Egypt at Last

Wednesday I return to Egypt for two months to continue work on my childhood memoir INTO THE WORLD and to start on Throne of Desire, fifth book in the Night Angels Chronicles series. This is a photo of my parents in Egypt, June 1967, shortly before the 6 Day War. How well I remember this! I loved Egypt, although never since have I experienced as chaotic a city as Cairo. Back then, the streets were filled with military carrying guns and the voice of Nassar blared from street corners calling for the annihilation of Israel and America. And there we were, an American family of six, conspicuously driving around in a bright red VW van with a “USA” sticker on the back, facing the realization that we were in an increasingly dangerous situation. This was something we found ourselves in a lot, since my parents were fearless travelers. And I’m glad they were. Driving on the lonely road to Luxor we felt a sense of relief to be out in wide-open spaces. But we also felt like we were the last tourists left in this place on the brink of war. Once we reached Luxor and I found myself entering the world of the Ancients, I was forever taken with this magical land of harsh and powerful beauty. Sailing on the Nile in a felucca and listening to tales told by a Nubian sailor, well, is there anything more enchanting for a ten year old? The impression it left on me is beyond words. So excited to return at last. Besides my writing, I hope to find a boxing/martial arts gym and I hope to do My World Project with a group of children. Let’s see what happens.

Rain on Me

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So, on Martha’s Vineyard I ran in the mornings and experienced some pretty amazing thunderstorms along the way. Here, in the hills above Lake Arenal, I jump rope for twelve minutes, to start and by one minute into it, I am dripping sweat in this tropical paradise! I move on to a bunch of good old standards, push-ups, mountain climbers, shadow boxing, etc. I always end with 3 to 5 minute plank and sit-ups. One to two hours training. Then I am prepared in my mind to write.  It’s rainy season at Lake Arenal. Around dusk, everyday, the sky unleashes a downpour, what a show! I love thunderstorms and I have had my share of them, first in Phoenix, then Martha’s Vineyard and now here. I can say Lake Arenal wins the prize!

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A CHALLENGING LIFE? THAT MEANS YOU ARE REALLY LIVING!

So… life is challenging. I am caring for my granddaughter who is now almost 3, and have been for the past year, and off and on before that. Travel is on the horizon in the fall and to some pretty exciting places032. 036My manuscript Letters from Purgatory is with my editor and I am working on illustrations for a children’s book and a childhood memoir, Into the World. Everyday day we make choices about which direction we will go and every step we take reinforces whether we go towards our higher purpose or away from it. Self-discipline is the key. It doesn’t matter how we “feel” about it. Emotions will lead us astray. Whether we feel depressed or happy, excited or bored, it doesn’t matter. We train ourselves to follow through with what we know we need to do in order to reach our goals. I have lived my life with the highest standard of achievement. That doesn’t mean I always reach that goal and that isn’t what matters. What matters is that we do our best. At the moment, my life is extremely challenging (when has it not been). Getting out of the house to train in the morning is a big achievement because I care for my 2 year old granddaughter. Training with Fernando (Zig Zag) keeps me strong. I love this little guy lol! Then, today I taught a Spin class at noon which was cool. Then, I came home and cared for my granddaughter and I worked on my writing, which required great focus because of my granddaughter wanting my attention. This little girl already knows how to do push ups and yoga moves and punching and kicking and so much more. Soccer will be her summer fun! I draw on the self-discipline I have developed over many years, from when I first gave birth to my daughter in London (in the same hospital and on the same weekend as Prince William was born!) and I had to illustrate books with her there, playing beside me while I met my deadlines. There are no excuses for slacking off and not achieving what you want to accomplish. You simply do what you have to do. Then, tonight, I went and taught my class at Tarzana Boxing at 5:30. Teaching this class always gives me back my energy and my inspiration. Thank you to all of my students who come to train. I appreciate every one of you and love teaching this class! You make my day! On Wednesday nights I also go to train with Joseph Ojomoh from 7:30 to 9 pm. I do this because his class on Wednesday nights is a killer and it pushes me hard. Now, at 11:30 pm, it is time to work a little more, get a little further, make another dream come true. I am thankful I had parents who set a high standard for me and I respected them, although I didn’t always agree with their point of view. I have done my best to set a high standard for my children. We all decide in the end what we will do with the opportunities that have been given to us. I hope that at the end of my days, what will be remembered of me will be the difference that I made in the lives of the people around me. Hey Thor Skancke, shout out to you too. You have helped me with my training in so many positive ways and I have enjoyed seeing how you have grown over the years.