Sunday, December 22, 2019

Story Power

Stories make us feel. The reality of those feelings equals the reality of our own experience. Our emotional growth is dependent on these shared experiences. We can experience so much more in the safe pages of a book. Sure, movies and shows are great ways to feed the story hunger but these containers are limited. A book mines the internal journey. We experience this journey through the thoughts of our characters. Voice-over exposition doesn't do it for me, and I doubt it does for you.

We don't know how long humans have shared experiences through the medium of story, but the flickering light of endless campfires warms my bones, and the more recent leap to written language fuels the fires within. Story is what brings confidence to sort through the troubles of our day. Story is that collective memory of mankind that assures us that we made it through those other things, we will make it through the waves of trouble that have swamped us today.

This season brings the Jólabókaflóð (The Yule Book Flood), a time to give books and read until morning. It's my treasured reading time, and I love it.  I hope you stop this season to expand your emotional landscape.  Do you want to grow and be more? Pick up a book and allow it transport you on a journey to rise above the odds and find your way.  The experience will help you face the challenges in your "real life" journey. Tap into this superpower, story power.

Spend your time wisely. Today is all we have.

Quote for your pocket.

“Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Tell Gregory a story. Make some light.” Kate Di Camillo

A doodle for you. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Night Owl

I haven't posted in a while. Writing has been happening. I almost have draft one of For the Love of God by my alter-ego Cece. I spent a week in New Mexico recharging at the no-name writer's retreat at the Norbertine Abbey. What's not to love?  I hunkered in my little room and turned the fan on. (It is New Mexico in the summer.)  I read my manuscript from end to end and then began to add more magical chapters. My writing wasn't the only magic brewing. The beautiful scenery! The owls (burrowing owls live near the abbey)! The conversation! The ukelele! (Thanks, Lisa.) Each day was about relaxing and making space for the work. Did I mention the crunchy lemon cookies and iced tea?

There is something about a place that has a garden of peace, a library, and sacred places around every corner. It was the perfect place to reflect on a period of my life full of turmoil and sadness and God.  I scribbled notes and typed away. One night, I stayed awake like a night owl and wrote and wrote.  The kinks in my innards slowly worked out. After a few short days, I left the Abbey relaxed and less panicked that I would never finish my WIP. I left with a lesson, too. The Abbey is in the middle of a desert, but that dry dust land is full of life. A good thing to remember when every the road becomes bleak.

It is important to take care of yourself. In the midst of your busy life, chose to stop. Seek silence. Let it well around you. Stop hurrying. Retreat somewhere and reconnect. These are the days of your life. Don't miss them. I hope you hear me, readers. Don't let this moment pass by. Whatever dream you keep pushing aside, it's about to slip away. Stop. This is your chance. Don't throw it away. This opportunity to make a difference could pass you by. Cling to it. Do what you can, when you can, while you can.

I'm so glad you gave this a read.  Please share your big dream in the comments. I find writing a thing down will make it more likely happen.

Please remember to seize the day.

Here is a doodle of a petroglyph from back in the day. I hope there is a smiley face in the center of my bird spirit.

Here is a quote for your pocket from another one who sought solitude.

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau