Turning Dreams Tangible

Turning Dreams Tangible is an every day occurrence. It should be played out in active voice, 24/7, even when you’re sleeping. And that’s just about where I am, right now. Active! Voicing! And at this stage in the game, this juncture in my life (as time passes, constant), what else do I really have to do? 

So, today, as I was heading to conduct my intense writing workshop (Write on Saturdays–with a Twist!) at the Marriott’s Residence Inn (one of the workshop’s locations), I ran into a woman sitting out front, reading her Bible, enjoying the wonderful day. She was visiting from Michigan. Her son is in the Air Force, and stationed in Maryland. 

Now here comes the news. I shared with her what I do — writing — and the love of. And she received — well. Then the conversation turned to swamping testimonies of empowerment and how writing can be just the right vehicle on which to ride right out a storm, and into a victory! The interchange of life experience and encouragement, validation and ah-ha moments drove between us so fast, we could have gotten a speeding ticket. But what we got were smiles and nods from the passersby, and confirmation from God that a passion is worth the fight, worth the living and worth the giving. Excited, she told me, “Write this down!” I grabbed my reporter’s notebook (always handy) and my pen.

She said, “This is for you: ‘I shall have favor with whom I come in contact.'” She leaned back, satisfied, in her chair and said, “Now, you say that every morning when you wake up. Okay.” I wrote it. I promised. And later, I’ll record the entire experience of meeting Dorothy from Michigan in my journal.

 I left with her The Prison Plumb Line, my novella. She shouted out, as I journeyed on, “I can’t wait to get God in Wingtip Shoes [my novel] and that Jubi book!” She meant Jubi Stone: Saved by the Vine. The novel hits in July. My final thought is this: I think I’m gonna see her again!Image

So what do you think about it?  Lemmeknow.  www.yvonnejmedley.com

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Turning Dreams Tangible

So on Thursday, I asked my ESL Students [English as a Second Language], adult learners (evening classes), a question—after the class watched the first half of the film, Julie & Julia. The question was, “What is it that you like to do? I mean, what is that thing that you’d like to do, and getting paid for it (in any amount, large or small) would only be a bonus?

 Well, first, the answer-attempts came slow then emerged, hesitant.  That’s because first, in one’s head, answers had to be translated out of one’s native language into English. Then the students had to cast down their primal-dream focus, which is to survive a new culture, a new life, and a new language. Apparently, when one has all of that to do there’s little time left for entertaining the career dream or the being-called-to-a-passion dream, and there’s no time to coordinate the corresponding what ifs.

 But in class, I encourage conversation; and so some answers began to cautiously deliver:

“Art”

“Photography”

“Conceptualizing buildings/Engineering” (working the translation was a trial, but worth it)

“Creating themed party favors” (trial, number two)

 While the answers sweetened the air, most of the students still managed to dodge. But I said, “No worries,” because I promised to assault them with the question on next Thursday. They smiled and said they’d show up because they’re polite. They’ll actually show up because of commitment.

But here’s one gentleman’s answer: He said, “I like to take care of my family.” Then he sat back, satisfied and he smiled. His expression said, “I gotcha!”

 I smiled and buzzed, “Annnnnnnt. Wrong answer.”  He laughed. He understood.

 After class, he came up to me and said, “I’ve been in this country a while now, really. But when we first got here, I had to feed my family; provide shelter, protect them – as I have to do now.” He said it with a polite smile supported by a pause and a negative headshake. “There was no time to …” His look finalized. I understood. But next week, I will still present the weighty question again.

 Sadly, that question is a hard one for many, universally. Often, we don’t feel we have the right to such frivolous happiness like feeding a heartfelt passion, a calling or a gift—at least not in the broad daylight where others can see and/or hear.

 Personal Observation: Sometimes maturity sets in and we factually assume (that means out loud in front of witnesses) our right to be happy and fulfilled. I mean, as a day-job perk. And then we may even begin to embark on the tangible journey to make it so using faith, diligence and new direction. However, sometimes, when that light bulb finally shines, we’ve already let decades slither by. Then we tend to get caught up burning a few more prime-time WATTS being pissed off about it. I’m just sayin’.

 So while you’ve got some wattage still left in you (i.e., life), can you answer the question? What is it that you’d like to do (whether or not money is an object to behold)? I mean, really—no pie-in-the-sky, please. Put some real personal, tangible thought into it. Lemmeknow.

www.yvonnejmedley.com

Finding Inspiration from Everywhere, Everyone — Every Pain and from Every Pleasure!

On Friday, I received inspiration and encouragement about my writing from an old friend (who will always be in my heart).
On Saturday, I enjoyed and received inspiration experiencing icon singer and songwriter Smokie Robinson at the Kennedy Center. The night’s show doubled as a fundraiser for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. The young Duke Ellington students and alumni who performed made my heart glad (and that’s an understatement!). I often see some of those students on their way to school in the morning, behaving and kidding around like the high school students they are. On stage they looked like mega stars. And Smokie Robinson, 72 years old, performed and let-it-do-what-it-do flawlessly! His energy and perfection entertained me, sure, but it inspired me. It told me that it’s not, yet, over for me–that I can still reach my mountaintop. I just need to not give up. I should continue to work and dream! It’s okay–not foolish, or fruitless!
On Sunday (last night) all of that caused me to think about how old friends (who really are my friends, still, just friends I haven’t seen in the flesh for a while) — they still inspire and fuel me.
I thought about how my novella, The Prison Plumb Line, grew out of the pain of incarcerated women struggling to keep going and my heartbreak of having to meet them there — behind bars, conducting Bible study. But that now, through it all, I have the pleasure and dream of inspiring and uplifting so many others.
I thought about how if, at the time, when I began to write my novel, God in Wingtip Shoes, if I hadn’t been so hurt, in so much pain about how I felt the church had hurt me, perhaps the novel would have never entered my soul. And perhaps I would have never healed or rekindled my love and gratefulness for the church (deeper and wiser). What a pleasure!
Today, as I drive around to run my errands, I will no doubt spy the likeness of the person who served as the inspiration for the main character in God in Wingtip Shoes (the likeness is posted throughout on signs hammered along the landscape). I’ll just smile.
Because inspiration comes from everywhere, and God!