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Brave

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. – Helen Keller

Some days, I just don’t know what I’d do without my friends.

Well, maybe I do. Maybe I don’t want to think about it. Maybe I don’t want you guys to know that. Maybe there’s a tiny part of us that is unfit for any other human to know, see, or understand,

even those we trust the most.

I firmly believe in the power of community.

Nothing hard is conquered in isolation. Nothing painful is endured so well as within a safe community.

But even the safest community can be – at times – dangerous.

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The Rightness of Being Wrong

Last weekend a friend told me about some people she knew who took two years off their North American dream and worked in Saudi Arabia.

They came home and retired on the savings.

Huh.

I love British Columbia. I love Vancouver. I even love (most of) Vancouver’s suburbs. But it is insanely expensive to live here. The ability to do what these people did – to live with little to no financial stress – is wildly appealing.

Except I wouldn’t do so well in Saudi Arabia.

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The Genius of a Perfect Circle

Last summer, I blogged so much I barely had time for other writing projects.

Blogging can be addictive. The lure of instant feedback was so powerful, the challenge of 100, 000 word projects so overwhelming, that last year I over-blogged and under-wrote.

Yup, let’s all say it together: New-bie!

This year I found Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering. Storytellers, you should read this. It’s accessible, wise, and instantly applicable.

It’s the reason that, this fall, I have the opposite problem.

I’m too busy writing to blog.

I’m too busy writing to even read.

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The Haves and the Have-Nots

The love of money is the root of all evil; the lack of money is the root of all evil. – Robert Kiyosaki

If a person gets his attitude towards money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in his life. – Billy Graham

The last six weeks have been a blur of sun and travel; biking, flying, and driving; food, games, movies, and books.

Yes, you know me. There was a lot of books.

I left with four Kindle reads and two hardcovers, but when I arrived at our home-away-from-home, I also wandered to their lobby’s lending library. Always curious to see what others choose to buy then share with others, my eyes landed on a black-lettered green paperback: Moneyball.

From the first pages, Michael Lewis swept me back to adolescence, where September meant less about going back to school and more about the World Series. With each chapter, I returned to the smell of my Grannie’s kitchen and taste of my mom’s apple pie.  I went back to the day I paced the front bedroom of my grandparents’ cozy old house, unable to watch as Dave Winfield tried to defy the curse of a 2-2-2 count.

He did.

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Superwoman and the Impossible Dream

I sit in the middle of a half-painted room.

Green painter’s tape encases the semi-white trim of my stairwell. A gallon of  Swiss Coffee paint sits opened two feet from me, a two-inch paint brush on the newspaper-covered floor next to me.

I am tired.

Two years ago, David and I remodeled our kitchen. We took out a wall, replaced the cabinets, and painted it – white.

White has a dramatic effect on a small house. The walls look cleaner, less enclosing, somehow.  And when I saw the kitchen results, when I realized how much white opened up the room I spend the most time in, I thought, maybe I should keep going with this color.

So I did. I stretched the Sandstone Cove into the hallway and down the stairs.

But I got tired.

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Great Escapes

Every sunny day of the last four weeks, I stop the housework at 11 am, grab my sunscreen and sunglasses, and head for our back deck. My girls play next to me as I pull up my folding chair and open a book.

For five minutes or sixty, this is how I celebrate summer: escape.

I admit, I’m hard on my beach reads. They have to be good. Really good. Awkward language, cardboard characters, and anytime I’m told rather than shown loses my attention and sends me running for the next good better read.

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I’m Fine, Because I’m Not

‘I’m fine’: 1) the more polite way to say, ‘no, get lost.’  2)The general response to any question asking how you are doing or feeling. – Urban Dictionary

The ability to lie is a liability. – Unknown

I have a horrible memory of eighth grade – I forget which class it was. We played a game that required making up a lie on the spot that the rest of the class would believe.  (I know, seriously, what were they teaching us?!).

At my turn I started to sweat and looked at the ceiling.  I felt myself flush as I sputtered through the worst improv ever.

A kid in the back row laughed his head off.

You’re not a good liar, are you?

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Sun-Induced Panic

I meant to blog before today, but, as you may have heard, we’ve got sun.

Finally.

Summer’s arrival in the Pacific Northwest has been nothing short of slothful. Our friends from sunnier parts of the planet have probably had plenty of belly-aching fodder to add to their Vancouver jokes. After all, British Columbians do melodramatic very, very well.  But in case you mistake rain complaints as Vancouver’s unique bid for an Olympic sport, I’d like to present a case for:

sun-induced panic sprints.

It may not be among the list of London 2012 Games, but here in the Wet Western Coast of Canada, we run faster than a cheetah when we see a hint of sun. Quick! Everyone, drop what you’re doing! It’s HERE!

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Keep Calm and Carry On

Have you ever really, realllllly wanted – even needed – something to happen… and it didn’t?

Of course you have. We wouldn’t be human if we got everything we ever wanted.

But sometimes, it seems kind of cruel, doesn’t it?

I’ve been reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the girls. I loved this book – and its sequel – as a child. I thought it rather silly as a twenty-year-old ‘grown-up’. Now, as an almost thirty-two-year-old mother, I think it borders on profound.

In my eyes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a treatise on the evils of greed, gluttony, and selfishness. The hero is none of those things; the other children are all of those things. The hero survives; the others are destroyed by their impulsiveness, obnoxiousness, and covetousness.

They see something, they need to have it, they go out and get it.

They’re not much different than you and I.

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Mature Immaturity

Once upon another time, before I knew which life was mine, before I left the child behind me; I saw myself in summer nights and stars lit up like candlelight, I ‘d make my wish, but mostly I… believed. – Sara Bareilles

Take me back to the time when I was maybe eight or nine, and I believed… When wonders and when mysteries were far less often silly dreams and childhood fantasies…. before rational analysis and systematic thinking robbed me of a sweet simplicity. – Nichole Nordeman

Two of my dearest friends asked me last night why I’ve not blogged in the last few weeks.

What happened? Did we miss something? Did you stop writing?

The short answer: no.

The long answer: I had nothing to say.

Correction: I had nothing very pleasant to say.

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