Saturday, August 31, 2013

Commercial Interruption

Hi there!

The My Journey with Lea team (that would be me) will be traveling this week, with limited access to the blog.  I will be back to writing and posting in about a week!

Enjoy the Holiday!!!  Miss you already!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Day 30 of 365

Unlimited, unrestricted, all encompassing...Peace.

We have all felt it.  That undeniable sensation when we are in total alignment with the universe.  When all is right with the world, or at least our world.  Inner calm and a creative awakening.  Athletes call it "being in the zone."  Philosophers call it "transcending".  Whatever you call it I believe it is one of the most beautiful feelings on earth.

For me peace is not the absence of activity, or even a lack of challenges.  It is simply knowing that I am on the right track, that I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing in this moment.  When I am at peace I wake up so happy, so alive, ready for the day, excited about the infinite possibilities that lay before me.

So if peace is such a crazy good sensation, why not have it all the time?  I think in part it is because we are analytical creatures.  We want to figure things out.  Maybe over-thinking every activity gives us a false sense of control.  There's nothing wrong with reflection and learning from the past, but sometimes our minds use this information to slip into a white hot frenzy of worry and anxiety over the future.  What a waste of time and energy.  The opposite of peace.

It is a proven fact, however, (Thank God!) that we get to choose our thoughts.  WE chooseWhen I decide to align my inner dialog with what IS right in my life, and in this world...ahhh.  Bliss.  All of my creativity comes from this place.

Beautiful.  And so simple.

Rachel understood this concept.  She adored the simple, joyous life on the farm with her Leo.  Let's peak in on our heroine and see if you can feel the peace that she felt.

Rachel quickly fell into a routine on the farm. Leo would wake up every morning, wash up, and dress quickly for chores. He never left the house without kissing his bride and telling her “I love you Rachel.” To which she always smiled and responded “Forever Leo.”  

With Leo out in the barn Rachel had time to wash up and dress, taking in the peace of the house and the smell of the fresh country air wafting in through the open windows. She loved the simplicity of being a farmer’s wife. She dressed in light cotton blouses and patterned skirts that fit perfectly and gave her room to breathe and move, unlike the restrictive, awkward boned corsets and Victorian dresses that were all the rage in Philadelphia. She would pull her long curly hair back into a ponytail and put a light swipe of lipstick on her lips. Rachel looked in the mirror and was tickled by the glowing smile that beamed back at her.

In the summer her routine included heading out the garden to harvest the plump red tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and crisp white onions that sprung up from the ground. After detouring to get fresh eggs from the chicken coup Rachel was at the stove, whipping up a breakfast of omelets, pancakes, and coffee that Leo would inhale mid-morning.  

Once breakfast dishes were washed and put away it was time to walk down to the barn to see the dogs and watch Leo work with the horses. He had an incredible presence around the animals, and they responded to him. His movements were congruent with theirs, his voice soothing and patient. Rachel felt that she could see Leo as his truest self when he was fully immersed in training. It brought back memories of how she felt the first time she listened to a live orchestra in the city. The fullness of their notes, the absolute synchronicity of the instruments. But the appreciation she felt then did not compare to the depth of adoration she felt now, watching her man doing what he did best. These were among her happiest moments on earth.


Rachel's peace came from her realization that she was where she wanted to be, doing what she wanted to do.  She did not need fancy clothes or pompous hairdo's to make her smile at her reflection.  In that simple life with Leo she had all she needed to create an infinite supply of happiness.  And above all else, what gave Rachel peace was that she would always...

Believe in forever.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 26 of 365

Beware of something really devious!!!

There is something that sneaks up on me occasionally.  When it does it makes my mind go to places it shouldn't.  It makes my head spin and my emotions run rampant.  What is this malicious entity?

For me, it's comfort


Too much free time and I try to make sense of it all.  And guess what - It doesn't always make sense!  The past is gone, the future is mine to pursue and design.  I believe that.  But when a few days run together with not a lot of activity...blah.  Whatever it is I seem to be more at home with deadlines and movement.  When I'm busy my mind just hums with happiness.

Part two of this dynamic duo is deep thought.  I have found that lately, through this spiritual process of writing a book, I have found new layers within my soul that I had not previously been in touch with.  Deep pools of love, and awareness, empathy, and understanding.  I feel more love in my soul right now than at any other time in my life.  More connection, more faith, more admiration for this thing called life. 

But look deep enough and you will also find other sentiments.  Sigh.  I dug up pain and impatience, frustration and loss.  Some of it I am sure has been buried deep within for decades, cordoned off from the rest of me, safely tucked away.  Some of it is more recent.  But when you meditate, when you dig deep, when you go on a spiritual journey that is producing the writing that I am doing, you are sometimes going to get the bad with the good.  I guess that's just the way it is.

For me - Time to process the negativity and let it go.  Forever.  Think I will keep the good stuff though.

It does help me write.  How else can I share the struggle that Alex and Lea went through without feeling the pain too?  They had a journey, not a relationship.  And Rachel and else to describe their love, loss, and resilience than to allow those feelings to channel through me.  Tough stuff.

But with every ache there's usually a silver lining, a lesson, and ultimately a happy ending.  And I guess a chance to write, to feel, to live.

Leo certainly lived.  He allowed himself to love completely, which opens up the soul for the possibility of deep loss.  Let's check in with our farmer just after Rachel left this physical world.

“It’s been a month.” Leo thought. “A month. God it still hurts so much.”  

Leo was dressing slowly, putting his shirt on, pants, then his muck boots, willing himself to keep moving. “God I still feel her everywhere.” he mumbled to his boots. “I still smell her hair when I lay down. I still hear her whisper “I love you Leo. Always will.” Leo felt the now familiar crater opening in the pit of his stomach again, the burning inside of his chest threatening to immobilize him. “No, Leo, get going.” He slapped his knee, stood up, and walked defiantly out the door.  

He had had a rough go of it. Some days he ached so deeply that he wondered if his heart might just give up and stop beating. He struggled to eat, nibbling on tasteless bits of bread or nuts when he felt like he was going to pass out from lack of nutrition. He drank only when the thirst began to give him headaches and blurry vision.

Truthfully, only two things saved Leo from starvation or dehydration. One was his animals. Knowing that they too were thirsty on what would become a blistering Tennessee summer day, got him out of bed and into the barn to care for them. Time with his mare Spirit gave him a welcome but temporary reprieve from the soul draining ache that lived with him now. And she seemed to know. The typically spirited paint seemed less concerned with bossing the herd around and just wanted to be close to him.

The second thing that saved Leo was something he could not wrap his head around. At times he thought he was actually losing his mind. Whenever the pain brought him to his knees, or caused him to sit motionless against a stall door, he would hear words whispered in his ear. It was always soft, always quick, always gentle and caring. “Baby.”, or simply “Leo.” He would always stop and try with all his might to hear the voice again. He never did. But it was usually enough to stop the downward spiral and get him on his feet again.

Leo struggled, but he found a way to keep going.  He knew it would get better.  And despite his loss, Leo would still...

Believe in forever.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day 25 of 365

I guess it was time to stop!

We've all heard the cliche "Stop and smell the roses."  Right?  Meh.  Who has time for that? Sure, I'll stop. Once I have the book written, and the blog updated, and the checkbook balanced, and...and...

Well, yesterday I discovered, once again, how much beauty there can be in slowing down.  In taking a moment to breathe.  In letting yourself .... just  

And it was wonderful.

I have been one of those "driven" individuals for most of my life, and the past few years have been off the chart go go go!  Build a career!  Support the family!  Spend every spare moment working at home!  Read more!  Improve improve improve!  Now, in addition to all of that, I am blissfully focused on getting this story out of my mind and into a Kindle somewhere.  What a pace!

But last night, I stopped.  No one was home.  Not even the dog.  I said to myself "Alex, tonight - turn the computer off.  Leave the books upstairs.  No pen and paper to jot down ideas for future chapters or new blog posts.  Just enjoy the simplicity of a comfortable chair and a good TV show."

So after I overcame the guilt that the other half of my brain was trying to force feed me, I ran through the 200 options at my disposal and landed on a program that I haven't seen in years.  So You Think You Can Dance.  Lovely show!  I cried like a sap at their stories of inspiration, at the beauty of their movements.  When they teared up so did I.  When their chests heaved with exhaustion and their parents beamed with pride I felt reverence for the magnificence of it all.

OK, so maybe I was long overdue for a night off.

The bottom line for me is that there is real beauty in watching people strive to do something well.  I could see the joy on their faces when they knew, even before the judges responded, that they had reached a place deep within themselves and had brought it out for the world to see.   

It was uplifting and inspirational.  Today, I am back to doing what I enjoy most.  Writing about Rachel and Leo, Alex and Lea.  Hoping that I too can dig deep inside and find the best that I have to offer this world.

Leo did so on a daily basis.  It's all he knew.  But before Rachel entered his life the best within him was usually reserved for the horses he trained, and his small herd at Highland Rim Stables.

Leo had three horses of his own, and they filled a gap in his existence that few people could.  His first love was a feisty black and white paint mare by the name of Spirit.  She was undoubtedly the leader of the herd, regardless of who else Leo brought home to train.  Spirit liked being the boss.  All she had to do was stretch out her neck, bare her teeth, and flatten her ears for a second and the entire herd would move to her liking. Then there was his gelding Chester, a sturdy, easy going plow horse that held his own but typically got along with everyone.  Chester worked hard when Leo needed him too, and relaxed quietly in the pasture when he didn't, staying just out of reach of Spirit and her moods.  

The most recent addition to the Highland Rim family was Talia, a striking Palomino mare with a perfect white blaze, blond mane, and flowing tail.  Leo had rescued Talia from an auction in town last fall.  At the time she was muddy and skinny as a rail, with spur scars across her flank, and an already defeated look in her eyes. Leo knew he couldn't leave without her.  He hated auctions.  They always left him angry and bitter, wondering how anyone could ever treat these beautiful creatures with such malice and indifference.  So Leo brought Talia home, fattened her up, and brought life back into her eyes, all the while distance and solitude were reinforced in his.  

Leo rarely understood people.  Horses he knew.  He could feel them.  And I am quite certain that with horses, Leo could...

Believe in forever.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Day 23 of 365

Wild women!

More specifically,  Cool name.  I liked it immediately.

They are a small, independent publishing company "specializing in novels with strong female characters". Perfect!  My Journey with Lea has strong female characters!  Love it!  Let's do this!  

So a few months ago, with little more on paper than the novel premise, the lead characters, and a burning desire to tell their story, I contacted three different publishers, offering them the opportunity to give me a book deal. Wild Women Writers was one of them.

I felt so strongly about the novel I was creating that I very much believed a publisher would be inspired enough to sign an unknown writer, with a unwritten work of fiction.

Dumb ass.

But a dumb ass with vision!  Why not!?  The more I feel this beautiful portrayal of love, agony, and determination come through me, the more I want to convince a publisher that this is not a risk.  It's destiny. 

I want to scream from the green mountaintops that Rachel so loved "If you could only see what I see!  Feel what I feel!"

But I guess as an author that IS my job.  To invite you to see what I see. To write so that you'll feel what I feel.  To help you sense the breeze on your forehead, as you look through the window and see Leo smiling at you.  To compel your heart to race with anticipation when Lea walks up the sidewalk.  

So while Wild Women Writers (.com) have not knocked on my door just yet, I have faith that they, or someone else, will.  As long as I continue to do my job and find a way to share this experience with you!

Now let's go back to story, and talk a little about Lea.  Her tale.  There's a reason why this novel is titled what it is.  Lea was, and is, a character for the ages, a presence that once encountered cannot be forgotten.  When she walks into a room the energy noticeably shifts.  When she blazed a trail into Alex's heart both lives were irrevocably changed.  

Alex was so caught up in how she felt that it never dawned on her that she should share her blissful news with someone else.  Who would she tell anyways?  Yes, she was in love.  No doubt about it.  Yes, it’s with a woman. A woman that made her knees buckle with a simple kiss, a warm embrace. But for Alex there was something sacred about the relationship, and the thought of allowing someone else into that world felt wrong, and intrusive.

Lea also struggled with restraining the joy of her discovery.  For years girls had pursued the beautiful, dark eyed, confident woman.  Attracted to her spirit and her smile, they all yearned to win the heart of the illusive catch. They watched, they flirted, and when drinks were flowing someone typically made an awkward pass.  Lea always laughed it off and let her pursuers down gently, but definitively.  Then Alex entered her life.  Her soul immediately knew that something was different, and her heart quickly followed suit.  She was over the moon in love.  So while Alex sought to protect their secret, Lea was ready to share her joy.  

Of course a secret this intense cannot be kept for long.  Will sharing their new found bliss change the course of their relationship?  Did they still...

Believe in forever.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day 19 of 365

I opened my soul, and...surprise!

The original intent of this blog was to document the process of writing a novel for the first time, and the pursuit of getting the book published.  To describe how it feels to write, the struggles to get words on paper, the challenges with contacting publishers, and so on.

Instead I find myself opening up my soul and spilling it out there for the world to see. Reflecting on love, patience, pain and prayer.  Channeling the deepest parts of my being and allowing my mind to grasp all that is lurking inside.  So why the change in methodology?

Because I never expected that writing this book would be such a spiritual experience.

I have had the premise for this story-line in my mind for two years now.  The women in love and their struggles to find peace.  The forlorn angels and their quest to find each other again.  Just write, Alex.  Just write.  Build the story, develop the characters, bring it all together.  And keep moving forward.  

But the story that is coming though me is deeper, and more real, than I could have possibly imagined.  I find myself wrapped up in their experiences.  I can feel Lea's joy, Leo's pain, and Rachel's unwavering determination.  And through them I have found deep pools of emotion within myself.  

I can only hope that what I am feeling, seeing, and channeling gets translated effectively through my written words.  I would so love to share the depth of this journey with you.

Let's hope.

Back to the novel.  Lately in this blog I have written quite a bit about Rachel and Leo.  Let's go back for a moment to the story of Alex and Lea. In the beginning they had nothing BUT love in their relationship. The connection was immediate and undeniable.  Here's a tidbit from the early, early days:

“Hi Lea!  This is Alex, you remember, the girl who was hanging out with Danni at the pub last night?”  Alex sighed, knowing that she sounded ridiculous.  “Uh, Hi Lea!  Danni gave me your phone number.  Do you know what time the game is next week?”  Even weaker, she thought.  “Alex come on!”, she scolded herself, “You’re better than this.”  

Stretched sideways across her bed, perched up on her elbows, and wearing nothing but a white tank top and blue shorts, she was now on minute thirty of staring at the phone number scratched on the pad in front of her.  After trying about a dozen awkward introductions she finally settled on “Is this Lea?  Hi Lea, it’s Alex.  Hey…did you happen to find a gold necklace near your truck last night at the pub?  I think I may have lost it there.”  It was a paper thin reason to call, but not entirely untrue.  She really did lose a necklace, though she was thinking more bedroom closet than parking lot.  Still, it gave her the reason she needed, and Alex was delighted when a warm voice answered the phone.  

“Alex!  Hey!  How are ya?”  The smile that came across the line was tangible, and Alex beamed as she responded “Awesome!  Really good!  How are you Lea?”  With adrenaline pumping through her veins, and her fluttering heart beating a mile a minute, Alex somehow settled into a flowing, somewhat flirtatious conversation with the girl who had unexpectedly captured her heart.  Neither one of them seemed at all concerned about returning to the subject of the lost necklace.  

It was just the beginning.  But deep down inside, in places Alex and Lea could not fully comprehend just yet, there was a piece of them that would always...

Believe in forever.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day 17 of 365

Pain sucks.

Or does it?  Secretly don't we all hope for a life filled with nothing but sunlit beaches, buckets of success, and more love than we know what do with?  But after awhile where would that take us?  What role does pain actually play in our lives?  In our growth?

For me pain is often a signal, telling me to slow down and pay attention. It is an opportunity for growth. And more than anything else, it is a reminder to get out of my head (it can be dangerous in there!) and back to life again.

And truly, doesn't most of our pain start in our minds anyways?  Most of my anguish is not caused by physical injury.  I can sit alone on a mountain top, staring at a beautiful sunrise, and feel ultimate bliss.  Put me in that same spot the next day, with nothing different except an unbridled imagination, and watch me create deep levels of sorrow, anxiety, loss, and yes, pain. 

There are, of course, real reasons why circumstances will cause suffering.  To deny that is to deny reality.  More often than not, though, I find that when I am feeling sorrow it is because I am dredging up thoughts from the past, or worrying about the future.  Silly girl.

It is one of the reasons why I am such a big fan of Rachel's.  This woman, and ultimately her spirit, never let pain, discouragement, or loss get in the way of what she wanted.  When she was offered a path to eternal freedom from all pain she chose instead to stay and be close to her Leo.  Later in the story she once again steadfastly resolved to never give up, to patiently wait for happiness and re-connection to present itself. 

She's my hero.  I want to be more like her.

Here's a quick snip-it from her journey.  Without giving away too much of the novel's story line I can share that she faced heartache over the loss of Leo on more than one occasion.  She could have chosen the easy way out for sure.  She could have proclaimed "This is just too hard.  I'm done." and moved on.  Yet she never considered for a second the path of least resistance. She was resolved.

One day he was there, close enough to see, real enough to feel, filling her soul once more with warmth and desire.  Seeing her joy and returning her smile.  Finally ready to move on and never leave each other’s side again.  The next day, painfully, inexplicably, gone.  

Rachel heard the words “No!” and “Why?” repeated over and over again without relief.  It was as if these two simple monosyllables were riders stuck on a giant Ferris wheel that had suddenly lost its ability to brake.  Every few seconds – there they were again.  No.  Why?  “Knock it off already.” she thought to herself.  “Now is not the time to crumble.  We found him once, we’ll find him again.”  

Rachel had to discover a way to transfer her resolve to another, to plant the seed of longing and unrest that she had carried with her for decades.  The desire that helped her track down Leo once, and that now made it impossible to move on without him. “We won’t give up.  I promise.”   

I won't give up either.  Because I ...

Believe in forever.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day 14 of 365

I want it now!!! 

Today I am musing about the role that patience plays in fulfilling my dreams. The role that patience MUST PLAY in writing this novel and getting it published. 

I have been meditating lately on my goals, my dreams, my desires. I stretch and I meditate. I walk and I think. I read and I let my thoughts alternate between what I am reading and what I want out of life, and for this book. It all feels good, flowing, positive. The only problem is... 

I want it all, and I want it now! 

"Patience, grasshopper." 

I know for myself when I try to rush the natural order of things I take shortcuts, I push, and I try to force an outcome that is not ready to reveal itself yet. In the end, when I rush, the result is almost always less appealing than what it could have been. 

So with "My Journey with Lea" I am taking my time. I am letting the story come to me. When I sit down to write and nothing happens, I walk away. When I have a few minutes to write and the words are flowing through my fingers I do all that I can to stretch the moment out and just keep going. I want it all to come together, and I know it will, on it's own timeline. (As long as that timeline is within the next 351 days!) 

So here I am, after two days of writing, with more patience than I knew I ever had, sharing with you some of the story that has been coming to me. 

Leo, on the other hand, had very little patience when it came to people. Horses he knew, patience for them was easy. Allow me to introduce to Leo and his world. 

Until Rachel came into his world Leo Ciotte cared about only one thing - his horses. He ran a small but meticulous farm on the outskirts of McMinnville, Tennessee, a still developing but somewhat thriving town at the base of the Cumberland Plateau. Leo was well known throughout Warren County for his gentle but thorough approach to training young horses. He could take any three year old mare, gelding, or stallion and within a few months they were ready for their “role” in life. No one knew how to get through to a horse better than Leo, and his services were highly sought after. But Leo consistently resisted the pleas to take on more clients, keeping his business efficient and manageable. 

Highland Rim Stables was a small operation by choice. Leo was full of energy and had a dynamic, engaging, and boisterous personality that drew others in. The problem was, Leo felt drained by crowds, and disliked it when people wanted to be around him. He let precious few into his world, and even fewer were allowed to pay for his expert services. He typically selected other “horse people” that didn’t appear to be a threat to his sanctuary. Maybe it was his Choctaw Indian heritage that made him a bit reclusive. Or perhaps it was the fact that he had seen far too many animals abused at the hands of demanding, heartless owners. Whatever it was, Leo was perfectly happy to be left alone on his farm, until that one chance encounter at the Feed Store.

Leo was not a fan of patience, but he knew with absolute certainty what he did and did not want in his world.  And for me - that is the basis and the foundation for fulfilling my heart's desires.  Starting with a solid idea of the outcome and then attacking it with (sigh)...patience.

And of course, mixing in the fact that I...

Believe in Forever.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 11 of 365

Why I love...LOVE!

When I used to think about this concept, I contained in a static bubble of "I love..." while attaching a person or an item to the thought.  "I love my soul mate."  "I love my family."  "I love my job."  "I love sipping an ice cold beer on a hot, hot summer day."  Being restricted in such a way meant that if I did not have these things - the soul mate, the job, the cold beer, then I did not have love.

I was so wrong.

The process of writing "My Journey with Lea" has exponentially expanded my concept of what love really is. I now believe that it is a living, breathing, fluid energy inside of me.  It is something I can share, but not something I have to receive to feel.

My awakened spirit has taught me that love is far more than being with another.  I sense love when I look at the mountains in the distance, or the endlessness of the ocean against a horizon.  I feel deep appreciation and joy when I read a good book, or spend time admiring great architecture when I travel.  I feel love and peace when I am with animals that know me and love me unconditionally (horses, dogs, cats, it's all the same).

What I have discovered through this writing process, more than anything else, is that healthy love starts and ends with appreciation for my inner being, for who I am, and who I will become.  Love for that creative, playful, deep, and giving soul within.  The soul that wants to expand, grow, share, play, be.

So writing about Alex and Lea, and how the spark of their love remained alive over the course of a long absence, that inspires me.  Thinking about Rachel and her refusal to leave this world without Leo, her one and only soul mate, that is a feeling I enjoy musing about, writing about, feeling.

That place is where this novel is coming from.  Both stories are based a little on my personal journey, and a lot from that deep and soulful love that is deep inside.  

Leo felt this place the moment he laid eyes on Rachel.  He was quite content with being alone, finding joy in running his small but productive horse farm.  But Rachel's eyes spoke to that deep place inside of him, and it changed his destiny forever.

It was an innocent enough question. “Can you tell me where they keep the seeds?” Leo looked up from his study of grain prices, annoyed at the interruption. “Do I look like I work here?” he thought to himself. Leo practically choked on the “No.” that he was about to grumble when he found himself staring into playful blue eyes that were alive with excitement, as if the prospect of finding and buying seeds was something of an adventure.
“Umm, I think so.”, he mumbled, clearing his throat. “They may be up this way.” He offered his arm and led the stranger to the front of the store, his heart racing for some inexplicable reason. As they walked his only reality was the feeling of her fingertips on his arm, and the memory of the jolt that he felt when his eyes had first connected to hers. “There you go Ma’am.” Her fingers lingered a moment longer than necessary, a moment they both captu
red and stored away. “Rachel.” She whispered through a blush. “You can call me Rachel.” “Leo.” was all he could choke out. That was all it took, all he needed. He was done.

Leo was not a man who could explain his love with logic.  It was just something that he felt.  I hope and pray you know what I mean.  And as always, I hope that you...

Believe in forever.  


Hi there!  Hope you are enjoying the blog!  I am going to take a two day reprieve to write, and write, and write some more.  I am going to just bury myself in the stories of Rachel and Leo, Alex and Lea.  The next two days are for them.

I have a challenge for you.  Over the next 2 days, share this blog!  Forward it to anyone and everyone you think might enjoy it!  It's simple - you can share by cutting and pasting the address, or by hitting one of the myriad of sharing buttons on the blog.  Get MJWL out there!

Hugs to you all!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Day 10 of 365

Reader Feedback Time

Double digits!  Day 10!  Crazy...

I have so enjoyed the process of writing this blog.  It's exciting!  It's adds depth to my daily routine, and purpose to my free time.  And although I cannot see you, you who have taken the time to stay with me on this journey, I can feel your presence, your support, and your spirit.  I hope in some way I am adding value to you, even if it is just in the form of a brief interlude to your day.

OK, at ten days in, I am going to pause for a moment.  Take a break from deep thoughts and whimsical musings.  It's time to hear from YOU!  You, the reader, mean a lot to me, and I would enjoy hearing your input.  For me you are very much a part of this journey.  You are my work out buddies, and it's time to check in, see if I am lifting enough weight.

So...what was you favorite post so far?  Has any thought or idea resonated with you?  Who do you want to hear more about?  Rachel and Leo?  Alex and Lea?  Are the posts too short?  Too long?  More story, less musing?

You can use the Comment box at the bottom of any post.  I have set it up so that you can post as yourself or anonymously.  I don't mind constructive criticism and open dialog.  (Just please keep it clean.)  Write as little or as much as you want.

I will post more from "My Journey with Lea" tomorrow.  Today is your day, and I look forward to hearing from you.

And as always, please feel free to share this blog with your friends. 

With love.

Believe in forever.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Day 9 of 365

Life is so flipping exciting!

When great energy is flowing through me something unexpected always happens.  (And 99% of the time it is either positive or at least very interesting.)  When I feel shut off or closed down....nothing.  Same ol dull routine.  No fun at all.

God I love it when my body and my mind are in a state of pure energetic flow!  It makes me so aware of all that is happening around me and gets me out of my head for a little while.  Super cool feeling, to be really aware and very present.

Whenever I am in a rut, whether it is work related, in my writing, or with a family issue, I make a conscious effort to adjust the energy that is flowing through me.  Sometimes I take a walk and just breathe, trying not to think about anything other than how beautiful the sky is.  Sometimes I just stop what I am doing and sit still for a minute, focusing with my eyes closed on the feeling of breathing in and breathing out.

It is sooo bizarre, but almost every time I take one of these actions something shifts.  I get a solution to a problem I was not even pondering, or I get a crystal clear idea for a new chapter of the book.  Sometimes the shift comes in the form of an unexpected phone call or text message, leading me down a new and exciting path.  Whatever it is, I always feel giddy because I know the change was a result of making a conscious decision to adjust my energy.

Speaking of a shift in energy, allow me to share a quick excerpt from the early, early days of Alex and Lea.  Still very much trying to figure out the attraction between them, Alex marvels at the fact Lea is finally coming over to see her.  

When Alex heard the phone click she stood silently in the center of the kitchen, letting the moment sink in, afraid to move.  "Wow.", she sighed.  "Unbelievable.  She's coming over.  No flipping way."  She still had not identified exactly what it was about Lea that had captured her entire being, body, mind, and soul, and she had no desire to stop long enough to figure it out.  All she was willing to admit at that moment was that she felt an overwhelming desire to get to know Lea better, to see her, to be in her presence.  Beyond that pressing need, and the new found excitement of tomorrow's visit, her heart would not allow her to ponder the thought any further.

And their exciting journey began.

So when you are at a loss or feel low, shift your energy, and have faith that change is right around the corner.  And as always, 

Believe in forever.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day 8 of 365

I have faith.

I have to.  You need faith to pretty much do anything these days.  You need faith to carry on when the curves in life come at a rapid clip.  You need faith to open up to the unlimited possibilities of this complicated world.  You need faith to let go.  And most importantly, you need faith in your ability to create the world you desire, physically, spiritually, emotionally.

And I do.  I have faith.

I am certainly writing the story of Rachel and Leo from a position of pure faith.  Faith that the details of their adventure will come to me, that it will integrate into the journey of Lea and Alex perfectly.  That it will come together in just under 357 days. 

It has been a liberating experience, allowing my somewhat controlling ego to give into the sensory feeling of letting go, allowing the story to come to me.  This has been way more fun than sitting at the computer with a deadline induced book report mentality.  Their story just flows though my fingers at random intervals, and I am enjoying the ride.

For example, I am quite certain that Rachel had faith in herself.  She had to.  She rebelled against her family's carefully sculpted plans for her future and chose a very different path.  Not easy to do in the early 1900's.  Here's a little background on our lovely heroine:

It was a chance encounter really.  Rachel had wandered away from her parents at the Philadelphia Liberty Festival, drawn to a stunning roan Appaloosa mare that was standing near the fairground entrance.  "Beautiful.  What's her name?"   "Smoky." the old cowboy answered.  "After the Smoky Mountains."  "Nice.  Are you in the parade?"  The cowboy sighed, flashing a crooked half grin.  "I guess.  It's my daughter that's supposed to be here in this darn parade.  Had Smoky shipped up special and everything.  Then at the last minute she finds out that she got into that new Cumberland Female College, and she needs to start right away.  So here I am riding Smoky.  Geez.  Can't say I blame her though, that place is a beauty.  Big brick buildings, sit's in the middle of a mountain, surrounded by green.  It's all she's ever talked about."

The cowboy suddenly shifted his attention to tightening the cinch rings and checking the stirrup length.  He had no idea why he had babbled on so much to the first person who had stopped to say hello, and was quietly reprimanding himself.  Or maybe it was the peculiar far off gaze that Rachel now had in her eyes that startled him.  She mumbled "Enjoy the festival sir." and aimlessly wandered away, her head spinning.  For a reason that she would never be able to completely comprehend, Rachel knew at that very moment, in that one chance conversation with a replacement parade cowboy, at 16 years old her life was now on a new path.  She knew she was no longer on her way to the prestigious Bryn Mawr College, where she would have studied Liberal Arts and officially entered Philadelphia society.  She was on her way to big brick buildings on a green mountaintop, surrounded by blue sky and fresh air.  Rachel always had faith in her intuition, and she knew with every ounce of her being that this random encounter was no mistake.  It was destiny.

Have faith that those chance encounters in life truly mean something.  I do.  Rachel certainly did.

And thank you for having the faith to follow me on this journey.

Believe in forever.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Day 7 of 365

I LOVE to write.

For me that statement resonates on so many levels.  I believe in my heart that I am meant to spend my time on this earth doing what I love to do.  I feel in my soul that I am meant to spend my life with those who I love to be with.  

And so I write.

We have all heard the cliches.  Life is short.  Time flies.  What person doesn't look back and think about the silly things they spent energy on, the foolish things they wasted precious time worrying about.  My goal is to spend most of my days loving what I am doing, and appreciating who I am with.  

And so I write.

Now, I am not saying that I plan to throw all mundane but necessary tasks in the spiritual trash bin, while living in a constant state of Kumbaya bliss.  I am simply going to love those routine moments too!  I adore my full time job, and the talented people I get to work with.  Time with my family is precious.  I get a lot of satisfaction and joy out of cleaning, reading, and just relaxing.  

I know I do NOT enjoy roller coasters, gossip, scary movies, negative people, or cake with a lot of frosting.  So instead of bitching about those things I simply avoid them.  Done.  Simple.  

And so I write.  

Writing I dig.  Creating gives me a feeling of freedom, a sense of pure joy.  I experience love and positive feelings coursing through me, and who wouldn't crave that?  Even when I write about the rocky times for Lea and Alex, or the painful moments for Rachel and Leo, I feel excitement and energy, for them and for me.

And so I write.

Here's a little tidbit from the novel about Rachel and Leo, and a time of pain which was filled with love.  If you read Day 2 of this blog you will know that she died young, and it tore Leo to shreds.  (It was not the end of their journey, I can promise you that.)  Even as I write these words, and tears fill my eyes, my heart is filled with love and I can feel the truth in their journey.  I hope for nothing but truth in mine.

Rachel was slipping away from him.  He knew it by the shallow breaths he felt against his cheek, by the weakness in her grip as she held his hand.  He leaned in closer to hear her whispers, words that she was struggling to get out.  "" she gasped, choking out each syllable in breaths that made the words barely audible.  She drew in one long raspy breath and finished "...until...the end... of time."  Leo lifted his head so that he could look into her eyes, blue eyes mixed with pain, truth, peace.  "Then wait for me darlin.  Promise you'll wait for me."  Rachel smiled.  "Forever."  The word came out effortlessly, as if the air she needed was summoned from somewhere deep inside, stored for that one moment.  Leo noticed that the pain was no longer in her eyes, her smile.  He saw nothing but peace.  

Believe in forever.  They did.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Day 6 of 365

Why am I here!?

I'm on vacation this week, and it was supposed to be a crazy cool time for writing.  (As well as a variety of other let your hair down activities.)  Writing the novel, that is, not the blog.  So this morning I had a good chat with myself, and it basically went like this:

"Alex, dudette, why so much time playing with the blog?  Where's the book?"  


So I thought about it some more, and I reminded myself that I blog for two reasons: 

(1) I LOVE the story of Rachel and Leo They lived 100 years ago, yet somehow they continue to influence my journey here in the year 2013.  I absolutely adore writing about their love, trust, and passion for each other.  They also heavily influenced the paths of Alex and Lea, even though the two love struck women had no way of knowing it.  Writing about these interwoven stories, and sharing pieces of it through this blog, brings me a level of peace that I don't want to let go.    

(2) I also blog because it creates accountability, a reason for me to stay on this writing journey even as other commitments and influences crowd my time.  It's like setting a new fitness goal.  Success rates improve dramatically if you have a work out buddy to hold you accountable.  Well, moving forward you are all my "work out buddies".

So with that said, I have made a few changes to my blog approach and formatting:  

  • I will no longer ask readers to subscribe via email.  Sorry, RSS was not "Simple" for me.  Plus, I hope to post a little every day, and no one out there want's 365 annoying emails from me. 
  • Since I will be posting (nearly) every day, just bookmark the site and check in periodically.  I still hope you will follow the journey.  Knowing you are there as my work out buddy is a pretty good feeling.
  • Comments are welcome, and I will respond as much as time permits.
  • You can still list yourself as a Google + Follower, which is cool.  If there are any big updates I will shoot all the followers a quick email with a link. 

At the end of the day if you want to follow this blog it should be on your terms, not mine.  Right? Pretty simple.

I have been thinking a lot about Rachel lately, her story, so in a few days I will post more on her.  For today, here's a little more about Alex and Lea in their early days.

Thirty minutes passed in a heartbeat.  Lea glanced at the clock on the wall and frowned, making a reluctant motion to get up.  "I have to get back to work.  They'll be looking for me soon."  Alex felt her heart plummet, like gravity taking hold again after a long absence.  Her mind desperately searched for a way to prolong the moment, hoping to avoid the sensory crash that was imminent.  A strange calm suddenly flattened her senses, and she heard the words "Jump, Alex.  You'll be fine." whispered in her ear.  Filled with a courage that she barely recognized, she heard the words escaping one by one from her lips.  "Lea, I'm crazy about you.  And you're beautiful."  She saw a light flicker in Lea's eyes that startled her, like a flash of brilliance, or a deep sense of knowing.

That's all for now.

Thank you again for being here, for being you.  And as always...

Believe in forever.  


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Day 5 of 365

Blogging is torture.  

Or at least the functionality behind it is.  My idea was simple, or so I thought.  Create a blog where I could post updates on my progress to write and finish "My Journey with Lea".  Use it as a road map and a mentor to keep me on track.  Selfishly I wanted something pretty, easy to use for the reader (point and click, point and click), and even easier to use for me.  Upload a word document (the blog), add a few pictures, and wallah!  A blog that is easy to follow.

Ha!  Little did I know that I would spend a good chunk of my first two weeks blogging working out the kinks and playing do-it-yourself tech support.  I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about RSS feeds, the dangers of cut and paste (hidden code...who knew?) and tech support forums.  

Which is why I have to keep reminding myself of the end goal.  It is NOT to become a compelling blog writer.  It is to write the story that has changed my life.  Don't let Rachel and Leo get lost in your efforts to make the blog really shine Alex...don't do it.  Sigh.

So with crossed fingers and a healthy dose of optimism I post the next installment of the "My Journey with Lea" blog.  Listed below is another bit from the book.  I hope that you receive this post via email at some point on August 1, in the year of 2013.  If you don't, well, back to the tech support forums!  Wish me luck.

And now, back to their story:

In the midst of her swirling emotions she looked up.  At the end of the aisle waited "the one".  The love of her life.  The most beautiful woman, inside and out, she had ever had the privilege of knowing.  The one who's eyes now spoke volumes about the love they shared.  About the journey they had endured together.  Real world logic did not give them this ending, in fact, by all accounts they should have been separated and forgotten long ago.  "But there she is.", Alex thought, "There she is."  She gently sighed as her heart melted and her soul danced, and somehow she found the courage to walk forward.

Thank you again for being here, for being you.  And as always...

Believe in forever.  (I do.)