Monday, January 30, 2012

Lost living rooms and Highways

I received this email on Saturday evening from Maya Stein.

Greetings, "Lost Highways & Living Rooms" contributors! I'm excited and delighted to report that the book is finally, finally ready! I've received preliminary copies and I'm thrilled to see your contribution in print at long last. Some of you may have already purchased copies of the book (I just announced it last week on my 10-line Tuesday newsletter), but just in case others have not received word about where to get them, I wanted to direct you to the right place. 

Lost Highways and Living Rooms is a compilation of writing created from Maya Stein's "Tour de Word" workshops in the fall of 2010, as well as contributions from readers of her ongoing 10-line Tuesday weekly poetry newsletter. The two-month tour took Maya on a circumnavigational trip around the United States and parts of Ontario, where she facilitated nearly 30 workshops for children, teens, and adults. Lost Highways & Living Rooms features poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from more than 60 contributors ages 8-80."

Maya Stein publishes an article every Tuesday that contains 10 lines.  10 line Tuesday's.

I started following her back in 2010 and she solicited people that were following her to submit an article for an anthology of stories she was compiling as she traveled across the country.

I wrote something and submitted it for her book and forgot all about it.  I was very excited when I discovered on Saturday that my work, my art is now published.  I am a published author of a short story.  How cool is that and at the same time terrifying?!!

My musing's and thoughts that are published here are read by a small group of people, mostly family and friends and many might not be read at all

Now a story that I wrote, may be read by many and again maybe no one will read it.  The purpose of doing the work, is to do the work and let go of the attachment as to how many will read it, how many will  like it, how many might comment on it, how many might hate it...

The story that I wrote followed Maya Stein's 10 line Tuesday format.  It is a short story and a story that I wrote about Kelly.

I will publish the story that I wrote her on my blog at some point.  For now I am going to savor the fact that I am a contributing author to Maya Stein's anthology series.

I have created art in the world.

This is one of the first articles of  Maya's that I read from her 10 line Tuesday series.


"No one really understands the Atlantic
the way k. did - vast, impossible nothingness,
a chilling void where echoes of
island rum jubilation and coconut revelry
nagged like the Sirens, like a playground taunt.

No wonder she hit land so fast,
barreling over the Gulf like a rabid thing,
full of electric yearning for some honest-to-God company,
a sense of brief, knowable longing.
So much like all of us."~Maya Stein

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cassandra Rocks

I got home tonight and found this message on my Facebook wall from Cassie and it is too good not to share.  I can't begin to tell you how unbelievably inspired I am about Cassie running as a woman of the year candidate to support a cause that means so much to me!

We had a great meeting on Tuesday night and we are bursting with ideas.  

Cassie's core campaign team consists of the following people. 

Joni, Cassie's mom.  (Official campaign vehicle driver).  Cassie is 15 and needs an official vehicle and a driver. 
Ty, Cassie's best friend (Social Media campaign director)
Sue, my best friend and wife(Sue needs an official title)
Ross, (#1 Fan)  If Cassie had a Rock and Roll band, I am pretty sure I would be labeled as a groupie :)  Luckily, I get to claim the #1 Fan role!

Hi everyone, just wanted to let you know what I am up to lately.  Please join me on a journey to saying yet to hope, to life, to a world without cancer.  Please join me, stop by and like my Facebook page, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society-Cassandra Perkins Rocks.  Standing in possibility and for the possibility of a world where cancer can't exist.  Being a voice for those that are touched by this disease.  ♥

Please check out the video on Youtube by clicking here. 

If you are on Facebook, please like Cassie's official page and get ready to rock!!! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rachel's Challenge

I went to a meeting last night to learn about Rachel's challenge.  An amazing friend of mine had posted something about this earlier in the week  on Facebook and I had forgotten about it.

I saw it again late in the afternoon and I clicked on the video content and listened to the intro.  Rachel's challenge is about Rachel Scott who was the first person that was killed at Columbine High school on April 20, 1999.

I still vividly remember hearing the initial news reports and watching in horror over and over again the reports on the local news and CNN, trying to make sense of how this could happen in our community.

I had friends and colleagues who had children that were in the school that morning.   A friend of mine from Team in Training had a sister who was in the cafeteria and he feels so lucky to still have his sister.

Rachel Scott was heavily influenced by the writings of Anne Frank and much like Anne Frank she aspired to have a big impact on the world.   In an eerie parallel, Anne Frank died in a concentration camp and Rachel Scott died on the anniversary of Adolph Hitler's birthday.

“How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway... And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!” 
― Anne Frank

The film clips of Columbine, the 9-1-1 calls were hard to watch, to listen to.  Reliving it all over again.  Disturbing for me, unknowable to what was felt on that day.

Rachel Scott lived a purposeful life in her 17 years.  To date Rachel's challenge has reached over 17 million people worldwide.

Rachel believed in  the power of kindness and that kindness mattered.

Here are the 5 components of Rachel's challenge.

Look for the best in others.
Dream Big!
Choose positive influences.
Speak with kindness.
Start your own chain reaction.

"I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same."- Rachel Scott

Please visit Rachel's Challenge by clicking here. 

My request would be for everyone that is reading to start your own chain reaction of kindness.  Start with your family, start with one person.  See what you can create.

Rachel lived this in her 17 years.  17 million people and counting have heard her message.

At the end of the presentation, we listened to this song by Jewell, Hands and watched a tribute of Rachel Joy Scott's life.

"I am never broken,in the end only kindness matters." ~Jewell

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 Woman of the Year

Woman of the Year!
Wow, what an evening.

I am so excited.  Friday evening I attended a Winter Cocktail reception where the Rocky Mountain chapter introduced 14 men and women who are running as candidates for the Leukemia and Lymphoma's Society Man and Woman of the Year campaign.

I am incredibly proud of the young woman(Cassandra Perkins) standing next to me in the above picture.

I had the honor of nominating Cassandra to run as a candidate in this prestigious campaign.   This is a 10 week campaign where every dollar raised counts as a vote and at the end of the campaign the person with the most votes is declared as the winner.

Cassandra is the youngest person ever to have run in this campaign, regionally and nationally.  Cassandra celebrated her 15th birthday on January 9th.   I have no doubt at all that she is going to make a huge impact in this fight against blood cancer.

15 years old, taking on cancer.  Standing in possibility and for the possibility of a world where cancer can't exist.   Being a voice for those that are touched by this disease.

15 years old, standing for Kelly's life, honoring what Kelly fought for....

To say that I am inspired, honored, grateful and humbled by her courage for taking on this challenge, is simply saying what is.

Wow!  Cassandra said yes!   Saying yes to hope, to life, to a world without cancer.

So to Kelly and Cassandra, who share a birthday together, thank you for being an inspiration in my life, for touching my heart in a way so I live my one wild and precious life like you do.  All in!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Monday was the 23rd anniversary of Kelly's birthday.

When I got home Monday I opened a package that had come in the mail.

 I participated in a virtual run last month to support a friend of mine who is training for the Tinkerbell 1/2 marathon and raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I was so amazed that of all days this would have come in the mail on Kelly's birthday.

I think it is my favorite medal ever.  I love the words on the medal.

Share love-Give Life.

Kelly shared her life and gave us her love.  Share life, give love.

Even now, I think Kelly knows when I need a little nudge, some encouragement.  A reminder of her love and the connection we shared with one another.

I remember her first birthday in heaven, a glimpse of a sunrise.


I want to introduce you to a young woman who I will be writing quite a bit about in the coming months.
Tebowing, perfect form!
A Tebow fan!

I met Cassie earlier this summer through an organization called Youth for Parker.  Cassie is an amazing young woman and someone that I really admire for all of the great work she is doing in the world.

I had the honor of nominating Cassie to run as a candidate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma's Society Man/Woman of the year campaign.   Cassie was my top choice, hands down and I knew if she accepted she would be all in.  When I first talked with the campaign manager for the Man/Woman of the year, Caitlin told me that one of the candidates from last year was the youngest person to ever run in this national campaign.  Catherine was 15 years old.  I knew Cassie was 14 at the time when I nominated her and I wondered if she would now be the youngest person to ever run as a woman of the year candidate.  I was blown away when I found out that Cassie was born on January 9.  She shares a birthday with Kelly.  I had goosebumps when I saw that.  I knew I had to ask her.  This was not a random coincidence.  To me, this was synchronicity.

"People love mysterious things, and synchronicity is like magic happening to them," says Carolyn North, author of Synchronicity: The Anatomy of Coincidence (Regent Press). "It gives us a sense of hope, a sense that something bigger is happening out there than what we can see, which is especially important in times like this when there are so many reasons for despair."

Cassie celebrated her 15th birthday on Monday.  Cassie has accepted the nomination.  She has joined the blood cancer freedom fighter revolution.  Cassie is standing for the possibility of a world where blood cancer can't exist.

Deeply honoring moments in my life.

1.  Asking Sue to marry me and having her say Yes :)
2.  Kelly inviting me to go to Disneyland in 2001 on what could have been their last trip as a family.
3.  Being asked to be a pall bearer for Kelly and help lay her body to rest.  This was a sacred honor.
4.  Cassie accepting the nomination to run as a woman of the year candidate, becoming a voice for blood cancer awareness, standing for Kelly's life.

In Cassie's words, "Look out Colorado, we are going to Rock the Rockies.!!!."