The Sandbox Writing Challenge #69 — What I want to be when I grow up – again!

This prompt from Calen comes from Self-Discovery Journal. A little creative imagining just before Christmas.


If you were to be reborn again,
what would you like to be reborn as?

This should come as no surprise to some of my readers here. A raven. To me, they are such majestic birds, with their blue-black coloring, their intoxicating caws, and how devoted they are to one another. I would love to experience that kind of loyalty. I get transfixed if I see or hear a raven. The affinity I have with them leads me to believe if I were reborn here on Earth, it would definitely be as a raven. Unless the Universe really is a cruel jokester. I wouldn’t care that I’d have to eat roadkill and toss-outs. I would be free to soar and search out my dinner. It would be a perfect life.

The Sandbox Writing Challenge #6 — What is holding you back?

Still working my way through Calen’s challenge based on Roberta Allen’s The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself

Jack Black

What is holding you back?

The only thing that has ever held me back from accomplishing my goals is FEAR. Sometimes I’ve been able to overcome that fear and accomplish things, like my college degrees and some of my writing projects. However, there’s still a lot I haven’t done out of fear – travel alone to Maine, self-publish, start a new relationship, look for more local friends. I do fear getting close to others. Will they discover I am a fraud? Yep, that question lingers a lot, even if I am unsure what I am supposed to be a fraud about. I am such a complex person. Fear can be such an evil task-master.

The Sandbox Writing Challenge #5 — What Makes You Different?

Still working my way through Calen’s challenge based on Roberta Allen’s The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself


What it is about you that you feel makes you different from everybody else? 

It would be easier to list the things I have in common with everyone else, but even that wouldn’t be an accurate list. Yes, I have a human body, but I have an alien soul. See what I mean?

I guess the things that make me different are:

I care more about Humanity and Earth than I do about myself. It is, after all, my mission here. (Note: if you’ve never heard about Blue Flames, Indigos or Crystal Children, now would be a good time to look them up.) I try to involve myself in as many humanitarian and environmental issues as possible, in the small ways I am able.

I am an empath. I feel others’ pain and often get ill when I am around someone who is hurting deeply. I also feel the Earth’s pain and get ill any time there is a major Earth catastrophe, like earthquakes, volcanic activity, hurricanes, etc. I do have to be within a 1000 mile range of the activity though to feel the complete impact of it. When Katrina hit New Orleans, I was living in OK and I was sick in bed for over a week. It took me years to understand this connection with earth catastrophes and my illnesses. Lots of research and plotting out the patterns. I’ve felt a bit ill the past couple of days since that 7.9 earthquake in Papua New Guinea on the 17th, followed by a 6.3 later that day and then a 6.4 in Brazil yesterday. When I say ill, generally I get a wonky, unbalanced feeling in my head, my stomach aches and I usually end up in bed from it. There’s just no way I can function correctly.

Like most people, I have normal, sometimes bizarre dreams. However, the majority of my dreams are about a crystal city  on a small planet in the Andromeda Galaxy. That is home.

Those are the more unusual ways that I am different from most people. I am also a computer nerd, a science fiction geek, an introvert, and a solemn, quiet person. Those things are not beyond the norm though. There are millions of us out there like that. I think it would surprise people to know that there are thousands upon thousands of Blue Flames, Indigos and Crystal Children out there and probably just as many empaths. I am not sure about Walk-ins though. There are probably more of us out there than people would guess too. But a Blue Flame empathic walk-in? I am not sure there are that many of us. For all I know, I may be the only one.





The Sandbox Writing Challenge #4 — Relaxation & Pleasure

Still going back in time to complete Calen’s challenge based on Roberta Allen’s The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself

Tell us a little bit about:

a) what relaxes you, and

b) what brings you pleasure.

What relaxes me:

  • listening to music – sometimes classical, sometimes heavy metal
  • my white noise machine
  • meditation
  • reiki
  • reading a good book
  • smoking a cigarette (yes yes yes, I know)
  • a long hot shower
  • veggin’ out in front of the laptop, watching Netflix
  • listening to it rain
  • a glass of red wine
  • a hot cup of tea
  • sitting on the front porch in the rocker just listening to nature (when the traffic has died down)

What brings me pleasure:

  • Chocolate
  • a few White Russians (the drink, not the body)
  • listening to raven’s cawing (I have an affinity for ravens and their cawing is pure poetry to me)
  • comfort food – biscuits & gravy, mac-n-cheese, spaghetti, cabbage & meatballs, meatloaf (all the things that are bad for me)
  • coffee
  • Pepsi Max
  • writing
  • reading a good book
  • watching a documentary on Netflix
  • Seeing my nieces
  • wearing bracelets
  • painting my fingernails
  • buying books on Amazon or entering contests on Goodreads (I am a book whore)
  • spending time with my dad
  • listening to Prince or Simply Red
  • doing research


The Sandbox Writing Challenge #68 — Turn that frown upside down!

It’s time to get back to Calen’s current challenge. Yes, I am a few days late, but I’d already scheduled the older challenges a few days ahead and wanted them to play out. This prompt is from the Self Discovery Journal and is supposed to be a bit on the light-hearted side.


Have you done anything lately to make someone smile?

I think I saw my dad smile a few days ago when I made some homemade buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy. It’s rare that either my dad or my brother eats anything I cook, almost as though I might poison them. However, they did both eat the gravy and biscuits. Small wonder.

I can’t say I blame them, even if it does hurt my feelings. You see, I wasn’t allowed to help mother cook as a child or teenager. She never taught me how to make biscuits or gravy or any of her other recipes. She did teach both my sister and my brother. They both think they have a monopoly on mother’s recipes. However, my sister did send me all of them once and I did teach myself to make quite a few of them. Still, if I were to cook any of them, dad might eat some of it, but my brother definitely wouldn’t.

And now that I’ve gone and reminded myself of my unhappy childhood, I think I will go in search of something that will make ME smile.

The Sandbox Writing Challenge #3 — Stillness

Time for an intriguing question from Calen’s challenge based on Roberta Allen’s The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself:

boat stillness

What is it that keeps you from being still?

This is something I have struggled with for decades – stillness. The inability to still my mind has plagued my meditation sessions, as well as my attempt to be mindful. My biggest obstacle is an over-active imagination. It goes full-force all day and even while I sleep. I also have two randy muses who won’t shut up and an animus who constantly thinks he knows what’s best for me. Now this is not to say that I’ve never experienced stillness because I have. Short, random bursts. If I concentrate on one small thing, I can hold a few moments of stillness. If I hear something beautiful (a gap moment), I can be still for a bit. I can even go blank sometimes if I am daydreaming. They are rare moments, but deeply cherished ones.


The Sandbox Writing Challenge #2 — Balance

Digging even deeper into Calen’s challenge from Roberta Allen’s The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself


It’s all about Balance. Do you consider yourself a balanced person? What are some of the things you do on a daily, weekly, etc. basis to keep yourself balanced? If you don’t feel you are, what can you do to help you find some of that needed balance?

I am probably one of the least balanced persons in the world. I have a joke that I tell people – When God was giving out balance, I thought he said talents and I got a double dose of it instead of any balance.

This lack of balance can be seen in all manners of my life. I cannot walk a straight line – never could, never will. My body is out of balance – large on top, small and thin on the bottom. My mind is completely unbalanced – manic one minute, depressed the next. My spiritual self is unbalanced – one moment I am thinking angelic thoughts, the next I am thinking devilish ones. Even my perceptions are unbalanced – I prefer night to day, feel more alive when things are decaying (Autumn), and am more interested in all things dark and twisted, even as I strive to be a light in the world.

On rare occasions, I can find some balance in my life, but it takes a lot of effort on my part. I’ve done this through meditation, yoga, pilates and mindfulness. The balance is only temporary though and I don’t have the patience to do a continual practice. I am not disciplined enough. I’ve lived my life skewed for so long, I am not sure how I would react to a centered, balanced one. It would probably unbalance me *winks*


The Sandbox Writing Challenge #1 — Reflection

I’ve got my shovel and I’m ready to dive into the sandbox with Calen’s first challenge questions from Roberta Allen’s book, The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself.


You find yourself in a quiet room looking at your reflection in this beautiful old mirror. What do you see? Is there anything in particular you like about yourself? Is there anything you don’t like? Tell us about it.

What do I see? An unrecognizable face. This is nothing new for me though. I’ve never recognized myself in a mirror, or a photograph for that matter. The ‘Me, I Am’ is not reflected in this body. This would probably be difficult for most people to understand, so I won’t go into great details. Just suffice to say, the ‘Me, I Am’ entered this body when it was 5 years old, sealed by contract. I will never get accustomed to her face.

Like? The smile is nice, as are the eyes. The hair is appealing as well.. long, blonde and a bit wavy.

Dislike? Truthfully, this entire Earthly Human body. It’s too plump, wrinkly, and peachy-pink pastel (ewww). But the worst aspect? It’s a physical body.


The Sandbox Writing Challenge – Loosening Up Exercises #1

Remember when I said I would eventually go back and do Calen’s The Sandbox Writing Challenges 1-23? Well, I am going to begin them now by starting with this first loosening up exercise from Roberta Allen’s book The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself which consists of Four Lists:

If you were asked to choose seven words to describe yourself, what would they be?

  1. quirky
  2. nerdy
  3. geeky
  4. solemn
  5. unique
  6. curious
  7. otherworldly

If you were asked to choose seven objects that have meaning for you, what objects would you choose?

  1. a citrine crystal
  2. an Orson Scott Card science fiction book
  3. a black cherry candle
  4. an autumn leaf
  5. a seashell
  6. a raven’s feather
  7. a beaded bracelet

If you were asked to choose seven colors that have meaning for you, what colors would you choose?

  1. Black
  2. Burgundy
  3. Royal Purple
  4. Indigo
  5. Crimson
  6. Copper
  7. Forest Green

If you were asked to choose seven places that have meaning for you, what places would you choose?

  1. The Outer Banks NC
  2. Maine
  3. Front porch
  4. Blue Ridge Mountains
  5. Roanoke VA
  6. Asheville NC
  7. Anywhere my laptop is


The Sandbox Writing Challenge #67 — Can acceptance REALLY change relationships?

I am not sure how I missed last week’s challenge, but I did. Was this during my pneumonia bout? I think so. Anyhoo… Calen has give us another set of pondersome questions from Philip Simmons’ book Learning to Fall. 

How would accepting yourself for who you are change your relationship with YOU?


And thinking back to the person(or persons) you thought you could change, would accepting THEM for who they are change your relationship with them? How?

I’ve pretty much accepted myself for who and what I am. I’ve tried to change myself in the past for a few I had relationships with and all it did was end in misery. I have to be my authentic self, faults and flaws included. I think I am probably the most comfortable with my own self now than I have ever been in my entire life. And that’s a good thing since I mostly only have myself to talk to these days *laughs*

As for the one I tried to change, the estranged husband, I do now accept him for who he is. He is becoming a she and I think that is his authentic self. He hopes to begin taking hormone therapy next year and have the sex change in 2019. That will change the dynamics of our relationship a bit. For now, it isn’t a huge problem. If we decide to stay married, same sex marriage is legal. That could all change under this new presidency though and we could be forced to divorce. Our relationship at the moment is based on mutual respect. There is companionly love for now. We are no longer in love with one another and we are 1000 miles apart.

I think all relationships benefit from acceptance, of one’s self and of others. It keeps us from having to wear masks, be someone we are not, and then struggle with ourselves to be authentic. Unfortunately, too many people try to change others to suit themselves. What I find ironic though, once someone has changed you to be who they think they want you to be, the challenge is gone and some lose interest. I think that is why so many people cheat on their partners. They go out seeking someone like who you used to be so they can begin the cycle all over again. Such a sad state of affairs.