The Life Around the Corner, Part 1: Start Walking

Peek around the corner

Peek around the corner

When you write down your soul, you never know when something profound is going to plop onto the page. Sometimes you think you can predict the Voice or control it by asking really good questions. But you are not in charge. When you write this way, you yield the pen to the Voice and the Voice takes it. The only thing I know for sure is that the Voice will speak. But even I, after twelve years of deep soul writing, cannot predict when a sweet dollop of grace will land on the page. I can only smile and say, “Thank you.” And, oh, one other thing: grab that wisdom and use it.

That’s what happened April 23rd. I was back in New York teaching “How to Write Your Creative Blessing” at the Alex Grey gallery upstairs from the wonderful bookstore in the Village, East West Living. I had taught the class what a Creative Blessing is and how to use it to induce effortless work. As the group picked up their pens to write their blessings, I picked up mine. But not to write a new blessing. I love my Writing Blessing and don’t want to change a word. So I just stepped into my normal conversation with the Voice. I talked about my packed weekend of events in New York and Connecticut and wondered what it all meant and where it was all going.

In the midst of a perfectly ordinary sentence, this appeared: The life around the corner. I took a breath. Oh. Quickly, I captured it on a fresh page. The life around the corner. I didn’t understand it, but I knew it was a blessing.

That night, I stayed with Victoria Moran, author of the brand new Living a Charmed Life. I had to be in Norwalk, Connecticut at Pymander Books the next day. Victoria gave me directions. She said to walk north on Lenox/Malcolm X Blvd 9 blocks and then turn right on 125th and walk across three avenues to the Metro North station. For a Floridian who typically walks 4 yards to the car, it seemed downright exotic. But at 9am the next morning, there I was hiking up Malcolm X.

As I walked, the phrase returned: the life around the corner. As I turned the corner at 125th, I got it. I said “thank you” out loud. A young woman passing with two young boys smiled at me. I grinned back.

Here’s my interpretation of the Voice’s message. There is a life around the corner. You can’t see it. But it is still there. Waiting. Waiting for you to walk toward it. But what do we do? We duck into the safe storefront of the safe job, the safe relationship, the safe decision, the safe amount of money in the bank. I hovered in those “safe” doorways for years — decades actually. While my real life waited. Waited for me to overcome my fear, step out, and start walking.

A week later, I met my media guru, Jennifer Hill Robenalt of Hoopla Media. Jennifer’s vision for me and for Writing Down Your Soul takes my breath away. Do you remember that nifty spy binocular toy that allowed you to see around corners and over fences? I loved that thing.

Well, Jennifer is my spy binocular. She sees what the Voice sees. We all need a Jennifer. We all need someone to see our potential and believe in our ability to achieve it. God love you if you have a Jennifer Hill Robenalt. But if you don’t, don’t worry. You have the Voice. And you have a life around the corner.

What is it?

Advertisements

Taking care of writers

Victoria Moran

Victoria Moran

I spent the last weekend in New York being cosseted and cared for by the illustrious author, Victoria Moran, whose Ninth and Tenth books come out tomorrow. (Just think, TWO books in one day! How many authors can say THAT?!) Drop what you’re doing and get Living a Charmed Life to learn how to live with joy and abundance despite the current conditions and The Love Powered Diet to learn how to eat with joy for unlimited health.

Victoria wrote this important blog on Beliefnet.com a couple days ago. It says everything you need to know about supporting your favorite writer. (ahem, I hope that’s us!) The truth is, without you, we are NOT here. And just what would the world look like without writers?

There are no books without readers, so please, read Victoria’s blog and know that she speaks for every writer from Dante to Tolstoy to Hemingway to Moran and, yes, Conner. Without you, our messages are silent. Here’s Victoria on how to support your favorite author:

Top Ten Ways to Keep an Author Afloat

1.Buy the book. I know this sounds obvious, but everybody is watching their budget these days so we have to plan to make purchases. If you’ve enjoyed an author’s previous books, get their new one into your spending plan.

2.Give it as a gift. This way you’ve both helped out with a sale and introduced this author you enjoy to someone else.

3.If you believe a book is deserving, write a positive review on Amazon.com or BN.com.

4.Attend bookstore signings. Even if you already own the book, or you’ll have to buy it later or get it from the library, just being a living, breathing, supportive person in that audience really helps.

5.Blog, tweet, talk, share…however you communicate with people. If you love a book, communicate that to them.

6.Read the book in public. I’ll never forget how, in my twenties, I got on the bus one morning and Wayne Dyer’s bald head was looking at meet from eight different angles because eight riders were reading his first book, Your Erroneous Zones, which featured (at that time) a photo of the top of his shiny pate on the cover. I bought the book that afternoon.

7.Teach a class, start a group, suggest it to your book club. If you’re crazy about a book, you can make it your own. When Creating a Charmed Life, the predecessor to Living a Charmed Life, was new, women started “charmed circle” groups all over the country. One, “the Lucky Charms,” met in Washington state for nine years, reading books in this genre by scores of different writers.

8.Tell a bookseller. Customer comments mean a lot, especially in the beautiful and stalwart independent bookstores out there. If you love a book the store isn’t carrying, your recommendation is likely to get that changed.

9.Contact the author with your ideas. Maybe there is a radio host or a newspaper writer in your area that you know would like to interview a particular author. Chances are, the author doesn’t know that and his/her publisher’s publicist probably doesn’t either. Let us know!

10.Hold this book and its writer in the Light. People who don’t write books don’t always understand what goes into one. It’s a year or two or more of life—either full-time, or late nights and early mornings and weekends. There’s the conception, the formulation, the convincing of an agent and an editor, the writing and rewriting and tossing out enough text for two other books. Then come the rounds and rounds of edits, the prayers for the right title and the right cover and that some journalist or renewer or TV producer might see this book, in the pile of the dozens that arrived this morning, and hear its message. I know you have a lot to pray for, but if you love how somebody writes, if someone’s ideas speak to your condition, he or she would appreciate your praying for their latest effort. An author is only as good as the last book. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the quality of the last book, but rather the sales of the last book. If there’s to be a next one, this one has to do well. If you think that’s worth a brief chat with God (or Saint Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers), may I say for my colleagues and myself, thank you.

And I, Janet Conner, say AMEN to everything Victoria said. She’s the expert with 10 books, I’m the baby with one. But I can see that she is right. Without the readers clamoring for our books, our voices, and our message go silent.

And silence is not a good thing.