Excerpt Thursday #2

New job. Family health crisis. More family drama. Two international trips. Three business trips. Visits to 8 cities I’d never been. Countless experiences I’d never experienced. Meeting new people. Making new friends. Losing other friends who it turns out were never friends at all. Coming to grips with betrayal. Learning to appreciate the ones who are actually there for me. Learning to love my circumstances just the way they are. Taking many stumbles (both literally and metaphorically) along my journey.

This has been my 2017, in a crude nutshell.

It’s paved the way for a lot of personal growth. Unfortunately, it didn’t lend the time for me to practice as much writing as I’d have hoped. I’ve already surpassed the deadline I’d long ago set for myself, that I’d have a book published by the time I was 30. I am now sitting just about two months shy of 32, with no book deal anywhere on the horizon.

But you know what?

That’s ok.

Life isn’t about setting arbitrary deadlines and allowing ourselves to be devastated when we don’t meet them exactly when we thought we would.

Life is, and always has been, about learning to enjoy the ride. A ride that may be bumpy, that may turn in ways meant to give us whiplash, but a ride nonetheless. Goals can be a great thing, yes. There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to better ourselves. But if we allow our sense of self-worth to become wholly entangled up in them, then all they become is simply another source of stress.

Who needs more stress? Certainly not me. And I’m betting likely not you, either.

So, if our goals don’t dictate our happiness, what should?

For me, 2017 has been a year of learning to live mindfully.

“One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about human beings was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It’s a nice day, or You’re very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.”

Above, an excerpt from one of my favorite novels of all time, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by the brilliant/late Douglass Adams. His propensity for fine science fiction writing laced with a mix of knee-slapping humor and face-smacking truths is the stuff of envy.

The above quote is ever truer today, isn’t it? As human beings, we have a tendency to speak without thinking. To say pointless things in order to fill a noise deficit instead of, you know, actually learning something. Perhaps, as Ford Prefect surmises, small talk is simply a distraction. A means to build a bridge across a dreaded silence in lieu of taking a moment to allow our minds to actually postulate something more profound.

Allow for more moments of quiet contemplation.


Experience things rather than simply allowing them to occur while barely blinking an eye at our surroundings. By living our lives on the surface, we’re not really allowing ourselves to live, we’re simply existing, and flitting about from one meaningless encounter to another.

Mindfulness is, in a nutshell, stopping to smell the roses.

Pausing from our self-critiques, our self-imposed deadlines, our surface talk, our Pinterest boards.

Just taking a moment to truly absorb our surroundings. To find beauty in the mundane. Because there is beauty there, if you look hard enough.

It’s still a work in progress. But, like the novel that’s collecting dust in the archives, it’ll get there eventually. Doesn’t have to be today. Or tomorrow.

It’s the journey that counts.

Until next time, I want to wish all my readers the best of Holidays with friends and family, a mindful and Merry Christmas, and an exciting and Happy New Year. Enjoy, and I will see you in 2018!


She’s Back!

Hello Readers!

Once again, I give to you another incredibly delayed update.

I had so many plans. Novel reviews, a travelogue detailing my recent trip, inspirations, my thoroughly-halted (non)progress with seeking publication, sharing more about the recent events in the life of… well, ME. (Spoiler alert?) But alas, I did none of those things, and I know I owe my readers more. The rollercoaster that is 2017 is already halfway over, and I have but a very small handful of blog updates to show for it.

So, to get myself back in the writing mindset, I did do one thing. A writing contest thing. A 1,000 word-limit prompt-based short story thing that a dear friend talked me into doing, to be exact. Glad I did! I think it was just the nudge I needed to once again start putting pen to paper… er, fingers to keyboard? Either way, those writer gears have started turning once more.

The judges have not picked any winners as of yet (of which there will be a standard first, second, and third place). However, while I wait for the results, I figured I would continue riding the current writing wave by sharing an update with all of you. (Note to self – there will be a post about “Riding Writing Waves” versus “Miserably Drowning in Writer’s Block” in the future. Perhaps “Writer’s Block” isn’t even the right phrase. “2017-Madness-Induced Writer’s Fatigue” – that’s more like it).

If you feel so inclined to read my entry, it’s titled, “The Evolution.” (Link below). Feel free to vote it in for Reader’s Choice. Or feel free to vote for another story you deem more worthy, as many talented writers also shared their work.


I hope 2017 has been treating all of you well. Look for more frequent blog updates in the coming month. I appreciate all of you, and your saint-level patience with me!

All Best,



[Insert Update Here]

Hello, readers! She lives!

Yes, 2017 hasn’t managed to do me in just yet. But it has thrown me completely off-kilter, and my craft has taken a hit as a result. Here I thought adjusting to a new job would be the biggest hurdle this year. Boy was I wrong.

Cancer decided to pay my family a visit and let me tell you, it was not welcome.  Like that crazy, distant cousin who shows up completely unannounced, brings his whole family (including the dog), settles into your favorite chair, eats all your food, hogs your television, and essentially marks his territory all over your house while you’re forced to clean up after his mess, all the while you’re hoping he’ll take the hint and move along. But then a one day visit turns into a weekend. A weekend turns into a week. A week into a month. Still he refuses to leave and continues to drain your supplies and wreck your house. Now, let’s say this crazy cousin of yours is also a burly ex-con named Bubba who you’re afraid might shank you in your sleep.

Yup, that’s cancer. The most unwelcome visitor of them all. It set up shop in my mom. But thankfully my mom, being the amazingly strong person that she is, successfully kicked it out. We can only hope and pray it won’t decide to make a return trip, but so far things are looking good.

Since it’s been nearly two months since my last post, I figured I’d let you guys in on some of what’s been going on with me. I apologize for the brevity of this update, but rest assured that more will be coming.

Thanks to all for staying tuned.

All Best,


Tidings and Good Cheer


I’d like to interrupt your standard Daily Rejection programming to bring you a short and sweet post of tidings and good cheer. For this week (and beyond), my dear readers, may your days be shared with family, may you be inspired by the love of those around you, may you reject feelings of negativity, and may you focus on all the blessings in your life. To those who celebrate, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!