Writing & Dreaming in My Favorite Place

I don’t know about you, but it takes one holiday and my entire schedule is thrown off. I had a great Easter with family and friends, but between cooking a holiday meal, cleaning the house, and recuperating from all that, my editing fell a little behind. I try not to worry about those things because although I’m a writer, I’m also a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend…and so many other titles! That means that life happens, which is something to cherish and enjoy.

That said, I’m back on track with my book. I am almost done with the first round of editing and lots of things are happening in the background to bring this book to life. I’m enjoying the process and I can’t wait to share with you all the exiting news coming ahead.

 

Where Inspiration Takes Place.

This week I want to share with you some pictures of my writing area.  

Tucked in a corner of my bedroom is my writing desk. Here’s where my book is written and edited. It’s not a big area or a sophisticated place, but there’s plenty of natural light and personal knick-knacks that serve as inspiration.  This writing corner is cozy and relaxing. There’s nothing better than sitting at my desk with a hot cup of coffee and seeing my dreams coming true.  The white Ikea desk is small enough to keep it cozy but it’s functional and organized.  My file folders have several secrets hidden inside: Art inspiration, Novel Ideas, Character Lists, Workshop Notes, and yes, even Dumbbell Exercises (in case I get the inspiration to work out!)

Surround Yourself With Love.

There’s my “I Love Mom” mug that serves as a pen holder. It’s precious to me because my daughter painted it when she was 5.  Having this on my desk reminds me that I have people to inspire.  I want my kids to see that following your dreams takes hard work and dedication, but it is doable.  I like having inexpensive things surrounding me, even if in reality they’re priceless.  Nothing inspires you to work harder when you have things reminding you how loved and cherished you are.

We’re All Mad Here.

The Alice In Wonderland mug suits my writing personality and journey. It reminds me “We’re all Mad Here.”  You need to be a little mad to follow your dreams.  If you worry about being “normal”, “walking the straight line”, or simply blending in because it’s the safest thing to do, you won’t achieve your dreams.  It’s the quirky and whimsical attitude that pushes you to break the mold and think outside the box.

Dreams & Schemes.

 

On the bookshelf I have my Dreams & Schemes book where all my writing goals are housed. I scan through these pages when I need a reminder of why I do what I do.  Why is it important to have a Dreams & Schemes book?  Because it gives your dreams a voice.  Seeing your inner desires written on paper not only helps you identify them in more detail, but it allows you to put together a plan to achieve those goals.  Writing down your dreams validates them and makes their presence a reality.

 

Your First (Creative) Love.

The little Sailor Moon figurine reminds me what first fueled my imagination as a child. I fell in love with Anime at the age of five and to this day I cherish the rich imagination it created inside me.  Sailor Moon opened a brand new world to me.  One filled with magic, romance, self love, friendship, but most importantly it showed me there are no boundaries to imagination.  You can become who you want and create stories that don’t have to fit the mold.  This little cutie symbolizes my childhood, when everything was possible and the world was wide open to me.  I love thinking back to the little girl I was.  It’s like rediscovering a part of me that will never let me down and that will always inspire me to make my dreams come true.

What about you?  Where do you write, work, or dream?  Is there a special place that inspires you?  I’d love to read about it.  Share it with me!

 

Falling in Love with Your Body

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This morning I sat on my yoga mat and attempted my yoga practice, like the awkwardly self taught beginner I am. During each pose I tried to remember a few things; to be gentle in my movements, respectful in pushing boundaries, and to truly appreciate every inch of my body. That’s when it hit me and it hit me hard. It was the first time I talked to and about my body in a compassionate and loving way.

It saddened me to think how careless I’ve been with my words and actions; how unloving I’ve been about myself, inside and out. Soon, I had tears in my eyes. Here I was, having a conversation with my body, a heart to heart that finally expressed something I should’ve said to it a long ago: “I love you. I thank you. I appreciate you. I cherish you.”

Because I should love everything about my body. My hands have held little one’s fingers, as well as those of dying loved ones. My arms, they carried the weight of the world, the weight of my choices, but also the bundles of hope and encouragement that pushed me along. My lips, they spoke comfort to others and to myself, telling me I could go on even when I thought I couldn’t. They stood up for my opinions and they stood up for others. They kissed, and they tasted the saltiness of the sea. They spoke bitter words and taught me how those words are weapons. My eyes have looked at others with amazement. They’ve also seen evil, witnessed solidarity among people, squinted at the beautiful sunlight, took in majestic mountains, peered at the horizon, and watched the painted sky. My heart, which shattered to pieces and then mended time and time again, even when I thought it would never heal again. It is a heart that holds memories of everyone I’ve ever loved. It bursts with gentleness, understanding, and love. It has dark crevices, too, but they only help me love even the less flattering parts of myself. My stomach, the core that kept strong when I needed to be a mountain in the middle of a storm. My womb, it carried a child and brought life into this world. My feet, which carry me through life, step by step, always moving forward.

Yes, this body is amazing because it carries me. This skin is tough and incorruptible. I will respect it, cherish it, love it and protect it because it’s the temple of God.

Too often we’re told..[..Keep Reading Here]

My New Year Irresolution

 

Welcome To The Future Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

As we reach the end of the year, I begin to reflect on these past twelve months. When I was a young girl, I hated the time immediately after Christmas. There was something melancholically off about saying goodbye to an entire year. After all, it was twelve long months of memories, friendships, birthdays, school days, everything that formed the entire world I lived in.

My reluctance to meet a new year mirrored my thoughts and feelings in regards to ‘letting go’. When I was five years old, I cried for an entire day when my parents forced me to get rid of a pair of shoes I had outgrown. I became so attached to things, to people, that they became part of me. Saying goodbye to those things, just like an entire year, was like tearing away a part of my heart.

As I grew older, I began to embrace the New Year with a new aspect, joining the ‘adult bandwagon of New Year resolutions.” It was those new resolutions that gave me strength and hope in what waited ahead. It wasn’t so hard to say goodbye to the past when you had something on the hook for the future.

Now, as a writer, wife, and mother, I see the timeline of my existence as something more than a New Year resolution. I’ve come to realize that time is precious not because the past is gone for good, but because we get to decide how to face the future, whatever it brings, and whether it’s the middle of June or a day shy of ringing in a new year.

Instead of making a list of resolutions, I’ve decided to start now, in this moment, to mentally prepare myself to have the best life possible—not year. I’ve given myself permission to stumble and fall. I’ve instructed myself to free my mind of restrictions, deadlines, limitations, and unrealistic accountability. There’s a discipline in setting out goals, but there’s an even greater freedom in allowing your life to flow in the direction it was meant to.

If I had to tell you exactly what my resolution is, I’d say it is the willingness to follow my destiny in whatever timeline, manner, and flow God decides to direct it. What does this mean to me as a writer? I’ve decided to be okay if I don’t finish my book this upcoming yearThe book will complete—and publish—at the right place and at the right time, exactly when it’s destined to be. If that is two years from now, then be it.   I’ve had so much insight, inspiration, and new prospective in my personal work that I realize I’m enjoying the journey and trusting the outcome. I’m writing a second book […CONTINUE READING HERE]

Guest Blog by Artist Elisabeth Ladwig

"Writer"
                                                    “Writer”

My very  first artistic inspiration was a simple children’s book written in Italian, my native language, narrating the inception of the world and moving on to the cavemen, the invention of the chariot, and the Roman gladiators. Even now I remember my mother sitting next to me, turning the pages and reading the words out loud. Except, at the tender age of four, I wasn’t as captivated by the writing but mostly by the art. In my mind I began to weave an intricate story of my own, imagining the lives of the caveman holding sticks in his hands and a spark of fire glowing on the ground. The images before me leaped out of the book and immediately found a place in my heart.

"Truce"
                                                 “Truce”

Art has always held a special place in my life and has been the single motivator that inspires all of my stories, characters and worlds that exist in my imagination. Often those stories are created when I run across art that absorbs me into itself. Artist Elisabeth Ladwig is one of those artists whose work speaks volumes. I first came to view her work when working as a co-editor for Mind Key’s second anthology, Yin and Yang: The Duality of Balance. Her work caught my eye and spoke to my soul. I decided to check out her website, Elisabeth On Earth, and immediately realized how multidimensional and soulful her art is. Elisabeth lives in West Milford with her husband and finds that living in the New Jersey Highlands offers immense opportunities and inspiration for photographs. Outside one of her home windows stands a forty-foot pear tree, which local bears visit in August. That’s the location for her picture “Truce”.

As I aim to provide inspirational content that relates to art and writing, I knew I had to reach out to her. She accepted to feature on my blog and shared some of her philosophy on art, nature and finding magic in every aspect of life.

‘Elisabeth on Earth’-  Is there a special meaning to this chosen title/name? 

It actually started as an email address. I didn’t know I would use it professionally one day. What resonates most with me is that the name encompasses both the spiritual and the mundane. While I relate spiritually to Mother Nature and try to learn and grow from that path, I am also very aware that I live in the “real” world with the rest of humanity. 

"When Life Hands You Lemons"
                       “When Life Hands You Lemons”

Your ‘About Me’ page mentions your inspiration stems from elements of science, nature and magic.  This is beautifully depicted in all of your works.  How did you first discover this connection and how do you feel it plays out in everyday life?

I’m not sure what sparked my childhood fascination with the inexplicable. I was in the sixth grade when I announced to my parents that I wanted to do my science fair project on ESP, *laughs*. I can only imagine what they were thinking when I told them. My pitch was that, if ESP exists, then there must be a natural/scientific reason for it that we just don’t understand; otherwise, it wouldn’t happen. I watched the TV show “Little House on the Prairie” growing up, and explained that Laura Ingalls would have thought our televisions to be magic boxes. 

As an adult, I came to nearly equate the three – science, nature, and magic -and exploring their connections fueled my interest in learning about our true potential in our daily lives, about how we can manifest meaningful positive change, about perspective, awareness, and subjectivity. I return to these themes regularly when I get stuck in my own life, and they tend to appear in my work even when I haven’t planned it. 

Want to Read More?  Continue reading here…

Laura in The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength.

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For the third and final installment of The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength, you are introduced to Laura (who, for the sake of her family’s privacy and safety, has chosen to omit her last name).

I’ve known Laura for fifteen years. I remember her as a spunky brown-eyed teen who told you exactly what she thought, and wore her heart on her sleeve. She had a way with words, an outlook that seemed to transcend her teenage years, and a tough attitude to go along with it. When I think of Laura I’m reminded of our youth, the way we were naïve, beautiful, crazy, vulnerable and with our entire future ahead.
Laura took charge of her future, and now that I know her as a woman and not a child, I believe that her story is subtly exceptional. She’s an everyday person with a meaningful story; an ordinary mother with exceptional love; and a typical military wife with deep courage. I believe she represents women as they really are: multi-dimensional, the backbone of their families, and finders of strength and courage even when times get rough.

This is her story in her own words: […READ MORE]

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Danielle Rose in “The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength.”

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As I brainstormed ideas for “The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength”, it was no surprise that Danielle Rose came to mind. A writer, herbalist, and intuitive reader—not to mention a mother with a journalism career, she is able to do it all. As someone close to me for many years, I’ve been privileged to see her growth, not only as a writer and artist, but also as a woman. Danielle has been through her share of challenges and obstacles, but managed to retain a very magical, abstract, and beautifully grounded outlook in life. This energetic attitude enabled her to write her novel, Chimera, and to create an online business and community of artists, educators and healers.

This is her story in her own words:

Instinct and magic is always a transitional process.  We all have it, but it’s a matter of recognizing and understanding it—even those with extraordinary abilities undergo this process.  However, that’s not to say that there aren’t moments that act as milestones.  Sometimes it’s difficult to notice them right away.  

Travel has always been important to me. For many of the obvious reasons—experiencing different cultures and traditions, learning new things, seeing the world—but also because I think it represented a freedom which, coming from a sheltered and abusive childhood, I never had.  

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My dream was to backpack Europe upon graduating high school. However, I was deeply discouraged from this adventure by my mother and guidance counselor, and encouraged to go to college first (I had planned on going after). They convinced me I would be able to travel in college and in my 20s. However, during my first year of college I was forced to live on my own, and needed to work to support myself and my education. After college, I had a full time job, was still in an apartment, and was determined to save diligently to buy a home and get out of the rent-rut.  After purchasing my home, I became engaged, was married, had children… you get the idea.  I did travel at points with my husband, but due to work and financial restrictions the amazing adventure I had always wanted, and which would have offered invaluable life lessons, never truly materialized.

My point here is that no time is ever the right time.  As the years passed I realized in my gut that […READ MORE]

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For her feature guest blog, she talks about being in touch with her instincts, how she’s learned to recognized her own strength, and what her life journey has been about.

This is her story in her own words:

Amy Oestreicher in “The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength.”

gutless and grateful

For the first installment of The Age of Bold: Women Gathering Courage, Wisdom and Strength”, I’ve selected someone with an incredible life story. I first learned about Amy Oestreicher when I wrote The Connection Between Art and WritingAmy is very familiar with the power of art, as her own life journey has been healed and inspired by it. Amy’s story is extraordinary. Having gone through twenty-seven surgeries, a coma, sexual abuse and a decade of medical trauma, she has been able to persevere through it all. On her personal website, Amy says, “Every twist and turn has made me who I am today—a bold, resilient woman with a deeper purpose.”  […READ MORE]

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