Sunday, September 21, 2014

A little character

It's time to develop our relationship.

Let's go deeper, really get to know each other.

I want to know everything .  Tell me all about you.  What makes you smile, warms your heart, keeps you going?  What are your fears, your doubts, your intimate scars that lie just below the surface.

What characteristics are yours and yours alone?  The imperfections that make you, well, perfect!  I want to hear, see, feel it all.

These are the questions I have been asking the MJWL lead characters. 

I have memorized their stories, their journeys, their trials.  Now I want to know them.  Who is Rachel, down deep, in her soul of souls?  Why is Leo a loner, guarded, scarred?  What drives Alex, and why does she still believe in the promise of true love?  Where does that faith come from?  And why is Lea such a magnetic combination of push you away and pull  you in?  What makes her so incredibly intoxicating?? 

I need to know. 

And I want to paint their pictures with such vivid colors you that you will experience what I feel when their words spill out onto the pages in front of me.

That's where I am on this journey.  Diving deep, getting to know. 

With pen and paper in hand I have written "Who is ...?" at the top of each page, waiting for the words to flow.

For those of you have been experiencing this blog since the beginning, feel free to contribute.  Share a few words via email ( (or comment below) describing your impressions of Rachel, Leo, Alex, and Lea.  What characteristics have YOU pictured?  Would love to hear from you.

And the journey continues, with love, because I...

Believe in Forever.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Continuing the Journey!

I.  AM.  BACK!!!

After a few months of serious transition time (new job, new life, new outlook) I am dusting off the keyboard and diving back into the continuation of My Journey with Lea!

Great to be back online with my faithful MJWL peeps!  For those of you who are new to this blog - welcome!  Over the past year I have chronicled my quest to write the story that is now an integral part of my soul, aching to get out, ready to be shared with the world.  Originally I had set a goal of writing the book within one year.  Well, a good (and recent) connection of mine, editor extraordinaire Stacey Donovan ( helped me to see this project through a different lens.  Faster is not always better. 

While the book is essentially complete (yeah!) I am still in the process of adding layers to the storyline, depth to the characters, flavor to words themselves. 

Oh my God does it feel good to write again!

Listed below is a high level overview of the book.  Let me ask you...if you read this summary would YOU want to read the novel? 
If the answer is YES then leave a comment, retweet the post, or connect with the blog itself. 
If the answer is NO, or MAYBE, I would love to hear why.  Seriously.
OK, here we go!  And remember...

Believe in Forever,


Overview of “My Journey with Lea”. 

This novel is a heart wrenching, soul satisfying portrayal of two distinctly different, yet intricately entwined couples. Through incredible passion, tragic loss, and a resolute determination to live and love, both couples discover that while life is a journey, infinite love is a matter of destiny.

The modern day love story is between two strong, independent women named Alexandria and Lea. They met young and fell madly, deeply in love. The glance that rocked their worlds, the softness of a first touch, and oh, that kiss! Their passion was insatiable and life altering, but also unexpected and ill-timed. They were ultimately separated by circumstance and 1200 miles. Alex spent years resolving to discover the magic of true love again. Would her complicated journey lead her back to Lea?

Our second couple, Rachel and Leo, lived on a horse farm in the early 1900’s. He was a strong, quiet man that was half Choctow Indian, and she was a young woman from Philadelphia society who had moved to the mountains of Tennessee in search of adventure. They fell in love immediately, souls connecting over the single touch of her fingers on his sleeve. Unfortunately Rachel’s early death interrupted their plans of forever and sent Leo into a painful tailspin.

We follow Rachel to the world of energy and spirits and watch as she discovers the true meaning of life and love, destiny and infinite partners. She persuades the angels to allow her to deviate from her ascension and pursue a path to save Leo’s soul.

The two stories are interwoven throughout the book before ultimately reaching a climatic ending that ruptures the stereotypical "happily ever after" conclusion but still leaves you breathless and satisfied.

I know the novel is deep, and rare, and real because I have lived parts of it, and the rest of it seeps into my soul and through my fingers as I write. My destiny is to chronicle this journey and share their respective love stories. 

So...ready to read more?

YES?  Follow me on Twitter (Alexandria Inde, or IndeAlexandria) or leave a comment below!




Saturday, June 7, 2014

Day 314 of 365

A big decision indeed.

This will be the last My Journey with Lea blog post. At least until the novel is finished.

As you may have noticed the posts have been few and far, far between. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that the novel is coming along nicely. Twenty-four chapters in length and nearly completed. What lies ahead is more writing then a few months of heavy duty editing. I will also be reaching out to publishers and finding a literary agent that can see and feel the vision I have for MJWL (and the two follow up novels.)

With that said I need all of my creative writing energy to go towards the home stretch, the final lap. Each blog post typically takes two to three hours, minimum, to create, and I need to use that time to write and edit.

So instead of leaving you hanging I am writing this good bye (for now) letter.

If you would like to know when the novel is finished and a publisher has agreed to print this wonderful story please send me your email address. (You can reach me at I will create a list and let everyone know where to get a copy of the novel. I also promise not to utilize your email for any other reason. (No spam!)

This leg of the journey is almost complete. I value the time we have spent together. It has helped me in ways you will never know.

Warm regards, and remember to…

Believe in Forever


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Day 293 or 365

Thoughts are things.

Did you know that?

This all crystalized for me as I was chatting with a close and trusted friend last night. I realized that my path has led me to a place where I am very open. Open to the infinite possibilities that this life has to offer. Open to the paradigm that we create our own reality, and not the other way around. And definitely open to the concept that my thoughts, those invisible brain waves generated from within, can, and do, shape my destiny.

So what does this all mean?

I have learned that when my thoughts are centered on the beautiful things I intend to create in my life (a kick ass job, a great home, this novel, true love) those things find their respective ways into my journey. 

If, however, my internal dialog is focused on past transgressions, old hurts, and things I cannot change, well, I get more of that crap showing up. Yuck.

The moral of the story? What I focus on has a funny way of manifesting in my life…so I have been pretty careful about what I focus on. It's that simple.

So with only 72 days to go, do I believe that there is still enough in me to complete and publish MJWL on time? If you have been following this blog at all, you already know the answer.

I do, and I will.

Going back to the concept of being careful about what you dwell on, allow me to share a little about Leo and one of his dark times. His soul was aching and his thoughts were trapped in the past. The more he dwelled on how much his heart hurt, the more agony he attracted into his life. He needed help, and he needed it fast.

Leo didn’t take on new clients for nearly two years. It just wasn’t in him anymore. The gentle demeanor, the knowing grin, the desire to help an owner and horse connect, it was all gone. All he had left was the ability to take care of his own herd, and he barely had that.

Then one day, as if heaven could no longer stand to watch the wasting away of a man’s soul, a child unwittingly saved Leo Ciotte from himself.

Leo was in the barn shoveling manure, filling water buckets, and throwing fresh flakes of hay into the newly cleaned paddocks. Just as he closed the latch on Sahara’s stall he turned and noticed, incredulously, a boy of about 12 standing in the entrance of the barn hall. Leo wiped the sweat from his eyes with his shirt sleeves and looked again. The kid was still there.

The youngster’s plaid shirt was well worn and his blue overalls were probably two sizes too big for his body. He had dirty blond, matted hair, hazel eyes, and a defiant, freckled face.

Never one for pleasantries, Leo barked out “What do you want?” The boy said nothing, but seemed to be driving his determined feet deeper into the clay floor.

“Who are you boy? What do you want?”

Leo took one frustrated step towards the intruder, letting his pitchfork fall noisily on the barn floor. The boy never budged, his clenched fists pressed tightly against his sides, his eyes staring holes into the bewildered expression of the older, taller, stronger farmer. Finally the words poured out in rapid succession, as if the pressure of keeping them inside had shattered the fragile container that was attempting to hold them.

“I’m Steven,” the kid shouted. “Steven Hill. And I need you to train my horse!”

Leo took in a long, deep breath, his shoulders sagging, suppressing his desire to run the kid off of his property immediately. “Rachel wouldn’t have wanted that” he sighed. He took one more cautious step towards the young man, removing his gloves and shaking his head.

“Sorry, boy. I don’t train horses anymore. Now run along home and talk to your folks. I’m sure they can help you.”

Steven didn’t budge, refusing to break eye contact with Leo. He needed to be heard, and his steadfast determination made it impossible for Leo to do anything but listen.

“Something’s wrong with my horse sir, and if I can’t fix it my parents are taking him to the shed. I’m not letting anyone take Chase to the shed! I’ll run away with him if I need to! I will! I’m not afraid of nothing. So I need you to train my horse mister.”

Steven paused for a second, inadvertently allowing Leo to hear the heartache beneath the resolve, as he choked out his final plea, his voice cracking.

“You just have to.” 

Will Leo help Steven save his horse? The answer is clear, if you…

Believe in forever.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Day 280 of 365

Time is an illusion. 

I am completely and utterly convinced of this

It was only a few days ago that I wrote the February 14th entry of this blog, and yet, according to the calendar, my cell phone, and the local news, nearly three months have passed. Impossible!

Of course, a myriad of events have filled in those fictitious weeks between now and our last meeting. I pleasantly, joyfully, and successfully closed out my career at sea, waving farewell to two years of enriching experiences, places, and especially people. The memories will endure forever, and I know many of the relationships will as well. Thank you Mother Ocean, you majestic beauty! Life as a seafarer was brilliant.

During those illusive weeks I also opened a new chapter of my life, entering back into the world of operations, leadership, and contributing to the “big picture”. My mind and body are alive every time I approach the building where I now work, and every new conversation makes me feel like a kid in a candy store, my senses vibrating and my thoughts firing in rapid succession. I know that I am in the right place at the right time.

And thanks to some new friends and exposure to a wider variety of writers and philosophers the soul that is my true essence has also stretched during this interval, expanding towards the future, while fully embracing the notion that the past is the past is the past. My heart is filled with joy, warmth, and gratitude, and my spirit is alive and smiling. 

What does all of this mean for MJWL? 

Like a trusted friend who knows when to intervene, and when to step aside and allow life to play out, Rachel and Leo, Alex and Lea, my faithful and valued allies in this quest, have patiently waited for the dust of life settle, for big chapters to close, and for others to open. They knew they were not abandoned. They knew their story was, and is, alive and well. I thank them (and those readers who have been checking in) for their collective patience.

So here I am again, feeling the flow of creativity streaming though my fingers, ready to complete the soul stretching story that lies within. Speaking of stories, one day on the mountaintop Leo opened up to Rachel and shared one of his own…

I was only ten years old when we moved to the plateau, but I remember falling in love with it immediately. The space, the summer breeze, the view, it was all incredibly peaceful. Chief Dan George used to say “The beauty of the trees, the softness of the air, the fragrance of the grass speaks to me.” Growing up in the dust covered village I never understood what he meant. But Rachel, darlin, when I walked the property for the first time with my father, the Chief’s words echoed in my ears with great clarity. The plateau spoke to both of us.

We bought a stretch of acreage right at the peak of the mountain, close enough to town to find the supplies we needed, and far enough away to give us the peace my parents were both looking for. The land we purchased was, at first, nothing but blunt rocks, a bunch of random trees, and layers of twisted scrub brush. The man who sold it to us thought we were a bit odd for choosing that location over all the others. But my father had vision, and where others could not see past the wild bushes and acres of weeds he could picture paddocks, and a barn, and beautiful pastures with horses grazing on sweet grass. He saw paradise. He saw our home.

Leo never left that beautiful land that spoke to him at age 10.  He was home, and always would be.  For you see, deep in his soul, Leo did, and always  would,

Believe in forever.



Friday, February 14, 2014


Peace, Patience, Purpose

I believe in this journey. With all that I am.

I have Peace in my heart, knowing my journey is right, and real.

I have Patience in my soul, knowing that all I intend to manifest in my life is already here or on it's way. When the time is aligned with God, my angels, and the Universe. My favorite quote on this topic:

"Infinite patience produces immediate results." - A Course in Miracles

I have Purpose. I know what I need to do. The road ahead is crystal clear. I have no doubt.

I am rejoining ships on Sunday, so while the writing and editing will continue, the blog posts may have to wait.

With only 164 days to go (home stretch!) I will commit to keeping you all informed about the pursuit to publish. If you are not already a follower you can find me on Gmail ( and join my circle. Or shoot me your email and I promise to keep you up to date. (I also promise...NO SPAM!)

Regular blog posts, documenting the home stretch, will begin again in late April. 

This book will happen.

In the spirit of Valentine's Day I offer you two sections from the book, quick excerpts that describe the start of the love journey for both of our couples. (Falling in love is so much fun, isn't it?!)

Rachel and her Leo

“Umm, I think so.”, he mumbled, clearing his throat. For a moment Leo was frozen, trapped in the unfamiliar spell the stranger’s presence was casting on him. He had never before experienced the flittering feeling that was now wreaking havoc inside of his stomach, and the reserved farmer did not know how to move beyond the moment. Rachel turned her head ever so slightly and raised her eyebrows expectantly, which broke the temporary enchantment and allowed Leo to respond.

“Ah, they may be up this way, ma’am. Here, I’ll show you.”

He offered his arm, which Rachel readily accepted, and proceeded to lead the beautiful visitor to the front of the store, his heart racing and his mind a muddy mess of stifled thought. 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.

Alex and her Lea

Alex was suddenly very alone in the middle of the bar. Becoming impatient with her inner dialog, she quickly scanned her surroundings for Katie or another familiar face, a friendly anchor to hold on to as she waited. As her glance made it halfway around the bar her eyes suddenly locked with a beautiful, smiling, brown-eyed Rebels player.

Alex felt her heart stop.

It literally shut off for a solid second and everything in her universe was paralyzed. All movement ceased, all sound was silenced, even the air paused. Time and space no longer existed. Alex caught her breath as her heart kicked back in with a riveting “snap”, and she swore that she felt something physically twist inside of her. Adrenaline shot through her veins, shattering her melancholy and igniting a chain reaction of explosions within her, weakening her knees and sending throbbing beats that reverberated in her body and made her shift in her seat.

The brown-eyed girl with a knowing grin was looking right through Alex and seemed to be watching her take in the room. When Alex met the glance the stunning woman made no attempt to hide her attention. It was Alex who finally looked away, afraid the doe-eyed admirer would see the fireworks shooting through her veins. The encounter lasted for only a few seconds but it was enough to lock the glance into her soul.

Love at first sight is fun. Enduring love is precious and rare, if you can find a way to...

Believe in Forever.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Day 190 of 365

Sometimes the best help comes from unexpected places...

...if you are open enough to let it in!
Well, here we are, almost 200 days into the writing of MJWL.  What an incredible, joyful, occasionally gut wrenching adventure it has been!  200 days down, 165 to go, with plenty to do, people to see, and editors, literary agents, and publishers to impress!
I have been blessed with an ample amount of writing time the last 7 weeks, and in that interval I have made significant progress on the novel.  Yeah!  The book is now 24 chapters long, approximately 42,000 words, and is in the midst of major MAJOR revisions.  I truly enjoy the process of editing (aka "cleaning up") the novel, as it allows me to relive the story over and over again, one chapter at a time.  I also get to experience the pace and flow of the book and see where it makes sense, and where it cries out for clarification and change.
"I get by with a little help from my friends."  The Beatles
Projects of this nature are rarely accomplished without the help of others, which is why the dedication section of a book is typically several pages long.  In my case I have relied on a few close friends from the beginning, people that I know will always tell me what's on their mind without masking or filtering the truth.  In this regard, three unanticipated, synchronistic events have helped me tremendously in the writing process.  (And they can certainly expect to see their names on MY dedication page!)
(1) I am currently staying with a great friend and her three children for a few weeks before I go back to life at sea.  One night a few days back, as I was writing and editing the first few chapters, I playfully asked if they would like to hear the completed Chapter 1.  I was anxious to share the opening lines of my "project" and was thrilled when they all said yes!  These beautiful children range in age from 8-18, (my friend is ageless!) and that night they sat silently as I recited the words that until then I had only heard with the voice in my mind.  What a difference to hear them spoken!  When I was done the girls asked questions and made comments about what THEY visualized when they heard my words, which helped more than they will ever know!  I have subsequently shared more chapters with them, though I may save some of the "juicier" aspects of the novel for another audience. 
(2) A week ago I started emailing one of my best friends the completed chapters of MJWL one at a time.  In turn she shares with me which chapters are a "quick read" and she can get right into the story, as well as times when my writing is a little harder to navigate through.  Having this open, honest feedback allows me to go back and review my writing for clarity, which is incredibly valuable.  You see, sometimes when you are so immersed in a project you fail to see the pot holes that are right in front of you, and it's nice to have an extra set of eyes, especially when those eyes are not afraid to say "try again".
(3) I have not openly shared the novel, or this blog, widely within my work circle, preferring to keep work-work, and the novel-the novel.  I did, however, share the blog with one wonderful, intelligent, thoughtful peer.  Well, speaking of synchronistic events, he just happened to know a literary agent and had faith enough in my writing to introduce us.  While I have only recently sent her chapters from the book and a query letter (more on query letters next post), and I am not even sure if MJWL is in the right genre for them, I am eternally grateful to have the ear of a real literary professional, as well as for my friend's faith in me.
These three editing strategies were not part of my initial writing plan, however, I am incredibly blessed that they have allowed me to have their opinions woven into the process.  So a warm, heartfelt thank you to the friends who have been there for me through it all. You know who you are.  :)
And now, back to our story...

After carefully selecting the seeds that would round out her project, Rachel paid for her bounty and headed out the door for her trek up the mountain. Although still very excited about her venture she was no longer lost in thoughts about soil depth and nutrient restoration. Instead her mind continued to playfully recreate the brief conversation with the handsome Feed Store stranger. “Leo Ciotte.” She mused. “What a doll.”

She heard the first rumbling less than mile into the journey home, and looking up she saw the black clouds that had been shrewdly hiding beyond the tree line. She hastened her stride but it was too late. A vicious, lighting filled rainstorm was on top of her just as she turned the corner on the steepest part of the walk.

It was a deluge, the clouds unleashing their bounty in malevolent unison. Rain began to pour on her from every angle, soaking her school uniform down to her undergarments and quickly muddying the gravel path she was desperately trying to keep her footing on. She protectively covered her paper enclosed seeds and blindly inched forward, praying for a reprieve from the unrelenting assault. Just as she was losing hope that she could keep her parcels intact she received the amnesty she was looking for.

She heard the motor car before she saw it. Laboring up the hill with a load of white bags of grain was an old farm truck, its wheels digging into the gravel and seemingly winning the battle to conquer the incline. The truck stopped ahead of her where the hill leveled off, and the driver stepped out just as she was about to pass.


She squinted through the stinging rain drops and dropped her seeds on the rocks below her. There, standing before her, was Leo Ciotte.

It was only day one for Rachel and her Leo, but at first sight, first touch, first encounter, they knew there was more in the air for them than a vicious rainstorm.  For you see, rainstorms pass, but true love is eternal if you simply...

Believe in forever.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 176 of 365

I have been moving fences.

Figuratively, of course, though I also have experience in the literal sense, transferring big, heavy corral panels from point A to point B. Both events leave you sweaty, dirty, and tired, yet ultimately satisfied with your efforts once the dust has settled.

Moving fences, aka “change”, is grueling. It pulls at your soul, messes with your heart, and leaves your head in a fog. Yet it is also the catalyst for creativity and growth. If nothing ever changed except the advancement of years, then I suppose we would all essentially be who we were when we first entered adulthood. Hmmm, ponder that thought for a moment.

I think of Alex at 18, a cocky, resolute young soul, moving 1200 miles from home on a whim, ready to take on the world. I am proud of the person she was, even back then.

I look in the mirror today and I see that same spark, the same confident grin, though the eyes now reflect a deep knowing. An understanding that this complicated, determined, layered person inside has been shaped in equal parts by the stability in her life and the gut wrenching trials she has endured and conquered. The good, the bad, the ugly – it all defines us.

Why we crave both certainty and uncertainty at the same time is one of life’s great mysteries, but it’s a mystery I am eternally grateful for. That gut level, soul stretching craving for more has brought into my life most of the things that bring me the greatest joy. The journey to write this novel, for example, began in the area of my being that was never quite satisfied by the status quo.

Rachel was very familiar with this feeling. She understood the need to live up to the expectations of her family and society, yet there was always an unsettled feeling in her soul, a deep need to find her own voice, her own adventure. Allow me to share with you some additional depth to her character.

Rachel Kirkbright had been born into a family of means. Not Rockefeller, Carnegie type money, but good money all the same. She was the only girl in a family dominated by male heirs, so the pressure was off to be the only Kirkbright to carry on the family’s place in society. Still, there were steep expectations, and by the time she was 12 her parents had her future completely mapped out. She was to attend Bryn Mawr College at 17, marry by 19, and become a “well-rounded” lady of Philadelphia by the tender age of 21.

But Rachel had a rebellious, independent edge to her. When her Mother braided her long, curly brown hair she was quick to unravel it at the first free moment. When a well-meaning friend of her father’s complemented her on her cooking, saying she would make a fine wife someday, she acknowledged the complement but inwardly glared at the observer through defiant blue eyes.

Rachel did as she was told though. She loved her parents and did not want to openly disappoint them. So she took art classes, learned to play the piano, and crossed her ankles when seated in public. But in her heart she always knew there was more to life than Philadelphia society and becoming “a fine wife.” She wanted more. She craved adventure.

She felt most at home when she was in the barn with her father’s Palomino Sahara. She loved brushing the long white mane and washing her golden coat in the warm summer sun, something Sahara never objected to. She especially adored the afternoons when they would break away from lessons and expectations and ride the back trails together. Sahara never judged how her hair looked and could care less about her cooking prowess.

Rachel didn’t know it yet, but that unsettled feeling in her gut was about to lead her to the biggest, and best, changes of her life. For you see, deep down inside, Rachel did, and always would…

Believe in forever.



Friday, January 3, 2014

Day 159 0f 365

I promised…

…in the beginning that I would write a compelling blog to document the grueling process of trying to write a novel. I committed to writing a blog every day and have spent hundreds of hours writing, editing, and creating

Well, having the time to post every day didn’t happen. In fact there have been months where only a single blog or two have made the journey from mind to website, and some weeks evaporated without writing a solitary word. Still, not a day has gone by without a notation on a legal pad, or the back of a receipt, or the notebook on my nightstand. This novel still lives and breathes in me, striving to see the light of day.

So while the blog has not been a daily exercise, creating the novel has. I have found a lot of wonderful writing spaces here in my temporary city and I know that I WILL finish this novel on time. And it will be published. I am, however, going to spend less time on creating, editing, and posting the blog. With only 209 days to go I will need to spend my precious writing hours on the goal that started this journey…finishing MJWL. For those of you who have checked in frequently, thank you. I will keep you updated, just not as often.

So with that said, back to our story…

When I write I visualize a lot…guess that’s the name of the game, right? Allow me to share just a small section from MJWL about a beautiful blue horse:

Rachel had wandered away from her parents at the Philadelphia Liberty Festival, drawn to a stunning blue roan appaloosa mare that was standing near the fairground entrance. At age sixteen she had quickly become bored with the incessant chatter about summer homes and the latest scandals and sought respite in the white noise of the street merchants and marching bands. She had walked the length of the parade route when she spotted the mare.

The appaloosa was breathtaking, sporting a slate gray coat from its muzzle to the back of its shoulders, blending seamlessly into a spotted pattern of white and black that extended through the back hips. Defiant patches of silky gray decorated the back legs and hind quarters. The salt and pepper mane was neatly brushed and pulled up into neat button braids, while the solid gray tail was left silently flowing at the whim of the wind.

I can see this horse standing there when I am writing, and describing her to you is pure joy. I hunt for the right words to paint an effective picture, and I hope I have done the appaloosa justice. And I hope that you still…

Believe in forever.