Doing It Anyway

Rainbow

“Those who improve with age embrace the power of personal growth and personal achievement and begin to replace youth with wisdom, innocence with understanding, and lack of purpose with self-actualization.” ~ Bo Bennett

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” ~ Cecil Beaton

I’ve been thinking a great deal about my writing process lately. After several months of concentrating on other projects, I’ve finally gone back to my sequel novel, Time’s Echo.

I’ve heard that Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, writes in blocks of scenes. They aren’t connected until she gets to a certain point, and then she shapes them into the story she wants to tell. In a way, I do the same thing. I get an idea for something that happens to my characters. I begin writing that situation. Often I have to go back to it to add more details, or I realize that something needs to be changed. Once it’s in a presentable rough state, I move on.

When I got the idea to write The Space Between Time, my original idea was to write about a father, daughter relationship and how what the daughter learned from her father helped her once he was gone. But as I got into the nitty gritty of the story it became clear that it wanted to be about how my two main characters deal with life shattering events. The death of a parent, loss of a job, loss of romantic relationships, dealing with difficult people. Each woman must face hardships, learn from them, and then build a better life for herself.

While I was writing, I thought this first book would stand alone. But the moment I finished the rough draft, I knew I had to write a sequel novel. The second book would address women’s issues. That was in 2014. I had a clear idea where I wanted Morgan’s story in the past to go. But what Jenna had to deal with in the present was not as clear. So, her story didn’t develop very quickly. Then the @Me Too movement happened, and it has opened up Jenna’s story line. There are now so many possibilities for her character to choose to do. Since it’s the harder of the two storylines to write, I’m letting it percolate on the back burner of my mind while I work on what Morgan’s timeline.

As I’ve been working on Time’s Echo, the idea that we can’t escape our life’s purpose keeps coming up as one of the themes. Morgan in the past, and Jenna in the present come face to face with the way women are treated in their time period. They each have an unavoidable choice to make, get involved, or sit back on the sidelines. I chose for them to become involved, even though that creates tension in their home lives.

While writing about the struggles of Jenna and Morgan, I’ve realized that I’m inspired by people who see some problem that needs to be fixed, and even though the work is dangerous, or seemingly impossible, they do what they can to make things better. And being who I am, those stories make me think about my own life’s purpose. I don’t think I have a huge function in the grand scheme of things. And yet, I do want to change the world in the small ways that are within my power. I’ll never be a Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Susan B. Anthony, or Jesus. But no matter what I’m meant to do, if I try to deny or ignore it, my life will become shallow and vapid. That’s an unacceptable prospect for me.

I think I’m so caught up in all forms of story telling, especially the ones I’m telling, because I get a chance to examine situations that I would never experience in real life. I ask myself, what I’d do if I were in that situation? Would I fight until the end, even if I knew the cause was hopeless? Would I join a cause even if my life was in danger, or I might never see the culmination of all the work I’d put in?

Those are the kinds of questions I’m asking about my characters as I write Time’s Echo. And one more, when someone makes a commitment to a cause that will change society, how does it affect their family? I’m fascinated by the tension between the life a person has been living and the realization that they’re called to step outside their comfort zone. What effects do their decisions make on those around them?

I’m happy to say that I’m nearing the end of Morgan’s storyline. Now to tackle Jenna’s. I’ll keep you posted about how that goes.

Welcome to my new followers. Thanks for reading. I appreciate your likes and comments. Have a wonderful 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. Only Jenna joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, instead of 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, 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 on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Question Everything

An image of the Kunta Kinte Alex Haley Memorial in Annapolis.

“The key to wisdom is this – constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth.” ~ Peter Abelard

“Of all the questions we leave unanswered the one that comes back to haunt us the most is: ‘What if …’ What if I’d married my college sweetheart? What if I had the good sense not to? What if I had been born in this job market? What if … What if I’d planned a little less? What if I’d lived a little more? What if I’d chucked it all and started my own company? ‘What ifs’ are never idle fantasy. These are our hopes, dreams and desires.” ~ Rashmi Bansal, Stay Hungry Stay Foolish

Have you ever, well, I’m sure you have because you’re human, but has your life ever been shattered in some devastating way? It’s happened to me more than once. I’m sure it has to you too. You’ve lost a loved one, or a job, or a relationship broke apart, and your life is turned upside down. You know the feeling, everything you thought was true comes into question and you don’t know what you believe anymore, you don’t know how to get out of your current dreadful situation.

The first big time it happened to me was when I began to study religion in college. Many of the things I thought were true about The Bible, and Christianity, and world religions, and history challenged my tiny little belief system. In a way I welcomed this. After all I went to college to expand myself. But it was nerve wracking too because I had to do a lot of internal work examining the old and new information. That process was emotionally and physically draining. I was lucky though, because I’d been taught by my father to question everything. That’s what I did. I asked lots of questions in my classes, and I began to ask myself, “What if this or that thing I was taught wasn’t true?”

Even though this process was unsettling, it was also familiar and I embraced the challenge of taking all my beliefs out and seeing if they fit the new information I was learning. Anything that didn’t fit, I threw out.

So, even though I was going through this tremendous internal upheaval, it was exhilarating too. I did, however, have problems with people looking at my struggles from the outside. They wanted to fix me. And that more than anything traumatized me.

I think we get into comfortable ruts and don’t want to change and if someone we know is struggling with some existential upheaval, we don’t know what to do to help. In a way, their struggles challenge our own. Sometimes we do more damage by trying to get them to go back to the way they were, which makes us feel better but might not be the right thing for them.

I’m grateful to my father for asking lots of questions and teaching me to do the same. He taught me how to pay attention, to read between the lines, to look at people’s motivations. Those skills have served me well when I’ve been confronted with life shattering events. But he taught me something else, that he learned from his father. Sometimes the best way to help someone going through a life altering event is to just be with them. Don’t try to change them. Just stay by their side so they know that if they need you, you’re there to help.

I’m coming out of the doldrums that began at the beginning of the year. I’ve let myself take time to look at my situation and figure out where I want to go from here. And this time, since I have lots of alone time at home, I don’t have any annoying people trying to interfere with my process.

Part of my doldrums also had to do with the upheaval going on in the world. It seems to me we are collectively challenging everything we thought was true. People are speaking up and challenging not only our belief systems, but the way we’ve been doing business, governing, and the doctrines of our religious communities. I think this is a good thing, but it’s also draining. The only way I see that we can get through these troubled times is to just be with each other. It will also help if we listen, question our old beliefs, and try to see things from a different point of view.

Having been through this process many times, I can say the end results are worth the effort.

Welcome to my new followers. Thanks so much for reading, liking and commenting. I appreciate it. 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. Only Jenna joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, instead of 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, 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 on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Our Legacy

It’s a Wonderful Life Village

“True leaders don’t invest in buildings. Jesus never built a building. They invest in people. Why? Because success without a successor is failure. So your legacy should not be in buildings, programs, or projects; your legacy must be in people.” ~ Myles Munroe

The other day in acting class, a former acting student of mine came by with a friend of hers who is in my current class. She wanted to give me a hug and tell me how much she loved me. I felt embarrassed that I didn’t remember her name, though I do remember her quite distinctly.

As this year has begun, I’ve felt off balance, unsettled, burned out, and perhaps that I have failed to contribute much to making this world a better place. Then, in walks a former student out of the blue to tell me how much being in my class all those semesters ago still means to her.

The next day I was listening to Oprah interview Bradley Cooper on an episode of Super Soul Sunday. Of course, Oprah was asking Bradley about his experience of making A Star in Born, and the Oscar nominations for various people who had worked on the movie. The conversation turned to the idea of legacy. Oprah related again what she learned from Maya Angelou. We never know what our legacy will be. That idea made me feel so much better.

For quite some time, I have been chomping at the bit to quit teaching and work only on my writing. I’ve wanted just a little bit different life than the one I’m living at present. That’s not a happy place to be.

But I realized that because I’ve been focusing on the future instead of the present moment, I’ve been completely oblivious to the fact that maybe my efforts as a teacher over the years have had a positive impact on the lives of my students and I should be grateful for that.

I don’t have children. Most people think of their children as their legacy, but going back to Oprah and Bradley’s discussion, there are other kinds of legacy. He told Oprah how much of an impact she had on his life as he began watching her show as a preteen. He credits her with helping him understand how to be a good human being. If we can be a positive influence on people’s lives, that is one of the best legacies we can leave behind. Perhaps that’s why stories of ordinary people affecting even small changes one person at a time are my favorite.

Every year, I weep at the end of It’s A Wonderful Life. If you can believe it, that movie didn’t do well at the box office when it first came out. But look how it has endured. Watching that movie is a Christmas tradition in many a family. And I believe that consuming positive content is much better than entertainment that is negative in nature. What we watch becomes a part of us. It’s A Wonderful Life has become a part of our collective psyche, which makes me happy.

I’ve been thinking about that too. Maybe I need to better curate all the news and entertainment I consume. Even social media has lost appeal for me. I don’t mind reading about the things my friends are doing, but I’m so tired of the political and personal sniping back and forth that peppers social media. When I see something like that, I just scroll right on by. I like to support my friends by posting encouragement and positive comments on their posts.

And one more thing, I have to accept the fact that I will always experience a tension between where I am at the moment, and where I want to be. I was reminded of that this week too. None of us will ever come to a place where peace reigns all the time. Humans aren’t built like that. We’re always looking for the next thing to learn, or place to explore, or adventure to experience.

In the end, Maya Angelou is right, we will never know the full impact our lives have had on those around us. It’s okay with me if mine is small. I don’t need to be famous but I do want to leave people feeling better about themselves after meeting me, taking one of my classes, or reading something I’ve written.

Thanks for reading what I’ve been thinking lately. I appreciate your likes and comments. 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. Only Jenna joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, instead of 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, 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 on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Assumptions

Stars

“Remember, we see the world not as it is but as we are. Most of us see through the eyes of our fears and our limiting beliefs and our false assumptions.” ~ Robin S. Sharma

I’m still recovering from being sick. This is a bit annoying since I don’t get sick very often. Part of me wants to be finished with the hacking and fatigue, another part realizes that healing takes time and I just need to rest. Pushing myself to get well will only prolong the process. It’s another aspect of the lesson of living in the now and not assuming events will go a certain way.

While I’ve been sick, and even before, Barry and I have been watching all the Marvel Universe movies in preparation for the release of Captain Marvel, and then Avengers: Endgame. I don’t know why, but when I watch each of these movies, I notice the assumptions the characters make about each other and their role in the grand scheme of things that end up causing all kinds of problems. We do that in real life too. We make assumptions then get angry and upset when things don’t go according to plan.

Last night we watched Dr. Strange. It’s a story about the different ways we seek healing. Dr. Stephen Strange is a brilliant neurosurgeon. He’s arrogant, confident in his abilities, and sure of his path in life until … he’s in a devastating car accident that injures his hands so badly that he will never be able to operate on anyone again.

That kind of life shattering event sends some people into the kind of despair that they never get out of. But not Dr. Strange. He’s convinced there is a way out and he spends every bit of money he has to find a cure. At one point his physical therapist tells him of a patient he once had who was paralyzed from the chest down. The patient worked hard to recover, but one day he just stopped coming for sessions. The therapist thought perhaps the patient had given up and either killed himself, or just accepted his situation. Then one day he passed the patient on the street, walking. Of course, Dr. Strange is skeptical but the therapist produces the file and Strange seeks out the patient. The man tells him he was healed at a place called Kamar-Taj in Nepal. Going there is the first step on an unusual journey of altered realities and magic, things Dr. Strange never would have considered possible before his accident.

Every story needs an antagonist. In this one a former student of The Ancient One at Kamar-Taj, Kaecilius, begins to wreak havoc on the world. He sought out The Ancient One so she would heal him. Though she did what she could, he didn’t ever accept responsibility for doing his own healing work. When the process didn’t turn out the way he assumed it would, he got angry and vengeful. He blamed The Ancient One for the fact that he still experienced the pain he wanted to avoid. Since she didn’t heal him, he wants her to pay.

Every time I watch this movie, I think of people who attach all importance onto their pastor, teacher, or mentor and when they discover that person isn’t perfect, they are devastated. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes and it’s not wise to hang all our hopes and dreams on someone else. We are, after all, responsible for our own lives.

Dr. Strange doesn’t do this. He knows The Ancient One is not perfect. He embraces what she can teach him, then takes responsibility for his own healing and spiritual expansion.

I don’t know why but being sick makes me reflective and I’ve been thinking about who I think I am as opposed to who I really am. For some reason watching Dr. Strange added to the mix. I’ve been doing some fundamental self-examination which I hope to continue this year. I’m convinced that there is so much more to life than we experience on a daily basis and I want to expand into a larger part of myself.

Okay, all of that is a bit of a muddled mess of ideas. I do like these new superhero movies because they are our new mythology. They make us see the world in new ways. Anyway, I’ll blame this post on my weakened state of health.

Have a lovely weekend. Thanks for reading, commenting and liking. And thank you to my new followers.

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. Only Jenna joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, instead of 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, 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 on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Unexpected Gifts

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

My husband and I have been sick all week. At first I was rather angry. I had a full week of activities ahead of me all of which had to canceled, even the class I teach. But then I decided to just let what was happening flow. After all there was nothing I could do about being sick.

I’m sure you’ve noticed when you’re sick your world becomes very small, the bed, the bathroom, and the kitchen. It forces you to take life one moment at a time and that’s a good thing.

I don’t know about you but I don’t live in the present moment often enough. I’m thinking about the list of things I need to get done that day, or that week. So even though I don’t like being sick, it’s a good reminder to live in the present moment.

I’m going to end this post here because it took almost every ounce of energy I’ve got to get out of bed and write this much, but I didn’t want to break my streak. Hopefully next week’s post will be more substantial and edifying.

Stay well and enjoy your weekend.

Welcome to my new followers. Thanks for reading, liking, and commenting. I appreciate it very much.

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. Only Jenna joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, instead of 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, 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 on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Empath’s Confession

Heart Connection (by Alisa Looney)

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” ~ James Baldwin

“I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.” ~ Maya Angelou

“The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.” ~ Meryl Streep

“The opposite of anger is not calmness, it’s empathy.” ~ Mehmet Oz

I’m an empath. I admit it. I’ve written posts here before about how difficult it can be to be a magnet for other people’s feelings and not know what to do with them. It’s exhausting. But recently I gained a different perspective. Being empathetic can also be extremely empowering.

Last fall I got an idea that my sister, Celeste and I should write a memoir about our father and the influence he had on our lives. It’s not a typical memoir enumerating the pain and suffering we endured, but rather how our father taught us to use compassion and empathy to help ourselves and others.

My initial thought was that it was going to be about how he used movies to teach us important lessons because stories are an important way to connect emotionally with another person’s point of view. Our book may still include some of that. However, I see now that the book has to include our memories of how Dad influenced people by using his empathy to spread love and compassion to help them heal. It was as if he was plugged into some deep well of emotion and information that helped him understand exactly how the people around him were being affected by the experiences they were having. But how to write that so our readers can understand?

After discussions with Celeste about what to include in the book, I came to this startling deeper understanding of my father. Not only was he an empath, but he was an extreme introvert. He kept his deepest feelings hidden most of the time, even from us. That’s where I learned it! For most of my life, I’ve kept my head down done my work and not shared my deepest thoughts and feelings. However when I broke my own rule, I was exposed, extremely vulnerable, and my ideas generated controversy. That happened to Dad too because he had ideas that went against common convention. When he shared his point of view, it often stirred up fierce debate.

These are extraordinary times. We can use new ideas and fierce debate about how to make the world a better place. And yet, I remember all those controversies, both mine and Dad’s and I ask myself, do I really want to draw so much attention to myself again? The reality is, in times like these, everyone needs to be sharing their creative ideas and their stories. That’s one of the best ways we learn and grow. We have to share our stories and listen as others tell theirs in return.

Over the years as I’ve written these blog posts, I’ve become more comfortable with being open and vulnerable. But it’s uncomfortable to share my mistakes. I’d love to be perfect. I’d also love to keep these posts intellectual. In fact, I was going to write an intellectual essay and post it today. But after years of work in theatre, teaching, and directing plays, I know the best way to help someone see another point of view is to touch their emotions. Then they are open to new ideas. We need the marriage of ideas and emotions to effect real change. So, I need to share my stories, and listen to those of other people. That’s where we discover that we’re not so different after all.

Admittedly, Celeste and I have so many deep emotions about our father, that we’re having a difficult time focusing on what to write about him. He was an extraordinary man, living an ordinary life. Yet the ripples of his influence keep reverberating. Things my father taught me come to mind often and help me through the situations I face. I’m grateful that he gave me such a fantastic head start in life.

There will be more things to share about this project later. But for today, that’s enough.

Welcome to all my new followers. Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Have a lovely 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. Only Jenna joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, instead of 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, 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 on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

One Thing at a Time

Bending Time

“How did it get so late so soon?” ~ Dr. Seuss

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ~ Mother Teresa

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” ~ Henry Ford

As I was considering my options of what to write about for this post, I remembered something that happened when I was in undergraduate school. A friend of mine was complaining about all the homework she had to do. She was so overwhelmed with the amount of work, that she had let all of it slide. However, it was critical that she begin to get her assignments submitted or she’d fail most of her classes. I don’t know where this idea came from, but I said to her, “Just do one thing at a time. Pick one assignment, concentrate on only that task, then when that’s finished pick another, and so on.” She was relieved and said that was the advice she needed to hear.

That’s the advice I need to hear right now. In my head, I have a feed back loop that I need vast amounts of time to work on one major project and only that project. In my fantasy, I’m happily engrossed in my work with no distractions. But that’s not realistic. I’m happy that I remembered this incident, because I need to relearn to compartmentalize my tasks. I think this has become a problem for me since I quit working full-time and have, seemingly, loads of unstructured time.

The thing is no one ever has just one task that needs to be accomplished in any given day. And long term projects won’t wait until we have vast stretches of time to complete them. So, I’ve begun to do a little bit each day on my novel and the rest. Even if I only spend half an hour on each project per day, that adds up to 150 minutes dedicated to a particular piece of work in a week. When I think of it that way, the time adds up quickly. After a month, I can look back with pride at how much I’ve accomplished.

Thank heaven I’m letting go of that myth. It’s much better to be realistic and compartmentalize my mind, than to allow myself to be paralyzed. That’s a copout. “Oh, I just didn’t have time to write that book, or develop that class.” It’s all about creating something one little piece at a time. That’s how all the great inventions, works of art, even civilizations were and are created.

Whew! I’m glad I got that reminder.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Welcome to my new followers. Have a great weekend and stay warm, or cool my friends, depending on where you live.

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. Only Jenna joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, instead of 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, 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 on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Something’s Stirring

Olympic Mountains in Washington State

“We all hope for breakthrough rebirth moments.” ~ Dane Cook

“I give you this to take with you: Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.” ~ Judith Minty, Letters to My Daughters

For quite some time I’ve felt like I’m being reborn, or about to go in a new direction. This has made me restless. I am impatient to apply the new things I’m learning, meet new people, live in a new place, and try new activities.

Even though I feel the change galloping toward me, it’s not here yet. I’m finding it hard to be patient. And yet, this process can’t be rushed. My new life is still in an embryonic state, in which I’m gathering information, transforming old ideas into new, and letting go of attitudes and emotions that will not serve the new me.

What make it frustrating to be so idle is the fact that we live in a fast paced society. We’re supposed to “get ‘er done.” Therefore I judge myself. But the seed underground and the butterfly in her chrysalis are doing momentous work that will produce beautiful results. Their work is not visible to those of us who are rushing around accomplishing important things. Constant rushing is not good. We stress ourselves out when what we need is time to recoup.

To be honest, I didn’t have a clue about what I was going to write today. Since the turn of the new year, all I want to do is read, sleep, ruminate about life, work on my writing projects, and enjoy nature. Like Wayne Dyer said once, sometimes the connections to God (or my creative endeavors) are corroded and need to be cleaned up before the channel is clear enough to hear the messages. Maybe that’s what this fallow time is all about, cleaning the gunk off my creative connections.

Out of guilt and since I signed up for The No Pants Project, or to finish up the old to clear the way for what’s to come, I’ve gone back to plodding through the lessons. This “week” is about marketing. It’s something I know very little about. Some of what Mike is asking me to do sounds fun, some really uncomfortable. However, I’ve suspended my judgment and am getting a lot of new ideas from the videos. Right now I’m not acting on any of them. They are going into my bank of things I’m considering for future use. This material is foreign to me. I want to see the whole picture before I make actionable plans.

One of the things Mike suggests for entrepreneurs is to create a Facebook group. At first, I was skeptical. I’m an introvert! Why would I want to administer a Facebook group that I have to maintain and check every day? But I let that new idea percolate for a while. Part of being a good student is to take in new information and allow it to challenge my long held beliefs. Because I did that, today I saw Mike’s suggestion in a new way. Would starting a group for creative introverts be beneficial? I don’t even know if there are any such groups on Facebook, but I’m willing to do some investigation, because another suggestion Mike makes is to join groups of specific interest to me. If I reach out, who knows what will come of it? It might be the miracle that will get me off of stuck.

So, I’m in a holding pattern. I kind of like that, though, because I’ve settled into this quiet time of contemplation and renewal where I can try on new states of being and excavate for talents I might be able to develop.

Maybe that’s what winter is about for humans as well as plant and animal life, hibernation, a time of renewal and rest.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. I appreciate it very much. I hope the weekend is a blessed one for all of you.

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. Only Jenna joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, instead of traveling physically. She is able to come back and apply what she’s learned to her real life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, 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 on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Procrastination

Mary Engelbreit’s calendar art

“Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.” ~ Mason Cooley

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” ~ Pablo Picasso

I’ve never thought of myself as a big procrastinator, but recently I’ve had to acknowledge that I have been procrastinating for the last few months on my second novel.

This same thing happened to me when I was writing my first novel, The Space Between Time. I came to a place in the story where I got stuck. Something was nagging at the outer edges of my mind, but I couldn’t quite grasp it. At first I reread what I’d already written over and over, revised, and eventually set the book aside to work on other projects. The story was still alive and percolating on the back burner of my mind. But the story hadn’t matured quite yet.

That’s where I’ve been with the sequel novel, Time’s Echo for quite some time. It’s frustrating because the subject matter is very relevant to what’s happening right now with the women’s movement. I want to get it finished, and yet … I have to acknowledge I’m not sure where the story wants to end up. I also feel like maybe the story will be shallow if I push it through to publication. And I have a bit of self-doubt. Do I have what it takes to write this storyline?

There is another aspect to the almost complete shut down of this novel. I’m a recovering people pleaser. I struggle with putting other people’s needs before my own.

This fall a writer friend of mine suffered some serious health issues and is now in a care center. She won’t have to be there forever, but she’s obviously depressed. I wanted to make her feel better, so when I told her I was working on the audiobook of my novel, she brightened up and asked if I would be willing to do the audio version of a middle grade novel she had written titled, The Dragon’s Gold. I loved the book, so, of course, I said yes without thinking of the consequences. I could have asked her to wait until I’d finished my own book, but I wanted to pay her back for all she has done for me, so I suggested recording a couple of sample chapters and that was it, what I was working on went by the wayside.

Doing an audiobook is very time consuming. I had only begun to learn how to do the recording and editing process, but I wasn’t proficient quite yet. Her project became my lab experiment. It took me a little over two months to complete the nearly 250 page novel. And, once I had put my novel plans on hold, other projects swept in to take up my time.

The Dragon’s Gold is now in my friend’s hands to approve, and I’ve come to my senses. I need to make myself and the things I’m working on the highest priority. I need to stop procrastinating, rest and fill up my own well. If I don’t I won’t be of any use to myself, or anyone else.

The thing I’m learning about procrastination is that once I’ve decided to go back to my various ventures, it’s hard to get the momentum back. However, I am relieved by something my sister said recently when we were talking about this. She’d heard an interview with Ken Follett, in which he said that it takes him a long time to write his novels partly because they are so dense. They take place over many years, there are lots of characters, and a lot things happen to them during the course of the book. That made me feel better because The Space Between Time was a little bit like that and Time’s Echo is likely to be the same. They don’t take place over as many years as Follett’s books, but my characters do go through tribulations that cause them to grow. As my writer friend I just did the audiobook for once said, “You can’t rush your characters through their process. If you beat them up a bit, the reader feels more satisfied at the end when the characters learn their lessons.”

As an empath, I shy away from beating up my characters. That might be part of my procrastination as well. I know I need to create drama for them, but man it’s difficult to feel their pain and write it down so the reader does too. But that’s my job, and I need to do it. However,I guess I can’t rush the writing process either.

I’ll let you know how that’s going. No more taking on other people’s stuff until I’m on a better footing with my own.

Thanks for reading, liking, commenting, and for the reblog of one of my recent posts. Have a fun weekend and stay warm if you’re expecting winter storms.

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. Only Jenna joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, instead of traveling physically. She is able to come back and apply what she’s learned to her real life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, 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 on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Don’t Judge a Story by Its Reputation

“As I get older, the more I stay focused on the acceptance of myself and others, and choose compassion over judgment and curiosity over fear.” ~ Tracee Ellis Ross

“The anarchist painter is not the one who will create anarchist pictures, but the one who will fight with all his individuality against official conventions.” ~ Paul Signac

The other day I was working on an essay for the memoir book my sister and I are writing about movie chats with our father. The essay is about the movie Back Street, with Susan Hayward, John Gavin, and Vera Miles (1961). The story is based on a book by Fanny Hurst. And being a movie nerd, I did a bit of research on the production and on Fanny Hurst, who created the original source material. When she was alive, her work was considered to be popular pulp fiction, not high brow literature and not worthy of scholarly notice. But in the 1990s scholars began reexamining Hurst’s work. The Feminist Press published a collection of her work which dated between 1912 to 1932. They praised her “depth, intelligence, and artistry as a writer,” (as reported in an article about her in Wikipedia). Hurst was an activist for feminist and human rights causes and her views are reflected in her stories.

I’m attracted to stories that challenge our conventional view of reality. Fanny Hurst did that with more than one of her stories. Cultural conventions in the twentieth century taught us that marriage was sacred. To have an affair broke the rules of society. But in Back Street, Hurst creates an abusive, narcissistic wife, Liz who will not consent to a divorce. She likes the prestige and power that comes with her marriage. Liz is contrasted to “the other woman”, Rae who is successful, independent, loving and kind. If I were in the character Paul’s shoes, I’d fall in love and break the rules with Rae too. After all, we all need love no matter where it comes from.

Since I can’t keep myself from thinking about how other stories might relate, I connected Back Street to Aquaman, which we just saw last weekend. Barry and I are big fans of the movies based on graphic novels including the DC and Marvel superhero genre of movie. We don’t read the books, at least we haven’t started reading them yet, but the stories are compelling and relevant for what’s happening in society now. We have brilliant people like Stan Lee to thank for making great stories accessible to everyone, not just people who might be inclined to read only highbrow literature.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think any story is worth examining, whether it’s considered high or low brow. There can be important messages hidden in both. And one of the most important messages in Aquaman is that sometimes qualities taken from two or more different races can combine to make an extraordinary human being. Arthur who becomes Aquaman, is both human and Atlantean. He grew up in the human world but must unite both worlds to prevent a war that will destroy the planet. He’s a humble man with great integrity and a desire to help others. He doesn’t think of himself as a great leader. When the moment comes for him to face the creature protecting the symbol of his leadership, he tells the creature, “I’m nobody.” And that’s something no one trying to gain the object of power had ever said. Arthur doesn’t want to be a leader, but he’s willing to become one to save the planet.

When Stan Lee died a couple of months ago, I heard that there were people who scoffed at the outpouring of grief over his passing. The sentiment was that he ONLY wrote graphic novels. He didn’t cure diseases, or invent some monumental thing that would help humanity. But that’s not true. He invented so many characters who have helped change the way we view ourselves and our world. After all, he created Black Panther, one of the most influential characters in any movie to come along in a very long time.

There are other writers who have created enduring characters, like William Moulton Marston who created Wonder Woman, another iconic character who has changed the way we view women.

It’s my theory, and maybe I got this from Edward R. Morrow, that stories have power to change our attitudes, emotions, and in the long run our societies. It may take centuries for that change to take effect, but at some point critical mass can’t be avoided. The balance teeters in a new direction and society is made anew, sometimes almost without notice. I’m grateful when I find writers, like Fanny Hurst, Stan Lee, and William Moulton Marston, who help me examine my long held beliefs and think of human interactions in new ways.

In the past I’ve been guilty of looking down my nose at certain types of fiction, romance novels for one, as light entertainment with not much redeeming value. But one never knows when the catalyst for change will come along. I think I’ll change my mind and reserve judgment and just enjoy the ride a story takes me on and see how I’m changed in the process.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. I appreciate it. 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. Only Jenna joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, instead of traveling physically. She is able to come back and apply what she’s learned to her real life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, 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 on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.