Storywalking for Inspiration

The trash I find while out walking inspires much of my writing. Because of this, my husband named me the Storywalker, and we refer to this creative process as “Storywalking.”

For example, yesterday, walking to my yoga class I found a Pokemon card, featuring Vanillish and an Ice Shard attack. Vanillish? Villainish! The card was stiff as ice, with bits of dried leaf plastered to it, masking the face of the character. I tucked it in my pocket.

Further down the sidewalk, I noticed a small liquor bottle, called a nip. On the label was a character that looked like the Devil and some words. The “RED HOT” nip once held some Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. Cinnamon? Pokemon. The Inside was a frozen flash of crystallized water.

What happens when a Shard attack meets a Fireball attack? Poof! A lot of steam! Our son, Neil, used to collect Pokemon cards and play the game with his friends. Unfortunately, Neil was attacked and completely taken out by Cancer last year. Poof! I pulled the Pokemon card out of my pocket and showed it to my yoga teacher as I checked into class. She commented that the leaf fragment covering Vanillish’s face was shaped like a heart. I took off my sneakers, hung up my coat and went into the studio.

As I left yoga, I pulled the card out of my coat pocket. The leaf fragments were gone. They had effectively melted away, revealing the hidden character of Vanillish, a cute smiley composite of ice cream and ice crystals, shaped like an ice cream cone. Sweet! I hold my angel, that sneaky silly cool little devil, forever in my heart and mind.

Captions, starting from top left and spiraling clockwise: Sneaking around cloaked in dead leaves; looking cute and innocent; hoarding sweets with a vampire’s sweet tooth; smiling faces; smiling his way through the last Halloween of his life here; ever ready to engage in battle.

Learn more about After Death Communications (ADC) from Psychology Today. Our angels and muses are there to inspire us.

Food for the Writer’s Soul

Writers are fed with their own life experiences and with the well-written books of other writers. Books are like appetizers, while experiences are the main course. This past month, friends and family recommended books of real substance, all of which I read ravenously. At night time, I’m rather like a doll, whose eyes close when placed in a reclining position. Once lying in bed, I’m seldom able to read beyond one page. Not so with these recent reads:

Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber by KenWilbur – compelling story about a couple’s struggle with cancer and their journey to spiritual healing,five-years through illness, treatment, and death.

Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Elizabeth Murray – stunning memoir of a young woman, growing upwith parents who were drug addicts. She finds herself living on the streets of New York at the age of 15 after her mother died of AIDS. This is a wonderful book for teens about resilience.

 The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane: a Novel by Lisa See – powerful story about the destinies of a mother and daughter separated at birth. The baby is left near an orphanage, wrapped in a blanket with a tea cake in its folds. When Li-yan comes of age, she leaves her remote mountain tea-farming village for an education, a business and city life, while her daughter, Haley, is raised in California by loving adoptive parents.

Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croken – remarkable true story of James Howard “Billy” Williams, a British adventurer, who entered into the teak trade, navigated the jungles of Burma in the company of elephants, became deeply attached to these highly intelligent animals and led them to help evacuees.

Bioregulatory Medicine: An Innovative Holistic Approach to Self-Healing by Thom, DDS, ND, Maffitt Odell, OMD, ND, L.Ac., Drobot, NMD, and Pleus, MD, DDS, OMFS and Higgins Kelley, MNT – comprehensive and evidence-based book about a holistic medical model that has been refined for over five thousand years by some of the brightest minds in medicine, science and philosophy.

What strikes me about all these books is the common themes of human experience, illness, resilience and spirituality – food for the soul. I picked up Bioregulatory Medicine this past Friday to prepare for a magazine interview and tour at Providence’s new BIOMED Center. The book was published two months ago, and I wish it had been available two years ago, when our son’s neurological symptoms were surfacing. I’m eager to learn more about the center’s leading-edge non-invasive diagnostics and their  natural and personalized approach to treating diseases like cancer. I may add a biomed chapter to my book and suggest this gentler approach for treating pediatric cancers.

Practiced in Europe, bioregulatory medicine is beginning to challenge the conventional allopathic approach to medicine currently prevailing in the U.S. Here’s a quote describing the difference between the two approaches:

“Western allopathic medicine relies on drugs that result in an opposite effect of the symptoms. From Greek roots, allopathic literally means ‘opposite of the disease.’ The model is based on using drugs that work against out biology to suppress disease symptoms. Here lies the distinction: Allopathic medicine treatments suppress biology while bioregulatory medicine supports it… the body’s natural ability to heal is profound and should be facilitated, not suppressed.”

In bioregulatory medicine, organic and whole foods support the body’s natural ability to heal, and the writer’s world, inspirational books support the mind’s ability to write.