Nov 14 – Meet Rhode Island Author Kevin Mulhern

It’s comforting to know that in this world full chaos and evil there are bright spots. People who want to see children grow to be strong and confident. Take a look at Kevin Mulhern’s work with his children’s book Cody the Cloud, and if you like what you see come visit him and other Rhode Island authors at theARIA Book Expo on December 5th at the Lincoln Mall.

Nov 14 – Meet RI Author Kevin Mulhern

Thinking About Nothing is Everything

lotusI just completed a much needed and very inspirational phone call with my book coach.  Hopefully she will not read this and see that already I am procrastinating about my next assignment.  But I needed to express this, for myself and anyone else who can hear me.  Thinking about Nothing is the most important thing I do each day.  You may call it meditation, prayer, getting in touch with my inner self.  All those labels apply to that time that is just mine, to let go and let life pass through the space between my ears.  But lately, I haven’t been doing nearly enough Nothing, and it shows.

I’ve been very tense about everything these past few weeks:  my daughter starting high school, which means soon she’ll be having all the experiences and adventures of a teenager and will come of age.  Exciting and scary at the same time. And work, the day job, has been frantic. Lots of changes, some significant, some silly, like the fact that I’ve had my cube location moved three times in the past three weeks.  I’m settling in, and it seems silly, but I began to feel like a transient, fun at first, but eventually frustrating and without stability.  And my body keeps me guessing by the moment – hot flashes, muffin tops and excess facial hair all scrambled up in a soup of chaos.  I feel like Linda Blair in The Exorcist these days, with no control over my body temperature or disposition.  Just a puddle of cold, then hot, pea soup.

So the book, my new book that I’ve been working on these past two years was really coming along and then the work, the flow all halted, abruptly and with no warning.  I was Trying to Get the Feelin Again like the best Barry Manilow fan, but nothing.  Flat.

Even as I’ve attempted sleep at night (or early morning, thank you menopause), all I can hear is voices, loud ones yelling and trying to get their pointless points across to me as I lay there covered in sweat and unable to rest.  I have no idea what they are even talking about.

Now I know what’s been missing.  The fuel that energizes me and in spires me to live from moment to moment, savoring each breath without judgment or drama.  Well, maybe a little drama for the sake of telling my story. Continue reading

Social Anxiety Be Gone!

anxietyWhen I first took the plunge and decided to publish A Girl from the Hill, I never considered the next logical step – selling A Girl from the Hill. I was clueless about the feelings that come from creating something, sweating and crying and laughing and agonizing over this baby of mine, only to then try to convince the rest of the world that it’s worth their time – and money.  Holy crap, I said to myself then and still say now. This marketing stuff is not easy.

I am not sure what I expected, for though I’m expressive, I’m just pathetic at networking, small talk, and walking up to people and asking them if they’d like to read my book. No, I’m the person who will sit with a million boxes of books printed and ready to sell in her living room, calmly waiting for the crowds to arrive. My ninety-year-old mother is a better salesperson than I am. “Didja know there’s a book about me?” she crows to anyone who will listen. And they listen.

So I’ve been trying to sell my book, and having all kinds of interesting adventures in the process. The best part of the selling process, besides making money, is, and I never thought I’d say this, meeting people. Not only meeting people, but talking to people. About me. And my book. And a whole bunch of other things that are important to us. Yes us. I am learning to become engaged, and hopefully, engaging.

You see, I often dread the thought of new places with new people. Even familiar places with familiar people. Call it social anxiety because that’s exactly what it is.  It isn’t apparent to people I work with, and I enjoy leading teams and projects successfully

Tonight, though, I wanted to take a moment to mention how incredibly fun it has been so far to talk to new people about writing and books, especially my book, these past eighteen months. Really, it’s been great therapy to share part of my life with others and not feel responsible for their happiness at the same time. Maybe they like me and my work, maybe they don’t. But I will not pass out and die if they don’t approve of me. Who knew?

The other aspect of this whole marketing thing that I’m grateful for is the writer friends I have made along the way. Whether it’s my blog buddies who write great stuff and urge me on when I blog, or the writers from ARIA or  ASTAL who share their work and their advice with me, and whose work provides me with the inspiration I need to keep writing even if it’s for 5 minutes a day.

So thank you all, who I’ve met so far on this journey, who write, read, share, and who have helped me grow as a person and a writer. Looking forward to next weekend at the Scituate Art Festival, when I’ll get another opportunity to reach out and find some more reasons to feel grateful and inspired.

The Biggest Loser (Ha!)

My Running Competition

My Running Competition

It’s pretty hysterical really.  Watching me run a race, or run anywhere.  I have way too much heft in my mid section to look like a runner.   And I run slower than most people walk.  But I have completed three 5K’s in the last 4 months.  The first one was in 95 degree heat running up and down the ramps in Gillette Stadium.  In the last two, on much easier courses and under cooler temperatures, I finished last.  Dead last.  No one behind me but the truck to come take down the finish line.

Most people would look for some other way to get exercise, for some other way that allows for less assumed humiliation.  Like when the elderly woman in the pic above was in front of me and finished before me in one race.  All I saw was the back of her, which, by the way was pretty fit.  After the race I asked her if I could take her picture because I wanted to remember the person who gave me inspiration to keep running.  I just kept thinking, you can’t let this woman finish without you, she’s on the other side of 70.  And she’s doing it.  She’s trotting along then stopping to walk a bit, just like me.  Just a wee bit faster.

“You were ahead of me for quite a while,” she smiled, and I agreed.  Just not long enough.  “I’ve been running for over 30 years and I love it.   So don’t give up, you’ll get better over time.”  What a sweet little lady with calves that I can only wish for at the moment.

Continue reading

Eddie Haskell Wasn’t So Bad … Oh Yeah He Was

EddieWatching way too much retro TV this weekend when I should be reading and writing. But last week’s long relentless stress from all angles, to the point that I felt like a baby harbor seal dodging clubs, left me with no alternative than to veg out and regress back to the days when everything was normal. Normal ish.I almost felt bad for Eddy Haskell today. Everyone knows he’s a phony. Ward knows. Barbara Billingsly knows. Heck, Wally even knows. But he stands by his best friend. Puzzling perhaps, and perhaps someone could write, or has already written a doctorate thesis on The Eddy Haskell Syndrome and the Wally’s Who Love Them. So I won’t do that here. You’re welcome.

I almost felt bad for Eddy because he thinks the only way he can get attention is by making others look bad. Like the Beav, who Wally loves like a good brother should, telling him when he is acting like a creep versus sticking up for him against his best friend-bully. I almost felt bad for Eddy because he feels like he must act like, well, Eddie Haskell. He knows that he is merely tolerated at best. But he’s too proud to admit his failings and appear normalish. The facade is too important, and really holds a life of its own, leaving poor Eddy as an empty shell. Eddy the Narcissist is another thesis out there waiting to be written.

No I’m not high. I sound like it though don’t I? I just find it interesting Continue reading

Flirtin’ With Disaster, But You Can Always Count on Me

Flirtin' with Disaster (song)

Flirtin’ with Disaster (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I heard this song both pulling into work this morning and as soon as I turned the key to leave the parking lot; therefore, it must be a cosmic message.

I have never been a huge Molly Hatchet fan, but I always liked this song for some reason.  It sounds fun and wacky and almost scary that’s the kind of music you like when you’re a kid.  But these lyrics speak more to me now than when I was young and reckless (not btw).

There have been some tough days lately, lots of big thoughts flowing around in my brain. Decisions to make about where I am, where I’m going as a writer and a person.

I’m travelin’ down the road and I’m flirtin’ with disaster
I’ve got the pedal to the floor and my life is running faster
I’m outta money outta hope it looks like self destruction
Well how much more can we take with all of this corruption

We’re flirtin’ with disaster, ya’ll know what I mean
And the way we run our lives it makes no sense to me
I don’t know about yourself or what you wanna to be, yeah
When we gamble with our time we choose our destiny

I’m travelin’ down that lonesome road.
Feel like I’m draggin a heavy load.
Yet I’ve tried to turn my head away,
Feel about the same most every day

Things aren’t really terrible, but I’m flirtin’ with it, I think.  Disaster seems ever-present, right under your toes and there to catch you if you slip up.  The key is of course – don’t slip up.  But how does one avoid slipping and falling?

I’m not quite sure, but I believe it has a lot to do with being true to yourself, not compromising yourself, but at the same time being collaborative, engaged  and open to the thoughts and feelings of others.  Opening the door and facing life, not running away in Candy Crush land, like I’ve been doing for the past few weeks.  Sure it’s relaxing, but it’s an avoidance tool as well, turning my brain into, yes, syrupy goo that is incapable of making decisions and even worse, writing anything down.

I’m on a lot of teams – my family team, my marriage team, my work team and my friend team.  I have some really good writing teams too.  I have people to hold me up, and I have people who I need to hold. Being present, addressing problems without whipping myself into a frenzy, and facing the decisions with a cool head and an open heart is all I can do.  Nothing is truly terrible if you’re honest.

I am hoping for a little less Molly on the radio in tomorrow.  Perhaps a little Bruno?