Passion ignited again

Passion ignited again

I’ve been on cloud nine since June 8 when I started working full-time again as the new editor of the Sanibel-Captiva Islander on beautiful Sanibel Island. Every day as I drive over the bridge there’s a calmness that takes over as I take in the scenery. On more than one occasion I have stopped on the causeway at the beginning and at the end of the day, just to take in the beauty, take a deep breath.

My passion for my craft has ignited again. I absolutely loved working from home creating my own hours, well running my own show. But . . .  I have to admit that I love working in an office outside of my home even more. It’s nice having that interaction with others face-to-face instead of just over the phone. It’s nice to leave work and officially leave my work at the office.

The best part are some of the assignments I have given myself to fill my paper.

My assignments have been fun over the last month, especially when they take me outdoors to further enjoy the tranquility of the island. This week I went on the Tarpon Bay explorers nature cruise and loved every minute of it because of the wildlife I was able to capture.

Here are a few pictures of what I was able to capture . . .

FACES_Tarpon Bay Explorers3FACES_Tarpon Bay Explorers4FACES_Tarpon Bay Explorers8FACES_Tarpon Bay Explorers9

FACES_Tarpon Bay Explorers5FACES_Tarpon Bay Explorers6P1050851FACES_Tarpon Bay Explorers2FACES_Tarpon Bay Explorers12FACES_Tarpon Bay Explorers10P1050830FACES_Tarpon Bay Explorers11

FACES_Tarpon Bay Explorers1P1050858FACES_Tarpon Bay Explorers7The best part was spotting dolphins, which are in the above two pictures.

Passion intensified

My passion for running has hit a whole new level, thanks to my almost 5 month old puppy, Lucy, who has joined me on my exercise adventures.

I used to run outdoors in Arizona and every once in a while with my mom when the early Florida morning temperatures allowed for it.

But, I have to admit, the majority of my running has always been on a treadmill inside of a gym. My boyfriend has been encouraging me to hit the trails outside for quite a while. Although I said I would, I always ended up at the gym instead.

My turning point was when we brought Lucy home. Although she is just a puppy, I feel more comfortable running outside with her. I’m not alone anymore, I have her with me.

It’s truly inspiring for me to see just what my body can do when we start running. I’m reaching new goals, goals I struggle with when I’m on a treadmill staring at a television while listening to music.

Today, Lucy and I headed to the Kingsport Greenbelt again. This has become our go to place when Lucy and I exercise together. It’s such a nice path that follows a creek and for the most part is very shaded. The people we pass are always friendly and it is very dog friendly. The best part, it’s only a few minutes from where we live.


Once we walk onto the path, all I have to say is “ready” and Lucy takes off and starts to trot, which then eventually turns into a run. Although Lucy stopped and sniffed noses with a few much bigger dogs today, she doesn’t stop and try to get affection from everyone we pass. If she starts to slow down, the simple command “come on” gets her moving right alongside me again.

When I took Lucy on her first run early last week, we ran for .81 miles before she told me she was ready to rest. Today we went 1.43 miles before we stopped and rested. I’m very encouraged by this and very excited to see what this puppy is capable of as she gets older.

After we reach her stopping point, we find a bench and sit. Lucy always climbs on my lap and listens to the birds or watches the people pass by. By this point she’s tired and has no interest in chasing the birds or the people for that matter.

I love this time with her. Just the two of us soaking in nature and enjoying our quite time outdoors.

After our break we run the entire distance back to our starting point. When I feel myself slowing down, Lucy picks up her speed. I’m not quite sure if she knows I need that extra push, but it works every time.

It’s so easy running with her. She always stays to my left side at the same pace as my feet are moving. Well this is until we head back to the car, she starts moving a little faster.

Although we haven’t conquered her fear of riding in the car, she is getting so much better on the path.

This morning when I was getting ready for our run, she became a little hesitant and was a little standoffish. When I put Lucy’s harness on she began shaking. I’m not quite sure how to make her more comfortable, or even excited for that matter.

I’m happy to say that once we get in the car the shaking stops. When we arrive at our destination she becomes very excited. Even on our way home she’s fine, but by this point she’s quite exhausted.

I’m beyond excited that my passion for running has intensified again. I was starting to hit that brick wall with my gym routine.

It’s rejuvenating to run outdoors. All that fresh air does wonders for me.

More opportunities have surfaced

This morning I drug myself out of bed a little before 7 a.m., so I could get a workout in early, rather than going later this afternoon. It was a great way to jump-start my day, especially since there was only me and two other’s working out that early in the morning.

That’s the nice thing about a 24-hour gym, whenever you get that urge to workout, all you have to do is swipe your key and walk in the door of opportunities.
imageI was a little skeptical at first that a staff member would not be present during the hours the gym was opened, but I now love that feature. That was the downfall about working out at the last apartment complex we lived at, I could only workout during the hours of the clubhouse, which was limiting at times.

I spent about an hour at the gym doing my typical run, some miles on the elliptical and some weights. I’m starting to feel those leg exercises I did, especially walking up and down those darn stairs 🙂

Once I got back in my car, I thought to myself, today is going to be a fabulous day. How could it not when I did something for me first this morning – working out?

So after getting ready, I drove to Jonesborough to meet with my editor and the publisher of the Herald & Tribune. It turned out to be a fantastic meeting, one that only lead to more incredible opportunities for me.

Kristen and Lynn offered me more work, which I gladly accepted. I am now covering the town hall meetings for Jonesborough, the school district, as well as submitting feature articles. I am beyond thrilled! I will now be submitting weekly articles instead of a few a month! My portfolio will be growing once again.

I really enjoy working for this publication. The remarks I received from both Lynn and Kristen about my writing were wonderful to hear. It’s safe to say that I am cloud nine once again.

I absolutely love what I do, and yes, I know I have said that a time or two. But really, never in my wildest dreams did I think my career would go in the direction it has! I am supporting myself doing freelance work, this is incredible! I am so fortunate to have found a career I am so completely passionate about. I am excited to see what other opportunities are waiting for me.

It just goes to show that it is important to follow your dreams!

Days full of writing

I feel complete once again … my days are full of writing … therefore full of my all time passion.

I love piecing an interview together to create a story that others can follow and hopefully enjoy. I love incorporating the emotions I feel from an interview to further portray their story.

My favorite conversations are those that move me, those in which I can feel their passion about a particular subject.
I just finished writing about a gentleman who lives in Gilbert, Arizona …  his passion for helping others was contagious as our conversation continued. Those ate the stories that give me the drive, those are the ones that I want to tell.

My opportunities for writing are soaring once again. I never thought I would be where I am at – have as many opportunities as I do. My calendar is once again filling with times for phone interviews.

Although my full-time job didn’t pan out the way I hoped, things couldn’t be better now.

I started working my editors position for the Neighbors section of the SanTan Sun News, a publication in Arizona, today. It felt good to sit down at my desk and organize and rewrite content that is beginning to trickle into my email.

On top of that, I was excited to dive back into interviewing people to do articles I love to write.

My editors in Florida and Arizona are keeping me busy, they are pushing a good assortment of articles my way. I should be adding Tennessee to that list as well, as I am waiting to hear back from the publisher about my first article.

When we first moved to Tennessee all I was doing was freelance work. After a while I needed a change, I needed to actually get out of the house and interview people in person. This is why I started looking for a full-time job. I believe I fixed that urge this time because of the partnership with the paper in Tennessee.

The ability to write is an amazing feeling, the opportunity to do it for a career is indescribable. I’m on cloud nine, I am beyond excited for what my future holds again.

A deep appreciation

My father is filling my thoughts and heart with joy as I reflect on just how lucky I am to have this man in my life.

This man has taught me so much over the years, which has only helped me become the woman I am today. I am truly blessed to have such a caring, involved father in my life, one that truly wants the best for me.

Although my dad has always been there for me, there is one time that holds a special meaning in my heart. Four years ago he was my strength, my courage and my number one supporter, without him I would not have made it through that trying time. Our relationship grew from that experience … a deep appreciation was formed. It goes to show what kind of love my father has for his children, what he will do to make sure we are all okay.

Although my dad is a man of few words, the words that were shared on the airplane, while we were at our destination and the weeks after I returned back to my parents house, were all the words I needed. Our relationship grew from that experience we shared.

And to think that is just one instance of my dad being there for me . . . one incredible moment to say the least.

My father is a wonderful man, one I can always count on when I need him. I know over the years I have called him countless times … he would offer a piece of advice or help me with something that I had a hard time accomplishing on my own.

I admire my dad … after all these years he still does the one thing he loves, playing baseball. Why not fill your days with your passion? It’s inspiring to see my dad play ball, especially since he is now in the best shape of his life. It just goes to show that when you have a passion you will do whatever you can to make it happen.   

A father of six children and grandfather of four grandsons, his love is never ending. I love watching how much fun he has with my nephews, how they flock to him whenever he is around. It is a heartwarming feeling because I know that is what we had growing up.

Dad, know that I love you and cherish what we have. You are a great father, a father I truly cherish.

Since I now live a couple of states away, I wanted to give you a Father’s Day gift, a gift using my passion, the written word . . . Happy Father’s Day!

A few words

Although it was an 11 hour day, it ended with a bang.

Tonight as I covered and attended the Greater Pine Island Civic Association monthly meeting, I was called to the front of the room before the presentations began. As the president of the club announced that I had given my resignation, while handing me a letter of recommendation, all at once the entire room let out an “AH” in disappointment. I think I might have blushed at the response the crowd had given, which led me to say a few words of why I was leaving.

Once it was reveled that the destination was NE Tennessee, they all replied oh she will be back, which was instantly followed by, they will be lucky to have you.

Questions were asked once the meeting concluded of who was going to replace me and if they were going to work as much as I did.

When I first started in 2011, everyone shared with me that I had rather large shoes to fill following the previous editor, who unfortunately passed away rather quickly. As I dedicated countless hours and poured my heart into this weekly newspaper, the tune had changed, as individual’s shared how I will be hard to replace. What an accomplishment, if I do say so myself.

When I think I cannot be touched any deeper, another day at work happens and further impacts me. The smiles, which often leave my face hurting, are constantly taking over me, as individuals leave me speechless with their touching comments.

I look forward to continuing my journey at another newspaper, where I will hopefully impact just as many people if not more. It was a ton of fun turning this weekly newspaper into my own, providing information that I too would be interested in reading.

I have definitely chosen the right career; writing is my passion and will always be my passion. How can it not be with a response like this?

The countdown continues to my last day of being the editor of the Pine Island Eagle . . .

Speechless once again

A woman who I work with once a month to produce a real estate magazine just gave me multiple incredible compliments. I will remember each of them forever.

The corporation I work for produces Properties in Southwest Florida, a monthly magazine that highlights a different area or kind of home every month. I have worked with the same woman since I began writing the three main articles for the publication more than a year ago. We have a decent system; she contacts all the realtors and throws them our pitch, as well as the businesses to write the trend article. I am responsible for the articles and she is responsible for traveling to the locations to take knock out photographs of the properties.

During the winter months, when my newspaper, the Pine Island Eagle, becomes busy, my time is limited to how much I can spend interviewing and writing articles for the magazine. Although stress becomes intense as I only have a small window to meet a deadline almost every month, I find a way to interview nine people and produce articles I am proud of.

Unfortunately Breeze Newspapers has become very short staffed, so we are given multiple projects to work on that all have very close deadlines. This predicament leaves us all scrambling to accomplish the tasks that are assigned to us.

Although the past couple of months have tested the both of us, today made it all worthwhile with a phone call I received from her. To have a woman who is almost 30 years older than me share how much she respects me completely floored me and at the same time made me smile so big it hurt. The endless compliments she gave me for my work and dedication to putting out a publication we can both be proud of will stay with me forever, especially when deadlines are approaching and the stress levels heighten.

The thing that touched me the most is when she told me she makes an effort to pick up the Pine Island Eagle and read it every week.

I know I have said it before, you hope you touch someone with your writing and you hope those who you work with notice your dedication and hard work. Our phone call this morning showed me how much she appreciates me and how much she enjoys working with me.

My journey as a journalist began in 2007 when I was hired full-time at a newspaper in Arizona. To have accomplished so much in five years is an indescribable feeling because it shows just how much I am capable of.

It seems I am left speechless more and more as individuals call and share what they think of me individually and the job I am doing.

I am truly blessed to have found my passion and provided with the ability to come to work every day and continue to do something I love – writing.