Monday, September 24, 2018

Which Kind of Flower?

The other day I had fun contemplating which type of flower I’d choose to be . . .

A flower in all its burgeoning glory, blossoming with vibrant petals.

                       (from our yard in CT) 

 (from our yard in CA)


A flower or its petals pressed between the pages of a favorite book, enduring with significance.

I decided on the one closest to the words.

How about you? Which type of flower would you choose to be?

Monday, September 17, 2018

Drawn to This

I'm excited to begin edits on one book as I continue to write the first draft of another. Needless to say, I have my hands full. So does this guy. Check out this video my mom sent me recently. I have such a rich appreciation for people who see potential where it's often easily missed.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Life is a Bad Ref

With my girls playing club soccer in three different regions of the country, I can say I’ve just about seen it all when it comes to refereeing. The good. The bad. And the ugly. I’ve also become a keen observer of parent reactions, and I’m beginning to see how they don’t vary much from state to state.

I don’t know whether it’s because my girls are growing older and this isn’t my first rodeo with club sports, but in recent years I’m grasping the value of letting each team simply play their game—without parental interference. And that includes shouting insults at the ref.


Because the way I see it, life is a bad ref. Bad refs (with the exception of those who refuse to intervene when things get dangerous) can teach our kids. So what if a ref misses a hand ball or calls a corner kick a goal kick? You’d be surprised how my parents get up in arms about such calls.

I’ve leapt up from my chair before, furious at some of the calls (or lack of calls) I’ve witnessed. The best is when parents (or a coach) tick a ref off so badly that every calls he makes from that point on is skewed because of the verbal lashing he had to publicly endure.

My thinking when the ref makes a misjudgment . . . such is life. Play on. Play through it.

Play through.

I used to cringe every time my mom would tell me life was unfair, but as an adult I get that she was doing me a favor by telling me this. I didn’t grow up expecting special treatment or that I’d always be understood in every situation. Plenty of situations occur when there isn’t an opportunity to plead your case. Life makes all kinds of unfair calls. Death, disease, and ignorant cruelty to name a few.

We can’t always bark back at life. It doesn’t work like that. I’ve never seen a ref change his mind after a good yelling at. So much of living a peaceful, fulfilled life is understanding—really understanding—how to navigate through the things we cannot control. How to play through it. How to play our game despite what’s playing out all around us. Developing that kind of personal accountability is invaluable. We don’t go through life blaming others for our successes and failures. We take responsibility.

Sure, some games are called horribly. Been there. Seen that. I finally figured out that’s what gets some parents so enraged when they observe a bad call. They’re having to sit back while Life smacks their kid around. I say give the kid a chance to rise up. Watch as they show you how well they can play through it. Teach them to play their game no matter how the game might be called.

I went to rehab for the first time when I was in sixth grade. It was family day and my parents drove me and my two other sisters to support my sister who was trying to get sober. I’ll never forget a lot of things from that tumultuous time period in my life, but one of the greatest takeaways came in the form of a simplistic prayer. Maybe you’ve heard of it. The opening lines of the Serenity Prayer have guided me through more occasions than I could possibly count.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Play through.

Monday, September 3, 2018

I Missed My Books

Happy Labor Day! I’ve not only been hard at work cranking out the rough draft of another novel, I’ve also been up to something else. Something rather booky.

The last two places we’ve lived I haven’t had built-in bookshelves. I’ve missed my books. Seeing them, picking them up and flipping through the pages from time to time. I’m not one to sit around and miss something for long. My brain gets to work. Creativity surges wildly and unpredictably. It’s always exciting to see what will come of these waves of spontaneous problem solving.

Yesterday a new room was born.

What was once a closet under our stairs is now a reading & game nook.

There are a few things I still want to spruce up. A little painting. More decorating.

But this is what came of me missing my books.

I created a magical, under-the-stairs-place my kids could sneak away to, a nook where I too could escape and delight in brushing my fingers along the many spines.

My book nook. 
And all is right with the world again.

Taking Time

college applications                 homecoming                            flag football                basketball             SATs   ...