Sunday, October 31, 2010


I think it's really exciting when I get a tiny glimpse of what God may have in store for me. My friend Bill Myers recently attended a conference and when he came back he announced to me that it was finally time to rev up the action on our film company Amaris. Apparently we have gotten a DIVINE YES and we are to step into who we really are. It's amazing what can happen when you feel like you finally have permission to be who God wants you to be. Suddenly everything starts happening! That's how God works - Suddenly. It doesn't feel so suddenly when you have waited days, weeks, months and years for things to happen. But when that moment comes it does seem to be SUDDENLY.

So much has happened since Bill's announcement. We have interest in two of our kid's properties, potential investors have miraculously appeared. Our web series was featured in the Beverly Hills Film Festival! And all of it - suddenly!

I love this idea of "stepping into" who you are. I remember years ago after I first moved to Los Angeles and had spent two wildly exciting years making my way in the entertainment business, I went back to Florida to visit friends. One of them told me that I had changed. When I asked how, they said it was as if I had become more of who I had always been. It's not like I was different, I was just more of me!

I think that is what happens when you really allow God in your life and follow His lead. It's hard to trust an invisible God. But once you learn how to, it's hard not to trust him. And so I am becoming more of who I already am. God sees the completed me. He is not bound by time. Little day to day stuff...doesn't even register on the eternal space-time continuum. We are so caught up in our hours and minutes that we forget where we are going. God never forgets. He calls us, nudges us, entreats us. He wants us to discover who we are! He wants us to discover the person He created us to be. It is all there in front of us. We just have to realize it and then "be" it. Perhaps the "being" part sounds daunting. But just as we put our clothes on in the morning (hopefully), we can "put on" that person we know we really are. Deep down I think we all know who we are in God's eyes. But perhaps we have just become too tired, or too beaten down. Maybe we have just hit that wall one too many times and quit trying. It's easy to tell ourselves we are too old, too young, too poor, too uneducated, unskilled, too busy, overloaded, trapped. Maybe it feels impossible to be that person that longs to get out of our mundane, mediocre selves. But with God all things are possible. And particularly the things that He has already dreamed for you to be. Start believing if only a little every day that you are the greater, better you that you really are. Start trusting God to guide you into becoming you. Try it for five minutes and see how you feel. Then ten minutes. For an hour. For a day. You may find yourself standing a little taller. Your dream might even look a little more possible.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thank God for Doctors!

I just had surgery last week. I had an umbilical hernia that needed fixing. Nothing as major as a heart bypass. But still surgery. Doctors, nurses, the pinging sound of machines that take your blood pressure and heart rate. The smell of clean. Everyone is professional, positive. Cheerful. You will feel some pressure here... i.e. pain. This may pinch a little. (More pain). You may experience some discomfort after you wake up... ( A LOT OF PAIN). No one ever likes to say the actual word pain. Although there is a little smiley face sign on the wall with little frowny circles that indicate your level of discomfort. I think Yellow is no pain. Purple is SCREAMING. But you are to rate it from one to ten. One being nothing to ten being massive amounts of expletives delivered at high volume. Luckily I was only at 9 right after my procedure and spent most of my stay in the six and seven frowny face range.

I don't recommend surgery if you can avoid it - but thank God we have doctors that know how to do this stuff. My two surgeons were wonderful, funny women. My hernia surgeon, Dr. Leslie Memsic is a tiny, hilarious lady who could easily have a second career as a stand up comic. Dr. Lisa Cassileth, my plastic surgeon is a gorgeous willowy blonde with a down to earth sense of humor. Both of them really helped me feel like this wasn't going to end in some tragic scene shot in the rain with black umbrellas. They made me feel like they knew what they were doing and things would be fine. No promises... just assurance. For years I have had male doctors for most everything that I have needed. Men delivered my two children. My primary care doctor that I have had (and dearly love)for ten years is a man. But this time it was two funny women. Which is exactly what I needed. Maybe there are more women going into medicine these days. I hope so. There have always been women in the nursing profession which in my opinion is the least appreciated most important job in the WORLD. But it was great to have women doctors. Like mom's who are really good with scalpels.

Anyway male or female I completely appreciate the years of training and skill anyone needs to have to take a deep personal look under my skin. If my mechanic messes up... well I might need a new car. If my surgeon makes a mistake... not such a good outcome.

So now as I sit at home recuperating for the next couple of weeks I get to think about how to better take care of my body. Maybe feed it better. Give it more exercise. More rest. Less stress. So that I don't need the services of these highly trained professionals again any time soon. And now, a week after the surgery even the memory of the pain and fear is diminishing. But not my thankfulness. For them. For their gifts and abilities and for God who is the great healer of us all. My doctors can treat the problems but God mysteriously helps my body to heal.
So thank you Dr. Lisa and Dr. Leslie and to all doctors everywhere. And thank you God for providing me with two such wonderful women at precisely the right time.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Waiting: Again

So here I am waiting again! Maybe today it will only be for a few hours or it could be for a few more weeks. In all honesty I HATE WAITING. I have learned to adapt to people not being on time. I have learned how to do other things, read, focus on other stuff when some big announcement is coming. But I think the hardest part of waiting is when you are at the last threshold -- when you know you have only one more hurdle to jump over. When there is only one more "T" to cross and "i" to dot. That to me is the absolute worst time. And it doesn't matter what you are waiting for. The cute guy to call you back. The last week before giving birth. The results of a medical test. It's when you know that your answer or the event is GOING to happen but you just don't know when. For me this is when the control madness takes over. I want to do ANYTHING to make the last few hours/seconds/days pass quickly. And of course time just SLOOOOOOWS down. Even when someone is talking to me - it's like their voice has even deepened and slowed. Everything is moving at a snail's pace.

And I am not a slow person. My whole life has been on fast forward -- except for these horrible times of waiting. I read fast, talk fast, make fast decisions, write fast, eat fast. Fast. Quick. Speedy. That's me. Let's go, go go!!! So I guess maybe this waiting business is something God does to me - to help me realize who really is in charge. And it's not me. I have absolutely NO CONTROL over anything except my emotional state at any given time. And I barely can control that. I can't control my husband, children, grandchildren, the traffic, cashiers, bureaucrats, the government. Nobody. No control. Sigh.

So here I am. I can control what I write about. So today it's about waiting. Maybe tomorrow it will be about discovery or having or being. But today my job in my tiny little universe is to WAIT. Thanks God. I will do my best. But I do have a little teeny tiny prayer. Please hurry up!

Monday, August 9, 2010

End of the Summer Blues

Since I am a teacher, my summer is coming to a close very quickly. Next week will begin the whirlwind of the new semester. Lots of meetings, stuff to read, questions to answer and course descriptions to write. And just as that week comes to a close the students arrive. I love my job. I love teaching. I love the students. But that doesn't mean that I won't miss my lovely lazy summer days.

This past summer I had a number of things that I was supposed to do, but because of scheduling and economics I spent my vacation at home.... doing.... nothing. Well, nothing by society's standards. Obviously I must have done something. I sat on my front porch with my granddaughter and watched butterflies. I read her books about dinosaurs and monkeys. I watched reruns with my husband and daughter. I drank lots of stylish Starbuck's coffee, read lots of books, went to the beach, visited my mom and dreamed big dreams.

In my Fall, Spring and Winter life I am too hopelessly over committed to do such luxurious things. If the economy had been more favorable we would have probably traveled more, spent more, shopped more. But this summer was more like my childhood summers of old where money didn't dictate happiness. Joy came from the natural rhythms of life.

Knowing summer was coming to and end, I have been resisting this change back to my workday self for the past two weeks. Dreading it really. I wish it could be summer always. But I guess life can't have an up without a down. We need to be busy so we can understand what calm is. It wouldn't be a vacation if we didn't have something to take a break from. But summer isn't over yet. I do have six more days left. I am going to try to take advantage of them. I am going to stay up late, take a nap and squeeze in at least one more day at the beach! And my husband keeps reminding me that summer is actually not over until September 21st. Hmmm... I wonder if I could just call in sick until then....Probably not. I guess I better get busy and finish relaxing!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Midsummer God Thoughts

P: Hi God.

G: Hi Peggy.

P: I am having a hard day.

G: I can see that. What can I help you with?

P: Well. I don’t know – that’s the problem. I just can’t seem to get my act together, today. I am not eating well. I have been feeling sad. I feel like I want to accomplish something, but there isn’t anything I want to accomplish. I feel old. I feel tired. I feel like life and particularly my summer is slipping away.

G: Why are you feeling like this?

P: Because I am old and tired and summer is slipping away.

G: Hmmm … I guess that depends on your perspective.

P: Well – you have the ability to be omniscient. You KNOW what’s going to happen. I don’t.

G: I don’t mean that kind of perspective. I mean, how you look at each day. Each moment of each day. I think you are trying to live in the future. And that is impossible – at least for you.

P: I am living in the future?

G: Well.. you say summer is slipping away. Summer just is a group of days on a calendar. Summer is a season. You are seeing it all completed and you’re back at the whirlwind of work. You are seeing a string of events instead of a continuous present.

P: Ugh. I don’t know if I like living in the present.

G: Why not?

P: All the stuff I have to really deal with.

G: Now we are getting somewhere

P: Ok. The air conditioner is broken. We don’t have any money. I am waiting to hear about a medical procedure. I am worried about my granddaughter. I gained 3 pounds on vacation. And I haven’t completed all the projects that I had planned for the summer. And those are just the big things. My shoulder hurts. I have phone calls to return. I am not liking my hair color.

G: So what is really wrong is that you are dissatisfied with things as they are today.

P: I guess so.

G: What if you looked at the things that are working. The good things. Perhaps that could help.

P: Like?

G: Ok. Your bills are paid.

P: Ok.

G: The weather is pleasant outside.. so you aren’t suffering for lack of an air conditioner today.

P: Ok.

G: You have me to talk to.

P: Well, yeah.. ok. Don't get me wrong.. I love you. It's just that you're invisible.

G: I know. That makes it hard for a lot of people. But to continue.
You still have a job.. a lot of people don’t.

P: Yes.

G: A job you like.

P: Yes… Ok. You are right.

G: You still have three weeks left to do whatever you want. For some people that is their entire vacation for a year. And of course most of the people on the planet don't have vacations at all.

P: Sigh. I guess when you put it that way...

G: Why don’t you think of some things?

P: All right. My family is healthy.

G: Good.

P: I am healthy.

G: A wonderful thing.

P: I like my wind chimes. They are very soothing.

G: I like wind chimes too. Wind is a cool thing, isn't it? It's invisible too and yet you can see it's effects. Hmmm....

P: Thats a very profound thought.

G: I try my best.

P: Ok. I also like my cats.

G: Cats are one of my favorite inventions.

P: I like my computer I am using right now.

G: Keep going.

P: Its very quiet and peaceful in the house right now and I like the way the sun filters through my sky light into my living room...But I am feeling sad, God.

G: Because you think time is passing by?

P: Yes. It’s like I was 16 a couple of months ago and 35 yesterday. I turn around and another 25 years flew by. Everyone is 20, 30 years older (and look it). Children have grown up, parents have grown older or passed away. Television is in color now. My life has gone too fast.

G: A lifetime really is just a blip in the continuum of eternity. But eternity is really just the present moment forever.

P: Hmm. What if I don't like my present moment?

G: That would be a problem. Luckily the present goes from moment to moment. And you're present can change... in a moment. It's really up to you.

P: It's up to me?

G: Yes, you get to decide how you spend your moments. You can be miserable, looking at all the awful stuff or you can be joyful. Personally, I prefer joyful. Look for the beautiful, the lovely things. They are everywhere.

P: Joyful, huh?

G: Yep.

P: So I can just decide.

G: Yes, that's pretty much it.

P: All right God. I am going to do it. I am going to decide to be joyful for the rest of the day.

G: Good plan. But just try being joyful right now. And let the rest of the day take care of itself.

P: Thank you God. I love you.

G: I love you too Peggy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ahhh... Summer!

          Ever since I started teaching again five years ago,  I have discovered summer again.  Twenty years prior in my business life,  I worked a 60 hour week with a two week a year vacation.  Oh, we got days off for Christmas and New Years and Thanksgiving but the rest of the year... working. Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer. Every day... five days a week and weekends to catch up on reading etc.        
        So now that I am back in the educational world I get to rediscover summer. And its a big deal. Since I am a bit of a workaholic, summer is a really important time for me.  My family jokes that when I am on vacation they have to work.  That's because I have plans. Big plans. To clean the back room, get the yard under control, clean out closets. But that isn't what summer should be about. So I am doing something a bit different this year.  This year Summer is about dreaming. Summer is about watching clouds. Summer is about literally smelling the roses.  Summer is sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee and watching the sun set. Summer is reading a completely frivolous novel. Summer is easy unconfining clothes and lemonade (sugar free). Summer is listening to my wind chimes and watching for my favorite white butterflies that visit my flowers. Summer is going to the beach and going to the zoo and going to visit my mom. Summer is about what life should always be about. Living. Enjoying family.  Enjoying the surroundings I have worked so hard to have.  Perhaps the real question is -  why do I wait until summer to enjoy all that life has to offer?  I believe sunsets happen EVERY day. And here in California flowers bloom pretty much year round.  In my neck of the woods there is a Starbucks on every corner and plenty of books to read.  And do I really have to wear stupid uncomfortable clothes to work?

          I remember my summers as a little girl. My parents both were college teachers so we got the long summers off. And it was off to my grandmother's house in Texas.  We would stay for a month.  A month of swimming and ice cream sandwiches. A month of playing out in her huge back yard while the adults sat in lawn chairs talking into early evening.   We sat in the porch swing in the morning and took naps in the afternoon. We ate barbecue, green beans, gumbo.  And we went to the library and checked out lots of books. It was a time when we weren't all so glued to our computers and TV's.

Lately, we have stopped watching so much television in our house.  And I have discovered music again and the outdoors.  Summer does that.  It gets us back in touch with a different time. And I want to relish every moment.  My newest dream is to live summer all year long.  It is a dream. But I am working on it! What were your summer memories. What will your memories be this year?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

God Thoughts: Waiting

In an earlier post I talked about my “talks” with God.   Here is another one I had just a couple of days ago.

P: Hey God.
G: Yeah.
P: You know that big dream I have?
G: Yeah.
P: Well I am having a hard time waiting for it.
G: Uh hmm…
P: Well, you know - it’s going to take such a long time and…
G: Why do you think it’s going to take a long time?
P: Well, it’s just so big.
G: So?
P: So, I mean a lot of things have to happen.  Money things, house things, people things.
G: And?
P: Well those things don’t just happen overnight.
G: Why do you think that?
P: Because that is reality.
G: Whose reality?
P: My… reality.
G: Exactly.
P: So what do you mean?
G: I mean you always live in YOUR reality.  Which is well, very limited.  So of course you think things are going to happen slowly.
P: Are you saying I shouldn’t be realistic?
G: What is realistic? If you mean by REAListic - - your temporal world,  then it is important for you to behave according to the natural laws of the universe. But you have to leave room for ME to move.  If you don’t want me to move – or don’t expect it – why should I surprise you?  I really do try to give you mostly what you want. On the other hand if you have some expectancy… I might surpass your expectations.
P: You mean you could make things happen faster?
G: Sure, if you will let me.
P: How do I do that?
G: You have to have that….little thing called FAITH.
P: Ugh. That again.
G: Well, you have enough faith to be talking to me right now.
P: Yeah, but this could be my imagination.
G: True.  But it COULD be ME.
P: True….
G: Why not pick door number 2? What difference would it make?
P: Well, if you are just my overactive imagination then I will be disappointed.
G: And if I am not your imagination?
P: Well, then I guess maybe, big things could happen.
G: And even if huge things didn’t happen instantly, and if you kept believing and you saw something really occur – what then?
P: Well… it might mean you were more than my imagination.
G: Have I kept my word in the past when I said I would do something?
P: Well, yes, mostly.   Ok. Yes.
G: Have there been things that have happened in your life that you prayed to me about and when they happened it seemed either really coincidental or maybe even actually miraculous?  Yes or no?
P: Yes.
G: One thing, a couple of things?
P: Lots of things.
G:  Not bad for your “imagination”.
P: Ok. You are right.
G: Hmmm.  Seems like there is no downside to a healthy dose of faith.
P: What about the disappointment thing?
G: Well, you’ll just have to wait and see.
P: So we get back to the waiting thing.
G: Has it occurred to you that your dream has already happened?
P: Uh, no.
G: Or is in the process of happening. That what you are living right now IS part of the dream.  The delicious anticipation. The planning. The imagining.  That is a good part of every dream.  I sometimes think the best part. Once you actually have something in the temporal world it is never as wonderful as in the imagined world.
P: Yeah. Why is that?
G: A man’s reach should exceed his grasp. Or what’s heaven for?
P: You didn’t write that.
G: Sure I did. Where do you think ideas come from?
P: Oh. Yeah.  But my dream…
G: It’s happening. Right now.  Can’t you feel it?
P: I don’t know…..  I mean it’s not right here right now. But I can feel how it would feel sometimes when I close my eyes and think about it.
G: Good. Keep doing that. It’s a powerful thing to do.
P; How is it a powerful thing to do?
G: It connects you to Me. And I am connected to EVERYTHING.  When you are connected things work better. Move faster.
P: So while I am waiting … I should….
G: Connect to ME.  And enjoy the whole journey.  Look at the scenery.  Feel the feelings. Make plans.  But leave some room for surprises.  In fact, expect to be surprised.
P: I am not sure I like surprises.
G: Oh, of course you do.  Especially when they are blessings.  Little gifts. Little hints and nudges.
P: I do like those.
G: Look for them.  Open your eyes AND your heart.
P: Ok, Lord.  I love these talks with you.
G: Not nearly as much as I love talking to you. Let’s talk again soon, ok?
P: Ok.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thoughts on Commencement

          This past Saturday I was at my university's commencement ceremony.  As always it was an inspiring and moving program -- even though as faculty, I had to sit in full cap and gown regalia in the blazing sun for two hours.  However, despite the heat, it was still an important and significant time.  As I watched the young men and women excitedly rush up on the stage to get their diplomas I found myself remembering my commencements of a few decades ago...  High school!  Our graduation was held at the large tabernacle in the center of our small town of Logan, Utah.  I don't remember anything anyone said. What I do remember is feeling like I couldn't WAIT to get out of this small town and do something HUGE with my life.  That wasn't to be for four more years, however.  I went to college in the same little town.  But I do remember talking late into the night with some of my friends after my high school graduation. We  tried to guess where we would all be in ten years.  We couldn't imagine 40 years in the future.  Everyone thought I would never marry and be some powerful business woman.  Oddly,  I was married about a year later. Proof that you really don't have a clue what is going to happen when you are seventeen or eighteen.
        My college graduation was more exciting. It really was the end of school.  The ceremony, was outside and we were very hot in our caps and gowns... Some things really don't change!  Anyway, I was so hot that I somehow managed to slide off the jacket to my dress under the gown and slither it  out through the sleeve.  I am sure if anyone was watching they may have thought I had removed my entire dress.  But it was just the jacket.  I was so intent on getting cooler that I again, didn't remember any of the uplifting advice the speakers gave us.
         Maybe graduation ceremonies aren't really for the graduates.  They are too busy thinking about their after parties.  Maybe graduations are for the rest of us--to help us mark the time that has past.   I wonder how many of our graduates on Saturday remember what was actually said.  Or how many will remember it 40 year from now.  When we are right in the middle of the experience - I think we are already ten years down the road, thinking about the future. And consequently,  missing the moment.  That very special, specific moment when we truly turn a corner. We have completed something.  We are "commencing" into our new lives. Whatever that looks or feels like.
        It's probably a good thing we really can't tell the future.  Oh, I think we can guess at what might happen. But my life didn't do anything the way I thought it would.  If I had known then what I know now... I would have tried to dodge some of the heartache. Some of the failed relationships. Some of the bad choices in food, haircuts, jobs.  But if I had avoided those things, I wouldn't have my children today or my wonderful granddaughter!  We have to experience both sides of the equation. Bad stuff and good stuff. Stupid actions and brilliant ideas.
        As I watched the breathless young people float by heading for their moment when their name is spoken, I felt a certain wistfulness for their optimism. Their shining innocence.  It occurs to me that what makes us old is when we lose that optimism.  When we have been knocked down so many times we don't even want to try any more.  The young don't know this and they run headlong into walls and off cliffs. But they do try. And some will make it just because they tried.  When we get so old that we stop believing in our dreams, we stop trying. And if we don't try ... we certainly won't be knocked down. But then we won't achieve anything either. 
       It's not that I want to be young again (well maybe fewer wrinkles...) No, I don't want to go through all THAT again.  But it is important to remember that life is always ongoing.  It is always new every day.  I really don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. I really don't know if I can or can't achieve some dream.  Just because things didn't work out 20 years ago or ten years ago,  or five days ago, doesn't mean that is what is true at this moment, today.  What is true is that this is a brand new day.  At then end of every day we graduate to another day.  And so it goes until we one day take a final step into a REALLY BIG AND DIFFERENT REALITY.  But until that happens (and I am in no hurry), I need to feel that breathless anticipation of a each new day.  I need to stand up and walk straight and excitedly into tomorrow.  The party awaits.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

God Things: Talking to God

I talk to God.  Its not like I actually hear a voice. I just talk to God in my mind. All the time. Sort of a stream of consciousness thing.  I actually get some of my best insights when I have these conversations. If you are reading this, if there is something that resonates with you - great! If not, then just consider this a flight of fancy of an overly imaginative woman.  The truth is - I get a lot out of these conversations.  So literally the other day while I was talking to Him, he suggested that I write some of these down and share them.  The conversation went like this:

God: Why don't you share our little talks?
Me: Because everyone will think I am insane.
God: So?
Me: So? Why should anyone care what you and I talk about?
God: Because they talk to me too, sometimes. And I want them to know its o.k.
Me: So I get to risk seeming completely bonkers to everyone on Facebook so that they will feel good about talking to you?
God: Sure. What difference does it make what they might think?  Plenty of people already know you are bonkers.
Me: Thanks God.
God: I'm just sayin...
Me: Well - how do I know you are really talking to me and this isn't my imagination.
God: You don't know. But you have to have faith.
Me: What if I get the wrong message and transmit it?
God: It could happen.  People don't always hear me clearly.
Me: Well.. I don't want to send the wrong message.
God: And that's why I think you can do this.
Me: Well, why don't you just talk to everyone personally.
God: I do. All the time. Some listen. Many don't. But you do. I like that.
Me: Ok.  So, is there anything you want people to know?
God: Yes. That I love you! With a huge love. And that there are going to be some really difficult times ahead, but turn to me.  Listen to me. Trust me and it will be ok.  I really want to bless you all.  I am here all the time waiting for you.
Me: That scares me when you talk about difficult times....
God: I know it does.  It's not meant to scare you.  When people pretty much forget about doing what is right, tough things can happen.
Me: Well, couldn't you stop those bad things?
God: Yes, I could. But you all have free will and have to learn to do the right thing.  It's like a baby learning to walk.  He has to fall down to learn how to get back up.  What people don't know is that I actually prevent a lot of things from happening.  I extend my Grace many times.  You all have no idea how sad it makes me to see people suffer. You are all my children.
Me: But you let it happen anyway?
God: Yes.  Sometimes.  There are reasons things happen the way they do.  As humans you can't see the big picture.
Me: Ok.  I don't want to suffer. I don't want bad things to happen.
God: I know you don't.  But I am with you always.
Me: I thought this would be a much more fun conversation.
God: Let's talk about your dreams.
Me: Can we?
God: Sure.
Me: How do I know if my dreams are what you would have me do?
God: If they are good and beautiful and lovely. I am all for them.
Me: What if they are difficult or even impossible.
God: Well, nothing is impossible with me... If you know in your heart that your dream is something good, something that could be helpful to your family, your community, your world.  It's a good dream.
If it is something that is illegal, immoral... well obviously that's not a dream from me.
Me: Well, what if I want a car or a diamond bracelet?
God: Depends upon your purpose for these things.  If a car will help you better serve your family or do your job better, why not?  A diamond bracelet is really more of a gift isn't it? Perhaps what you really want is something that illustrates love to you. There is nothing wrong with any beautiful object as long as you can afford it and it doesn't cause undue suffering somewhere.  But dreams are bigger than cars and bracelets. Dreams are about how you want to live your life. The kind of impact you want to have.  The way you want to be able to serve your community, your family.  Dreams are about how to use your very special gifts to express my love to the world.  Thats what dreams are about.  Money, cars, bracelets etc. are things that come and go. They are icing. Dreams are the cake.   Dreams are about doing that thing, or going to that place that is in your heart.
Me: I like that. I like to dream.
God: I know. I like that about you.
Me: I am going to go now, God. I want to think about my dream some more.
God: Good.. I will be right here with you. Come back anytime.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Finding My Way

It seems that one week I will have figured out the very essence of life and then the next week - I can't remember why I am doing what I am doing.  Maybe that's why I like writing. It helps me keep track of all these random ups and downs, brilliant ideas, and boring thoughts.  Later when I look back at what I have written, I am sometimes amazed at some of my insights. Like I didn't have them at all. Someone else did and I just typed.  And then other times I am horrified at how mundane it all seems.  But perhaps that is how life is.  Moments of clarity followed by longer moments of fog. I heard someone compare people to the twinkle lights on Christmas trees.  Basically blinking on and off at random times. Aware one moment and lost in a dream world the next. Its amazing any of us get anything done. Its equally amazing we are capable of communicating at all.  My three year old granddaughter is the personification of my thought process.  She will come up to me and say, "Read this book! Oh look at the cat! Tigers are orange. My knee hurts." Hard to know exactly what to do with that little three year young conversation. I might try to read the book to her but her knee hurting was what was really going on.  Its sort of trial and error with little kids.  And with me too.  I think I want one thing, but in reality something else is really bothering me and I don't want to deal with it.  If I have a sudden urge for chocolate, for example, it probably means I am upset about something, or about to have a feeling.   But frankly, I'd rather have chocolate than a feeling.  It's just hard to do all this deciphering.  It's like a code. chocolate = sadness. Boredom = fear.  Maybe. Or maybe it just means I am actually bored, or hungry.  I am still trying to figure it all out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back to the Real World

I had a lovely week living in a fantasy world about my Big Dream. I did some research, bought some books, talked to some people, made some lists. I pretended and imagined.  I dressed the part and spoke positively.  But my research turned up some real concerns. My dream started fading, or at least shifting, changing.  And then I looked at my checkbook. And the stack of bills,  the laundry,  the papers to grade, the plumbing that needs to be fixed, the car that needs brakes.  And I had to wake up.  Or deal.  Or just lie down with a rag on my forehead.  Dreams are so exciting. They are so pretty. Shiny. Perfect. And then there is the real world. In reality things are shiny only if you shine them.  Pretty occurs when you work at it.  Perfection... probably doesn't really exist at all.  Because life isn't perfect.  Life just -- is.  Heaven will be perfect but until that happens.. and frankly, I am not in a hurry,  life will be what it is.  So what does that mean to us dreamers?  I don't know.  I know that all the art and great achievements of this world would not have occurred if someone hadn't dreamed about it.  Light bulbs, air conditioning, computers ... all came from someone dreaming up a better way to do something.  If it weren't for dreamers we would all still be collecting rocks and living in caves, and trying to stay one step ahead of saber toothed tigers.  Dreams and Faith. We have to first imagine it and then have faith that it can happen.  And then there is that leaving the results up to God part.  Even when it looks impossible.  Even if we have to adjust to what it is until we can find the courage or resources or opportunity to move toward where we would like to be.  There are time when I really wish God would let me in on what He has planned for me.  There are times like today when I feel like I thought I had seen a glimmer of light only to lose it. Which basically leaves me groping around in the dark.  Maybe it is times like this when I just need to sit back, rest and wait.  Wait for the next little spec of light.  For the next little piece of the puzzle.  Waiting. Not my favorite thing to do.  But I have done everything else I could think of to do. So that is what's left.  But while I wait I can do whatever is in front of me to be done.  And I can continue to dream.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Big Dream

Every now and then I get a BIG DREAM.  I am not sure where it comes from. I would like to think from God. But when that big dream or big idea happens it always means BIG CHANGES are coming. And that isn't always comfortable.  Last week the sermon in church was do dream the impossible.  So I started thinking about what that might look like and I was surprised. It has been quite a while since I had a big dream.  In fact every time I have one of these "dream" ideas - they come true.  Not immediately of course.  But I know when the dream presents itself, that I am in for a major roller coaster experience.

About 23 years ago my life was in tatters.  I was a divorced, bankrupt, single mom with no money, a house that was falling down around my ears and no idea what was next. And it was in the midst of this lowest point of my life that I hatched a dream to come to Hollywood! A big dream with no logical way of realizing it.  But a year later I had somehow sold my, house, moved and had a job in Los Angeles.  3 years later I was a literary agent and soon had the big office, big salary and V.P. title.  A lot can happen with a big dream.  Then 9 years ago that dream changed.  I had a profound spiritual experience.  I had always believed in God and certainly had plenty of miraculous experiences that seemed to verify my faith, but it was then that I came to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  As strange and as maybe cliche as it sounds, I truly was reborn spiritually.  And my course in life changed again.  It took a couple of years but through completely bizarre, wonderful and God-led circumstances I started teaching at a wonderful university and working with talented and inspiring writers and film makers.

And now a new dream is percolating.  I am not able to completely give voice to it yet because it is still in its seedling (maybe seed) stage. So I am not sure what it will look like - just yet.  But it feels big, and impossible and exhilarating.  Which is why I think God is involved.

I just don't know how it all fits together yet.  But maybe that is the excitement of new dreams.  Like a roller coaster we don't know for sure where all the twists and turns and ups and downs are, which is what makes it fun.... or terrifying.  Do you have a big dream?  You know that crazy dream that when you drop off to sleep at night you think about but immediately dismiss it because it just seems too - unlikely.  I don't mean that random daydream that just flits through. I mean that sort of nagging idea that comes back again and again.  For days, months, years.  That just may be God trying to get your attention.  That may be God calling you. Whispering to you.  Telling you to get outside your self and to see you as He sees you - beloved.  God wants the very best for us.  In Jeremiah 29:11 Hes says, "For I know the plans I have for you. For good and not for evil.  To give you hope and a future."
Are you dreaming the impossible? Why not?
Because with God all things are possible.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The I-Wants

I have the "I Wants."  You know.  I want a vacation.  I want diamond jewelry.  I want a cleaner house.  A trip to Hawaii.  A fabulous Easter dress. Strangely, my "I Wants"  always show up when I-don't-have.   Like today. Right now. I don't have the money for the diamond jewelry, vacation and Hawaii beach house.  I really need to spend my money on other things than new dresses and bracelets and trips.  Things like - brakes on two different cars, income taxes and property taxes. Really boring things.  Things that aren't sparkly or fun. Those kind of things. I don't like those things.  They may be necessary to my daily existence. But I still don't like them.  Sometimes I wish I were more irresponsible.  One of those people who just packs their stuff in a back pack and takes off for adventures across Europe.  Or one of those free spirits who seems to always have whatever they need including jet-setting friends that give them free rides to the Cayman's.  And they just pack their bikini and go.  (They also look really great in a bikini, too.)

The truth is I have NEVER been one of those people.  But today ... for just a few minutes I want to be like them. That's the problem with the I Wants. They make me unsatisfied with what I have.  And actually what I have is still pretty great.  I mean, I do have some nice jewelry and I have been to Hawaii a few times. And I do live in Southern California where the weather happens to be fantastic today and last I checked, there is an ocean - a really nice looking ocean less than an hour away from my house. And I do have cars to drive... even if they do need brakes. And I have my health and my family is healthy. We are also still paying our bills.  A big deal in this economy.  So I guess maybe I need to refocus from my Wants to my Haves.  Sigh.  I don't want to.  I want to complain instead.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Balancing Act

A while back I was talking to a friend and told her I felt like I was one of those people in the circus who stands on a see saw and balances plates on poles and keeps all of them spinning. They start with one plate, then add two and soon they are balancing on one leg and spinning plates on both hands, the top of their head, and even on their nose. It feels like a perfect metaphor for my life.

My friend asked me why I didn't just let some of those plates drop.  A good question. But which plates do I let drop? Would it be the mother plate? The teacher plate? The wife plate? The friend plate?  The graduate student plate? And of course my real fear is if one of these plates drop then they are all going to start dropping!   Just writing about this makes me tired.  But it also reminds me that when I believe that I am the only one spinning the plates then eventually they are all going to drop. 

The problem with this viewpoint is that it puts me square in the center of the universe.  And I'm not. God is. When God is in the center of the universe (As He always is and should be) then He gets to spin the plates and I can step off the the balance beam. In truth the only thing I really need to keep in balance is my relationship with God.  And if you really think about it - God is so big and I am so little that there is no way to stay in balance with God except to allign myself with His will and let Him do the balancing act.   So how do I do this?  I start by letting go.  I let everyone in my life live their lives in the best way they can.  I let God direct my steps.  I pray and ask for guidance when I need it and then I let God take the rest. I stop worrying. Fretting. Spinning.  I trust.  I trust that God will give me the strength, knowledge, time or whatever else I need when I need it, and then I try to enjoy each day, each moment as it come.  Sounds simple but it's not so easy for a veteran plate spinner like me.  Oddly, I was never very good at spinning plates. Actually not good at all.  I would have never made it to Barnum and Bailey.  So, today or at least for the next few minutes I am going to let the Master do this work for me.   He is actually pretty good at it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Harvesting the Fruit of the Spirit!

As life has gotten more hectic I find I need all the help I can get. Often I find that help on my book shelf. One of my favorite books is A Woman's Walk With God by Elizabeth George. The book reminds me of how I need to be showing the "fruit of the spirit" in my daily life.  But the book doesn't leave me there. Its is a wonderful guide in HOW to do that. I recently wrote a review on George's book on HubPages. If you are finding yourself looking for some spiritual guidance based on Biblical principals, check it out!
A Must Read for Christian Women!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Living in Reality

I am trying to be honest these days. Not that I was ever really dishonest.. I guess what I really mean is I am trying to honestly look at everything.  How I feel, what needs to be done, what makes me happy, what makes me unhappy. Now I know that some people are always in touch with their feelings etc.  For me, I tend to feel things about three days later.  Something bad can happen and I seem to cope fabulously initially and then collapse later.   Like three days later. Or maybe later than that. This can be an annoying problem because sometimes when I am feeling down, or depressed or fearful - its about something that happened three days ago. And I can't always remember what happened three days ago.  So today I am trying to live in reality. Today's reality.  Feeling all my feelings today.  Accepting whatever is going on as it really is... today.  I am not completely sure I like this.  It's easier to accept yesterday because it has already happened and what can you do about it?  I mean if I have to accept today on its own terms I might have to be honest about my feelings in the present moment.  Oddly, nothing bad is going on today... but I have that "waiting for the other shoe to drop" kind of feeling.  In fact I am not aware of any shoes that have dropped.  A shoe might have dropped three days ago. But I can't remember. So why am I feeling this way?  This is the kind of trouble I get into when I attempt to live in a present moment.  If I can wait three days, it gives me perspective on whatever was going on and I can decide how I should feel then... Hmmm. I don't know how I feel about that.
I guess I will find out in a couple of days.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Its the litte stuff that drives me Crazy!

I don't know about the rest of you but does it seem like when something breaks down, everything breaks down? We are beset currently with car problems and internet modem problems. Meaning we can't get anywhere in either the real or virtual worlds.  All our cars have oil issues. I just replaced a computer several weeks ago only to have my home modem's cord get chewed through by my cat. And of course, after visiting various AT&T stores, come to find out that the modem is old and there is no replacement for the cord. So now 100 bucks later a NEW modem will be coming my way... eventually. For some reason I can deal, with earthquakes, mud slides and death easier than I can with this stuff. It is maddening. Maddening because it is so small and yet affects everything I do.  I work a lot from home so I have to have a working internet connection. Obviously a car is critical if I ever want to leave my house. So here I am, limping along on some default connection that is probably my neighbor's and hoping my car doesn't burn up because of loss of oil. 
Still when I put all of this into perspective... say Haiti - I really am still ok. Crazy maybe, but ok nevertheless.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hollywood Networking Mistakes: Ten No No's

In my experience of working in the film industry, there are as many things you should try NOT to do as there are things to do. In my previous article on Schmoozing I talked about ways to increase your success at networking in Hollywood. In this article I address some of the major actions that will hurt your chances of being asked back to parties, meetings and screenings. The reason I have created this list is that I have been guilty of many of these mistakes at some point in my career. I just want to help others avoid the embarrassment! Enjoy!

Hollywood Networking Mistakes: Ten No No's

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Some days the little things get to me.  For example, the cat chewed through the cord to my DSL line and now I have to go get another one.  We are out of cat food and one of our cats has a medical condition requiring special cat food and no one has time to go get it.  Dishes need washing. I have a doctor's appointment,  there are bills to be paid, books to be returned,  class prep to do.  I haven't even scratched the surface of it all.  And even as I write it down here, it doesn't seem like such an insurmountable mountatin. In my mind it is Mount Everest.  As I look ahead to my week, I see more chores, more tasks, more problems to be solved. How can I possibly do it all.  This is where God comes in. I can't do it. But God can.  I don't know why it is, but when I take time for God I have enough time to do what I need to do.  I talked about turning it over yesterday. This is another one of those days that I need to turn over. 
One thing God tells me to do - is to just focus on whatever is in front of me right now.  To live in the present moment and not get caught up in what I should've done yesterday and what huge thing awaits me tomorrow. I am just to do what is in front of me today.  I know this. I have read this. I have been told this many times.  But the truth is I have to relearn this EVERY day. Every day I have to slow down and just do what is in front of me and let the rest take care of itself in time.  I wish I could say that I do this perfectly.  I don't. Which is why I am writing about it.  And why I will probably write about it some more.  If someone out there has a way of living, or getting things done that they want to share with me.. PLEASE DO.  Or if you are in the same boat... let me know. Misery loves company.  Not that I am miserable... just struggling to learn how to live each day for itself!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Turning It Over Again

A while back someone gave me a rock that had the words "Turn it over" painted on one side. When you turned the rock over again you saw the words "Turn it over" on the other side.  Hence no matter which way you turn the rock it says, "Turn it over."  A really powerful statement actually. No matter what, turn it over - to God.  Everything. Every time.  We look for answers everywhere. The next diet, the better workout,  another class,  Oprah, the next door neighbor, Dr. Phil. And on it goes. Who can give us the answer? Turn it over.  Its hard to do at times. Turn over a problem to an unseen entity.  Sit quietly and really listen for advice. Especially if we are stressed or in a hurry or want an answer RIGHT NOW.
Turn it over.  I know that often God is the last place I go when I am trying to solve stuff.  Sort of, "I could have had V8!"  But instead its, "I could have turned this over to God!"  God is so patient.  He waits for us to finish running around, bumping into walls. When we are tired enough, we go to Him. Surrender. Today. Every day. But today is enough. Just today. I am turning it over.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Learn How to Network more effectively!

While teaching my Entertainment Business class this week it occurred to me that perhaps there are others out there that could use some advice on networking.  Whether you are trying to get into Hollywood or just find a new job, it is important to get out of the house and shake some hands. So I wrote and article for HubPages about Schmoozing (the Hollywood term for networking).
If you want to take a look, click here.

Friday, February 5, 2010

You are not too old for Facebook!

Facebook for Boomers

Since I am teaching a class about mass media this semester, I started thinking about how many people in my generation are still not connected on Facebook. Back in the early dawn of the internet.. oh 10, 15 years ago, I remember being irritated when I couldn't find a website for a company I was interested in. Or when someone I knew didn't have email. It just seemed so prehistoric. Well now, it's that way with Facebook. Everyone needs to be on Facebook. For me. So I decided to write an article for HubPages about it. Take a look!  Click here or on the link in the title!

A great book for midwinter blues!

I recently wrote an article on HubPages on one of my favorite books In My Father's Vineyard. Sometimes it seems, even here in southern California that Spring will never come and we will forever be slogging through muddy streets and rain soaked parking lots. But Wayne Jacobsen's book helps  put all the seasons into perspective as he writes about growing up around vineyards and comparing his life lessons to the wonderful lesson Jesus teaches the apostles the night before his death.  A beautiful message of hope and renewal! It might be just the book to curl up with on a rainy evening!

Blogging for fun and profit!! Business2Blogger

As I have been working on developing this blog I have been amazed at the seemingly endless opportunities that exist to help those who want to do a little extra writing for a living. In this new world of social networking,  having an opinion can equal making money by talking about the stuff you love, hate, places you have been etc.  One interesting opportunity I have come across is the website which helps put together writers and businesses that need someone to write about their stuff. Word of the mouth is king these days on the internet and apparently there are tons of opportunities to share your opinion for cash! The only problem is... finding the companies that need your services. That is what Blogger2Business has done - quite ingeniously I might add! Give it a try for yourself and see what you think!! Let me know too!

Getting back in the flow of things

I had a lovely long winter break from teaching but started back this past week. Now I have stacks of stuff to read, emails to answer, papers to write, classes to plan. And there is this side of me that just wants to lie down and put a rag on my forehead.  And another side of me that actually likes all this activity! Balance.  Moderation. Not words that I embrace much. But so important. I guess one way to get more balance and moderation in my life is to try to focus only on what is in front of me. Instead of thinking about a million things at a time. Women are known for their ability to multi-task.. and I am the queen of multitasking! But the curse of that ability is that I feel like I am always in a whirlwind. And frankly its exhausting. So I am trying something new.... just for today. I am going to try to do ONE THING AT A TIME.  Scary. But for me - I need to do this for my sanity and for my family's sanity. We will see if it works.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mac'n Around

I finally succumbed to the pressure from all my students and colleagues at school and am now the proud owner of a new MacBook Pro!  Mind you, the real reason was the constant problems with viruses that I was having with my beloved PC.  So now here I am typing away on my new machine. Wow. Why did I wait so long? I had this fear that there would be some huge learning curve and I would constantly be battling new everything. Not a good prospect to start the spring semester with!  But in less than ten minutes I was up and running. I watched a couple of tutorials on the Mac site. Voila. It really is a terrific piece of technology. Very intuitive. Very reasonable.  In many ways sadly far superior to the PC... My iPhone synced up immediately. All my Google stuff adjusted perfectly.  What took me a week to set up this summer took less than an hour Friday.  Just an interesting example of how fear can keep us from doing things that might really be good for us!  I was afraid it would be hard, that all my docs would be messed up, that I couldn't figure it out quickly. And the truth is all that was NOT the case.  There are still a few things to learn, but it really is a joy to use 21st Century technology!
The Photo Booth app is also a big hit with my granddaughter!  Just another plus!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Turning it over to God

As my lengthy winter break from school is hurtling toward its conclusion, I feel a sense of panic of all those things I haven't finished, or need to do or should have done. There are still books and scripts sitting on my desk, yet to be read. I have stacks of papers and preparation for the new semester beckoning me. I need to have my entire life organized and perfected by next Monday. I don't think I am going to get it all done. Which is why I have to keep learning to turn all this stuff over to God. Turn it over. All of it.  What does that really mean - to turn something over to God. For me it means I prayerfully let God know all the stuff that is on my mind and then ask Him to guide me as to what and how to do whatever He thinks I should do.  And then I relax. That doesn't mean I don't do anything. It just means I let go of the need to control how everything turns out.  It frees me. I am not in control. God is. For people who don't believe in a God or a Higher Power this may seem random and odd. But amazingly it works.  It's difficult at first to live like this.  And I forget all the time to turn things over. But when I remember to my life suddenly smooths out. There seems to be enough time to do whatever needs to be done. And if something doesn't get done.. it's ok. So I am turning today over to God. Ok. I am turning the next 5 minutes over to God. And then the 5 minutes after that....

Friday, January 22, 2010


With all the rain we are having here, it is getting difficult to get anything done without getting wet. Today, after avoiding the rain for three days, we had to venture out to get groceries, run errands and everything else needed to exist in normal life.  The sun broke through the clouds about mid morning and we raced out in the break between storms. Of course,  a couple of hours later,  by the moment we had to load groceries, the rain came down in torrents. Sigh. Ok. A little water never hurt anyone. And now back home for lunch and more writing and prep for school starting. The good thing about all this rain is that it forces me to stay inside and do those things that I have been avoiding. Of course my granddaughter loves the rain. The moment she got out of the car she found the biggest puddle she could and immediately jumped in it. Thrilled with the splash and the water flying everywhere. Especially on grandma. But it reminded me that it's all about your view point, isn't it? Sort of embracing what is real. Instead of avoiding it. A nice lesson to learn from a three year old!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What would be my dream gift?

You Say Too is offering a reward of $1000 dream gift award to the blogger who has the best story.  Even though I am a very new member of You Say Too,  I feel  compelled to try to make a case for why I should win this gift. My particular dream gift would be two tickets (coach) to Hawaii and a four night stay in a modest hotel on Waikiki Beach. I know there a travel packages in this range and it would be a dream come true for my husband and me. We got married in Hawaii 10 years ago and very much wanted to get back there for our 10th anniversary. But the economy crashed and our hard earned dollars have had to go for paying bills instead of a fun vacation. As a full time teacher who also takes care of my disabled daughter and granddaughter, I really need this vacation! If I win, I promise to send pictures and blog every day from lovely Honolulu!

However, if I shouldn't be chosen my favorite fun gift is the lava lamp key chain. It will be a lovely reminder of my retro roots!

So far I have enjoyed the articles and blogs on You Say Too and I will enjoy reading them even more while sipping a pina colada beachside!!!  Aloha and Mahalo!

A Gentle Review of The Shack

How My Anger at God Lead Me to The Shack

This is my latest article at HubPages. While I know this book is controversial for some, for me it was a gentle allegory about God's love. If you have read this book, tell me what you thought of it!

Cabin Fever

Three straight days of rain. And I have been fooling with my computer, writing articles, and eating Atkins bars. Pretty sad. I have a million things to do and no willpower to do them.  School is starting in another week and I have lots of preparation for that. I still have all those projects that I was sure I was going to get around to, still undone.  I know that in another week my life will return to its usual hectic wild ride! And while I like lots of activity, I also sort of dread the increased stress.  I wonder sometimes how the rest of the world motivates themselves on dark dreary days. I guess maybe its a day for a nap. And another Atkins bar. Maybe a good book.

Maybe my problem is that I fight days like these. I want what I want when I want it. It reminds me that I am not much different than my three year old grandchild. The truth is today I don't know what I want. I mean other than world peace, an end to the financial mess and a thirty pound weight loss. I would take all of those things. Right now. But all of those things require time. Something that I have a lot of  today. Perhaps I should be grateful for it while I have it. And so my life goes on.  And so does the rain.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Diet or Bariatric Surgery: How I made my decision

Diet or Bariatric Surgery: How I made my decision

Many of you are familiar with my weight loss journey. But I have recently written several articles at about my experiences. If you are interested please click on the link above!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tips for Negotiating a Deal

Ten Negotiating Strategies

If you have ever worried about negotiating your next raise, the sale of your car, house or anything else, this article could give you some helpful tips.

As an agent and manager I have spoken many times on this subject and even teach about this in my classes. Enjoy!

Do It Anyway!!

I always liked the Nike "Just Do It" campaign. It sort of spoke to a whole generation about seizing the moment and doing what you want or need to do.  My slogan for the day is Do it anyway!.  For me, its not always easy to just do it! I have excuses. I'm too tired to work out. Its raining and the roads are slick. I have so much else to do. I have to eat ice cream - it relaxes me. I don't want to clean the kitchen/livingroom/bedroom - it will take too much time. My head is very good at convincing me to "just do" anything other than what I need to do.  So for me, I need to do it anyway. After arguing with myself for a good half hour this morning I  finally put on my tennis shoes and drove through a light sprinkling of rain and worked out. Not wanting to every step of the way. And of course once I got there and worked out - I felt better. I probably spent more energy complaining, dragging my feet, coming up with excuses than I did working out. However, that kind of energy expenditure doesn't show up on my body. Just on my stress level. I wish I didn't have this inner couch potato. It cries out to me. Nap! Watch TV! Eat! Play Farmville! All very tempting. And on a rainy, dark day like this one, very seductive. But there is that list of  things I don't want to do today - pay bills, do my budget, mop the floor. Don't want to do ANY of them. Not at all. But it must be done. Sigh. I guess I'll just have to do it anyway!!  Maybe. What don't you want to do today?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Steps to becoming an Agent in Hollywood

Steps to becoming an Agent in Hollywood

A new article!

How to Create a Visual Treasure Map for Fun and Inspiration

How to Create a Visual Treasure Map for Fun and Inspiration 

A new article I have written for HubPages!


Its raining in Southern California today.  Now the rest of the country has rain on a regular basis so this is no big deal to them. But it NEVER rains in "sunny Southern California." Which means it throws the entire Los Angeles area into total chaos. Drivers panic and get into accidents because they have never seen large drops of water coming from the sky. People hunker down in their homes - praying it will somehow stop. Whenever rain is predicted on our weather channel it is always given the name STORM WATCH 2010. Like it's the beginning of the end.
I used to live in Florida. It rains there all the time. In the summer - every day.  We planned on it. Planned our day around it. Got out of the pool at 2:30. Did our grocery shopping before 3:00. If it started raining, we got out the umbrella. Drove more carefully.
In Seattle, I hear it rains constantly. In fact when we went up there for my brother's wedding I remember their weather channel predicting a "sun break." Like that was an unusual event.
But here in Los Angeles rain is rare, scary, weird. No one knows what to wear. Or where they left their umbrella. What happens if their designer shoes GET WET?? In all honesty, we do have some concerns when it rains, particularly if you life in an area ravaged by fire. But everyone else? Calm down. Rain is good for the water table, the grass, the trees. And there is a beauty to the glistening streets and the sound of the drops on the roof.  Don't worry it will all be over soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blessings and Prayers

It's Sunday and a good day to look back at the week and think about all the things that blessed me.  The following is a very incomplete  list in no particular order.

My beautiful granddaughter Jillian!
Getting my budget balanced.
Having enough money to pay my bills.
My beautiful Vera Bradley bag from daughter Chris
The lovely cross my daughter Anna gave me for my Birthday
Learning how to Blog
My friends
My family
My dear husband
My beautiful and comfortable home
My church

Today is also a good day to pray:

For the people in Haiti - the grieving, the survivors, the sick,  the hurting.
For the safety and protection of the people trying to help them
For resources to be made available to help them
For my family and extended family- my husband, my daughters, granddaughter,my mother, sister, brother and all their families and loved ones. For my husband's family.
For my friends - for their health and happiness
For my students
For our country as it works its way through this financial mess

What has blessed your this week?  Who or what are you praying for?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday Reflections

As I sit here on my comfortable couch typing away at my blog, I am feeling an overwhelming sense of thankfulness for everything I have. My granddaughter Jillian is having lunch of a peanut butter sandwich and glass of milk. The weather is lovely outside here in January in Southern California. And its Saturday. Sort of the day to kick back. Quite a a contrast to the horrors that are going on in Haiti where death is piled into trucks to be buried in mass graves. Where there is no clean water, food or even safe shelter. Where people are becoming more desperate by the minute. My biggest worries are about my 401K and whether to save money by cutting back my cable to just the basic digital pack. Shocking isn't it? At what we take for granted. Things like our arms and legs, a bed to sleep in, food to eat. Haiti reminds us that in a few seconds everything in our world could change dramatically. It reminds us that life is fragile. It reminds me to be grateful for the life I have. It reminds me to hold those I love a little closer. What are your thankful for today?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thoughts on Haiti

Its hard to look at the terrible devastation in Haiti  and not feel a sense of sorrow mixed with fear. As I watch people grieving their unimaginable losses I find myself struggling with how I would feel in their situation. Living in Los Angeles, I know that we too are dancing on a fault line of potential disaster. There but for the grace of God go I.  I was saddened when I heard about Pat Robertson's statement that the earthquake was God's judgment against Haiti.  As a Christian, I find this kind of rhetoric needless, painful and completely unhelpful at a time like this. First, this is the moment that people MOST need God and their faith to somehow pull through this disaster. Telling hurting people that they have been "judged" does nothing to alleviate their pain or solve their insurmountable problems. This is exactly the kind of thing Jesus warned us about.. to NOT sit in judgment of others. Instead of judging the blind, the sick and outcast, he reached out to them, healed them and gave them hope. That's what the Christians that I know are doing. Instead of spending their time judging others, they are risking their resources and lives to help those less fortunate.
Haiti's is a country that exists in a natural world where tectonic plates move and sometimes shake.  As humans we live in this world that operates by natural laws. And though I do believe in a supernatural God who can miraculously save and heal people, He doesn't always do things the way I wish or think He should. I have never experienced the level of suffering the people of Haiti are going through right now. But I have had heartaches, and tragedies in my life. And all I know is - that it is my FAITH that has carried me through the dark times. It is my belief that God is with me even in the midst of pain that I can go on another day or another minute. My faith in a personal, loving God is what gives me hope.  I would hate to see people lose that hope because of the statements of one person. Jesus tells us to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Now is the time for us to show our love for our neighbors by helping them with our prayers and our resources.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Creep Factor 102: An example of a bad cover letter

So we still haven't opened the package. I know some of you have written me on Facebook to tell me that you would just rip it open to see the exciting contents. So we are carefully exploring it. My brave daughter while examining it, discovered this cover letter tucked under the duct tape on the outside of the package. As you look at the picture, I just want to go on record and categorically say... I am not making this stuff up!  Let me just say that as a cover letter (it literally was on the cover of the box..) it is at once curious and possibly even more strange than the package. I'm thinking it's the red bow that really makes a statement.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Creep Factor 101: How NOT to get an agent to read your submission!

As a Literary Manager I get hundreds of submissions of material. Letters, treatments, scripts, books. All from people who hope to be discovered or to have their life stories seen on the big screen. Yesterday I received this package.  Really. Would YOU open this package? My whole family stood around it curious and slightly frightened.  My daughter said " How bad can it be? It has a snowman on it?" I don't know. Is it the strange scrawl, or perhaps the duct tape and no return address that makes me think...angry hermit living in woods writing apocalyptic manifestos?
So far we haven't opened it.  Now if someone who is reading this blog happens to be the sender, I don't mean to be cruel, I am just trying to make a point. If you really want me to read your material think about how you present it. Sadly in Hollywood we do judge a book by it's cover. And snowman notwithstanding, this package is failing at many levels. I imagine it was sent by someone elderly who couldn't get to the store to buy packing materials. Or perhaps someone who had lots of extra duct tape and liberty stamps trying to be frugal. Maybe one of my well meaning relatives sent it. Perhaps after I put on a padded suit, plastic gloves and move the package to an undisclosed location, I will find out what's in it.  No. I think it's going into the trash. Somebody else's trash.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

wow. now i can update from my phone!

Time for a Budget

So with the holidays past us my thoughts have turned to dealing with the state of my finances. Probably like the rest of the country we have been hit with the effects of a decimated stock market,  rising prices,  frozen salaries and so on.  I have been combing the internet for good advice on budgeting, saving money and everything else. So after looking at Christian PF (personal finance) I have focused like a lazer on dealing with the problem. I have set up auto pay on everything, done an exstensive budget looking at everything, including those pesky yearly expenditures, taxes etc. that always catch us by surprise. I called both my cell phone carrier and my cable company and have reduced my monthy costs by 1/3 for each. I have added adsense to this blog (which may never pay off... but, hey - its the thought that counts.  Hows that for taking some steps? With lots of trimming, squeezing and soul searching...(cutting my Starbucks habit back... NO!!!  Yes. ) I was finally able to actually balance my budget with a tiny remainder. My dh said thats better than the state of California!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Social Media-itis

For the last few hours as I have been creating this blog and linking it up to everything.. it hit me... we really are living in the future now. For all my students that are 20 somethings this is no big deal. They have always lived with media. Even my grand daughter has several little computers that teach her numbers and the alphabet. To her "feeding the puppy" means going on line with me and feeding my virtual pet. The world has gotten smaller or at least maybe more compartmentalized.  I am now talking to friends I knew in highschool and advising them about how to help their kids make deals in Hollywood. Perhaps what social media has done is actually brought us BACK into community. Maybe we don't know our neighbors but now our friends can be in Hong Kong and we can talk to them daily. I think its wonderful. Yes there are concerns. About privacy and video game addiction. Loss of personal interaction. But if we lose our privacy .. isn't it because we have willingly given it up. No one is forcing anyone to have a Facebook page. If there are unattractive pictures of you floating around.. well.. its not like the rest of the world hasn't seen us as we really are. I think social media may be the very thing that will get us back to talking to each other. As opposed to television which is a totally passive pastime. On Facebook and Blogs we are communicating thoughts, ideas... inane though they may be.
When I introduced my 83 year old mother to FB at Christmas.. I explained to her how it is more efficient than emails. At a glance you can see what your kids, friends,. high school chums are up to. And if you want you can comment. Recently the most fun I have had in days happened when the girls all mysteriously posted their bra colors. Just the colors. It was fun and was a reminder to us about Breast cancer. It created such an uproar CNN covered it on the news.  Silly, maybe. But a powerful example of how pervasive this social media business has gotten. Stuff to think about.

A New Year, a New Me and a New Blog!

Ok. I know everyone has a blog. Everyone. My co-workers, my family members, my friends, for all I know my cats may have one. So now here I am. What  to talk about. What to say. And frankly, why anyone would care what I would have to say is really beyond me. But it occurred to me as I celebrated a HUGE birthday last week that maybe I have been alive long enough to share some wisdom, stories, advice etc. about how to deal with life whether we are talking about getting a career going in Hollywood or trying to be a grandmother, maybe I have some experience that will make a difference to someone.

One of the things I am grappling with right now is... Wow. Where did the time go?  It was ten minutes ago that I was that young free wheeling kid that thought life was going to go on forever. And now here I am. As old as my grandmother ( as I remember her best) Yikes.  It seems like I still have some of the same problems I had 40 years ago. Never enough money, attention or fun. Always wondering why everyone else seems to have it so together with perfect houses, lawns careers and large retirement savings. Why do I feel so different? Does everyone feel different? Isolated. Does anyone else wonder where the time went? Perhaps as I work on this blog I can find out some of the answers to those questions or explore other thoughts that pop into my mind. Lets see where the road leads us.




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