Monday, December 28, 2015

Derailing the Crazy Train

As 2015 comes to a close, as always, I contemplate the meaning and purpose of the Butterfly Phoenix blog. I have taken the last month to determine in which direction the blog is going to go in 2016.

In the last couple of years, the blog has kind of taken an alternate route on the tracks of the crazy train. It has felt chaotic and without purpose or direction. Well friends, it’s time to derail the crazy train and get back on the Empire Builder.

As a young person, I always wanted to be an author. I wanted to build a life around storytelling; and then real life took over and that dream dwindled into the smoldering ash heap of dreams that I convinced myself would never come true for me.

At forty years old, I made the “now or never” decision that I would write my first novel, Sticks and Bones, which, with all its imperfections, is still my best seller. At the time, I found that the publishing world has changed, for better or worse. It’s still evolving into something new and wonderful. As an author and a blogger, I had to decide how I am going to fit into the landscape.

I don’t have the time or the desire to spend copious amounts of time on social media to join independent author networks. This in itself creates a conundrum of sorts for me. I have come to the acceptance that my books will have to stand on their own and my blog as well. It wasn’t easy, because like everyone else I want to make money too, but at the same time, I am not willing to sacrifice my family and friends for a few coins. I write for the pleasure of it.

So, what does this mean for the Butterfly Phoenix blog? I have made the decision that the theme for 2016 is going to be “Life and Literature.” I am a reader of the classics and the contemporary. I will be discussing the literature I have read, and will read, and how it relates to our lives; mine, yours, and the world’s. The blog publication schedule is once a week, on Sundays.

In 2016, I plan to finish the two books that have been suffering on the crazy train ride, “Prairie on Fire”, and “Scribes.” So, let’s derail this locomotive of destruction and all climb aboard the Empire Builder. It’s time to make dreams come true!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2015

In Hope There is Love

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
–Laura Ingalls Wilder

Well, here we are again, as in olden days, happy golden days of yore. It’s Christmas time again, and I heartily wish a Merry Christmas to all.

Christmas is the time of year where underneath all the hustle and bustle of shopping and baking, and making preparations for family from far and near, there lives a certain feeling of something greater.

Oftentimes, we find ourselves drifting back to the days of our youth, longing for that certain something that most assuredly existed, way back then. As we contemplate the days of youth, we can’t quite put our finger on the one thing that made it all so special; that certain something that found a home in our hearts, and each year is rekindled into a glowing warmth that is reflected in the smiles on our faces and the lights that shine in our eyes.

Many times we find ourselves re-enacting the activities that took place once upon a time in a snowy world that now only exists in our hearts and minds. Perhaps it is a sleigh ride through the countryside with someone we love; or maybe it is building snow forts and engaging in the snowball fight to end all snowball fights; or participating in the family traditions that have been handed down generation to generation.

There’s an anticipation that comes with Christmas. I like to believe it is the anticipation of hope; hope for better days, for a better world, hope for peace on earth and good will toward men.

Our world doesn’t always reflect this anticipation. It is marred with wars that extend from the home to the nation states. It is marred with hunger, poverty, and injustice. It is unfair at times and sometimes bleak at best. Yet each December, that certain something stirs in our hearts. That certain something called hope.

As we move toward that most wondrous night of the year, the night Christ was born, let us keep hope in our hearts. Let us take a moment each day to kindle the spark of hope in our fellow human beings, and pass on the greatest gift that was given to us over 2,000 years ago. In hope there is love. This Christmas, let us love one another.