Tag Archives: hope

The Road Ahead

It is the first day of a New Year. I feel good and with that feeling are thoughts of starting things afresh while remaining real in my good intentions. Resolutions. Promises. Whatever labels you might attach, they are part of the road ahead… This immediately brings to mind the saying and I had to look it up in order to get it right… to me “the road ahead is paved…” made just as much sense and, for the purpose of my post, was spot on. In fact, the “hell” part didn’t even come to mind, but it was an interesting read and the underlying meaning was apparent after doing so.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” One meaning of the phrase is that individuals may have the intention to undertake good actions but nevertheless fail to take action. Procrastination, laziness, or other obstacles may be the cause of the failure. In any case, the saying is an admonishment that good intentions are meaningless unless followed by action. A different interpretation of the saying is wrongdoing is often masked by good intentions, or possibly that good intentions, even when enacted, may have unforeseen bad consequences (hence the “hell” aspect). (source: Wikipedia)

With all the projects going on I have neglected time for my own creativity. Lately, I have embraced the freedom the office gives me as I am able to leave the physicality of my company work in the office – I say physicality because my mind never turns off completely to the concept of publishing. I live for it. But, living it and then leaving it “at the office” has given me the time to do things at home that need to be done. It has also allowed me the opportunity to engage in creative actions that feed my soul – one of late is coloring my own sketches AND adult coloring books given to me by my sister. Throughout this trying year, my focus was on projects signed by Dream Write Publishing, and that is what made 2015 an amazing year – we published 15 new works!

In order to boost and infuse my own creative spirit, I shuffled ideas around in my head and challenged myself to come up with some plan that might keep me on track – for the day, the month, the year… There are those of you who know how well that goes for me! It’s all good – the putting to paper what needs attention – the infamous to-do list with its promise of organization and achievement – but I am embracing who I am and what I enjoy to make this year one that will bring happiness. If I want to color until 2:00 am… then I will. If I want to disappear into the mountains to track wild horses, I am going to do that, too. Slowly, one thing at a time, I am going to transform myself and my surroundings over the course of this year to embody happiness and health. I will support the people I love who mean the most to me and will love myself for who I am, not obsess about what I am not. It is in our own hands what we do with the time and talents we have.

I offer no resolution to fail. There is no “good intention” to go bad. There is no holding back because I intend to take the road that likes ahead. I left hatred and negativity on the midnight hour to fade into the nothingness of no longer important. The tank is full of passion and promise and that is all the fuel I need to work toward an amazing year of successes.

road ahead

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Asking Myself Questions

Twenty seven days into the New Year – what have I learned? Nearing the end of the first month of 2014, what have I accomplished? Did I make resolutions to be broken or did I promise to make good on dreams that can be fulfilled? These are questions I am willing to ask myself and I hope you will take them to heart and ask yourself, too.

I cannot separate out that I am a writer and expect the outcome to be different from my everyday life. My writing journey IS my life – it’s my writing life and the one I cater to because I have to, I need to, and above all, it’s a part of me that must exist for me to be whole. Writers will nod as they read this, knowing what I mean. Readers will respect there are writers out there to provide them with words to which they can connect. Others – please think of something that means so much to you, you’d be unwilling to give it up, no matter what. That is of what I speak. Passion. Your very soul. The reason for being.

True, there is a scale that tips its balance as life’s events happen, as people need you, and as there are things that have to be done. Most of the time we can ignore a slight imbalance when things aren’t really all that important, they’re not life threatening, or detrimental to our very survival. We can react when we are so inclined to respond. People should always come first, but in that same breath you should never let anyone take your passion from you. It’s up to you to protect that piece of you, as you would your health, your heart, your hope.

This past weekend I spent the day at a women’s conference with several good friends. The event was a charity fundraiser for the Edmonton Dream Centre – a place that helps women in transition through education, self-discovery, and realization. A place that offers hope to those who need help to rediscover their dreams. It was awe inspiring and educational, it was a way to connect and network with those around you, but more importantly, it was a way to reconnect with yourself. Many of us cannot feel from experience what some of the women have gone through, but we can all feel through compassion and empathy based on our own life’s references. I will repeat a post I made that evening after all was said and done – if you do not believe that helping someone achieve their dream is fulfilling – try it.

January has not been a slow month and I am thankful for the weather of late – it has been unseasonably warm, with lots of snow melt, and although icy conditions prevail, I have been able to get out to events and meetings without too much problem. Today is colder, but after all, it is still winter! Work is always busy as we plan for our February annual general meeting and conference – my position means I usually do most of the writing, the speeches, presentations and reports – I even present at breakout sessions. It keeps me busy in my day job capacity. My own company, Dream Write Publishing, is growing. The workload is phenomenal for this time of year – the launch of an important book and teacher’s guide addressing bullying, the completion of an amazing cookbook layout for a local restaurant which is now at print, signing an Australian author for the release of his historical novel in EBook and Print-on-Demand, tentative clients and meetings, scheduling illustrations for upcoming children’s books, preparing royalty summaries, reports, and tax receipts, compiling silent auction donations and door prizes, etc. etc. etc… Looking ahead, just one short month, February is shaping up to be just as busy.

My own fulfillment comes from contributing to others’ dreams. It also comes from my need to write and publish my own work. My involvement with the local writing group fuels my community connection, keeps me connected with my writing friends, and inspires me to do what I love – write. I am nearing completion of my nearest and dearest work – one that has become a part of me over the years. Writing a pivotal scene made me very emotional last night – I felt its end nearing as the characters lose their connection, one I was so involved in and a part of, one I could not bear to let go of…

My own fulfillment comes from making promises to myself that I am able to keep. When asked to make that big commitment for one thing I wanted to do for sure this year – it was to finish and publish that very novel mentioned above. I am planning a writer’s retreat for May. I also took steps toward bettering my health, at least in a small way, so I can continue to enjoy and do all I am involved in. Nothing will get done if I am not healthy. I stepped out of my fears and into the pool to aquasize once a week.

This year so far I find that my emotions are more intense, my dreams are more defined, and my commitment is better outlined. I feel the deep loss of my mother, I feel for friends who have experienced the same, I managed to tackle chores left undone yet I don’t fret about others and just do what I can. I want to love and feel strong. I realize who is important and deserving of my time, I promise to make time for those people always, and I am trying to remain positive and active. In all this consideration, however, I am not saying I won’t overload the system – sorry Mandy – but I will certainly take a second look, apply all that I have learned so far this year already, and still remember to … breathe.

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Hello Monday – it’s Me…

Hello, Monday, it’s me… You are a day of the week as unpredictable as the weather. I remember writing this opening statement (the wordpress draft proves it) when the comparative hit me during the passing of winter into spring. I don’t know why I didn’t publish it – I guess I was as indecisive about my words as the weather was of its place within the timing of that month. May was a blur and best forgotten, and as we transgress through mid-July now it seems June is only a memory, too.

As up and down as the weather, so too have been my words. My thought processes are always going and sometimes I am inclined to just write something even though I have no idea where it is to go and where it might end up. I have even opened my notebook or a new word document, looked at it, and then closed it again… having written nothing. The inspiration bar was set high at recent conferences and just being around words and all their glory is enough to make you want to immediately put words to page. I went so far as to renew my own personal writing goals with an all out attempt (internal promises) to get my WIP completed and published this year! There have been good starts to bad weeks and bad finishes to good weeks… and if I were to be truly honest it would be to admit my blog avoidance is a result of the personal issues I’ve been dealing with… people tell me I am obviously doing things right and moving ahead but it feels like I am not in so many ways. It’s like being on autopilot – going through the motions of what has to be done to fulfill the promises already made into the direction out there somewhere. The end lies out of sight waiting ahead on an unmarked trail. Then I return to the highway of reality realizing the heap I have in front of me and, although I am doing things I love to do, I am confused by my reactions. Next thing I know, I’m on a rollercoaster of emotions >semi-happiness (albeit tame – I am not the jump up and down kind of person) and tearfully pronounced, overwhelming sadness claim my extreme up and downs. This craziness will even out, I am told, with time and healing and positive influence. I am ever thankful to those who may wade through my words whenever I do get around to posting some here. They are from my heart and they are what makes up my writing life as it happens to me right now. Although the words are scarce and it seems my creativity is blocked, I cannot imagine ever living without writing… it’s just difficult equating that to not living at all.

Postscript: as I finish writing this post and list the tag words, I contemplate if I should even publish this blog, not wanting to be one who continues with uncertainty, exposing my lost soul… my daughter comes into my room and says, “Thank you, for everything, Mom.” And the lump in my throat prevents me from speaking; my words mix with tears as I realize even in the darkest hour there is a reason and there is hope. She is mine.

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The Idea of Spring

WP_000524Oh, rejuvenation! Today is the first day of Spring and we rejoice to see a glimmer of seasonal change ahead – soon… sometime… maybe… These thoughts, this trepidation, comes from an Albertan whose love for this time of year is lost in “the idea of spring” with a mere calendar reminder, the written confirmation “first day of Spring” as if to assure me I am right. This, even as the weather network warns me in red of another Prairie Clipper approaching which will keep us in the wraps of winter for another bout of wind and snow. I think we just finished digging out from the other two storms that dumped on us last week. Reviewing the news, however, shows we are not alone as other areas brace for their own “idea of spring.” But it just feels that way to everyone here, well – most… okay, to me. Enough snow, already. The boot/shoe – light jacket/Arctic wear debate is leaving a pile of  exchanged clothing and footwear lying near the door, and its effects have a desperate demographic aching for the sunshine and clear roadways and sidewalks. The trees outside my window are already bowing to the windy arrival – the snow will follow later today…

Looking past the immediate situation is part of what I have been dealing with lately. It is part of what everyone deals with – life. How we modify our steps so we don’t miss the beautiful things up close while keeping our eye on the distant goal is part of that process. Beyond the snow and wintry blast on a wondrous first day of spring, is the knowledge that “this, too, shall pass.” It doesn’t make the immediate any more pleasurable. What it does is confirm there are brighter things on the horizon if we dare to dream, set goals, and strive to achieve that which we are meant to do. The bigger picture is all around us but the beauty of life lies right in front of us. We must remember not to overlook it by taking for granted it will always be there. It is easy to do – we assume closeness is a guarantee. Proximity has nothing to do with appreciation.

What lies between our hand and distant dream will shift and change. Despite what happens later today – it is the first day of Spring – even if it is just a fleeting idea at the moment… eventually, the snow will go away.

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A Note to the Empty Page

“Writing is a struggle against silence.” ~ Carlos Fuentes

I sit here, my expression as blank as the sprawling white before me… the emptiness that has haunted my nights for the past month yawns into an abyss of never ending eternity. Words dance before my eyes and tease my mind yet refuse to get in line and flow with creative verbosity onto the page… instead, they hide in crevices created by life stresses and soon an overwhelming desire tempts me to just walk away. I am here and there, back and forth, up and down – every which way but clichéd loose… So many good ideas want to be at the top of the list yet I am loathe to let them creep there in case I lose myself in them and neglect some other duty or responsibility. But in refusing to accept their inevitability, I fight them and, alas, get nothing constructive done.

I could write about my week and my accomplishments and in that I might find comfort. The places I have been and yet others I could not go. I could write about the joys which filled me yet falter with an explanation about how I don’t feel fulfilled; I could share the happy times had with friends and the meeting of other wonderful people yet true happiness eludes me; I could recall the loving memories and haunting pasts revisited; I could admit I am trying to do too much – tongue in cheek – as I hold my hand out to take more; I could smile through tears and boldly stride ahead despite my fears.

There is no need to worry – for in me is the strength to move forward despite the weight of emotional baggage. I am here. Through all these things there winds a common thread upon the silver lining of hope: I feel, therefore, I live.

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In Touch with Writing Reality

My words keep me in touch with reality despite the fact I like to write fiction. It is in creating these alternative realities we solidify a connection with words and other writers, we reach out to our readers, and we delve deep to discover our inner selves. When we pull from within we stir up memories, emotions, thoughts; our words become drenched in our creative spirit. Down there is a collective pool where we dig up experience in order to add authenticity to our words. We write what we know because we keep all this tucked in our learning cabinets until such time we require it and draw it forth. We hold our emotions here, too – as we have opportunity to use them in real life we sympathize or empathize through personal experience, applying it to our writing, fact or fiction. Our words reflect our reality. Our writing life is forever entwined with our life journey.

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From somewhere in the vast unknown I know you are watching over us and although we feel like an empty abyss has opened up flooding us with overwhelming despair, it is our naivety that leads us to believe there is only darkness where you are. Perhaps, there is light and love as you find your new place within the next part of your journey. As I wrote today, and uploaded a new book, I thought of you. Although my accomplishments will always mean a great deal to me, it is with sadness that I accept the fact you will never hold them, read them, or say how much you liked them. No matter how many readers come to my blog – and I appreciate every one of them for they are a valued literary connection – I have to also accept that my number one fan will not return. Today, delayed realization finally set in and I could justify my inability to sleep well last night and identify the reason for my need to cocoon today. It has been 2 months to the day since you left us – we feel no less the loss your passing created and we love you all the more.

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Small bits and pieces fall together into an eclectic mix. I finally completed a project that was ongoing for some time now, uploading the result as an Ebook on Smashwords. A Writer’s Life ~ My Ode to the Bard, is a collection of written pieces that offer suggestion and, hopefully, inspiration to fellow writers. Articles, poems, reviews and some photographs/illustrations featured in the book came to me over the course of a few years during the time I was searching for myself as a writer and discovering different aspects of the writer’s life. My greatest influence has been the connection I have with writing friends, the establishment of a successful writer’s group, and the acceptance of my craft as my journey. These are my thoughts and opinions and just to share them is a success ~ if it inspires just one new writer to seek their dream, it will achieve more than I could ever hope.

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My writing is what helps me deal; it keeps me grounded; it fills me with hope ~ that is the reality of it.

 

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It Comes to You in a Flash

It all comes to you in a flash, then you realize it’s over before you know it. I spent the weekend writing and working on writing-related projects mainly to do with the writer’s group I belong to. You wouldn’t believe the time you can put in unless you are actually doing it – consuming but very rewarding at the same time.

I will be looking into the details for setting up our own publishing company because over the years we have gathered to the fold a wide variety of individuals who own a tremendous array of skills and talents that will allow us to do this thing. We are talking of a book project and it is exciting to see it form its own identity through our discussions and planning; there is a confidence within the participating members that makes this a viable product, not only from the creative view-point but from a business one as well.

We have done the slow, building time and it is now time to promote our own group. We have created awareness in the community and carved out our little niche; it’s time to shine and show ’em all what we’ve got.

I am looking forward to having some more work published and as I work on other submissions and await word on those things already out there, I constantly have something on the go. Our Novel Writing Group meets on Tuesday again, this being the fifth month and we are well on our way to having something to submit from this workshop… soon. It is lots of work and all of us have to work other jobs for a living. The time investment is just like money investment for me – I hope to reap the rewards in the future, if not in the traditional way, then with self-publishing. Our contact with a printer for the group book project is nothing short of great timing; I am quite sure that in working with him for the Foundation publication, there will be an advantage to working with him on an individual  basis.

It is a well-known fact to most writers these days – you must be able to market your own book. I feel fortunate to have that “business sense” that can guide me to my success in that arena. With currently building a web site to promote my writing and artwork I am already that step ahead in the promotion department with an outlet to show and sell my work.

I recently posted on my Facebook status “love this opportunity that is knocking… keep it coming.” If one were to read the down of my dieting blog and compare it to the up of my writing blog… one would wonder of the stability. I happen to know, for the record, I think the up out-weighs the down… pardon the pun.

With a focus on helplessness instead of hope, one can miss the beauty that is in the every day.

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Holding Steady

The winter air seems to be holding steady in amongst the mid-teens… and here in Alberta that can be a blessing because an icy northern blast can send us plummeting into the -30’s very quickly. If we look at the long range forecast we could become frustrated and obsessed with the fact that that very thing will happen soon and tolerable cold soon turns into something more intolerable. Our lives here are often planned around the weather and what happens depends on whether or not we can forge ahead or give up trying – at least for the moment. We always know that spring is but a few months away and that is the hope that gets us through the longest winter.

Our writing lives are much like the winter weather – it comes and goes in blasts piling up around us, shoveled to the side while we make a narrow path to navigate. We know there will be times of calm when our minds will put to paper projects labored in our hearts; written with the sweat of our brow, our blood and the tears from long toll. Too often when the storms of life converge we take cover – pen and paper tucked underneath our arms our back turned away from that which might spawn feelings. We must realize to stand our ground means to experience and let the fall out fuel as fodder for our work.

If we do not know loss we do not know hope for in us there is the ability to learn from our folly. To try again is not weakness but strength as long as we take the lessons with us and move forward in a positive manner.

Just living means we chance emotional turmoil and what in life is not worth that chance?

If all hope had failed there would be no words here, so my readers do not despair for me because I am merely writing from that storm and weilding my sword of creativity against the tempest.

My armour is thick but my heart is true - I will ride into the foray for you...

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Keep on Keeping on

It is sometimes a shock to come back to the blog and see just how much time has elapsed since my last post. It is not that I haven’t written a word blog-wise but it’s just that I haven’t written at each and every place that I do post something. I have kept up on my daily journal page and have posted some comments on the bulletin board at our writer’s web site. I have put in some time on the novel but I did let that slide just a little this week as well. I have been tired and knew that this weekend would be for writing since I took a couple of extra days off to catch up on some others things as well. Sometimes there just gets to be too much and I need to just stop. Think. Then continue.

The emotional stress of news received during the week was enough to put things on hold – almost. The truth of one matter will not be known until Monday and is something that hits too close to the heart. Until further tests it is better to be positive and keep on doing what needs to be done. That said, it is not easy to let things slip entirely from your mind. The post previous to this one ended with the comments of feeling things that someone else experiences especially when they are close to you. Again, it does no good to reflect negatively except that it can pull you down if you let it and sadness eats away at you.

Other news received as I asked innocently about someone revealed other things that I did not want to know. This news disturbed me as well but I was able to go forward putting it from my mind just because the situation it comes from is not as close to my heart as the first news.

I want so much to think in a positive way and continue my writing – so I do. Until I know otherwise, this will be the mindset. This post might seem all over the place, not saying anything too concrete but that is how I prefer it for now. I choose to say that things are happening but do not identify the situation or the people it happens to. This keeps it private and although I know others experience their own situations, it keeps it mine and to me it is still not real. If I dwell I see the negative and the unfairness.

With every sundown there is the unconditional hope that a new day will dawn... just as always.

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