Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks

2014 is rushing to a close like the last run on a roller coaster ride and I'm grabbing for the hand break.

This year saw my last kid who lived near home, move to the sunny Keys, sixty miles from Cuba. That brought its own kind of adjustment, as I am a pack animal and prefer my cubs close to the den.

Grateful for texting and FaceTime and all the instantaneous ways I can touch base with my daughter and my son; giving me a quick fix of comfort as I touch in to their lives for just a moment. They're doing fine.

This year, I finally took up the NaNoWriMo writing challenge: 50,000 words in 30 days. I finished, 59,000, in 20 days. That felt good. And it's gotten me on a solid storyline for a new books series, The Leelanau Chronicles. I also have a publisher who will be looking it over to see if we can do some business together. That feels really good.

I'm also seeing changes at my home; tearing out the old kitchen down to studs and sub floor, and dragging this 1933 Midwestern American house into this century. Barring any freakish hurdles to clear, I should be making holiday meals in a brand new space, after twenty two years of cursing the hideous linoleum and ancient cabinets I've been staring at that long.  That feels, really, really good.

So I'm grateful for my family flung far and wide and I'll pull them in tomorrow and share the spirit of pumpkin pie among the ethers.

I'm grateful for the words that came flowing out as I wrote the new book and how it felt like a phone call with the characters taking turns speaking their dialog to me. I laughed and I cried along with their defining moments.

And I'm grateful to even have a kitchen at all. Many don't. But especially grateful that we are able to give it the attention it so well deserves. After acting as my stage and workshop where more than 16,000 meals have fed from one to sixty people while I've lived here; from a solo sandwich to years of Holiday Open House parties where neighbors, friends and family gathered here to celebrate life.

Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours.

A small Polaroid poem that came to me this morning as I started my day...

Hearts come home
On holidays
If only
On invisible wings
So they can whisper
Into the ear
Of dear ones far away

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Story I Tell

So, what is the story that you tell?
If, every single day, the story you tell starts with, “You never…” or ” You always…” then THAT is what you create and what shows up, in your face, every…single…day.
Want the world around you to show up differently? Tell a different story; a better story…about good things.
Magically, THAT is what will begin to show up, in your face,

Monday, August 18, 2014

What I've Seen...On Turning 60

Tomorrow is my birthday. It’s a big one. Sixty. At this auspicious moment I am wondering how the hell did this many years pass so ridiculously fast?

When my kids were young teens itching to do something they weren’t ready for yet, I would get out the construction tape measure. I would lay it out to 100 inches and chalk where their ages fell and how long their wait really was to participate in the activity that eluded them. Then I would point down the line to how many more times they could do that forbidden thing in the one hundred or so years they had to live their lives. It made the two inches from 14 to 16, when their driver’s license would come seem like the paltry eye blink that it was.

Looking back down my own line of numbers, already passed, I am embracing my million moments that drew together to make me. Gathered knowledge is just hoarding thoughts until you share it. For what it’s worth, these are some of the things I have seen.

Even if you grew up watching shows like Friends and assuming adulthood would be a constant coffee klatch with your across the hall neighbors, you will spend most of your time alone in this life. Unless you are conjoined, this is the way of the world. And if you can’t be at peace in your times of solitude, why in the hell would you think other people would be interested in spending time with you either? Learn shit. Get interested and then you will be interesting-to yourself and to others.

The greatest lesson for young teen abstinence should be the fact that the first person you get naked with will-in all likelihood-not be the last. With the exception of the four couples you will meet who are childhood sweethearts-you will swim into and out of tubs, ponds, raging rivers and oceans of love in all its forms until you find somewhere that becomes your place in the world. That’s where you will build your home- however early or late in life you find it and trying to pitch a tent anywhere else will give temporary shelter and nothing more.

When people close to you lash out it is usually because they want you to love them more than it appears you do. If you pay attention, people will tell you what they want-so listen.

Most people, even the most hardened among us, still have a soft, gooey center and if you are paying attention and listening you can figure out what they love. That is what made them gooey like that in the first place. If they showed you the gooey love, they shared the keys to their castle. Honor that.

There are seven billion people on this planet. When you are not famous, the statistical magic of finding one person who can see you for the blazing light you actually are is a gift rarer then the most expensive gemstone. Own that.

Real love never dies. It only changes shape to accommodate the way you live now.

The secret to happiness is this: figure out what you want and find a way to ask for it.

Love is your own personal experience. It sparks and blooms inside your own head-like a private revelation; a movie only you can see. Even if the object of your affection does not return your ardor with the same intensity or at all, never hold regret for having felt that feeling. To know what love feels like is like visiting the most beautiful place on Earth. Not everyone will go there in their lifetime but you have, and you can tell others what it feels like to stand in the center of all that beauty; what it is to see the blazing light of someone else and have it warm your soul even if it’s just for a moment. It will change you forever; no matter if life or death moves you far away from that other person, it will remain part of who you are now.

What I have seen while I have run, swam, played, danced, loved, fought, created, walked, crawled, bled, cried and laughed my way through the sixty years on planet Earth comes down to this: love. It always comes down to that. And on the last day I get in this life, it will still be about love; who I loved and who loved me.

That is where I have a cave of treasure like Aladdin. I remember all the love my heart has felt. It fills my pens, my brushes, my cooking pots and the large broken parts inside of me. It is my gold.

The Japanese have a practice called Kintsugi. It’s a ceramic pottery ritual where a beloved broken vessel is pieced back together with molten gold. Like glue, it gathers the shattered parts making it whole again in a new and beautiful way.

Today, I will visualize all the love I’ve known as gold and let it fill the cracks and broken parts of me to make me whole like the day I was born only different…better. It will be my private gift to myself; the strengthening of my weak places. What I’ve seen in my sixty years has been a kaleidoscope of wonder and I am filled with anticipation as the curtain rises on the next act.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The First Three Chapters... Read them for free

Happy Spring, Dear Readers!

A little gift for you...
I'm posting, for free, the first three chapters of my new Sci-Fi Romantic Comedy novel.

A Sci-Fi Romantic Comedy about love
and aliens living among us.
They’re already here. They look like us. They work beside us. They guide events that influence our world. So what do they want and can we really be friends? Companions? Lovers? Arc and Iris answer the biggest question of all: if we are not alone in the universe, then who is it really, that is out there?


Tuesday, January 14, 2014