Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday in Sedona

Last night and what was left over after the chocolate truffle dessert at the Barking Frog in Sedona. I had the shrimp tamales. Yum!

And this morning, finally, the weather broke and it was a gorgeous 72 degrees. DH had to drive back to Phoenix, so he left it to me to finish the champagne left over from my birthday last night. He found me a little chocolate cake and we celebrated with cake and champagne after dinner last night.

Sedona is beautiful and filled with good energy and tranquility. I made a good choice to celebrate my birthday. This has been a great vacation. New Orleans for the first half, Sedona, AZ for the second. Some day we hope to return and spend a few days in the Grand Canyon as well.

Friends of ours recently remarked, "You love to travel, don't you?" I didn't realize until they said this that yes, we do! And we have had some splendid vacations, from last year's jaunt to Washington State, to other trips to Colorado, Tennessee, New Mexico, California and other places.

And the best part of a vacation? It's finding a new place to explore and knowing that if you like it, you can always return.

In Sedona, we ran into a couple we know, at the airport cafe restaurant. It was amazing to see them there. They were vacationing with friends. We only see them about once a year at Christmas when they come to visit her parents in Florida.

So it's home tomorrow and then in a couple of weeks, I'm off to Honduras for the day job. An easier trip than Haiti, I'm looking forward to seeing and working with Linda, a wonderful, energetic woman who founded an NGO in Honduras to empower indigent women and encourage them to become self-sufficient.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What I did on my birthday

No hot air balloon ride on this special day. Too cold. Thought about a helicopter ride to see the red rocks from the air, but it was overcast. Instead, I had the yearning to hike and explore... and write.

It was 32 degrees this morning. Our hotel room's heater was broken. Brrrrr. We had to buy sweatshirts when we arrived to wear as jackets, but we didn't care.

Today we visited the shrine of the Red Rocks, just above our hotel at the Airport Mesa in Sedona. It's so quiet there, the wind sweeping up the mesa, alone with your thoughts and dreams. The Airport Mesa is supposed to be a powerful vortex. I did feel something.

Then we went to Bell Rock, another vortex area. Hiked around the mountain and then while I sat on a flat area of sandstone, Frank climbed around and shot photos of a bald eagle soaring high above us.

I wrote. Not the book due soon, but a new story I started working on three days ago when we arrived in Sedona. The idea just came to me and I let it soar like the eagle. Sitting on the rock, with my Alpha Smart, I wrote for fun. It was my birthday treat. I let the positive energy flow over me and did something that made me happy.

And I was happy.

Writing for fun. It's not a hot air balloon ride, but it's something I'll always cherish and remember doing on my special birthday in Sedona. If I had one piece of advice for anyone, after my years on this planet, it would be to keep searching for the dream that makes you happy. It's out there, somewhere. You may not make money at it, it may be elusive, you may not have much time to devote to it because of other responsibilities, but never give up.

Find your joy in life and go after it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Where I am this morning

It's noisy here this a.m. Trucks and cars rumbling past, street sweeping machines, a man restoring the original brick facade on the building across the street. Love it.

This is the view from my balcony, where I'm writing. DH went walking and exploring, giving me time to write. I have my coffee and my netbook and I'm writing Gabriel's story. Made a lot of progress. We're leaving tomorrow for Phoenix, so I hope to get lots of work done today.
I love this city.
Our dogs are home with the petsitter, decided to get a housesitter instead of boarding them. I have cool temps, my netbook, coffee and atomosphere. What more could a writer want for finishing a book due in three weeks? :-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Coming to the finish line

Three weeks to go until I turn in my next Nocturne. I'm getting there. It's close. Very close. Made some tweaks today that make the story stronger. Interesting how changing a couple of minor things can change the story.

I'm growing more and more fascinated by Tristan, the immortal Justice Guardian who makes an appearance in this book. He first appeared in Darkness of the Wolf. Kind of a rough around the edges guy who can kill you with a single thought. Wonder what his first dates are like? ;-)

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Mommy, what's a nigger?"

I hate that word. It’s one of the most disgusting words in the English language. Pardon me for writing it.


I heard it used today by two old white men sitting on a couch in a public gym, talking loudly. Talking as if they don’t care who hears them. Talking about how that one politician is working for the “niggers” and not for “people like me.”

I went to my local gym to work out and as I headed toward the treadmill, two elderly men were talking politics. One liberally used this word. I heard him quite loudly.

I should have reprimanded him, didn’t. I was in a hurry and could barely squeeze in a workout. Minutes later, a mother and her young children came into the workout room. I don’t know if the two obnoxious men were gone. I hope so. Because it sickens me to think of these two young kids, probably around the ages of 4-6, asking, “Mommy, what’s a nigger?”

“People like me.” That’s another phrase I hate. Because it sets you aside, as if you were unique and deserving of special attention and everyone else is below you. Thinking like that, dividing everyone into classes and races, is where hate starts.

Hate like racial discrimination, ethnic bigotry and religious intolerance can lead to genocide of entire races. It happened during WWII. Rwanda. Bosnia. So many other examples.

Peace will never be possible when words like nigger are still liberally sprinkled into conversation, like salt on meat.

It got to me especially today because
I read this gripping article about a young woman from Kosovo who is advocating peace. Her village was targeted by Serbian paramilitary units who were rounding up Albanian Muslims for execution. Her brother and sister are still missing.

Read it and see if it doesn’t move you to tears.

Discrimination. Prejudice. Hatred. Sometimes as a regular working Josephine, I feel like there is little I can do to combat them and make the world a more peaceful place.

Maybe that’s why I’m tackling these subjects in the Nocturne I’m writing that’s due in three weeks. A wolf with unique abilities is shunned and hated for the magick she wields. She is feared because she is different. She’s not seen as normal.

I feel pretty strongly about this book and after looking over what I wrote, can see the underlying social theme in it. Oh it’s entertainment and romance and all works out well in the end. But the theme is there just the same.

It’s a theme close to my heart. When the hatred and fear end, and understanding and tolerance replaces them, maybe then we will have peace.

I complained at the desk after my workout, but there’s nothing that can be done. Nothing unless I run into those men again. Next time, I’m not keeping my mouth shut, no matter how little time I have.

I’m saying something to them. Because in a way, I’m just as guilty. When we keep quiet about discrimination, and hated words, we enable the hatred to continue.

Maybe, someday, in this world, the hatred will stop. Until then, I have to become an active participant in stopping it.

By starting with confronting people who use words like that.