Sunday, October 2, 2011


Current listen :  "Summer is Over" courtesy of Jon McLaughlin

Walk with me this morning. Bundle up in your favorite sweatshirt, sturdy shoes, and bring a mug of filled with something to warm you. For me, that's heating my cream and sugar with a smidgen of coffee. Not sure which rush I'm going for - caffeine or sugar.

The air is crisp, cool and slightly biting in the early morning hours. The sun is just starting to stretch its long golden fingers into the lavender heavens, threading through a puff of white here and there, turning the sky an apricot blush. You take a sip of your hot morning brew, savoring the warmth trickling down the back of your throat. A sigh of contentment forms a misty puff around your mouth. Beneath your feet, leaves fallen from the grace of the trees that once gave them life, form a colorful carpet over the dark loam of the forest floor. As you step, they crinkle and bend at whim.

Overhead, blue jays play a game of tag and squirrels bustle between branches with their latest stash tucked in their cheeks to hide for a cold winter's day. The air is heavy with the scent of pine and summer's decay, and the evergreen branches bow in the breeze as if you were royalty walking through Nature's court.

Yesterday, October tapped September's shoulder with a ghostly finger and whispered "it's time for you to go."  September whisked quietly away, stealing Summer in its retreat, and October settled in. Marked with crackling anticipation as the first scene in a three act play, taking us through a whirlwind of activity (draining our financial resources in the process) and filling us with childlike expectations of the holiday season fast approaching. October plays a soundtrack of melancholy memories of childhood, loved ones who have passed but left an indelible bruise on our heart and smile on our lips, along with a bittersweet knowledge that another year is coming to a close. Halloween, with its mystical powers at the hands of ghosts, goblins, and frolicking witches, will mark October's flamboyant exit and usher in November, full of mouthwatering anticipation of pumpkin pie and a turkey feast. When Thanksgiving leaves us grateful for the small things we take for granted, November will bow respectfully, as December, in all its grandeur enters. From there, folks, its all downhill, but the "ride" will be exhilarating, glamorous, and leave another page of our life written for the next generation to stand witness of.

October 1st marks another special day, for me, anyway. Last year on October 1st, I officially launched my career as a writer. I called myself an author, I'd finished my first manuscript and was ready to send my "baby" out. I attended my first writing conference, met agents and publishers, and actually pitched Designer Genes, resulting in a request for three chapters. I also got my first rejection.

The other amazing thing last October gave me, was an amazing group of writer friends I'd never have met if I hadn't embarked on this wonderful journey. I belong to two big ones, Romance Writers of America and Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, but its the smaller chapters formed under these power houses that I enjoy. My Utah chapter of RWA connected me with all the "author celebrities," but they gathered me under their wing and fed me worms to nourish me on my way to "flight." The talent these members have astonishes me and the way they support each other beyond the scope of writing is phenomenal. I love being counted among them.

Another smaller, intimate group, holds a special place in my heart. The "Writing Divas" were hatched from an online class given my well-known author, Eliza Knight. We were all "fledglings," morphing into something we hadn't quite figured out. A couple members had published and served as "seeing eye dogs" to the rest of us. When the class ended, our friendships didn't. We wanted to stay connected, so we formed our own writers' group, with the intention of critiquing. However, it has served more as a cheerleading squad, a shoulder to lean on, and comedic relief. It's a place where we try on our different author hats to get an opinion, before showing the world. We got our feet wet together learning to blog, create websites, and share news both personal and professional. What's amazed me, is watching these ladies complete their metamorphosis. Knowing I get to read completed stories from the glimpses I fell in love with in writing class is exciting. October 1st last year, the group was created and is still going strong. I hope our relationship lasts a very long time, and maybe one day, we'll actually get to meet in person. 

Belonging to these amazing organizations has taught me something. While my dream is to become a renowned published author, my unexpected joy has been in the journey. The goal to be published is the pot of gold at the end of rainbow, filled with colors that take my breath...just like the experiences along the way to my goal.

If I could share one thing, it would be to remind you not to focus so much on the destination that you miss the "scenery" along the way. That's what makes a trip memorable. All the little stops along the way to learn something new, see something different, discover something new about yourself. Enjoy the journey on the way to making your dreams come true. Be grateful for those who help you along the way, even if it's just to open the door to your next adventure. Hard as we may try, we can't go it alone. Goodbye September. Hello October! Who knows what I'll get in my "trick-or-treat" bag this year. 

Pause, reflect, remember, and find joy in your journey.

As always, thanks for stopping by.  Harley Brooks today...wearing her witchy hat!

4 comments: or said...

October is a grand time to reflect! The fall colors: green fading red, gold, and rust tainting them before they fall off and new buds begin their year long journey. My books start like that. I walk outside and the smell of change puts me into another experience that I can act out through my characters. New sounds, new smells, new sights - yeah, it's great. Thanks for the walk, the time to ponder and remember. And say, I'm glad to be a part of your groups as well.

Christina Wolfer said...

Well said, Joelene. I hadn't realized a year had come and gone since we'd taken Eliza's class. What a blessing that turned out to be in more ways thant one. I learned a great deal in the class, but more importantly found a home among you and the other Divas.

Jenny Kearl said...

This is my favorite time of year. Not only because of the spectacular fall colors and the changes in the season, but it is was exactly a year ago that you came in to my life.
You are not only an amazingly talented and gifted writer, but you are a treasured friend!
It's hard for me to believe a year has come and gone since our first conference and I will miss you more then ever this year.
Send out a big Yawwwp for me at the kiss and send ceremony and above all else, kick up your heels and pitch your heart out.

J. Coleman said...

Ahhh...shucks. Wish you were here/there!