Choose a word. The challenge comes every New Year with the same predictability as the ball dropping on Times Square. A word is chosen to influence one’s life journey for the next twelve months. Rebel that I am, I have decided to choose not one but four:


Think. Outside. The. Box.


Our granddaughter emptied a box of Lego, the shape of a piano on its cover.


She didn’t contemplate what it meant to think outside the box, she came by it naturally.


So instead of building a #BabyGrand, she created the Tower of Babel.



I want to emulate her childlike approach and bring this line of thinking into the New Year in three areas:



Relationally: When I consider how I act toward others I naturally want to treat them the way I want to be treated. But why not step outside of myself, go above and beyond the call of duty and treat them even BETTER? Perhaps I’ll do something anonymously. Send flowers to someone who’d least expect them. The options are endless, my imagination just needs to be released.




Personally: Every year I ask what I want to do to improve my health, my spiritual and emotional growth. This time, I want to try something different. Something outsideactive-1822476__340 the ordinary. And not just one thing, I’d like to explore several new adventures. To begin, I’m going to sign up on and walk 2,017 miles this year.



Creatively: I want to write outside the box. In the hands of Disney, a dog becomes a talking, animated creature. Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, makes a young woman with braids and freckles a warrior who saves the world. It takes musing to create a New World in art, music and with words. And one must Think. Outside. The. Box to do so.





These four words will be mine this year and I’m sticking with them—whatever it might mean and however they reveal themselves.




Do you have any suggestions what Thinking Outside The Box might look like? I’m open to any and all advice in these three areas of my life for the next twelve months.


By the way, don’t forget the BIG DATE:  5.15.17.

Bethel Manor Reborn will be released by Crooked Cat.


In the meantime, I hope your New Year is blessed and perhaps you might consider stepping away from the norm and THINK. OUTSIDE. THE. BOX. with me.

Bethel Manor


Dying to Eat at the Pub


 Christmas at the Corp



I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.

Gustave Flaubert