The Muse LELA

The Muse LELA

This is my first week back to work/writing since my return from Mount Hermon.

I feel inspired and excited and beyond enthusiastic. I also feel sick to my stomach, as if I’ve taken on too much and am overwhelmed.

Enter, LELA.

In my mind’s eye, Lela is a vermillion-haired beauty with twinkling green eyes, dimples and a smattering of freckles across sun-kissed cheeks. An enchantress you would find on the moors with mist about her feet and the laugh of a devious sprite. She is part muse, part conscience.

Besides all of those things in my mind’s eye, LELA is a command center writing collaboration built with two other artists. LELA is a brain trust, a conservation of effort, a duplication of exposure, a wellspring of encouragement and enthusiasm and sometimes even the shackles that keep my feet planted firmly on terra firma. It is my pride and my modesty, it is my will and my conscience. It is my lofty dreams and my fear. It is reckless abandon and common sense all rolled into one. It is exactly the kind of grouping an artist needs, the kind of grouping I need. These artists are my “Go Pro” team and our collaboration is named LELA.

If you’ve read Steven Pressfield’s War of Art, you will instantly know what “Going Pro” is. (If you haven’t read it, check out my review here.)

As for the team element of Going Pro, it is a concoction of a mastermind group, a support group and a group of new, but trustworthy friends. When I decided to become a professional writer, it required a mental commitment. Since writing isn’t always the surest of incomes, it is sometimes hard to remember you are a professional writer when you are in between paychecks. When you are “in the trenches” so to speak. Especially in a society where success is measured in dollar signs.

A GoPro Team helps you stay focused and reminds you that you are in it for the art of it all, not just for the money. Money is lagniappe. You are in it because your soul tells you to be in it. You are driven there. It is easy for an artist to be solely driven and lonely and to hold an audience of zero in the pursuit of their art, but it isn’t necessary. As a matter of fact, I highly suggest you don’t go it alone. Having some steadfast, intelligent, similarly structured beings with whom to share your ideas can sometimes keep you from making a boneheaded mistake in the name of art. It can save you from wasting valuable hours.

However, not just any group will do. I’ve been a part of different, wide-ranging groups and I’ve met countless people in the writing world and it took me ages to find LELA and it happened rather organically.

I pursued two-thirds of my group (for you math wise folks, yes, it means I pursued everyone but myself). These were artists I met, admired, and wanted to be when I grow up — even though I’m the oldest of the bunch. I pursued them as friends. I pursued them as people to look up to, mentors. However, I did not pursue them as a GoPro Team. Yet that is what they became. And I’m grateful for that organic metamorphosis. Truly. And I pray I give as good as I get.

I will introduce you to my beautiful, exquisite GoPro team in weeks to come. No need keeping all of their greatness to myself, as tempting as that is.

I urge all of you artists out there to recognize that this doesn’t have to be a solo venture. God brings people in and out of your life for a purpose. You may already be in the presence of those who will help you reach greater depth in your art. Look around. Pursue if you have to.

By all means, Go Pro.

Great Grab and Go Keyboard

Great Grab and Go Keyboard

I had some Amazon gift cards burning holes in my pocket. The trouble was choosing what to buy with them.

Seriously, my Amazon Wishlist is a ridiculous exercise in total greed and my want button is turned up to 11. However, I AM quite capable of exercising restraint, so I scanned my wants for a useful item that won’t quickly get set aside and clicked Buy It Now.

I love getting boxes from Amazon. Especially when my busy life has me forgetting I even ordered anything. Seeing the box on my front porch quickly reminded me of my purchase and I was EXCITED to open the box. This was not an Amazon delivery of toilet paper or dog food. This box held potential.

I chose the little keyboard pictured above.  It is the Logitech iPad Keyboard and Stand Combo.  It works with iPad, iPad 2, iPad (3rd/4th generation), iPad mini and the iPhone. (Don’t fret, there is an android version too.)

It is Bluetooth enabled so I can use it with my phone and can comfortably work anywhere. For power, it uses triple A batteries so I don’t have to worry about charging cables etc. So far, it is really cool and I can’t say enough about it. It fits in my purse and the keyboard is full sized so I don’t end up with cramped hands. I’m actually writing this blog with it as we speak.

Its connection is not jagged or delayed. It is as smooth as if I am typing directly into my device. With every word, I grow more and more fond of this tech-savvy do-dad.

I’m totally digging it. So, how am I going to use it? First, I’m going to download the Scrivener App to my iPad mini and see how I like working on that, so I don’t always destroy the charge on my phone running Bluetooth-enabled peripheral gadgets. And since the connection is flawless, I can see myself typing blogs from the carpool lane and working on my manuscript anywhere inspiration strikes. I don’t have to preplan and have my laptop with me.

You should try this. Definitely worth finding the money in your budget, or the next time someone asks what you want for your birthday, suggest an Amazon Gift Card.

And I’ve gotta say, I might get these for my children. It is so much cheaper than buying them laptops and they can type right into the Google Docs App for their papers for school. Win/win.

You can buy this keyboard for your Apple products here:

You can get the Android version here:

 

Dying in the Carpool Lane

Dying in the Carpool Lane

I’m a true foodie to my core, but I must admit, I really enjoy Chick-FIL-A breakfast biscuits with a crispy side of tots.

This morning, on the way to school I hit the drive through to get that yummy chick-fil-a breakfast before speeding off to the next school in my dreaded carpool lineup.

Finally, breakfast half eaten, I arrive at the last school of the morning. Eldest daughter is dropped off with goodbyes and I love you kisses and best wishes with confirmation of the time I’m expected back this afternoon. Now I can finish my breakfast while I navigate back to the house.

With my biscuit fully consumed, I have only a few tots left as I start to plow my way through the impatient sea of minivans and SUVs. Traffic slowing to a near standstill, I dip my tot into my tiny vat of chickfila sauce.

Then something happens. My years (like nearly 45 of them) of eating experience failed me. Rather than swallow that little chunk of sauce soaked potato, I inhale. Not in the eat fast way but in the “oh-my-God-I’ve-got-potato-in-my-lungs” way.

A fit of coughing, the likes of which I’ve not experienced before, overwhelms me. People behind me honk to speed up the line, which mind you was transitioning from stationary to snails’ pace. I try to scoot up, not letting my fellow carpoolers down, fully understanding my carpool exit strategy responsibilities. But, HELLO, I’m dying in here.

I continue to cough, wheeze, and gasp. Tears are streaming down my purple face. This is it.

With a phlegm filled hack I pound my chest and see stars, thinking I’m going to pass out. I cough so hard I’m sure I scared birds out of the trees and somehow misaligned newly forming planets. After all I was dying. I can be mildly irritating. The universe would give me a pass on that right?

Thoughts run through my head like “Who will pick up my kids?“and “Man, are the people behind me going to be pissed when I die and block their way out of here.”

Then the unthinkable happens.

With that last ginormous, raging hack I pee just a little. My thoughts are interrupted. “Did I just pee?”

My lungs still aching from lack of air, I convulsively cough again.

Did I just pee again?

By now I’m turning onto the main road. Mighty fine carpooler here. Now no one will be blocked in the driveway by my dead, urine soaked body.

I continue down the main road. Coughing. Peeing. Coughing. Peeing. All for another mile or so.

Wiping tears off my cheeks, it dawns on me. I don’t want to die in carpool covered in spit, phlegm, and pee with potato chunks and chickfila sauce stuck to my purple face.

I want to live! Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus! And you’re right Dorothy, there is no place like home. Damnit.

With a new lease on life and a serious debt owed to my guardian angel I’m off for a shower and an upholstery shampoo. Having used up a fair amount of today’s luck I really hope I don’t trip on the soap.

Happy New Year

So after several tumultuous years away from my blog, I’m coming back. 2017 is the year of personal growth for me.

I’m not making resolutions. I’m just moving forward on those items I’m wanting to do/change/grow.

For me personally, 2016 sucked. On many levels. So change is good. And needed.

But before I can look too far ahead, I want to say a quick goodbye to many we lost in 2016.

https://youtu.be/DD1mxPBHqc4