Tag Archive: Realizing dreams

3x5OverToThe DarkSideWednesday Wisdom ~ DreamSculptr travel sense, Little Man with a Big Siren, and a question, so Angel doesn’t go over to the dark side in a few hours.

DreamSculpting Interactive is all about hearing from you what will make your dreams sing, and including that when sharing an upcoming guidebook I compiled for myself ~ a relatively playful process that worked well for me during the worst of my personal trials, and continues to do so.

First, though, I want to say that last night’s travel ambassador tour at the stadium clubhouse was awesome! Thank you CVB and stadium manager. I met fascinating new people and ran into friends with whom I swapped travel adventures, leading a friend to ask, “Why don’t you write about the many benefits of your adventures?” Would people actually be interested in reading this?

I told my friend, “I’m too busy adventuring.” (Well, publishing books and dancing around the art of ceramics,  watermedia, and staying alive, too). Then I remembered the safe, savvy, solo travel book I began as a spinoff from the sculpting my dreams book while driving coast to coast to ‘walk my talk,’ after finalizing a late bloomer degree that placed me firmly in the professional ranks back home.

Travel is magical. It transports me to other worlds and connects me to new people. As much as I love being caught in the lens, while traveling I am the one behind the camera. I love adventures, like those recently spent cruising from Paris to Monaco, through the Pacific islands, trolling the Caribbean, escapades on the Disney ships, and sailing on windjammers. Times spent enjoying Denali, calving glaciers, sweeping through Europe to study the arts, sleeping in a national forest outside the Grand Canyon, climbing volcanoes, residing on the Emperor’s moat in the elegant Akasaka Prince, riding the Shinkansen, homestays in “rural” Otsu, and drawing artwork for a ‘little man with a big siren’ after leaving Denver trailing a broken leafspring. Then there were times when I nearly died in the Hiawatha Nat’l forest, when the flooding Colorado River near Arches swallowed me, when I survived Death Valley without air one hot July, those insider observatory tours with my personal astrophysicist, a lockout on Olympia, and a storybook life as a kid along the Pigeon river wilderness and Rifle river while pulling porcupine needles from a dog’s muzzle, skinning rabbits, and petting a tame elk tagging at my heels. Other times, I faced a Yellowstone black bear, caught myself in a frenzied herd of  longhorn cattle, as well as earthquakes, tornadoes, and stampeding buffalo. I drove sheep, climbed mountains, learned 35mm photography far out on a Kaibob ledge jutting into the Grand Canyon without a railing, and hiked canyons with my brother. I’ve experienced amazingly spiritual animal encounters, escaped from a roaring inferno, unknowingly worked for a serial killer, endured my child being in the Rome airport during a terrible bombing, been guarded by a tiny Japanese woman with a parasol, survived the Great Sargasso Sea of Romantic Turbulence, broken through the glass ceiling, found personal discovery and generated questions, plus much more.

My travel hasn’t always been solo but lately much of it has. “Walking my talk” led to many people at Disney World and across the country freeing themselves from spellbinding circumstances to pursue their dreams.

This represents a lot of exhausting air, overland, train, and ship travel for a woman who, like all women, can be magnetic in person but must hide her charm when far from her sanctuary and yet still plan well enough to allow for spontaneous openings ~ for new people, new ideas, and insight.

Many benefits come from solo travel, whether you are truly alone or hitched to a flock of other travelers going in the same direction. I developed better radar, found moments when I forgot to guard my heart, formatted a better understanding of the world, and, of course, encountered events that required the intervention of my guardian angels. But they rose to the challenge. Now I know of new places to mention when friends ask, “what’s next?”

Preparation is key to safe, savvy solo travel. It is critical to know how to pack your bags, how to stay ‘invisible’ at times, and when to join in or merely observe. Safe transportation is a must, as well as preparing for emergencies that arise along the way ~ and that includes unexpected situations with a first time roommate as well as mechanical upsets and crises back at home base.

The truth is, I don’t know if I want to reveal poignant details of my life. I currently write stories and poetry for older children, young adults, charity, and myself. I’ve also published stories about amazing circumstances in several local editions and I’m working on a series of novels as well as in a collaborative studio.

So before I invest my time in developing what I did and why and how, I wonder if people are interested in reading these assorted tales? How has travel opened your horizon to new possibilities that help you realize your own dream?

I drew this picture while trapped at a campground outside of Denver on the flat, high plains ~ having just left behind the awesome beauty of Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. There’s a key pad combination lock on that open privy door, and the drawing is entitled “Little Man with a Big Siren.” Ouch…TextrLilMan BigSiren


This entry is “under development!”

It does, of course, include all of my intended books and artwork and family events. More to the point, though…

A studio!  For the many directions I seem to go in all at once.  A large creative space where a renaissance person (me) can pursue many interests in earshot of, if not in sight of, nature and water.  With room for display and my exercise equipment.  Near a quaint tree-lined recreational area, preferably high above Lake Michigan. It’s been designed for years.  In several formats.

A logo and graphic depictions of the magical “tools” to include in my books.

Incentive and encouragement.

Several paintings and sculptural, figurative pieces that illustrate ideas in my books, and are well in process but need finishing.

Legacy.  NatSplat.  Velveteen Picture. Watchers in the Wild. First Anthology. BuildAMate.  Burnin Daylight.

Doing better now…keep ’em comin’ …you can do it!  Cheers!  Of course, I’d give it all up for certain other circumstances I want…which is exactly why I have to keep going until they can practically finish themselves.  No matter that I might just age someday and miss the other boat.  A calling is a calling.  I just wish my callings were a little less intense late at night and a little more cuddly.  So in the meantime, it’s me and my stuffie Patches.  An intrepid combination.

Add your dreams and projects here:__________________________________________.  Cheers!!!

If we were all watercolor pencils, we could create great art. Like colored pencils, everything we do leaves a mark, and we can correct most of our mistakes. The most important things in life are what is inside of us as we go through repeated sharpening to make us better throughout life, while submitting to, being held and guided by, the wisest hand of all. Then we create beautiful visions and realize our greatest dreams.

Recently, I joined a group of friends traveling to Las Vegas to see Cirque Du Soleil.  For years I had wanted to see more of  Cirque Du Soleil. I was also fascinated in the time share condo we rented for the week instead of separate hotel rooms. With friends going in the same direction as my ‘dream’, I was only too happy to become a ‘colored pencil’ in the hands of this well-established group as their newbie member.

Once we settled the lodging, air, and minivan, we turned our attention to the specific Cirque events to visit each night as a group.  Facebook was offering closed groups, so we created one and posted each show separately. Eager participants researched online. The plan was to see all of the shows, or as many as possible.  Candidates were Ka, O, Zumanity, Viva: Elvis, Love: the Beatles, and Mystere. Organized conversation flowed until we finalized advance reservations and were on our way!

Or were we? We agreed to meet at the local airport two hours before the late March flight, knowing the ticket counter closed 45 minutes before the flight. One couple was already there when I arrived.  I must say, I was not entirely intact.

I had, in fact, been under stress for some time wondering whether I would be able to keep my travel plans. Why? Well, despite a lifetime of good health, a swollen lump surfaced near my scapula a few weeks earlier, just as the late January “Snowpocalypse of 2011”  hit Michigan with over a foot of snow. Whoopee, right? Not really…it makes a better plot line for your worst nightmare. I had just paid unrecoverable travel expenses, so I waited quietly  to see if it went away, rather than spook family and friends.

For several weeks, doctors sent me from one inconclusive digital test to another, including ultrasound, biopsy, PET scan  and CT. In the end they decided to  ‘explore’, in other words, surgery. I could see myself trying to lift and roll a heavy case through the airports.  Worse – does there always have to be a worse? – they decided to combine two procedures into one more painful hospital visit, rescheduled even closer to my departure.

Without their support I never would have been able to go.  One was rooting hard for the trip to continue on schedule. The other encouraged me to stay in case treatment was needed. Had I listened exclusively to him I would have lost  funds, my friends’ good will, and precious memories. Instead, I listened to my positive thinking daughters encouragement.  “Hang in there, mom, you might be able to go.”  With support from them and my sister, I endured the tests, big scary words, and surgery with nothing more than a rash from the impatience and frustration. I made it!

Steri-stripped together with week-old stitches, my daughter drove me to the airport and waited to roll the big suitcase  while I dragged the smaller overhead case.  Eventually our disabled traveler arrived and claimed the group wheelchair. With cleverly disguised anxiety, we waited for our final friend to arrive with our boarding passes. A mere 20 minutes remained to shutdown by the time we checked luggage, passed security, and fled toward the gate. We were off!

It was great fun. After arriving in Las Vegas airport our ravenous fliers ate Polynesian Kiki burgers at the nearby Bachi Burger. We picked up a few basic groceries and tucked ourselves into the condo’s two bedrooms and living room for some much-needed sleep.

After a hot breakfast of omelets and juice on Monday morning, we  oriented ourselves and set out to explore architecture along the ‘Strip’. Our first stop was valet parking at MGM Grand.  After checking out the CSI Experience and Ka theater, we walked outside to the fascinating 3-story M&M store. Now, those little brightly coated chocolate M&M’s are my favorite treat.  I was careful to leave with only 3 bags of the peanut variety and a souvenir or two.

Next, we drove to the Tower for lunch on a platform revolving 360 degrees a hundred and sixty floors above Las Vegas.  Our cameras worked overtime as we ate one of the best sandwiches I have ever tasted. When we had rotated nearly a complete circle, we spotted the jump site approaching.  Yes, a roof to ground jump site.  Jumpers are anchored by a support line on either side, as they glide rapidly past the windows on the center line and a camera mounted on the outside line snaps a picture.  We were each determined to snap a live picture of the next jumper.  Problem was, the speed at which they descended.  I decided to select video on my iPhone and shoot a moving clip rather than risk snapping a speeding blob.  It worked.  In a split second it was over.  By holding my camera position near the window top, where I knew he would appear first, I caught him, panned downward, and followed as he disappeared toward the ground.

Then we slipped into valet parking at the Treasure Island casino, home of Mystere.  After claiming reserved evening tickets by the required one hour before showtime, we shopped the theater store and looked around for a quick dinner  before the show.  Kahunaville was next to the theatre.  We had a mere 30 minutes from the time we ordered several hors d’ oeuvres until we needed to claim our seats. The food arrived in the nick of time and proved to be a perfect meal before a performance.

By 6:40 pm we were seated for the 7 o’clock showing of Mystere. I was enthralled by my first Cirque Du Soleil performance in Las Vegas from the pre show  until the final moment. Even the comedy relief was great. We will now greet each other charmingly by squeaking “Poppa!” as a current inside joke. Later, we discovered that MGM sold Treasure Island in order to build the City Center at the Aria Resort. New owners reside on the top floor and maintain a proprietary stance on Mystere memorabilia.  It can be purchased only at the Mystere gift shop. Show costumes, music, characters, and acrobatics were magnifique! Even though Mystere is the longest running Cirque show in Las Vegas, it was my inaugural experience. And I was hooked!

The next morning was Tuesday.   We traipsed along with  our condo host to a timeshare sales event.  By the time we left, two of our members had converted, purchased, or otherwise increased their holdings in this versatile community. After some shopping, it was time to dress and find Viva Elvis, a new Cirque du Soleil resident show playing at ARIA Resort & Casino at the Las Vegas CityCenter. I had already decided that Aria architecture was my favorite. Ultra modern styling and reflective materials highlight its slightly out-of-kilter angularity, making it spectacular.  We ate dinner that evening at a Japanese restaurant for about $30. Since I was not very hungry, I chose a soup with chicken for only $8, saving a robust $22 for other fun.

Wednesday and Thursday were my two nights of alone time. To save a few hundred dollars I had decided to see only 4 of the 6 group shows. That was both blessing and mistake. I needed time to figure out how to operate my new camera and write, so it was helpful. But I missed seeing Ka. I now believe I would have enjoyed Ka the most.  Attempting to recoup my error, I bought a DVD about creating the show, and downloaded the soundtrack from iTunes once I reached home. I was beginning to act to like one of my fine watercolor pencils by now; I was culminating my dream by creating a fabulous set of memories and links to new creative experiences that would lead my particular brand of personal creativity into a visionary future.

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