Why do I write?

Writing from the heart is what I’ve always done. Join me for my inaugural blog over at Women and Words for reflections on my writing and how life shapes the words I put on the page.

Women and Words

I don’t remember exactly when I started writing. I only know that I cannot remember not needing to write. Maybe it was because I was a shy kid who felt like she didn’t belong anywhere exactly. Books and reading were a great escape. My mother’s aunt nurtured that connection to books and I loved getting swept away in an epic story. Then one day she bought me a package of stationary and a beautiful pen. “Write,” she said. So I began, clumsily at first, filling the pages with bad poetry about adolescent angst. What was amazing about the experience was that once I began, I couldn’t stop. If reading was a source of comfort and happiness, then writing—putting my own words on the page—felt like mainlining a drug.images-1

The outside world had given me plenty of reasons to doubt myself. I struggled with a fledgling awareness of my differentness

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Rebound Preview

Hello, everyone! My publisher has just released a preview for my upcoming release, Rebound, which is set for release on February 14th. Valentines Day! Also, we still have some pretty incredible news upcoming for this release, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading. ~LM

Rebound Preview Here!

When the preview appears, just click at the edge of the page to turn the page, just like a real book!Image

Choose to be positive

If there’s one thing I can truly say that I learned in 2013 is that it’s all about attitude. Why did it take me so long to figure this out? I have no idea. All my life I’ve heard the advice about how positive thinking can change everything. But I don’t think I ever really listened to the message—or at least I didn’t honestly put the message into action. I needed this year to teach me a few things, and the most important one was to change my outlook. One day a random inspirational post sat in my inbox. I’d seen the message probably a hundred times in various forms over the years:
Smile for no good reason

Every problem has a gift for you in its hands

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent

Peace of mind is a choice you make

We become what we think about

What each of these messages has in common is the underlying truth that we control our own interactions with the world. That choice we make is what determines whether we have a positive or negative experience. No, we can’t control others and sometimes bad stuff will happen—it’s how we react that always matters. The message that day was this: Peace of mind is a choice you can make. We become what we think about. That same day my best friend’s brother passed away. When I called to offer condolences, my friend said something that hit home:  “We are blessed.” She was extremely sad for the loss of her brother, but still focused on the good in her life. She made the choice.

We become what we think about. It had happened in my own life before. I decided I wanted to become a writer, and focused all of my energy on that goal. It worked then and I realized it could work now. I began to focus on positive thoughts. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve seen my posts from time to time center on this theme. What I began to realize is how much the simple practice of positive thought and compassion really would alter my viewpoint. When I feel myself slipping into the old habits, I refocus to deliberately take positive action, even if it’s as small as smiling at a stranger. When I disagree with something, I try to resolve the conflict on a positive note. Most of all, I remind myself that I choose how to react. I’m still a work in progress, but that simple shift in thinking is making a huge difference in my life.

So, friends, as we enter the promise of a New Year, let me leave you with the reminder that we become what we think about. Here’s my challenge for us all in 2014:  Choose to be positive. Choose compassion. Choose to be more awesome than last year.




Religious defiance, thank God!

I’m a Christian and I’m perplexed. Can somebody please explain to me why folks who profess to believe in the teachings of Jesus are forever bastardizing his message?

Our most recent example of faith-based hypocrisy comes today from a story about a father who loves his son and simply wants to support his son completely. The Reverend Dr. Thomas W. Ogletree, a minister of the United Methodist Church, was asked by his son to officiate his wedding. What an awesome thing, right? Right! Except that his son was marrying a man. Uh, oh. Dr. Olgletree says that his son’s request inspired him and he readily accepted. Two of the reverend’s children are gay, and he loves and accepts them unconditionally. His daughter previously married her partner in a non-Methodist ceremony. 

Rev. Olgletree conducted the ceremony for his son back in October, and no doubt, it was a joyous family occasion. Then, one of the reverend’s fellow ministers saw the wedding announcement in the newspaper, and apparently felt it his sacred duty to tattle on Rev. Ogletree to the local bishop. Rev. Randall C. Paige and several other ministers object to Rev. Ogletree’s actions, citing violations of canonical law. They say the ceremony “is a chargeable offense under the rules of the church” and that breaking the laws are not the proper way to bring about change.

Really? Umm… Jesus broke the laws of his lifetime by renouncing Old Testament teachings publicly, throwing the money lenders out of the temple, cavorting with known prostitutes, pretty much thumbing his nose at much of the religious doctrine of the day, and the list goes on. Seems like he thought that breaking the law was exactly the way to bring about change at times. Unjust laws meant to demonize or marginalize minority groups are always overturned by acts of civil disobedience, because morally unjust laws cannot and should not stand. So, how is it that these religious scholars would assert that breaking the rules is not the way to affect change? Guess they skipped those parts of the New Testament. The complaining reverends say that Rev. Olgetree’s actions injure the church because they “foster confusion about what the church stands for.” Shouldn’t the church be standing for love, honesty, family, and stuff like that?

The Rev. Olgletree is awe-inspiring. “Sometimes, when what is officially the law is wrong, you try to get the law changed,” he said. “But if you can’t, you break it.” He challenged Rev. Paige, saying, “Dr. King broke the law, Jesus of Nazareth broke the law…So you mean you should never break the law, no matter how unjust it is?” I’m pretty sure that’s exactly the premise our great country was founded upon, and I hope we never lose that belief in standing up for “right” over “law”. Rules and laws are made in given periods of time, based upon the knowledge folks have to work with. But, we evolve. We grow. We change.

These changes come largely through interacting with people who may be different than ourselves. That’s why I always say that we change hearts and minds one person at a time. The good reverend understands the teachings of Christianity call us to be loving and compassionate toward one another, not judgmental or hateful. When we open our hearts to the lives and love of others, we cannot help but grow. That’s the human experience. The reverend, only wanting to fully participate in his son’s marriage, as any parent would, unwittingly became a symbol of religious defiance. He said, “I actually wasn’t thinking of it as an act of civil disobedience or church disobedience. I was thinking of it as a response to my son.”

Amen, reverend.