Archive for July, 2008

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


First off my apologies for not writing more…..I’ve been so busy running what feels like 20 different businesses and writing alot for that, so haven’t felt much like I’ve had the time, but am trying to be intentional at getting back to it.

So many things this last week alone have seemed to fall into my lap that I’m so excited about and have just been inspring, spiritual, comfirming experienes that have made me feel I’m where I need to be.

Maybe that just happens when you stop worrying so much about money and start worrying more about how you can best help people.

Yesterday, I attended an information session for volunteering for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.  It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for years but living so far away kept me from it.  Now, it’s literally across the street and I’m thrilled I can walk once the weather cools down a bit.

The session was so inspiring I was almost in tears most of the hour!  I was really moved simply by the fact that there were 75 people who showed up ready and willing to give their time for free.   The hospital has over 500 volunteers and will be needing many more as they are in the process of building an additional 14 story patient tower that will bring them gradually from their current 277 beds up to 617 beds all in private rooms.  The other exciting thing for me about volunteering is that it has changed so much from the time that I spent in hospitals before where our only interaction with the patients was delivering flowers or maybe wheeling them to the front door on discharge.  Now most hospitals allow you to be as involved with the patients as you like and Phx Children’s has over 45 different positions you can volunteer for.  I went into the session knowing I wanted something hands on very involved with the patients so that I could really focus on someone else’s needs during that time and get out of my head and into my heart more.

They have such a unique viewpoint and philosophy on caring for the whole child, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, education, development….and the child just happens to be in the hospital dealing with an illness or trauma.  Even their planning of the hospital is unique, including things such as a children’s advisory board in the process.  They have amazing schools there and they really are focused on the whole family as well…which is where I think I want to work…with helping the families who are dealing with these traumas, being faced with the possibility of losing a child, etc. I can’t imagine many things that would try the human soul more than that.

I know it will be a learning and growth experience for me in many ways….and difficult at times.  Part of me knows that the reason volunteering here before never worked out for me is because I was not in a place emotionally and spiritually to handle all that.  Now, I feel I am, and if I have something in me that can help in any way, how can I not give that part of myself to this. I’m just really excited to get started. It feels overwhelmingly like one of the right place to be in my life at this time.

I’ll try to keep you updated on how the process goes there as well as all the other things on my plate that are near and dear to my heart.

If you would like more information on Phoenix Children’s Hospital ….please visit their site at



July 16, 2008 at 7:51 am Leave a comment


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