Excellence is the Best I Can do With What I Have Now

Leon Battista Alberti (1404–72) said “a person can do all things if they will.” I live and create by that motto. When it comes to writing I have created a series of epic length fantasy novels. That work of art is supported by woodworking, linguistics, Photoshop, Indesign, podcasting, Audible, 3D jewelry design and any other venture I care to tackle to make my stories worth listening to. With such a wide variety of experience and interests I am a fascinating author to interview and connect with. I look forward to meeting you. 

I am 60 years of age and have lived a very full life. I follow a creed that no matter what your hand finds to do, you should throw yourself at it and enjoy every minute of the experience. Don’t waste your time with complex personal plans, get moving and do something. I spent 8 summers planting trees and in the end I planted over half a million of them. I learned to keep moving, plant one at a time and go on to the next one. The same philosophy saw me create an amazing set of fantasy novels that also total a half a million words. You just keep going, one word at a time. My personal core values of Community, Celebration and Creativity are guided by my Creativity Manifesto and I create every single day. I have many personal stories that I would love to share with your listeners.

Vance’s Website, Facebook, LinkedIn

  His Cor Series, The Hammer, The Medallion

  The Scroll, A book about The Bible chapter of Ecclesiastes author Kohelet

Yorick Radio Productions with Rosie Beech, Lucinda as guest, Rosie as guest on Story-Power, Ep. 39 “Dreams Do Come True, Eventually” on Apple Podcast, or at Sage Woman Chronicles, at SageWoman.life

The Space Between Time, Lucinda Sage-Midgorden

Anthony Trollope (1815 – 1882) Doctor Thorne and many other books

The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

Three Hills, Alberta, Canada

Dark of the Moon, Howard Richardson Broadway production, 1945, based on the ballad, “Barbara Allen”

Dungeons and Dragons game

Ivan Bodley, Story-Power Ep. 35 “Am I Famous Yet?” Or at Sage Woman Chronicles, at SageWoman.life

John Horner, Story-Power Ep. 47 “The Writing Life” Or at Sage Woman Chronicles, at SageWoman.life

This episode is brought to you by PodMatch, the dating service for podcasters. They introduced me to Vance, and I’m so glad they did. I hope you’ve enjoyed our conversation and remember that if you have a podcast or something to share with the world, check out PodMatch and tell them Lucinda sent you.

I’m so passionate about stories that I created the Story-Power podcast and Patreon communities so I’d have an excuse to talk story with story lovers like me. If you’re passionate about stories too, and want to talk about what you’ve learned from your favorites, come join me at Patreon.com/StoryPower. 

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

The Effort of Control

Cart – Before – Horse

“I can do nothing for you but work on myself … you can do nothing for me but work on yourself.” ~ Ram Dass

“Knowing others is wisdom; knowing the self is enlightenment.” ~ Tao Te Ching

Some years ago I learned a big lesson. The only thing I can control is myself. These past weeks and months have been rough since so many people are trying to control things outside themselves. They are trying to uphold the old institutions and maintain the patriarchy. But when we do that, eventually everything crumbles. Trying to control everyone and everything outside ourselves is like trying to put out the flames of a burning building with a pastry baster, or a syringe. The effort is futile. 

I think everyone comes into this world with a life theme. Mine is learning to love myself and I can’t do that without clearing out lots of old gunk. I’ve been working on this project for a long time and learned to use lots of great tools along the way. I thought I was doing well until I decided to start my Patreon Community. I have had money issues for most of my life, believing I didn’t deserve to be prosperous. I have enough money to live on, but nothing more and though I have done a lot of work to clear the blocks, I was still feeling stuck once I decided to try to gather a following of patrons who would be willing to support my Story-Power work.

For years I thought of money as one of those things that comes from my job and when I work I’m at the mercy of my employer. So, when I decided to break away from full-time work, I was convinced that less money was going to flow to me. I knew I needed help to flip the switch to a better view of money and it’s purpose in my life. Little by little I’ve been getting the help I need but recently I found a course that is helping me clear out the last remnants of my incorrect beliefs about money.

I’m a Youtube junky, in a way. I love to use it for meditation music, I follow spiritual teachers and sometimes news and entertainment on that platform. So, when a particular Mindvalley video ad came up with Jeffrey Allen advertising his Duality course, which is all about clearing and managing our energy, I decided to check it out. Now, mind you, I’m a bit suspicious of YouTube ads, so it took me awhile to decide to take his sample mini-class, but once I did I was hooked. His energy as a teacher is amazing. I signed up for a year subscription to Mindvalley that very day and will have access to their entire range of quests, as they call them.

Because I’m a Reiki practitioner, I thought I understood energy and how it flows through everything. Now that I’ve been doing Jeffrey’s course for two or three weeks, I realize there were lots of gaps in my understanding and practice. One thing Jeffrey emphasizes is that we can heal the energy within ourselves, but even though we can send healing energy to others, it’s up to them to accept it. We can’t control anyone or anything outside ourselves unless they allow it. And even attempting to do so creates yucky energy. I don’t want to do that. I want a clean flow of loving supportive energy to stream between me and my followers.

For the first time in my life, I don’t feel weird about sharing my creative journey. I don’t mind tooting my own horn and inviting people to listen to Story-Power and join the conversation about stories on my Patreon Community page. 

During the process of creating the Story-Power podcast and now the Patreon Community, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about why stories are so important to us as human beings. What I’ve come up with so far is that they are a way for us to communicate ideas, emotions, and insights with others. When we touch someone emotionally, that is the best way to effect change a lasting change. That’s why I want to foster more conversations about the stories that mean something to us.

In the outer world, it may look like darkness is creeping in and about to swallow us. But stories are a great example of how the world really works. The protagonists, us, go through dark times, but the light always wins, even if the protagonist dies at the end of the story, their vision of a better world lives on. (And so do they in another dimension.) Balance is restored. Don’t despair. If we want to, we can create a new happier story by healing ourselves.

If you want to join my Patreon Community go to Patreon.com/StoryPower. You can listen to episodes of Story-Power here or on Apple, Google, and Spotify every other week. The next episode will air May 11 where I will be sharing my conversation with the highly creative, Vinnie Neudorf an author, theatre artist and much more.

My work is supported by PodMatch. If you have a story to share, or a podcast of your own, consider checking them out. They have been a godsend for my podcast Story-Power.  

I hope you are all well. Thanks for reading each week, liking and commenting. I’m sending good thoughts for you, your life journey, and creative endeavors.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2022

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When I Make a Growth Step

Thunderstorm over Corfu

The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment. ~ Antonio Brown

Recently I signed up for the Duality course at Mindvalley Academy. It’s all about how to better connect with the energy that is all around us so that I can clear old patterns and beliefs, ground myself better, set better boundaries, set intentions and send energy to projects I’m working on and so much more. I’m half way through the course, taking it at my own pace, since I’ve worked with Reiki and done other energy work before this class. I love it, because Jeffrey Allen, the instructor, is so positive and many of the techniques he teaches are helping fill in the blanks in my knowledge that I didn’t even know were there. 

One of the things he says is that when we’re making a growth step, we are often off balance, which makes us irritable and hard to live with. The reason for this is because our inner landscape, as I call it, is changing. What was familiar is shifting and we’re getting a new perspective so that the world around us begins to look very different. This can be quite unsettling. And it can draw situations to us that help us use the new knowledge and skills that we are learning. 

This week I’ve been having one such challenge with a growth spurt. A set of supplements that I take for my health did not arrive when they were supposed to. I got the email from the company informing me they had been delivered Friday a week ago, but they were not in our general delivery box. I thought perhaps they had been delivered to the post office, but not to our box yet. It was the weekend. When they weren’t in our box on Monday, I sent and email to the company telling them that I did not get the pills. It has been a week of consumer hell. 

Instead of apologizing and either sending me a new bottle of pills, or giving me a refund as other online businesses have done for me, I was told to canvass my neighborhood to see if we could find out who had received the package. I won’t go into all the details but that is just not a feasible thing for us to do because we live in the country. I wrote and explained the situation. I got a thank you back for my response, then a day later got an email telling me the matter had been resolved because the pills had been delivered. 

This went on for two or three more rounds. Finally today, feeling very angry, I acknowledged that I must be going through a growth period and was being presented with an opportunity to set my energy boundaries. So, I sent one final email telling the company that I didn’t blame them for the item not being delivered. It was clearly my mail carrier’s mistake, but I was not going to go to the post office to see if they had it, because if they did, they would deliver it to my mailbox. I also asked for my money back and told them that depending on their response, I would be reporting them to the Better Business Bureau. Furthermore, I was not going to continue to do business with them. 

This kind of response has not been like me in the past. In general I try to be cordial, but am sometimes a door mat. I guess those days are over. I don’t want to be unpleasant, but I have tried to help this company understand that them asking me to track down the product that has obviously gone astray, is not my job. It feels strange to stand up for myself and to declare that I don’t think they have very good customer service and that they’ve lost me as a customer. But part of me feels that it is important for me to set good boundaries for myself so that I don’t let my energy spill out into meaningless exchanges like the one I had this week.

A counter point to this episode is an exchange I had with a young woman at the Cochise Expo last night. Cochise College has events throughout the year trying to attract graduating seniors, or even juniors who are eligible to take college classes. I was manning the theatre, Cochise Actors Troupe (club) table at the Expo. Almost all of our club members are involved in the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by my co-sponsor and co-teacher, so I was going to be alone. Barry graciously came to sit with me. 

About halfway through the evening, a young woman came by our table. She was striking with a frizz of hair, that we used to call “a natural”. She was dressed in a sleek black outfit with a tie, vest and slacks. I complimented her on her hairdo and she came to speak with me. I told her a silly story of when I was young working in a school that was about 98% African American children and how one day they asked me why I didn’t wear my hair in a natural. I thought about it and said, “Well, this is how my hair grows, so this is a natural for me.” To which they began to chant, “Miss Sage has a natural.” She was gracious and smiled and then we began to have a conversation about the theatre program and the club. She didn’t take her eyes off of me and I remembered one of Jeffrey’s lessons about being present behind our eyes so that we can be more focused in our listening to the person we are talking to. She was definitely present in our conversation and I was too. It was an amazing moment in an evening that I had considered to be a chore. (I’m really ready to be finished with teaching and all that goes with it.)

So stepping outside my comfort zone to learn new ways to be present in the world has its ups and downs. I guess that’s life, isn’t it?

I am definitely looking forward to more lessons about how to manage the energy around me.

Have a blessed week ahead.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2022

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that I’m passionate about stories. That’s why I created Story-Power and now my Patreon Community. Here are some upcoming events.

May 21, Live chat with author, Moshe Mikanovsky about his book, The Resurrector about the Levi family during a dark time after the death of middle child, Nir. I found the book riveting because I learned so much about the rituals of honoring the dead among orthodox Jewish families. I will post the unedited version of Moshe’s Story-Power episode from 2021 where we discuss his life and his book this week.

June 4, Live chat with author, Teri M. Brown about her book Sunflowers Beneath the Snow, about three generations of women in one family living in Ukraine from 1973 to 2016. The book is timely, but I found it fascinating because I felt like I was living in Ukraine first under the Soviet Union, then as they struggled to create a viable democratic government. My unedited conversation with Teri is already up on Patreon.

As many of you know, I’ve been busy with my podcast, Story-Power, which I started in July of 2020. It was going great for about 10 months. I had lots of former students, colleagues, friends, and family to have as guests, but eventually I ran out of guest ideas. I was feeling a little bit of panic. My one year anniversary was approaching. I loved doing the podcast so much, but I needed guests. Fortunately, out of the blue, I received an email from PodMatch inviting me to join their podcasting “dating service” as I call it. I loved that they suggested matches for me and made it easy to schedule guests. Soon, I had so many guests lined up that I was working several months out. It’s been like that ever since. 

I also liked that I could sign up to be a guest on other people’s podcasts. I’m so happy to be a member of PodMatch that I want to share this wonderful platform with all of you. I love their mission to help promote conversations. I have been able to chat with people from all over the world, learning about their cultures, and points of view. 

If you are a podcaster, or have a message or fantastic product you want to share with the world, I encourage you to check out PodMatch. Use the affiliate link and tell them, Lucinda sent you. Then contact me so we can set up a chat.

The Writing Life

Since young boyhood, John has tried to be a compassionate person. He has been in love with the English language for as long as he can remember. His parents read to John and his siblings and told them stories. They had a small standing whiteboard with the alphabet surrounding the edges. John would choose letters and write them on the board, asking his Mother if they made a word. She told him he amazed her with how often his letter choices formed actual words.

   John has found richness in many art forms. He draws and paints (mostly portraits), writes songs, and is very active in theatre. In his fifth grade library he discovered mythology books, supported by his teacher. He also started reading Shakespeare’s plays—though there was much in the plays that he didn’t understand, he fell in love with the language. In junior high John started writing poetry, and in high school he edited the school’s creative writing publication, which he did again when at Graceland College. 

   John got a B.A. in English. His first semester two friends, who did plays, dragged him to the auditions for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He got cast in two small parts, and fell in love with theatre. John got a strong minor in theatre, and wrote a play his senior year that was a finalist for a national contest. John continued writing and a few years later earned his Master’s in theatre from Central Missouri University. He was commissioned to write a play about local history, which he directed for the town’s theatre group, and wrote another play, Children of the Pelican, for his Master’s thesis.

   John then went straight to UC—Santa Barbara, where got his doctorate in Dramatic Art. He directed some one act plays from the play-writing program. He also appeared in some other plays. He wrote his dissertation about a San Francisco production of a play about Jesus at the same time California was preparing for a vote on a new state constitution. Eugene O’Neill’s father, James O’Neill, was arrested for playing Christ on a professional stage.

   During his last summer, John went to Kirtland, Ohio to direct and act in a play he had been commissioned to write by the Community of Christ for the 150th anniversary of the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. He later received special citations from two different history associations.

   John has written many blogs on Kansas City history, and several stories and poems for children. He also has a book titled The Prayer of Mathias and Other Plays for Worship.

   He is now working to get a publisher for his novel, Quite at Leisure, or, Second Impressions, his sequel to Pride and Prejudice, or, First Impressions.

   John is in his 30th year of marriage to his wonderful and beautiful wife, Hemdah Salonimer-Horner, a brilliant pianist and piano teacher.

Laurence Ferlinghetti, Beat Poet (March 24, 1919 – February 22, 2021)

  Ferlinghetti’s most famous work, Coney Island of the Mind, (1958). Also co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard (August 24, 1966) based on Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet

University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri

Graceland University, Lamoni, Iowa

Community of Christ Church, Independence, Missouri 

John’s plays, The Prayer of Mathias, Arches, Who Shot Old Drum, Children of the Pelican, The Kirkland Rehearsal, The Dancing Tyrant 

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, and Jane Austen’s collected works, Love & Friendship

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon

John’s unpublished novel, Quite at Leisure: Or Second Impressions

PodMatch, A dating service for podcasters

patreon.com/StoryPower

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

New Projects

This episode is going to be short. I have other projects that need my attention at the moment.

But first, I want to tell you that last night my husband and some of my acting students and I went to see my colleague, Dave’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s his Masters project. It’s the third adaptation of a Shakespeare play he’s done that I’ve seen and thought was fabulous. You know I love stories and Shakespeare is one of the most fabulous storytellers who ever lived. To me Shakespeare’s plays point out the best and worst in human behavior and emotions. On one level, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a romp with mischievous fairies playing tricks on humans. On another level it’s about, as Dave wrote in the Director’s Notes, “… a chance to believe in magic, the power of love, the power of change, the joy in fearlessly doing what we know is right even when we have to face the consequences for it.” 

There have been many times in my life when I did what I knew was right for me even though many people around me didn’t understand my choices. I quit a secure job to follow a feeling that I was meant to do something other than teaching full-time for another 12 to 14 years. I thought I was meant to be a writer at first, and I do write, but the writing led me to podcasting and sharing my passion for the lessons we can learn from the stories we consume. 

Now I’m expanding my story passion to build a community of people who also love and learn from stories. I want a group discussion. That’s why I started my Patreon community last weekend. I’m adding the unedited audio conversation that is my first Patreon post here for your enjoyment. The edited version won’t air on Story-Power until February 2023. I hope you will go read Teri Brown’s book Sunflowers Beneath the Snow since it’s about Ukraine. It takes place between 1973 and 2016. It’s about three generations of women in one family and their differing experiences and viewpoints about their circumstances. I felt as if I was living in Ukraine with the characters, Ivanna, Yetsy, and Ionna as the Soviet Union falls and Ukraine struggles to create a viable government. I hope you’ll read the book. I think it’s fantastic and so timely for what’s happening now.

If you like my conversation with Teri, you can become a patron at patreon.com/StoryPower for a minimal monthly fee. I’m planning a live chat with Teri about her book once I get patrons. I hope you’ll join us, because I have other authors lined up for live chats as well as other special things planned for my community. For example, discussion boards where you can suggest stories to the other members of the community you have enjoyed. I’ll also offer extended podcast episodes, and more as I develop the group. 

Teri M. Brown Conversation for Story-Power

I have two more weeks of teaching this semester and then it’s full blast on editing podcast episodes and building a community at Patreon. After so much time worrying about the pandemic, I’m happy to be connecting with people and having lively discussions again.

I hope your Spring/Autumn is energizing. 

Blessings,

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2022

As many of you know, I’ve been busy with my podcast, Story-Power, which I started in July of 2020. It was going great for about 10 months. I had lots of former students, colleagues, friends, and family to have as guests, but eventually I ran out of guest ideas. I was feeling a little bit of panic. My one year anniversary was approaching. I loved doing the podcast so much, but I needed guests. Fortunately, out of the blue, I received an email from PodMatch inviting me to join their podcasting “dating service” as I call it. I loved that they suggested matches for me and made it easy to schedule guests. Soon, I had so many guests lined up that I was working several months out. It’s been like that ever since. 

I also liked that I could also sign up to be a guest on other people’s podcasts. I’m so happy to be a member of PodMatch that I want to share this wonderful platform with all of you. I love their mission to help promote conversations. I love that! I have been able to chat with people from all over the world, learning about their cultures, and points of view. 

If you are a podcaster, or have a message or fantastic product you want to share with the world, I encourage you to check out PodMatch. Use the affiliate link and tell them, Lucinda sent you. Then contact me so we can set up a chat.

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