It’s 3 am. And I’m awake…again. The darkness sits heavy on my chest as the sound of the air flicking on echoes hard.
It’s 3:30 am. And I’m too exhausted to function. My kids will be up in a few short hours. Ready for the day when I’m anything but.
It’s 4 am. And I’m brittle, fragile, pieces chipping off as each minute ticks away. Continue reading “When You’re Desperate and Afraid”
I have a confession to make. I adore a good superhero story.
Spiderman? Love it.
Dr. Strange? Down with it.
Frodo? Absolutely, completely in love.
And I can’t stop at story characters.
There’s something about real-life heroes like Florence Nightingale, Mother Theresa, C.S. Lewis, Rosa Parks, the former Marine I chatted with the other day, and a little girl I know who’s confined to a wheelchair who raised money to help the refugees in my town.
While all these heroes seem totally different from each other (and different from me and you), we ALL have one thing in common:
We are all ordinary. Continue reading “Extraordinary Ordinary”
I am, at my core, a storyteller. So it shouldn’t be surprising that I think we all have a story. We all have a family of origin. We all have some blend of disappointments and accomplishments, loves and hates, comforts and discomforts.
It explains why I still sometimes cringe away from someone moving a quick hand and love the smell of orange-spiced tea. It might explain why the sound of moving water comforts or frightens you. Why the smell of cherry pipe smoke makes you smile or spikes your heart rate.
But that mishmash of singularities is only a sliver of who we are right now. Our stories certainly influence, mold, and shape, but we also all have a choice. Continue reading “Backstory, Life, and the Not-So-Bitter End”
Pink waves roll over the dark sky,
Building, crashing into brilliant light—
Smashing into the night sky,
Shattering the darkness.
Some days I welcome the coming of morning. It’s a fresh new day ready for good things. But other days—perhaps when I’ve been in the darkness, the depths of hurt or confusion just a moment too long—the light blinds and hurts. Continue reading “Waves of Light”
Some of you probably know that I spent the 30 days of November writing 50,000 words on my next novel—that’s about 200 pages…basically an entire book. It was a challenge for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
Writing with that kind of speed is NOT how I normally write. I’ve always been a little like Ernest Hemingway—reading over what I’d written and editing that before moving forward bit by bit every day.
I thought going for speed might be a good exercise. Help me learn new skills. Stretch me. You know, make me better.
And it might do that yet. But at the moment, with everything that was going on in my family, I wonder if the story I started was worth it.
Every novelist knows that there are points along the way where you hate what you’ve written. But I fear this is different.
Did I push myself into a place I wasn’t called to go? And now I’m overwhelmed in the quicksand that is my book. I’ve too many elements, perhaps not enough research.
I feel as if I didn’t give myself the space to do it right. Sure, I can go back and fix it… maybe.
If this character hadn’t been haunting me for 5 years, I might give up. But the more I think on it, the more I think my fear of the character has everything to do with why I veered off in a direction I hadn’t intended on.
Isn’t that like life?
The things we fear most are often the things we’re called to do.
So today, I will again tackle the book. Reworking, rewriting, replotting.
I will look straight into fear and walk into it, if for no other reason than most fear runs when it encounters confidence.
I will hunt fear today and invite you to do the same.
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It was a mixed up kind of day. Grey clouds engulfing the sun only to have the sun burn through, lighting the woods in snips and patches.
I could see my daughter’s bright blue coat flitting between the just leafing out trees. Hunting a critter, building a fort, or some such childhood imagining. The neighbor kid voices rose and fell in excitement until half blue with cold they all stumbled through my door in search of water, a snack, and an ear to listen to their adventures.
It had been a rough day. I was running into an issue with my editorial work. And then running into it again. And then again…Those days everyone has sometimes.
As I listened to my kids’ chatter, it reminded me of the times when the hill behind my childhood house was a mountain and the squirrels were bears chasing my brothers and I. Or when we were lost in the “expansive” woods, and horsetail reeds became scavenged salads—definite survival food.
I miss those times. Times when imagination bled into real life. Where anything could be imagined better. And I realized there’s something to a childlike perspective that we, as adults, need to rediscover.
Not that we can to ignore Continue reading “Adult-Sized Problems, Childlike Solution”