Tag Archives: hope

Meet My New Friend

26 May

Patti Aaron OrcasA love letter to my beta readers

As I hit the send button, and my final manuscript zipped through the ether to my proofreader, I felt I should formally thank the most unexpected new friend on this book-writing journey…

Critique.

Do you wince at the word? At the beginning of this story, I would’ve. Hell, even six months ago, I would’ve. Humans tend to want the quickest, least challenging route from A to B, even if it’s not always the best. (Pro tip: Nine times out of ten, it won’t be.)

That’s why Critique sounds to many of us like nails on a chalkboard. It’s hard to hear. It slows you down and sometimes even send you in the opposite direction. It often requires change. At best, you need to rethink a problem. At worst, you practically need to rewire a part of your brain.

It’s hard hard work.

As a matter of fact, it’s so hard that many avoid it altogether, myself included. Just the idea of getting over that hump mountain to the other side makes people pursue every other route, from denial and excuses to apathy and even giving up.

But the truth is, there’s a paradise of possibilities beyond, and Critique is the only friend you can truly trust to get you there.  Continue reading

Birthday Wishes for My Son

28 Apr

Cuddle Arms Spring BowtieToday I take a break from the book stuff to honor one of the reasons behind it:

My son.

Sweet little Von never had the chance to meet two of the most incredible women I’ve ever known—the women who inspired this journey and would have been his adoring grandmothers. (Emphasis on adoring.)

Despite the deep sorrow that brings, it also brings me hope. Life goes on, and so do the life lessons we take with us from the exceptional people who cross our paths, past or present.

When my son blows out that one little candle tonight (or rather we do it for him), I’ll be making the following wishes on his behalf.

Continue reading

Directions

10 Feb
Compass Poem Directions

“Compass Study” © Calsidyrose, Flickr Creative Commons

Sometimes in life, you just need to stop and ask the universe for directions.

That’s what I did, going into my recent trip to Hawaii with my husband and daughter. After years devoted to (and struggling with) two kids’ books near and dear to my heart, I left it up to vacation to provide some meditation and fresh insight.

In exchange I received these three “responses”:
Continue reading

Hope and Hard Truths

6 Feb

Greenlake Seattle SunsetRegardless of your political preferences, this is a refreshingly honest talk on grief (see video below) from Joe Biden to military families in mourning.

For anyone coping with a loss, I hope it will bring you some peace during this reflective time of year.

“There will come a day, I promise you, when the thought of your [lost loved one] brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It WILL happen. My prayer for you is, that day will come sooner than later. But … I’m telling you: It will come.” ~Joe Biden

Continue reading

The Mother I Want to Be

9 May

Szaba_Angela_YellowTulipsIn honor of Mother’s Day, here are five ladies who taught me about the mother I want to be.

Who are your five? Or for the guys, what mom figures most influenced to you?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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The Passing of the Year (Poem)

31 Dec

Time Flies Birdcage Clock

I’m always amazed by the human spirit’s agility in the face of unending change, and never more so than at the start of a new year.

What will 2013 hold for you, for me, for the world? New jobs, news discoveries, new inspiration? New losses, new challenges, new hope?

This poem captures that adaptation better than I ever could. I hope you enjoy it.

The Passing of the Year

by Robert W. Service

My glass is filled, my pipe is lit,

My den is all a cozy glow;

And snug before the fire I sit,

And wait to feel the old year go.

I dedicate to solemn thought

Amid my too-unthinking days,

This sober moment, sadly fraught

With much of blame, with little praise.

Old Year! upon the Stage of Time

You stand to bow your last adieu;

A moment, and the prompter’s chime

Will ring the curtain down on you.

Your mien is sad, your step is slow;

You falter as a Sage in pain;

Yet turn, Old Year, before you go,

And face your audience again.

Continue reading

New Year, New Hope (Video)

28 Dec

ShirleyWedding

This year, as with any year, we all had our ups and downs, some higher and lower than others. To remember one is to reverently honor the other. The good and bad arriveand depart—hand in hand.

“Should we continue to look upwards?” Victor Hugo asked. “Is the light we can see in the sky one of those which will presently be extinguished? The ideal is terrifying to behold… brilliant but threatened on all sides by the dark forces that surround it: nevertheless, no more in danger than a star in the jaws of the clouds.”

What is he talking about? Continue reading