My trip to Montana for the Haven Writing Retreat with New York Times bestselling author Laura Munson was the best money I have ever spent, the best moment I have ever listened to that voice telling me I have got to do something and some of the best days of my life. Montana is my happy place. Laura is my friend, coach and a gift to the world and my life; I learned so much from her. In addition, there simply are not enough words for the women I met at Haven. They are my new found tribe that I so desperately needed after the last year of lonely platform building and trying to get Ever Upward noticed and selling. They are my soft landing spot full of inspiration and love.
I found my voice there in the quiet of beautiful Montana. And most of all, Laura and my new friends helped me to discover that my passion, although one of my very best qualities, was allowing the mission to get in the way.
And so, I am anew; practicing my art of writing differently, and daily, and working on the sequel to Ever Upward in a completely different way.
Because through only my truth and only my voice will the mission actually shine bright.
And so, I thought I would occasionally share some of my writing prompts that I work on daily here at Ever Upward, especially while I work more on the second book for now. I hope you enjoy, I hope they inspire you, I hope they make you laugh, and most of all, I hope you can trust me in this slightly new direction.
My Shifting Shadow
Walking down two short gravel roads in the Montana crisp air alone with only the bright moon as my guide I realize how quiet my surroundings are and just how alone I am.
Shit, I did not walk along this barn before.
The gravel crunches beneath my feet as my pace picks up both out of fear and shiver as I feel the cold Montana air seep through my clothes and onto my now anxiously sweating skin.
It's okay just back track, I think I just missed a turn.
The stars shine bright, more of them at once than I have ever seen, and the moon nearly bright enough to guide my walk.
Oh fuck, what happens if I can't find my way?
Oh how loaded this question really is...
She had put me in the back of the property in the most isolated and quiet cabin she had. She was the New York Times bestselling author, so I knew she had her reasons but my stubborn ass was not going to thank her that first night as I calmed down from missing a turn in the pitch black Montana night.
And I sure as hell wasn't thanking her as I laid in my bed that first of four nights attempting to journal through the deafening silence that hit my eardrums as hard as the bass at a Taylor Swift concert.
A deep breath makes tears spring to my eyes but only briefly as the clarity of my voice begins to gain strength.
These women will change my life. God, I have missed community.
And I begin to write, just a bit because tomorrow begins the first big day of finding my voice with the guidance and loving arms of Haven.
My voice, now more audible than a library whisper,
I'm here, just a bit drowned by the social media-ing, the earning a living-ing and a mission we are so desperate to accomplish.
By the third morning, she's no longer a whisper but a rather confident and renewed heart and soul-filled voice.
With the sun shining bright, the morning air crisp with possibility and the Canadian geese as my own personal morning playlist, I walk up that gravel road alone. I am greeted by the steam rolling off the tree embraced lake and with my next step I notice her, my shadow.
My shifted shadow.
My shadow that is no longer casting my darkness ahead but rather trailing behind as if to stand in holy support.