May 29, 2014

Bring Back Our Girls

I find myself consciously seeking to subdue my emotions on the issue of hundreds of Nigerian school girls kidnapped, to be used as pawns to manipulate and control. I care deeply, intensely, and it is difficult to conceptualize or accept this truth. It horrifies me, but it has happened.

They were snatched away from all things familiar, safety now a memory - pulled from expressions of love and care into terrifying situations. It is too much to bear. My heart weeps with the mother's and bleeds with the father's. The images that plague their minds are likely ones of terror. They have seen the nature of the captors. They know the possible fates their offspring face.

I cannot imagine what their days are like. Is sleeplessness and constant worry now the new reality? Do daunting feelings of utter hopelessness and anguish drape the landscape of their thoughts? That state of being is now the common thread, a link between the girls and their families, Nigeria and the world – worry, concern, fear, apprehension, doubt - pain.

The Nigerian people expect the government to do more. In their eyes (on this matter) it is an impotent institution. Maybe the country’s elect feel as powerless. It is possible what is viewed as ineptitude is their stark truth, “we are not equipped to handle this.” I could be wrong, it could be something else altogether. What I do know with certainty, those girls deserve their freedom. I am praying for their safe return. Bring back our girls.

May 15, 2014

Work Of Art

Color your world. Make it beautiful with long strokes and bold splashes. Adorn the landscape of your dreams. You can make it happen, just believe. When you believe, you are convicted to transform what you see into what it should become.  Passion drives you. Actualization, realization, whatever word you wish to use - the shaping of your vision is a thing of beauty.

Dreams come to life at the whisper of your thoughts, the sound of your words. Create a whirlwind of movement and dance into the realm of possibility, step by step. Vibrant colors need both light and dark. The mix develops hues that grace the stark white canvas that is you. Don’t be afraid of the dark. Walk through until you step into the light. You will find the dark is not a scary place. In those moments, absence of light awakens other senses, and you create in ways you never could in illuminated spaces.

A potter spins the wheel just so, slight pressure here, a bit firmer there. Each stage is an unfolding.  Let pressure grace the vessel with its nuances – creating character that would not otherwise be found. Nobody ever said it would always be easy. Everything may not be wonderful, but it will be good – in the end, it will be good.

Hear, see, understand – allow. Eliminate, ruminate – appreciate. Mix your colors, dare to see beyond mundane. Hear the sounds you missed while focusing on fears of never being seen, or heard, or understood. No matter what you do, you’ll leave a legacy; so make it good. Watch your colors seep into lives, as their canvas, too, becomes a work of art.

May 03, 2014

Never Give Up On Your Dream

"It's not a sprint, it's a marathon." Those were powerful words from literary agent, Leslie Stobbe. He was talking about the process of writing and publishing. His words revitalized my resolve to continue working with optimism. Writers write, no matter the challenge. Words pour out unbidden. Empty pages are filled over time.

For many new writers, writing is not the difficult part, it is the process to publication that they find daunting. Some become discouraged, some choose to self-publish. Others are swallowed up by the marketing maze. It is great to know that there are events with resources and direct communication with many in the industry who are willing to share much needed information.

Leslie Stobbe was one of the presenters at the Florida Writers Association's Mini-Conference. He has a wealth of information both about writing and publishing. His recounted experiences were enlightening. The final speaker at the conference was Davis Bunn. I believe he inspired us all. The man wrote six novels before he had one published - six! His passion and purpose sustained the gift and kept it thriving until the world was ready for it. He is a man living his life's purpose.

One key thing he revealed was that you should not allow yourself to be defined by failure. He saw failure as just an event, an opportunity to take the criticism received to refine his craft. Today, he is an award winning, best selling author. If failure had defined him, there would not have been a seventh novel. His experience gives H-O-P-E.

Never give up on your dreams. You keep your dream alive by living it. Keep moving towards the goal. If you do, one day you too will have success. For more information about Mr. Stobbe, Mr. Bunn or the Florida Writers Association use the links below.