We Become Stars

Two of my poems appear in Westland Writes 2018 literary journal.

Happy June everyone!

I’m excited to announce that two of my poems have been published in the literary journal, Westland Writes. They’re both about parenthood. One is called “We Become Stars” and highlights the experience of letting your child go out into the world. Ironically, I wrote this before having a child, thinking from the view of a daughter. Now, I see the poem from a mother’s perspective, which creates a very different feeling. The other poem is titled “When I Realized You Were Magic” and shares what it’s like to find out you’re a parent, full of worries and excitement. My daughter is Japanese American, and my greatest hope for her is that she will live in a world that is safe and welcoming to everyone.

The best part of having my work included in this journal is that Westland Library held a poetry and short story readying to celebrate our work. We could choose one poem to read, so I picked “We Become Stars.” But what made this reading truly unique is that they decided to bring in a musical trio to interpret each of our poems after we read them. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. It was so gratifying to hear my own words performed in an original song. Afterwards, the singer noted that she liked my other poem too, which was icing on the cake! Of course, I wondered if maybe I should have chosen to read that one, instead ūüėČ

I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to attend the event, since my husband was out-of-town and I had my 8-month-old daughter with me. Luckily, my friend was visiting and helped make it happen. We strolled up to the front when it was my turn, and I began by dedicating the poem to my daughter. My friend was actually able to videotape my reading, and I’m so glad she did! After I read, the singer sang directly to my little girl, which was so sweet and memorable. My daughter was quiet and listened the entire time. What a special memory we captured ūüôā

For one night, we became stars. And I will never forget that moment. I encourage you to find ways of sharing your own light with the world! It will surely make for a brighter, more peaceful planet.

Printed copies of this literary journal are available for purchase. You can also read the poems and stories¬†online. And to my delight, I’ve just discovered that the book can be borrowed from the library. As a librarian, how cool it is to find that my name appears in the catalog!


“Get to Work” Playlist

I don’t know about all of you, but for me, sometimes getting to work can be quite a challenge, especially since I work from home. ¬†There are so many distractions!

So I’ve developed a system, or rather a series of mind tricks, that I can use to get myself to work OR back to work if I’m taking a break.

  • The most recent is the “Get to Work” playlist. ¬†It takes a little time to make the playlist, but once it’s done, the results are so rewarding! ¬†The bonus: you get your creative muscle working by picking out songs. ¬†One song I chose was recommended to me by a good friend. ¬†It’s called “Over and Over” by Madonna, in the early years. ¬†The tune is very 80s, but the words are what count. ¬†She reminds us that we must get up again, over and over. ¬†Think of that Weeble Wobble toy that can’t stay down!
  • Make tea or coffee. ¬†The simple act of getting up can really get you going. ¬†Before you know it, you’ll have forgotten all about the tea until it’s cold ūüėČ
  • Have a mantra or two that you repeat to yourself to get moving. ¬†Add a little action, like a punch or a high kick, and it will really solidify your start.
  • If you’re really down, go to your list of affirmations–the reminders of all the things you’ve accomplished and all the positive messages you’ve received over time. ¬†Everyone needs a little encouragement, time and again, to quiet the negative voices in the background.
  • Practice gratefulness. ¬†Nothing like reminding yourself of what you have to help you forget what you might be lacking. ¬†It helps cure boredom, too, which is really just a form of fear.
  • If you have a work space, get up and get it ready for work. ¬†The simple act of cleaning off your desk can make you feel ready to tackle new projects. ¬†Just don’t let it turn into an all-day cleaning marathon ūüėČ
  • Take 15 minute breaks at the end of each hour with a reward (nothing too distracting). ¬†It might sound counterintuitive, but it actually helps refresh the mind so you can go longer and stronger. ¬†It’s good to give the eyes a break from the computer screen, too. ¬†Practice blinking to keep those eyes from going dry from too much staring. ¬†Some healthy rewards include doing a few yoga stretches or taking a quick walk, having a little protein snack, or drinking more water or tea.

So go make that playlist. ¬†I guarantee that even after one song, you’ll be ready to get to work. ¬†And FYI, if you’re in the middle of a project and you feel stuck and want to bolt–Don’t. ¬†Turn on one of your songs, instead. ¬†It often does the trick to keep your body in the chair long enough so you can work through the problem creatively rather than run away from it.

Now get to work! ūüėČ