Thursday, August 21, 2014

Where Buckets of Ice and Faith are Challenged

If by now you don't know what the Ice Bucket Challenge is you may need to check your pulse. It seems everyone everywhere has either been challenged or entertained by those videos of celebs and civilians alike being frozen in the name of charity. Whether or not you approve of this viral sensation - I'm told it is working. To date the ALS Foundation has received about $31 million dollars in donations. That, my friends, is a lot of ice.

Six months ago I didn't know much about this disease. Six months ago, I didn't have to. 

I recently found out that a family member of mine, someone I love deeply, has been diagnosed with ALS. It is quite simply a monster of a thing. The moment I heard that somebody close to me would be wrangling this particular beast it was as if I'd been doused, iced, submerged. I can only imagine in horror the way it felt to the person receiving that piece of news about him or herself. Shocked can't begin to describe it. Stunned, saddened, terrified, angry, confused. That might be a place to start.

This is one of those "test your faith" subjects for me. One where I am forced to rely on the power of prayer and the strength of hope. I am troubled by the helplessness I feel without a true hands-on solution. I'm not a girl of science, nor am I prone to magical thinking. Though lately I find myself drawn to both. I keep abreast of the latest in medical research meant to sideline the disease that sidelines too many beautiful lives. I negotiate with the heavens, the universe, calling in invisible favors and whispering countless promises into the air. Waiting for miracles without merit of fact or fancy. Just waiting.

Yet there is something mighty in the camaraderie of strangers united in this cause. Not only coming together to raise money to fight this Monster, but in raising a consciousness. In igniting an audacity that wants nothing more than to slay this hideous thing that is ALS.

Whether you respond to this worldwide challenge by getting wet or not, is up to you. I do hope either way you will reach into your hearts and wallets to donate to this foundation. Here is the website for more info: http://www.alsa.org/donate/.

If you are so inclined, I invite you to comment here with your email address, and I will happily reward your donations to the ALS Foundation with a gift of a free ebook - either Nebraska Brown or a copy of ANY of my upcoming releases in honor of my dear family member.

Together we can. With love and gratitude...





 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Of Songs, Success & Signs

Sometimes the lines of reason get blurred.

When we first set out on a creative journey our goals aren't all that lofty. Most writers are simply answering a call, addressing a need to release a story trapped deep inside themselves. Fast forward through the romance of the first draft to the reality of the completed product and somewhere along the way, something goes missing:

Reason. Just cause.

The original need seems to evaporate from sight and before long you find yourself staring down the loaded gun of want. And along with want comes desperation. A consuming desire to see our books do well. A silent competition with the hoards of other authors fleeing madly toward some magic finish line - otherwise known as "success." This juxtaposition isn't as bad as the actual moment you realize it has happened. That, my friends, is a pretty sobering thing.

There comes a time in a writer's trek when it becomes not only necessary but mandatory to pause and relocate the cushy center of ourselves, the part where the creative spark was first conceived.

The heart.

This week I was honored to have a lovely reader choose my novel as one to which she would dedicate her blog. I don't really know this young woman, which makes this feature that much more relevant. For it is in this anonymity that I was able to bridge the gap between who I am as an author and who I originally set out to be - a writer who touched someone through my work.

I want to share her blog with you, as well as her choice of theme song for The Making of Nebraska Brown. (See radio on the sidebar.) I loved this for more than one reason. For all of them. For the softening of those blurred lines.

Here is a link to Diana's lovely blog called "Little Miss Drama Queen."
http://www.bloglovin.com/viewer?post=3259249177&group=0&frame_type=b&blog=5056679&frame=1&click=0&user=0

Thank you to Diana for doing this. And to any of you who may have read my words and found yourself connected to them in some small or even a profound way - I'm much obliged. These are the signs that tell me that while I may occasionally veer off course, I am still very much on the right path.