All Day Darling

This morning I’m still dreamy-eyed about the Buddha Bowl I ate recently at “All Day Darling” in Asheville on Montford Street. Oh, and the Miel Latte, too. (Espresso, honey, allspice, salt and steamed milk.) Goodness — way dreamy.

If I lived next door to All Day Darling, I might be tempted to give up cooking altogether. OK, probably not, but the food is delicious and not what I would readily prepare myself.

While my friend, Janet, and I talked about all things life-affirming, challenging, and just plain funny, the sun poured on our little corner of the restaurant, turning the conversation especially warm and golden. We appreciated the bright day, given so many gray skies lately, and thoroughly enjoyed the chance to catch up in both a deep, and delicious way.

Since then, I’ve been thinking about the food, yes, but also the name of the restaurant. I’ve noticed that saying “All Day Darling” to myself causes an inner smile and produces happy energy. I daresay the very name itself encourages lighthearted thinking.

By the way, the “all day” part of the name refers to serving every item on the menu all day. But the “darling” part — does it refer to the food, the people who work there — or is it that customers become more darling after they eat? Probably a dash of each.

So, you know me, I pondered …

What if you and I followed the pleasure trend of this wonderful food establishment? What if we became all-day-darling ourselves — what would it mean?

Would we be more darling to ourselves? To others? What menu items would we serve all day?

Yesterday, in favor of experimenting, I served “gentle” all day. Especially in the smallest, most fleeting moments, such as taking the effort out of reaching for a dish on a high shelf or noticing my breath as I drove.

For me personally, the darling idea means generous helpings of kindness. It means letting movement, thought, and feeling unfold in gentler, freer ways. Those are important ingredients in my dish called darling.

I took time to call someone I’ve been thinking about. I wrote a thank you and sent it by mail along with a gift. I took a walk outside, and did absolutely no thinking. I was truly empty-headed, and it felt great.

I also cozied up to my to-do list, which might sound strange when it comes to being more darling, but here’s what happens with me and my list. My tendency is to leave small items undone. These days, I tend to gravitate to chunky projects, such as finishing my second book, and the rest waits — too long.

But yesterday I gave it a go. I chose a couple simple items and took care of them, which felt downright darling! I also took a short nap. Super darling.

Want to play with this all-day-darling idea with me? I’d love to hear your darling stories. Can’t wait!

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Something Sweet Is Happening

Something sweet is happening.

You’re writing me texts and emails saying the dearest things about 100 WORDS: SMALL SERVINGS OF WHIMSY AND WISDOM TO CALM THE MIND AND NOURISH THE HEART.

What I love about what you’re saying is that the words move you in some way — they speak to you, they matter. Because you took to heart the message from “As Above, So Below” you’re now “spilling shakers of light over stray concerns of the day.”

You mention how the little black sandals on page seventeen make you smile and give you hope for getting through a monumental change. Or that you appreciate the conciseness and brevity of each piece, or how a photograph took you by the hand into a poem.

One person said the last two lines of “On Love” became her mantra one day when she needed it most. “Love breathes you, moves you. It’s what built your heart.”

One person let me know she kept 100 WORDS on her nightstand to read a small sampling each night because, as she put it, “These are poems to be savored.” She appreciated the small bites.

One of my editor’s favorite poems is “How To Realize Your Beauty.” She tucked 100 WORDS into her traveling bag and read it aloud to a couple of groups she belongs to, and the sharing was well-received. The poem even prompted a discussion with her son. My daughter especially loved “Pearls in the Morning,” a poem about creativity.

My mother (who is 92) called me shortly after receiving her copy. She was smiling over the phone and said with a lilt in her voice, “I read your book last night. I noticed there’s a mention of a 92-year-old.”

I said, “Yes, Mom, I wanted to let you know I’m always thinking of you.”

What a sweet moment with my mother!

This week, a woman sent a text from the waiting room of her doctor’s office. She was reading (and crying about) “No Longer Here,” one hundred words about golf and love. The poem reminded her of her father, who passed years ago. He was a golfer, too, and she was missing the aspects of their relationship she loved most.

Another reader sent an evening email and I happened to see it as I was pulling back the heavenly comforter on my (heavenly) bed. She wrote, “I got my books. Read three pages. Found myself breathless. Just sitting here feeling thankful for the gift of you. And my books.”

I doubt if there’s anything more wonderful for a writer to hear than “your writing left me breathless.”

From your responses it appears that the words are swimming into the warmth of your hearts and resting there. I love that. I’m so thankful for that.

Thank you for your ongoing feedback. Thank you for reaching out to tell me what 100 WORDS means to you.

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Disappearing Acts.

DISAPPEARING ACTS

These days, moments seem wispy

around the edges. Time sways.

Something’s gone from where it was

and I’m pretty sure I didn’t move it.

 

Of course, one cannot be sure.

There are no cameras.

No witnesses, really, no mice in the corner

shaking their little gray heads.

 

No flutter of butterflies, either, is moving

thoughts or things in moments when attention

floats, when the fluff of life rolls gently

across the empty prairie.

 

So tell me.

 

Where did the directions go? The printer ink?

The glass of water that only moments ago

was in my hand? And how did my office door

swing open in the silence just now all by itself?

 

Surely there’s an explanation for such movement.

Parallel realities? Teleportation gone rogue?

An invasion of invisible alien crickets

sneaking about, rearranging the flowers?

 

Or could it be that in absent moments

we’re swathed in the silk of sweet nothings

from angels or muses, or skinny-dipping

in wisdom on the other side.

 

Do these out of body moments play

with time and attention to elevate us,

bring knowledge within  — up — to soothe the soul,

give wings to worn out worries?  

 

Does the runaway thought, the lost spoon,

the sudden inspiration suggest a spiritual touchdown?

Or is it a reprieve?

A welcome pillow for the far-flung  mind?

 

In timeouts, are we exploring faraway places,

visiting distant shores

luxuriating in the soothing sunshine

of Universal love?

 

Yes, I’m sure that’s it.

 

 

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You’ve Got Questions.

How does a book get published? What are the steps? How does it work? Who is publishing this book and when will it be available?

I’m new at this! I’m learning, too. But here’s what (I think) I know so far.

I’m putting my first book of poetry in the hands of Balboa Press, the self-publishing arm of Hay House, a good way for an unknown author to get started. My poetry book will be full color, with thirty-six photos, thirty six poems, and one prose piece. It’s around eighty pages, give or take.

Balboa will produce a soft cover and an e-book for me. Their e-books are compatible with Amazon Kindle, the Sony Reader, the Barnes & Noble eReader, Nook, Google Play Books, Kobo Books and the iBooks Store.

Though they will write a press release for me, Balboa doesn’t market a book unless they are specifically hired to do that. (I’ll be looking for a publicist, by the way, if you have a referral.)

However, Balboa lists the book for purchase in their catalogs and on their book lists for bookstores.  When they produce the Kindle version, it’s posted on Amazon (with the “look inside” feature) and on Barnes and Noble. My publishing package also includes a “Booksellers Return Program” which makes it zero risk for a bookstore to buy copies. (If a book doesn’t sell, the store can return it for a refund.) Balboa also sets up a premium author website and handles the orders.

When a book is first submitted, it goes into “Content Evaluation” which is where it is right now. They want to know I wrote it, and that the photos I chose are available to use commercially. This process takes approximately 3-4 weeks, they say.

After that, the cover is designed, and the inside layout of the book is created and sent to me for approval. Once changes are made and I’ve given it my full thumbs up, production begins!

It’s possible the book will be ready for the Holidays. I’m hoping that’s true. But if not, another strong market is the beginning of the year.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it was available for the Holidays to fly like an eagle into the hands of anyone in the world looking for a little whimsy and wisdom? Or to all those looking for a beautiful book to keep by their bedside to calm their mind and nourish their heart?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the book traveled far and wide quickly and efficiently (and surprisingly!) by word of mouth to all those who would find comfort and joy in the words? May this book find night stands everywhere!

Thank you for holding this far-reaching vision with me, and for your encouragement to get the words I’ve been writing out into the world! Your support means everything to me. Thank you right down to my toes! I’m excited about this new chapter of my life.

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100 Words: Flood Rain’s Faithful Sister.

Rains come, pounding rooftops, saturating every

inch of soil down to the deep. Water creeps

under floorboards, pours past garage

doors, gushes into low-lying collection basins.

Bridges connecting small country roads turn

impassable, the ones

at the bottom of mountains

near abandoned railroad tracks.

Grief is a sister to flood rain.

Holding hands, they roll over restraining walls.

Together they stream, surge, cascade — out over the land

of the heart, into valleys of the mind, through the dark woods.

Grief is love out of the cage —

overflowing, endless love.

Grief is love realized and released.

Grief is love let free.

 

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Terri Crosby

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