writer

The Best Book Ever Written

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I was sitting on the beach this morning, watching the sunrise, drinking my tea when a pesky question arose in my mind:

What do you want?

Oh great, I thought, not this one again. Sometimes I’m too existential for my own good.

What’s funny about this is just a few days ago, as I was working on my new book  I asked this question regarding my main character:

What does she want?

This notion  is the core of my book—all my books. What is the single driving factor for each of my protaganists? Everything in my story that happens from beginning, middle and end points to the central desire of the leading role. This driving force is what keeps the reader engaged. It’s why we read… to see if the characters get what they want in the end.

Isn’t that all we’re looking for in life as well? To follow our desires and ultimately leave this planet finding what we came for?  That’s why this element is key to good story telling.  Desire seeking is a key component to the human condition.

In the case of my novella (working title:Oz Sucks) Jane, a cynical, spitfire has been blown to Oz in a hurricane and wants nothing more than to get home. Thus I am creating a story dedicated to Jane’s quest. Every scene in the book in some way points towards her desire, either bringing her closer or farther from her goal.

My secondary character, the cocky, romantic interest, Kansas transplant Nick wants one thing and one thing only—to have Jane. So, my story is a dance of sorts between these two characters, based on a basic premise: Jane wants to go home and Nick wants Jane.

Think about the “characters” in your life. Are you not also doing a dance with them as them as well? A push-pull of I want, you want… we want?

A great example of this comes from Lord of the Rings. The premise is so simple. Frodo, wants to get rid of the ring without being sucked in by its power…and of course Sméagol wants the ring. Such a modest premise for such a rich, complicated story.

We are no different than the characters in the books we read. We are all driven by our desires, thus our lives unfold according to the path we choose. If you want to be a wealthy person, your life story will show you acting in ways either to make money.or in some people’s case spending money haphazardly in order create the illusion of wealth. If your reason to live is to make your children happy, all of your core actions will be to give them what they need for a happy existence.

Of course our desires change over time since life is full of many sub-stories…not quite as clean and crisp as a book. However if you step back, pretend you are the reader instead of the leading role, you can see what drives you, why you do what you do.

It’s a weird exercise, seeing yourself as the reader (or the writer) instead of the actor, but I find it fun and fascinating.

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Sunrise near my home in Flagler Beach, Florida

I’ve probably sat in this spot on the beach five hundred times in the last five years and each time my surface desires have morphed and changed, but this morning I felt something different. Beneath my multitude of wants, something stayed the same.

What do I want? I asked myself. I knew the answer. Like a character in one of my books, the core of my desire has been calling me all these years.

I want to bring love to this world…and so, for me, as I write this life story I know it’s about becoming whole, so I can help others in their journey.

So if I’m to stay true to my writer’s code, every action I do from here on out should reflect this desire to not just give love, but be love.

That’s one lofty book, but I think I’m up to it.

Remember you’re the author of your own book….your own personal masterpiece.  Make it a good one.

In love,

Becky

PS. Here’s a great talk by Andrew Stanton the creator of Finding Nemo who talks about the key components of story telling and the power of asking ‘what do you want?’

 

 

 

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2015: The Year I Found my Heart

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I reclined back in a big, lazy boy chair in the office of Sue David, an 85 year old hypnotist who I had met a few weeks before. I didn’t even know why I was there really…curiosity I suppose.

Sue’s voice was even and calm and my mind easily followed it as she led me through a healing exercise. Guided by her words I envisioned my blood pumping through my body bringing nourishment and health throughout it.

I was listening, feeling calm and to my surprise completely in control…in fact I remember wondering what all this business was on focusing on healthy blood and such, when something she said, I don’t remember what exactly, triggered something deep within me.

It felts as if my heart burst open…flooded with love, like liquid gold pouring out in a perpetual ecstatic flow. Warmth covered my body and in that moment I knew all was good. All of it. Even in the suffering, I was loved.

I don’t think Sue’s intent was to send me into a euphoric journey, but for whatever reason it worked. I spent the next few days feeling a gentle, blissful high that no drug, no medication could equate with.

The thing is it kept going. I started doing self-hypnosis daily and because I’m not good at listening to what anyone tells me, I crafted my own version that somehow melds hypnosis with mediation, shamanistic journeying and prayer. Really, I’m just sitting alone in my bedroom, breathing deep and letting myself be, dropping the pretenses of all my fears, simply speaking to the darkness and the wisdom within. Maybe I’m talking to God, maybe I’ve connected to my soul, or maybe it’s simply mild psychosis….I don’t know…frankly what you call it doesn’t matter to me. Whatever it is, I go back to it whenever I can and let life flow through me, reminding me of who I truly am.

I could end the story there and you’d think “Well then, this chick has it all figured out” but quite the contrary. Life is life and the pendulum always swings, and I will tell you, glowing heart or not, this has been one f%*@ing hard year.

Probably too existential for my own good this golden outpouring of my heart opened me so far, so wide, that I was left no longer knowing which way to go.  I questioned everything…my purpose, my destiny…but instead of rewriting my book entirely, abandoning the solid path, of all things, I bought a motorcycle. So now rather than giving up on everyone I love, I not only have my devoted husband, my kids, and the strongest, most fantastic friendships I’ve ever had, but I also have a cute little Honda Rebel 250 that reminds me I can do whatever I set my mind to (plus gets me to 70mph on the open road!)

I have learned through my dear friend Marybeth (aka Marydreds!!) the phrase “let go, and let god”. I use it almost daily. And I tell you, when I let go of my need to control, my need to micromanage all the little outcomes in my life, miracles happen. These aren’t big miracles, like the parting of the red sea or anything, but instead they are little messages, signs, as if the Universe is saying “ yes….yes…you’re doing everything as you should.” It is in these moments I feel an out pouring of love towards myself, my friends, strangers, “enemies”!! I see their struggles, their fear, the pain, and love them unconditionally.

I’m just a baby on this road. I’m making it up as I go. Like all of us, my karmic path is thick with crap I’ve accumulated over a lifetime (or more!). Most the time it feels like I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m saying the wrong things, getting upset over silly stuff, feeling jealousy, greed, rage…but something has changed, just a little. I’m not taking it all too seriously. I’m standing a few feet back from my problems looking in and smiling, because for the first time I see the whole of it…like seeing the yin and yang, not for it’s separate pieces, but for its whole.

A few months back my wonderful friend Tim was teasing me incessantly for my overuse of the word amazing. Life is amazing…and it’s beautiful…but it’s also horrible and hard. The trick is as I’m learning from him is to walk the line, not get so swept up in the extremes. Bliss is fantastic.  Joy and euphoria are the things that make life sweet, but the higher you climb, the harder you fall.

The Buddhists, as I understand it, try to remove themselves from the wheel of life, the incessant spinning, the ups and downs. And so, following this logic, I go into this new year, standing back…ever so slightly, fully participating, yet also aware there is beauty and joy in letting go and not holding too tight onto the “should be’s” and the illusions of “ever afters.”

As I rode my motorcycle the other day over the huge bridge that crosses into Flagler Beach, looking at the expansive Atlantic Ocean I once again felt that ecstatic outpouring of joy.  As the blissful sensation filled my being I smiled knowing everything is perfect, just as it is.

Life is hard, but it is also magnificent.

I don’t have all the answers—not in the least, but I know right now, in this golden moment, life is good.

Peace.

May the wisdom of your soul whisper sweet words in your ear…and may you always be ready to hear it.

Happy holidays!!!

Love,

Becky

Catching Sunbeams: The Delicate Art of Stopping Time

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This weekend I went to a symphonic concert featuring the music of one of my all-time favorite bands-Led Zeppelin. Hearing the music performed live was intense and wonderful, perhaps one of the highlights of my decade.

As I sat there in the darkened auditorium and watched the violin bows moving in a synchronized dance, beneath the lights that poured on the stage, I felt as if the music was rushing at me like a wild wind, sometimes forceful, sometimes delicate. Two hours of perfection. When my favorite song, Kashmir played, I listened mesmerized. I didn’t want it to end. I wanted sit there into the night, just soaking in the continuous rolling, luscious sound.

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Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook that made me think of this previous night. A friend was talking of the inevitability of change and reminded me of one of my favorite aphorisms: “This too shall pass.”

This saying works great when things are bad, but what about when things are really, really good? Like that moment during Kashmir. I didn’t want that to pass. I wanted to hold on tight to it and not let go.

Time is a tricky beast. It is slippery and the more you try to hold on the quicker it slips away.

I experience this a lot in life. I try to grab onto time, but it never stays, in fact the harder I grab, the faster it slides from my hands. I want constancy in my life. I want to preserve the magic, the goodness, maintain in those perfect moments.

The other night my eight year old twins were lying on the bed with my husband and I all wrapped up in the blankets, when my sixteen year old son came in and jumped on the bed too. In a rare moment we were all there rolling in bed, laughing in one big tickle pile. It was ridiculous and wonderful. I was laughing so hard tears came from my eyes.

However moments later, as these things go, someone got elbowed, another got tickled too much and the crying began. That precious little sliver of time was gone, as quickly as it came.

It seems just as we get a hang of things, they change. It’s incredibly frustrating. Some days all I want to do is yell out “Wait! Wait! Please stop. Can’t we rewind a minute?” Yet this life of ours is tenuous. It is a beam of light pouring in through a window. It cannot be caught. It can’t be held. And no matter what you do that sun will drift past your window, in its continual dance forward.

I’ve learned a little trick that I use from time to time in those good moments. Rather than worry about losing time, I take it all in, breathe and smile and love it for what it is, not for what it should be or might be tomorrow. When I allow for this perfect balance, it feels as if I actually become the moment. I cease to be the woman who is obsessed with preservation and become one who just is.

When I sat in the concert hall I tried this technique. I refused to give into my desire for control and power and I simply listened. I closed my eyes and let myself feel that music fully…so when it ended it was okay, because I knew there was another moment to come, and another and another, and they were all good.

Eventually the show was over and my husband and I with our two friends walked over to my favorite bar for a drink, and that was perfect too. Every moment was different, brand new…and every moment was perfect in its own beautiful fragility.

It feels as if we have little control over our lives…but I sometimes wonder. What if in fact we have absolute control? What if we treated these moments as if they were just a tiny feather resting lightly in the palm of our hands and opted to not hold on? If we did this, I mean REALLY did this, would those moments…or even life itself…. become timeless?

I think yes.

Change is necessary, loss is inevitable, but when we sit back and just let the music play, everything works out just as it should.

Yes, it’s True. I’m Part Neaderthal.

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For Christmas my husband gave me a kit from 23andMe using my genetic material to help uncover my ancestral genes. And so I spit into a little vial (it took a lot more than you’d think) and shipped my saliva across the country to a lab, where they extracted my DNA and ran it through a complex computer .

This morning I woke up to see an email in my inbox letting me know my results had arrived.

As I clicked on the email my hand shook. The thought of uncovering tens of thousands of years of personal history was exhilarating. I logged on and a beautiful chart appeared, graphing my personal story.

I’m over 95% Ashkenazi. No big surprise. I’m Jewish on both sides through and through. But there was also a little Finnish and perhaps a tinge of Japanese. Where the heck that came from I don’t know. My personal map lit up all over the world, revealing my genetic global connection: a little middle east, a lot of Europe, and some Asia thrown in.

On my mother’s side I am identified as haplotype K1a9. I learned that K’s are a broad group that include many Jews, as well as Palestinians, Kurds, and some Ethiopians. Stephen Colbert and Meryl Strepp apparently are my distant kin!

This afternoon I went to pick up the kids at school. Sitting in the school office I watched the students and teachers walk by and found myself envisioning them each as an amazing complex code…each with a unique set of markers that tells not only about who they are, but about those before them. I marveled thinking of their unique traits, a network of amazing genetic stories to tell.

At home I went online and found a discussion group of my fellow K’s. People seeking their own haplotypes sent out a call, like chauffeurs outside an airport, signs in hand. It was thrilling to see people connecting as if they were finding long lost family. I suppose some of them were!

Looking at this amazing map-of-me today, it dawned on me how truly interconnected we all are. Pieces of all of us stretch the span of the earth and although we each have our own unique signature code, we are all tied to earlier humans (and Neanderthals it turns out!) who left a gift with us.

I’ll admit it is a little creepy to think humans are being coded and classified. Many sci-fi books and movies have been written on the subject,, but I also find it all so liberating! As a person who wants to better understand herself and the world around her this seems like the perfect tool, because ultimately it’s just another way to help us understand who we truly are.

23andMe is a great service with an easy to understand website that not only shares your genetics but helps you connect with family and distant kin. The results are confidential. They do collect data for medical research; however participation is completely up to you. The service costs around $80.

And by the way, if there’s any other K1a9’s out there, let me know!

Peace,

Becky

The Upside of Weakness

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I’m going to start this blog with a question…

What is your greatest strength?

Sit with your answer for a minute.

Now think about this…

What is the downside to that strength? Does that strength ever turn against you?

Sit with that a minute too.

For me, my greatest strength is my openness. I’m open with everyone I meet, open to the workings of nature, to the workings of life! I fall in love easily. To me life is luscious. I approach it with open arms I mean, holy crap this life thing is fun!

Openness is a pretty good trait to have, but ask my husband and he might tell you otherwise.

According to him I take on too many projects, let people in closer than I should, reveal too much about myself, plus I need lots of refuel time. Being open all the time is exhausting. I’m sitting here writing this from my cozy, dark bedroom, with my toes tucked deep beneath the blankets, because being “out there” in the craziness was too much for me. I’ve spent all day taking in life and I’m so, very exhausted. I know we all go through this, but I have to say if I don’t refuel, my anxiety becomes unmanageable.

I think this is why the people around me call me bipolar. I open up to the world with intense passion, then exhausted and spent I recoil and hide, recharge, then do it all again. For my poor, blessed husband this must be exhausting to watch (Although I secretly think it’s why he likes me!).

My mom has this story she tells about me when I was just about two. I was in the kitchen and had just figured out how to climb a chair all by myself. When I final made it up to the top, I stood, but only for a moment; off balance I feel to the floor. I cried like it was the end of the world, then climbed that chair again and yes, proceeded to fall again. I apparently did this over and over.

Me and my mom before my chair climbing days, circa 1972

My climbing and falling routine is no different than what I do every day of my life. Although it looks fruitless, it’s not. I do it because the joy of climbing and the joy of standing up high are more powerful than the feeling of falling. To this day I choose to keep climbing higher and higher, knowing full well I will occasionally take a plunge. The only difference between then and now is now when I’m down I know it’s not the end of the world. I will eventually get up again, open my arms and swallow the world whole with the same passion and joy I did before, because to me this is the only thing I know. This is who I am!

We are our positives and our negatives. My husband loves boundaries and limits and he is amazing at them. He can watch the world at work from the sidelines and not be swayed by the chaos (can you see what brought us together?) He is a thinker, and controller.  He’s got a great head for business and a keen understand for patterns and numbers, but who do you think gets us out of the house? Yep. Me. His greatest strength causes him to protect himself, if you ask me, a little too much.

Now, returning to your greatest strength. Is it also your greatest weakness? Do you have such great control over your life that you find it hard to open up to people? Or do you care so much for others that you forget to care for yourself? Are you such a good “fixer” in your life that you forget that sometimes things are okay left alone. Or are you like me? Does your openness leave you so raw and exposed that you make yourself vulnerable?

Whatever way you live, I think ultimately we’re all just two-year-olds climbing chairs. We’re striving to be better people, demonstrating for the world our amazing skills, but sometimes all that performing gets the better of us and we land on the floor.

Floor-landing is okay. It’s part of the game. We all do it. Never be afraid to love your strengths, but equally so, never be afraid to love your weaknesses. They’re part of what makes you amazing!

Peace,

Becky

Find out  about my upcoming book at www.opensoulsbook.com

Sex is Awesome!

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If you’ve been following my blog, you’re probably confused a bit right now. Lately I’ve been writing a lot about self-awareness, connecting with the Universe, and all this fancy esoteric stuff, so my guess is that you’re looking at this title and wondering “Sex? Really?”

So, I’m here to confess, I’ve been thinking about sex a lot lately. I suppose I always do, but even more lately. To me—next to chocolate chip cookies and moonlit nights over the ocean—sex is the best thing the universe has to offer. (And hey, put chocolate chip cookies, moonlit nights together with sex and you may have found yourself the recipe for supreme ecstasy).

I believe with all my being that sex is one of the most divine acts in the universe. God (or whatever you believe in) made it fun for a reason. Sex brings us closer to who we really are and when we let it, it can take us to a place of unstoppable joy. Sex is not something to feel ashamed of, nor is it something to condone in other people. Whatever way you choose to do it, whoever with, whatever position, sex is wonderful.

And so, I came up with this idea. Why don’t we put two really great things together—two of my favorite: sex and words. Let’s put them together in a context where people can come together, celebrate, laugh, and swoon. And so I approached Inspired Mic creator, Michael Ray King and said, “Hey, let’s do an open mic event that’s all about sex.” Needless to say, he was all for it!

We found seven writers (and a dancer!) who aren’t shy to the subject. Turns out there’s a lot of writer’s out there who’ve been itching to read their erotica out loud. So, on February 14th at 6:30 pm we will converge at Change Jar Books in Flagler Beach Florida, to tell saucy, seductive tales in an event we’re calling In the Prose of Passion.

For me an event like this is much more than just a chance for people to come together and get their jollies. It’s about celebrating sex—the desire, the tension, the playfulness!

We are all beautiful, sexual beings. There’s nothing to hide. Nothing to fear. Sex is beautiful, and yeah, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

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We’ve got an amazing line up for the night…

Anna Zaires-USA today best selling author will be featuring some of her saucy sci-fi erotica.

Melanie Neale, St. Augustine’s premiere writer and author of Boat Girl: A Memoir of Youth, Love, and Fiberglass will be reading her seductive poetry.

Renny Roker– Former Hollywood actor (and the first African American to appear on Gomer Pyle!) will surprise us with some romance. You wont believe this guy’s bio.

Robin Soprano will be reading from her debut romance novel A Soul Mate’s Promise.

Michael Ray King, publisher, author, poet and MC extraordinaire, will lead the show and taunt us with his poetry.

And then of course the lovely dancer Sammy Sutra of Bada Bing Babes Burlesque out of Jacksonville will be flirting with us all.

I’ll be reading too! www.beckypourchot.com.

Be sure to join my mailing list, to get updates on my dark romantic thriller Open Souls. Coming soon! www.opensoulsbook.com

The Year in Review….Sort Of

I have a lousy memory. Details that everyone around me can recall are just hazy thoughts, like a dream I barely remember upon waking up.

The thought of this used to make me panic. I worried about the precious moments slipping away from me, but while I lament over not being able to remember the details of my children’s first step, I don’t linger on the past, because quite frankly, I can’t remember it so well.

This fuzziness of my history makes time feel very slow. Events that happened a year ago feel like ages ago. People always say “time speeds up as you age” but for me it’s the opposite. My life behind me is just a jumble of faint emotions, blips of reality.

So here I am living in this little bubble of the present and it’s not so bad. I take a lot of pictures and I make sure the people around me keep reminding me of our stories.

For what little memory I have, I will say last year, I really struggled with my shit.

Boy, did I!

But I think all that “shit struggling” was actually the best part of the year. I faced myself head on and wrestled my demons. I looked at the anger, fear and desperation in the eye. I faced the things that were hurting myself and the people around me and smiled at it all playfully.

Although I am FAR from perfect, sometimes, rather than beating myself up for my shortcomings I chose to sit down and chat with my little demons:

“Hey, demons,” I say, “We’re in this together, you and me. We can’t do this life thing without one and other. So let’s make this work. Nastiness is who you are and as shameful and embarrassing as it feels at times, it’s a part of who I am.”

It’s then in this conversation, that I see that my demons are not pulling me down. They are in fact a staircase, supplying the very structure from which I will use to climb to higher places. I will always have my flaws (and some pretty big ones), but I forgive my demons, just as I forgive myself.

To the people I love, I apologize for any nastiness, pettiness, and greed I may have shown you this year. In my heart I want only the best for all of us, just sometimes my demons get in the way.

I wish I could say this year I’m going to figure it all out, that I’ll become a perfect mother, wife, friend, writer, but I realize there’s no winning in this game, just trudging forward and forgiving along the way.

Besides, life would be no fun if we figured it all out, right?

As a side note: I’m excited to tell you about my next book, out April 1st, —Open Souls—all about meeting and greeting your demons. If you want more information you can go to the website and register to be notified about its release.

www.opensoulsbook.com

Peace to you all!

Some Thoughts on Mind Control

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I have a sticky brain.

At least that’s what I call it. I get thoughts and they stick to me, cycle in my head.

These can be good thoughts, like day dreams, planning for a big event or the outline for a new story. But these thoughts can also be bad; my mind riddled with negative self-talk.

The good obsessions are great. They fuel me, push me farther, inspiring me to do amazing things.

On the other hand the negative obsessions are awful. They’re like little gremlins that whisper in my ear, sucking me down. An inner dialogue emerges in my head, a thought loop, where a negative thought enters my brain, and I try “fixing” it by telling myself everything is fine. It’s like an alcoholic and his enabler wrapped into one head….yes, a little nutty.

It looks sort of like this-

Gremlin One: “Oh my god you’re so fat!”

Gremlin Two: “No. It’s just how you looked in that one picture.”

Gremlin One: “But you saw the scale. You gained two pounds in just a day! You’re a horrible failure.”

Gremlin Two: “Weight fluctuates. You’re fine.”

Gremlin One: No, I’m not. I can see the thickness on my thighs.

Thought loops never lead to anything good, because they’re just that. Loops. I’ve got dialogues for all sorts of problems. Each one embarrassing and torturous in its own way.

And so, after living with gremlins my whole life I’ve decided to try something.

Whenever I recognize myself in a loop I shout in my head “No!”   That’s it.Nothing more. I know it sounds silly.

I’m not a black and white, wrong and right sort a gal, so this feels very odd. I don’t yell at my kids in this way, nor would I yell at a friend, or my husband like this.

But these little gremlins are not friends, they feed off of ambiguity. They love the realm of “not knowing”:“Am I a good friend or a bad one?”, “Am I doing the right thing or failing miserable?” ,“Do they like me or hate me?”

The truth is everything in life is ambiguous. I know that no amount of gremlin banter is going to find an answer to my fears. So rather than feed them I’ve decided to give them a short abrupt, irrefutable answer. All there can be in that single moment of my little wild brain is a single word. “No.”

No questions. No worries. No reassurance. No fail. No win. Just NO.

To keep me staying true to my bizarre plan, I’ve randomly left notes in my phone calendar. Every day or two I get a message from myself saying “Just Say No” or “Don’t forget! Say No.” or “Are you still obsessing”?

I’ve started small, attaching the “no” rule to just one obsession. So far, four days in and its working well. The thoughts still come, but they don’t stick. I hope to add a new obsession today.

My poor gremlins are bored. I’ve taken away their toys and they don’t know what to do. So, I imagine myself taking their creepy little hands, sitting them on the couch with me and saying “There, there, nasty little things. I forgive you. Now run along and please, leave me the hell alone.”   Maybe one day with a little diligence I‘ll no longer be trapped in the quagmire of ambiguity and I’ll be able to step forward, confidently unafraid to say one simple word: No.

Dancing on the Line…

My current book in progress, tentatively titled “Open Souls” is about a man and a woman whose lives collide (quite literally) when they discover an ancient box and open it on the streets of St. Augustine Florida. Like a modern day Pandora, when the box opens, chaos is released, forcing the characters to descend into their own versions of madness.

We all walk the line between chaos and control. As humans we thirst for order, familiar patterns, predictability, but too much control and we lose touch with our creative being, the one who lust for adventure, excitement, possibility.

Naturally we need to keep our demons in check, otherwise society would fall apart, but on the same token, if we’re too closed, we will miss the beauty, the sheer joy in being alive and connected to the world.

In Open Souls I try to maintain a sense of ambiguity. Is having the box open a good or bad thing? How much openess is too much? Being open for Brad and Olivia is a mixed bag, and it’s not until they embrace who they are, dark and light, that they are freed from the box’s spell.

Open Souls will be my sixth book (www.beckypourchot.com). I’ve written both memoir and fiction and I must say that fiction, though obviously untrue feels as familiar and real to me as writing a memoir.

Just like Brad and Olivia’s journey, my life—all of our lives— is full of ambiguity. It’s an adventure, a walk on you tip toes down a balance beam, dancing the line between black and white. I hope as the readers dive into Open Souls they will see their own truths hidden within it as well.

Target publishing date: March 2015

Wisdom from the Dung Beetle

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My husband, Shawn and I were headed barefoot up to the beach for a stroll when he suddenly stopped me and pointed at the road.

What I saw, I kid you not, appeared to be a small piece of crap rolling itself across the street.

“What the hell?” I asked getting as close to a piece of crap a one can comfortably get.

I then noticed a beautiful iridescent insect, working diligently, pushing that tiny ball of doggie doo with all his little-bug might.

Shawn and I watched the guy for longer than I’ve ever watched a bug do anything…we were enthralled, captivated by his determination to manage something that the rest of us view as waste.

He eventually made it to the grass on the other side and we cheered for him (much to the confusion of passerby’s). Rather than stopping for a bow, he continued onward pushing that crap in the neighbor’s yard.

Now, I’m sort of weird this way… because in this moment of watching this dung beetle do what dung beetles do, I reached an epiphany…

“Holy shit….” I said aptly, “This dung beetle is me!” I looked at my husband who just smiled like he does when I don’t make much sense.

“No I mean it…my life… Here I am just thinking I’m doing something lofty and important, but in reality I’m just pushing a ball of shit around.

Sometimes I’m too introspective for my own good, and in this case it might have been true.

As a writer/stay-at-home mom I am not technically employed.  I write books, poetry, short stories, but I have yet to see my name in lights. I don’t have the great Amazon rankings and I’m putting in a hell of a lot of time for not a lot of money.

With the life of a dung beetle weighing heavy on my mind I did a Google search and sure enough our little green friend appeared on the screen. It turns out the dung beetle’s efforts are not fruitless. The beetles roll the poop to a safety then lay their eggs in it, insuring that their babies are born snuggled in tight in smelly, yet nutritious crap.

These beetles are not living the prisoned life of Sisyphus, forever rolling a rock up a hill, instead they have lofty goals. Dung is not dung to a beetle. It is food and it is a promise of a future for additional little crap rollers.

Similarly everything I write propels me toward something greater. Every book signing I do, every event I hold is part of this movement forward.   It is me laying the ground work, developing my platforms, increasing my repertoire.

So on those days that I feel like I’m just pushing doggie doo around I’m going to remember that small beetle, who never gives up. He knows that ball of shit he’s pushing around is worth a whole heck of a lot more than us humans think it is.