Passion Follows


Big Bear Clouds, Too


I’m knee-deep in getting a show ready for the stage, but took a breather to attend a writers’ retreat this past weekend. It took place at Big Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains. It was cold, y’all (by Los Angeles standards) and there was an abundance of nature (again – by Los Angeles standards). I was pretty happy about all that.


The retreat was led by Pete Goldfinger who is, well, how do I describe him? We only just met and I am already singing the guy’s praises. He is a successful screenwriter, yes, but he is also a natural when it comes to teaching. I learned so much from him and came away with a hunger to learn more. To dig deeper into the process of creating. He touched on aspects of writing that I hadn’t ever considered. My mind felt like a kid discovering the 64-box of crayons after only knowing about the 8-box. So much color! I was overwhelmed, in the best way, and couldn’t wait to use what I was learning – to create, to envision, to dream.


Big Bear Clouds


And I can’t begin to describe the other attendees. Their projects are exciting, varied and creative times eleven-ty. Being around them was a privilege. Picking their brains was informative. And they were fun. I hope I see them again. I want to hear their stories. I want to be challenged by their ideas and intelligence. I want to hang out with them.


Once I got home, I watched an interview with Jeff Bridges and he spoke about a TEDx talk given by Terri Trespicio and how it inspired him. In the video, she gives her take on passion and how we are too often told to figure out what we’re passionate about and to follow that. She posits that this particular course can be limiting or worse. To butcher her words, she says we should get after life. Take care of business. Hustle. Make those ends. If we are busy with the business of living, we won’t have to follow our passion. Our passion will follow us. As someone who’s barely keeping her head above water while spinning various plates and juggling multiple commitments, I can tell you that Ms. Trespicio may be right. Yes – I’m overwhelmed with all that’s going on. But I’m still here. I’m still going for it. And if I look over my shoulder, I can see the shadow of passion just behind me. And I can’t stop smiling.


Mikki Writing at Big Bear - Photo by Yeni

“Land Ho!”



A while back Mister and I watched a little movie called “Land Ho!” I call it a little movie because it’s an indie film with what I’m guessing was a very low budget.


Mister is a fascinating guy for a lot of reasons. One such reason is his interest in films. He’s into the biggest money-makers, sure. But he also tracks down little movies I’ve never heard of. He keeps his ear to the ground about new writers and directors, documentary subject matter and anything else that tickles his fancy. Because of his passion for cinema, I get to see an amazing variety of films. And I sincerely appreciate it.


Back to “Land Ho!” It completely caught me off-guard. I cried 4 times during the viewing (all tears of joy, friends) and felt so freakin’ happy at its close. Honestly, I absolutely love this movie. If you end up tracking it down yourself, please share your thoughts.


And you’re welcome.

Catch a Wave


“Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.”

Catch a Wave by The Beach Boys

(written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love)



Have you ever noticed yourself having the same conversation with several different people, all at different times? Let me clarify. Have you ever noticed a friend bringing up a conversation topic, when a different friend had just brought up the same topic a day or so before? And so on? And so on? I ask because I’ve had that happening in my little world lately. Once I recognized what was going on, I paused to study the subject.


Several friends (and I do mean several, y’all) have told me how they’re looking for relationships that are happy and fiery. All the time. As in, they seem to want to catch a wave and never come down. This has been expressed with statements like “I’ve been in a challenging marriage. Now I want to be in a fun relationship, all the time.” “Sometimes I feel passionate, but I want to feel that all the time.” “We have fun, but then she works a lot and I want to have fun all the time!”


Now, I’m keen on all those points. Really. But as someone who’s been married about a jillion years, I understand the ebb and flow of relationships. Even if I don’t like it, I know there are up times and down times. And because I’m not 13, I also know what I’m capable of.


I can handle fights. One of the greatest things Mister has taught me is to fight all the way through to the other side when arguing. There’s no stopping mid-fight. We hash it out, all the way, until that fight is done, y’all. There aren’t a lot of arguments, granted, but at least we know how to fight. And once we reach the other side, we can let it go. As Mister is fond of saying, we “kiss it goodbye.”


I can handle time apart. There have been jobs that have required separations. There have been trips and activities that have kept us apart. And while I prefer to be with that guy, I can handle the times when life plants us in different locations.


I can handle lulls. Earmuffs, kids. I am passionate about passion. It is one of the marvels specific to our species. I understand there are a multitude of factors in triggering passion – biology, attraction, hormones, nice asses, etc. I also know there are a multitude of factors that kill passion – age, health, stress, dirty dishes, etc. So when passion takes a nap and refuses to rouse or arouse, I can handle that because I know it will wake at some point, and be good to go.


There are stresses, bills, woes, life’s details and duties, and more and more of the world to deal with each and every day. So far – touch wood – I can handle all that, too. And the reason I can handle life’s troughs is knowledge of the crests. Those high points are beautiful, y’all! The times when you’re on the couch with your Schmoopie, laughing at something you recorded and are finally getting around to watching. The moment one of you walks through the front door after being away for a while. The instant you catch sight of that person – the love of your life – across a crowded room and you just start smiling. Because you know that when the music starts playing, you’re gonna dance with the one that brought you. And there isn’t a doubt in your mind about it. Nor in your heart.


I’m hoping all the people I know who are looking for love, will find it in spades. And I hope their every dream comes true. I also hope they learn to go with the flow. That life’s waves tend to surge higher and higher. That the low points simply cannot maintain, not with all that upward energy. That because we can handle so much, we are rewarded with so much more in return.


Here’s to sitting on top of the world.