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Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

I’ve lived somewhere else lately, on the border between Xsardis’ illuminescent forest and a place called the 17th Realm. Both have their own kind of a magic and, I admit, I have liked my fictional reality better than the real reality around me. Not that real reality is any too shabby. Life is brimming with potential. It’s just that, the potential… well, it alarms me.

Weeks of the final push on not one but two novels (yes, that’s right. I finished another one last weekend–just five days after bidding farewell to Rise of the Dark Sprite) have necessitated a blissful break from social engagements or even checking my email. And, while I thoroughly enjoyed this creatively-mandated repose, I can’t help but feel terribly, terribly behind. So I’m back to checking my email and blogging and banking and accomplishing little and big tasks alike. I’ve got a solitary day in which I am able to work before I pack up for a long weekend in Florida to celebrate my cousin’s graduation. Florida. Sunshine. (Why, yes, it did snow last weekend on the family farm.)

Meanwhile, I’m trying to descend slowly from the mountaintop of creativity, energy, and enthusiasm that led to so much writing. (Over the week, I set a personal word count record of well-more than fifty thousand words.) After five novels, I’m pretty used to this process (including post-novel depression which is, sadly, quite real). My mind knows better than to keep spinning, trying to improve characters and clarify plots. On the other hand, my creativity–and its mighty muses–are not so sure they are ready for a break. The result? With no other outlet for the imagination, creativity strikes my dreams and makes them… strange. Like last night’s, in which I escaped a war-zone only to be dragged across the border into a cult. It was not awesome.

(Blog Bonus Feature: If no one has warned you, fellow writer, about the vividness of your dreams and their ability to grip you long past the alarm clock’s interruption, consider this your warning. Also note that the same prowess that allows you to craft realistic characters can alter your loved ones’ personalities in the dreams until they utterly terrify or excite you.)

But I digress.

Life. It’s full of potential that manages to thrill and scare me simultaneously. But what kind of adventure would life be if it didn’t? Any good roller coaster has to cause your mind to waver on the border between certainty of your demise and certainty that you will fly. As for me, I plan to fly.

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“Excuse me. Is your name Jessie Mae? Are you the author of those books?”

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My days of stammering and stuttering when I feel so flattered are apparently behind me, because, even with a giant case of jet-lag and a time-crunch that would usually have debilitated my mind, I managed to have a decent conversation with the stranger/fellow author at my nephew’s kindergarten graduation. I loved walking into my old school to be greeted by a giant hug from Younger Nephew (who apparently missed me), a warm reception from a dear friend (whom I had missed), and a vibrant narration of the school year’s events by Elder Nephew (during the graduation slideshow).

 

This is home. And if I’ve learned anything on my trip, it’s that I belong here. Taking a step back, I have seen the impact I have here in my small town life and the impact the people in my small town life have on me. And I’m truly grateful.

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The people I met and the experiences I had overseas are as vast as they are significant. My toes were dipped in the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and the Red Sea. They reached the top of the Eiffel Tower, climbed the Arc de Triomphe, tread wIMG_4487here Moses tread on Mount Nebo, strolled through Notre Dame, and walked almost every inch of Paris. My taste-buds experienced Syrian food, French french fries, and Turkish coffee, while my mind interacted with people of all kinds in all places and my eyes saw the Mona Lisa and Monet’s Water Lilies and Venus de Milo. And as for my body, it has been trapped on a Metro, trapped in an elevator, trapped on an airplane, and trapped on a camel heading for a swim–just to name the tame parts of my trip.

 

All of these experiences will become a part of me. But so will the experiences of home. People have already started asking me what my next adventure will be. And my answer? Life. Just regular old life. For perhaps the first time, I’ll turn my eyes of wonder onto the world that’s nearby and see everyday as an adventure. For a girl who has never done things traditionally in her life, I think that ordinary life has some pretty big surprises in it for me to uncover.

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Starbucks got pretty fun yesterday. A few of us pulled out the ear-buds and acted like real people, trading jokes, stories, and turns watching laptops. It was pretty awesome. It filled a need in my heart for community–something I feared I was sacrificing when I decided not to attend grad school in Virginia.

And after I had returned home, Sister Kate showed up. We went for an unexpected walk, catching up in about twenty minutes. All of it strengthens me. And I needed some strengthening.

Last night I also attended a Good Friday service. Contrary to the somber affairs I had been accustomed to, this one was lively. It was full of upbeat music and positive thoughts–focusing on the glorious words, “It is finished.” Rescued. Christ’s death rescued me. Living a story full of heartbreak, thrill, adventure, danger, and success that would make a novel jealous, I am fully grateful for that rescue. Christ is my knight in shining armor. The One Who says I never have to be alone. Hallelujah.

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Today feels like the first true day of the New Year. Yesterday was choppy, to say the least, and if you’ve ever read the book you’ll get this reference, “I wanted to move to Australia.” But in the end, the day turned out to be pretty good. It was really wonderful to head to the Kobi steakhouse with my parents, recline in the arms of my father, and drink in the strength of my family. It is good to have a core of people you know and love.

So now I am back into full-school mode as I approach my graduation NEXT MONTH! It is exciting to see things get checked off the master list of graduation. The remaining credits needed are dwindling down. It is exhilarating to think that in February I will be a full-time writer, living the dream if only for a little while. Perhaps longer. We will see where God leads.

That seems to be the theme of life. I can’t know the future. My best laid plans never work out. Yet somehow life has always moved in the right, the better direction. If life had gone the way I wanted it to… honestly, I shudder. Live my life and you’ll be unable to deny the hand of God. So there is peace and hope and joy and a twinge of excitement to override the uncertainty of the future and the sometimes painful moments of life. I am truly blessed. Wherever God leads I’ll follow. What an adventure!

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There is nothing quite like bonding with one’s brother over the iPod game Swordigo. He is the guru for all my gaming questions–whether he has played the game or not. Thankfully we discovered this latest adventure game, Swordigo, on the same day. I was able to call him up, tell him where I was, and follow his directions to solve the puzzle. I love my family!

My ankle is still purple, swollen, and sore; but I can put more weight on it than ever before. It is healing well. I started a new class yesterday and it looks like it will be interesting and good. Tomorrow I’ll head to Boston for Bible Quizzing Regionals, and from there to Six Flags for a mini family vacation. This week looks promising!

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Most heroes initially want to get out of their home towns. But by the time their journey is over, they cannot wait to get back. As book two of a series opens and a call is placed again in the heroes lives, readers will typically see them struggle with the new mission. They do not want to leave. But what if a hero made a stop home in the middle of the battle? I think it would be ten times harder to keep going. There would be no knowledge of previous success, no memories of the struggle being worth it. Don’t go home in the middle of your adventure!

I should have listened to my own advice.

I jumped on a plane on Thursday after class and made it back to Maine. It was such a wonderful visit filled with doting nephews, a wonderful sister, nice meals and all around good family. I did not want to board the plane for the ride home. I wanted to stay in Maine, at my house, with the people I loved. I stopped home in the middle of my adventure and now the only place I want to be is home.

After some concerned facebook posts, let me just add, I am fine! I just love my home. Adventures have their value. Being away from home has its value. But I miss it and that’s okay.

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