Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Staying in one place for a week has definite advantages over hopping from place to place.  I know the rhythm of this city, have a favorite restaurant, and the days are easy, not rushed.  Having time that isn't packed to overflowing with tasks or even want-tos is so refreshing.

Barcelona is a city for walking.  My feet  have covered miles of sidewalk and going somewhere beats the treadmill by far.  Bicycles are everywhere and the government supplies bicycle stands with bikes to take from one place to another (they encourage use for a half hour at at time) and a biking path on the road.  The crosswalks have a bicycle light as well as a pedestrian light.   Lunch is around 2 and dinner at 8 or after and they eat for hours.  Waiters don't bring the check until you ask for it.  To do otherwise would be considered rude. There are very few fast food restaurants:  I've seen one Burger King and one McDonald's.  I've not seen a single convenience store offering sodas, candy, and chips though there are small groceries with fresh veggies and fruits.  I don't think they snack.

And you see very few overweight people.  Except in the hotel.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Only one day left.

I've fallen down the rabbit hole to a land of beauty, good food, wine, and constant talk of writing, learning about writing. The workshops have been wonderful and for the first time in my life I spent three and a quarter hours eating lunch.  I'm full, nourished, tended to and I'm ready to write.

I'll always have Positano.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

When Dreams Come True

A few weeks ago I heard that a publishing company would offer a contract for a nonfiction book I wrote with coauthor Melissa Cook.  A few months ago I learned I had been accepted at Sirenland, a compeititive writers conference in Positano, Italy.  You would think I would jump up and down for joy.

I had the same reaction for both events, though stronger for the book contract.  I wasn't happy at all. In fact, sad and scared would be more accuratem after I recovered from the shock.  I was comfortable with my view of myself as someone who wrote hopefully but would never be published.  I believed I would never really be a writer.  It was a dream and an inconcieveable reality. Having a contract meant all the work involved in completing the book. Could I actually do it?  What if I couldn't?  What if in half the pages necessary I'd said all I had to say?

Weeks later I am esctatic.  Now I am over the top with excitement. I will be published.  I did it.  How funny that having dreams come true scares the heck out of me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Elephants in the Closet

I am currently working on my second nonfiction book with a psychologist from North Carolina, Dr. Stephanie Wright.  The book is an effort to help survivors of domestic violence and hopefully have an impact on preventing family violence.  Part of the book includes the views and opinons of the general public about the issue.  We need more questionnaires completed.  If you are willing to help, the questionnaire is at  Thanks so very much.

The Gift of Validation

I learned last week that the book I am writing with Melissa Cook will be published in the Fall of 2011.  I am so excited!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Living with Intention

Dani Shapiro's book Devotion is about her journey to create a life that she wanted to live, to find answers about spirituality that made sense to her.  She paid attention to what was important to her and began living purposefully, spending her time according to those values. 

The idea is not a new one, though the words to express it may change.  Living your priorities, act don't react, living mindfully, living consciously, purposeful living, living with intention, self actualization,  the value driven life--all the same idea. 

Beyond survival, and there are too many people who don't have the luxury of deciding how they want to live, life offers so many distractions.  We work, buy, set up schedules for ourselves, make commitments,  establish a lifestyle and maybe dream about our next vacation.  Yet despite our knowledge of our limited time, many of us don't live.

I'm good at goal setting.  I decide to do something, I usually do it.  But accomplishing tasks is different from being different, living differently, living the way you want to live versus doing what you want to do.  I'm not so good at that.

Sometimes living intentionally means giving up a part of your life you love to have time or the space  for a commitment you want more.  The giving up must often come first and without certainty that the new addition will be as rewarding.  Often it means you can't go back.  That's not an easy choice to make.

So we watch television, we plan for retirement, we live half aware because the choices are too scary and it's easier to stay with what we know than to risk the unknown.

Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living.  The too closely examined life with no action may not be living.  We each make our choices and find our own answers and for right now I'm okay with knowing I'm making a choice, even if it might be to go slowly down a new path so there's an option to make a few turns back if I want.