Tag Archives: writing

What’s in a name?

Journey to the Heights

With a subtitle of… life is the journey

… is the name of this blogsite.

Many times someone has asked me, why this name? It’s so long.

It is long, but I’ll share with the different meanings this name holds for me.

I grew up in the mid-west and lived my life east of the Mississippi River. I spent six years in Germany. I lived all those years at less than 1,000 feet above sea level, sometimes as low as 180 feet above sea level.

My current house sits at 7,400 feet in the Rocky Mountains. For me, this move was a “journey to the heights.”

Ironically, we live in an area referred to as “Missouri Heights.”

My faith expects me to grow and mature, representing the love of God and the life of Christ more and more. For those of you who personally know me, you recognize some days that truth is more evident than others. God obviously calls us to a higher level.

For me Journey to the Heights means all these things.

I’m blessed with better health living at a higher elevation with a drier climate than any I enjoyed earlier in my lift.

I’m blessed by being surrounded with natural beauty, constantly changing. One can watch the massive skies with the clouds and various colors throughout the day. Stars appear close enough to touch.

I’m blessed that God put me here, in this location for this time of my life and He is taking me to higher levels in my faith. This is a gift!

And so, I share Journey to the Heights with all who are curious about my thoughts, my writings, my life!

Trapped…

Are you?

Have you ever felt trapped in your marriage, in another relationship, in your job, in your town, whatever? Well, I’ve spent times in my life trapped. Trapped in a job, like a wild bird in a cage desperate to fly free. I thought there wasn’t anywhere to turn.

One day someone asked me: what happens if you find a cookie on your desk, day after day – and then one day a note replaces the cookie?

The idea fascinated me.

I explored the emotions of being trapped and the options yet at the same time considered other fall-outs of ‘escaping’ the office.

A story was born. My character, Liz becomes the trapped employee. One thing leads to another. The story solves a mystery or two; unlocks dreams or passions previously dismissed as financially impractical or immature; and necessitates dealing with a tangle of relationships – both building new ones and healing old hurts.

Writing this story I explore another place. I bring all the senses into play of being somewhere else and find Liz’s special place. You will too. Join Liz on her journey and discover what the Dream Glasses reveal.

If you are interested in knowing when the Dream Glasses is released, go to the
“Sign Me Up” menu option and fill out the form.
I will notify you when the book is available.

How words land on a page…

Writing, writing, writing is what writers do. Or is it? Though that sounds natural to folks who don’t know writers, most writers know how many times it is just not that simple.

One of my pastimes for the days when words don’t flow is to review writing prompts. During a light-hearted don’t want to the world to take me too seriously mood I came across the following prompt:

One Day you come into work and find a cookie mysteriously placed on your desk. Grateful to whoever left this anonymous cookie, you eat it. The next morning you come in and find another cookie. This continues for months until one Day a different object is left—and this time there’s a note.

Something about this prompt spoke to me. Words sprang into my mind fast than my fingers could put them on the page. That day a story was born. Many changes and iterations later, the story is different.

Iron Sharpens Iron

As Iron Sharpens Iron
So
Writers Sharpen Writers

Most writers I’ve met are solitary creatures. We do our work alone.

Yet it is in coming together, baring our souls and sharing our work we are honed to be better at our craft.

I’ve found writers either instantly bond, or take some time to develop a relationship. Once that relationship is developed, they tend to hold others gently, recognizing we are each a work in progress – both in our lives and in our work.

It is in those relationships other can speak into both your life and your work. In the differences of opinions, the suggestions or the encouragement we learn. I learn. From these people, I hone my skills. I change and my writing changes. I hope I do these things for other writers as well.

My goal is to become a better writer this year. That means I have to commit to more time writing. We’ll see how that works for me.

Behind the scenes, Writing…

I’ve had a blast the last couple of years working on my current writing project. My story ended up taking me to Paris, a city I knew little about before this project.

When I travel, I enjoy getting off the tourist tracks and exploring a place to understand the culture and how the people live.

I wanted my readers to experience that same experience through my story.

To make that happen, I’ve used the Internet to explore neighborhoods, parks and businesses. The 12the arrondissement (or 12th district) has become a special place to me.

I did so much research and checking out places I started receiving emails about travel deals to Paris.

When I go to Paris, I already have places I want to check out which might not be in the tour book.

Goals Review, Welcome 2015

I’ve just finished reviewing my Writing Goals for 2014. In many ways this has been a great year for my writing and I’ve learned much. When setting my goals, I learned I had too many things on my Goals List and did not allow enough room for flexibility. When talking about flexibility, I’m thinking about two things in particular. I didn’t realize I would be ask to help out with some ghost writing which was a great experience for me. I hope to do more in the future. I’m also thinking about something I started and wanted finished by Year End. I thought it was going to be a short story. The more I wrote, working on it, the more I realized it was not going to be a short story but instead a novella. I tweaked my goal to be: have the first draft of The Madeleine completed by year-end. For those of you who write you have probably already experienced this, but this was my first big project and holding the printed copy of The Madeleine so I could start editing was a pretty amazing feeling. I’ve started the editing process and suspect it will take me awhile. I’m starting 2015 so excited about this accomplishment; I’ve not yet set my writing goals for the year. I’m sure that will happen soon.

Expect to hear more about The Madeleine as my work progresses.
Best wishes for your goals and plans for 2015.

Happiness! Where is it?

While reading “The True Secret of Writing” by Natalie Goldberg, I came across the following statement:

You don’t do happiness. You receive it!

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this thought. It resonates with who I am and how I live.

Does it speak to you, or do you have other thoughts about happiness? I would enjoy hearing from you.

The Bear and Writing…..

Oh my! It is a bear!
Oh my! It is a bear!

The 2012 drought increased the number of bear sightings in our area. I saw four black bears during the late summer/fall season. My first sighting was the one to leave the largest impression. I have thoughts and images of the day that will not soon be forgotten. I was able to put the day to words and the following article appeared in the Aspen Times. Since then, it has provided the springboard for other writings. I still find living so close to nature an enchanting aspect of living in the west.

Oh my!  Another Bear Sighting….

“Did you see that,” I exclaimed!  “There was a bear in the tree.  We have to turn around.”

Tom turned and parked carefully under the overhanging branches at the very edge of the road. He opened the sunroof and turned on our hazard lights. It was late afternoon and sunlight was dancing on the leaves in the tree.  Right there above us was a young bear, firmly seated within the fork of a branch, intently focused on snatching acorns from nearby branches. He was wasting no time in gobbling them up.  At that moment, he reminded me of an oversized snuggly teddy bear.  He was oblivious to us and any other passing vehicles.   He had no idea he was the focus of multiple photos and a short video clip.  The four of us in the vehicle were captivated watching this scene.  He would snatch a mouthful from a limb, and use his paws to pick out the unwanted leaves or branches, which were quickly thrown to the ground.  The pile of leaves and small branches accumulating on the road were evidence of how long he must have been in the tree.  There was no sign of other bears in the area.  I was surprised to one this close to a town and at this elevation.  I heard bears were frequently seen at higher elevations.

Other approaching vehicles slowed to see what we were looking at.  Some snapped photos as they drove by.  The bear was disinterested in all the attention.  We were getting ready to leave the site, as it appeared the bear had enjoyed his fill of acorns.  His agility in scampering down from the tree was amazing.   Tom was watching for traffic in his mirror when he noticed a rental RV parking, and the passengers disembarking with cameras in hand.  They may have been the reason the bear came down from the tree.  Initially he starting lumbering away in the opposite direction, then looked back over his shoulder at the people standing in the street.  Turning, he looked intently at the scene.  We were backing up, and the people were walking toward him.  He stood on his hind feet taking four or five steps toward them before stopping to evaluate the scene again.  It almost appeared he was challenging them. They scrambled back into their vehicle and after several moments the bear ambled away in the opposite direction.  My ‘teddy bear’ image was quickly replaced with the reality of how large and powerful these creatures of nature are.

We all thought the experience was amazing.  I was excited and thrilled.  This was my first bear sighting after moving to the mountains.  I was grateful to experience such an up-close and safe nature sighting of such a magnificent animal.  I was also grateful for the realization of how powerful and quickly these creatures of nature can move, and that this is their domain.  Recognizing it was a small bear, I wondered if there were others nearby.  I pondered how far down into the valley they really do wander.  I was equally surprised a family was willing to get out of their vehicle and approach this wild and un-caged bear on foot just to get a few photos. How much closer might they have gotten if the bear had not turned away and how would the headlines read?

We were on the Frying Pan. We had been busy chatting and enjoying the rock walls or magnificent drops to the valley below as we were driving.  Various pine trees and gambel oaks were the primary trees in the area.  We were with friends; they were directing us to one of their favorite spots, Chapman Lake. We planned a late afternoon hike and an evening picnic. We had just driven through Basalt and rounded a curve when we came upon this diversion to our trip.

We continued to our original destination.  The wonders and magnitude of the mountains and surrounding countryside continued to amaze me.  As beautiful as the hike was and the alluring atmosphere created at the lake as the sun started its decline for the night, the sighting of the bear was the highlight of the day’s adventure.

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