Let the Characters Make the Mistakes

Marco Polo Sings A Solo

“People of the future may suffer not from an absence of choice but from a paralyzing surfeit of it. They may turn out to be victims of that peculiarly super-industrial dilemma: overchoice.” ~ Alvin Toffler author of Future Shock

“A mind that is stretched to a new idea never returns to its original dimension.” ~ Oliver Wendell Homes

Do you yell at the characters on the TV, or in your books? I do all the time. I want my favorite character to be protected and to make the best moral choices even in the most dire of circumstances. And if they don’t I want to see why they followed a path that I naïvely think I would not choose.

Recently my husband and I binge watched three shows on TV that have good characters faced with moral dilemmas that I hope I never have to deal with. These shows were the last season of The Man in the High Castle, the last season of Poldark, and season two of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Each one, in it’s own way, is suspenseful has plenty of twists and turns, and points when the characters have to make moral decisions. That gives me opportunities to think about how I’d react to the given circumstances in which they find themselves. As you can imagine, I do a lot of cringing and giving them advice.

The Man in the High Castle is the show I want to write about because it’s the one I have been thinking about the most. It’s chock full of moral dilemmas. And as I wrote above, I find myself wondering what I’d do in those circumstances.

The story is based on the dystopian novel of the same name by Phillip K. Dick, a famous pioneer of the the sci-fi genre. It takes place in the mid-60s. The Axis Powers won WW II. Germany has control of the eastern part of what was the United States, as well of all of Europe, and Japan has control of the western part as well as most of Asia. There is a neutral zone in the Rockies where Jews, people of color, and those who want to resist these powers attempt to escape to so they can eek out a living. This is also the headquarters of the resistance movement which grows stronger as the series moves through the four seasons.

The key plot point that moves the story forward is the existence of films distributed by the mysterious “Man in the High Castle.” No one knows who he is or how he got these films that show the history familiar to us where the Allies won the war. As more and more people see the news reels they begin to hope that the oppressive governments can be defeated.

One of the things I love about the series is that the pivotal character is a woman by the name of Juliana Crain. From the moment she sees the first film that happens to feature people she knows in her world, in the other world, she’s on a mission to not only find the man in the high castle, but to bring about the destruction of the Nazi and Japanese empires. Her nemesis is John Smith, an American, who rises to be the leader of the American Reich.

The series forces the watcher to ask themselves how could any Americans throw in the with Nazis, especially military men who were fighting for freedom? They are the more dominant empire on the continent, though we do see how American’s are treated as second class citizens by the Japanese. It’s bad enough for whites, but Jews and people of color are in extreme danger.

One of the brilliant choices the film makers made was to wait to show the moment when John Smith and his wife decide to save themselves and their family by joining the Nazi party. Their decision is portrayed in one of the last episodes of the final season. It’s titled “Mauvaise Foi,” which is a French term originating from existentialist philosophy. It’s the concept that human beings adopt false values and act inauthentically (in bad faith) under pressure from social forces. And as we know, the Nazis were experts at setting up situations where people were forced to make bad faith decisions, or be destroyed.

In the show, after the surrender of the Allied Forces, the Nazis have starved the American people. They then “benevolently” air drop, or ship food and other necessities to all the major cities assuring the populace that they will be taken care of IF they join with the Nazis to ensure a prosperous new future.

I couldn’t help wondering what I would do if I were in that situation. When this happens in the story, we see John and his wife Helen trying to care for their infant son, who’s health is rapidly declining because of lack of food. Would I be able to let my child die for my principles? I might have made the same decision even though in my heart I knew it was wrong.

One thing that great stories do is allow us to see the consequences of character’s choices. For Juliana, her choice to learn all she can from the films, to practice the Japanese form of meditation, and to resist the oppressors, turn out to be transformative for her personally, and for the society. In the case of John and Helen, their decision to become Nazis turns out, dare I say, satisfyingly tragic.

In each of the TV shows I mentioned above, the hero characters have strong ideas about what is right and what is wrong. They sometimes make mistakes, but in the end they choose the moral high ground and win because of it. This does two things for me: One, make me pay attention to my own choices. Am I kind, do I show I care for the planet, do I stand up for what I believe? And two, gives me hope that if more and more of us on this planet choose the moral high ground, we will eventually create a better world. Am I delusional to hope for that do you think?

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. If you like these posts, please share them with your friends.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered and she must find a way to put it back together. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Why Stories Are Important

Little Women Illustration

“And it’s a human need to be told stories. The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.” ~ Alan Rickman

Today is my first acting class of the semester. For the first time in eleven years of teaching at the college, I have almost as many acting II students as I have in acting I, thanks to my collaborations with Dave Dahl. We’ve always offered acting I and II concurrently because very few students continue on after they’ve taken the first semester. I can understand why. They take acting for a fun fine art credit. They are not theatre majors, but Cochise College follows the Liberal Arts model. Every student, no matter what their major, must take one or two classes of math, and/or science, English, social science, fine art, and maybe even foreign language. I like this model because, as I learned during my undergraduate career, my world expanded more by having a smattering of exposure to disciplines I normally would not study.

Because of my Liberal Arts education, I want to continue learning more about the social sciences, history, and even about scientific discoveries. But story telling has always been the thing I’m drawn to the most. That’s how I ended up involved in theatre and that’s why I became a writer.

Here is what I tell my acting students: By studying acting, even for a semester, they should become better listeners, have a better understanding of human behavior, which in turn should help them be more sympathetic and even empathetic. All of those budding skills should help them in their future lives as they communicate with family, friends, and co-workers. But the biggest benefit of acting is learning to understand who they are, because acting is all about demonstrating the emotions of the characters they play. They have to dig deep to find the ways they are like their characters.

Another thing studying stories in the various forms does for us is to help us experience life in ways we would not be able to do otherwise. Maybe that’s why I love stories that are big sweeping epics and stories about quiet inner struggles. Right now I’m reading Louisa May Alcott’s book, Little Women. I’ve seen and loved three movie versions and will see this latest one as well, but for some reason I’d never read the book. I’m so glad I waited.

I never thought of it when I watched the various versions of the movie, but Little Women is as much a feminist story as are all of Jane Austen’s works or those of the Brontë sisters. The feminism is subtle. Each of the stories show women living their lives the best way they can given the restrictions they face and in the end most of the character’s dreams come true. Another thing I love about these stories is that each character has a different dream just like men do. Yes, most of them want to become wives and mothers, but they have other aspirations as well. They want to live well rounded lives combining home life with using their talents for the good of others.

In recent years most of the books I’ve read are by women authors. It wasn’t a conscious decision. And it’s not that I don’t like books written by men, or even movies about and by men, It’s that I long to see the world through a different perspective. The male view of life has been so prevalent that when a “women’s” story comes along it gets lots of scrutiny and even criticism that I think is unfair.

With the idea of expanding my world view in mind, this year I want to read and watch stories from other countries. It’s a good way to broaden my understanding of human nature and see the world from a new perspective.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. If you like what you read here, please share it with a friend.

Have a blessed weekend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered and she must find a way to put it back together. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Losing Myself in a Creative Project

Lucinda’s birthday present, painted by Xo Terra

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~ Maya Angelou

We’re back from vacation and I’m keeping the promise to myself to work on my novel before I do any other work. I know, it’s only a few days, but today when the timer went off, I didn’t want to stop working. So, I didn’t. I had forgotten how many scenes I had already written. Of course not all of them will be included in the final book, but it was nice to know I am well on my way to finishing the rough draft.

At the moment I’m interweaving Jenna and Morgan’s stories from their respective time periods. Then I’ll be able to see what needs to be added and what portions slow the story down and must be cut. Some writers love the initial work of creating their story. Not me. I love the revision process. One of my favorite things to do is to figure out the plot points of a movie I’ve watched or story I’ve read and it’s no different when I’m revising my books. I’m nerdy that way. Reading the different segments and figuring out how to put them into the modern plot outline helps me understand the shape of the story I’m trying to tell.

This realization, that I love to lose myself in writing, relates to my spiritual practice as well. Over the last few years I’ve practiced staying in the moment, rather than worrying about the future or regretting what happened in the past. Today as I read and revised, and moved segments of my story around, it felt as if time had truly stopped. I was in a kind of no man’s land of flowing creativity. It felt good. It’s a different feeling than the sense of accomplishment of ticking tasks off my to do list. Some people get great satisfaction out of doing that. I don’t feel that way. Yes, I’m happy to have accomplished lots of tasks, but it doesn’t feed my soul like becoming immersed in a creative project does.

This feeling of losing myself in working on my novel, will, I hope, keep me in the mode of putting it first day after day. I do at times feel tempted to go back on my resolve, but that’s just a matter long held habits.

What I’m coming to realize is that I must get back to compartmentalizing my tasks. When I was working on my first B.A., I soon realized that I could get overwhelmed with all the reading and homework I was required to do. I have no idea where this idea came from, but I decided that to stay sane, I had to pick one bit of work, do that, and then choose the next until all the tasks were finished. Since my life is going through a transition, and will be getting more busy, I think it’s time to revive that long forgotten practice only this time I’m giving the thing I love best the top priority.

I sometimes wonder what the world would be like if everyone put aside what they “should” do and worked on what their hearts longed to do. Barry and I had a friend long ago who said, “Should is a four letter word.” And she was right. We might have fewer people on anti-depressants and fewer grumps if everyone avoided that word “should”.

If you could do anything you wanted to do, what would that be? What’s stopping you from doing it? How does that make you feel? I’m just curious because those are questions I’ve asked myself many times over the years.

Maybe 2020 is the year for all of us to find a way to follow our passions.

Thanks for commenting and liking my posts. I appreciate the feedback.

Welcome new followers. If you like this blog, share it with a friend. Let’s create a better world together.

Have a blessed weekend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered and she must find a way to put it back together. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

New Adventures for a New Year

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. ~ Seneca

Last week I wrote about the possibility of new opportunities at the college, but I brushed over an invitation to contribute to the spirituality site, Sivana. This serendipitous event happened because during meditation one day I said to the Universe, “I’d really like to have someone read my written work and offer me the chance to reach more people.” A few weeks later I got an email from someone at Sivana that read something like, “We saw an article you wrote on She Writes, (a social media site for writers) and want to invite you to submit articles to our blog.” At first I thought it was a scam. But after checking them out on both the web and Facebook, I was convinced I wanted to join their group of writers.

The thing is, I posted only four articles on She Writes, two or three years ago, yet I’ve been writing this blog since 2013. They found me by the slimmest chance. I guess nothing ever leaves the web. I didn’t think the articles were particularly spiritual, but hey, I got what I asked for!

I have no idea if writing for Sivana will turn out to be good or not. However, I’m excited because there are times when I want to do deeper spiritual explorations but this blog doesn’t seem the appropriate place for that.

So, the dream of having a full theatre program at the college took years to manifest, while this new outlet for writing came about because of an almost random thought, which I forgot almost as soon as I stated it.

Oh, and a friend that we connected with while we’re here visiting family, told me that she saw my novel, The Space Between Time, on an end cap at her local library. My work is getting noticed slowly but surely. That was a nice Christmas present.

The way the universe works is an absolute mystery to me. But then, I love a mystery and being surprised, so I’m excited to see what’s going to happen next.

We’re on the road home from our Christmas vacation which is why this post is so short. You know how it is, so many family gatherings and fun outings left me with little time to contemplate what to write.

I don’t know about you, but I find the beginning of a new year exciting. Actually, I feel the same way about the beginning of a new day. I look forward to each lesson and new chance to contribute to the wellbeing of the people around me, and those who are affected by my work.

Thank you for reading, liking and commenting. Welcome to my new followers.

Have a blessed beginning to your new year.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered and she must find a way to put it back together. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Last Post of 2019

Olympic Mountains in Washington State

Ultimately there is no such thing as failure. There are lessons learned in different ways. ~ Twyla Tharp

Well, 2019 whizzed by! Maybe Gregg Braden is right, time is speeding up. That makes me feel like I need to pay even better attention in the moment. I’ve been more diligent about being mindful these last few years and I must say, I’m happier. I try to find the good things about each location and activity in which I find myself instead of wishing I was someplace else or doing something else.

I must admit I am a bit of a curmudgeon when it come to looking back at the year just past. It’s not that I don’t look back and put the pieces together, or learn a new lesson from past events, I just don’t do it at prescribed times like the end of a year or on my birthday. I do it when it feels appropriate to my spiritual work.

But of late, I have been thinking about the surprises of this past year. I wanted to finish my second novel, and the audio book for my first, but somehow the theatre program at the college blossomed. Now it looks like my eleven year dream of having a vibrant theatre curriculum may come to pass. And in a way I feel torn. What do I do about my writing career. I’m not going to give it up, not when I’ve been invited to write for a spirituality site.

Something I love about being alive is that we have the opportunity to keep growing if we choose to. I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person. Which means that I may make plans, but sometimes God, or the universe, or my guardian angels surprise me. That’s what happened with the theatre program. Actually, it’s the answer to a long held dream that I had given up on. It didn’t look like it was ever going to happen. Then I met Dave D. He’s a theatre professional and we’ve become a good collaborative team. That’s how things work sometimes. You need the right ingredients, or people to come along to make your dreams come true.

As far as writing goes, I must learn to make time to write every day. I know, I keep saying that. I do it for a few weeks then I get distracted. But it’s like getting back on the bike after falling off, I’ll keep trying. I hope this year, I’ll relearn how to compartmentalize by life so I can get multiple tasks done.

Let’s keep dreaming and working toward a better world as well.

Best wishes for a blessed beginning to your new year.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. I’ll continue to write a post each week. I hope you come along for the ride.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered and she must find a way to put it back together. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Ha Ha, Fooled Myself

Thunderstorm over Corfu

Last week I wrote that I was taking a break from writing this post, but I just had to write about what happened this week.

To set this up, let me tell you that the college IT department decided to upgrade the college website and all the links IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEMESTER. As you might imagine it has caused all kinds of havoc. The theatre workshop class, which is the way students get credit for performing in the play, was one of the victims of this switch over. Students had difficulties signing up, and well, I signed up for the class, with my approved tuition waiver in my virtual hand, to pad the numbers so the dean wouldn’t cancel the class.

Monday evening, I got a bill from the college in the mail for $790 for the class. I was required to pay this because, supposedly, I’m an out of state student. I was steamed, to say the least. I’ve worked for the college for eleven years and they couldn’t find me in their records?

The next morning I called Dave, the director of the play, to vent. When he laughed at the absurdity of the situation, I was miffed at first. But as we talked, the whole situation with the website switch over became more and more funny.

My chiropractor reacted the same way when I told him about the incident and we laughed together. Sometimes you just have to laugh at situations like this.

When I got to the registrar’s office to resolve the issue, they were as baffled as I was. Though the letter had dropped the Midgorden from my last name, they were able to find my records in their system and couldn’t understand why I’d been labeled as a non-resident student. Needless to say the situation was resolved. My tuition waiver was good and I don’t have to pay anything for the class.

This morning, Wednesday morning, I was reading Pam Grout’s post about three fabulous things that are happening for her. If anyone has reason to be stressed and depressed, it’s Pam. A year ago, last October, her 25 year old daughter died from a brain aneurysm. Taz, was Pam’s only child. As you can imagine it’s been an extremely difficult year for her, but she’s worked at learning the lessons, and remaining positive. Because she’s kept turning her feeling and thinking back to being positive, several great things are happening for her.

Pam lost her daughter. She’s willing to deal with her grief and then move toward more positive thinking. And I got upset over a little snafu with my class registration!?

Pam is a fantastic example and reminder for me. No matter how big or little my problems, I need to continually turn toward positive thinking and feeling. Wallowing in negativity doesn’t help me or anyone else.

Gregg Braden, a scientist and spiritual teacher, writes and lectures about the new discoveries about the strong energy our hearts put out. It’s a great deal more than the energy put out by our brains. Everyone and everything around us is affected by our emotions and thoughts. If we think and feel we’re not worthy enough to have good things happen to us, we’re setting ourselves up for a bunch of negative experiences.

Yesterday I was a little dark cloud spreading negativity. Today I’m ashamed of myself for being so childish. And I want to change my thoughts and feelings so that I spread positive energy instead. This takes constant self-monitoring. When I feel angry or sad, I have to acknowledge it and then turn my thoughts and emotions around. Today I’m working on doing that.

If I get another aha next week, I may write again.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered and she must find a way to put it back together. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Taking a Break

August Sunset

“Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.” ~ Ralph Marston

Since my duties with Twelfth Night and teaching are intensifying, I’ve decided I need to take a little break from writing and posting to this blog for a while. Autumn is always busy for everyone, so you may be happy not to have to read my blog each week as well.

Recently I was reminded just how important it is to take care of oneself. I’ve never been good at that. I’m a recovering people pleaser. Yet somehow the message got through this time. And thank heavens it did because I’ve been extremely tired.

Last weekend I spent one whole day reading and doing things that brought me joy and was amazed at how much better I felt. That convinced me to slow down and enjoy the little things, like watching my acting students blossom, working on my novel, or watching the birds in the back yard. Even going to rehearsal when I’m called has been a joy, even if it is a late night. The students are amazing. I think it’s going to be a fantastic production.

Another reason I’m taking a break from posting here is because it’s time to take stock. Many years ago, my father-in-law told us about an article or a book he’d read with the premise that every seven years we feel the need to make some changes in our lives. I love that. I’ve never been a status quo kind of person. I guess it’s because we moved every couple of years when I was growing up.

In any case, I’m going to examine all I’m doing and make some adjustments. It seems like a perfect time for it.

Thanks for reading, liking, and commenting. Welcome to my new followers. There are six years of back posts you can read if you are so inclined.

I will be back to tell you how the performances turned out.

Blessings for all your autumn activities. I hope you find joy and fulfillment sharing time with family and friends.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered and she must find a way to put it back together. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Unexpected Turns

 

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” Oscar Wilde

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

“I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.” ~ Paulo Coelho

Have you ever felt like you want to go in one direction, but for some reason the universe, God, or circumstances pull you in another? That’s been my life for the last year and a half.

This was frustrating at first, because all I wanted to do was concentrate on writing and recording the audio for my books. But, no, I got a clear message that I needed to make the most of my new friendship with Dave Dahl. He’s the theatre professional who came out of the ethers to help me when I directed Measure for Measure. After that I invited him to be a guest artist and work with my acting students. Wow, did he make a big difference. I even got reenergized after so many years of teaching. Hmm, maybe there was a good reason for me to stay where I was, at least for now.

As last year progressed, I shared with Dave my frustrations about the way the arts in general have been basically ignored by the administration at the college. That after so many years of beating my head against the wall, I felt demoralized. And, I never felt I was well equipped to bring about big change in any case.

As we talked we got the idea to find out if Dave would have the credentials to direct the plays. If we produced one play a semester, that might be just the thing to garner interest in developing a true theatre program. So, if Dave was eligible, we’d revamp the class schedule to make that happen. Tanya, our department chair, was willing to go to bat for us and after lots of hoops to jump through, Dave was hired.

Rehearsals are now in full swing for Twelfth Night. My role is to help Dave navigate all the college bureaucracy to get to the production to final performances. Occasionally, I also attend rehearsals to offer a second opinion. After attending an early first rehearsal, I came home and said to Barry, “Everyone is going to be blown away by the quality of this production.”

There have been times when Dave and I are working with my acting students, or I’m at rehearsals, that I have an overwhelming feeling of being just where I’m supposed to be at the moment. It’s not that my dream of being a full-time writer has been replaced, it’s just not yet time for it to come to fruition. I have to release my expectations, go with the flow and trust that the Higher Ups know what they are doing. Since there is no way I can see the big picture from where I’m sitting, I must trust that there is a larger purpose that will be beneficial in the end.

Dave and I are just laying bricks right now, hoping that the administration, and community will take notice and give our efforts support. We believe that it’s through art that we have an opportunity to understand what it means to be a human being. We both feel it’s one great way to learn empathy. And I’m willing to do what it takes to help empathy grow.

Struggling to go my own way has made me extremely tired. Finally, in this last week, I’ve decided to surrender and see where my current path leads. I can almost hear God laughing.

Thanks for reading, liking, and commenting. Welcome new followers. Have a blessed weekend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered and she must find a way to put it back together. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Crazy Idea

Caring Hands

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop

Ever since I wrote last week’s post, I’ve had this crazy idea. What if I created a hashtag on Twitter that read something like “#Cascade of Kindness.” I don’t even know how hashtags work, so I’ll need help with that. But it would be fun if I, or someone, created this hashtag and it went viral. I think most of us can agree that some good vibes right now would be welcome.

As I was thinking about that idea, I was entering the college library, I had quite a bit of time before class, and a bird started singing. It was as if the bird was singing just for me. I stopped to listen for moment or two. I then thanked the bird for its song.

There are so many good things that happen all the time that pass us by. For instance, the sky lit with stars that I get to see upon arriving home from teaching. I’m always filled with awe of the beauty of those tiny points of light. Or the birds at our feeder. Or the quality of the light at sunset. Life is filled with so many beautiful people and things. Those are what we should be focusing on.

Of course, some of the blessings we receive present themselves as challenges and we fuss and fret about them. However, if I pay attention, I’m amazed at all the good things that come my way because I faced the challenge instead of trying to ignore it. Maybe one of our tests right now is to be positive in the face of so many negative things happening.

And that’s why I want to create a movement of people who will be kind to everyone, no matter what’s going on. What do you think the social media hashtag should be? Since Ellen DeGeneres is the one who inspired my thinking, I’d like to include her name in the title, but other than that, I’m open to suggestions.

That’s all I have for today. Just that one thought. Do you think you’d be interested in spreading a cascade of kindness? I’d be interested to know.

Thanks for reading, liking, and commenting. I hope you find someone to be kind to this weekend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered and she must find a way to put it back together. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

If We Really Want to Change the World …

Earth from the Moon

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Albert Einstein.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here we go again! Another controversy. Only it’s not about some dirty dealings by a politician or scandal about a celebrity. Nope! Ellen DeGeneres was NICE to George W. Bush at the Dallas Cowboy’s game! And she got a lot of online flack for that. Really!? One online news commentator said her behavior was disgusting. It was disgusting because George W. Bush, in her opinion, was a war criminal. I’ve never heard anyone say that being kind to someone was disgusting behavior.

Here’s what Ellen had to say about it, “When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people that think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone. It doesn’t matter.”

That’s an idea and practice I can get behind. Now that doesn’t mean I’m perfect at it. I catch myself saying unkind things, even if it’s only to the TV, or the driver who cut me off. But I am getting better at recognizing when it happens, that when I send out nasty energy, it’s going to come back and stick to me at some point. So, I ask for those nasty thoughts and words to be taken back or transformed. One way I do that is to imagine what it’s like to be that other person. That makes it easier for me to be kind.

I want to only send out love and kindness because that’s how we change the world.

After hearing about the attacks on Ellen, I continued to think about why some people want to tear others down instead of build them up. My dad used to say, “Wounded people, need to wound other people. They think it will make them feel better.” I agree with dad, but I think there is something else going on. We come into this world with what Caroline Myss calls our “Sacred Contract”. And I think there are three basic categories of contracts or points of view when it comes to human interactions. There are the adherents to the Old Testament, eye for an eye, vengeful God, we carry out God’s judgment, kind of people. There are the New Testament, God is love, love thy neighbor as thyself, those who are without sin cast the first stone, kind of people. And there are those that mash up some Old Testament teachings with the new teachings of Jesus.

To be fair to people who are not of the Christian persuasion, maybe I should categorize these groups as those who think they have the mandate of the Divine Being to carry out His judgment, those who follow the path of pure love, and those who mix love with judgment.

I first became aware of these three points of view while I was getting my Religious Studies degree, though I couldn’t articulate the differences then. As I’ve done my own personal work, I’ve had time to think more deeply about what attitudes and beliefs make us who we are.

For millennia we’ve lived in a world that is clearly not in the love thy neighbor category. But that might be changing. To help good triumph over evil, maybe we should follow Ellen DeGeneres example and try to love one another, because I think we can all agree the world is a pretty messed up place right now. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not go on as we have been.

The thing that impresses me about Ellen is that she must have done a great deal of personal work to be able to show love to people who criticize her. I say this because she gives love so freely, and seems to let all the flack that comes her way roll off her back. She doesn’t let it shake her resolve to continue to show kindness to everyone she meets. That takes a strong person. It’s so easy to slide into condemnation. It’s harder, or maybe it takes more discipline, to show compassion, kindness, and love no matter what.

Here’s what I’ve learned doing my own personal work. When I get upset with someone, I’m not really angry at them. I’m angry at the ugly part of myself I see in their actions or attitudes. What others do, holds up a mirror in front of my face and shows me something I don’t want to acknowledge about my own foibles.

So, if we really want to change the world, we have to take a good long look at ourselves and accept that we’ve made some pretty big mistakes. We have to realize that no one who has ever lived, except maybe one or two, have lived a spotless life. We have to acknowledge our mistakes and love ourselves anyway, because only then can we love everybody else. And this may be difficult to wrap your head around, but God doesn’t judge us. She/He loves us no matter what. We all go to heaven.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Have a fun weekend.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered and she must find a way to put it back together. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.