balance, beauty, books, choices, creative process, writing

This just in: The beautiful and terrible balance of the writing process

And so it goes...
And so it goes…

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

I’m now digging into the next phase of the editing process for my novel, Where the Light Enters. I thought it would be easier than the first draft and the first set of edits, but the refinement process carries its own gnarly tasks. I’m now getting into critical detail where research and intense imagination are critical, when self-doubt is around every corner making it easy to throw in the towel. Self-doubt is really starting to get ticked off that I’m not giving up, and so its voice grows louder and its criticism more biting.

Quotes like the one above remind me that every process, every experience contains a certain amount of beautiful and terrible, light and darkness, frustration and ease. It’s a difficult and dicey balance to negotiate, but if we want to build anything of value and substance, whether it’s a piece of art, a relationship, or a book, we have to be willing to take the good with the bad. There will be times that we never want to end and times that all we want to do is give up. That seesaw is part and parcel to the creation process.

When giving up on anything feels especially enticing, I remind myself that I’m not perfect, that no one’s perfect, and so if something truly comes from my heart and gut then it will carry imperfection, too. That helps me keep going. It calms the small voice of self-doubt that is always present and wants me to abandon ship. I understand its fear and concern, and I also know that this same fear and concern is what helps me do the very best I can at any moment.

Back to writing…

beauty, choices, decision-making

This just in: What we need is better than what we want

What you deserve
What you deserve

Life doesn’t always give us what we want. We strive for something (or someone) only to find we’ll never be able to reach it, fix it, heal it, or save it, try as we might.

This has happened to me several times in the past few months, and I have to be honest: I felt crushed. Confused and beat up. Even unsteady at times. And then I read this: “Sometimes life doesn’t give you what you want, not because you don’t deserve it, but because you deserve more.” And I’m reminded that life isn’t so much about what we want; it’s about what we need. We don’t always know what we need until we look back on our trail of broken dreams and realize they had to break so that something more beautiful could take its place.

Like me, you might be going through some things right now. Things that hurt. Things that make you feel sad, afraid, or angry. You might be asking yourself, “why me? Why is this happening now? How did I get to this point? Where did I go wrong?” I get it. I really do.

Cry it out. Dance it out. Talk it out. Rid yourself of that thing that just didn’t go the way you wanted, secure in the fact that it went the way that it needed to go so that you could live your best life and be your best self. That idea keeps me going, and I hope it will keep you going, too.


balance, beauty, care, choices, creativity

This just In: Magic is all around you, everywhere you go

Sombrero Galaxy in infrared light (Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope)
Sombrero Galaxy in infrared light (Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope)

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ~W.B. Yeats

Sometimes we pray for signs—an insight, hint, or direction of what to do next when we can’t see our way out of where we are. The very thing we want—the guidance, love, and concern from the Universe—is already here. It’s everywhere. Around every corner, in every step we take.

I noticed it last week in the morning doves in Rock Creek Park. I felt it in smiles from the people in my neighborhood whom I see every day as I come and go from home. I found it in the light and the sky and the breeze. It was a quiet but still strong whisper. “Keep going. This is the way for you.”

The trail of magic is always there for us to pick up and follow. We just need to open our eyes, and heart, and ears, and let go of the many fears and doubts that keep us down. Sharpen your senses. Attune and align yourself with magic. It’s waiting for you. It’s a choice.

beauty, change, creativity, imagination, inspiration

This just in: Rock bottom is a strong place to start

J.K. Rowling quote
J.K. Rowling quote

“And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” ~J.K. Rowling

There’s something amazingly strange and eventually wonderful about starting from rock bottom. Rock bottom’s a blank canvas, an empty room. It’s space, and within space, we can create something we love.

This quote from J.K. Rowling has been running through my mind this week as I prepare to change everything in the coming days. I’ll pack a few suitcases into my Mini, put Phin in his carrier in the front seat, Fedex my small amount of remaining items, and away we’ll go, headed straight for a new adventure in Washington D.C.

Rock bottom has such a negative connotation, but we don’t have to think of it that way. Rock bottom is solid, stable, unwavering. There really is no better place to build from. I’ve scraped down the walls of my life, removing the old chipped paint to reveal something fresh and new that is ready for color and beauty. I’ve stopped trying to make the best of the old parts of my life that no longer fit. I lovingly and gently packed them up and gave them away to make room for the new and extraordinary.

If you’d like to read the entirety of the speech that Rowling gave at Harvard that includes this quote, click here.

beauty, happiness, opportunity

Inspired: How I Get Up Every Morning

Throughout this crazy hunt for a new home, Carole King’s song Beautiful keeps running through my mind. “You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile in your face, and show the world all the love in your heart.” I keep smilin’ and lovin’. It’s so much better than the alternative.

beauty, creativity

Inspired: Believing is Seeing

From PinterestSome people need proof to believe something is true. I’ve often found that if I believe first, then the truth finds me. When I look for goodness, signs that I’m on the right path, hope, and inspiration, I’m more likely to find them if I believe that they can actually be found. And in the rare instance when what I seek I can’t find, I recognize that there is a gap that I am empowered to fill. If I think there needs to be more joy, laughter, peace, kindness, or empathy in a situation, I can create it. It all starts with belief and the greatest belief is this: I have what I need, the world needs what I have, and my only goal is to find the place and time where my gifts can do the most good.


Inspired: Good Morning, Beautiful

From Pinterest
From Pinterest

Let’s try this experiment: every day for a week, starting today, begin your morning by looking in the mirror and saying “Good morning, beautiful.” Say it and mean it. I’ll check in with you next Saturday and see how those three simple words affected your week. Are you game?

beauty, inspiration

Inspired: Seek beauty and you will find it

From Pinterest

For one minute today, stand and mentally take note of every beautiful thing you see. I do this every morning on my walk with Phin. It’s especially important that I do this when I’m feeling stressed, discouraged, or frustrated. Beauty, in all its forms, heals and it prompts us to create more of it for our ourselves and others. The more time we take to notice it, the more we realize just how much beauty this world holds. Once we see beauty in the world, we find it in our own hearts. And once we feel beauty, we radiate it back to everyone we encounter, everywhere we go.

art, beauty

Beautiful: Listen to Yourself – A Lesson from Voice Over Land

10c78142cf300f633136afbbc404dbd0To get the sound we want, we have to be willing to listen to the sound we make. And then we need to change. To get the life we want, we have to be willing to see the life we have, plainly and clearly. And then we need to change. The game of voice overs and the game of life have much in common.

Yesterday I had my second private voice over session. It was difficult because now we’re getting into finer details. My coach and I are no longer okay with good reads. We want great reads. Out of this world reads. We want winners that are going to help me nail jobs, no matter what genre they fall into, the first time out of the gate. To quote Our Town, we want it to sound “like silk off a spool”.

The best way to get there is to listen. I give a read, I listen to it, my coach asks me how I did, and I tell him. Honestly, I hate hearing myself. I want to run out of the room, or at the very least stick my fingers in my ears while screaming “la la la la la, I can’t hear you.” But that won’t help. What will help is taking a read for what it is, and trying to make it better. Over and over and over again.

Voice over is an art where perfect is a moving target. Each piece is unique and the same. It’s difficult and easy. It’s flat and cool while also being easy and breezy. It’s a smile and a serious tone. It’s a mess – there are no iron-clad rules, except when there are. Maybe. Can you hear the tracks I’m laying down? The art of voice overs. The art of life. They are the same. And the only way we learn is to listen.