When Paul and I returned from Ukraine & Ireland, I was pleased to find my parsley plant covered with Black Swallowtail caterpillars. We had several caterpillars last year, but this year a total of 32 were eating, hiding, and enjoying my herb garden. I brought them into my butterfly house, provided them with organic parsley, cleaned out the frass daily and waited. They grew…and grew…and grew. Finally, they were ready to form their chrysalis and prepare for the time they would eclose.

But this year was different. There were a few that didn’t make it to the chrysalis stage. Four formed their chrysalis, but then were invaded by Chalcid wasps (equivalent of our Invasion of the Body Snatchers). When the first butterfly came out, its wings never developed for flight. I cried. Butterflies were made to fly. Several more emerged and flew off to the East. Currently I have about 8 chrysalis left, which have decided to diapause or over-winter (insect’s version of hibernation).

I researched and discovered I must place the butterflies outside, still in their house, in a protected space such as a porch with an overhang or a garage. I choose my garage and placed them up off the floor with a towel covering two sides of the house. They need protection from predators as well as some humidity and ventilation. Now, as the butterfly waits for spring, so do I. I am hopeful that they will emerge triumphantly next spring and fly off, perhaps returning to lay more eggs in my little herb garden.

As I contemplated my butterflies this year, I thought of how their metamorphosis is a perfect picture of ours. Some mature more quickly and emerge ready to fly. Others are attacked by the enemy or consumed by vices or the troubles of life and never emerge. Some think they are ready to fly, as they have made it through their metamorphosis, but still cling to the earth and don’t let their wings develop enough to fly. They are afraid, unsure of their newfound abilities. They cling to the life they knew before, even if it was painful because it’s what they know and it seems more comfortable. Then there are those who only need more time. They are changing and growing, but winter approaches. They know it’s not time to fly. It’s time to rest. Eclosing now would mean death. So, they wait.

What phase of metamorphosis are you in? If you are allowing growth and change, if you are resting when the winter of life comes, you are on the right path to becoming who you were meant to be. But, if you are afraid of the changes, if you complete your metamorphosis, but you’re afraid to spread your wings and fly, don’t despair…others have been there before, as well. You’re not alone. Don’t be afraid of this change. It’s new and strange, but it’s where you’re meant to be. You were meant to spread your wings and fly. And if you’re in the stage where you are allowing harm into your life whether from others or yourself, make the decision to stand up and say, “No More. This stops today.” Don’t let the “parasites” consume you. Finish your transformation.

Embrace the change. Eclose or diaspause. But grow. Be at peace and find gratitude and joy in your metamorphosis.


Exploring New Possibilities

I’ve published poetry, two children’s books with two more coming out soon, but had not yet taken on writing for a magazine. My friend, Kyrian London, who publishes e-zine, Brave Wings Magazine, asked if she could interview me for the magazine. I agreed and quite enjoyed thinking through and writing out the answers to her questions. Interview

After the interview, I agreed to write an article for her March issue on my adventure in Ireland – The Magic of Ireland. I found that I quite enjoyed writing magazine articles and was ready to take on another one.

My next article took on the subject of coping with fibromyalgia, Balancing Act.

Writing for a magazine can be a bit challenging as you are writing in a concise, informative venue in which you need to keep the reader’s interest. I was quite pleased with my first few attempts and am ready to take on more assignments. I’ve learned more about my abilities, broadened my scope of writing, and hopefully written articles that others can learn from and enjoy. I hope you enjoy reading the articles and will check out other articles in Brave Wings Magazine.


Literary Greats

Our summer has been an adventure. My husband and I set off for Scotland and Ireland, my first trip ever abroad. And it did not disappoint. And if you struggle with finding time to write, arriving extra early for international flights and then the length of those flights affords you with plenty of time to put pen to paper.

I now have great admiration and respect for those who wrote with pencil and paper long ago. Three of the five chapters I have written for my current work in progress were by hand. It is indeed a daunting task. Remembering that you need to add three or four lines to explain your character is much easier with my Dell than it is with my pen and paper.

Our trip was a literary themed tour, well suited for us author-geek types. We visited Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott. We stood in the dining room where he dined with Jane Austen, engaging in heated debates. We traveled on the Jacobite Express, the train used as Hogwart’s Express, making our way over the viaduct, just as they did in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. We visited the home of Robert Burns, The Writer’s Museum, the battlefields of Culloden and the split stone of fame from Outlander.  I stood on the banks of Loch Ness with the water lapping at my feet just as Maddie did in At The Water’s Edge. I saw Spoon Cafe, where J.K. Rowling penned her first Harry Potter book. I made my way carefully along the Cliffs of Moher or, perhaps as you know them, “The Cliffs of Insanity” from Princess Bride. We strolled along the Literary Parade at St. Patrick’s Park acknowledging many Irish literary greats such as Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, William Butler Yeats, and Samuel Beckett.

And as my husband and I visited these sites and walked where these authors had walked, we were inspired. Inspired to write and not just write, but to dig down deep and write from our hearts and soul, writing to inspire others.

This trip will be one of the treasures I keep that reminds me how words affect our lives, of how books can live on in others, inspiring them to do more, be more, laugh, cry, sigh, and feel, yes, feel the words deep in their soul. I pray my writing does just that.

May you be inspired as you pick up the next book to read or perhaps as you pick up your pen to write the next word. K