Strength in the tongue: speaking life into our dreams

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Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash.

Once upon a time, a middle-aged wife and mother dreamed of being a princess. But not just any princess: one who often swapped out miles of tulle and a tiara for horse duds and Stetson. Plus, she teaches yoga and guides nature hikes on the side. Yet her biggest aspiration always entailed…[read more]

Crisis of identity: discovering your ‘story’


I’m smack dab in the middle of an identity crisis. Oh, I know who I am: a middle-aged Christian woman and married mother of an adult child. I work as an editorial and advertising coordinator for a commercial magazine publisher (see About Me). My Facebook profile describes me as a lover of words, kitties, laughter, yoga and animal print. And sparkles. I’m also a published author (see Links) of nonfiction and fiction. However, I’ve been questioning my “identity” over the past few weeks in relation to my “story.” I’ve never understood what that means. Until now. For me, my story translates into what I’m called to write. In “Trusting the process…,” I talk about completing the first draft of a sweet romance. But herein lies the crux of my “crisis.” While preparing to write the second draft, I realized I possess a different story to tell. I shared this revelation with my husband, who said, “Why can’t you write both?” Indeed.

What’s your story—or crisis of identity?

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Visualize it to become it


I teeter on the edge—close to abandoning my passion once again. But in the quiet of morning—that fuzzy space when daybreak balances in the silence—my husband’s body presses against mine, his arm draped over me. Sheets askew, strips of sunlight strain to penetrate the shutter seams. And his mouth brushes my hair as he speaks: I haven’t seen you write lately. It isn’t how these words string together to form meaning. It’s what he doesn’t say: I notice you; there’s something missing. As I often do with my hopes—my feelings—I tamp them down; the ashes turn cold from neglect. Yet even though I pretend I’m okay, that I’m happy, soon the need to seek solitude and inspiration along the mountain trails will become a tangible draw. But it’s now that I see a glimmer among the dust motes: the spark of resolve as it ignites. I visualize myself as a successful writer. A published novelist. I’m back.

What do you need to visualize?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Full steam ahead

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The little engine


In my post ‘Celebrating small victories’ I talk about how consistency often leads to improvement, however minuscule. Each day is different, whether pertaining to my workouts or my journey toward becoming a published novelist but, as long as I focus on what I can do rather than dwell on what I cannot do—then the sum of each week inevitably reveals a steady climb toward my dreams. When I brake to evaluate my progress, the daily changes are not monumental. But, cumulatively, I’m closer to Someday than I was yesterday. I’ve learned, too, that voicing your goals to the naysayers might derail your plans unless you’re prepared to stand firm in the face of your critics. This might mean participating in activities or lifestyle choices that both affirm and advance your ambitions. And, instead of allowing a limiting belief to stop you at ‘I think I can,’ take it full steam ahead and repeat after yourself: ‘I know I can!

What limiting belief stops you in your tracks?

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Are you living a ‘more than’ life?

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Future self


It catches me off guard at times: I mention in passing I’m a writer and the listener asks, Oh! What do you write? That’s when a marmalade-striped kitty catches my tongue and a brief pause touches my lips. I’m working on a couple projects, I say. The next query follows: What kind… anything published? At this point I don’t know where to begin—no published novel, but yes, several magazine articles—and I start to act almost apologetic for ‘posing’ as a published author. Because while my peers within the writing community celebrate recent successful book launches, as well as sought-after literary awards, I still work toward the goal of writing more than: more than a to-do list or a grocery list, more than a blog or a commercial trade article. Yet, each time I communicate through words, I stack a building block one atop the other. And I’m happy because I can call myself a writer. Because I write.

What makes your life the ‘more than’ kind?

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It never gets old


Tulip garden

[Image credit: Detanan]

Recently, I read about an author who was told that self-promotion of her newly published novel was something akin to shameless. Her response oozed with class. Basically, if writers earn their — our — livelihood writing, why wouldn’t we market our own work? The other day two of my just-published articles came out in the premiere issue of Paradise Valley Lifestyle magazine (pages 26-27 and 34). Although I’ve had other commercial and literary pieces published, I was just as excited as if these were my first. It never gets old to see my name in print (other than for a traffic violation, of course) — to validate my passion and then to share my excitement with anyone who will listen (thanks, you know who you are). Because as a late bloomer, I spent the first half of my life weeding my garden and now I’m finally beginning to reap a beautiful harvest. Plus, Someday I’ll want you to buy my books.

What is one thing you enjoy that never gets old?

A writer with a capital W

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Writer with a capital W

This is not a new discussion.  I’m constantly beating my head against a brick wall on the topic and thought I’d ask my “closest” friends on Facebook what constitutes a “real” writer — forgetting, of course, that I’m a writer (at least that’s what I call myself).  Here are some responses:  … I enjoy a person that can provoke an emotion. Be it laughter, sorrow, glee, etc.; chain smoker; self-loathing, abusive, alcoholic; a person who has written, finished and published several works of literature in print; … a very active imagination; …can write something that will keep my attention from beginning to end; loner; … capable of captivating and retaining a reader.  According to a couple answers, I’m definitely a “real” writer.  I can provoke an emotion (even if it might be disgust).  I have a very active imagination (even if I say so myself).  Maybe if I take on the other qualities, I’ll be a Writer with a capital W.

What is a “real” writer in your book?

One risk at a time

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Our lives improve only when we take chances —
and the first and most difficult risk we can take
is to be honest with ourselves. ~ Walter Anderson

If I’m honest with myself, then I’m the only one to blame for most everything keeping me from taking chances.  For example, I’m the one who consistently fills my Franklin with all sorts of daily chores and errands and busywork, as well as the one who insists I log in 6+ hours of weekly workout time.  It’s also no one else’s fault but my own that I haven’t written a book yet or gotten it published.  And while I’m on a roll here, I’m the one who decides what I will or won’t eat and when.  Consequently, at the end of the day it’s only me who will be disappointed if I don’t meet my self-imposed expectations.  So now that I’ve been honest with myself, I have to decide what I’m going to do about it.

Are you honest with yourself?