Cracked Open – A New Skin

What is the jumping point for this writing?  Where do I begin?  You are joining me mid-chapter.  So perhaps I need to bring you up to date.  On May 8, my husband Mike went in for a simple surgery.  Two and a half hours and a thousand sorries later, they told me he was gone.  That day has become my line in the sand, life before he passed away and then the everything after. It has become a skin I had not expected to wear for many, many years. As any who have experienced loss it is a rollercoaster of emotions.  His fingerprints are everywhere.  There are sudden flashes of memories and then glimpses into a future that no longer looks the same.  But even as I sat huddled in his closet sobbing into his shirts, I knew that this experience would be a unique lens through which to see the world.  From a raw and tender heart, I realize I am seeing things, feeling things in a way that I never have.  From this place, cracked open, I am pulled to share this new journey.  It flickers there, in the darkest corner, curiosity, and a desire to bring this often taboo topic out into the light.  For in exploring death and loss, we truly begin to appreciate life and the sweet mysteries that reside there. My body trembles, my breath quickens, my heart pounds.  But the journey must go on, one step, one moment, one breath, one hug, one

There Be Dragons

They say 2017 is the beginning of a new cycle.  The old one has ended.  We are letting go of old stories and creating new ones, with as-of-yet unimagined possibilities. 18 months ago, I wrote, produced and directed SKINS I’VE WORN at the Electric Lodge, and what a life altering experience that was. For nearly a year after, I kept wondering, begging for what was next.  I couldn’t believe that I’d never get to taste something similar again, but nothing genuine was coming forth. Then in November of last year I had a conversation with Christina Dunbar, who had seen me through the show: midwife/coach/performer extraordinaire.   She was restarting her program, She Takes the Stage, working with women telling their stories on stage.  And there it was.  My next yes. Whole hearted, jump into the cold water, Yes!  I was ready to get up on stage myself and share my own words. I was ready to reclaim the actress I’d left behind 25 years ago. But as they say, sometimes Spirit has other plans.  Alas STTS would not be starting as planned, and I faced a conundrum.  I could sit back and wait … or I could move forward into the dark lands on my own. As I processed the choice, it came to me that perhaps simply saying Yes, had been the step to take, and not necessarily the final outcome.  I had looked at STTS as an ‘easy, safe’ way to get back on stage, supported by Christina’s

By |April 18th, 2017|Categories: Creativity, Revelations|0 Comments

We Stutter and Stall

It is coming. The next shift. The next movement in this thing that is my life. It starts to take shape. A figure rising from the mist. It has to do with putting the writing out there, the words out there, in a ‘bigger’ way. I rush to give it words - I want to get published! I’m going to do pod casts! I’m writing another book! I feel that familiar, almost manic, rise in energy, excitement. Yes! Something I can sink my teeth into. Get moving on (already). I hear of a summit for writers, it’s free. Lots of writers talking about writing. How they overcome resistance, write while on a cruise, get published and make a million dollars on their first book. It’s free. But many ways to get forever access to the presentations, buy books, join programs. I set up a meeting with a dear friend to talk about writing and publishing. I’ve put it in red in my calendar with a big smiley face. We pull out our notebooks to brainstorm and make lists. The lists grow, and the options expand, and all of a sudden I’m feeling that tightening, closing, breath stopping feeling of “Whoa Nelly! Hold on there. Slow Down!” I go home all shaken up. The next day I read the headlines about Orlando. A dark gray cloud descends. Wrapped in the heartbreak of that shooting, the pointless tragic waste of it all. And so I do the only thing I can in

The Book is Finished.

The book to “Skins I Have Worn,” is finished. You would think I’d have shouted that to the world as soon as I was done. Posted it across the internet. Hired a plane to fly it across the sky. But I haven’t. In fact, I waited days to order my proof, which then sat on my desk for two more days. Now over a week later I have still not ordered my copies to distribute …. Instead, I’ve shared nothing. I’m thinking about new projects, maybe another book, and I have all but rolled over and ignored this significant accomplishment. But this is what I do. This is what many of us do. We barely wait until the ink is dry before racing onto the next project. We do not take the time to really let it sink in. We do not allow ourselves the satisfaction of acknowledging and honoring what it takes to make our dreams come true. Instead, we rush to think we are bragging or that it was ‘really no big deal.’ So how could I possibly express my full joy unless I stepped back and acknowledged what it  took to bring this journey into being: The courage to write and then speak the words, The kindness, generosity, support of friends and strangers who believed in what was being created The talented cast and production team and the energy, fortitude, trust and love it took to bring it to the stage, The tenacity, time, faith and patience to publish it

I Hit SEND!

At last.  Jumping for joy. Skipping with glee. Celebrating with champagne and chocolates! I hit SEND. The poetry book has been uploaded to Lulu, a proof copy is in the works, an e-book version being created as we speak.  Click here/here to get a copy. The end of this road is in sight. Who knows what lies around corner, on the other side of the mist.  But now, at least, at last, I can move forward. Huge thank you's to the ones who supported this monumental undertaking: Deborah Edler Brown - poet and soul sister Christina Dunbar - coach and soul support extraordinaire Tamara Bess - producer - holding hands, holding heart that helped me make this dream a reality Jeannine Chanin Penn - graphic artist and mind reader Michele Cardella - wise woman and marketing wizardress Mike Strader - through it all, joy and tears, excitement and fears, kept me grounded and so very, very supported

So Near and Yet So Far

LOL - I've learned can mean lots of love or, in my case, laughing out loud. I was inspired by my last discovery - the reason for my procrastination.  So I hunkered down and did the work to get it ready to print.  My promise to myself was that I would hit 'send' by my birthday, March 16.  My friend Tabby suggested if I wanted to actually meet that deadline, I might want to consider starting the process a bit earlier. But I had my plan, some last minute editing questions and then I was finally ready to sit down at the computer to start the process.  Three hours later on March 16, I'd figured how to upload my text but was stalled on the cover. My graphic artist and I are trying to understand their requirements - a bit confusing on a site where not all the information is available in the same place.  They only take questions via email for clients that are DIY.  Three days later I'm still waiting for an answer.  Yesterday I got some advice from a friend who is both a writer and graphic artist and who has self published several of his own books.  But the site was down for maintenance. It is feeling more urgent now.  Having made up my mind to complete this process, I am feeling the frustration of not being able to finish.  But that was yesterday ... This morning the site is back up.  I've emailed my friend