Tag Archives: gratitiude

Listening and Love

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A lot of my value has been wrapped up in being a strong and independent person. I have learned over the last couple of years to ask for help in some small ways, but when I am really struggling, I dig in and play the “I’m fine”card.

In a couple of days we will move into the second half of 2018. This year has already been a rollercoaster of wonderful blessings and life-altering changes. It has been challenging to hold both realities. These last couple of weeks have been especially tumultuous.

When I have felt like I couldn’t breathe from the grief, my tribe has risen to hold my heart and soothe me with texts, emails, phone calls and visits. I had to laugh as one friend ignored me all together and brought groceries, despite my protests. Just sitting together, laughing and talking brought me so much joy and light. Each check in eases my burden bit by bit.

This wasn’t the summer I had planned for in many ways, but I am doing my best to listen to what I’m receiving. I haven’t been able to be out in the world much, but I’ve had the time to go inward and process my own world and the worlds I am building in a handful of stories.

I’m also learning to let people in more and accept more help. It doesn’t make me less valuable to be vulnerable, despite how uncomfortable it can make me. I know it is just a by-product of my broken heart. I have faith that it’ll be even stronger after it heals.

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Research and Inspiration

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This was a hard week. I had some major anxiety about medical tests for myself and my dad and didn’t feel 100% for most of it. Luckily, we both got some good news. I’m not out of the woods, but what they suspect I’m suffering from is a mild case. This is a huge blessing. I was very worried I had another surgery in my future.

So, this is going to be a quiet weekend for me. I have some things on my to-do list, but mainly I will be doing good things for my body and spirit. We are supposed to get a snow storm tonight and tomorrow which is also a blessing. Colorado has barely had any snow this year, and we really need it. I’m prepared to keep myself busy and warm until it clears or I have to leave for work on Monday.

I have been working a lot on non-fiction articles lately, but am also being called to write picture books again. Picture books can be fun and silly, or educational, however they also can be profound and comment on elements of our world and culture that affect us in deep, intimate ways.

I researched a bunch of picture books that were published in the last couple of years and borrowed them from the library. I love reading as reader, but also as a writer. There are so many lessons on craft on the pages of the books featured above. I have been brought to tears and covered with goosebumps with every title. There is such a captivating relationship between words and pictures that work together to create such a visceral experience.

I will be writing review posts for all of these books soon, but for now, they have been wonderful company on this quiet, reflective Saturday. I am hoping they inspire me to get more of my own words on the page.

Season Change

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Colorado has experienced a significant cold front with the changing of the season this year. Mere hours after the Autumn Equinox, it was in the high eighties, but overnight the rain came in and our temperatures have continued to drop throughout the weekend. It is currently forty-one degrees. I had to pull my comforter up last night for the first time in a long time and this morning I had to grab a sweatshirt and dig around for some slippers. Yesterday I read, as it gently rained outside and my green chili simmered on the stove.

As I mention every year, Fall is my favorite season. I am looking forward to the beauty and the light. I feel more reflective this time of year and I welcome the change that the season brings. However these first days of fall are gloomy and cold. I can’t help but think the outside is mirroring my inside. This year has been difficult in so many ways, both personal and global. There is so much to be sad and angry about. I have been on a roller coaster of emotion, especially for the past two months. I am hopeful and working for change within myself and in the world, but some days it feels overwhelming and I wonder if things will ever be good again. I am a silver-linings person, but I have been learning lately that there are certain things I just can’t fix and it is difficult not to get mired down in that.

There is grief in that realization, but there is also freedom in the sense that I can only control my reaction to things. I can have boundaries and take a break. I can make art and write stories and sing songs. Will that change the world? Maybe, may be not. Will it change my inner world? Absolutely, because I feel more grounded and strong when I participate in those activities. Can I send all my love and compassion to people who are hurting? Yes, and I can be an ally and work to find other tangible ways to help. 

Eventually the clouds will part, the temperature will rise and the sun will shine on the beauty of the world around me. It’s all still there, and I will be grateful to see it again. I am thankful for this seasonal change reminding me to embrace the changes I experience in my life. Today I appreciate these comfy slippers and a warm house, while I reflect on how to proceed when the sun  returns. 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Well, all of a sudden, it is that time of year again.

I am perpetually amazed by how fast time flies. This carousel spins faster and faster every year. I have been thrown into the holiday spirit early this year with working on holiday performances and getting my book The Christmas Child out into the world again.

This week is Thanksgiving and I am feeling very grateful for all the wonderful blessings in my life. This is the first year I’ve had the entire week off for the holiday and that, in itself, is a huge blessing.

I am walking a fine line of excitement and stress these days, holding both opposing forces in my hands, learning how to embrace both – good and bad. This week will allow me time to rest, prepare and reflect. I am humbled by the beauty of friendship, love and support that has surrounded me lately.

The Bookies, a wonderful independent bookstore in Denver, has embraced my book with such gusto – I am still so overwhelmed. The Tattered Cover stores will be carrying it again this year as well. It never ceases to amaze me, that I can visit some of my absolute favorite bookstores and see my book staring back at me.

I will also be working as a volunteer bookseller at The Bookies on 11/30/2013 as a part of Indie First on Small Business Saturday. Sherman Alexie called authors back in September to step into bookseller’s shoes and help out Independent bookstores. You can read his awesome call here. I worked hard as a bookseller for many years in a big chain and indie stores and I am excited to do it again. I loved passing on great books to eager customers and I am crazy grateful that booksellers are now doing that with my book. It is a dream come true!

I will be recouperating from another surgery in December and although I am disappointed to go under the knife again, I am grateful that it will be taken care of soon. As Kid President says, “Life is tough, but so are you.”

I am tough and I know I will be okay. I am grateful for the time to rest, write and heal. I am grateful for family and friends who love me and are willing to do whatever to help me. I am thankful for bookstores, booksellers, books and stories. I am grateful.

The Best Christmas Presents Ever

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As I look at 2010 coming right at me, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for all the love that has come my way these last months from the amazing people who have read my book The Christmas Child.

Hearing stories of reluctant readers putting aside their video games to read or people who have found hope on the pages and now feel Christmas in their hearts. With each story, I am blown away and deeply humbled.

In all honesty, I had a hard time finding the Christmas spirit myself this year. I have been struggling financially and spiritually. I have been putting myself through the paces for things that are outside of my control. I have been more like The Ice than myself!

But hearing these stories and receiving hugs from readers have made all the difference. Even if I never sold another book, I would still feel like a successful author! I also understand more than ever the power of story. I am grateful for everything that has happened this year in relation to The Christmas Child.

I’ve heard it said that we write what we, ourselves, need to hear. That could not be more true with this book. The Christmas Child is ultimately about the power of belief, especially the belief in yourself. I struggle with this often and I have learned so much from Becca’s journey and transformation.

So as 2009 comes to an end, I would like to say thank you to the wonderful people who came to book signings and my launch at the Mercury Cafe. To the classes I visited, the kids and kid’s at heart who left their world behind to travel to the North Pole with me…you have made my heart light and joyous. I am so grateful and thank you doesn’t seem big enough to describe what I feel.

Here’s to a happy and prosperous New Year for everyone. Cheers!