Journey’s End

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(Urquhart Castle, Inverness, Scotland)

Journey’s End

I sat in bed, as my mind awoke without alarm, my body warm in the cocoon of my quilt. It is the first day in ten days that I didn’t have to jump up and get out with a full day of tours ahead of me. Instead, I lingered in my pajamas, made myself a cup of tea, and indulged in my “sitting room” to watch the sun hinting at morning.

Peace was mine.

I made my through the hallowed walls of the Castle where I chose to end my journey in Scotland. Everyone needs to stay in a castle! It was all one would expect, with dark paneled walls, hand carved staircases, and a dungeon where men came in, and souls went out. It is almost 9am and the sun still has not completely risen to greet the morning. Sitting in the Orangery, I sip my coffee and and watch the tired sun awaken, slowly pouring over the tips of the trees, the golden rays filtering through the 18th Century windows of a 13th century clan home that has seen many reparations, as well as, lives that have been in and out of the halls. Lives of the wealthy, the cruel, the ordinary. My view is of a glen, scotch pines standing tall among the yellowing of the birch that struggle to hold onto their leaves. A river runs through it, under a stone bridge that many a warrior have crossed to take siege of this beautiful place.

Today, I took siege.

I have traveled up and down Scotland for the last twelve days…seen this country and all its glory. As one Scot said to me, “You have probably seen more than I have and I have lived here my whole life.” I probably have. Thanks to my tour guide, Paul, from King Tours of Scotland. I couldn’t have been blessed with a more nerdy man. (I mean that as a compliment.) He talked my ear off, and filled my head with the craziest knowledge. Did you know that cowboys were Scottish? Neither did I! But Scotland had men called drovers, that would drive the cattle down from the Highlands, along rough and tumble terrain. (And it was rough!) When they came to America, cleared from their lands, they brought this skill. The Americans would hire these men to run cattle…and protect them from Indians. Even some of our famous cowboy songs are Scottish derived. Wow! And there is so much more. Needless to say, I was in heaven.

My tours took me to Edinburgh, (or, as they say, Edinburra,) through Perthshire on a train, up to a farmhouse in the Highlands, and the capitol, Inverness, touring onward to the Hebrides Isle of Skye, down to Fort William, and just below the city of Edinburgh once again. I have seen castles, national land, private ruins, city streets, and famous spots. (Yes, I even stood on “Castle Leoch” of Outlander.) Each one bringing me a sense of the people and the country that now stands. Each enriching my world view of foreign lands and their people. Each filling me up in a way that I never expected.

The beauty is boundless. Green could be my new favorite color. But Scotland isn’t just green. In the Fall it is filled with oranges and yellows. Greys and blues. Blacks and browns. Light and dark. Each with an intensity that catches the eye, stimulating something more primal inside of me – my senses heightened. The water is clear and cold, tasting of nothing it’s not supposed to. Butter and eggs are rich and creamy. (I mean really, really, creamy!!) The sounds of the night are empty except for the trickling of a stream hidden in the mounds of mossy grass and dried heather. The twinkling of the stars mock me, knowing I am too far away to reach up and grab a dream.

I grabbed my dream. I came to Scotland!

My camera will never do it justice. How do you capture King James entering the grand hall that now lay in ruins at Linlithgow? Catholics praying to statues of Rosslyn Chapel that were destroyed during the Reformation? Or the crumpled church, along a lonely road on Skye where gothic gravestones sag to the left or right from hundreds of years of neglect, religions claiming the building for their sacred beliefs. Each site was a magical portal to a world I have read about in history books. I walked on hollow ground of the royal, the religious, the renegade, all colliding into piles of rocks and remnants of walls, where I stood and snapped photos of their once turbulent, and often, bloody lives.

It is my last day in Scotland. And I leave here longing for more; knowing I must return to reality. A reality with all its glory and hardships of my ordinary life that one day may be mere rumble under someone’s feet, taking snapshots of the brick wall that remains of lives past.

It is a cycle. Nothing magical. Nothing extraordinary…except for me in the moment. Moments in the present. That is where the magic really happens. Not the past. Not the future. For those are fleeting realities that will be stacks of stone in the end. I came. I conquered. I go. Enjoying the mere beauty and pleasure it brought me as I looked upon what was in front of me, my hands gripping the coldness of the sandstone, my face feeling the frigid air, my ears listening the rain. I wish I could show you the dense dark forest with its mossy pathway that led to where I don’t know. The sunrise that slowly made its way above the black rock of the Cuillan Hills. The hairy “coos” that stared at me with disdain. But I will never capture what it meant, or even how beautiful it truly was.

I have come to Scotland to see the people that are now ghosts, their legacy hidden in snippets of a painting, a found button, an educated guess of a curator, and a whisper of tales passed on. I am touched by something that lingers. An energy? Who knows. But there is something that remains that I connect to and leave with. It is, that that we are all specs of sand in the scheme of life. Our wars are not worth fighting, or loves are not worth losing. We must take life for what it is, and embrace the moments.

And There I Go…

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Research and Writing…The Scotland Adventure

My third Novel, Life of Her, is about a woman who feels invisible. Invisible to her kids, her husband, the world. After raising a family, and defining her life for everyone else, an experience with breast cancer makes her invisible to herself, pushing her on the precipice of life? What life and who’s life she doesn’t know. What she does know is that she can’t stay where she is. Stuck being no one and nothing, she runs away from everything and everyone that has defined her…landing in Scotland. It is there she will discover who she is, awakening her passion for loving, living, and longing for what the rest of her  life has to offer.

And there I go…

NO! I am not running away. My life is pretty damn good. Okay, I have teenagers, so maybe not so great all the time. But nothing a little wine or whiskey can’t help me forget. Ha!

Needless to say, I am off to Scotland. I had an opportunity to attend a creative writing retreat in the Highlands. Outside of the city of Inverness, the writing retreat takes place in a converted farmhouse tucked away from civilization. It is a time to learn from successful authors, share with fellow writers, and write.

Unknown Territory

Attending this retreat was the perfect opportunity to see the countryside of Scotland that I wrote about. See, I have never been to Scotland. Nor have I really known anyone from Scotland. And yet I conjured up people, a town, and experiences with Scotland in mind. Eeeeeek, that was stupid.

In my first two novels, I wrote about 19th Century England without ever having visited the United Kingdom. Ever! Yet, people who have have read my two novels and who have been to England said, and I quote, “You nailed it.” That is the power of the imagination, reading, and maybe a past life experience or two. So, I was not apprehensive about taking my protagonist in my new book to a city that she had never been, nor had I. I had always wanted to see Scotland, so why not take my character there. After all, look what it did for Claire! (Outlander fans will understand my desire to set my story in the charming countryside of Scotland – home to Jaime Fraser and the MacKenzie Clan.)

So, the opportunity presented itself…writing and Scotland. I get to work on my craft, and see the world in which I immersed my thoughts in for so many months writing my third novel. I only pray I got it right!

Who Does That?

As I take off, I am supported by many who are cheering me on, and to see and hear about my adventure. After all, it isn’t often a wife, a mom with two teenage kids, a needy dog, and Thanksgiving around the corner, just gets up and leaves for a couple of weeks. Did I say I was traveling without my family? They couldn’t believe it either.

“What about Thanksgiving?” they protested.

“It will come again next year…” I replied.

But here’s the thing…they don’t want to go with me! The thought of trouncing around ancient towns, in rain, ogling over architecture and amazed by empty ruins is not high  on their sightseeing list. When I showed the pictures of my quaint retreat to my husband, he proclaimed, “It’s in the middle of nowhere!” He insisted he would hate it. Yes, he probably would. It has no TV.

Can You Imagine? 

Well, I did imagine. And took it a step further. I planned a trip through Scotland, from Edinburgh, to Inverness, to Skye, to Fort William, and back to Edinburgh. I take a train up to the Highlands, a car around the Isle of Skye, and walk through ancient cities and towns roaming the multitude of abbeys, castles, estate homes, museums, and battlefields to my heart’s galore. I will explore, learn all I can, talk to strangers, eat what I want, and drink when I can. I will tour from morning to evening, and I will write until my eyes can’t keep themselves open. In other words, I am taking a trip my family would hate!

A Writer’s Life

And thus, I am off to Scotland. I am taking a trip that is all for me, on my time, with my interests. I am exploring new lands, researching for my latest novel and maybe novels yet to be, and studying my craft. I am doing what writers must do to produce work that is real and authentic. I am experiencing life!

I hope you stay with me on my adventure.

 

Being Me…or bust!

E10720.jpgA man at a writing table, as depicted by an unknown 18th-century American artist (National Gallery of Art)

I was talking to a friend the other night…via texting. She had not read any of my writing, so I sent over a book jacket synopsis for my latest novel to get fresh eyes on it. I wanted to know if she would be hooked based on the five lines summing up the storyline. Well, her response was more than enthusiastic!

“Yes, I would read it!” Adding, “I want to read it!!!”

How lovely for me– someone who likes the storyline of my next novel.

Then, the dreaded words lingered on the screen: “You are very good at pulling someone into what you are saying without being overly wordy, descriptive, or cliché. I remember listening to you talk about food, or fabric, or even plants….you drag a person in with just enough…But I feel like you are holding back…”

Stab!!! She was 100% right! And she wasn’t the first person to tell me this.

My third novel is killing me. Yes, literally, slowly bleeding me out, with pain and agony.  I am trying– too hard –to get it “right.” This could possibly be the one that could interest agents and/or publishers. Or, at least, that is my hope. (An editor at at large publishing house already told me so when I proposed the idea.)  The pressure is on! And it is leading me on a journey of self doubt. Thus, my writing is changing and my voice is getting covered up, or in this case, being deleted from the pages of my novel.

As I have previously expressed, I am trying to fill a gap in the marketplace with my writing. But the industry is funny…they claim they want “new and fresh” voices, but because the publishing world is so stagnant, “new” is a relative word. Filling “gaps” is code for not finding a place on the selling floor, therefore unpublishable.

Technically, I am not “new” in what I am offering. I am trying to bring back the concept of realism, but in a modern way.  So, what is realism, and what does that mean for today’s writing?

I write stories about real people as lovers, parents, friends, and foes. The “action” is the consequences and the affects one’s life has in their decisions in a realistic way, not fantasy. I want to have a moral compass for them to learn from, develop, and grow. Does that mean my first novel, Finding Jane, about a woman who falls back into the early 19th century isn’t “real.” Fiction is storytelling. Finding Jane is a story…but the characters are as real as you and me – the way they think, react, behave, desire, etc. Realism is writing about characters, their inner working of the mind, and the delicate play of emotions. It attempts to lay an internal struggle for the reader to see. Most of the “action” is internalized. It isn’t a 60 second video, keep ’em preoccupied, instant gratification style. It is intelligent stimulation, not visual stimulation. The realistic novel is about the character rather than the plot or turn of phrase. Changes in moods, perceptions, opinions, and ideas are the turning points or climaxes…not an “action”. A realist writer tries to create an intricate-layered character who can be felt as though they are flesh and blood creatures. People you want to know, invest your time, and live with. It is an adventure unto your own imagination, not one given to you as eye candy, but mind candy.

I know…who wants to think anymore? Sit-com stories are the craze. Read ’em and leave ’em is the “new” phase of publishing. Get to action! Kill the superfluous! Don’t drag on any backstory. Kill the adverbs. Cut the adjective. Show don’t tell. God forbid you let the reader get to know and understand anything deeper about a character other than how to get to the next action scene!

What happened to literature? Wasn’t the whole idea of reading to imagine? Do you realize that 99% of all classics would NEVER get published today with the rules and restrictions writers are up against?

The thing is, I am not that reader– the kind looking for instant gratification. And I know I am not alone. Not everyone, old and even the young, wants to be spoon fed their literature. There are readers out there who want “real” literature. And I am not talking about stuffy, verbose, “intelligista” narrative driven, or art-for-arts sake literature. (That is another blog for another day.) Readers are looking for great novels with meaning, purpose, depth, values, thought, romance and entertainment, but not just entertainment.

This is the gap I am trying to fill. This is what my friend was talking about when she said, “My favorite books involve all 5 senses without being overly wordy or descriptive. Just enough that you get the picture and use your own imagination. And not too much that it bores you with adjectives and clichés.”

I want to give my friend, and readers like her, exactly what they are longing for.

But I am failing with my third novel. I’m trying to be “commercial” and less wordy. Less adverbs. Less showing. Get to the action! But while listening to all these “rules” in publishing, I am being less me! I’m trying too hard to become pedestrian. I have something unique to offer the 21st century reader…even if what I’m offering is a 19th century idea. (An idea that led to a revolution in writing and has given us classics that are still on the top reading lists today!)

I am not being true to myself. 

I need to write with my voice, not just with my hands. I do have something new and fresh to offer the publishing world. As Jane Austen said about her own writing, “I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other motive than to save my Life, & if it were indispensable for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first Chapter. –No– I must keep to my own style & go on in my own Way; And though I may never succeed again, I am convinced that should totally fail in any other…” 

So, I am taking my friend’s advice, “You are marketable!!! Be you! It will sell.”

The Road Less Traveled

recovery-1221737__340.jpgIt has been awhile. The thought of writing my blog has haunted me. Not that I don’t love it. I just have been working on my novels. And boy do they need work! I’ve come to learn, I am not a great writer.

Hmmmm, I am not sure I had proclaimed I was…but all the same, I do need to hone my craft. I think I always knew that in the back of my head. I just was so excited to get the story out of my head, I didn’t stop to make sure my writing was up to standards. I need to learn to write well. Write beautifully…not just beautiful stories.

So, in my pursuit to be ‘the best that I can be,’ I have been working on writing. I have been writing non-stop for months. It is endless, but I think I am making progress. I took a two day course with an amazing coach, Margie Lawson, and have now purchased a few more courses from her. SHE IS AMAZING…did I already say that? As I told her, it was like she cleaned my windshield and now I can see the road more clearly. My writing is better…much better because of her. I also realized how little I really know about being a writer. With craft books purchased, writing seminars planned, and even a writing class in the future maybe I will not only create beauty for the mind, but write beautiful words for the eyes.

Which leads me to my real reason to write today. I am in a quandary: Write the way I want, or write what the publishing world is asking?

Of course, you would say, do research and find out what others are doing. Well, that is just the problem. EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION. Every writer, every agent, every publisher.  The advise is wide and splintered.

“Write to the genre standards.”

Haven’t big books, successful books, talked about books been out of the box?” Certainly Harry Potter’s magical world was not so common when written. It wasn’t even meant for children. There were horror books before, but Stephen King’s psychological terror meshed with superstitions and the supernatural brought on a whole dimension people had never really imagined. He didn’t make you imagine…he made it reality!

“Write for you.”

Everyone…and I mean EVERYONE has a story. Not necessarily a story most people want to hear let alone read 300 pages. Writers are as diverse as civilizations. Different things appeal to different people. That is the beauty of writing, and the importance of finding your market/readers. Now, getting published when your readers/market is not “popular” (Wicked’s song is now playing in my head) is the battleground writers must overcome. The publishing world is definitely a popularity contest. And there is an inner circle. (That is a whole other blog.) But writers must also admit, there are many stories that people may never want to read…so not every story that you want to write is going to be appealing. Not every story you write needs to be published.

“Write for the reader.”

Readers do know what they like…until you give them something new and then they like that too! Readers are the greatest fans. They enjoy reading and will read what is given to them. But…the publishing world is losing sight of something that isn’t really being monitored. Readers aren’t always enjoying what they are reading. What is being published isn’t always what readers are craving, nor exciting them. They will read what the New York Times tells them too. They read because they want to read. They read because they can’t not read…give them a book, any book, and they will read it. But that doesn’t necessarily equate to what they seek, want, or are looking for.

And the final advise is invariably, “Write what is in your heart.” (Can you hear my breathy voice oozing with sarcasm??????) Can we say, “Bullshit!”

Isn’t the whole point of creating to bring something new, open minds, and offer refreshing perspectives? Giving readers more than they could ever imagine or think? Isn’t that why we write? Doesn’t that have value?

Okay, I get it. Give them what they want and that should equate to success. (Or so I am told.) Creating isn’t always about breaking the mold. Sometimes…no a lot of times…it is about painting the same mold different colors, or dressing it in new outfits, or even doing nothing at all but presenting it on a different shelf, or in a different city. I get it. Not all creative venture is life changing.

My writing isn’t life changing. And according to my editor who, and I quote, “Wanted to throw the first twelve chapters of my latest novel against the wall,” my writing isn’t all that great either. But I do have a distinctive purpose for my writing, making my style unique, and out of the box. In other words, I am not in the popular group!

Do I quit? Do I just give up and say, “Writing is not my destiny.”

As pathetic as this may all sound, I am an ass kicker! I have lived my whole life walking outside the line. Not in a rebellious way. I am as prim and proper as they come. Thrill seeking is not my forte. But, I have always been an outsider…followed my own path. And I do what I do with conviction and strength. It is the only way I have survived the knock down punches, rejections, scoffing, finger pointing, teasing, and judgments.

I am a stand alone woman.

Have I been successful? I guess it is how you look at it. Successful at being me? Absolutely. Successful with fame and fortune….not so much!

Is it hard? DAMN SURE! I may be a stand alone woman, but I still break. I still succumb to self doubt. I am human.

So, here I am. My quandary to write the way I started…write in a style that is all mine? The reason I started writing? Or, do I succumb to the masses and just put a personal shade of lipstick on the mold?

I am not good enough to be blazing new roads. Not yet. I need to be able to travel where others have gone, to get where I am going. But, it is at a sacrifice to my creativity. I am trying to balance both…and in the meantime, work on my craft so that maybe…I will be able to pull aside and take an unknown route that has my name on it.

Chop Chop

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It all boils down to my hair!  Yup. My philosophy on life all comes down to how I make decisions about my haircut.

I had to stay out of the sun all summer due to some skin cancer issues on my nose. (All good…no worries.) Needless to say, I  was relegated to wearing a hat when I went outside. For most people this is no big deal. I mean, who doesn’t wear a baseball cap? Me. My head is so small that a cap basically doesn’t fit my head. Top that, (no pun intended) I have a skinny neck and my hips are the size of Canada. My proportions are…Well, let just say my head is not cap friendly. To offset this little problem (big if you are referring to my hips) I had to grow out my hair so that I had something other than my pencil neck sticking out of the cap.

All was good. I grew out my hair.

My long hair was “pretty.” People liked it. Well, apparently, they liked it a lot. For I just cut it and the response was…not positive. (When you cut your hair and no one says anything, that is being hostile!) Apparently, some didn’t want me to cut it…so shunning me is their response in protest. When pushed, I asked, “Well, what do you think?” I got the old, “I liked it better the other way,” from my daughter. My son said, “What?” My husband went so far as to say, “I like the back.” My best friend said nothing and pretended it didn’t happen.

Hmmmmmm.

So, here’s the thing. I LOVE IT! I have always loved my hair short. If I were to admit, it is “pretty” when it is longer. Isn’t long hair always pretty? Long hair is supposed to be sexier, prettier, more seductive.(Really?) But when I wear my hair longer, I feel like I am wearing a wig. I am more comfortable, happier, and feel more like myself in short hair. It suits me and my personality. I can be “pretty” with short hair. (There are moments!)  I think I am rather a seductive woman no matter what my hair length is. (Again, I have my moments!) But, my hair shouldn’t define my worth of being a woman of substance. It is just hair, people! 

But my hair does represent  a lot. It represents how I feel about myself and my inner strength: I don’t let others define who I am. I do what is inherently me. I define who I am, because I am the one living in my body, my mind, my self. Do I want to be attractive to others, make them view me in a positive way, and feel comfortable about how they see me? I think that is inherent as social beings. But at what expense? Should I be scoffed and ignored when I don’t behave to those standards? I can be all they want and expect, outside of their rigid standards: long hair=woman=pretty,sexy, desirable.

I think being true to yourself is inherently beautiful.

No one should be setting standards for you. You need to do what makes you comfortable, and be accepting with your decision. Not everyone is going to like it. But if you are true to yourself, you will be A-ok!

 

 

Reality Check

IMG_0331.JPGIt is one of those beautiful mornings in California. The sun is bright, the air is cool, the birds are talking to one another, and the colors of the plants are glittering. No, I am not pretending to be Snow White, singing a cheery little tune as I walk about nature! Okay, maybe I have a song running in my head, but I swear I didn’t sing it out loud!!

I mention the morning only because I think too many times we seem to miss what is important as we rise and start our day, or even how we end it. It truly is the simple things…the things we take for granted about what gives our life meaning. We too often miss seeing the purpose of our day…to be alive and enwrapping ourselves in the elements of the very real world that surrounds us. I went to close my french doors last night and looked up to the starry sky and thought, “I haven’t looked up in a long time.” I hadn’t really been outside at night for awhile. When darkness ascends, I sink into a chair in my house and  write or read. Shame on me!!!!  The air was fresh, the sky a navy blue, and the stars were out in force to greet me. It was so calming and I breathed in deeply, only to exhale and let go of whatever was stuck inside me: stress, fear, anxiety, worry. It was that simple, and that enjoyable. I can have this most nights and I don’t take a moment to go out and look up? We all  get so focused on work, kids, politics, drama, etc, that we just don’t sit for a moment in the elements of living and appreciate that we are human who feel, hear, touch, taste and think. Wow! Yes, I said, “wow.” Because  when you rise above the base, living is amazing.

So, this post was going to be something so, so different. I was going to talk about exercising and my lack of doing it during the summer. You know the time where being in shape is more visible? No, I seem to stop the workouts just before June. And then summer flies by with my ever present flabby body once again. So then, come September, I start up a diet and workout regime that gets me in shape, muscular, and strong only to be covered up by winter clothes. Why do I do that???? Maybe it is my silent way of saying, “Hey, I am never going to look good in a bikini and I am going to prove it!”

But there is a point that relates to the above: Who fricken cares!

During the summer my kids are home, unburdened by school. I love having them home, waking up and not rushing around, eating dinner when we get hungry rather than having set schedules for everything, and asking them what they are doing and they answer, “nothing.” I like “hanging” with them. We just let life kind of happen, rather than rushing here and there, and everywhere. Don’t get me wrong…we are still busy. Not sure what we have done with our days. But there is a sense of relaxation vs. chaos. I love that feeling.

Summer is that time that allows our souls to reconnect with nature and the life cycle of being humans. The moon is brighter in the sky, the abundance of plants give off energy, and the oceans are vibrating with the emergence of life. There is a special force out there that our minds, bodies, and spirits can’t ignore, and that rejuvenates us. It is right outside our doors. So, maybe not pushing my body to exercise, or indulging in ice cream and potato chips (Oh did I mention that when I said I don’t exercise during the summer? I bad!), or sitting outside and do nothing but look up at the sky is just plain OK! Maybe we need these moments out of our hectic days we call our life, to realize that our life really isn’t anything more than breathing in the crisp air, feeling the warmth of the sun, and listening to the birds sing. Everything else is a distraction from the real reality.

Find Your Passion

Unknown.jpeg   My son just graduated from high school. A great accomplishment. But as we all know, it is just the beginning of “it” all. Now he has the agonizing pain & joy of figuring out what it is he wants to do with his life. I wish I could tell him how to do it, but I still haven’t figured it out. Have you?

Find your passion! No one ever said that to me when I was graduating. I just kind of pushed along and did what it took to get a job, pay the bills, make a living. My major in college was a stepping stone for “a” job. Not “thee” job that would make me happy. Had someone told me, Find your passion, maybe my life would have looked different. “I could of been a contender!” Or a doctor, or even a writer!

I am just now, he-hem, at the ripe age that I am, finding my passion. It isn’t necessarily tied to money, or career. I would like it to be, but I am much toooooo practical to think that I could make a living loving what I do. That was never a part of my upbringing. But recently I have been editing my book(s), and I think I have finally discovered what this “passion” is that everyone is talking about.

After a week long isolation in my office, I surfaced Friday morning with an exhilaration I had forgotten. I wasn’t finished with my edits, but I was excited, almost giddy to start the day and continue. I woke up, happy! I was excited to get back into the writing. I smiled every where I went, and I even walked into an appointment singing.

“Boy, someone is happy,”my appointment person said.

“Yes, I am,” I proudly remarked. YES, I AM!

It made me pause and realize, I think I have truly found my passion.

I have done a lot. No, really! I have done a lot of different things. Hobbies and work alike. They call me The Renaissance Woman, and The MacGyver of all trades! I have worked in the business world for over twenty years doing sales, marketing, and management. Then started up a gardening design business for a few years, which moved into a home accessories’s business, and now I am doing interior design. Simultaneously, I am writing. My husband claims I am not focused and never “finish” anything. Okay, he may want to say I don’t stay focused,  (I think the word was flaky, but let us not quibble over words!) But I think I was just following my interests that ultimately found my passion. He teases that my writing is just another “hobby.” (Do you see me smirking???? And not in a good way!) But what I feel when I am writing is far beyond a hobby. It is exhilarating; joyous beyond words! It is fulfilling me in ways I never knew was possible for a human being. It makes me content. I feel passion! So, even it is a hobby, a trade, or both, the fact that I found it…well, mission accomplished. Now the “work” begins. Start indulging in it. Get better, do it,  become as good as I can, and hopefully share it with the world. Make it happen and don’t stop until my dying breath. Live it.

Yay me!

It may have taken a few years to get here. Do I tell my son that? Life…that the journey of finding out what drives you, who you are, and finding out what makes you excited is a mixture of the mundane & the excitement of exploring. Some, who are lucky, do find their passion early. But most of us, it is a long road and accumulation of all that you experience. What is that George Bernard Shaw said, “Youth is wasted on the young?” I say, “Life is wasted on the young…or until you find you passion!”

What is your passion? Let me know. Until then, I say to my son, get out there and start searching. It is never too early to find it! But it is never too late either.