Mood for Reinvention

I'm in the mood for reinvention, but it's weird for me to feel this around the first of the year.

This year, I declared my New Year's back in the end of November.


I started thinking about how I wanted my life to be. What things I wanted to change. The differences I wanted in my finances, work life, and body. (More, more satisfying, healthier.)

As I thought about that and about New Year's resolutions, I thought the radical idea: what if there isn't anything I need to reinvent?

What if I don't need to improve?

I don't mean this in a "I'm perfect and untouchable" way. I mean it as maybe, just maybe before I start talking about changing things, I need to look at what's working. Look at the imperfections that make me human.

And looking at what's working, what's imperfect, what's human means that I'm looking at those places where it's enough.

Where I'm enough.


Enoughness is something I've struggled with for years now. I worry about not being good enough, that people won't like me, that I'm going to make a misstep. I'm going to say something wrong.

Hell, even typos bug me.

I've worked through so much, I've processed so much. And still there's so much for me to do.

I think that is the essential part of being human. To never be finished.

So what if I operate on the assumption that I am enough? Is there still a need for reinvention?


While I may be enough while I'm sitting here, imperfect, happily writing, I'm still not satisfied.

I want a healthier body, new clothes, financial serenity, clean floors, and time to spend with my family.

And I really want to explode, creatively. For fifteen years (or more) I held back. The few glimpses I showed people of myself were promising, but I didn't feel like I was enough--and so I didn't show anyone.

Now, it's time.

So my mood right now isn't so much reinvention as it's a focused direction and desire for development.

That's my hope for you, too.

May you know that you are enough.

May you know that if you aren't satisfied, that's the normal human condition.

And know that you can focus your direction and develop into anything--any person--you want to be.

A blessed New Year to you!



People generally live on one of two planes of existence: the competitive world or the creative world.

It’s easy to tell.

People who live in the competitive world think that there isn’t enough for them. This is because, of course, if you are competing, there’s only room for one at the top—of whatever. Book sales, retweets, liked photos, net worth, grade point average. It doesn’t matter what the goal is. If you’re in the competitive world, you are always striving to get to that goal or fighting to stay there once you arrive.

Numbers matter in the competitive world, because they are objective things that you can count and compare: followers on social media, sales, rankings, prizes won in the County fair for best tomato.

Personally speaking, when I visit the competitive world, I get sad. I start thinking I am less than (I’m not one of those who thinks I’m better than), and I easily find someone richer, thinner, happier, more popular, who sells more books and has a really clean house to compare myself and shame myself.

Nothing I do is ever enough in the competitive plane. Someone is always taller, has longer legs and longer hair and more money in their bank account.

I get jealous.

I’ve learned, however, to listen to my jealousy because it usually tells me my heart’s desire.

My heart usually desires to feel like what I do is enough, just the way I am. That my body is enough as it is. That I am enough as I am. That I can be financially sober. That I can have true inner security.

That I am loved.

Thing is? I can’t find those things on the competitive plane. It’s not set up that way. It’s set up so that only one is at the top, some are fighting to get to the top, and the rest have given up and don’t even bother.

But there is another way.

For my sanity and happiness, I must exist on the creative plane.

By “creative,” I don’t mean all glitter and glue sticks. (Okay, that stuff is fine too). But I mean that I create my own world. Make things the way I want them to be. The way that makes me feel like I am loved, safe, secure, and enough as I am.

I do this by paying very close attention to what I surround myself with in my physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional environments. It matters what I carry in my purse, the kind of pen I use to write, the kind of words I use to talk with people. What I eat, what I breathe, who I love. What I think about, read, see on my phone.

I do my best to live my days the way I want to live my life.

An example?

My Facebook group. I usually warn people that it’s super active and full of half-naked men, some of whom are members. But I see it as a fabulous place where women can be our badass selves without feeling shamed for liking what we like, owning our sexuality, or talking about our mental health challenges. It exists on the creative plane. I care more about getting the right people in there than the number of people. It's not in competition with anyone.

This creative world I’m in? It’s not fully formed. Many parts of it are in the first trimester of gestation. Just a gleam in my eye. I can’t see the immediate manifestations of what I want in my day-to-day life yet.

But I can tell you this.

I wanted to live in a Craftsman house. I do.

I wanted to be a mother. I am now a mother.

I wanted to be a writer for my entire life. I am now a writer.

I still have things to change. Things I want to do. But I love existing on the creative plane and seeing my dreams happen.

Now, when I say that I live in my own little world. I’ll admit that I do have to be vigilant about being positive and focusing on what I want, not what I don’t want. That can sound a little Pollyanna. Honestly, though, I really don’t care what it sounds like, because it makes me happy. I’m not depressed by the news; I barely read it. I’m optimistic about the planet. I believe that we are making great strides to make the world a better place. And no, I’m not delusional. I’m not talking about being naïve or not preparing for the winter, so to speak. Yes, we need to brush our teeth, recycle, fasten seatbelts, and set aside money for the future. I’m just choosing to move forward with the vision of the future that I want for myself and my children, not hampered by those who predict dire events.

Because there have always been those who are stuck in gloom and doom. For every example I can find of something positive, I’m sure someone could find something negative. That’s the way the world is. You have to find the things you want and focus on them. That’s the way you create your world too.

Another thing. This creative world? It’s egalitarian. I am not better than you, and you are not better than me. We all have opportunities to create our own worlds. We all create our own world, whether we think we are doing it or not.


I acknowledge that there are those who have challenges to get to the point where they can believe that they can create their own world. That because of socio-economic considerations or their parents or where they live, they need some help.

Hence, why I wrote this.

To let you know that you can do it because I did it and am doing it. Those dreams you have? That place you want to live in? Job you want? Relationship?

There’s nothing stopping you from getting it.

I bet you can think of an example of someone from humble beginnings who has become a superstar. Oprah, anyone? And these superstars did it by creating themselves, not competing.

It took me a long time to figure this out. That I didn’t need to compare myself to anyone but an older version of myself, and whether I was going closer or farther away from my heart’s desires.

But ever since I said the big eff-you to the competitive world, I haven’t looked back.


Last night, I went to Barnes and Noble for the second time in two days. While I’d gone there to peruse the “books with nothing in them” aisle (as my husband calls the journals), I found myself as always in the Romance section, which is normally shunted to the very back.

I don’t know if the retail planning is like that of grocery stores—place the things people really want, like milk, in the back and set up enticing impulse buys in the front—or if it’s what I perceived: people—women—are ashamed of buying bodice rippers, so you have to find them in a seedy dark corner. I really hope it’s the former—that they sell so many of them Barnes and Noble knows they can place them in a low-traffic area and fill up other space with more esoteric books.

Still, I felt funny looking at cover after cover of Harlequin and other romance novels, which is ironic, since my own books are heavy on the shirtless men. Honestly, I found myself looking around furtively. Like no one is supposed to know that I love romance novels and their covers.

(Oh, that’s right. I LOVE me some shirtless men. I write the damn things after all. And I don’t hide it at all, if you really know me.)

This is my new blog and my new space to state my opinions. So, opinion one. Romance novels are unfairly undervalued, teased, and bullied by those who think they are pulp.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I acknowledge examples of poor writing in every category. But here, I’m talking about the genre as a whole, which is filled with books that elicit emotions of every kind from readers, who are mostly women.

We want to swoon at the sweet things a character says, swell with pride when a character does the right thing, and throw something when the character does the STUPIDEST THING EVER. We want to be turned on by sex scenes, crying at unfair breakups, and laughing our asses off at the sidekick. At the end, we want our hearts to be mended, to fall in love with the couple, and to experience the happy ever after as if it were our own.

In short, romance novels are about emotions.

Emotions aren’t understood.

And that’s where the guilt comes in.

We’re not supposed to have emotions. We’re shamed into thinking we’re wrong for having feelings, when truthfully, they’re our most important inner guidance system. Yes, our feelings, whether we’re pissed or turned on or geekily fangirling about whatever it is we’re into (new Beck music, for me. When is that album dropping?) are essential for understanding and processing our world. Our emotions are given to us for a reason—to protect us, to direct us, and to experience all we can on this planet.

Being shamed for our emotions is like being ashamed of our own bodies.

Oh, wait, we do that too.

But what could be more essential to our wellbeing? Processing human emotions through art. Allowing escape from feelings in our real lives that are too much to bear—or bringing understanding to those icky sensations we’d shunted off to the side.

Romance novels help us understand our own relationships and intimacy levels. They inspire us to strive for better. Or, on a different level, the schadenfreude of watching the dysfunction of a fictional couple with the safety that it’s not real life.

Through vicariously experiencing emotions through fiction, we learn to name our own emotions. Process. Gain awareness.

This, my friends, is the function of art. To make us feel.

Even if that means reading a book with a cover that shows a couple in a fiery embrace.

Don’t judge that damn book by the cover.

Go read something that makes you cry, laugh, and fall in love.