Swimming Through Clouds… The Road to June 1st

sun rises every day2June 1st.

Who would have thought that when I signed up for the Tough Mudder nine months ago, that this day would also mark the launch of my first book, Swimming Through Clouds.

So for the past months, I’ve been alternating, not always equally, push ups and pen marks. Rewrites and runs. Marketing and marathons. And just when I was supposed to run my first half, my calf gave way. And seconds after I turned in the manuscript for Swimming, I had a name crisis. And for the last two weeks, my neck and left shoulder have been all out of whack. Stress, perhaps? Anxiety over the book release? Definitely.

But the truth is, the day my first book appeared on Amazon, I was fine. No cartwheels or cork popping. Just another day really. Filled with two dozen roses from Mom and Dad and some extra huge smiles and hugs from girls and Hubby, but besides that, the day felt fairly normal.

I’m guessing it’s not too different from a grand opening to a store. Just because the doors swing wide, and several browsers mosey on in, doesn’t mean they’ll buy anything. Or like it enough to come back and tell you. Or even better, tell others to shop there.

So it’s a lot more like a waiting room experience, now that I think about it. But it’s not a bad place to be. Feel so aware that to arrive this far is a blessing beyond measure already. So aware.

Here are the five things I’ve learned about myself this past year and a half from when my dream to be a published author really started to roll out of my  dreams and into reality.

1.  When I think I’ll get more done by not working out and just writing with that time, my back and neck remind me that they will not continue to be nice to me unless I give them chances to stretch and loosen up. Always a fail.

2. Sometimes I enjoy hanging out with my make-believe friends more than real people. Not often. But occasionally :) !

3.  I’m a much better mom when my laptop battery runs out, and I can’t find my iPhone. Yep. It’s true.

4. When I do take time away from a story to play and live and date and play. Did I say that one already? I return to my story with fresh eyes, new experiences, and a refilled tank of energy and enthusiasm. Breaks are crucial!

5. I can lose sight of what’s important when I get caught up in the journey, and I don’t want to be that person. Hot air balloons look pretty in Oz, but don’t let me get carried away. And there’s only one thing. One person. That grounds me. God.

So on June 1st, when the sun rises and I’m tanking up on a high-protein breakfast of Hubby’s famous eggs. When I’m out on the course and swimming in mud up to my elbows, I’ll think of you. As you dive in and go Swimming Through Clouds. :)


Happy Birthday Book Baby #1! Sending you out into the world with kisses!

To find your place. And remember, you’ll always have a special spot on the bookshelf of my writer’s heart.

It’s your time. Make a splash! And swim on.


And you? What have you learned about yourself lately? Any life insights that have dawned on you as you take up life’s latest challenge? Are you a survivor and proud owner of an orange Tough Mudder headband? Any last second advice for this “Not feelin’ so Tough” soon to be Mudder?


Five Minute Manhattan… Part Two


Trying to capture the swan in the Central Park pond.

Left Alice’s Tea Cup, tummy full of tea and sparkles in my hair. Off to Central park we go, to walk off pumpkin pancake calories and to share one spot in New York City we still get lost in. And for that reason, we actually walk down the west side of Central Park for some time, from 74th to 103rd, just chatting about life, kids, this and that. The sun is shining and my hand is tucked through Hub’s arm, in his sweatshirt pocket. Love this time we can just stroll arm in arm without a care in the world. No where to rush to. No one to answer to.

Until nature calls. All that tea… It was inevitable. So we venture into the park in search of a public bathroom. The closest one is behind the tennis courts and as Hubs heads toward the men’s room, he says, “Five minutes. You have five minutes to write your next blog.” Continue reading

October Rainfall Run


Wake up this morning with every intention to run. Then I hear the patter of rain outside my bedroom window. I do not want to run in the rain. 

Truth is, I do not like to run. I don’t hate it like I used to. But I am so not there. That runner’s high people talk about? I’m thinking the closest I’ve ever come is one time when I got distracted by the music on my iPod during a jog and ran into a parked car and went flying HIGH into the air, but miraculously landed on my feet and kept running. 

Okay, so the story above is slightly skewed, but there was a time when my husband biked into a street barrier, flew off his bike, and landed on his feet and actually continued down the street running. I swear! True story. Ask his friends in Miami. He was the campus SuperHero…for like a day.

So anyway, this morning, I am thinking of all the reasons I cannot possibly run in the rain. What if I fall? What if some speeding car whizzes by my and bumps me off the road in a wake-making blur? What if my pinky toenails fall off? Continue reading

Life is Dangerous…Live Anyway!

 Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose, tears his ACL during playoff game #1 against the Sixers and is done for 2012 NBA season.

New York Yankees’ Joba Chamberlein hurts ankle while playing on trampoline with five year old son and is out for 2012 season.

New York Knicks Jeremy Lin recovering from knee surgery and now rookie Iman Shumpert is out for eight months after tears to his ACL as well as a lateral meniscus.

Life is dangerous. Each of these players knows. They’re hurting now. But, the truth is, they probably have the option to come back. Hopefully make their game stronger. And play some more. 

When hubby and one of his best friends trotted off to catch the shuttle bus over the the Pocono Raceway for their first Tough Mudder competition, I can’t lie. I was a little nervous. The description and videos of the event included obstacles involving fire, electrical shocks, ice water, climbing walls, and dark tunnels. The twelve to thirteen mile course is broken up with these army-simulated challenges that you cannot complete apart from your team.  Continue reading

Tough Mudder 2012—Team Stunads in Motion

Back for Day Two of a look at the Tough Mudder 2012 at the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. Thought I’d take a whirl at my movie editing skills [just a newbie but enjoyed the simplicity of iMovie,] and piece together a short film (less than 7 minutes) of what hubby and Team Stunads went through. The piece starts with the motivating voice of Sean Corvelle, a guy who could convince you to jump off a cliff over a waterfall and smile while doing it. He is just that enthusiastic! Anyway, enjoy and come back for one last story at the end of the week that will feature more pics and an up close and personal with what treasures the team members walked away with. Just so thankful they did all cross the finish line. Still walking!! Continue reading

Tough & Muddy 2012… The Night Before…

Clearly A “Before” Pic…Not a Drop of Mud On Them…YET!
When a good friend called up hubby several months ago and asked him if he wanted to  join his team and do a “Tough Mudder,” I think he agreed before he really knew what he was getting into. But my hubby is a wise guy. Wink. Really, he is. He trained. Did push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups, almost daily. He also built up his cardio stamina by running several times a week, building up his mileage as the week drew nearer. And best of all, he recruited his close friend Junior to join him. 
When the weekend of the race arrived, we drove out with our camper to Tobyhanna State Park campground in the Poconos, and had a carb-loading dinner followed by brownies and roaring bonfire to warm us up on this cool April evening. The brownies were my idea. For our two brown guys who were about to be eaten alive. Okay I admit, I actually just wanted the chocolate. And I was pretty sure the boys would more than survive this multi-tiered challenge of a lifetime. I mean, people do it all the time. Surely, they would cross the finish line and join the ranks of orange headbanded Tough Mudders who had gone before them.  Continue reading