Before They Flare and Fade

– I think it might be a bit of circular logic to use a sci-fi quote to explain exactly why I write the stories I love.  I don’t write for the escapism (though escapism can be amazingly fun!) I don’t write to run away from the world around me.  

I write stories to understand the world. There’s so much to see in this beautiful place we call home. So much to hope for. So much to dream about.

There are so many wonderful, creative people I’ve been so lucky to call friends & colleagues.  It is so worth being on this adventure with them. 

The stories are a part of why I do what I do.  I love them.  But it’s the people I’m surrounded by that make this whole crazy adventure worth it.  And we have this moment to seize the day… 

I’ve never heard it put better…. 

I’m not running away. But this is one corner… of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying, and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much, so much to see, Amy. Because it goes so fast. I’m not running away from things, I am running to them. Before they flare and fade forever.

– The Doctor, “The Power of Three” – Doctor Who

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Where No One Has Gone Before…

                                     Space Shuttle!

Hey – LA friends!  Did you know the Space Shuttle flew overhead today??? 

I kid. I kid.  For hours today, my facebook, twitter and instagram feeds were filled with amazing shots of the Endeavor piggybacking on a 747.  (The picture above was taken by my friend Jason, whose book you really should read.) 

Between Endeavor overhead today, NASA announcing that warp drive might actually be possible after all earlier this week, and the sheer awesomeness that is the Mars rover – I feel the need to break out an old episode of TNG and listen to Picard’s great “Space – the final frontier… (Our) continuing mission… To boldly go where no one has gone before.” speech.  

Admit it. You totally read that line with a British accent in your head. It’s ok. We all do. 

There’s something strangely comforting in people from all across a city, all across a country banding together in celebration of an event.  Maybe it’s part of why I love the holidays.  Or voting day. Even Leap Year.  It’s why I loved seeing all of the Harry Potter movies on opening night.  Why we watch the Oscars and Emmys and Tonys together with friends.  It’s why we celebrate birthdays together.  It’s why one of my favorite moments with my family was when we all gathered after my great grandmother passed away.  We missed her deeply, and yet she filled the world with such joy that we could only laugh in that moment. We were together.

We all come together around our common stories. 

There’s something innately beautiful and instinctively lovely about this bonkers drive we have to see the universe.  We are curious creatures, and we’re never content to just sit back and shrug our shoulders.  We always want to know why & how & when.  And I love it! 

Today, California took a break from daily life, and we all went outside, said hello to the sun and waited for magic to pass by.  The space shuttle isn’t just some hunk of metal being retired.  It’s not even a plane or a transport system.  It was in space. 

SPACE! 

It’s the dreams and blood and sweat and tears of scientists, philosophers, mathematicians & storytellers mixed with the raw wide-eyed bluster of a little kid who thinks knows he can climb that faraway mountain if only he packs enough sandwiches and shoelaces for the journey.  

And for a few hours today, we were all reminded of why we dream.  

Sometimes I seriously hate reading the news – especially right now, when everything seems to be such a total mess.  But today – reading the news reminded me that we live in a pretty amazing time.  

I’d be stupid to close my eyes to shut out the bad, because I’d so easily miss all the good. 

I think this is part of what’s drawn me to writing so much sci-fi in the last several years.  Geek girl persona aside, there’s something brilliantly fun about writing worlds so much bigger than our own.  I get to reach for inspiration, for crazy outside-the-box ideas, for the chance to discover or create something new.  It’s a bigger canvas.  More colors.  A chance to say, “And I could tell the story with time travel!”  

Imagination. 

And it all starts with a space shuttle and a robot and a footprint on the moon. 

It all begins here. 

Whatever will tomorrow bring? 

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It Was All of You

– Friends!  

I wish I could share the whole story – because, believe me, my dear friend’s story is worth celebrating and shouting from the rooftops*…  But out of total respect for everything she’s been through and everyone else surrounding her, the story has to be distilled to this –

Last night, I celebrated a friend’s one year of sobriety. 

It was beautiful, and I am SO proud of her.  

I was struck last night by how open and honest and vulnerable everyone was.  To say it was refreshing doesn’t quite cover it, honestly.  There’s this tendency so often to cover up the parts of ourselves we don’t really like.  We are modern, educated humanity, and of course we can make it on our own! 

Try standing up in front of a room full of people and announcing your biggest fears and greatest weaknesses.  

There is so much I have to learn still.  

One of the central tenets of AA is that you can’t make it alone.  No man is an island and all of that.  You rely on God. On others.  On anything bigger and stronger than yourself, because otherwise you are never getting out of the mess you’ve created. Vulnerability is your middle name. 

And healing begins.  

You don’t ever get to say, “Look at everything I’ve accomplished!  Look at how great I am!” 

You simply stand in the middle of your community and celebrate.  ”It was all of you who got me here too.  I could never have survived without you.” 

I’m going this weekend to listen to Brene Brown speak.  Her TED talk (embedded below for you – seriously, it’s so worth listening to) on the power of vulnerability was one of the most encouraging, challenging and inspiring talks I’d heard in a long time. 

The trick is to jump off that cliff and take a risk.  Share your soul.  And be a safe place for others to do the same!  

*I ran this blog past her before posting… Of course! 🙂

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A Short Breather….

– It’s so funny how the weeks can fly by so quickly.  

How much can change.  

Hiatus. 

There’s a thousand things happening every day.  A thousand possibilities around every corner.  I’m so excited I can barely breathe.   

But today?  Today is a slow day.  This is a slow moment.  I think my last quiet moment was sometime in January.  And I am terrible at quiet moments.   

I think I’ve seen more friends in the past 5 days than I’ve seen in the past 5 weeks.  My house is spotless.  This morning, I made a sweet onion scramble with spinach and roma tomatoes, two french presses of coffee, kale chips, cauliflower ceviche and honey vanilla frozen yogurt.  (ps – I’m starting a food blog so my facebook and instagram friends aren’t constantly overwhelmed by my food pictures! You’re welcome…)  

kale

I don’t know what to do with myself. 

But after a long time of being so busy, a friend of mine finally said something that makes so much sense… 

Creativity and rest are two sides of the same coin. 

Though I’m still sorting this one out, from an artist’s standpoint – it’s just as important for me to recharge as it is to throw myself into my stories and scripts and projects. 

You can’t keep pouring wine out of an empty cup.  

So over the next few weeks, I’ll still be blogging here.  I’ll still be living life – writing, reading, seeing friends and colleagues, imagining a totally crazy future… 

But today, I am learning to rest. 

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Sabbath

– Our world is full of traditions of rest. In every culture, in every century, there have always been traditions of withdrawing from the world for short periods of time to refresh and reflect.  

Now, let’s just be honest.  I always hated it.  

It always felt so fake. 

Life always felt so much bigger than sitting in a Sunday school classroom, dressed up and eating goldfish crackers out of a little Dixie cup. This was the rest I was supposed to aspire to? There was no running, no jumping. No laughing.  No scuffing up your shoes. Today was God’s day, and it was boring.

There was this big beautiful world out there, and somehow I was just supposed to sit through this day and… I don’t know. Wait for Monday?  Who likes waiting for Mondays? There were things to do and people to see and dreams to plan for… It felt like such an enormous risk with absolutely no reward. What if the world moved on without you while you were wasting the day? 

But there was always something more. Something slipping in around the edges, something dancing around the margins, inviting. Dreaming. Whispering. There was more.

What if I’ve got the whole thing wrong? 

What if this resting thing everyone keeps talking about actually looks like this? 

What if that day of rest – any day of the week, really – meant that your soul was deeply rested and deeply satisfied? What if a day of rest really meant a day of fun? A day of taking one tiny step closer to joy? Though they weren’t perfect, what if those days of goldfish crackers and shiny shoes actually had something to them? There were moments with friends. Moments of learning something new about God’s profound love for our weird little hearts. Moments where we laughed anyway.

What if God’s heart for rest was much closer to those moments when you’re surrounded by your close friends, laughing over dinner and a glass of really good wine? Or a perfectly timed phone call from a faraway best friend? What if rest looked like the moment when a baby falls asleep in your arms?   

That’s a wildly alive moment. Peaceful. Restful. I could certainly live there. 

It suddenly seems like a risk worth taking. 

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* reblogged for Basileia here

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