to President Obama and I submitted my question, based on how I thought my protagonist would have asked it. Oh, that's interesting. So I sort of channeled her and the question was, you know, during the recession, President Obama, what would you say to the children of our nation whose parents are losing their jobs? And, you know, what sort of hope would you give the kids? And that question was picked out of just a bunch that were submitted. And I was just as shocked as could be. And you know,

Jill Schacter 9:17

how many questions were submitted? A lot.

Christine Wolf 9:19

I mean, I think maybe 100, 130,000. Somebody said at one point...My

Jill Schacter 9:25

gosh, they chose your question.

Christine Wolf 9:26

They did.

Jill Schacter 9:27

And this was going to be on a Google Hangout, which we're probably kind of new in.

Christine Wolf 9:31

It was the first one [from the White House]. It was the first Google Hangout [from the White House] that ever Yeah. And and I didn't even I knew what Google Hangouts were, but I really, I hadn't been on many. And so, you know, folks from Google came and they set up a live connection from this table here, right where we are right now in my dining room.

Jill Schacter 9:53

And you mean President Obama was virtually right where I am right now?

Christine Wolf 9:58

Yes, he was. I was little looking at him on a monitor, and I, you know, we had a direct feed right into the White House, which was so awesome. Yeah, yeah, that was. And you know, it was nerve wracking, but it was also just so thrilling. And especially, my favorite part about it was that they had asked for my children to be there, so I could introduce them to him. So that was the highlight for me. And it was one of the right here on the wall, there's a letter from him, because I thanked him for the opportunity to meet him. And he wrote back.

Jill Schacter 10:32

Well, that is so cool. I have noticed, because I follow your writing you. You do a lot of work on social media, a lot of your stories. I see there, I see a lot of following for your stories on social media on social media. And I know you write for medium. And you've been a blogger and a columnist. So I've been reading your work for a long time. And I have noticed and I'm sure others have to that your writing is is rather brave. You like to explore some of the more difficult aspects of life some of the things you've written about. Our mental health struggles, including your own a home invasion, racism, death, a train crash, a close call with sexual assault. Where do you get this kind of emotional bravery?

Christine Wolf 11:31

What one, you know, when you hear the list of all the things it's yeah, it's... I get it. It's striking and the... where I get the ... what was it that you asked, emotional bravery? Yeah. You know, it's... I have never once considered it brave to write the truth. And I think that's the thing is there's this prevalence of, I heard this term recently. Toxic positivity, right? We're always trying to just put our best faces forward and gloss over the hard stuff, because life can be really hard. Yeah, very American, I think very much. So. Yeah. And and I grew up in an environment where there was a lot of, you know, you'll be fine. You've got this sort of stuff. I appreciated that. And I also had experiences that were traumatic. And I never really knew how to talk about those things. And so my writing has really been my outlet to talk about the tough stuff. And as soon as I can open up and share challenges, I feel a release. But it astounds me sometimes, though, some of the experiences that I've had, and I've asked myself, Why some of these things have happened. There's been a lot there's, there's definitely been a lot, there's no question about that. It's, it's, the only way I get through it is to write about it. But it gives me peace, I think just to describe the reality of some of the stuff I've gone through, and particularly the mental health challenges. I mean, I have anxiety, and I've struggled with depression when I didn't address anxiety. And those two things. I've been amazed at the response when I write about them, because there are so many of us who struggle with them in different ways, and either don't know how to talk about them or ask for help. Or

Jill Schacter 13:45

I heard it said that depression and anxiety are like the common cold of mental ill of mental illness.

Christine Wolf 13:53

Yeah,they really are. And I think what I really learned was that I made for a really long time, I didn't know what depression was, I thought something was wrong with me when I felt that cloak of heaviness on me, I didn't have language to describe what it was. And I didn't really know of anybody else who talked about it openly. So the longer I went in life without knowing how to manage depression, the longer I felt all different sorts of things. I felt broken, inadequate, on words, unworthy, you name it, and then somebody was so kind and said to me, it was a therapist one time and I thought, Oh, well, I'm going to therapy and I'm still depressed, what's wrong with me? She said to me, you know, sometimes you just really need to invest in yourself and and learn some of the skills that you may not have been taught or have at the ready. So I made and I was fully fortunate to have access to health care. But I made a choice to go to a program that helps people with severe anxiety. And I'd had, like we talked about, I'd had some traumatic experiences in my life with a train crash. And with a sexual assault. I was a child of divorce, I had an alcoholic parents, so you kind of throw all that stuff into the mix,

Jill Schacter 15:23

I think that definitely increases one's the prevalence of anxiety and features years.

Christine Wolf 15:28

Absolutely. And without really realizing that that stew was brewing. I just figured something was wrong with me. And as soon as I went to a place, and when I say went to a place, I just want to tell anybody who's ever, you know, considered treatment or wondered about treatment, I always assumed that treatment was for people with addiction, or who had you been arrested and had to go to treatment, what I didn't realize was, it's almost in some cases, like for me, like going to school, I sat down in an office building with other people who were just like me, working in, you know, nine to five jobs had families. And we just talked, but we talked in a setting that was more in depth, and really had it gave, gave ourselves the time to process stuff. So what I learned was, I am emotionally in touch with a lot of things, but I was lacking in some skills and understanding about what anxiety does to you if you don't address it. And for me, it was very simple. without addressing my anxiety, it would turn into depression. So as soon as I recognized how to acknowledge and validate the anxiety that I was feeling, and give language to it, and give it space to breathe, it took away its power. And I mean, I used to be on antidepressants. I used to be on medication, and none of them were working. And I realized I wasn't really addressing what I was challenged with. I was just muting myself. And so it's been an enlightening, and I wish I would have known it before my 40s. But I'm so glad that I figured out with the help of, you know, professionals how to how to how to talk about this stuff. And so I am I, I'm so happy that I've been able to talk about something that touches other people, I just had no idea how many people were masking and shielding their own anxiety. So if it helps them, I'm really happy.

Jill Schacter 17:42

Well, I'm sure it's a real gift that you give to people who can read about somebody else's experiences. Tell me what kind of like if you have written about depression or anxiety, what kind of feedback have you received that lets you know that doing this kind of writing has an impact on people.

Christine Wolf 18:02

Two things almost always happen when I write about anxiety, depression, mental health, I'll either get private messages like crazy, just, you know, people saying thank you for talking about this, I've been struggling and I just appreciate seeing it, you know, in on the page or on the screen, or I get messages from from people asking where to go what to do. Asking for help. It's almost like opening a door for them. So that feedback of those sorts is just so gratifying because it makes me realize, you know, those words that I was able to put out, gave somebody recognition and validated their their struggle. And I've been there.

Jill Schacter 19:01

How do you? How do you decide what kind of story you're going to write? How does it come to you? Perhaps what your next story is going to be like, maybe even today? Like what are you thinking about something? How does it come to you? How do you decide what it is what subjects you're going to tackle?

Christine Wolf 19:19

Ah, there isn't one way into a story necessarily, but I think the stories that tend to get shared the most and that I think resonate most with people are the ones that I am so moved to write that I can't not write it. Yeah. And it's the stuff that might keep me up at night or, you know, bring me to tears or just infuriate me. I mean, I for instance, I remember when Dajae Coleman, who was a young man at Evanston Township High School, when he was I got right near Church and Dodge. And my son was a classmate of his. There wasn't even a question about wanting to write about what that made me feel like. And I didn't really know if I had the right to write about somebody else's child's murder. And I am a white woman, and this, you know, child, 14 year old boy was black. And I thought, Who Who am I to even try to wrap my head around? Pretending like this should impact me in a way that that matters, you know, am I making this about me? But the truth was, I was just so moved by my fury and my confusion and my fear and my desire to do something. And I didn't know what to do. And I didn't know how to make it better. But I just knew that I had to do something. And so I, I felt like I had to write about it.

Jill Schacter 21:10

Can you describe some, maybe one or two other stories that really were really, you were really powerfully moved to write about? And why?

Christine Wolf 21:24

Yeah, I think that story. You know, the one, the one that was early on, when I was just starting and blogging, there had been a suicide right near my house, young man named Colin Dalebreaux, he had struggled with mental illness and committed suicide with a pipe bomb, right near Nichols, middle school. I remember that. And I, you know, I was just this, just this, you know, new blogger who was writing about learning her way through becoming a children's writer. And when that happened, I, again, just, I couldn't stop thinking about what somebody must get to. The whole thing was just the only way I could process the experience of knowing what happened in my neighborhood and how it was impacting all of us was to was to write about it. There, I think I think the most healing thing that I've ever written about besides anxiety and depression, was this train accident that I had been in and tell me about that. Yeah, I I never really appreciated the fact that it had been such a traumatic experience that I that I buried for the longest time, and I, I never talked about it at all. And finally, I somehow sat down and wrote about it, I researched it a bit, and learned the specifics and the details about what happened. It happened in 93. It was an Amtrak crash that I was on a train that hit a propane gas truck. And it was really when it happened, it was just sort of it happened and we moved on. But years later, I decided I tackle it. And that was just so it was freeing in a way to sort of release that tension and anxiety and trauma and feel like I was in control of a really out of control situation and not feel so victimized. The best part about it was, though, hearing from some of the people who had been on that train, and

Jill Schacter 23:58

while there's the there's the connection aspect of the story, yeah, for sure. So you heard from some of them, and

Christine Wolf 24:06

I did I heard from some survivors. I certainly heard from some people who had had relatives who were impacted by it, and it was unexpected, unexpected connections.

Jill Schacter 24:22

You have also appeared on stage, I believe, more than once in a storytelling show called mortify.

Christine Wolf 24:31

Yes.

Jill Schacter 24:32

Where people read from their old journals.

Christine Wolf 24:35

Yes.

Jill Schacter 24:36

What's that like and what what drives you to do such such a thing? And maybe tell me a little bit about your experience on mortified? What kinds of stuff you shared there?

Christine Wolf 24:46

Absolutely. When I heard about mortified, I I didn't know how the whole structure of the performance went. I just thought people show up at a venue and you bring your journal and maybe they call you up on stage and you get to read from it. So the first time I went to it, I brought my childhood journals from middle school waiting to get caught hoping to get called. That's not how it works. You're curated with a producer, and you find a passage that really has a theme and a thread and the narrative. So I sat down eventually with producer, and we went through this whole diary of mine. And

Jill Schacter 25:29

you did that together?

Christine Wolf 25:30

We did it together.

Jill Schacter 25:31

You the producer, and your journal.

Christine Wolf 25:32

Correct.

Jill Schacter 25:33

Wow.

Christine Wolf 25:33

And, and I said, you know, here's what I think would be really funny to talk about. And I there were, I don't know, some goofy cheerleading thing from my high school. And she didn't laugh. And I, I realized, Okay, well, maybe we'll find something else. And as I was flipping through the pages, I said, Well, we're definitely not going to talk about this experience. And it had been an awful experience with a high school boyfriend.

Jill Schacter 25:55

I hear a bingo coming.

Christine Wolf 25:58

And she said, This is what we're going to talk about. And I said, Absolutely not. No, it was just two more to find. It was mortifying, I would never share this. And as I sat, and I talked to her about it, I cried. And, and I thought, why does she even want to hear about this, this show? mortified is supposed to be, you know, funny, you want to get the audience laughing at stuff. And what she said to me, was so profound. And she said, "Here's the thing. You have the ability, especially as a writer [but all of us do] to sort of reframe things that happen to us. So," she said, "what happened to you in high school might have been horrific and devastating and mortifying, but you're going to get up on that stage. And you're going to put it into language that, you know, gives you the power to say, maybe how you wish it would have ended or what you wish you would have said." And in that turn of events, I looked at this experience, and I rewrote, I didn't change any details, but I kept out the stuff that just almost killed me. And instead, I threw some humor in about, you know, what a sucky situation it was. And I had fun with it. So it turned a really sour, awful, awful time in my life into something that I just felt on top of the world about, because I think a lot of people could relate to something that I had gone through too.

Jill Schacter 27:34

And yeah, and I guess you went back for more. So it must have been must have been positive overall. So you run around Evanston quite a bit, I think, looking for your stories. What have you. What do you learned about Evanston as you operate here? As a writer? I'm like, what, what do we learned about our community?

Christine Wolf 27:55

Ah, that's the biggest thing I've learned. And I've been here a really long time now is, it is a community of opportunity. If you are willing to stay open to it. It's it is constantly changing. It is. There's, there's so much opportunity for growth, and introspection. And, and that's what I really appreciate about it, because people come here for all different sorts of reasons. And I think when I initially came here, it was to be close to the city, to be close to the lake, to have good schools to have what we all you know, in quotes, think about, like, oh, it's an absolutely diverse kind of community. I had no idea what that meant. I just thought, I want to be somewhere where there's lots of dynamic opportunities. What I have found is there's just so much truth here and truth telling. And that's been it's been challenging. It's been it's been really empowering. It's been painful. And it's been something that I've I realized, I'm, I don't ever want to leave here, because it just it's a place that keeps me thinking constantly.

Jill Schacter 29:30

Yeah, well, so many of us feel that way. Right? Like there's no place we'd rather live. Can you tell me as I have to ask you as a writer what role the library plays for you in your work life for or otherwise, you have been published in these untraditional ways. And soon you will be published in a traditional way. Yeah. And how do you feel about that?

Christine Wolf 29:54

I am still in disbelief because the idea of having an actual book that I can go into the Amazon Public Library and point to that has, you know, a number and the Dewey Decimal System.

Jill Schacter 30:08

It still has meaning doesn't mean,

Christine Wolf 30:10

It absolutely does. And I am so proud of all the other stuff that I've done and the online content and everything, but it's just I have such reverence for anybody who has published a book, because I'm not there yet. I'm right there. And I know the years that I have had to put into this, and the terror and the, the learning curve, and the questions and the it's putting a book together is just, it is in itself a marathon.

Jill Schacter 30:48

It's a political memoir that you're working on. And you can't tell us much more about it. Right. We have to wait.

Christine Wolf 30:53

It's political biography, political biography.

Yeah. Yeah.

Jill Schacter 30:56

Any other details we can know or is that about it? For now?

Christine Wolf 30:59

Right now, all I'm allowed to say is it is a political biography. And yeah, that it's coming out in 2021. I wish I could tell you more, I can't wait to share it with everybody. I wrote it with my co-author, Jay Pridmore. It's coming out the book is coming out next year. And we spent a significant amount of time at the library, not only meeting and talking about the subject, but also doing a ton of research. And I had not appreciated how many resources we'd be able to tap into, that really, really helped us in ways that, you know, I mean, Ancestry.com, lots of the resources that are on the library's website that you can access for free, I had no sense whatsoever that we could do that. The library has really been the heart of where I'd done all of my research and spent my time and gave me a sense of kind of a place to go.

Jill Schacter 32:04

Tell us a bit about Writers' Haven. I know this is a big project of love and passion for you. I know, it was also delayed by the pandemic. But I think it's something that the community writers in the community will be really excited to know about. So tell me a little bit about Writers' Haven.

Christine Wolf 32:24

Thank you. Yeah, it's, you know, writers are a unique bunch, because we are often so independent, and we need to work in a solo setting. But we crave connection, but it's a special kind of connection where you want to be near each other, but not in each other's way. And so what I've found in my years of writing is, it's nice to have a space to be with other writers in our, in our very unique patterns. So the house that I have has the space for writers to gather, and I created before the pandemic, these little nooks and spaces for writers to just hang out and and be in their own zones, but to kind of, you know, get together for a cup of coffee or to sit in a living room setting and just chat. Right, right before the pandemic hit. I had started opening my door and clients were coming in, and I was getting great feedback. And then we just stopped, we we had to stop and it will come back and we'll try to do stuff over the winter sitting outside by the fireplace and just adapt. But for now, we can't do it inside. It's just too. Too risky for me,

Jill Schacter 33:47

How will it work? If somebody wants to be a part of Writers' Haven? What is what's the model for how somebody can be a part of Writers' Haven assure,

Christine Wolf 33:57

I mean, there's there's different ways people can come just for a drop in on a day, you know, come for a few hours and work in one of the rooms. They can reserve a spot at the communal table, which is in my dining room and you can work quietly with other writers. There's a there's a membership or you can just do an hourly thing. It's really quite flexible, depending on what a writer's needs are and what their budget is.

Jill Schacter 34:28

Um, well how would somebody find out more about Writers' Haven if they wanted to?

Christine Wolf 34:31

They can just pop onto my website. It's Christine Wolf dot com.

Jill Schacter 34:38

Good. So you have recently just finished a marathon walk around Evanston, you looped, Evanston twice. The marathon was Chicago marathon was canceled this year, but you decided you were going to do your own DIY marathon and I know that you raised funds For the YWCA, the YWCA. Yeah, tell tell me a little bit about why you did that. Why? Why did you raise money for the why, in particular?

Christine Wolf 35:14

Well, right before the pandemic hit, I had had surgery, and I knew that I needed to get moving and kind of rebuild my strength. Last year, I'd done the Chicago Marathon I walk, I don't run, I'm not built that way. Have you seen I'm five feet tall, I don't have the legs for, for running. But when the Chicago Marathon was canceled this year, I was crushed at first. And then they offered a virtual option and sort of a DIY. And I thought, if I'm going to do this, I'm, I'm going to stay close to home. And it was a pretty natural thing to think. Why not just walk in a loop or to around my, my city, the city that I love, and I, part of the route that I created was to make a loop around Evanston hospital where surgeons had helped me back in February right before the pandemic, and so it was just sort of a natural thing to do it here. What I found doing it, though, was just, I really think that every every kid in Evanston should have almost like a required PE. I don't know what it would be. It should be required walking around making a loop around Evanston because there is, there is no greater example of just there's so much there's so much to see in our town, and it's only what is it eight, nine miles around once?

Jill Schacter 37:00

Why did you choose the Y to raise money for?

Christine Wolf 37:04

I chose the Y... they're a beneficiary of my business as well. I just, I think their two missions of working to eliminate racism and empower women are exactly what I aspire to do. I've been raising money for them through Writers' Haven, Evanston as well, part of all of my profits go to them. So it was just a natural, absolutely natural thing that I wanted to raise money for, for such a worthy cause. Especially right now.

Jill Schacter 37:39

I think there's just something about the way you just looped Evanston twice, and the way you were roaming around our city, and then immediately thereafter, you did publish a story about how you felt you hadn't done enough that the discomfort that you felt from doing your 26 Miles was really nothing compared to the pain of racism and how you would like to, you know, how it just made you think about that. And I just think it really epitomizes you roaming around our city, trying to make connections about things that matter to you and connecting to, to people and to causes that can make a difference.

Christine Wolf 38:20

Thank you.

Jill Schacter 38:20

Yes, yeah. Yeah. So there was really something about that. That's so you.

Christine Wolf 38:24

I just love how you said that. Because it's not really I hadn't thought about it that way. But yeah, and I do roam around a lot. I'm I'm nosy.

Jill Schacter 38:35

We'll keep being nosy because we keep what we want to hear more of your stories. And if people want to read your stories, and they don't know where to find you, where, where where can they see your work?

Christine Wolf 38:47

Oh, sure. Well, the easiest way is on my website. I try to link all my work there. And that's Christine Wolf dot com, or they can go to Medium, and I have a page there. But...thank you.

Jill Schacter 39:00

You're welcome. Thanks so much for being on The Checkout Christine.

Christine Wolf 39:02

Thank you, Jill.

Unknown Speaker 39:04

I hope you enjoyed that episode. I want to remind you that we are your public library. We are always here for you in person or@epl.org

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Tags:
Writers, stories, how-to, connections, anxiety, depression, pandemic, storytelling, coaching, marathon, memoir, Jill Schacter, Steven Johnson, SJ Connects, Christine Wolf

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