Friday, December 30, 2011

What's that book really about?

One of my favorite ways to write is to begin with a quote, prompt or random thought then pick up my composition notebook (aka journal), a Bic pen (when my fountain pen isn't available) and see what pops out as I let the words flow. In the wisdom of Flannery O'Connor "I write to discover what I know." Today's adventure began with a request from a friend who said, Tell me about your book.

As I Lay Pondering is basically my memoir broken down into daily loosely-disguised entries. It includes my most fantastic journeys right alongside the simplest moments. It encompasses tales of joy, sorrow, adventure, loss, dream fulfillment, pain, fear, love, laughter... Life. It covers psychology, theology, mythology, sociology and a few other 'ologies, I'm sure. I've been told it is educational, inspirational and at times just plain funny.

I began writing it before I knew it would be a book. It has been my lifeline (& one of my greatest challenges). It is something I couldn't NOT do and now I hope it will be something of value for others. Even though it's my story, I believe it is everyone's story. Who hasn't been lonely or lost... dreamed of grand adventure and dreams come true... cried, laughed, loved and longed to be still?

It's a book you can pick up at any time and likely find something relevant, if only a line or two. It includes ponderings from many of my greatest teachers... Buddah, the Bible, Tao te Ching, Anne Lamott, Thomas Merton, Martha Beck, friends, family, strangers, my beloved pets and more. I've loved writing it and can't wait to hold the completed product in my hands... I hope you'll feel the same way.

As I Lay Pondering: daily invitations to live a transformed life by Kayce S. Hughlett. Available here.

KSH @ Contemplating Ruby Beach 12.30.11

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's not too late...

... to begin 2012 with a pondering companion. Imagine waking up on January 1 with a delightful guide to help start your year in presence. Pre-orders are open for As I Lay Pondering: daily invitations to live a transformed life.

Here's what others are saying...

"One of Kayce Stevens Hughlett’s many fine gifts is pondering, that is, reflecting on the depth and meaning of the moments of life. She offers us a treasure in her new book of daily meditations. They are full of wisdom and invitations for practice and your own ponderings. Just reading each one I find myself breathing more deeply and feeling space open up around me. Following her suggestions, my perspective begins to shift. Buy this book and immerse yourself in a year of grace.”-- Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, AbbeyoftheArts, author of: The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom

"This is a book unlike any other.

I was lucky enough to get a peek at some of the ponderings and wonderings and both content and style are exquisite, unabashedly riveting and exuberantly rich with philosophical, existential, metaphysical and theosophical inquiries, introspections, blueprint-of-life-approximations and gloriously rich, tender and funny personal insights." -- Pedro Baez,
(L)attitudes: A Life Coaching Alternative Life, Health, Creativity and Cultural Identity Coach

"Kayce arranges her musings into a year-long journey that not only deepens as it flows but also surprises – drawing this reader into an experience of freshness that spills over into the rest of life. And that’s a gift for which I am very grateful." Betsy Pearson, Like A River, Author and Martha Beck Life Coach

Click here to reserve your copy now and receive an ebook beginning January 1.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Twas the Month before Publishing or...

... all I want for Christmas is my brand new book.

Twas the month before publishing and all through my head
visions of marketing filled me with dread.
The edits were flowing and input with care,
in hopes that my Pondering soon would be here.

The entries were nestled all snug in their months,
while thoughts of last details induced great goose bumps.
With pre-release launched and orders begun,
my brain marched steadily at a low-grade run.

When others exclaimed, “You’ve finished the book!”
My heart skipped a beat and I froze with a look...
It’s nearing the end, but details, my dear—
There’s much to be done before it is here.

With layouts and chapters, so lovely and thick,
I wavered a moment—this must be a trick.
More rapid than turtles, this dream true has come,
And I whistled, and shouted, “I can’t wait to be done!”

Now January, February, March through September,
Onward October, November and December!
To the top of the print line! To the edge of my risk!
Write away! Sell away! Celebrate this!!!

With love and blessings to you and yours during this holiday season!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Announcing my latest creation...

As I Lay Pondering:
daily invitations to live a transformed life

Through personal story, poetic prose and tales of epic adventure, As I Lay Pondering captures the essence of being fully present to the inimitable experience of daily life. Sometimes in concrete terms and other moments with a dreamlike quality, this book of 365 daily entries invites us into parallel worlds where we come to believe anything is possible. Through luxurious text and engaging daily activities, the reader will experience a universe where heart speaks truth and presence conquers the hubbub of mere existence.

AVAILABLE EARLY 2012 - Order your personal copy today for just $19.95 and receive a PDF ebook with complete entries for the month of January. Enjoy this invitation to begin the new year Pondering.

PDF's will be emailed no later than December 31, 2011 and books will be shipped upon printing - estimated 1/31/12. FREE SHIPPING on orders over $60.

Author's Note:

To pause and ponder is to consider something—anything—deeply, often through meditation and always with the possibility of bringing greater meaning. Years in the making, As I Lay Pondering began as a venue for my own personal healing. What was birthed through a series of journal entries has morphed into this daybook of poetry, prose and personal musings with universal appeal.

My love of writing began in the midst of a particularly life-draining period of time. At that point in my journey, I had two choices. One—to let the current events swallow me whole and conceal my internal spark forever, or Two—to find my authentic voice by beginning to write. Writing chose me. Yes, you read that correctly. Writing chose me.

As I Lay Pondering is a culmination of this journey-to-date. I was compelled to write this book to honor the life-changing moments I have witnessed, and to acknowledge the internal spark I believe each of us carries. My hope is that the words shared in this thinking person's daybook will provide essential kindling to ignite the flame of your life. May you know the joy of following your own spark. May you be present to the life you have in order to experience the one you desire. May you pause and ponder—thoughtfully and often.

I am so excited to share this with you!

Thoughtfully yours,


Monday, December 19, 2011


i keep trying to convince myself that this time of year isn't hard and by acknowledging and understanding that it is a challenge, things might get a little easier. easier? no. different? probably. more transparent? definitely.

i am uninspired by christmas - by giving - by shopping or thinking of things to be inspired by. i am inspired by twinkling lights in the dark of night. by solitary walks. by offbeat christmas songs. i am inspired by those with the vulnerability to state their grief over the loss of loved ones and dashed dreams. i am inspired by the quirky characters who find rest and joy only at this time of year. in this moment, i am uninspired by my life which so many find inspiring. i have two children that make me scream, WTF? my husband adores me and he's out of town. i meant to bake this year - to decorate - to fill my house with holiday soirees. it has not happened and will not, because i am uninspired.

please know i am not depressed or in need of medical attention. i am a member of the human race who finds this time of year confusing. it is confusing and empty in lots of regards. "they" say it should be joyous and filled with light. it is the darkest time of year—literally. the question of "will your family be all together for the holiday?" brought tears to my eyes this morning, because we will not. a book i've dreamed of for years is nearing the final stages. it is my current delight and it is harder than hell to many details. my urge for perfection rises to the top... and it is my saving grace. i can quietly sit for hours and edit comments... incorporating words and shaping them into the song of my own making. i am grateful for those simple moments.

i wish i were full of good cheer today. i'd like to say the cards and packages are in the mail, the cookies are baked and the presents wrapped... maybe later... perhaps i'll be inspired next year.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Faith in the Night

But darkness holds it all:
the shape and the flame,
the animal and myself,
how it holds them,
all powers, all sight –

and it is possible: its great strength
is breaking into my body.

I have faith in the night.

(excerpted from You Darkness, Rainer Maria Rilke translated by David Whyte)

I have faith in the night – the place where dreams meet and manifest. The flowing stream of wisdom, love and consciousness that drifts within and without me. Writing verse and and protest...dreams and daring—all within the night.

I have faith that my book, As I Lay Pondering*, is happening—one step at a time. It sometimes moves at a snail’s sluggish pace and other stages burst forward with leaps of bravado and boldness.

I have faith in my life – that it is happening just as it should – could – would – is. Yes, just as it is.

*more details coming soon!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

For too many days...

For too many days I have not written of what stirs my soul. I have not confessed to the simple pleasures that make up my days. Things like… The soft fur of my golden cat as he greets me with his purring ballet. Sweet whispers and the tender touch of my beloved. Crisp winter air on my skin as daylight meets dark. Luminaries surrounding the lake. Laughter of friends mixed with the jingle of Christmas bells and off-key carols. Twinkling lights amidst the smell of freshly cut evergreen. Gastronomical delights like chicken and waffles turned into art and fat luscious noodles from Tommy’s kitchen. My daughter sleeping safely in her bed. The joy of my sister as she creates her art. Magic and mystery. Music. Dance. Delight.

For too many days now I have not written of what darkens my heart. Frigid rain that persists and chills me to the core. An empty space beside me. Silent friendships and those gone stale. My child in a cold stone cell. Unanswered messages. Aimless thoughts. Hunger and starvation. Loneliness and longing.

For too many days now I haven’t written of Hope, the candle that leads my way – not like birthday flames on a resplendent cake, but rather the single shimmer in the darkest night. Hope in the midst of sorrow. Hope that stirs the pot of joy buried deep within my belly. Hope that gets me out of bed on the gloomiest days, and Hope that leads me like a floodlight on stage when I follow my true passion.

For too many days I have not written of this season that stirs my soul in a multitude of ways. This season of darkness. This season of Hope. In this glorious season may we each reach for peace within and goodwill toward all. May our souls be stirred with delight alongside the acknowledgement of darkness. May we come to know that Hope abides in all who choose to truly live.

For too many days I have not How might you respond?

photo © KSH - Santa Fe Tree

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Dilemma: Is authenticity book suicide?

I ponder. I play. I muse. I write to discover what I know.

It’s always been a whole lot easier to write about life unedited in the privacy of my journal than put it out for all the world to see (and scrutinize). It’s considerably easier to let my pen flow unabashedly and discover what surprises, delights or terrifies me on the safe lines of my composition notebook than to share it in a public forum. Somewhere along the way, however (probably in said journal), the idea of a blog and ultimately a book began to emerge. Since then I’ve often battled the tricky space between writing to discover what I know and writing what I think, you, the reader might want to hear.

It’s a crazy balance, because when I get caught up in You, I lose Me. The wild thing is that experience has shown what my faithful readers seem to love most is the unedited, messy, transparent and authentic Me. The pieces that have landed home most often are not the carefully crafted, publisher-worthy submissions, but rather the scrawled and messy gems straight from my morning pages. So, what's a girl to do?

The performance pressure is mounting, since I’m in the final (sort of) publishing stages of my book (working title: Ponderings) and the promotion has begun (kind of.) My social self says that everything – every word, comma, spelling error, hairstyle, breakfast menu, social agenda, perfect turn of a phrase and more – is a commentary (pro or con) on this book. Please say it ain’t so…

If true, this poses quite the dilemma, because at this point I absolutely cannot stop myself from writing and this blog has always been the raw version of greater things to come. My inner being still yearns to toss these unedited, heart-inspired missiles out into the stratosphere to see where they may land. As I was journaling this morning, I remembered the lifeline and savior that writing has been for me. Putting my words onto paper and out into the world is the essential breath for living my authentic life.

Some will say that continuing to write in this way is book suicide. So be it. Others may say it’s brilliant and that’s why they’ll buy my published words. Fabulous. Bottom line, I will continue to do things my way which is the only way I know how to do it. As far as I can tell, it’s working for ME.

I ponder. I play. I muse. I write to discover what I know.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Tag the Tagline aka Help a Sister Out

As you may or may not be aware, I am nearing the final stages for my new book which is a compilation of 365 daily reflections in the spirit of this blog. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! Today, I am conducting a very brief survey to help refine the title and tagline for the book. Your input would be greatly welcomed.

As you select your choices, please focus on what Title and Tagline would encourage YOU to buy this book!

Here is a link to the survey - which will take no more than 7 minutes to complete. Thank you!!!