Jul 18

Artist Date: Into the Wilds

Artist Date: Into the Wilds

Relaxed

Relaxed

To finish off my 12 weeks of The Artist’s Way, I treated myself to an extended artist date. My husband drove me into the wilds to his family’s cabin at what is fondly known as “The Ranch.”

The Ranch

The Ranch

The weather was beautiful, and I was surrounded by wildlife. Robins hopped around all day, every day, flirting with each other, teasing me by staying just out of reach. Butterflies, yellow, pink, orange, white, and blue, flitted from wildflower to wildflower. The swallowtails were particularly attracted to the American flag that fluttered in the breeze. The cabin sat among blue bells, and yellow, white, pink, and purple flowers I wish I had the names for. Deer came to visit, fearlessly, watching me as I watched them as if daring me to do something threatening but knowing I never would.

I enjoyed three days all to myself, soaking in that solitude that artists crave. Each morning, I greeted the day with sun salutations outside. Yoga outdoors is quite different than indoors; I really liked it.

I was able to write several times during the day. Inspiration flowed like fresh air. Following a writing prompt, I wrote a poem about the things I love. On its heels, I wrote a simple haiku:

Aspen leaves quaking

Tiny summertime jazz hands

Dancing out of reach.

Was it a great haiku? Probably not, but it was playful and fun, and that is what has been missing from my writing, from my life.

Suddenly, I found myself ready to try editing. Now, I’ve tweaked my short fiction here and there, but I’ve never attempted to edit something really big. Like a novel. At the ranch, I found myself drawn to The Empathy Project. I took it out and reread it. It was good, and with a bit of elbow grease, I could make it better.

I hiked nearly every day. I wandered around the cabin and visited those of extended family members nearby. I took a wrong turn and got lost in the marsh, and I discovered this beautiful lace-winged moth. The sound of the river beckoned, and I followed the trail to its shores, took my shoes off, and dipped my feet in the icy water.

Playing Cards

Playing Cards

After my three days alone, my family came up to join me. As much as I thought I loved the solitude, I was grateful to have them with me again. I missed them! Together, we hiked, swam at the swimming hole, played card games until it was dark and cold, and laughed, laughed, laughed. My goodness, I had forgotten how to laugh like that.

I was ready to come home by the end of the week. It wasn’t so much that I missed the internet as that I missed my hot baths and my comfy bed. But, my artist date did what it was supposed to do: it filled my soul and reminded me that I’m a writer, and I love to write.

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Jul 15

Delicate Things

Delicate Things

butterfly

I spread my legs

And I spread my wings.

I remind myself they’re not the same thing,

But I can be a whore

And a butterfly

At the same time.

I’m far away,

A tiny speck of yellow against

A cloudless sky

Dipping down to drink from

Daisies, desert roses,

Queen Anne’s lace and

Dandelions.

I quench my thirst.

I wonder who I am this time,

His first love,

The one that got away,

His mother,

Or his wife,

Waiting for him at home.

He finishes.

I take a shower to wash him away.

This growing stack of bills

Will pay the cable for another month.

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Jun 10

Consequence by C.R. Langille

Consequence by C.R. Langille

Consequence by C.R. Langille

Consequence: A Novel in the Dark Tyrant Series

What started as a hunting trip for Tobias Evard Warner II and his friends turns into a fight for survival during a supernatural storm which kicks off the apocalypse. The storm awakens and frees seven powerful creatures who were locked away at the beginning of the world’s creation. The Seven turn nightmares into reality and leave nothing but chaos and death in their wake. Tobias fights his way through a nightmare infested wilderness to get back home to his family. With the unleashed terrors come newfound magical powers for Tobias, but at a cost. Will he sacrifice everything to ensure his family’s safety, even if it means his own soul? Angels, demons, ancient cosmic beings, and even a dimensional-traveler clad in a trench coat made of duct tape come together in this fast-paced novel of magic, darkness, and consequences.

About the Author:

C.R. Langille spent many a Saturday afternoon watching monster movies with his mother. It wasn’t long before he started crafting nightmares to share with his readers. An avid hunter and amateur survivalist, C.R. Langille incorporates the Utah outdoors in many of his tales. He is an affiliate member of the Horror Writer’s Association (organizer for the Utah Chapter), a member of the League of Utah Writers, and received his MFA: Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

www.crlangille.com

Purchasing Information:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1WjzsZr

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Vixjwc

Jun 08

WIP Wednesday: Cocoon

Inspired by my friend, Mercedes M. Yardley’s post, I decided to do my first ever WIP Wednesday. For those of you wondering if WIP stands for Rest In Peace for those with a lisp, the answer is no. It means “Work In Progress.”

Now, that could describe a lot of things going on in my life right now. I’m learning how to live my truth as a Type 3 in the Dressing Your Truth (DYT) program. I’m hiking to improve my health, and it’s going super fantastically well. I’m on week 10 in The Artist’s Way program. And I’m doing a lot of emotional healing through The Presence Process by Michael Brown (which I’ll review in a future post). However, the WIP I’m going to tell you about today is my current writing project.

Cocoon by Shelli Proffitt Howells

Cocoon by Shelli Proffitt Howells

Cocoon: My journey of healing sexual abuse through the gift of chronic illness

“There are two kinds of pedophiles. I know, because I was molested by both.

“I used to believe I was broken and nothing could fix me. I believed that my experiences had changed me in irrevocable ways. I would always hurt. I would always be vulnerable to triggers. I would always bring my molesters to bed with me. I would always live in a dissociative state. I would never be able to really love life, because after all these years, death was still the more appealing choice. I still wanted to go home.

“Then, in the fall of 2006, I became sick with a puzzling illness. It stripped me of my life and my identity, leaving me isolated in my cocoon. My chronic illness broke me down in ways that allowed me to rebuild my life. It opened me to healing resources that I don’t believe I would have found any other way.

“Now, you don’t have to become sick to be able to heal from sexual abuse. Thankfully, we have the opportunity in life to learn from others’ experiences. It is my hope that by sharing my story, you will be able to find what you need to heal yourself, too.”

I started this project as a secret. It was going to be just for me. How else could I have written the words that spilled onto the page? However, the more I’ve written, the more I realized that I’m tired of keeping secrets. If I truly want to heal, I need to share my story.

This post is the first step to sharing my secrets. It’s pretty scary. It makes me feel vulnerable. But it makes me feel powerful, too. I want to feel powerful.

So, tell me, are you a work in project? What are you working on today?

Jun 06

Hiking for Health

Hiking for Health

Hiking for Health

Hiking For Health

After nearly a decade of chronic illness and trying every possible treatment available, no matter how weird or sometimes even dangerous, I think I might have finally found my magic pill: Hiking.

During my makeover, Carol Tuttle asked me if I used to enjoy hiking when I was little. I told her yes, I loved it! She said she believed that beginning to hike again would be therapeutic for me. I took her advice, and I’ve been on five hikes now.

Upended Tree Roots

Upended Tree Roots

So far, I have explored the Equestrian Park nearby. I was afraid that it wouldn’t have enough variety for me and that the hikes would become boring and repetitive. Boy, was I wrong! I have found many paths criss-crossing through the park and into the wetlands on the other side of the creek. I’ve discovered this beautiful fallen tree stump with roots that look like a giant medallion. I’ve seen wild roses, dried thistle stalks, robins, doves, and mocking birds. I even climbed a tree (which was admittedly ill-advised, but way too fun!)

Climbing a Tree

Climbing a Tree

Many people have asked me if it’s had a positive impact on my health. Well, I’ve noticed a little bit more energy. I’m sleeping well. I recover faster than I had before. My hikes are getting easier to manage.

But all of that is subjective, and I’d convinced myself that I was “getting better” before. Hope does that to you.

Ah, but Fitbit data doesn’t lie!

According to my Fitbit, my activity level from the past 28 days has increased 17% and my heart rate has gone down 14% over the previous 28 days.

I am getting better!

Now, I’m starting from pretty low functionality. Before hiking, 2,000 steps was a big day for me. So, I’m not out running marathons or anything. I expect improvements to continue slowly, but hopefully surely. I don’t know if I’ll ever regain my health completely, but that’s OK. I am living my truth more fully now. I’m doing things that I love. I’m enjoying my life. And that’s a really big deal.

Hiking

Hiking

So tell me, what are you doing for fun this summer?

Jun 03

Beg For Your Life

Beg For Your Life

Beg For Your Life

Beg For Your Life

I don’t know who my kidnappers are. One is male, one is female, I can tell that much at least. I don’t recognize their voices. They’re just two opportunists with guns wearing dark clothes and ski masks over their heads. Like some bad crime drama from the 90s.

The woman is setting up a computer while the man sits me down in a chair in front of it. He checks that the duct tape tying my hands behind my back is secure. It’s uncomfortable, but whatever.

“OK. You get one shot at this,” he says. “If you want to live, you’d better make this good.”

I nod. The woman indicates the live stream is ready.

“Plead your case,” my kidnapper says.

I look into the webcam.

“Mom and Dad, as you’ve figured out by now, I’ve been kidnapped. These people want $5 million for my safe return.” I start laughing. The man and woman exchange glances and then look back at me. The man points at me, like it’s some great warning or something.

“But the joke’s on them, right, Mom and Dad? This is what I want. I’ve been looking for ways to kill myself for years now. Hoping to find something gentle, easy. The pills didn’t work; the razor blades didn’t work. Now, I think these guys are serious, so I might just have finally found my way out. Keep your money, Mom and Dad. It always meant more to you than I did, anyway. Hasta la vista, baby!”

“Shut it off, shut it off!” the kidnapper yells as he tackles me from my chair. He holds his gun to my head.

I’m still laughing, I’m laughing, I’m laughing. And then, I have no idea why, but I’m crying.

~~~

Prompt: You are being held for ransom. You are given the opportunity to say into a web camera your plea for your life. What do you say in those two minutes? From 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts by Ray Andrew Kinder.

Jun 01

Introduction to Dressing Your Truth (DYT)

The New (Real) Me with Carol Tuttle

The New (Real) Me with Carol Tuttle

What is wrong with you?

No, seriously, what is wrong with you?

I imagine it doesn’t take you long to come up with your list of “Things That Are Wrong With Me.”

“I’m too fat/I’m too thin.”

“My nose is too big/My boobs are too small.”

“My hair is too curly/My hair is too flat.”

“My eyes are too big/My eyes are too small.”

“My skin is too pale/I have too many freckles.”

“I’m too loud/I’m too quiet.”

“I’m too pushy/I’m a push-over.”

“I’m too childish/I’m too serious.”

“I’m too masculine/I’m too feminine.”

What if I told you that you’re mistaken? There is nothing wrong with you at all. In fact, many of those things that you think are flaws are actually your natural gifts.

We’ve been taught by society that we need to fit a certain standard of beauty. We’ve been taught that we need to fit our behavior into a certain mold. The problem is that society wants us to fit into circular holes, but we’re all squares or triangles or trapezoids.

That’s the whole point of Dressing Your Truth (DYT).

DYT isn’t like those systems where an expert tells you which colors look best on you. It’s much more than that. It’s an energy profiling system developed by Carol Tuttle.

Carol believes that each of us is a combination of four energies:

Type 1: Air. Light, upward movement

Type 2: Water. Soft, flowing movement

Type 3: Fire. Dynamic, forward movement

Type 4: Earth. Reflective, still movement

Although we express all of these energies, we lead with one dominant energy. Knowing what our dominant energy is can really explain a lot. All those things we were shamed for as children, all those idiosyncrasies, suddenly make sense. They’re a part of you, and they’re not flaws — they’re wonderful.

As I mentioned previously, when I first discovered DYT, I thought I was a Type 4. In reality, I didn’t feel safe living in my true energy. There were deep childhood wounds that I needed to address. Discovering that I was really a Type 3 during my makeover was truly a shock. After my initial panic, I’m learning to embrace my true self and allow myself to simply be me. And I look hot doing it!

You don’t have to Dress Your Truth to live your truth. Simply being aware of your natural energy can help you stop shaming yourself and start loving and accepting yourself more. However, Dressing Your Truth supports the natural expression of your true nature, and it enhances your natural beauty. Plus, well, it just feels good!

If you’d like to learn more, you can discover your energy type at www.dyt.liveyourtruth.com.

If you do, tell me: What type are you?

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