Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lost in the Ocean

Every day the news poses a unique challenge for me -- where is the spirit in an airplane crash? I imagine the families of the 228 loved ones lost somewhere in the Atlantic ocean and can't even grasp their loss. What I find most shocking about my reaction is that a part of me is demanding they be found. With all the technology and navigational systems, I would think locating them would not be so difficult. Where is the US Navy? Where are the computer geniuses? Where is the collective action of the world's people in harnessing full knowledge of our common waters?

But, clearly, I don't understand how vast our oceans are. And that just may be the spirit I take from this devastating news -- that, at times, I am powerless to something greater. No, let me rephrase. I think I am pretty powerless most of the time to something greater. All I have to do is think about the limitless and untapped places in our oceans to see how small I am in comparison.

May the bereaved find comfort in something greater.

New Direction

Although instigated to start a blog to propel me forward as a writer, I am going to focus my content in a new direction -- "Finding Spirit: One Soul's Journey."

I had the impossible task of narrowing my interests into a blog title. Family, writing, nutrition. Yes, I can write about nutrition while spending time with my family but what ties it all together is the larger umbrella of what drives me to do what I do on a daily basis -- finding spirit in everything. Even the mundane, the ugly and the impossible. That's where I go and that's what I will blog about. Finding Spirit in washing dishes, bandaging a knee and sitting on the sidelines of a lacrosse game. Everywhere, spirit lives.

Today, I found it in the gym. I walked into a weight class and saw a room full of strong women pumping iron bars over their heads in a dedicated and powerful way. Yes, I saw women trying to get into shape for the bathing suit season, but, I also saw an amazing, unharnessed feminine power emanating from these individuals -- bundles of creativity and experience. Our culture nurtures a more individualistic approach to success in life but there is power anytime we collect together around a single aim. In this case, the women empowered each other to strength. At a Race for the Cure event, we empower one another to support each other while winning the fight against cancer. In a book group, well, anything happens but we leave feeling stronger. Just put us in a circle and great things happen.

So, today I found spirit in the gym. In my fellow weight-lifting women.


A friend suggested I self-publish. This suggestion gave me pause. What is my intent in writing? Would self-publishing satiate that longing to hold the book in my hands, to quickly flip through and sniff the freshly printed pages and relish the written word? Yes, I suppose. I could hold something tangible in my hands. But, another part of me says no because my ultimate goal is not to print the story. My ultimate goal is to convey the story. What is the difference? I could print my story right now -- on my printer. But, in order to convey the story, I must put it into the fire for purification, distill its most important messages, and suffer the process of fine-tuning the writing so that the story is clear and as good as it can be. That is why I am drawn to knock on the doors of the conventional publishing houses -- let them burn and purify the story.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


One of my articles that appeared in Natural Solutions magazine. Trying to upload others!

First Blog

My first blog.
Feels weird but I can now have a real conversation with my nieces and nephews who have grown up with "google" as a verb. Is that why I decided to come out of online obscurity and cast my pearls (ok, maybe not pearls, let's say quartz) before internet swine - to speak to the younger generation? No. I do this because if I don't, no literary agent will even consider me as a client to pitch my new novel, THE COLOR OF HONEY, to publishers.

I just returned from the Backspace Writers Conference in New York and spent hours listening to experts detailing the perils in the publishing world. I might have a better chance of getting into Harvard Medical School than getting my debut novel published. But there were plenty of other people whose eyes lit up, talking about their "divine persistence" that led them to where they were as best-selling authors. So I weighed what appeared to be the grim reality of publishing against my hell-bent attitude and chose the latter. So, in that spirit, I will blog.

THE COLOR OF HONEY is every woman's story. Elizabeth Saunders takes a horticulture class to heal after a stillbirth. The death of her baby instigated the ache and guilt she had over the death of her own mother in childbirth. Hungry for maternal love, as a giver and receiver, she befriends her professor, Anne Herring, a woman with the wisdom of a thousand saints. A class about "gardening" unearths Elizabeth's whole life. Elizabeth goes AWOL in her marriage, forsaking her country club environs to volunteer in a women's shelter where she grapples with life's cycles of birth, death and rebirth.

But before she can completely heal, Elizabeth discovers a surprising secret about her real mother, a secret buried deep in her past that gives the sisterhood she and Anne share a whole new meaning.

In truth, Elizabeth's story is no one's but her own -- it is quite a unique situation in which she finds herself -- but her inner growth spurred on in midlife will resonate with every woman. Not to say guys can't read my book. Guys have mothers, too, and my brother read it and liked it. But it is a woman's story in that we give birth again and again and again to a number of realities that are unique to women. And that's what makes Elizabeth's story our own.

Nice blogging with you!!

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