who am I?

The Joy of Silence

"Silence is a source of great strength."  ~ Lao Tzu Sound clutters the mind. I am, by nature, a talker -- I love words and use them often to work out what's in my mind. But I've realized lately exactly how cluttered my mind is, that often I have to fill any silence with, if not actual words, then thoughts of words. I can't go a moment without running conversation through my mind. Silence makes me antsy, yet all that noise in my head is exhausting.

ella sheridan, joy of silence, romance, authorWe need rest. Our minds need rest. When I began my publishing journey last year, I was on constant deadline. I was thinking about writing, listening to music to inspire my writing, talking myself through scenes for my writing, talking to others about my writing or my books or my career -- and doing nothing for me, the internal me. The realization that I'd not had a vacation from writing in over two years was illuminating. No wonder I felt burned out. No wonder my mind was tired all the time. And yet when I tried meditation, to immerse myself in the silence, it was virtually impossible. I was too used to the noise.

When I was a kid, we lived in a house with no air-conditioning. So during the summer, we slept with those big box fans running in the bedroom, usually in the window so it would blow the cooler air inside. I loved it, but I didn't love the transition from summer to winter. See, that was when the house went from no air-conditioning to only wood heat, and we went from all that glorious noise at night to complete silence. I hated it. I'd toss and turn and try to sleep, and all I could hear was the silence after that big, noisy fan was put away. The lack of noise was a void I couldn't ignore for the sake of sinking into the silence. And yet the absence of sound slowly became the norm again, and I could sleep without the interference between me and the silence.

I think, in today's busy, modern, information-filled world, the value of silence is even higher. We need the silence to calm our minds. We need to teach our kids to find themselves in the quiet rather than having to constantly be fed on chaos. The more we practice silence, the easier it becomes and the more centered we get. The bits of ourselves that we forgot existed float back to the surface. Like our creativity. Our joy. Our passion. Our hunger for something other than chaos. It's a hard transition, but one I think is well worth it.

In the silence, we rediscover who we are.

How very true that is. And what strength we find on the journey.

~ Ella


I somehow managed to get off a couple of days on my blogging schedule, which really doesn't surprise me considering how hectic this last month has been. May is like a tornado for us, churning up any chance we might have to keep things under control and whipping us around until, honestly, I have no idea which way is up. But we've made it through, and the summer is upon us. Hallellujah! I'm getting my kids ready for a two-week trip to my mother's where they will spend time with their cousins and get cuddled and entertained in that way only grandma's can do. For me, though, the reason I love this yearly pilgrimage is because I get to drive the kids to my mom's, and she lives close to what I consider my favorite form of rest: the river.

river, rest, Ella Sheridan, author,  writer, writing, romance, summer, May, chaosThough I was born in Florida, I'm not much of a beach girl. I don't mind visiting, but I wouldn't want to live there, lol! But when I go to my mom's, I always take at least one trip to the river. It is at once exciting -- the chuckle of the flowing water and the icy chill as it passes over your skin, not to mention the kids' rushing around and playing -- and soothing. The quiet of a river just can't be beat. Out in the middle of nature, surrounded by trees and peace and warm summer air, cooled down by the touch of Nature's most soothing elements... Yes, I love the river!

I love to lay back and just rest in that cool water. Close my eyes and dunk my head under and have the entire world just disappear. It's one of the few places where I'm not constantly multitasking, especially in my head. I can just...be. Just rest.

How about you? Is there a place where you can just be, where the rush and chaos of the world finally loosens its clawed grip and your mind can relax? A place you look forward to being, belonging? Tell me about it!

Talk About Me?

Ugh! I've been managing to blog one way or another for over a year to encourage other writers, but the minute I set up a two-week schedule for my own site, my mind went completely blank! I both love and hate talking about me. I mean, who doesn't love talking about themselves -- we all have something we want to add to the conversation, right? But this is harder because I'm trying to pick out the bits that really tell you something, that give you some inkling about who I am aside from the person who can encourage and direct writers in their writing journey. So, who am I?stairs, who am I?, ella sheridan, talk about me?, self-aware, internal journey, angst, romance, romatic suspense, paranormal romance, blog, writer, author

Honestly, sometimes I have no idea. :) The older I get, the more I feel like a never-ending spiral of stairs I'll never get to the end of, especially on those "what the he** am I doing?" kind of days. Recently a friend of mine was describing the man in her life, saying he wasn't "self-aware." I'm probably at the other end -- too self-aware. I'm all up in my head, which might be why my body looks like a couch potato rather than a marathon runner, lol.

Hmm, I've never considered that. Maybe I should...

But back to what I was saying. Maybe that's why I write on the darker side, gritty and angsty. Because I'm all about the internal journey. Even with my background in martial arts, which guarantees I love a good fight, it's the internal journey, the fight within ourselves, that most fascinates me. And there's nothing I enjoy more than throwing something at my characters that they're definitely going to struggle with -- I'm sadistic that way. ;)

So what about you? If you had to answer the question "Who am I?" what would you say?