Up and Outward Bound

I’ve received my first royalty check from sales at Amazon.com and excerpts from Not Done Yet, woven into a single narrative, won Second Place Honors in the Henderson County Silver Arts competition last week. Tipsy-making! I’ve also gotten a couple of early opportunities to speak about my transplant journey, and I’m really looking forward to connecting with my audience in this face to face way. All this is fun, but not nearly as gratifying as other rewards of completing this book.

Several people have recommended my memoir to others, and the new readers are not necessarily prospective transplant recipients, just people who are facing serious health crises. This type of referral and the general comments I’m hearing from readers tells me that the book not only fills a need, but touches hearts. Sharing strategies for survival and providing inspiration and courage to go on when a situation seems hopeless was exactly what I had in mind during those long writing sessions.

Financial success and personal satisfaction, what more could I ask? I’ve been released now from a rigorous writing/editing schedule into a more normal routine. Just in time, too, since the advent of May has dumped Western North Carolina from polar vortex directly into summer. The thermometer topped out at 84 – 89 degrees the past two days!

I’m out of my left brain, into my creative side. Out of isolation, and making up for lost time with art and social encounters. Spring break in Florida. Passover with friends (yes, there is a Jewish population in North Carolina.) My cousin Betty came to visit. And Mike and I rallied the troops to make the 2014 High Vista Community Garden come to life (plowing ahead, see below.)

2014 High Vista Community Garden gets under way
2014 High Vista Community Garden gets under way
Peter, crop leader, marks walkways and crop areas.

As spring bloomed, I joined a delightful bunch of senior citizens who may someday be my neighbors at The Givens Estates in an eight week exploratory art class. We got excellent instruction from Brad Pomeroy and practiced the basics of drawing in pencil, charcoal, and pastels and painting in water colors and acrylics. Here are some highlights of my output.

Golden Lily, water color by Sharon Lamhut Willen
Bold sunset on the Blue Ridge, water color by Sharon L Willen

Perhaps some of the sights in the Everglades and Butterfly World during spring break influenced my work.


Bold peony-like fantasy flower, water color by Sharon L Willen
Bold peony-like fantasy flower, water color by Sharon L Willen

 Can’t wait to see what the summer itself will inspire.