Filed under Life Lessons

The Measure of Success

In writing, as oft in life, we set out chasing a specific goal. Mine? To be traditionally published. Penguin, Hachette, Macmillan—any of the “big five” publishers will do. It’s a lofty goal, to be sure, even a bit antiquated in today’s world of self-publishing. And it’s not without a touch of vanity. Who wouldn’t want … Continue reading

Looking Back, Looking Forward

  Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. – William Faulkner WRITING My greatest achievement of last year was completing my second novel, Learn Away the Indian and having it chosen as a finalist … Continue reading

Man of Character

Famed mystery writer Raymond Chandler wrote, “The character that lasts is an ordinary guy with some extraordinary qualities.”  If my life were a novel, that lasting character would be my dad. With the tenderness of Little Women’s Mr. March, the loyalty of George from Of Mice and Men, Don Quixote’s sense of honor, Ender’s cunning, … Continue reading

Don’t Sacrifice the Gift

At 5:30 a.m. the sky is a diffuse peaches and cream color, with the sun still shrouded behind the craggy horizon. I’ve been awake just long enough to throw on workout shorts and a tee-shirt and drag myself across the street to the park. It’s Wednesday, so that means interval training—something I enjoy about as … Continue reading

The Power of Positivity

When I first came to Las Vegas the towering palm trees amazed me. Their arching green leaves looked like beach umbrellas against the wide blue sky. We had nothing so exotic and tropical in the Colorado Rockies. But over the years, I lost sight of the palm trees, amid the city’s endless concrete, smoggy sky, … Continue reading

Get up and Run

I don’t read memoir and I hate to run. But Scott Jurek may have convinced me I’m wrong on both points. His story of ultramarathon greatness, as told in Eat and Run, inspired me at every turn. The book is refreshingly well written. I would have cast it aside, dust jacket and all, if it … Continue reading

A New Year Arises

I’m back from holiday hiatus (please forgive!) and ready for a great 2013! Here are my goals for upcoming year: Writing Writing Goals are easy. That is, they’re easy to articulate.  Following through on those goals week in week out is not. But as writer Mark Lawrence says, “Few things worth having can be got … Continue reading

Cult of Passion

According to Cal Newport, computer science professor at Georgetown and columnist for the New York Times, I’m a slave to the Cult of Passion. He’s right. Before you click away, fearing this blog has turned into platform for the bizarre and kinky, let me clarify. The Cult of Passion, as Dr. Newport describes in his … Continue reading

Making the Most of Mistakes

As much as I labor over the big decisions in my life—listing out pros and cons, weighting each option, forecasting probable outcomes—I’ve made a few bad choices. Life can exceed or foil expectation.

Of course, I don’t recognize that I’ve made the wrong decision in media res—otherwise, I’d correct course. It’s only after I’ve turned the key, revved the engine, and sped away that I realize I’m wheeling down a one-way street toward a four-foot thick cement wall. Continue reading

Olympic Lessons

Beyond watching the Opening Ceremonies and making an occasional inquiry about medal counts, I’ve never been particularly interested in the Olympics. But when my husband recorded twelve straight hours of this year’s games, erasing all my backlogged episodes of House Hunters and Drop Dead Diva, I found myself watching and loving this global spectacle. More importantly, I’ve found wisdom and inspiration in the discipline, courage, elation, and heartbreak these athletes display. Continue reading