How to figure out what your dream is…

After a previous video I made, three benefits to pursuing your dream, several people asked, “what if you don’t have a dream?” and “how can you figure out what your dream is?”

Here are some thoughts I have on those questions:

1) Maybe you don’t have your full dream or vision, but do you have a partial image, or a hint of a thought? I would tug at that, and see what unravels.

2) We see more and find more as we takes steps forward, in courage. Make the effort to explore and pursue small hints of joy. As you step forward, have hope, and invest time in what captures your imagination. Then, doors to adventures will surprise you, sometimes in very unexpected places!

I hope this helps. Please leave comments, thoughts or questions. I LOVE to hear from you!


Christian Bale, Kristen Stewart, Joaquin Phoenix, and Colin Firth?

Some writing advice blogs suggest finding picture of who you imagine your characters to look like; therefore, I’ve been having a little bit of fun with this. However, if the characters look different in final Mirror of Sparrows, please don’t be irritated about it. Also, the people I picked are all ridiculously famous and good looking, so forgive me for being superficial. I’m procrastinating from doing real writing.

Colin: main character (though Molly is a tight second/originally she was the main deal) if I can pull off writing from a male POV. He’s a seventeen-year-old expert lock picker, has crazy star tattoos, fighter, needs to figure out where he belongs. I’m thinking young Christian Bale (my son and I just finished watching all his Batman movies).

young christian bale

Molly: sixteen-year-old who loves the rain, fighter, younger sister of Hugo. This came as an unexpected choice for me, but for some reason I’m going Kristen Stewart.  I really like the persona she carries.

Kristen Stewart

Hugo: twenty-seven-year-old champion stick fighter of Correnstrait, Molly’s older brother, rather mysterious personality. He’s a big deal. I’m thinking Hugo reminds me of Joaquin Phoenix. Originally I thought Joaquin would be Colin; but Colin appears a bit more light hearted.

Joaquin Phoenix

Barnes: drum roll please, the antagonist…of sorts. This has been the hardest and most fascinating character to discover. I’ve been trying to figure him out for a while (originally, he was a woman), but when this part comes together I think it’s gonna all fit together. Anyway, I’m going to go with the one and only, Mr. Colin Firth. Don’t ask why; I’m not entirely sure yet myself.

Colin Firth

Uncle Felix: Colin’s awesome uncle. I’m thinking Hugh Jackman. I love Hugh Jackman; I had to put him in here somewhere.

Hugh Jackman

Peace: Molly’s bestie. Dreaming big with Scarlett Johansson.

Scarlett Johanson

There are a few other important characters, but I think this is a good start for now! If you read this far, thanks!! And now you know a bit more about my book : )

Why I like to write in the morning, a poem

Why I like to write in the morningI like to write in the morning,

before reality – sets in.

I like to write in the morning,

before I recall what –

logically, probably, certainly – ain’t happenin’

I like to write in the morning,

when they day is

– still untouched.

Then, anything is possible,

And any dream’s attainable.

I like to write in the morning,

before the birds begin their words,

when stars are still out,

when the coffee is hot (decaf for lent, Kylie).

Fresh mind.

No stress.

No fear to interfere.

Only hope

– in the morning.

I like to write in the morning,

’cause that’s when I dream the biggest dreams.

When the improbable feels tangible,

when I feel unstoppable –

That’s why I like to I write in the morning.

Poems I wrote a while ago

Below are two short poems I wrote for another blog, a number of years ago. It’s fun to look through forgotten stuff : )


stay with me

Intro: Sometimes, when my children have a hard time, I don’t say anything. I just stay with them. Hold them. Try to be there, tangibly … not as judge, teacher or corrector. And it’s made all the difference.

Stay with me 10 minutes

When you don’t have any words, but still just want to be together … Stay with me 10 minutes.

When you are feeling sad and mad, and I don’t have any words … Can I just stay with you?

We don’t have anything to do, but we just want to be … Stay together 10 minutes.

Let’s just sit together.

We don’t need words, or anything to do…Just stay with me 10 minutes.


message in a bottle

Intro: I can’t remember what prompted this poem, but I know it had to do with my gratitude for God and Max, my husband.

Message is a bottle

My soul was drowning in this bottle,

Corked up and trapped in lonely melancholy.

Then one day someone opened my prison up,

poured all the sorrow out,

and set me free.


I left a message in this bottle,

for someone hopefully to see.

I used to be held captive here,

till love and truth delivered me.


Friends who inspire

Often, it’s tempting to disconnect from the world of people. After all, aren’t certain social interactions super challenging? Or, am I the only one?

There are those friends and family, however, who manage to tread lightly and inspire: these life givers tug me along in more ways than they can imagine.

One of them is my dear friend, Asami. Asami is one of the kindest, most authentic, creative and fun people I have met, and I wanted to record what huge a part she has played in my writing journey.

Sort of against her will, I filmed her playing the piano; she said she made mistakes in the below clip, but all I hear is a friend willing to play for me and fill my home with beautiful music. Thank you, Asami, for your friendship, generosity and your constant willingness to discuss life with me.

Belle’s yellow gown

belle's yellow dress

This afternoon, my kids, their friends and I watched the movie Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. There is much I could say about the movie, but what I want to focus on is Belle’s yellow gown. In light of the inner-beauty theme of the story, I realize this question may seem rather superficial, but please bear with me: one of the main aspects I enjoy about movies and theater are the costumes.

Why is the yellow dress important?

When Belle comes out in the dress, I think it’s symbolic of her inner beauty, just as when Beast comes out, his clothes are, in my opinion, symbolic of his newly found inner beauty. I may have just made that theory up, but that’s how I see it.

Beauty’s dress is not only iconic in and of itself, but, as I see it, it is an iconic outward expression of inner beauty: as such I wanted the dress to capture my imagination, to combine simplicity and intricacy, elegance and strength, joy and intelligence.

Background info:

Oscar winning costume designer, Jacqueline Durran, explained that “Emma was quite categorical that she didn’t want a big princess dress […]. She wanted to have something she could move in and she definitely, adamantly would not be wearing a corset.” That fits with both Emma and Belle’s character, as well as the empowered role model we want for girls: “working with Watson to design a feminist version of that iconic yellow ball gown.”

Perceptions of beauty:

Since beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, finding the dress that would please everyone is impossible. Emma and Jacqueline’s stories are different than my story and your story. Each woman’s expression of inner beauty differs. I enjoy that tension. I enjoy seeing different expressions of beauty. If you watch the movie, would love to hear what you think of her dress.

When life hands you jerks…

What do you do when life hands you jerks? Over the last year, the lightbulb finally went on and my approach towards relationships radically shifted.

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “[b]ut I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” In addition, Luke wrote, “[d]o good to those who hate you.” Accordingly, these are the three ways I used to respond to jerks:

  1. To the best of my ability, be sweet and do acts of kindness.
  2. Try to connect with them and figure out the underlying reason for their jerkiness; dig up the root cause for any issues, deal with it, empathize where possible and create peace.
  3. When all the above failed, pray that time would yield healing in the relationship.

These habits became entirely depleting. Can anyone relate?

What I was trying to do was chase after the jerks: in fact, I found that the more jerky a person would be, then the kinder I would try to be.  While those attempts are beautiful, the problem is that we only have so much to give and that there are consequences when our energy is consumed with the wrong people and situations.

chasing people

Trying to make people who didn’t care for me happy and striving to be likable was exhausting, and disappointing, and an impossible task…leaving me with little left to give back to those who actually filled my life with goodness.

The Bible has a lot to say about fools (I’m going to use the words fool and jerk interchangeably, because it’s helpful for me to think of jerks as fools). For example, “[l]ike tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool.” (Proverbs 26:8)

How I handle fools now:

  1. I take my focus off the fools and invest my energy in people who are awesome: those people who are kind, diligent, authentic, and inspiring are the ones I give my time, energy and resources to.
  2. When someone is a fool, I will be courteous and pray for them; I don’t start acting like a fool myself.
  3. If the fool starts acting less foolish, then I might offer them new opportunities for trust.

Time is a valuable asset and it’s important to be smart in how we invest it. Just as one would not invest money in some venture that promises loss, one might want to think twice before investing in a relationship that promises depletion.

However, a wise investment reaps: accordingly, I have now found that as I assign time and energy to great people and big dreams, the result is that my cup overflows and my life is rich.

chase dreams


Why Ryan Gosling makes me mad!

ryan gosling on piano

Could Ryan Gosling play piano before La La Land? I guess not. Supposedly, he learned how to play his movie pieces in three months. That feels so unfair…and I’m not even a musician.

You may ask… is it really true? One of my dearest friends, a Ryan expert and piano expert, has convinced me that it is.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the music and his playing ….Did anyone not like it?

But who cares, the bottom line is that it makes me mad that all he had to do was play for three months. So what if he practiced for several hours a day; it still only took him three months.

It makes you feel like all that growth mind set is a bunch of hog wash and that some people can just do anything…and the rest of us mortals…well, we just gotta keep working hard, put in Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hours, and then hope for the best.

I can’t help but wonder…if Ryan Gosling were writing my novel, how long would it take him? By now, he probably would have published eight novels…

I like the idea of 10,000 hours – it feels like a great equalizer; it seems fair. If you have what it takes to practice for 10,000 hours, then yes – you deserve the spot light….but three months…that makes me mad.

But I should have a better attitude.