It’s wonderful when life comes full circle, and my visit to Albuquerque, New Mexico last month to attend a Women’s Fiction Writers retreat was one of those occasions.
Thirty years ago, in the summer of 1992, I spent six weeks in ABQ interning for the city’s now-defunct morning newspaper, The Albuquerque Tribune. I lived near Old Towne with two sisterfriends who shared a house – Cathryn McGill, a renowned singer, songwriter and actress turned black leadership entrepreneur, and Pamela K. Johnson, a then-reporter at the Tribune turned author and filmmaker.
Pamela has since moved back to her native California where she continues to write for numerous national publications (Hey, Pam!) while Cathy remains in ABQ and continues to contribute to the community and the arts in a myriad of ways. She and I met for breakfast while I was in town and traded updates about life and goals as if time had never passed.
Stories abound! And as one of my mentors always says, Just keep living and life will keep giving.
In about three weeks, a group of amazing women (and one gentleman) will join me in gracing the stage at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden to pour from our hearts and inspire everyone present to embrace their journeys and value others’ stories, too.
My co-organizers and I met for two hours this morn to discuss the final details (and to settle my nerves!), and I left that Zoom session all the more excited about what we’re birthing.
So although my October 22 inspirational brunch is sold out, as often as I can throughout this month, I’ll share some timeless inspiration from my 2014 brunch that can still offer encouragement and hope.
Today’s offering is the keynote message I shared in 2014 with brunch attendees, and I share it again, because it’s all still true:
Words hold power.
Fiction and nonfiction can tranform lives.
I am honored to be a vessel.
I continue to write forward – not necessarily at my pace, but at the one that is ordained for me.
Happy September. I stepped away from most of my online posting during a well-enjoyed August break, and now that I’m back, I say hello to you all and welcome to my new friends and followers. Please indulge me as I take a few minutes to reintroduce myself; and after reading my update, feel free to share a bit about yourself in the comments. I’d love to get to know you and discover what inspires you.
I’m Stacy. A creative spirit and lover of words. I have a big heart, a feisty streak and a soft spot for all people – kids and young adults in particular. I’m an optimist who keeps my eyes on life’s prize.
My “It List” includes writing, reading, music, chocolate, fresh flowers, candles, laughter, hugs, sunrises, beaches, mountain views, helping others and learning new things.
I’m the mom of two young adults who are blazing their trails in the world and allowing me to enjoy their ride.
I still use all three names though I’m divorced, because “Stacy Hawkins Adams” has been my “pen name” for decades and has taken on a life of its own. Lol
Plus, the Adams clan will always be fam and friends.
So look me up under that name and you’ll find 11 nationally published “book babies” that I hope you’ll consider reading and enjoy.
I also blog here, at LifeUntapped.com, post inspirational musings on Instagram and on Facebook, and occasionally pen freelance articles and essays for national publications.
I’m in the process of writing a new novel – a piece of women’s fiction that is stretching me and thrilling me (while praying that my agent and a publisher’s gonna love it).
I can be serious, but those closest to me know that I am just as often playful.
I dance and sing behind closed doors, but I’m a prayer warrior wherever needed.
I love that my milestone birthday this year has opened me up in ways that are freeing and fulfilling.
I am more often speaking my truth in love
and trusting myself the first time
and believing bigger because, Why not?
I also am still stretching, stumbling and growing; but isn’t that what makes life’s journey a beautiful mosaic?
I hope the words and images that I routinely share here with you, and on the written page, will remind you that you can do the same.
I started some early spring cleaning yesterday evening and look what I found??
A whole box full of custom-designed commas that I had specially made about 15 years ago, by the woodworker-husband of my dear friend, editor and late colleague Mary Goodwyn.
Rediscovering these treasures reminded me of Mary’s radiant smile and matching heart, and also of the reason I had them created: To distribute to every audience member when I gave speeches far and wide about the power of faith, focus and hope, as a tangible reminder to never put a period where our Divine Creator may have simply put a comma.
Seems like now more than ever is a good time to hold onto this belief.
So if you’re inclined, save one of these pics on your phone or desktop and reassure yourself when you view it that we are in a global “comma season” right now.
While we pause, retreat, watch, wait and pray, may we also use this time to rest, reflect, reset, renew and refocus, so that when we come out on the other side, our stories will have some meaningful and amazing comma moments in between.
Here it is: That look (and heart smile) I get every time I hear from a reader how one of my books has entertained, blessed or inspired.
Thanks to Deeda and Terri for touching base about Nothing But the Right Thing, to Sherry for letting me know Who Speaks to Your Heart gave her solace in her current life circumstances, while Erica shared that Watercolored Pearls did the same, and to the social media page Black Fiction Addiction for the shout-out to my novel Coming Home.
During stressful times like these, words can make a difference – both reading them and writing them.
Pull out a journal (or empty notebook) and let your pen flow with whatever fills your mind and heart – the good, the bad, the ugly, and I guarantee you’ll feel a little better. Encourage the young people in your life to do the same.
Then, find something good to read.
Need some inspiring quotes and musings to soothe you? Check out my recent compilation, Abound! Principles for Next Level Living, here: tinyurl.com/stacyabound
Seeking some spiritual food for thought? My devotional Who Speaks to Your Heart? may interest you: tinyurl.com/stacyheart
Want something fictional that both entertains and uplifts you? Check out one of my novels here: tinyurl.com/stacystories
And certainly, the work of my numerous fellow writers can meet your needs, too.
If you are joining me in shifting to teleworking over the next few weeks, lean into this time of lessened activity by still producing your best work, while taking care of you.
As you settle into this season of new beginnings and fresh promise, I challenge you to not only focus on outward possibilities for growth, but also the inner ones, too.
Take some time in the first few days of 2020 to sit with yourself and ask this important question: What aspects of my life need to be nurtured – right now and in the year ahead?
Whatever your response, I encourage you to embrace it and honor it. And wherever you find yourself during the coming weeks and months, remind yourself of the hope that this dawn of a new year has delivered and “rinse and repeat” the following opportunities to lean into life:
Appreciate each moment.
Celebrate those you love and
Pour new life into your dreams.
Acknowledge life’s realities –
both good and not so good,
Then remember who you are and
Whose you are,
In the midst of it all.
Stand in that truth.
Honor that truth.
Be that truth.
On the days you don’t feel like going on,
Find a way to push through…
To the purpose only you can birth.
Find the courage to
Be Still and
Listen to your heart, and
To words and voices that empower you,
Regardless of what may be shaking the world around you.
Breathe and Be, and
Allow others to do the same.
Trust that good will prevail,
Especially when you offer up your own goodness.
Forgive yourself and
Forgive others, too.
Be patient with heartache,
Grant grief some time, and
Remember in this season of giving (and getting) that it’s the seemingly little things that matter most:
– Calling friends or loved ones simply because they cross your mind
– Offering words of encouragement when someone needs them most
– Giving random hugs to remind those you care about that they’re valued
– Listening fully
– Praying fervently
– Laughing with, not at, someone
– Crying with, rather than for, someone
– Making time, even when you’re busy
– Telling the truth with sincerity and love (often it’s not what you say, but how you say it that makes all the difference)
– Walking in integrity, and in doing so, showing others the way
– Granting yourself grace, so that others learn that skill, too
– Loving yourself best so that you can truly love others better. For when your heart is full and you’re confident about who you are, what you stand for and how you’re called to serve in this world, you can easily open doors, hold hands and make room for others to flourish, too.
I’m sure there’s more. What intangible, yet powerfully valuable treasures will you add to your gift-giving list this year?
This compilation is a nod of gratitude to the many readers who regularly comment on my social media pages, email me or stop me when we cross paths in person to let me know that the words I post most most mornings are helpful, healing and inspiring. Truth be told, I write them to inspire myself as well! And I’m so grateful that they resonate with others, too.
With that in mind, I’m delighted to share Abound! Eat the cake. Dance with abandon. Forgive yourself and others too. Get back up. Don’t give up on love. Keep going. These themes and more are offered in Abound: Principles for Next Level Living.
And what is just as exciting as this compilation is the beautiful art on the cover and inside. My talented professional artist friend Dawn Edge Campbell collaborated with me on this project to create the cover and five other print-worthy illustrations inside, for your pleasure and inspiration.
So once again…introducing Abound! Please get your copy – and a few for your friends & loved ones today!
For those of us who are Christians, nothing matters more than the original Christmas story, which is the reason we celebrate this annual holiday- the birth of Jesus.
However, I believe that another meaningful use for this season is a study and reflection of all that Christmas and Jesus’ birth represent: giving and receiving, unconditional love, grace, joy, and creating special memories. These are the intangibles that, as one grows older and wiser, tend to become more treasured than any presents wrapped in pretty paper and tucked beneath a gorgeous tree.
Yet, on our route to that discovery, it’s wonderful to have stories – both fiction and nonfiction – that entertain us while helping us recognize areas in which we can grow or help others thrive.
With this in mind, it has been my pleasure to “birth’ a short story this Christmas to share with both longtime readers of my fiction and those who are coming across it for the first time. This super-short piece can be read in one sitting, but I hope its themes will linger during the holidays and long afterward.
To learn more about The Sentence Between Us, view my live TV interview with the local CBS station in Richmond, Virginia here.
Also enjoy my Q&A for author/editor Chandra Sparks Splond’s blog here:
I love spring. My first name, Stacy, even means “of the springtime” in some translations and “Resurrection” in others. Both befit the awakening I feel within as this month slowly but surely ushers in warmer temps, blooming flowers and brighter sun.
It’s a transition that each of us can mirror, by taking time this month to reassess, recharge and refocus.
In the days between now and the first official day of spring (March 20) take in the wonder around you and recognize the lessons each day brings. Find some beauty where it seems lacking. Thank the darkness and coldness for the incubating space it has provided for this month’s beauty to form, grow strong and eventually blossom.
Then open your arms wide with welcome to all that awaits you, and don’t look back. Spring is coming.