I have a dream…

Well, I had a dream, last night, or this morning to be more exact. Brace yourselves. I was white water rafting (never gonna happen) in some sort of elaborate indoor waterslide-esque setup (umm…) that was large enough to encompass forests, rapids, falls, wildlife, etc. Still with me? Here’s the kicker, I’m in the back of a raft, my entire family (including the “only on holidays” relatives, and “here’s a fluffy puff paint sweatshirt for your 21st birthday” folks) fills the rest of our barely floating boat. But there I am, clinging NOT to the raft itself but to my cat, Alfie, who is fully equipped with a miniature helmet and life vest.

As should have been expected, at the first sign of turbulence Alfie gets flipped out and into the frigid water (you’d think in an indoor arena they’d pay to heat it) and I, like any reasonable person, jump in after him?!?!  Just as I got hold of him, about the same time I lost feeling in my limbs and started debating on if I really loved said cat enough to die in a manmade rapids scenario – we were both zapped (yes, zapped… it’s a super technical term used quite often these days) into a sterile room with attendants, prepared to coddle, shampoo, fluff, and dry little Alfie, while I, was tossed a hand towel to see to my own impending case of hypothermia.

Once Alfie was back to good, we were zapped back into the raft, where our raft was suddenly surrounded with a flock of rabid ducks. Luckily I woke up before they launched an attack, relieved to find that there were no ducks in bed with me, only my iphone alarmclock. While I haven’t the slightest idea what any of this crazed symbolism means, I have learned my lesson as far as reading NonFiction Disaster books with wine in bed.

Hitting ReSet…


I can’t remember the last time I was able to take a full hour & escape to the park by myself. Today, I was able to do just that, and those 60 minutes were utter bliss. Somehow the stars & planets aligned perfectly, and I found myself without excuse.

It’s early July and the weather is finally showing signs of summer, 73 degrees, sunshine and a cloudless blue sky. At first I assumed the park must be closed, and the staff had simply forgotten to close the front gate across the long gravel driveway entrance. The parking lot, usually filled with cars, was bare. The fields and picnic tables, usually bustling with children, families, picnics, and animals, were silent. As though the park was mine alone. The silence and space mine for the taking. Choosing my picnic table wisely, close enough to the looming red barn to eavesdrop on its feathered inhabitants but just out of reach of its massive shadow.

Closing my eyes for just a moment, I realized that I’d taken the empty parking lot for granted, I wasn’t alone after all, the park was overflowing with it’s residents and their own daily conversations.  The rustle of the wind through the leaves of the foliage, the incessant clucking of the hens, so like an elderly Jewish woman, anxiously pushing her own life lessons onto anyone who’ll listen, always busy and moving about. The proud crow of the rooster, a college athlete long past his prime but still insistent on announcing his presence for all to hear. The eager duck, testing the water in his small pool, so like a naive child, instructed to use just his toe but unable to control his excitement, running full speed into the water instead; splashing any adults standing near for his protection.

I wonder why I’ve neglected this amazing place for so long. Allowing myself to become so absorbed and overwhelmed with the rush of everyday life that I’ve nearly forgotten the sensation of just being. Sitting still and inviting nature to exist around me, not needing to be in control, but instead relinquishing myself to something greater than I am, than I can ever hope to become. Appreciating the little things. The birds, the sun, the grass, the breeze…

Almost akin to hitting the reset button on one of the many pieces of technology managing my day-to-day life. Seeking out and finding that small button, the one hidden within a crevice in the man made plastic box, using an unwound paperclip to sneakily press and grant myself & the machine 30 seconds of reprieve before returning to whatever menial yet urgent task lies at hand.

I need to do this more often, I tell myself this, just as I have every time before. When I’ve depleted my own reserve of relaxation and peace, and have stumbled back to my roots, to nature for a refreshing reset, a dose of quiet, and a reminder from Mother Nature that she hasn’t gone anywhere. She’s here waiting for me, if I’ll only make time to remember her.

It’s my turn…

As those of you close to me may know, my recent ghostwriting opportunity wasn’t meant to be. Which is a nice way of saying that we went back and forth a few times negotiating numbers and whether I would be able to use the finished product on my resume at all – and in the end, we were unable to come to a mutual decision. I was definitely disappointed that things didn’t work out, but proud of myself for sticking to my guns on the few small things I felt I needed in order to make the project really worth my while.

Within a few days of realizing the ghost writing project wouldn’t be happening, I found myself slightly stumped for a writing project to drown myself in, especially since I’d just spent the last 3 weeks reading up on everything I could as far as fiction writing for dummies, character development, and setting a scene that already exists perfectly inside my head. As fate may have it, I stumbled onto a topic that’s held some intrigue for me since I was much younger, and almost instantly, in my mind, I could see the character that belonged there, her life, her traits, her flaws, her desires, and what would eventually be her demise!

At this point I’m 100’s of pages of notes & research in, and about 500 words deep into chapter 1 of what I feel could be the next big historical fiction novel to hit the shelves! Hopefully sometime soon – say 2013ish, assuming of course that the rest of the book/story tells itself as quickly and painlessly as things have fallen into place thus far. But whatever happens, however far I get, this is MY story – wholly and completely – and it feels EFFING AMAZING!!! 🙂

So, friends, family, and faithful blog stalkers – please accept my apologies in advance if I seem to be distant from the blog – and I do promise I’ll try to keep at least a few posts a month gracing these pages… Wish me luck!

~ m 🙂

To ghost or not to ghost…

It isn’t often that I find myself struggling with a decision. I tend to know what I want, and to pursue the option best fitting with my goals, whether they be short term or long, planned or spontaneous, wise or questionable *according to others* – but, for the past few days I’ve found myself at a dead stop, pondering the diverged paths ahead of me, and at a complete loss of which direction to pursue.

As a writer, being approached with a paying project is the constant waking dream, one that I was blessed to receive this past week. Discussions were had, coffee was drank, notes were taken, and an introduction was written. The end product would be the first book in a series of 3 or 4, written for the tween crowd, ideally approx. 200/250 pages in length, and centered around characters locked safely inside the minds of my cohorts. After much talk, prayer, pro/con’ing, and contemplation; an agreement was reached, a price named, and the contracts were all but drawn up. Then, the decision was made, by said cohorts, that they desire for this project to be completed with myself as a ghostwriter.

Now I realize that ghostwriting is a career that many authors choose to take, and that it can be a fulfilling position, paying fairly substantially. But, I struggle with the idea of pouring my own storytelling skills, passion, and creativity into conceiving & birthing a being that I’ll then be handing over to someone else to be responsible for, as well as my not being able to celebrate that beings successes, my own pride at it’s creation, and of course, no reaping of rewards or publicity if things were to hit it big. *sigh* On the other hand, I do realize that as a writer who is essentially just starting out, I need to be grateful for the opportunities I’m presented, and see them as wonderful learning experiences, and situations that can only assist me in growing as an author!

Ugh! Any advice?…

~ m 🙂

Devastation & Celebration

There are few situations where we find ourselves so harshly torn between the emotions surging through our bodies, as in a time of mourning the loss of a loved one. This afternoon I attended the funeral of a good friends little sister. Sadly, premature deaths like this are nowhere near as rare as they should be. And, more than anything it urges the questioning of ones own mortality, and the unknown of when our own journeys will end.

The family and friends that joined together today, seeking to celebrate and remember the vibrancy, independence, and success of this amazing young lady were also brought together by their confused respect for a girl who struggled in silence with choices made, lessons learned, and adventures yet to experience. One of her sisters shared a poem that really struck a chord with me. It depicts so well how each of our paths is unique, and the wind or breeze that will move us in our right, and intended direction, can’t be summoned or commanded by our own selfish desires, it’ll only commence when the universe knows we’re truly ready.

If only this adored young woman had been able to hold on for a moment more, and seek out a confidant to help her brave her storm. She will be missed, her memories treasured, and her inspirational yet short life remembered as one of creative milestones, room brightening smiles, and all knowing eyes. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you steadfastly march onto your next adventure, as well as with your family and friends here as they struggle to find a new rhythm and make sense of their lives without you here. Your body may be gone, but your spirit will never be forgotten.

Raven, teach me to ride the winds of change

Perch where the wind comes at you full force.
Let it blow you apart till your feathers fly off and
you look like hell.
Then abandon yourself.
The wind is not your enemy.
Nothing in life is.
Go where wind takes you
higher lower
backwards
The wind to carry you forward will find you
when you are ready.
When you can bear it.

— Margaret Wheatley