I was enjoying lunch with my parents today - a rare and treasured occurrence - when the discussion turned to my son's friend, Layten Kramer. Layten, a member of my son's band Rebel On A Mountain, just won the Calgary Stampede Talent Competition. In trying to describe Layten and his music to my dad I found myself thinking of one of the characters in my third novel in the Drifters series, No Greater Love. I think of her, Katrine, as an old soul, someone who is wise and who seems to have been on the planet for ages. Occasionally I come across folks like her. Layten is one of them.
I met Layten for the first time last month while visiting my son Christopher in Vancouver. I asked him if he was a student. His solemn, confident reply? (Spoken with large soulful eyes, with layers of wisdom, truth and confidence) "No. I came here (to Vancouver) to pursue a goal." That goal? "To be a singer-songwriter."
People like Layten (and Katrine) are not easily dismissed or forgotten. They are so damn cock-sure of themselves that I find myself humbled in their presence. I wonder if the universe hears them more clearly then the rest of us simply because they are so utterly confident of their goals. I mean, think about it - they speak clearly and concisely (even to themselves, I'm sure). What message am I sending to the universe? This week I took on yet another part time job. So now I am doing the following:
- writing the fifth book in the Drifters series (tentatively called Whispers of Home)
- getting book four online and in print (and having the cover designed by award winning designer Alanna Munro, also a previous member of Rebel On A Mountain (geez that band is chock full of talent!)
- writing a client book for Community Schools of P.E.I.
- putting some finishing touches on The Healing Place documentary and sending it out to festivals
- planning my feature drama (!!! very excited about this - going to a film workshop in about ten minutes!)
- working part time at the Harbourfront Theatre box office (haven't been there in a few months but starting again this Saturday)
- working at my old museum The Wyatt Properties on a textile cataloguing project (and loving it!)
- working as a tour guide on the Summerside Waterfront delivering a seafood tasting tour called the Seafood Shoreline Safari
- sending short stories to contests
- taking contracts here and there as they arise - just did Amazing Race Canada and then, a few weeks later, worked as an assistant to the producer on a modelling shoot with a New York company (so much fun!!!)
- running to auditions (two over the last two weeks, and boy do I have funny stories for you about those - I'm still laughing!)
Oh, and may I add trying to find time to spend at my camper on the north shore of P.E.I. which, as you may imagine, is missing me right now! (and I am missing swimming, kayaking and biking)
My point is that I am going in way too many directions and I am sure my inner chatterbox is telegraphing that loud and clear to the universe. I am hoping this September to slow things down and try to stay focused. I intend to get moving on my first feature drama and for fun I will be working on my Drifters books evenings and weekends.
In the meantime I believe I am finding myself here, there and everywhere right now because all those jobs / places have something to teach me. Even now I can clearly see that the paths my life has taken (sometimes to tough places) somehow all fit into the larger puzzle. What have I learned? That sometimes when you think you are ready for something you actually, in fact, may not be.
I would have liked to shoot a feature drama years ago, or learn to act years ago, but you know something? I would not have been ready. Am I ready now? I believe so. I feel ready. I feel confident. My books have fans that have given me the confidence (this means you!) to know that I can tell a story that folks can relate to. I know I can film my story. For example, check out some of the images in this trailer:
Note that this trailer was just myself and a few crew with an old Sony EX3 and no money - I can't wait to see what magic I can create in a feature film! (Not alone, of course - any crew out there looking for some work down the road?)
Here's an example that I believe is the universe showing me that I'm on the right path - my first book, A Song For Josh, just won a RoNE (Romance Novels of Excellence) Award for best Contemporary Cover Design! Thanks to the marvellous amazing Alanna Munro of Vancouver for designing such a beautiful cover for that book as well as for the next two, Promises and No Greater Love. She is at this moment designing the cover for Riptide and I can hardly wait to see it! Feels like Christmas!
So I suppose my overall message is this - if you don't have the confidence to show / tell the universe what you want to do in the way that Layten or Katrine do, then just get out there and do. Smile and be positive, and what is it they say? The world smiles with you. Because maybe it knows us better than we know ourselves. I'm thinking that if you asked Layten if this is true, he would in fact agree. Wholeheartedly.
In the meantime, I will be seeking souls like Layten to spice up my life with their go-get-em attitudes. 'Cuz I could always use some cock-sure inspiration and "I-believe-in-me-ness."
Bring on the solemn, confident eyes.
Bring on the wise.
Bring on the seekers.