Monday, May 31, 2021

The Midnight Library - Book Review


Vancouver B.C. Library

How often do we wonder how our life might have turned out if we had made a different choice?

The Midnight Library shares a glimpse into the ‘other lives’ the main character could have had. It is an enlightening journey into how each action of ours can send us onto a completely different path, how our words or lack of words can effect someone else and how the most simple act can transform us.

Life is brief but it can be long when it is unhappy, it can fill our heart with important moments or keep us in the dark of denial. Nora Seed is mixed up, she arrives at a place in her life where she gets to try out the lives she had dismissed, she sees that there is no 'one' perfect life. Each one gives us a gift, and the same one has the opportunity to destroy us.

As in our real life, our heart goes with us in each life we choose, it can expand our thoughts or increase our doubt. Our heart will continue to beat, although it is broken. (Tweet This)

This book speaks to the simple life each of us want, it could be on a stage adored by a crowd, or lovingly shared with those who know us best. It depends on us.

The Midnight Library is the setting of our choices, the millions of people we could be, each book balancing on the others, each one with the potential to write the life we want. Each one with the power to make us real.

The quiet made her realize how much noise there was 

elsewhere in the world. Here, noise had meaning.

The Midnight Library

A library (anywhere) is one of my most favourite places, because it offers secrets and the answers, and also the quiet to ponder both. This book is definitely one of my favourites, it makes you think of all the other books that you didn't choose.

Each book balances on the others, each one with the power to make our life real. (Tweet This)

Stay well, stay kind.

(read a book!)



Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Ripple of Kindness

Just as ripples spread out when a
single pebble is dropped into water,
the actions of individuals can have 
far-reaching effects.
Dalai Lama 
Courtesy of Pixabay, Sandid
Kindness counts. 
I was at a local thrift shop the other day as I am apt to do when they give a discount to celebrate those of my age. A young man approached me as I was leaving and asked if I was looking for my shopping cart.
What a strange question, I thought.
As I made my way to the front of the store, I heard one lady speaking to a rather frantic lady. 
Did you lose your cart? she asked.
Yes, the frazzled one said, as she looked around for it.
I took it to an employee because your purse was in the cart.
The frantic lady was relieved and thankful. The helpful lady laughed it away, and said that it's easy to forget when you're excited looking for a great find!
I'm sharing this story from the side streets of life to remind us all. Kindness exists. (Tweet This) I saw it, the almost-had-a-terrible-day lady saw it, the young man working there saw it. And now you can see it too.
Start the ripple. Give hope, give kindness.

Now tell me, when did you give, receive or witness an act of kindness? Please share your story, we could all use some good news right now.
Stay well, stay kind.



Friday, May 14, 2021

Live Slow Be Kind

These words were originally a Guest Post on the Be Well Coaching Programs site, July 2019 and have been edited. Thank you Cassie for sharing my thoughts with your readers.


This is a story about kindness and generosity.

So often in our busy lives, we forget an important thing. We dismiss the idea that some small act is more than a token of kindness to someone else. Yesterday, I was the recipient of such an act.

When busyness is the measure of time,
no matter how much time exists it is never enough.
Diana Hunt

We are constantly hunting down the next deal, the next best job opportunity, the newest movie. We are always looking for NEXT.

This is the reason I decided to take a morning off and head to the local Thrift Store. You probably have one just like it in your town. I would use Julia Cameron’s suggestion in The Artist's Way of having a creative day to re-juice. 

I would put away my keyboard to play. It is hard for most of us to stop. To be still. To reflect, appreciate, and see with open eyes. We are wrapped up in being the center of our universe and do not look into the eyes of others (often enough). (Tweet This)

I have been re-organizing my office/guest room/craft space into something more manageable. It is not a large room like what you sometimes see on YouTube as other crafters show you their divine spaces overlooking the treetops or the ocean. However, it is my haven.

Live Slow Be Kind - Jessica's "gift" of kindness

I have had my eye on a three-tiered rolling cart to store and keep my craft items near me. They could be rolled into another room with more working space and be transported in style. As I searched at the Thrift Store, I saw a woman with the cart I was looking for already in her shopping cart! “Darn, I missed it,” I thought to myself. Quickly I realized that if there was one, perhaps next time I would get lucky. As she approached, I said to her, “That’s a prize you found there!” To which without any hesitation, she replied, “Oh, please take it”. I was astounded!

She insisted that I take the rolling cart as she had also chosen a beautiful wire chair that she would put in her garden. I told her that I could see a large basket of potted flowers overflowing from the wire seat. "Will it sit in the sun or the shade?" I asked. We both smiled then as we continued talking about being creative, we were no longer strangers.

She was thrilled with the addition to her garden and I was delighted to get my rolling cart at a fraction of the cost. Then she obligingly allowed me a hug to seal the deal! 

We then had a ten-minute conversation about how I would fill the cart with my various containers of beads and trinkets, mixed media tidbits, stencils and stamps. She suggested that a person always arrive as soon as the store opens on the sale day. She had experience, I could tell! 

Jessica and I met in the most unforeseen circumstance but I hope that she felt my heartfelt thanks at her generosity. 

Without that pause of awareness, of silence, of connection, we would not have met and shared a few moments that lightened both our days.

Live Slow Be Kind. Each interaction deserves it and the benefit will warm your soul. (Tweet This). This is what happened to Jessica and me in the time we stood still.

Take care of yourself and stop long enough to notice.

What could happen today if you stood still?

Stay well, stay kind.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

I Named this Piece, Light

I Named this Piece, Light       Photo by Author

Afraid that our inner light will be extinguished or our inner darkness exposed, we hide our true identities from each other. In the process, we become separated from our own souls. We end up living divided lives, so far removed from the truth we hold within that we cannot know the integrity that comes from being what you are.

         Parker J. Palmer


Change is difficult for all of us, sometimes we get years to do it and often we are thrust so suddenly that we tend to recoil in fear and surprise. (Tweet This) We can break open.

This piece of mine is about change, about letting the days of our lives slather us in the shades we are ready to see. In the words from one of my most favourite poets, 'that's how the light gets in'.

I thought about Leonard Cohen as I played with this piece. It lived in fragments and chaos for some time, it was truly ugly and unfinished. And also how I knew that I had to just let go and keep going. One moment at a time.

I Named this Piece, Light       


I named this piece, Light. 

The dark, the bright, the footsteps that cross our path, the pungent and the sweet. All there across my heart.

Then the white reflecting light showed up. 

The light that joins pieces of our lives previously separated by loss and disappointment, it sneaks in with messages that we needed to hear. It shows up with an unexpected phone call, a song lyric, or buried deep within the pages of a book. It hits you in the face while you're running, or when you see the smiling face of a stranger. 

The light is always there in the cracks. (Tweet This)

It's up to each of us to let it in.

Stay well, stay kind.


I have just discovered these two wonderful, supportive artists whose books and exercises I have drawn from in my playing time. 


Please note that I am an affiliate. I will receive a small commission if you purchase (at no extra cost to you) if you also come on this learning journey. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

From Somewhere at Some Point

We all start from somewhere at some point.

When I first retired, I made this from the name plate that had hung outside my office door. I was interested then, and am still learning about collage. I like the idea that if we try, we can see the 'other-than-usual' use for scraps of all kinds, and then make them into something that speaks to us. 

From Somewhere at Some Point

In the majority of the pieces I've made in last several months, I've included word and text in different fonts and ways, and this has definitely helped fulfill my writer's needs. It's challenging at times to fill a page with your feelings, but a word or two are usually within reach. (Tweet This)

But when using these words, I also like to tell a story, to make a statement of some sort. Sometimes only in a subtle way for those who are looking for it. Other times in a bold way that you can't miss it.

This was She. When I started.

Well as you can see,  She was pretty but flat, I was tired by then, of propping up people, and doing my best to motivate. Trying with words which too frequently fell on deaf ears. The message I needed to give in my own way had been buried by years of pretending by then. And She reflected that.

But, She still managed to stand tall, and since then she has moved towards embracing the colours and the celebration that she was ready for. And She continued to learn through collage.

She learned that with our growth and experiences, we are able to add more layers, we gain dimension, we are better equipped to make the statement that is ours to give.   

And then, lockdown.

When each new day brings a challenge of how to fill our time. Do we really want to learn a new skill, or would we rather drift away in the moments until the next tv show starts, or find a new binge-worthy murder mystery, or sit on the balcony and watch what the neighbours are doing through their open blinds. 
I arise in the morning torn between a desire 
From Somewhere at Some Point

to improve (or save) the world 

and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. 

This makes it hard to plan the day.

 E.B. White


I would like to say that creating has become easier, but each day I still need to make an effort.

Because as any of us know, we can't get better if we don't try. We can't learn if we don't fail. We can't create anything new if we let the old remain. (Tweet This)

So after many months of ignoring her as she stared back at me, I saw that She needed a change, I started to see that I could do more. 

Then one day...

She heard more words, She understood that maps make imaginary lines, She imagined her life and brought her dreams into the day. So did I. So can you. (Tweet This)

The message I needed to give in my own way had been buried by years of pretending by then. (Tweet This)

Stay well, stay kind.



These are the basic supplies I used to take She 'From Somewhere at Some Point'. Have fun with your next creation, whatever it might be!