The irony of life is that the protagonist doesn’t realize they were in the spotlight until the curtain has come down.

Quote by Me

My quote was written for Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Spotlight (21 Words).

And I’m sorry I can’t stop at 21 words, but – as some of you know – I’m a rule breaker. The truth is, everything about this post is random. No planning. No idea where I was going to go with it. Not a clue about anything. Nada.

The quote may be a bit of an overdramatization, but it fits with what I’ve been thinking about lately. I’ve been racking my brain, trying to figure out why I’ve been failing at some of the art I’ve attempted recently, and why I’ve wanted to write so bad but I’ve stopped in my tracks every time. Why? Because I felt I had nothing to write about. Nothing to say.

The fact of the matter is, however, that I never give up. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Since I found it so hard to get back into illustrations, I decided to go through my photo archives to see if anything inspired me.

I found an old black and white that I had photographed with my iPhone so that I could upload a copy to the genealogy site that tested my DNA. I love working with apps that modify photos with paint or sketch effects, and I thought this oldie would be perfect as a sketch. I also added a slight paint effect just to tone down the sketchiness, and I am really happy with how it turned out.

I mean, look at those clothes! Can you imagine people walking around like that today? I think it would be awesome, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that it looks like the set of an old movie – which makes it even cooler. And the man bending down with the cup in his hand? Well, that’s my granddaddy.

I don’t remember what my mom told me they were doing, but if I had to guess I’d say they were playing dice or something… which makes it even more intriguing. Everyone is so involved. So alive! What a story this picture tells. And if gramps were still alive today, he might not even remember the day it was taken. But this one moment was part of his story.

So, what’s my point? Well, I’ve been thinking that the reason I’ve had nothing to write about is the fact that – during my voluntary isolation which has nothing to do with the old pandemic – I’ve been feeling as though I haven’t “really” been living. I mean, alive… yes… but not taking part in anything extraordinary or “newsworthy.” I’m no expert, but I would guess that writing about my movements over the past months (years?) would literally bore you, the reader, to tears.

I don’t know, but something lit up in me when I looked at this image and thought about the quote that I wrote for Sammi’s challenge. The truth is, life is happening all around us, no matter where we are; no matter what we’re doing.

Maybe some days it’s just in our thoughts about life. Other days, maybe the story is in the dog that chased us halfway down the street when we took the trash out in the wee hours of the night (didn’t happen, but it could!). Maybe it’s in a game of dice, with men in fancy suits and hats looking down at the roll. Or maybe someone just dropped their donut. Who knows?

The fact is, LIFE is our story. It need not be action packed, or full of unimaginable achievements, it just needs to be lived. And in every movement, every thought, every action… we are living our story and it’s worth something. It’s worth everything.

So, like my quote says… sadly, some people wait too long, and suddenly they realize that life has passed them by. And they missed it, because they were always on the lookout for the major headlines. But every story matters, big or small, because it’s ours. And one day that curtain will come down.

I don’t know about you, but when that happens for me, I’d like to take a bow with a big smile on my face, thinking about each and every moment in my life, and then say to myself….

THAT was a great story.”

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my thoughts this evening because, well… it’s my story. And it’s worth everything to me.

Connecting Dots

“Many times the wrong train took me to the right place.”

Paulo Coelho

I’ve been thinking about how things connect lately, and how life is sometimes like a series of dot to dot. Sometimes I wonder if technology is what causes me to move from one thing to the next in lightning speed, or if I just get bored easy.

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that I’m always munching on teeny bytes of information (like a smorgasbord) as I move through life, picking out as many things as possible without spending too much time on one in particular.

What I love about this habit is that it’s kind of like Coelho’s quote. Maybe it’s not the wrong train that I get on, but it’s the fast track. It’s always en route to some mysterious destination, and it always seems to take me to the right places (most of the time).

One example is my most recent dot to dot escapade. A while back, I enrolled in an online class and the professor’s name was Valerie Garcia. Something I like to do is check Rate My Professors to see what previous students said, or I just google the instructor.

When I did this for Ms. Garcia, the website came up–and she is a speaker, consultant, and encourager. Her topics seemed to relate to my class, in my own head anyway, so I signed up for her newsletters.

First, let me say that I just love her newsletters. They are fun, simple, informative and interesting, and she provides lots of little links to other fun and interesting things. Second, once the class started I realized that these two women were not one in the same. But, I am still a subscriber.

In one of her last newsletters she mentioned that she was reading the book “Hero on a Mission,” by Donald Miller. I searched for that book, of course, and ended up buying a copy. I haven’t finished it yet, but I made it to the end of chapter 3. In one of those chapters, Miller says that John Steinbeck’s “Journal of a Novel” taught him the discipline and joy of writing.

So… there I was, ordering a copy of Steinbeck’s book. Now, I had no idea what this book was, but it’s a series of letters he wrote just about every day while he was writing his novel East of Eden (another book I’ve never read). It is a fantastic read thus far. So much so that… yes… I bought and have started reading East of Eden. I want to read them in unison so that I progress in the book as he progresses in his letters “about” the book.

Anyway, somewhere in all of those dot to dot moves it hit me. It was like being on one of those quiet little trains that went on autopilot, and it took me to where I needed to go, or to “what” I needed to read. I really do want to write. And sometimes I forget and I need to be reminded.

Trips like that don’t always happen when you’re absorbed in goals, or following daily to-do lists to the hilt. Sometimes all of that planning simply causes us to forget our purpose. Dots connect when we’re spontaneous and willing to travel to unexpected places. Yes, we need a plan in life, but… like Coelho says, sometimes the wrong route takes us to the right place.

About the Image

The featured image is from something I saw on Pinterest. They should call it “Pinspiration.” Anyway, I’d love to know who the original artist was. One user mentioned George Callaghan, but I couldn’t verify that. Anyway, I did my take on it in Illustrator, as usual, but instead of lines I used dots. And let me tell you… it was a LOT of fun.

It’s interesting too, because I used dot art in one of my graphic design class projects a few years ago and I used what they call the blob brush. Basically, one tap gives you one dot. So, I took that brush and painted my design one “blob” at a time.

Well, here’s the thing about tutorials. I rarely look at them but when I do… I’m like “OHH… THAT is how you do it!” What I’ve learned since is that all you need to do is make the lines, and then change them from solid to dashed—then tweak some of the settings and… voila, you have dots!

I took the file to my BeCasso app without the outlines so that there wouldn’t be a bunch of black smearing, and I gave it a painted effect. Then I brought it into Photoshop and moved my dotted outlines from Illustrator to a layer over the painted image.

I like that the man is fishing. He looks relaxed too. I think that when you let go and follow the dots in life you feel like that. And then when you least expect it, and because the waters are so still… you catch a whopper.

That’s about all for now. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed! I put my ongoing story on low priority tonight, but I’ll be looking at that very soon.

Peace & Love to you…

“I was in the right place, but it must have been the wrong time.”

Dr. John

Enough About Me.

But first, let me explain.

Those of you who know me, or are familiar with my journey, should also be aware of the fact that I started this blog to share the story of my life—or my transformation—from unbelief and alcoholism, to faith and recovery. That being said, most of my stories are about yours truly… 


I’ve said many times, usually out of frustration, that my transformation is basically internal. It can’t really be seen because the spiritual awakening that is experienced in recovery is a miracle that changes people on the inside. But oftentimes, I still go on, talking about my goals and pursuits in hopes that the changes in me can be seen by others… in the form of some accomplishment, victory, or success that is of a tangible nature.  

I mentioned before that I had started reading Jewel’s memoir, Never Broken, and that eventually I’d share my thoughts on it. I can tell you that most of the book is amazing. Jewel’s life was tough—from living on a homestead in Alaska with no indoor plumbing, to being abandoned by her mother, to leaving home at the age of 15 because her father hit her, to being homeless on the streets in southern California… all the way to becoming a famous singer (with a beautiful folksy sound) in the 1990s. And THEN, she reconciled with her mother who proceeded to live a five star, rock star life until she had literally robbed Jewel of all of her money… we’re talking about millions and millions of dollars. 

I can also tell you that I never finished the book. I lost interest. Maybe I missed out on some valuable anecdotes in those last chapters, but the truth is that the book is just TOO long. She spends a lot of time name dropping and talking about some of her celebrity highs that just sounded like bragging to me. 

I had to ponder that for a while because it seemed strange to me that I could find the tragedies of her life so readable, while stories about her success caused me to yawn. I was reminded of Don Henley’s old song… Dirty Laundry. Is it true? “People love it when you lose, they love dirty laundry.”

That’s not exactly the case. What I actually came to realize is that it’s one thing to talk about your hardships, and how you were able to overcome them, which she does with grit and eloquence, but it’s another thing to go on and on (and on) about your experiences at the top. Maybe it’s that social comparison thing again. Nobody is going to feel better about themselves by listening to someone talk about which celebrities they’ve dated, how many records they sold, or the millions of dollars that they made (then lost, and then made again). 

For me, all of my thoughts on the matter seemed like a great lesson. Maybe my internal transformation IS enough, and maybe it IS time to talk about something else. Besides, working to improve oneself by learning, growing, and stepping out of the old comfort zone is exhilarating, but trying to “prove” something—whether it be to oneself or to others—simply steals your joy. 

If I’m aiming at goals in order to show the world that I’m different, maybe I’m not that different after all. 

So… where do I go from here?

That’s what I’ve been thinking about lately, and I have put together a list of things that I’d like to call targets—things I’d like to shoot for in the future. I thought that I had too many lingering or unfinished series on the blog last year, but then I realized that there are really no rules, so I can run any series for as long as I see fit. Removing any concept of time is key here.

My targets will be my go-to list of things that I’d like to do on the blog… so maybe this list is more for me than for you, but my hope is that—at the very least—these targets will help keep me organized.

So… here they are:

  • Haiku. My normal style here is to participate in the Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge now and then, but in 2022 I’d like to do more and try to stretch my creativity and vocabulary in the process.
  • Humor. Another target I’ll be shooting for is more laughs. There are too many tiring subjects and debates going on in the world right now, and people are exhausted. I believe that laughter really IS the best medicine, so I’m looking forward to this one!  
  • Word of the Month (or Week). I’d like to do some shorter versions of the Word of the Year, especially since I already know that 12 months is a very long time for me to stick with any kind of program. I’ll elaborate more if and when I aim for this one. 
  • Miracles Every Day (or Everyday Miracles). I love gratitude lists, but I was watching a movie recently (Miracles from Heaven) and was inspired by the idea of believing that everything is a miracle. Jennifer Garner recites a quote by Albert Einstein: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle and the other is as though everything is a miracle.” I’m sure you know which way I go on this one! As I pondered those words, my mind overflowed with things that I’d call miracles, so I think this will make for some uplifting and inspiring writing.
  • Short Stories. One reason I enjoy talking about myself is the fact that, as I learn hard lessons, I like to share these lessons with others. I’ve wanted, for quite a while, to experiment with fictional characters and stories where these characters learn some of the lessons that I have learned in life—I suppose it’s kind of a way to share what I’ve experienced without writing a true-to-life memoir. Of course, I also want to play around with imaginative stories that have nothing to do with my own reality, so this is a target that I am itching to dig into.
  • Family Tree. I’m not sure how this one will play out, but I sent my DNA out just after Christmas and am waiting for the results. I started a family tree last year, but only got as far as great great (or maybe great great great) grandparents. This year I hope to go as far back as possible and I’d like to share what I find out. Maybe this target is about me, in a sense, but it’s really about my family. I hope I’m able to dig up some fascinating facts about my heritage and the places my ancestors come from.
  • Illustration, Photography & Graphic Art. This one needs no explanation. One thing I’ll add, however, is that I’d like to continue on with some older series that I started…
    • Emotions
    • Windows
    • Mock Stained Glass Dancers
  • Original Story Rewrites. One thing that I definitely want to continue, that includes talking about me, is the rewriting of my story of recovery. I think that looking at the chapters with my new attitude might help me tell the tale in a new and interesting way, so we’ll see how this goes… hopefully I’ll hit the bullseye.

That’s all for now. My featured image is me (several years ago), perched upon ME. Ha-Ha! I just thought it would be fun, and maybe it’s my way of making it all about ME one last time… like one for the road.

Anyway… Thanks for reading. I hope that you’re as excited as me to hear a little less about me and a lot more about everything else!

Until later,
Peace & Love