Sunday, March 20, 2011

Making the rules as I go...

Yesterday was my birthday. An anthem sounded through my head all day long, "31 and so much fun!"

As the birthday wishes on Facebook rolled in, these were among my favorite:

"And on this day...many moons ago...a wolf owl HOOTED...and Amanda came into being...and the universe paused for a moment to marvel."

"Bake in joy, wake in wonder, be you, you are Amazing...make us the it to it sweet honey pie."

And the love continued to pour in all day!!!!

Birthdays are the most special days of the year, because you get to be YOU and everyone celebrates it! It is the one day of the year when people are just thankful that you are alive, and they aren't there to change you or critique you. Oh, I shall bask in this glorious light for as many days as I can make it last! I only get to do it once a year, right?

Anyway, I had lots of fun, which began with writing my blog and marketing my Facebook author page, which actually worked! I increased my fan base by almost 40 people! And why not? There isn't another time (that I have experienced) when you get more traffic on your FB page! Score! :)

I rewarded myself for getting my writing done first thing in the morning, by juicing up a nice carafe full of fruits and veggies. The birthday special: one beet, three carrots, a handful of kale and collard greens, two oranges, an apple, a kiwi, some strawberries and a banana. Mmm Mmm! My nephew, Ryan, assisted me with the juicing as I loaded in the goodies and we sang the juicing song! Or rather, I sang it and he looked at me like I had gone completely nuts. ;)

That afternoon, I indulged myself with a visit to the Princess Diana exhibit at Union Station, my family in tow. The guys weren't as interested as I was, but they stuck it out!

Princess Di is such an inspiration to me and many of the words that have been written about her resounded deeply in my heart. Her brother, Charles Spencer, wrote that she was a, "unique phenomenon," a "glorious humanitarian," who had "intoxicating sophistication," a "natural nobility," a "sincere common touch" and "boundless energy."

And yet this woman was highly scrutinized in the public eye. Regardless of her amazing, selfless life work, Diana was still insecure and it is that humble side of her that truly magnetizes me to her. Charles Spencer wrote, "Genuine Goodness is threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum," and I thihnk that is so important for all of us to remember that as we battle the swift currents of social evils and fight our own good fights!

In the words of Diana herself, "I don't go by the rule book; I lead from the heart, not the head."

Such strong words from an intuitive role model and they also ring true to my own journey, as I now find myself choosing to either follow the rules of publishing Children's lit, or to just do it the way I hear it in my heart. It is all great knowledge to consider, but it is there just for that purpose: to consider. The final decision is up to the author! Amen!

After the Diana exhibit, we grabbed some delectable treats at Pierpont's happy hour in Union Station. By request of my nephews, we made our way back to the music shop that we stubled upon on Wednesday to host my birthday jam. This time, however, we gave our jam some lyrics and had an audience to clap for us! We left with a video documentation and sweet smiles on our faces! :)

When we returned home there was only one thing left to do: eat cake! My mother prepared fresh strawberry shortcake and I made a very focused wish as I blew out my candle. ;) My dad also prepared two chinese wishing lanterns for me to send up into the clear sky, and I happily wished twice more as they floated up, up and away.

As my birthday began to wind down, I thought about just how special my day had been. If the special moments of a birthday were practiced more often for individuals, they may lose their "awe" factor, but Geez! We sure would all be bubbling over with joy more often than not! ;)

Just sayin'.

I may have to start celebrating a quarterly birthday just to experiment my theory. So ladies and gentlemen, mark your calendars, my next day to be showered with love is June 18th, 2011!

As for "Larry Bear," I began the story-boarding process, not based on any model, but on my gut feeling about how it should be presented. I saved a draft and forwarded it to my illustrator, who has been in Colorado all weekend for her daughter's Volleyball tournament. I accompanied the document with an email full of "Whaddya think"s and open ended statements, but expect that she will not have much time to write until the beginning of next week when she returns home to Florida.

This collaboration is a first for both of us and I suspect that our emails and questions will only be getting longer as we move along each stage of the process! Well, I say bring it on! Every ounce of energy I have put into this project comes directly back to me, magnified by its ability to change and grow and I can feel the FIRE getting stronger and the QUAKE shaking harder inside of me daily!

So, to close in honor of Princess Di -- we are writing our own rule book daily, and I look forward to sharing it with you, too -- to take it, or leave it, as you may.

As always, thanks for being along for the ride...

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