Saturday, May 25, 2013

Reflecting on a Bob Marley truth...

“If she is amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy…truth is, everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” ~ Bob Marley

I love Bob Marley, and I credit him with being a real visionary. I choose to make the "she" in this quote "life". At the heart of this message, I do believe, is 1) having a life that is amazing won't be easy, and 2) you can take the easy route, but don't expect it to necessarily be satisfying. Then, as much as I hate to accept this as a truth, following your heart still has pain along the way. But, fortunately, along with the pain comes the bliss of running the race you want  toward a destination of your choice. A lot of the suffering, I believe though, is in getting in touch with what the heck we want, and once we know, figuring out how the heck to get it. I feel our lives are crammed with so much random and necessary stuff, that we must work to find the space and time to hear and understand what our real desires are. And once we get a clue, we're still left with this question: Where do we draw the line between following our dreams and common sense? 

(As an aside, notice how much my hair looks like Bob Marley's.....hmmmnnn)

My novella, Salt in the Sugar Bowl, is available at
$10, plus shipping and handling
When all the sweetness is gone from Sophia Sawyer's life, she leaves her husband and six children and never looks back. Find out how those children fared after their mother's abandonment.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Runaway Mothers

My novella Salt in the Sugar Bowl is about a mother who walks away from her six kids. This week, Dr. Phil featured Brenda Heist, a woman who left her two kids and husband 11 years ago and totally disappeared. Nobody expects that. In our culture, we make assumptions:
- if there's a divorce, Mom gets custody,
- if a child is sick, Mom does the doctoring,
- Mom is more nurturing and comforting,
- Mom has the child-rearing instincts
When a mom walks away, all kinds of questions surface. They usually have negative connotations: What was she thinking? Has she lost her mind? What the heck is wrong with her? Does she have a heart?

When a man leaves his family, again we make assumptions:
- He fell in love with someone else,
- He must have money, gambling, drug problems, or some dark secret, or
- He grew tired of the routine, rat race, etc.

A couple of the news items trace events leading up to Brenda Heist's departure, what she did while she was gone, and why she suddenly reentered the picture. But at the bottom of it all, is still the resounding question: What is it about a particular woman that enables her to leave her children behind?

Brenda Heist returned to her town after 11 years. She had already been declared dead.

Salt in the Sugar Bowl is available at
When all the sweetness is gone from her life, Sophia Sawyer leaves her six children and never returns. What happened to those children. Order today and find out.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother Nature's daughters on Mother's Day

So Mom and I weren't always close. We've never been estranged, but there were years that I didn't think much of holidays and family gatherings. I was doing my thing and they had their own thing, and our things didn't seem to match all that well.

Time passes the way it does-- sometimes slow, and sometimes whizzing by. And I look up and Mom and I have things in common.


We are like twin nature nymphs. This morning we sat on my deck having coffee, and before you know it we were up on my hill pulling weeds and sawing down little trees. HAVING A BLAST!

Yesterday we went to visit my daughter in her new apartment, came home and made lunch, then spent four hours breaking up and moving parts of my HUGE cacti! We had a WONDERFUL time.

So I'm really grateful that we both love something that brings us together in a way that is magic. We get down and dirty, and we plant, saw, and dig, and then sit satisfied--bonded at the core by something that really means something to us. We, Odessa and I, are really Mother Nature's daughters.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Kids and consistency

Recently my daughter and I were chatting, and she mentioned, offhandedly, that her childhood memories are happy ones. It wasn't a deep discussion or anything-- just a comment in passing. Today, I drove three hours (unnecessarily) to a meeting that will not actually occur for two more weeks! Hmmmnnnn. This shows where I am right now-- flying by the friggin' seat of my tight pants!

I've been here before: tight schedules, working till my brain aches, with my body buzzing with fatigue. I was often in that place when my daughter was growing up. So as I was whizzing down Highway 85 South this morning, my daughter's comment about happy memories ran through my mind. And that's when I realized how important consistency is to children.

I was often so overextended and stressed out that I would be burning incense, chanting, praying, writing affirmations all at the same time to get through tight grantwriting deadlines, motherhood demands, and having a personal life as a self-employed, single mother. I worried all the time about how in the world I could raise this child unscathed with such a life as I was living.

Now I realize that the things I prioritized as a mom actually worked:
- dinner every week night (mostly homemade-- because it was very comforting and grounding to have something simmering on the stove as I lost myself in writing),
- getting her to bed at the same time every night with a story and a tuck-in,
- never letting her know when I was short of cash,
- having a network of trustworthy babysitters who gave us both much-needed time away from each other, and
- although she certainly saw me get upset way more than I intended, I always gave her the message that life has it's really hard and bumpy places-- but none that I couldn't handle.

I was thrilled to hear her basically saying that those hard and bumpy places were eclipsed by the happy times. And as I think about it, there were absolutely plenty of happy times.

If your kids are grown, remember all the good stuff you did with and for them. If you're still parenting, take a tip from me-- consistency goes a long way towards making children feel secure-- even if you're flying by the seat of your pants wondering which end is up.

My novella Salt in the Sugar Bowl is now available at
Order your copy today and find out how Sophia Sawyer's six children fared after she walked aways from them and never looked back.

Salt in the Sugar Bowl

a novella byAngela Belcher Epps

ISBN: 978-1-59948-402-0, 104 pages, $12 ($10 if ordered from the MSR Online Bookstore)