Missing The Good Stuff

Sometimes when I am in bookstores I stop by the discount table to see what I might find there that’s a good read. I say sometimes because I don’t always do it. It’s not because I don’t want to take the time to rummage through or because I think I won’t find anything of value there, but more a case of how I feel when I find really good writing laid out there for just a few dollars.

I know what it takes to sit alone and write and write and write … sharing bits of reality or imagination hoping that the effort will have some impact on a reader somewhere one day. So when I see good authors on the clearance table that never made a ripple in the book world who have quietly slipped by unnoticed, I get a bit depressed even if temporarily because I can’t help but think, what if that happens to me.

Of course, not having published a book yet one might think my momentary angst a bit premature, but I do feel for really good writers whose story appears to go unnoticed. That said I want to be sure you don’t miss out on a piece that really touched my heart a few days ago. Mariellen Romer has written about a life event that had a lasting impact and I hope you’ll take a minute to stop by her place and have a read .

You won’t be disappointed. I promise.

A Few Spoken Words From Elizabeth Harper

Have you ever wondered what some of the bloggers you read regularly actually sound like? Do you hear a particular voice in your head when you read my posts?

Not long ago two things happened that made me think I might like to share my voice with you and I’m hoping that you might feel inclined to do the same. Mariellen Romer and I exchanged a couple of emails where the topic of tea came up, sweet tea in particular, and cold, the way southerners where I’m from in Georgia tend to like to drink it.

She said this reminded her that I was a Georgia native by birth and as such, my spoken voice might sound a bit different from the one she heard in her head when reading my blog. Additionally, there was a post by Jennifer Trinkle written for a contest on NPR called Three-Minute Fiction that asked for submissions which could be read in three minutes and prompted me to want to give the three-minute thing a try for fun.

The piece you can hear below is not fiction and is something I wrote a few years ago based on an actual event. It’s also a tiny bit longer than three minutes clocking in at 3:03.

Have a listen below and tell me … does my voice fit the one you hear in your head?

The Secret In Her Smile

A Walk In The Park With Mariellen Romer

Photo Courtesy of Mariellen Romer

Mariellen Romer has been walking the talk. After joining the ” I Left The Corporate Life Club ” a few months ago, she has been following her dreams and they’ve carried her most recently to new locations and experiences in the western part of the United States. If you were to check her out here, you would be able to see an impressive corporate work history, but if you take a moment to see what she’s been working on lately you’ll feel like you’ve been for a walk in the park. Mount Rainier National Park to be specific.

Mariellen has been part of a creative team intent on sharing the benefits in visiting and volunteering for The National Park system. Anyone who has ever been over-stressed knows the good that comes in having a change of scenery or doing a different kind of work even if only on a volunteer basis so give this a thought and take a minute to have a look at what’s happening over at her space. In the videos on her blog today over at A Full Life, Mariellen is talking specifically about Mount Rainier National Park Volunteers, but don’t forget to consider something a little closer to home if you live in a different part of the United States. They will be happy to have the help and I bet you’ll end up feeling like you get back more than you give.

Reaching For More

If you click on the photo above you can see a mix of postcard messages and photographs from a visit to Scotland in 2004. I fell in mad, mad, love with the area the year before while on vacation with my daughter Miranda. At the time of our visit in 2003, I was on the cusp of making a major career decision and I was scared as most would be of doing something I might regret. Deep inside most of us know when it is time to make a change, but we find ways to rationalize not moving on.

Miranda and I traveled a bit that year doing an Outward Bound experience in Colorado, followed by our trip to the UK which included a few days in Amsterdam and Barcelona. It was during this break from my job that I began to enjoy my life again and somewhere along the way, I got my smile back.

By my second visit in the spring of 2004, I had left my corporate job and was taking some time to figure out what to do next. As I traveled around Scotland, I bought postcards in different locations and wrote messages on them before mailing them back myself in America. Friends who had picked up my mail and looked after my cats while I was gone joked with feigned huffiness that they had not received any postcards, but there were about ten waiting for me at home. The card below is one of the ten and underneath it you can see a message I wrote to myself.

I wrote the words above after taking a wrong turn at the end of the bridge that connects the Isle of Skye to the rest of Scotland. A wrong turn put me in a position to capture the image below reminding me that sometimes leaving the path is a good thing.

Today a blogging friend of mine left her corporate life behind for a new one. Some of you may have seen Mariellen’s comments here at GOTJ. If you have not been by her place you should, she’s a great writer with tons of life experiences to share. I can’t wait to see the new directions she will go as she begins this next phase of her life. If you have a minute, I bet she would appreciate a kind message of support over at her place.