Life can be scary sometimes, this summer has brought us fires, an earthquake, and a horrible mass shooting during a midnight movie. How do we trust that our loved ones will be safe in such a world? How do we sleep when we know that our kids might be in a midnight horror show of their own somewhere? How do we cope when someone we care about has wrapped their lovely tentacles around our hearts, only to be brutally yanked away?

I wish I knew. What I do know is that we must have faith that our loved ones will be safe and return to us each time they venture out into the unknown. Because they have to venture. We all have to, or we will curl up into a never ending fetal position and maybe we are safer that way, but that is not what life is about.

Life wants us to go out there and experience. Have adventures, meet people, converse, connect, enjoy, make mistakes, dream, love, cry, try. We need to celebrate everyday the joy that life brings us, because someday life will bring us down for the count. We all know that, and while that is scary, it makes us realize how very precious every second of every minute of every day is. We, who are still living on this planet, need to celebrate for those who no longer can.

Yoshi the Wonder Dog gives Lost In the River of Grass two paws up!

Speaking of adventure, I just finished reading a young adult novel  by  local author, Ginny Rorby. “Lost in the River of Grass” is a thrilling tale set in the Florida Everglades. Two teenagers get lost during a school field trip and have to make their way through miles of gator, snake, rat, and insect infested country. The dialogue is realistic, (having worked with teenagers for the past twelve years, my ears are acutely tuned to inauthentic teenage conversation.) The experience changes these two young people and you can sense  a new maturity as the characters evolve. This book has it all, thrills, chills, teenage rebellion, and  romance. It subtly tackles the tricky issues of class and racial prejudices that are deeply instilled in our culture. Spoiler alert: This book has no vampires or zombies, but still manages to deliver a seat of your pants experience!

I leave you with five words of advice for a happy, fulfilled life…

Learn, Love, Explore, Create, Read!

Summer in America

Yoshi the Wonder Dog at the beach

It’s summertime in America, and that means:
 School’s out;
 Kids are home;
 Backyard BBQ’s;
 4th of July;
 Corn on the cob;
 And time to polish the toes!

All good reminders that it’s good to be alive (I apparently need to be reminded of this occasionally.) The scarier side of summer is that my day job is on shaky ground, and I am making less money than is required to keep up with the bills. I have decided to TRY to stress less about that minor detail and instead take advantage of having more time to be creative.
I have been thinking that it might be time to self publish, as traditional publishing is facing many of it’s own challenges these days, and I really like the sound of “Indie Author.” I am publicly announcing that goal to the universe and starting today I’m on my way…stay tuned for status updates.
I hope everyone has some fun creative projects lined up for this summer, even if its just painting your toenails!  Cheers!

photo by Danielle Keaton