Friday, March 16, 2012

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The Literary Adventure

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book of Life

Joseph Campbell spoke of viewing life as a story and yourself as a character in it. I think this is a beautiful perspective. Similarly, however, our lives are like books. There is a beginning, a story, then an ending. And as in life, what goes on after the ending is forever a mystery.

The chapters of our lives are not solely authored by us though, for we are part of a much larger story and therefore effected by that story’s unfolding. Yet we do have much to do with our own tale – our will, our choices, our mistakes, our strengths, gifts, and weaknesses all contribute to what’s being written.

As with many adventures, sometimes it's hard to turn back around once we've veered off course and find ourselves struggling just to keep going. This is not a choose your own adventure story where if we don't like the outcome we can always go back to that last page and make a different choice.

No, in life we must live with the choices we make and their consequences, the good and the bad. Though sometimes we may not like where we currently are, we can at least do away with some anxiety in that we have only one way to go, and that is forward.

If we stumble on this path we must catch ourselves, if we fall we must get back up, and if we get lost we must find our way again. There will always be help along the way when we need it most. That is part of the mystery.

Surely we all feel hopeless sometimes, have all felt like things are not as they should be, like we are failing at this important task that is life. But often, and sometimes sudden, these moments of darkness fade, as though a new day has dawned, and we see the world yet again in a new light. Then we know that a new chapter has begun.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Is today but yet just another day

Always here, always now, never to be escaped

Is tomorrow so far it will always be away

We plan, we think, we anticipate, but we never quite enter in

Is yesterday gone forever

Lost like the warmth in cold December

Only flickers of sunshine to remind us that summer was once

Today is always here, yesterday is always gone, and tomorrow never really comes

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sparrow Ridge - Saturday

Sparrow Ridge
Chapter 1: Saturday
(This is just the beginning scene)

Shreya McCoy gazed up from her book and stared out her bedroom window. Fifty yards off, like the wall a giant garden, stood the trees of Blanchard Forest. Just below them ran Meadow Creek, separating the McCoy property and the wilderness beyond. The now rotting wood bridge Shreya her older brother Tabor built five years ago, with the help of their father, still worked. Indeed, it worked great, as Shreya knew from her recent winter excursions into the woods. Christmas break began two days ago.

Yet Shreya was board. Her only close friend, Sara, was on vacation with her family, leaving Shreya friendless for the holiday. No one to play with. No one even to argue with. That is, except her mother. She’d prefer arguing with anyone else, even Tabor.
But Shreya’s now sixteen year old, grown up, and way too cool, brother didn’t stay home during school breaks anymore. He spent most days and nights in Riverbend, the nearest city, and a half-hour drive away. Shreya knew the drive well because every day she had to be driven there for school. Tabor plays the violin in the school orchestra, providing him with a lucky excuse to spend most weeks and weekends with his musician friends. “It’s easier than traveling back and forth for practice all the time,” he’d said. But Shreya knew the real reason. If only she had as good of an excuse she’d stay away as well.

Shreya took a deep breath and focused on her reflection in the window. She had her mother’s smooth, light brown hair tied back into a pony tail, her father’s blue almond eyes, and her grandmother’s small nose, ears, and pear-shaped face.

“Shreya!” her mother yelled, bursting into the doorway of her room, her long pink, silk pajamas dangling near her pale, slender feet. Shreya wished her mother would change already; it was almost noon on Saturday. “When are you ever going to do as you’re told!” her mother scorned. “I told you last week to clean up those branches in the yard. And you still need to finish pulling the weeds!” Her mother’s arms flailed in the air and her eyes grew wide, as if Shreya’s mutiny was the sole source of all he mother’s suffering.

“Sorry Mom, I—”

“You and your brother will be doing it first thing in the morning, and you won’t get to do anything else all Christmas break until you’ve finished.” Mary-Lynne McCoy perked up her sharp nose and narrowed her piercing green eyes at Shreya. “Is that understood?”

“Yes, Mom.” Shreya watched her mom wisp away from the doorway.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Story or a Song?

Is there a tune to which my life follows
A melody, a theme, a song
To which the verses of my life are sung
Is there a story out there
Which shows the trials of my journey
The tears, the fears, the struggles
The things I hold in memory
Or the people I’ve known, the places I’ve seen
The times I shared with friends
Is there another in the world
Who’s life is similar to mine
Or at least who’s worries, and cares, and dreams
Are compatible with mine

What song is there, what music is there
To which my life is sung
Is it the tune I write, you write
Or only the infinite may write
What story is there, what book is there
That shows my life to come
Is it the book I write, we write,
Or am I just a character
In the story of all our lives
What person is there in the world somewhere
To whom can be my light
Is she here, as she gone
Or has she still not yet been sung

Friday, May 27, 2011

Things I Feel Inside

If life passes me by
Like a wave I fail to ride
Oh what shame I’d have
What sorrow I’d feel
What pain I’d feel inside!

Life is an opportunity
A chance, and a possibility
It’s up to me to create my story
To live to the best my ability
And be sure this life was true for me

The creator lies within
I am alone, yet always with Him
If I choose to glide
Choose to ride the waves of life
Will I have the strength, the will, the dreams
The love and hope I need to survive

What dreams will I achieve
What passions will I grow
What struggles will I come to know?

When the Muses’ go on Vacation

Occasionally our creative juices go on vacation. Like us, they need to take a break and rejuvenate. Writers may call this writer’s block and other artists may call it something else. But I like to think about it as a time to fill those empty caverns of creativity with the kind of stuff that inspired us in the first place. If reading other writer’s works inspired us than perhaps this is a good time read a new book or re-read an old favorite. If just living life without the need to create is what inspired us than perhaps we need a vacation as well. I don’t believe we should force ourselves to the table to write. I don’t believe creativity can or should be forced. It should come naturally.

We should take advantage of our muses’ vacations to fill up on what intoxicated us in the first place – things I like filling up on include music, musicals, plays, films, books, art, history, lectures, hiking, biking, socializing. Then, after this hiatus, come back to our creative incubations and see if we can ignite that spark again, hopefully having been refueled. Allowing ourselves the freedom not to write, to put it all on hold for a while, may be just what we need. We should take note when our muses depart and begin planning our own vacation.