Art Is Never finished… Only Abandoned — Leonardo da Vinci


 

It’s been a while since I opened up my blog page. I’ve missed writing here and checking in with you guys. Though I have been writing. I kind of got a new spark and have slowly been re-editing my book. I’ve lost count which time this would be. But I feel good about it. And now I am grateful that I didn’t try to publish it with all of the things that I have since changed and continue to rewrite still in it! As for the rest of the time, I’ve been getting ready for shows and restocking a little cozy booth I have at a store in town, called Reminisce. And working 12 hours a day doing it!  NOW that I am seriously attempting to make this what I want to do until I die!

Once upon a time, when someone asked me what I did, I would say that I was an Artist. And I was and always have been. In my heart. If you know my story, I worked as an Artist for over a dozen years and then moved to a small town in Paso Robles and opened up a little gift shop called Rose In The Woods which was supposed to mean “A thing of beauty in an unexpected place.” It was a favorite of the locals and tourists and was doing extremely well for a few years until an earthquake demolished it. (You can find the rest of the story in the ABOUT section of my blog. https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/a-thing-of-beauty-in-an-unexpectd-place/) But that is not what I want to talk about now, I just wanted to explain why for a while my  title was not “Artist” but Event Coordinator. And that was great. I learned a lot and had an amazing boss that has turned into a “forever friend.” But in my heart I always knew that there were more cards and dolls inside of me.

My husband built me a cozy little Art studio in our garage and created displays for me and has driven back and forth following me to Southern Californ to help me set up. And I do an amazing show that is still going strong called Sugarplum Festivals in Buena Park. I started doing that show almost 30 years ago and it is one of the largest family owned Arts & Crafts Show in California. With over 12 cash registers and a few hundred Artists, they have built an empire! The last show, A February show (mind you!) had customers wrapped around the building waiting to get in! They know how to Market their shows! They welcomed me back with open arms when I first approached them about trying a few shows again and each show I am learning new things. I think I could write a book on the dos and don’ts of doing shows.

But for now, I just kind of wanted to share a little of where I’ve been when not blogging!

 

My cozy little booth at Reminise in the heart of downtown in Paso Robles CcA. And when I’m not there, I am traveling to Sugarplum in Southern CA….

When you are traveling to do shows and have to be there by 9AM there are some perks to the challenge of getting up early to drive the four + hours to be there on time. That’s actually my sweet husband ahead of me, loaded up with half of my stuff.

This is what my booth looks like before I set up. I used to do this with no help at all. I’ve gotten so spoiled lately. Though I am trying to start doing it on my own again, just to see if I can since my sweet husband may be busier in the near future!

This was all set up

This was towards the end of the show! Blessed to take a lot less home! Gotta love me some of that Sugarplum!

My new line for 2019… My Antique Dolls and  if you notice my Shower Doll… Funny story, I was stuffing her and the stuffing got stuck in the middle and so I just went with it! So my new pregnant Shower girls are part of my line for this year!

Some of my cards out of my line… with a brand new line being introduced this year!

Thank you for taking the jouney with me. I am excited to see what this year holds for me! I am  definitely not ready to give up. I am praying that this year brings me enough success so that I can say that “I make a living” doing it!

Please visit my Etsy shop at dianeonawhim.etsy.com

and Sugarplumfestivals.com

(My mom creating when I was little)

I just lost my mom almost two years ago. She was a children’s artist during my whole childhood. I’d like to think that I am continuing her legacy!

Thanks for tagging along!

xoxo

Diane

 

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Like Blowing Bubbles


big bubble

It’s been a while since I’ve written and even longer since I’ve worked on “my book.”  It’s funny. Once, I couldn’t “not” write. Now, I am not in a major writing block but I don’t want to just write to write. I have fleeting moments when I want to share something but if I don’t move on it right away, it kind of goes away like blowing bubbles… they are there floating around and then POP! Maybe it is because my study is out there with my art studio now. I have to walk outside, unlock a door and turn on a light and warm the place up before I can begin, where once I just walked to my office inside the house. Or… Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and my ideas in my head don’t last as long. Smile.

But in the time I’ve been away from my blog, I have a few things that have happened in life that I would like to share if you would care to pull up a chair for a while and chat with me…

In dreams… I’ve learned that you have to believe in yourself. and you have to become fearless in doing it. Even when you feel you are wasting time, or doubts crowd in so you can’t see the whole picture, you have to realize that dreaming is a form of planning and that nothing worth while ever just happens. Hard work and persistence is the only way you reach your goals. You must run toward your dreams as if you were on fire! And believe that you are never too old to set another goal and another, to reach that ultimate place that you want to be. The trick is… to realize that there is no expiration date on your dream. It is terrifying at times, when reality gets in the way and you have to make the choice to stay stuck in your comfort zone or go for it.

In relationships I’ve learned that love is a funny thing.  It isn’t just about that “all wrapped up in a butterflies in your stomach, over the top Ferris Wheel, falling in love kind of feeling. It is leaning on each other in the good and the bad times. Growing older but still seeing the beauty in staying. It’s still having a few fights but not wanting to pack your bags every time you do. It’s caring about each other with unselfish fortitude and doing things the other wants to do and giving freedom without guilt trips when they want to go do something without you. It is supporting their dreams and getting behind ourselves. And realizing that a supportive spouse is about as HOT as it can gets! And it is wanting to be together while sometimes doing nothing at all. And it is appreciating things in each other that you may have missed along the way. Things that have always been right at the core of why you’ve stayed.

I’ve learned that our kids are small for such a short time. That in the blink of an eye, they will be adults with thoughts and opinions of their own. That we have a tiny window to insert the values that we want them to carry with them. That they learn by not our words, but by our actions. Not by what we tell them, but what we show them. And in the end, it is their choice what to take with them and how well we packed those metaphoric suitcases for them.

I’ve learned that life is short. Time is fleeting. Love is more than a feeling. And only we can choose who we want to be. God has given us all free choice. In believing in HIM and believing in ourselves. I know people in my life who have given up on both. And I have learned through all my choices… never to give up on God or myself or the people I love and that everything is worth it in the end.

Now if you’ll excuse me… I’ve gotta get back to work!

my-studio

(My new art studio/study my hubby made for me!)

abcgarage saws

My garage workshop my husband also set up for me!

abc scarecrows at reminisce

(A start…. My Welcome Folk… Porch Dolls)

Or did you just know?


book shelves in library

What comes first, the reader or the writer? For me, first being read to, and then reading, inspired me to write. It made me think at a very young age,” I can do that.” Or perhaps, I want to do that. I know others do it better. And yet, when we do something well, we just know. A dancer, a singer, a baseball player or an actor. We may have encouragement from parents or teachers and adults prompting us to hone our craft. But it is something more, there is just something inside of each of us when we have found that one thing we want to improve on without anyone telling us to.

It is funny, I remember in about second and third grade, grasping the concept of writing and my favorite authors that inspired me to want to do it too. Roland Dahl, Beverly Cleary, Ray Bradbury and C.S. Lewis, just to name a few.  I know that as an adult, I now have my accrual of favorites and I know that they are both similar and different than my style and that I am always aiming for improving and use them as a sort of an archetype. A model of sorts to sharpen my own skills by their style of writing and their formulas.

When I knew that I could write poetry, or could write verses and rhyme sentences, I studied the greats and it wasn’t as black and white as a certain genre such as Fiction or non-fiction. Poetry is an entirely different concept. I have always loved T.S. Elliot and Of course, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who intrigued me when I’d heard she was an ancestor. Whether or not, I ever have proof of that, just learning that, I think helped to inspire me and for me to feel as if talent might be inherited and hopefully a few blood cells found their way into my bloodline!

Every once and a while don’t you just stop and wonder, why am I doing this? Why can’t I not do this? When did I ever come up with this concept that I might have something worthy of sharing? Do you remember when you first had the notion? Was it some encouraging word from someone else, or did you just know?

Most of my poetry is very Hallmark-ish I always loved Hellen Steiner Rice and I think I tend to count cadence and beats and rhyme accordingly. I am trying not to rhyme. To  dig deep and attempt new things.

Below is a brand new style for me. Not sure I am there yet… It is dark, always dark lately. And very random, no cadence, no formula. I will write a happier one tomorrow! It’s so hard not to rhyme!!!! Not good at not doing that yet! (this is just what came out of me this morning…  I think sometimes, whatever rises up is what needs to be shared… maybe for someone else somewhere…)

On The Brim

cliff girl looking down

as I smell the storm passing

trying to escape where I’ve been

the rain fights with the fog

the storm wins

broken glass eye

it’s hard to see

behind the pain

barely holding on

as it rains

the clutter in my head

crashes in

pieces of glass stare back at me

broken glass3

shattered on the floor

as each finger lets go.

cliff stepping off

Diane Reed

2016

We are the Authors of our stories!


diary writing

A blank page has always inspired me. I remember as a young girl, receiving a new diary with a key and a lock. I remember the feeling of anticipation and hope. It was as if someone gave me the power of my own destiny. And metaphorically speaking, we each are given that. I feel a little sad that we have gone so electronic and our world has become so “techie” because I still feel that there is something special about opening up an empty book filled with blank pages and writing about our aspirations there. I guess you could do that with the blank page on a Word Document on a computer and even make a file and title it “My Diary” or “My Journal” but there is still just something about seeing your own handwriting and how it changes as your life does.

diary gram's

I have found journals from my past and it has been a gift to go back and read where I once was. And hopefully to see how far I have come. When my grandma died, the only thing that I wanted was her diary. It was this green little leather bound five year kind, that she kept when she was 16 through meeting my grandpa and ending with having my mom!

journals

One of my standard gifts has always been empty books. Especially to young people. I’ve told my kids that their lives are like empty books and every day they write a new page. It is up to them how their stories turn out. We are the authors of our stories. And I’ve encouraged those in their twenties that seem to be stuck, to go out and WRITE their stories. I can name three off of the top of my head that had their cosmetology licenses or a degree and stayed stuck making minimum wage because they were comfortable where they were. I nagged them to take that last exam that would give them wings to fly from the nest. And watching them soar, made me think…

choice quot3e

I finally had to admit that I’ve kind of been stuck myself, thinking that it was too late for me. Feeling very comfortable in how well I knew my job, I didn’t want to have to go out and re-learn something. Heck, I don’t even like to read instructions or have to learn a new game. Talk about being stuck. I felt that my pages had all been written on. And that I was too old to begin again. And I was feeling very beaten down as I battled the storm. Finally realizing that I was NOT alone! God and me had this one!

lighthouse

Though the wind hadn’t just gone out of my sail, it had been SUCKED out! I began to realize that I could make my own wind! I was the author of my story and it was NOT over! And so with a lot of prayer, I forged the storm and moved on!

suitcasess

I kind of feel as if I have begun writing in a new empty book as I begin my new job. I am the author. The job has been created just for me! It is a new venture for my company and I am pretty sure that everyone is rooting for me. I love my team and the people I work with. And I intend to write a BEST SELLER! How about you? I’d love to hear about your “COME BACK” stories!

strength quote

Happy NEW Year Everyone! Happy NEW story, happy new life! God bless you all!

Even Flowers Can Break Through The Sidewalk!


strength quote

Have you ever felt just a step away from everything? Almost as if when you try to walk, there is an invisible membrane snapping you back, so you just don’t ever quite get to where you are going? Today I feel as if I have figured out how to break that membrane and keep walking. Getting older may not be all it’s cracked up to be, but there is something to be said for experience and that with it, comes wisdom. Unless you are pretty dense, after a half a century, we all have something of value to contribute to the pot.

I had my day when I owned my own business, did my own accounting, booked my own shows and found the best sources for supplies. I created a brand and a trademark that was  unique and had a  loyal customer following.

craft show

 Later, I opened up a store, and we teamed up with my in-laws to create a pretty successful little inity all of its own. I did the display and buying, the hiring and managing of the employees and in its own right, it was a favorite in our little town. Until… of course, the earthquake that happened this month, eleven years ago.

Rose In The Woods after earthquake

I guess as the “anniversary of that date” grows closer, it has made me reflect on all the things that have come in-between, and made me take a personal inventory. Sure, I worked for other people in my younger years. I was a Dental Assistant, and a preschool teacher, I taught Aphasic children, and for a while, thought I might go into Speech Pathology. I worked in a hospital as a Unit Secretary in the Psychiatric Dept. in Southern California and then later, became a counselor for the adolescent unit. (Probably my favorite job to date!) I remained there for several years. But as insurances changed, that department kind of fizzled out and the unit became more geriatrics, which in turn meant more medical duties, which was just not my thing. Though I admire everyone else who does it!

I left the hospital and got a job working in an Orthapedic Surgeon’s office. Again too medical and that job was short lived and not my thing. And then I found a position at a lighting company that kind of changed my perspective on business ethics and during that time, became pregnant with my daughter. It was a highly stressful job and having a history of miscarriages, I was not going to chance it and so left  there, praying that I could find a way to NEVER work “for” anyone ever again. Thus was the birthing of my ART Business. And for over twenty years, I didn’t.

After the earthquake, I had to work. There was just no question about it. During the store, my time was so monopolized by the business that my own business suffered greatly just in devoting all my time trying to make the store successful and I had to take a hiatus from all my shows. My art studio became more of a storage place and those doors were closed shut.

messy art studio5

When I began even considering the possibility that I might have to brush off a resume and figure out what my talents were, I was at a loss. I guess I never really considered what I brought to the table.artist studio

The bottom line is, I had to get a job, I got one, stayed there for almost a decade. The first part of that decade, I learned a lot and was being groomed for better things. The economy changed, the higher salaried people were eliminated, and I was moved to another division of the company. My boss left and so did my opportunities for the  most part. I think I just stayed stuck. For too long! But now, that same boss that taught me everything I knew in my old job… has offered me a new job and I am loving it. Funny, working for the same person, has me at an amazing advantage. I appreciate her more now. I basically “GET” her now. Her methods of madness actually make more sense than they did a decade ago. And I am loving my job! A job working for someone else! Go figure!

I guess my point is that it’s never too late and you must never give up. Even flowers can break through the sidewalk!

rose_sticking_out_of_sidewalk_u12350465

It’s a Hard Knock Life, but the sun IS gonna come out tomorrow!


girl at a new door out in field

 Transition is a place that we move from, after being stuck. A few words that come to mind are change, evolution, conversion, shift, move, switch, altercation, modification. Just a few synonyms that explain a little of how I am feeling right now. I’m not going to waste time on talking about where I’ve been. That would not be proactive, and I think that the words I just shared are words moving me forward and so as I climb out of the rut I’ve been in for oh so very long, I don’t leave it without a decade of education. Life has peaks and valleys, and if you don’t miss the stream of knowledge that trickles through, you will have gained more and learned more than any degree could ever offer. I have learned a lot. As ANNIE said, “It’s a hard knock life.” But the sun is gonna come out tomorrow!

valleys

And in honor of my blog’s title (THE ONE THING I KNOW FOR SURE) and the fact that this is my 300th post, I will add another few from my list of things that I know for sure…

It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you. It doesn’t matter what happened in your childhood, or how great or horrible your parents were, (GET OVER IT already!) <<< I hate when people have said that to me, and I could probably write a whole post on the subject, but really we need to move on!) it doesn’t matter if you have made a ton of mistakes or if you have no money or a pile of it, it doesn’t matter if you are popular or if you feel that the whole world is against you. What really matters is what you REALLY believe about you. With all the other junk aside, what do you KNOW about who you really and truly are? There comes a time when you finally learn to NOT care what anyone else thinks, if you truly know you have done your best, if you have good work ethics and value others, if you know your heart is in the right place.

And well, if you have true character….

No one can take that away from you. Not your parents, nor your friends, not your kids, or coworkers, not your spouse or your boss, NO ONE knows your true value more than you. Except of course God and He values you more than even you value yourself. But my point is… that there comes a time in life when you know you are worth more than someone else is valuing your worth and only you can change that. Whether it is a significant other, a family member, a boss, a teacher, a coworker, or a friend… The operative word here is… TRANSITION. Ya gotta have one! One step at a time, putting one foot in front of the other… gets you out of where you are stuck and moving on!!!!! There was a movie in the seventies where the guy shouts out his window, how he’s not going to take it anymore! Well, neither am I. And it’s about time that I figured out that…. Only YOU can STOP the BS in your life!!!!!

Sure….It is a hard knock life sometimes, it’s unfair and people can be judgmental or just plain mean, and crap happens. And not everyone is going to toot your horn, or admire you. Not everyone is going to love you or see your value. And that’s okay. Because when you finally “GET it” and understand that you are valuable and worthy and can shine even in the most dismal places and maybe even change someone for the better but if you don’t and they are unmoving, it is so freeing to really and truly be able to say… “You know what? I don’t really care.” And truly mean it. You can stay in the pits and teach, you can get down in the fox holes and help others have faith. You can stick it out through the thick of things and it will be okay. Unless you are in a place of constant scrutiny, negativity and judgment and you lose faith in yourself, then you need to change, to step out and away and know that you are worthy and no matter where you are, the sun is always going to come out tomorrow!

vineyard

It may take a life time to understand

And yet the two go hand in hand

Poise and honor style and ease

Come in stages if you please.

 

Life has a funny way of teaching

those that merit the toil of reaching

they shine long after their words are but a ghost

for, they’re  the ones we’ll remember most.

Diane Reed

 ©2014

 I just realized that this was my 300th post half-way through writing this! I knew it was coming… and I really wanted to write something uplifting. But perhaps this is aprapos.I mean, I have stuck it out… who knows what I have had to say three hundred times. LOL. But I have tried to have a redeeming message through out and so maybe it is about time we started to toot our own horns without feeling dumb! Excuse me while I go find the nearest mountain top to blow mine! 🙂

mountain top

After That…. She was HOOKED


woman writing at keyboard

She originally started her blog to write the outline of her book. At first, she wasn’t going to share it. She was just going to use it as a place to store the rough draft and some of her ideas.

library shelves

 

Not being too technically inclined or really knowing how to set up blogs or sites, it took her the best part of a morning but she finally created what she thought, was a private place where she would be the only reader. Though she still “tagged” each new post as she was prompted to, and for a while, she would just write and publish what she’d written, never imagining anyone else was ever reading it. Until one day she got a LIKE and then the next day another, and still the next day two more.

like thumb She thought to herself that she needed to go back into the part of the blog where she set up her profile and make it private because she wasn’t sure she wanted anyone reading such rough and raw ramblings she’d started compiling there. But each time that she’d sign on, she’d be so excited about some new thought she wanted to get down before she lost it, that she kept forgetting about going into the technical side of things to fix the settings.

wordpress wrench

 

And then one day she published a poem and got eleven LIKES and four people who’d actually clicked FOLLOW and a few comments. One reader told her that it had made her cry and thanked her for writing it. After that, she was hooked.

blog readers

Hey Everyone,

Just checking IN!!!! I am on a roll. I have been editing everything and think I have an ending to my book.

“THIS” is an excerpt from my book but it made me think of you guys!

I didn’t want you all to think that I haven’t been thinking about you guys. Also, I have been reading your blogs faithfully but if I am on my phone for some reason, it keeps saying “LOADING” so I can never LIKE things and if I am at work, can’t really take the time to comment like I’d like to. And then when I go home to my laptop, I am writing my book… Soooooo just wanted to stop by and explain and tell you guys I am still here working away and will eventually be back again!

Have a good weekend!

xoxo

me

The Scent Of Words


library reading on the floor

I knew at a very young age that I had words and stories locked inside of me. In Elementary school my teachers noticed that I could write. But not until High School did one particular teacher actually take me under her wing and offer me Independent Writing classes.  I think that most writers can tell you when they knew they had that light bulb moment when they wrote  something special or different that set them apart from the rest of the other kids in the class. Like an artist who paints their first masterpiece or the singer that sings a song that takes someone’s breath away. Or a comedian that makes you laugh until you cry, and the dancer that makes people stop and really watch till the end.

ballerina

When I was in elementary school I loved to write for me but when I was in college, I put my amature talents to use and totally BS-ed my way through my Sociology class with my essays. I had no idea what I was talking about! But I received this comment on one of my most blatantly ramblings….                                       “100! If I could give you more, I would! Brilliant!” Okay, now I am coming clean. Like I said….I really, truly had NO idea what I was talking about! I just took the question and re-wrote it a bunch of different ways. But I knew then I could possibly fake it and so I did.

catalog card index

Today, I have a much more humbled outlook. I mean, in fifth grade there aren’t a lot of kids that love to really write. I was a different kind of fish in a small pond that stood out a bit because of just that. But in the bigger world, there are trillions of great writers in a much bigger pond. I am just one of many that likes the same bait.

Dr. Suess

The world has changed a bit also. When I was assigned to write those reports that we all remember. Remember those STATE reports? Didn’t we all have one assigned to us before we reached Junior High?  I’d spend hours at our local library, pulling out drawers filled with information, clinking dimes into a copy machine copying pictures in books for those reports.

copy machine

Now kids today can find it all on line. It makes me dizzy just how far we have advanced but  in the same breath, I am kind of sad that our kids will never experience pulling out a library catalog  drawer filled with index cards with  information on them. But though their computer knowledge will always far suprass mine,  there is still something to walking into a library and smelling the leather bound books with words pressed on pages, and being able to walk to a certain section of the library, finding the shelf, and  pulling down an actual book and breathing in the scent of words.

smelling the books girl

Just a VESSEL


I am but a vessel

that houses who I am

soul

A symbol of the outside

where inside my soul lands

jumping in his arms

I’ll only love you if I really do

breaking up

won’t fake it if I don’t

holding hands over ears

my ears have believed

a thousand lies

closed eyes2

but my eyes…

well, they just won’t.

woman at the mirror

seems as if I’ve spent a lifetime

being someone

everyone wished I’d be

fake people quote

but suddenly

I’ve become

the most authentic

part of me!

my portfolio from the seventies

Diane Reed

2013

Lately, I have done a lot of soul searching. Who are we really? I will tell you what I think. We are not the vessel we are wrapped up in. That is just a shell that carries us through out our journey. We are what is inside the package. A bunch of memories, joys, and tears, triumphs and mistakes, goals and dreams. A heart and soul and series of lessons learned. It is not what is on the outside at all. That is just our shell. It has nothing to do with what is truly important.  In the end, what we leave behind is not the body we lived in… but the messages we believed in…. The faith we have shared, the authenticity we have learned to finally be comfortable in and accept nothing less.

Sure in the end….when people think of us… they will probably picture that vessel but it is what it carried that will really matter.

In The Broken Pieces


praying man in pew with bible

Broken by the world, surprised by their angry words

I stand before you Lord, so tired in this world.

Weary and battered, by those I once called “my friends”

please take these broken pieces I now  hold within my hands…

praying bible

You find me on my knees as I begin to ask

Just how much longer you think that I can last…

praying man at sunset

And then I realize YOU’RE  the one who truly knows

the sting in the world’s curses and it’s flailing blows,

and so  I begin to let go, laying everything at your feet

Falling on my face, I know you see the real me.

Jesus answers prayer

As I realize it’s all just a speck in time

and it’s really about the piece of YOU that I leave behind!!!

Jesus' face in the clouds

Soooo Lord~

Jesus comforting man

Guide me as I talk, let your words be ones I choose

For YOU know today this mountain must be moved.

mountain

As I form the sentences let them come from YOU…

Filled with strength and grace and only what is true.

praying man with hand lifted

As I walk in faith, let me find YOU in every choice

And as I seek your will today, let them hear YOUR voice.

Jesus at a business meeting

Take these broken pieces Lord, for they don’t belong to me!

Remind me that in their “brokeness” YOU have the victory!

mustard seed

Diane Reed

2013

A writer writes….


girl writing in window

A writer writes…

because she has to.

typewriter

We are different.

praying on knees

We feel things differently.

Worship by sunset

Others who  hurt and feel joy,

just hurt and feel joy.

we need to write about it

WRITER BLACK AND WHITE

and relive it with every word.

letting go diary

We invite our shadow of experience

shadow kissing

to follow us and whisper words

that can only be found inside our heart…

writing a blog

The one thing that holds the pen to the stories we have to tell!

Diane Reed

2013

I have been on a break… working a lot and exhausted emotionally and physically! I heard something today that inspired this~

When an actor was describing why they act. A student was asking him if he ever got stuck. He went on to say that sometimes he is in a middle of a scene or an assignment and it just flows and other times it just doesn’t. The seasoned actor smiled and replied. If it worked everytime, everyone could do it. WHEN it works is what makes it special.

I loved that!

Have a great day!

Finding Diane


Soooo remember that song that I was trying to write the lyrics to? A while back a musician friend of mine, Jim

http://nostolencatpictures.com/2013/03/31/music-theory-0031/

  wrote a melody, indicating that he was inspired by the chapters from my book (Pieces of the circle) that I am writing and shared some chapters here. He titled the piece Finding Diane and basically told me that it might  be therapy for me to come up with the words. HOW long has it taken me?

https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/finding-diane/

I think we started in February.  I must say that it has been quite a project. If you have followed me at all… you may have gone to my friend Jim’s archives (above) and listened to the melody. It is epic! I have come up with several lines via original poems that I have posted here separately. I wanted to see how it flowed if I put them all together. So that is what I have done here today.  The cadence is off a bit in a few areas because they were written as separate poems, but it surprised me just how well 3 separate individual attempts seemed to all flow together. I  have left out the pictures which have sort of become my trademark to enhance the words I write. (Though if you want to read them with pictures they are listed all separately in my archives.) Though the poems do sound better separately, it surprised me how they worked together.

Anyway, I don’t expect him to finish our song anytime soon since he is a teacher and has other projects going but he was right. It was therapy and so I title this Finding Diane. If nothing else… the title is coming true!

The song will not require as many lines as are here (way more than he needs) he will need to cut out words here and there and only take the lines that will work… but at least I have given him something to play with for now. I finally feel found!

Well maybe one picture…..

Worship by sunset

I hear a song and my heart flies away,

I want to snatch it back for it’s gone to yesterday.

The melody wraps around my heart,

though in my head I keep playing the part.

No one can know the pain that I feel,

over a fantasy now, that seems unreal.

And so I pretend that nothing is wrong,

as I try to block out the tune in our song.

But the melody lingers as I push replay,

and wander back into my heart still there, in yesterday.

I dance in the flames as I fall into step

trying to miss the places that made you upset.

The memories make me jump higher and higher,

I feel the sting as I dance past the fire.

The tears bring back the pain that I’d put away,

spinning back into the melody of yesterday.

Like a butterfly trapped, still inside its cocoon,

I dance through my mind running from each room.

As I close the door, where you live in my mind,

I find the part of me that I left behind.

Just like a jewelry box dancer trapped in a box

my heart is inside with the key and its lock.

I had to come back to this place, always heard whispering in my ear…

Oh little girl, somehow I knew I’d still find you here.

Among the memories waiting, wondering if I was coming back

to find the child I left long ago forgotten in my past.

I gather you up and hold you close as we walk through the rooms of our soul,

pieces of you and me once broken, healing and becoming whole.

Looking inside from the child within, I see all the pain you must feel.

Knowing that we must tend to each wound before we truly begin to heal.

We walk through the lonely places that once held our yesterdays

Oh how I wished I’d protected you in so many different ways.

And yet I know that through the hurting, we’ve gained strength in what we’ve learned.

In all the lessons remembered, in all the times once burned,

in every tear we ever cried, and every broken heart,

in every time we were in a crowd, and felt a million miles apart.

we built the walls around our heart and “they” never saw us cry.

We learned that fighting to survive was what we had to do

and so I lost the biggest part of me the day when I lost you.

It’s hard to face the ugly truth and really look inside,

to know I left you all alone, living with the hurts and lies.

You were the child inside of me and I failed you the most,

in the mistakes I made along the way, in the different paths I chose.

But I’ve come back to find you, to finally bring you home.

So that together we can learn to live and never be alone!

I want to find the kid inside, and heal the pain we knew.

I want to learn to love the me, that I forgot to love in you!

And so as I pack up all your things, I have hope in what will be…

As I learn to love you more…

Cuzzzz after all you’re ME!

Diane Reed

2013

                                                                                                          (Hey and Jim try to look past the punctuation errors! LOL)


This is my Musician friend’s blog who surprised me with a melody attached to my book I am still in the process of finishing. At first I wasn’t so sure what he was all about… He is very honest, sometimes painfully so… He came in the backdoor and critiqued my posts from the beginning to almost the end. (I have almost 200 so gotta give the guy a lot of credit and a little break! Smile.) He praised some and constructively shredded others. And oh how I have learned. Some kicking and screaming but I mean when someone just reads one post, it is validating! But several at a time, commenting on each and every one, well that feels amazing! Even when he challenged me to do better! Anywaaay~ now I am positive I have found my very own Mr. Holland! (Remember Mr. Holland’s Opus?)
I don’t think he gets enough recognition for his talent so just wanted to share his blog with you.

No Stolen Cat Pictures

Luddite: a person opposed to increased industrialization or new technology: a small-minded Luddite resisting progress.

DVDPicI try to stay current on technology and how it can benefit me. Before 2006 I had ripped all my audio CDs into digital files and while living in Thailand I gave those physical optical disks away. Why do I need them when I have all the quality and contents in one folder of one drive? Similarly I handled my DVDs of movies, ripping them to standalone computer files and discarding the disks. Years later, very recently, Apple Computer is once again leading the industry in eliminating optical drives from their computers; first they lead the charge to smaller hard-shelled floppy drives, then to optical drives, and finally to getting rid of these optical drives altogether declaring them irrelevant.

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Why Blog?


blog defined

Why Blog? Lately, I have been asked this question by a handful of people and have run into it in a few Q & A writer’s forums.  Are they just curious?Why do I feel as if I need to “defend”  the time I spend on my blog?  It has made me ponder my own reasons for being here. I recently read about a writer who has come to the conclusion that her little projects including blogging do not take away from her “main” project at hand but enhance it. I also feel that each piece we write, regardless of the feedback we may or may not get, can strengthen our final results. Since each time we write, we are exercising our writer’s muscles, toning and working toward that final goal.

sit ups

With all that being said,  I  still wonder if I am procrastinating, Am I not finishing my book by being here? I have this urge to stomp my foot and say; “But I like it here and I don’t want to leave!”  I value what you have to say and have to admit that there is great affirmation knowing that talented writers like you guys have taken the time to read my ramblings and in turn, also find value in them! In the beginning, it amazed me that even one person was interested enough to come by to read what I wrote.  Now it inspires me to know that I am building my audience and that I might say something helpful or inspirational to just one person is enough. One at a time is fine with me.

blog readerssss

My readers…. Smile

Some of us who have seen Julia & Julia can relate where she begins her blog and her following of readers progress. I have been there. Haven’t you? Where someone begins to follow you because they like your writing. They see something worth following. It is quite validating. Writing connects us. When someone says; :”You took what was inside my head and made it come to life.” Well, does it get any better? It is addicting.

blogging door

I know that if we had a Writer’s Group on Thursday nights at a local coffee-house, I would look forward to each meeting with all of you! In the meantime, I love our connection and have learned so much from you, and your feedback here and reading your blogs as well. For instance, Paul took the time to edit a couple of my “chapters” when I posted my very rough draft versions from my book here. He pointed out that I insert the word: HAD a lot. I am slowly re-editing a chapter at a time and totally see how I do that and how taking that one word out, does not detract from anything at all! In fact, it polishes it! I have another friend who has basically gone through the backdoor of my blog and read every post from the beginning. Talk about affirming.

I have been inspired by each of your blogs, regardless of gender or age! Your notes of encouragment as you have read faithfully what I write can’t be duplicated. Just knowing that you feel that my blog is worth your time is like a piece of chocolate cake without the calories!

reading comp manreading compreading computer2

In my imagination, we are all sitting in our circle of writer/blogger friends sharing and connecting, encouraging and editing. That is why I blog! How about you guys? I’d love to hear about your reasons. Welcome to our first Thursday night Bloggers Circle… who would like to be the first to share?

writer'

Would Anyone Read This? Chapter One….


This is Chapter one of my book…  A few days ago, I posted a blog titled: Would You Read This? 

It was the introduction  to a book I have been writing for the last 3 years. This is the next chapter.

I would love feedback. I KNOW I need a lot of editing but would love people who like to read to give me there honest opinion…  And from professionals who could tell me…if I have something that publishers are even looking for.

Chapter Two begins with the sixteen year old girl… I am stuck  at the ending… the place where Keri is older and has been found again but for now here is chapter one…

 

Chapter One

It was a rainy Saturday afternoon; the kind that seems to still have one foot in winter and the other, in spring, the kind Keri knew made her fifteen year old daughter Brynne very lazy. But affected Keri in a totally different way…Keri’s husband Tim was away at work and so she decided that it was the perfect day to talk her daughter, into getting a head start on some spring cleaning. She had spoken to Tim about cleaning out the attic and making it into a study to write in. She had decided to revive her dream to write. An aspiration she had put on the back burner for a very long time. Tim had thought that it was a wonderful idea and told her that he could even build a little loft in their garage to store the boxes that were left after cleaning out the attic.

Inspired by the thought of moving closer to her dream, Keri put a roast in the oven and headed up to Brynne’s room, after a little coaxing, Brynne reluctantly crawled out from under her warm down comforter and followed her mom up the attic stairs. Soon they were laughing and chatting as the rain tapped against the roof above them as they got caught up in all the memories.

Brynne began pulling out old toys and clothes and books from trunks and boxes that had since been long forgotten. She had gotten caught up in looking at some old color forms and books when Keri had reached down into the bottom of one of the trunks and found the little diary. She recognized it at once. The lock still latched, she clicked the little button and felt for its release. It unlocked easily but for some reason she froze. She did not immediately open it. Keri stood up and frowned as she looked out the large picture window at the top of the trees swaying in the storm. The rain had started the night before and remained steady. She could see the little brook below and saw that it had filled. She felt warm and cozy and comfortable inside the warmth of the attic and imagined herself looking out the same window someday, as she sat at her desk and wrote.

The smell of the roast wafted up the stairs prompting Keri to go check on it. Promising a quick return, she left her daughter still sorting through boxes. She had fully intended to just check the roast and go right back up to encourage Brynne into getting rid of half the treasures she had stored up there over the years but Brynne had gotten caught up in her own little journey down memory lane and the whole project seemed to have turned into an all day event. Keri smiled; picturing Brynne in the pile she had left her in as she gently closed the oven door and wiped her hands on the kitchen towel. She turned to go back up and then remembered that she had brought down the diary she had found, and went over and picked it up from the counter feeling slightly unsettled.

She walked into the living room and poked at the fire in the fireplace, and then sitting down, she opened the book. Things that she had not thought about for a long time consumed her in an instant. Every word on every page snapped her back to another time in her life. She felt as if she had been given a time capsule, opening up such sweet but sometimes painful memories immobilized her as she turned each page. She remembered writing the words and the way she felt when she had written them.  The memory of that young girl seemed to take on a life all of its own, as if she were reading about a fictional character and yet the memories those words triggered within her caused her to want to go and find that girl again, to somehow get her and bring her home.

Keri pulled a fuzzy throw over her legs as she read. Every page she turned seemed like opening up an old door and peeking inside. The love and pain and memories consumed her as the glow of the fire filled the room and the sound of the rain hitting the roof seemed to be lost in the background as she continued to read the words she had written a lifetime ago.

She hadn’t noticed how much time had gone by until she heard her daughter padding down the attic stairs. “What’s that?” Her daughter asked walking into the room, finding her mother deep into whatever it was that she was reading. Keri looked up and smiled. Brynne was puzzled. She had been lost herself in a magical mood of her own as she had pulled out old dolls and stuffed animals that had sent her back to another time. Brynne had fully expected to find her mom in the kitchen or watching T. Her mom always had the TV on for background company, even if she wasn’t watching it. But today, she sat by the fire in silence with a book. “Have you been crying?” Brynne frowned, sounding slightly concerned as she sat down next to her mom eyeing her with a look of uncertainty. She wondered what had caught her interest in such a way to have stopped her day like this. Looking amused at catching her daughter’s interest, Keri wiped a tear away and smiled. She was a little surprised with herself, crying over an old diary but the only way she knew how to explain it was to be honest.

Keri had not mentioned the diary when she found it at the bottom of one of her old trunks. She had set it aside with a slight feeling of unease. Not really hiding the little book from her daughter but not really knowing if she even wanted to go there herself.  She thought that she had put all of those feelings away but over the years she had realized that they were not as easily packed away as old things in a trunk might be. Like this diary, they would show up when she least expected, like today. Keri tested the waters by reading a few of the pages aloud to Brynne. After a few minutes, she stopped and looked up to make sure that she had not completely lost her daughter’s interest but noticed that Brynne looked quite captivated.

Inspired by the attention she seemed to have captured, Keri, explained to her daughter…”I started writing this when I was about your age.” Brynne listened interested.

“I was so smitten with the idea of being in love and so boy crazy back then, even though I really was not allowed to officially date until I was sixteen. I hung out with a few boys and then the summer after my birthday I met someone.” Brynne’s interest peaked and she asked, “A boy that was not daddy?” Currently Keri and her husband Tim had been negotiating curfew and dating rules with their daughter and she found this all very interesting to say the least. Picturing her mother with boys when she was her age was a concept Brynne hadn’t broached.  “Yes.” Keri answered, “I met a boy who was not daddy, a boy who changed my life forever.”

A look passed over her mother’s face that Brynne could not read. They had shared a mother and daughter bond that few can boast about, they finished each other’s sentences and usually knew what the other was thinking with very few words. Both Keri’s and Brynne’s friends envied their relationship. And without ever giving it a name, they had been best friends from as far back as either one of them could remember and Brynne felt as if she knew everything about her mom until today. Brynne listened with interest.

Keri wanted her daughter to admire her. She felt as if she had made so many mistakes in her life but had managed to rise above most of them. Brynne had always been so level headed and unaffected by the silliness of young love. When her friends would seem unusually boy crazy, Brynne had always been the one in control. She was a dancer and she would not let anything get in the way of her dream. Least of all, what she called silly romantic drama. Brynne felt she had plenty of time to find the right one and seemed in less of a hurry than her other friends. But even as level headed as her daughter was, she knew that it was only a matter of  time, and it only took one boy to turn her heart upside down. And so she decided to share what she had written.

Keri scanned the pages, realizing that she had not shared any of it with anyone, ever. Her pain had been confined to the privacy of her journals, late at night in her room.  The idea of sharing this part of her life panicked her.  However Keri had always  felt that everyone’s story, good or bad, was worth telling if it could help someone else not make the same mistakes. Especially her daughter. Keri  thoughtfully considered her story and wondered if today might be the day she would share it . Maybe telling Brynne her story would help guide her.

Long before Brynne had even been interested in boys her mother had encouraged her to make a wish list that included the top ten things she would wish for in a husband.  Keri had read the list and then added one more…she told her daughter that if any boy  ever showed any sign of a temper that, that was her cue to run like the wind! Brynne never quite understood why her mom had always been so adamant about that rule but had added it to her list.

Sitting there with her book in her hands, her life’s story literally tucked inside the pages, and her daughter a willing audience  she considered everything. She held the book tight against her chest and looked into her daughter’s eyes filled with questions, with the crackling and popping of the fire raging, she opened the book and said

“I never told you about this part of my life she said.” Maybe it’s time I tell it to you now.

 

Brynne, who was always in a hurry curled her feet up under her and grabbed another throw as she settled in to listen to her mom read. Keri began reading, she read a page and then the next one and paused thinking that Brynne would be bored but Brynne motioned her mom to continue. By the time she was done, the fire had died down to a flicker and more than two hours, maybe more had passed.

Keri closed the book and she looked up and noticed that Brynne was in tears. “Oh mama” she cried, “It is all just so sad.”

Firehosed


Several months ago one of my managers asked me and another co-worker to sit in on a presentation for a new program for the place that I work. Currently the one we use for scheduling our client’s appointments, is pretty much pre-historic. There are a million clicks to get to one particular place, and I am sure that there are many more up to date, user friendly, ones out there. Each time I train a new employee, I realize just how much there is to teach them. When they look overwhelmed, I just tell them, “If >>I<<<< can learn it, ANYONE can! And for some reason they relax. What is that supposed to tell me? lol.  But in watching that presentation for the newer program we were looking at, I have to admit, I felt pretty overwhelmed myself.

The person giving the presentation used a clever term. He said, “Right now, it may seem as if you are being firehosed with information but you will learn it.” Okay so for me and my love for metahpors, I loved that! It describes so much in just that one word!  I have used that term since, when teaching our old system to new employees. Firehosed. Isn’t that good? Doesn’t that describe a whole host of things in our life where new information is concerned?

In This month’s magazine of The Writer there was a great article by Gene Perret http://www.amazon.com/Gene-Perret/e/B000APFQIQ called Write your book in bite-sized chunks http://www.writermag.com/en/The%20Magazine/Current%20Issue.aspx  It really is a great article.  It talks about how no one sits down and writes a whole novel. Everyone goes back and edits, rewrites a thousand times and then a thousand more. Somehow that made me feel better about the four chapters I have waiting for me right beside my almost finished book! ( By the way you guys following me… and know about my 100 post promise to myself,  this one makes 90 posts!)

Garage Sale For My Soul


We tend to hang out with people who make us feel good about ourselves. Recently, I have been very reflective and quite choosey where I spend my time. Lately, work has  been a place that consumes most of that time and I have spent more time than I would like to admit after work, complaining or frustrated about the things that happened while I was there. I know people who are constantly gossiping about other people. Did it never dawn on me that those very people “sharing” with me were not out there “sharing about me” behind my back soon after they left me? What ever would make me believe that I was above being talked about? I guess because I trusted them with my frustrations and thought that I could be REAL.

I have come to the decision that I will not participate in listening or commenting on negative things. I know that it will be a habit that may be hard to break and I may fail until it becomes a habit to just walk away… but I have realized lately, just how much of my time I allow to be consumed with negative things that suck the joy out of my life and then wonder why I am so depressed. I want to begin to see the glass not only half full but spilling over!

I love a good metaphor, and I see it all as a little neighborhood. When you look across the street what do you see?

When someone looks across the street at where you live, what do they see? Do you have pride in ownership in the place where you live?

And I really encourage you to look at yourself rather than thinking this is for someone else.  There is a cute cartoon out where Jesus is explaining about the footprints where he says; “Where there is only one set of foot prints… that is where I carried you, that long groove, that is where I dragged you a while.

I love it! Though I am sad to say I most likely have more grooves than one set of footprints, let alone two!

   I have decided that it is time to be proactive in all areas of my life…..

 time for me to clean out the garage of my soul and try to figure out what I am actually going to put back on the shelves. I want people to see me differently when my garage door is open and everything is all cleaned out!

I want them to pull up a chair and come sit on my porch and know that they are safe there and maybe after sitting there for a spell, they will look out from where they sit and see a different view! And hopefully the guy across the street will too!

I’ve learned that people will forget what you
said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made
them feel.

― Maya
Angelou

Day Interrupted!


Yesterday was my day of rest. The computers went down at work last week and stressful wouldn’t even describe it! I normally never have a Saturday off unless I am going out of town and request it and Sundays have just recently been a normal day off for me. Which never turn out to be, since after church there is always something that comes up.  So I gave strict instructions to my husband to not plan a thing! He always seems to have plans or to say “I told you” about this or that…like don’t you remember that pot luck I signed us up for where you are supposed to make the Main Course?” I told yoooou!!!” Argh!

I took a long shower and then stayed in my pj type clothes all day! My mom scolds me about getting dressed and putting my make up on daily but I say let her try to have the week I had and see if she might give me a hiatus for just one day.

I think I felt guilty starting out. I had looked forward to a day of getting a lot done and yet having nothing at all planned.  I woke up excited for a day off and kind of angry for no reason. I felt like a rubberband, wound up tightly. No one was putting anything on me. I was putting it all on myself. I kind of felt like a cat batting at the wind, just daring anyone to disturb my territory that I had allocated all for me. I puttered for the most part. Caught up with my emails, paid some bills and filed them! And then wrote all day. In the background I played Redeemed about 899 times on my Itunes. (have you heard it?!) I felt so connected to those words. Now the sun is rising and I feel refreshed. I had been so stuck last week. Yesterday,  I started out so tightly wound, wanting to connect with God and yet not allowing anyone in. Protecting my right for nothing to interrupt me that I missed the plans He may have had for me!

Live and learn! My day off was interrupted by ME!!!!!!!!

Flashing Before My Eyes… This Thing Called Life!


I watched as the bus drove away. The year before, I’d insisted that I drive my daughter each way to school. I didn’t trust the bus drivers, or that there were no seatbelts on school busses! We’d moved to the country to give her a better childhood. We lived 12 miles out of town. That meant 12 miles each way, to and from school. What was I thinking?! After the first year, of driving almost 50 miles a day. I succumbed to my daughter’s wish to take the bus. But I enjoyed that first year driving her back and forth. We visited and bonded and talked about everything you could possibly imagine.

I remember commenting on how we couldn’t see cows on our way to school where we used to live and we laughed deciding that they might look out of place on Hawthorne Blvd. On the first day of school, all those years ago,  I argued with myself as I watched her wave as the bus drove out of sight. I knew she would be okay.  She was going into the fifth grade. So funny now when I hear stories of moms putting their kindergartners on the bus, and yet I still  felt as if she was just a baby.  Or maybe I wanted to keep her one for as long as possible because I knew the day would come when she would be driving away in her own car, far, far away from her old mama. Which kind of brings me to my ramblings on this subject. Time does pass us by so fast.

That was years ago. And yes, my baby has since moved four hours away and I am happy for her. In fact, I envy her life. She is right on the edge of new and exciting things just bursting to give birth.  Her life is filled with new pages to fill in books yet to be written, new relationships to be made and dreams to come true.

I remember once when I was nine. The little neighbor boy and I were playing at the beach. Our parents were visiting nearby on the sand in a little area where they had set up camp for the day.  Suddenly a huge wave pulled us out in an area where we could not reach the ground. I remember him grabbing my hand as we struggled to swim under the wave that had overcome us. Coughing and sputtering we looked at each other, amazed we had survived. Still holding hands, we suddenly let go~

I often wonder if he remembers that event. I always will. Our moms are still in touch. I barely think of him except for that time. Funny, what our minds store, isn’t it?

Back in those days, I didn’t have a lot of life to flash before my eyes but since then when I have had those life flashing before me moments, my mind always touches on those few seconds in my life when I knew I was in deep trouble, drowning with the boy across the street, my little friend who grabbed my hand and held on to me for dear life. I have felt that feeling lately. It reminds me of that bus driving away, my life flashing before my eyes, feeling the distance growing as I watched  it drive away with my baby in it, on that day so many years ago. I remember that memory of the near drowning flash through my mind as I was rushing around pregnant, trying to find my son the day he went to the wrong gate. And I remember it when my dad died, when my first husband died. It is something that I can’t make happen, it just does. Like one of those little books you flip through and it animates the drawings. And today I feel the pain of letting go of the past, of trying to grasp the future and hanging on for dear life, as if watching my life flash before my eyes.

Last night we were driving home from a church event, when a car flipped over and down a hill right in front of us. It all happened  in a split second. We live out in the country so it is pitch black except for the head lights. My husband swerved over to avoid the  car that had been in front of us as we all pulled over and stood frozen. My husband called 911 and  said “Someone has got to be dead down there” when in our amazement, we watched a young kid climb up the hill with only a cut on his hand.

I have felt like that in my life, all the way back as far as that drowning experience.   God has been there through all the moments. And last night was just another example. The way it happened, we all could have been killed.  Funny but it happened so fast.. I prayed a quick prayer and somehow I almost expected that kid to pop out of the dark and be okay. And if you follow my ramblings and read my blog… you know what I am talking about as I touch on a few more stories and blessings I have lived through as I think of them all in slow motion, unlike the flash before your eyes moments but blessings that I count daily.

I expected my family to not have been hurt by the earthquake. And I expected my best friend to survive her latest bout with stage four cancer. God is so good. But what about the times, when our prayers aren’t always answered the way we want them to be? Maybe in God’s infinite wisdom, He knows more than we do? Sometimes He answers our prayers the exact way we would like.  And at other times,  Well, I knew my dad was dead before we were officially told, I knew my first husband was going to die when he told me he was sick and somehow I knew he was going to go quick  and it would be on his birthday. Strange and yet, comforting to know that there is so much more to God we can tap into if we really go there. Sometimes I get a quick glimpse of understanding God is controlling things more than I ever imagine. And I could actually be more involved in it all. And then I get in the way and forget to get involved. Kind of like my life. I have been so stuck lately. On my own little island in my own little life.

God is a mystery. Our life is short. Some of us are done sooner than others with what we are given. Some of have longer lessons, some have more to learn, and others have more to teach. I have felt that drowning feeling lately, the life flashing before my eyes, kind of kick me in the butt kind of reminder and I am not going to waste it. Life is flashing before our eyes every single day. I am going to slow down the pages and jump back in the story and stop being stuck somewhere in the middle. I need to reboot and keep moving on.

I know now that I am going to write.

I am going to open up my own empty book and begin a new chapter. I will not waste the life that  God spared in that wave so many years ago. I am going to begin to fill new pages and live this thing called life again!

The Red Knob


Fear is something that we can’t run from. It is something that we must face head on. Some of us try to pretend that it doesn’t exist and some of us, run like hell from it all of our lives. Others tend to run into it head on. There are all kinds of new shows out about it. Fear Factor and extreme “believe it or not” shows that try to up the last outrageous stunt or depending on it’s success, crash! I am not sure where these people come from, but they all have one thing in common, they all need that rush that comes with being afraid. That is why we jump out of airplanes and walk on hot coals and swim with the sharks. They believe that fear is something that they must embrace in order to get that “high” that comes with feeling alive.

In my lifetime, I have taken a few challenges of my own. I have flown a glider without an engine, more than once! I actually have a log book of not only flights I took with an instructor but solo flights where it was just little old me, being pulled up by a power plane and then expected to pull a red knob.

For those of you who have never flown a sail plane, let me explain, on the dashboard, there is a red knob that connects you to the line connected to the power plane. You start out being pulled up by the plane in front of you. Up, up, up. It is a strange feeling. You see the power plane hit turbulence and then you hit it a few seconds later, all as you are rising to the correct altitude. There is a moment and a signal that indicates the exact time when you are supposed to pull that red knob to release the power plane. It is an excruciatingly empowering moment. And yet, it is probably the most afraid I have ever been. How funny, to realize, that even after I experienced that fear, I did it over and over and over again, logging several more solo flights.

I remember the first time that I sat inside that cockpit, only enclosed by a dome of pexi-glass, ready to be pulled up by the plane that would take me to heights I never dreamed I would go, especially without an engine, I wondered what in the world was I thinking! And I remember also thinking “my dad would kill me if he could see me!” And he almost did~ but then he ended up doing it with me! He even went on to take lessons and solo too! And that is a memory I will cherish forever.

I think that flying above the clouds without an engine and having to rely on only myself to get me on the ground is a lot less frightening than what I have been going through the last few years. Sometimes falling in love is scary, and falling out of it is like holding onto that red knob for dear life, in a quick downward spiral. It really doesn’t matter if you hold on to it or not because you have already let go..

But wait, you can recover. They do teach you that. The emergency runway is somewhere down there, you look and see it and then the adrenalin pushes you to new heights. Courage clicks in and all the lessons you learned about recovery and landing take over and you find that being afraid and being brave have nothing  to do with the red knob after all. And relying on just myself? Well I have since realized that I never have to feel afraid again. I never have to pull the red knob or worry about  where I am going to land because, with God as the pilot of that power plane pulling me up, I truly never have to let go..

Hole Fillers


We all have “containers” in life and we all find different ways to fill them. The idea is to fill them with purpose. Things that make our life better. As we fill our containers, the level rises. Just educating ourselves about ourselves begins to plug up those holes that we have made over the years. Some people use people, others use drugs or alcohol or food to fill the holes and what hurts us usually only helps to make our holes bigger.

Spiritual and emotional growth and a whole host of other goals  are all the things that help  fill the holes and raise the level in our containers. It has taken me years to recognize the good and the bad things I use in my own life to raise the level and the task at hand is becoming more aware of the difference which is a work in progress. I know that for me, writing is a huge hole filler.

My book is sitting in a file just a “click” away and I am totally procrastinating by coming here to share my thoughts. I look at it as priming the pump, or perhaps stretching before  a  workout! But I know I need to get back to it. Why am I stuck? Could it be because, I am afraid to finish? If I finished, I would have to submit it. If I submit it, I am vulnerable. I can’t be rejected if I don’t present the question for someone to say yes or no.

Recently, I have been taking more chances in my life. The kind of chances that come with the possibility of rejection attached. Sometimes it has paid off and at other times I have had to face that vulnerability and it has sucked. Rejection is not the most comfortable place to be. But hey “no” is just a tiny word from a little person in my BIG world. I can make that rejection fill my world and make it bigger than it needs to be or I can brush my shoes off and move on to the next possibility and even bigger opportunity.  Sometimes I have forgotten that God is the captain of my ship. And I am the one He has put in charge of His vessel and have to remember NO ONE else is in charge here. No one! I can get opinions from other people until I am drowning in them but ultimately, in the end, I know that I am the one who steers this ship.

I have waited long enough for others to make things happen for me. In turn, I have found myself “stuck.” Only I can make things happen for me. The opportunities aren’t going to come and find me. I am going to believe in me enough to finish that book, to submit it and get a thousand rejections if it will get me to that one finish line where I actually finish the race.

It is always hard to take that first step… Go back to school, apply for a new job, start a new health regimen, or just a new attitude! And perhaps finish a book you have been writing for years! We have power in our own choices. We fill our own containers. We even fill the holes as we figure out what they are, until someday…. Our containers are spilling over!

FROM THE INSIDE OUT


Last year I lost 50 pounds. This year I gained back 20ish… give or take a few depending on which sorry day I finally decided to step on the scale. I could pat myself on the back and tell me “that’s okay, you still lost 30 or find that magical “click” within,  that I found last year. I think we all know the “click” I am talking about. For me it was an irate driver that had barreled out of nowhere to cut me off in traffic spitting out cuss words that an obstinate teen ager should have been ashamed of let alone man in what must have been his late sixties. Funny thing is, my doctor or health conscious friends didn’t encourage me as much as that pathetically out of control poor soul that called me a “fat” bitch. In-between all the swearing and spitting, the one thing I heard was fat and you know what? If a stranger with issues won’t tell you the truth, who will?

My point is that every time  I have felt that “click” which is my very own custom made  AHA moment, I have been able to keep up the pace until something causes me to stop. It has happened to me enough times to make me really want to dig in and figure out how to bottle that “click” and to keep swallowing that metaphoric pill that challenges me.

After that day, I shared the story of that pathetic little man whose words may have been pulled out of his own rage but how it truly effected me, with a friend at work. She wanted to lose her own few pounds so we began walking, joined Weight Watchers together and then the gym. I kind of started out slow. Sure, I lost the first week worth of water weight. I have been known to lose 8 pounds in the first week and then it slows down. But this time, my friend  rather cluelessly, brought me her fat clothes that she was growing out of. Ha! It was the one kick in the butt I needed! In the end, it was kind of like the tortoise and the hare. She stopped at ten and I went on to fifty! And that is when I realized, I am competitive! So competitive!

And looking back at last year, I realized that I challenged myself to lose fifty pounds. I wanted to lose twenty more but once I hit fifty, something happened. I set a goal for myself. It could be a certain number or a size I want to reach or a dress I want to fit into or an event I want to look good for and once I have reached that goal…. I kind of have a spiraling down, melt down pattern. But all this contemplating the why and hows  have made me realize that I am truly competitive. Even with me. I don’t need to beat the other guy. I can even challenge myself as I set new goals. Weight Watchers worked for me because I had to be accountable and weigh in each week. I need accountability.

This new little fitbit contraption that was gifted to me last month works in a similar way. It has made me try to beat myself. I can weigh in at home. I can monitor my life style and perhaps finally figure out that the challenge is just to be healthy. That is one that I haven’t mastered quite yet. To look good for me. To feel good for me. To just be better for me. To stop fighting myself. To stop competing with myself. To just begin to be the best me I can be. It’s not a click or magic. You can’t bottle it as a pill. It is finding that place inside of you that is filled up from the inside out!