Story~Power ep. 05 Myths, Legends, and Complicated Writers pt. 2

Randy and I attended Graceland University, acted in plays together, and eventually both of us got theatre degrees. We haven’t seen each other in many years, but we keep in touch via social media. I was excited to talk with Randy since he’s a fellow writer. This is part two of a long conversation about our passion for stories.

Randy Murray

Randy Murray was born in rural Southern Illinois, the 5th generation on the family farm. He attended Graceland College (now university) in Lamoni, Iowa, where he received a BA in Theatre and Speech Communications, followed by a Masters of Fine Arts in Playwrighting at the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

After college he began work in the early high tech industry as a training developer and instructor, followed by roles leading marketing departments and product management, and ultimately, business management. He capped his career as a business writing and communications consultant for large businesses and marketing agencies.

His play, Grimaldi: King of the Clowns, was performed after his graduation in the SIU main stage season in 1986 as well as preformed for the American College Theatre Festival. It has subsequently been preformed at Howard Payne University and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

His book, Writing Assignments, is available on Amazon.com.

He remains active as a writer and playwright and is an avid ukulele player and performer. He lives in Westerville, Ohio, outside of Columbus, with his wife, Diane. His two adult daughters, one a musician, the other a painter, both have careers in the arts.

Plays, myths and stories discussed in part 2

Birthright a novel in progress by Randy Murray
The Space Between Time by Lucinda Sage-Midgorden (Title not mentioned in recording.)
Grimm’s Fairytales (in original form)
Myth of Prometheus
Myth of Sisyphus
The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
The Plague by Albert Camus
The work of James Thurber at The New Yorker
John McNulty at The New Yorker
The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland 
This Place on Third Avenue by John McNulty
The Mists of Avalon and The Forest House by Marion Zimmer Bradley
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Truman Capote
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, American Gods, and Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Orpheus and Eurydice on which the Broadway Musical Hadestown Anaïs Mitchell is based
The Brothers Grimm Fairytales, Demon Voices, and His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
The Story Telling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gotshall
Shogun by James Clavell
The Master and Commander series (The Age of Fighting Sails) by Patrick O’Brian
Jane Austen’s body of work
His Majesty’s Dragon, The Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik
Poldark series by Winston Graham
Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell
Roots by Alex Haley
The Autobiography of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Aaron Mahnke podcast, “Lore”

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

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.

Change of Schedule

Chapel of the Red Rocks

I wanted you to know that from now on, my blog posts will be published on Sundays. My class schedule makes it hard to publish on Saturdays. Story~Power will continue to be published every other Wednesday.

We’re still working on improving the look of my website and learning the new method of publishing posts. Thanks for your patience with that.

I hope you’re doing well. After so many months of upheaval in the world, I must admit, I’m having emotional days. But I don’t try to suppress my feelings and that seems to help. Talking to friends and loved ones also helps.

Also, I am adding a donation section to my posts. If you like what you read and want to contribute to my work, I will be most grateful. Thank you in advance to my donors.

Until Sunday September 20, stay safe.

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.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

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.

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Oh Yeah, Spread Love

Unbridled Joy

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~ Lao Tzu

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

So this weekend I forgot for a few moments to spread love. Sometimes using technology is my kryptonite. If I have to fill out forms, or change my website, I get all flustered because the forms ask questions I don’t know how to answer or the steps to make the necessary changes to whatever it is I’m doing don’t make sense to me.

This past weekend we decided to purchase a new mattress. We’ve needed to buy one for a very long time. And, of course, we had to decided how to pay for it. Use our savings, a credit card, or finance it. Well, financing the purchase seemed the best choice. But there I was filling out financial info, which drives me crazy. And I had questions about what they wanted for some of the sections. I emailed my question, and finally after waiting for what seemed like an hour or two but was probably really only thirty minutes, I made some phone calls. When I finally got the correct person on the line to answer my question, I was frustrated but trying really hard to be kind and reasonable. But, the answer she gave me made me nervous. I didn’t think we’d get the financing, and we’d have to start all over with Barry filling out the forms. I wanted to scream.

I thought I had ended the call. I mean, I’d pressed the red end call button right? I turned to Barry and exploded with some expletives and then I heard this kind voice on the other end of the line say, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” I was mortified. I told her no and thanked her in the kindest voice I could muster and ended the call.

The pit of my stomach was sinking into knots. I’d yelled at the customer service person who didn’t deserve it. I felt terrible as I finished filling out the form, and SURPRISE got approved for the financing. The order was placed and confirmed. Then I left my computer for a while to calm down.

With my stomach still rolling around with self-recrimination, I remembered the Ho’oponopono meditation. So I sat down, thought of that customer service agent and said, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you,” sending myself and her good energy. I said it several times until my stomach unclenched and I felt that somehow she felt better too.

What that experience taught me is that, I brought all that drama onto myself. I didn’t have to get upset. Perhaps the way forms and websites are set up don’t always work for me because my brain works differently than the people who programed them. That doesn’t mean they’re right and I’m wrong. It means I have to be patient with the process. I have to decide how I’m going to react. One way I have found to deal with these stressful situations is to take breaks to calm down and try to see the procedure from a new perspective instead of insisting the developers configure things to suit me.

The next day when I was waking up, I remembered an entry from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. It happens to be one of my favorite bits of wisdom from that book, but I hadn’t thought of it in a very long time.

This is from a translation by Victor H. Mair, and was reprinted for the 1997 Book-of-the-Month Club offering with permission of Bantam Books. The poem is eerily appropriate for the times in which we live.

Human beings are
soft and supple when alive,
stiff and straight when dead.

The myriad creatures, the grasses and trees are
soft and fragile when alive,
dry and withered when dead.

Therefore, it is said:
The rigid person is a disciple of death;
The soft, supple, and delicate are lovers of life.

An army that is inflexible will not conquer;
A tree that is inflexible will snap.

The unyielding and mighty shall be brought low;
The soft, supple, and delicate will be set above.

Each of us has times when we are inflexible. I’m inflexible when it comes to computer technology. But I have to learn to bend and go with the flow because having a rigid idea of how the apps and websites should work doesn’t make me feel good and the bad energy emanates outside myself. Who knows where it might get stuck?

It’s the same with people. I have to be flexible, listen and accept others as they are instead of who I want them to be, because we each have our place and purpose in the world or we wouldn’t be here.

As I’m writing this, outside my window the wind is blowing the grasses and trees in a beautiful dance. This prompts me to add, I’m sorry, please forgive me for forgetting to spread love, I love you, thank you. I still have a lot of work to do on myself. Maybe one day I’ll automatically remember to spread love in every situation in which I find myself.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. I appreciate your support.

I’m adding a place for you to donate to my blog and or podcast if you’d like to support my work. I feel a little strange about that, but I’ve been thinking that I need to support artists so they can continue their work, so I might as well join them in allowing people to support my creative efforts as well. You are under no obligation to contribute. Thank you if you do. I appreciate it.

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.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

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.

It Is Not The Perfect, But The Imperfect Who Have Need Of Love

All the Love and Support We Need

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us. it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

This week between the last post and this has been a really difficult one for me. Nothing terrible happened. It’s all inside stuff that has been coming up for examination that has laid me low. I haven’t been interested in food, or programs on TV. Even though I restarted doing my audiobook, I’m not excited about what I’ve done. The recording seems boring. Why would anyone want to listen to me drone on?

Other things have niggled away at me. Several posts on Facebook this week irritated me, almost prompting me to make comments contrary to the person’s point of view. One of these stopped me in my tracks for a little while. The young woman who posted it is a loving person. When she smiles she lights up a room. This past week, I read one of her posts. It started off with the kind of sentiments I’d expect of her. She was asking us to come together, to listen to each other, and try to resolve our differences. Then she wrote that our president had to be strong to stop the … My stomach clenched up and I felt such dark emotions. I almost wrote a response, but I knew that anything I wrote would not change her mind and would damage our relationship.

I thought about her post for the rest of the evening and just as I was getting ready for bed I realized why I’d felt so terrible. It felt like she wanted those of us who don’t think like she does to listen to her and to accept that we are wrong and to think the way she does. I may be completely wrong in my assumption. But with further thought I came to the conclusion that’s what I want. That’s what we all want. We want people to see the world the way we do. It’s so much easier because then I don’t have to do the work of loving them no matter what.

I get signals all the time to help me untangle the knots in my thinking and feeling. This week my dramatic structure class watched a movie version of An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde. It’s a story that seems trivial on the surface, with a character, Lord Goring, who often says: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” It seems he loves to be idle more than to engage in any meaningful endeavor. But he’s the character who gives most of the great pearls of wisdom throughout the play. In fact, the title of this post is one of his lines. And that line, that it is the imperfect who need love, gave me pause. Not one of us is perfect. Well ultimately, our souls are perfect, but as we live out our time on this planet, we’re here to make mistakes and learn from them. We all need love.

And this is what I’ve been learning this week. It’s our self-hatred that causes most of the problems we face. We think that there is not enough of anything to go around, and so we scratch and fight each other for the seemingly limited resources. We take offense if someone disrespects us, when in reality, we don’t respect ourselves. To avoid doing the necessary work to love ourselves, we demand that everyone adopt our point of view, and we post nasty comments to those who contradict us.

Now, I’m just as guilty of everything I’ve just outlined as everyone else. I’ve been working on loving myself for most of my life and sometimes I wish I’d just get to the end of it already. It’s so much easier to blame others for my faults than to take each one out and love it to healing. I mean we are taught that loving ourselves and putting our needs first is selfish. But what if that’s wrong? What if Lord Goring is right, to love oneself is not only the beginning of a lifelong romance, but the answer to the worlds problems?

I’m in the middle of reading the most profound book, The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It takes place in the days before the Civil War when the Underground Railroad helped many “tasked” people find their way to freedom. Today something in that book stopped my mental wheels in their tracks. What if, instead of pointing out all the faults of the president and his cronies, we stopped our resistance and just loved them. I’m not saying ignore the sins of the past. We all have to face the consequences of our actions. But what I’m saying is to do what Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

I believe we’re at a confluence of Divinely orchestrated energies that are forcing us to change. We each have a specific role to play in that change. There are people who’s purpose it is to bring out the truth of all the dark deeds of people in power. It’s their soul contract. They chose to take on these roles so old institutions and ways we’ve been treating each other throughout the centuries can end and we can build something out of light rather than darkness. This is something that’s happening throughout the entire world not just in the U.S. But that’s not everyone’s contract.

I’m not exactly sure what my role is beyond continuing to learn to love myself and sending Reiki and spread love and light to support people during the change. Sometimes, like when I saw those Facebook posts this week, I hear this little voice telling me not to respond. And often I don’t understand that because to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr. if we stand by and say nothing we condone the evil. But in the Tao Te Ching, there is a concept called Wu Wei, the art of non-action. It’s a philosophy that states, the best way to deal with conflict is not to act at all, not forcing any solution, but letting things flow. And I do remember seeing this powerful image on social media a few months back of demonstrators, standing still in the streets. In fact they looked like they were meditating. They weren’t carrying signs or shouting. They were just standing, peacefully. I don’t know what part of the world this demonstration took place. But I’m thinking, maybe that’s what we could be doing now. We could be standing up and implying by our silence, “Enough is Enough”.

I do not have any answers. Sometimes my head spins with all the opposing energies flying around exploding against each other and it’s draining. I have to make daily intentions to return to love no matter what anyone says or does and trust that the Divine is in charge and has our best interests at heart.

I send love and light to you. Thanks for following, liking and commenting.

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.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

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.

Story~Power ep. 04 Myths, Legends, and Complicated Writers pt. 1

Randy and I attended Graceland University, acted in plays together, and eventually both of us got theatre degrees. We haven’t seen each other in many years, but we keep in touch via social media. I was excited to talk with Randy since he’s a fellow writer. This is part one of a long conversation about our passion for stories.

Randy Murray

Randy Murray was born in rural Southern Illinois, the 5th generation on the family farm. He attended Graceland College (now university) in Lamoni, Iowa, where he received a BA in Theatre and Speech Communications, followed by a Masters of Fine Arts in Playwrighting at the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

After college he began work in the early high tech industry as a training developer and instructor, followed by roles leading marketing departments and product management, and ultimately, business management. He capped his career as a business writing and communications consultant for large businesses and marketing agencies.

His play, Grimaldi: King of the Clowns, was performed after his graduation in the SIU main stage season in 1986 as well as preformed for the American College Theatre Festival. It has subsequently been preformed at Howard Payne University and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

His book, Writing Assignments, is available on Amazon.com.

He remains active as a writer and playwright and is an avid ukulele player and performer. He lives in Westerville, Ohio, outside of Columbus, with his wife, Diane. His two adult daughters, one a musician, the other a painter, both have careers in the arts.



Plays, Myths, and Stories discussed in this episode.

Greek Myths 
Star Trek the original series
James Blish, author of Star Trek novelizations of the original Star Trek series, and Cities in Flight
War of the Worlds radio show by Orson Wells
The Federal Theatre Project
The Common Theatre Project 
Plays by William Shakespeare discussed:
  Love’s Labor Lost, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night
Patrick Stewart reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets on YouTube
The Globe Theater in London
Hadestown Music, lyrics and book by Anaïs Mitchell developed with and Directed by Rachel Chavkin (Tony Winner)
Gilgamesh
The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
Antigone by Jean Anouilh based on Antigone by Sophocles
Birthright a novel in progress by Randy Murray

“Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” ~ Roger C. Schank, Cognitive Scientist.

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

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.