by Joanna D'Angelo

Well, as we approach the end of summer and the beginning of the school year (I still kind of plan my year according to the school calendar) I am thinking of new directions.  Working on some new projects with new people - people who I know but I have never worked with before. And I am excited about that. Also re-working my fiction writing. One night last week while at the gym I worked out the dang plot to my novel. Finally.  Well, 30 minutes on the rower with Madonna blasting in my years will do that to me. 

And being inspired again.  It feels good to feel inspired.

At the gym on Friday I noticed this really gorgeous guy working out.  He was tall and lean - not overly muscular - clearly he was no stranger to the gym. He also had two prosthetic legs.  It just hit me. How very lucky I am. How I shouldn't take my health for granted. How I should make the most of my time and my abilities because you never know what life might dish up for you.

Over the past six months I have made a new friend - an older woman who I now work out with sometimes at the gym. She's absolutely wonderful. She used to be an athlete in her younger days - one of the first women in my city and perhaps even in Canada who played competitive hockey. She and her partner have two adopted children with Down Syndrome. A son and a daughter. The son is severely disabled.  He's 13 but has the developmental ability of a three-year-old.  You know when you meet certain people and you immediately sense this positive aura that surrounds them? She has that. Serenity. But great humour as well. She inspires me.  She told me that I inspire her too - a really nice compliment. And I make her laugh. I'll take that too!

Last night I visited two of my best friends - a married couple - he is a five-year survivor of a double lung and heart transplant and she is a Warrior Queen who was eight months pregnant with twins (girl and boy) when he fell ill. He is a Viking Warrior in my book. He kind of looks like one too - 6'4" blonde hair, muscular, ruggedly handsome and covered in tattoos - former punk rocker from his high school and college days.  He's the real deal.  She is lovely and dark haired and loony and sweet and English and super smart. They also have another daughter - who at the time when her Daddy was sick - was only three years old. She is one of the most intelligent and sweetest kids I know. They inspire me. The entire family. They are wonderful and creative people who love deeply and completely.  And when we're together we giggle a lot because the kids are such hams.

Other people inspire me too - people in my life whom I admire. People who've overcome obstacles and who are still here - kicking and screaming and making a fuss. I draw strength from this. It helps renew my energy - my spirit. It helps me think positive thoughts about the future even in dark times.  I always turn to the light. That is my thing - my motto. And hopefully I can write a kick-ass novel from this! ;)

And so back to my writing...


  1. Joanna,
    I love to be inspired, and inspiration can arrive in many ways, many packages. A sunrise never fails to inspire me, fill my soul with hope and my head with words.
    Great post!

  2. Hi Stella: Thanks so much for your comment! You're absolutely right - inspiration can come from anywhere. ;) Cheers!

  3. I loved hearing about your inspirational friends - and also that your gym workouts are giving you fuel for your novel as well as for your body & soul.

  4. thanks Julia! I think we all have people like that in our lives - people who inspire us and yes - working out does that for me. ;) Cheers!

  5. So glad to hear your muse has returned! And your friends are incredible, and yes, inspiring. The fact that amazing stories can spring from such sad circumstances are what sustain us all, I think.

  6. Hi Cate - thanks so much for your lovely comment - well dear friends are always a source of strength and comfort - and even inspiration aren't they?


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