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June 2, 2009 at 8:42 pm Leave a comment

Home Sweet Home

It’s pretty sad when I slept better over the last week in the hospital than I have the last two nights at home.  Sure, maybe the pain meds contributed to that just a bit….but I think it might have more to do with the need of a new bed and the overwhelming evidence that bombards my vision the second I step into my apt of the hundreds of little things on my to do list.  Writing, cleaning, shopping, organizing, entertaining the cat, laundry, keeping up with my social networks and avalanching email inbox.

Sure, I was sick, I was poked with needles three times a day and had who knows what pumped into my veins for nearly a week…but it was a break from all the chaos.  The self imposed perfectionism and weighty procrastination.  I’m home, and I’m exhausted trying to figure out what to do first, choked by the feeling of drowning in my own laundry and out of convenient excuses like being tied to an IV.

Still as long as I have to take the prescription meds I’m still sick, right?  That means at least 3 more days to relax and recover, then we’ll see what the doc has to say!

May 17, 2009 at 4:32 am Leave a comment

Writefly up and running…

My site for writers officially launched today….lots more to do…but the foundation is in place. And no….I am not JUST procrastinating finishing my screenplay! xoxo

May 4, 2009 at 7:11 am 1 comment

Dandelion Wine

I admit it….I consume way too much Sci-Fi.  I’m intrigued by the idea of freezing myself in stasis or finding the proverbial Fountain of Youth.  On some level, I guess I’m lucky… I can easily ignore the birthdays that I don’t actually get.  I let myself  giddily believe it when people tell me I still look like I’m in my 20’s.  I go for the younger guys, and I still dream about what I’ll be when I grow-up.  Someday.

This year, February 28th came and went without much notice.  I didn’t really celebrate.  I certainly didn’t feel older or wiser that day.  I blame it on the fact that it wasn’t the 29th.  I don’t have a real birthday again until 2012.  In some little corner of my mind I get to pretend that I’m stuck in a time-capsule until then as well.

But, this year is a little different than most.  Last month, my dad celebrated his 60th birthday with a rare party in his honor.  I was proud of the family and friends that showed up to honor this man who has taught me so much about patience, responsibility and love.  And it was that moment – surrounded by a collection of  aunts and cousins, my father’s friends and colleagues – that my mortality decided to come flashing – not in peaceful steady-cam, but in nauseating hand-held crash  shots before my eyes.

I didn’t allow it to linger –  managed to shake it off with Italian Margaritas and jokes for the camera.  But the awareness in that instant planted a weed of sorts.  The kind that deceives.  Like a Dandelion that you pick for your mother as a child, only seeing it’s bright colors and flowery prose…not aware that it is choking the water and air from the grass below.

I’ve grown up a lot over the past three years.   Or maybe just lived.  Maybe it was  the first 30 years of my life that were spent in stasis…so afraid of making a mistake or going after what I  wanted that I only really lived in my own fragile world where nothing much ever changed.  I had to make a conscious decision to fall down a few stairs and make a smattering  of  mistakes in order to be surprised with some beautiful discoveries and truly start to grow.

I don’t know why I couldn’t go through that emotional adolescence until I was fully an adult.  I don’t know how I managed to learn all those years worth of lessons so quickly…but I know that I did.  I know becuase I look in the mirror at who I am today, this month, this week  – and I find myself aged.  Less impetuous, calmer.  Three years ago I was a scared 12 year-old child, and today…well most days I feel I’ve caught up with myself.  Other days…I catch a glimpse of a woman even stronger and wiser than I know.

But I see the Dandelion there as well.  Suddenly I look closer and I notice the tiny wrinkles at the corners of my eyes.    I now see  the single gray hairs I used to pluck  lightly , are growing like the weed,  so rampant that now they are the first thing I see.  Luckily I don’t feel the need to look in the mirror as often any more.  I’m more content with who I am.

Dandelion WineBut, other momentous occasions are on the horizon.  My parents will celebrate their 40th Anniversary this June.  The majority of my friends parents are separated and I am truly in awe of the fact that mine have not only managed to stay together through the years….but have presented an example of what a real, hard-working, honest, loving marriage looks like.  I wonder if they know how much that legacy means to me?

Despite my joy for their accomplishment…years are added to the mental weight I’m beginning to carry around.  Years that whisper, “Even if you were married today….you’d have to live to be 73 to make this milestone!”  And don’t get me started on the kids I haven’t had yet.

Still, I have to admit to a detached calmness about the whole thing.  I prefer to think I’m more of the exception to the rule.  I’m content to be the perfectly aged rare wine…that somehow grows more seductive with time.  The hints of oak and exotic berries only now beginning to make their presence known.  I think in the end the Fountain of Youth for me.  I cannot say where I will be when I am 73.  But, I’m pretty sure there will be more dandelions dancing around in my brain…and I will find them the loveliest thing I have ever seen.

April 27, 2009 at 8:59 am Leave a comment

My Twilight Saga

The cover of this last weeks Entertainment Weekly made my heart skip a beat with excitement. There in full color were two of my favorite fictional characters, about to be brought to life on the big screen.

Twilight The Movie

Twilight The Movie

Five years ago,  my mother, trying to be helpful as usual had clipped an article in the local paper about an LDS single mother about my age who had written some vampire book for teens.  I read the article.  Was a bit jealous of her nonchalant just waking up one day and deciding to write something which sold.  I’d been labouring over my writing for so many years.  What would that be like…just to wake up one day, without ever having given writing a moment’s thought and decide to write something?  And have that something be good!  It didn’t happen everyday that much I knew for sure.  I think I decided to be unneccesarily annoyed with my mother for showing me the article.  As if she expected that I should be able to have a dream one night, wake up the next morning and write something fabulous too.  I imagined it was a jab, about me not working hard enough.  In reality it was true confidence in me, motivation to keep going.  I just wasn’t in the place to see it as that at the time.

It was several years later before Twilight entered my life again.  My friend Leslie, a high-school English teacher had a habit of keeping up to date on what her “kids” were reading.  And the Twilight “books”, as they had now become were what every teenage girl in America were drooling over.  I didn’t give it much thought as she spent the weekend at our cabin up north engrossed in the first book of the series, and her running reviews as she read were not too encouraging.

“God, I could write this!” she kept saying. And knowing Leslie…if she put her heart to it, she probably could.

“Ha!” My Ego was temporarily justified.

A week later I was helping Les out at school, getting ready for a parent’s night and taping poster’s the kids had made to the walls.  A full third of the posters had something to do with Twilight in them.  Now I was intrigued.  I didn’t know that many students, when I was in high-school who actually read….let alone put it on display for all to see.

I asked Leslie again about the books and this time her response was different.  The first one was a little slow to get into, but “They are so great…you have to read them!”  She loaned the first two to me later that week and they sat on my shelf for months.

Breaking Dawn Cover

Breaking Dawn Cover

I really don’t remember picking up the first one, but I do remember going…ok…yes the language is simple…but it’s for teens.  The story is pretty ingrained and complex.  I could see the characters before I even knew what the books were about….I was hooked.

Whenever I manage to come across a book I can’t put down, I pretty much don’t.  I think I stayed up for 48 hours reading the first two in the series and then ran to the store the next day and bought the third because I couldn’t wait until I saw Leslie again.

Thinking the third was the last I was a bit dissapointed with the ending, but I quickly went to the Author, Stephenie Meyer’s website and found there was one more book to come.

That book, Breaking Dawn comes out August 2nd.  (Yes, I have it marked on my calendar!)  and while I haven’t become one of her screaming, stalking fans…I’ve finally gained a great amount of respect for Stephenie.

Now…with another series for adults (The Host) already on shelves and the Twilight Movie looking like a blockbuster, this multi-millionaire is unreachable.  But five years ago, if I’d let my ego aside I could have easily picked up the phone and had a conversation with this girl….so much like me…who just happened to find her love in writing.



July 21, 2008 at 9:06 pm Leave a comment

Children Playing War

Working the Cocaine Fields

Working the Cocaine Fields

I came across a very moving program on PBS World (Channel 8.3 in Phoenix) this afternoon that nearly broke my heart. The film, Global Voices Columbia… showed young children celebrating war…playing war games with guns and knives and choosing sides…paramilitary or guerrilla versus the army. Virtually every student in the classroom to the dismay of the astute teacher saw this as the future they wanted. These 10 year old boys an girls were so numb and used to death that they not only saw it as the only way of life but as a life they should aspire to.

Not if I kill you first.

Not if I kill you first.

My first thought was truly…well don’t all children play war games? Cowboy’s versus Indians for our parents…for us it was Spy Games which included dressing all in black at night and taking others “hostage” as well as “torture” by tying each other down and stuffing dirty socks in the hostages mouth…usually me. Is any of this natural. Is it necessary?

But the children of Columbia live in a much different world than my adolescent escapism, which was really just a chance to show I could keep up with the boys and get my nose out of my books for a few hours! These children commit hour upon hour every day to practice of military formations and instillation in each other that there is no other life.

The teacher found it hard to continue teaching these children to prepare them for such an unnecessary future. Trying to reason with them…”What is the purpose of studying if that is all you want for your future?” “To learn about guns and weapons,” was the sad reply. One older boy in particular spoke of how he would readily kill his friends and families if asked. He also showed a great deal of awareness that this life was all about killing and being killed. It was just a fact for him, not a choice in his mind.

A young Columbian boy plays with his donkey.

A young Columbian boy plays with his donkey.

Another much younger boy seemed to possess the closest thing to wisdom in the group…saying he would not join these armed gangs. He did want not want to give up a chance to live his life to the fullest. Unless of course they came and killed his parents…that would drive him over the edge and he would want revenge. He said it with a twinge of sadness through his smile…almost as if he expected it to happen. He spoke as someone much wiser than his years…”Things are so nice when you are a kid, then you grow up and it gets much harder.”

More about the program:

(San Francisco, CA)—An intimate, emotional journey, ABC COLOMBIA explores the lives of children growing up amidst conflict and violence in an area in Colombia that is controlled by paramilitary and is host to extensive cocaine fields. Shown through the eyes of two boys, 12-year-old Miguel Angel and 17-year-old Huriday, the film follows the young protagonists in this problematic setting through an entire school year, exploring some of the realities that nurture and perpetuate the violence in their homeland. ABC COLOMBIA will have its U.S. broadcast premiere on Sunday, July 20, 2008, at 10 PM on Global Voices, a new series produced by ITVS International airing on the PBS WORLD digital channel (check local listings).

Over the last 18 years, the film’s director, Enrica Colusso, has visited Colombia numerous times with her Colombian-born husband. ABC COLOMBIA is a portrayal of her relationship with this fascinating and complex country.

“I was drawn to this reality and these characters because they have been part of my life for almost 10 years now. My husband and I own a small piece of land in the region, so this is a place and a community I know well. I have in fact known the youngest character since he was 3,” said Colusso. Colombia’s 50-year-old internal armed conflict has encouraged a growing culture of violence. For Colusso, ABC COLOMBIA is not a discourse on the state of Colombia, but an opportunity to represent the violence that is around these children, how it is perceived by them and how it affects the choices they make.

“Some of these children I have seen grow up and, over the years, transform into hardened adolescents, which today provokes complex feelings within me. I wanted to explore what it means to grow up in an area of conflict—to show the difficult, and often violent, choices these children face.”

I can’t help but wonder what the solution is…knowing it is much bigger than myself.  Would love to hear your comments on this subject.



July 21, 2008 at 12:39 pm Leave a comment


I’ve had many people ask me lately why I have begun to sign off my emails this way.  I haven’t gone into too much detail, other to than to say it’s a part of the spiritual journey I’m on.

But the word actually has deep meaning to me and I want people to know how much I believe what I am saying. Too many people are confused by the word…thinking it just has something to do with yoga and don’t know what it really means. Contrary to popular belief, it is not another way of saying “Peace”. It’s a much deeper form of love and respect. I wanted to share this beautiful video that captures well the spirit of what it means to me and maybe will help you understand why it is an important word to me.




July 16, 2008 at 7:57 am Leave a comment

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