Why is Flashes of Insight leaping into the world on Leap Day?

Four years ago, on the last Leap Day, I took a leap myself. It was my last day working at a “regular job.” I had quit to pursue my writing and art, to live my dream! Two weeks later we began to understand that life was about to change when the Covid-19 pandemic became a frightening reality. I had two blissful weeks of thinking my leap would lead to a beautiful and fruitful flight into creativity! Then the truth set in, and everything closed, including the university my daughter attended, and people began to get sick and too many to count lost their lives.

I had taken a leap of faith on the cusp of a world-changing global pandemic. Suddenly a time I had set aside for creativity and joy, became a time of uncertainty, loss, and change. The creative impulse that had been welling up in me, ran dry as we grappled with a world that looked very different, as I helped my daughters cope with the changes the pandemic created in their lives, as we tried to understand what was safe and what wasn’t, what was true and what wasn’t. It was a time of going within, staying safe, and thinking about what and who was essential in our lives. Eventually we emerged into a new normal, grateful to be alive, but definitely reorienting ourselves.

Amid all the changes, I was eventually able to again find inspiration for painting, creating, and writing. It happened more slowly than I had planned. My timetable and pretty much everything in my life was shifted by the impacts of the pandemic. I doubted people wanted to buy art or read mysteries or poetry given all the uncertainty we were living with.

It turned out that the opposite was true. Art, in all its forms, became more important than ever. While living in isolation, people recognized the incredible gifts art brings to our lives in the form of stories, music, and beauty. We recognized that art connects us. It shows us where our lives intersect.

As the insightful Patti Digh says, “The shortest distance between two people is a story.” In stories told through the arts, we found commonality, joy, relief, communion, shared sorrow, laughter. In short, despite our isolation, through art we rediscovered each other, we rediscovered what is important to us, and what our new normal could look like. Art came through the pandemic as one of the heroes, as one of the essentials.

The path from my initial leap four years ago took more detours than I could have imagined. Yet, it led me to this moment, on the cusp of a new leap. While Flashes of Insight doesn’t address the pandemic, the pandemic certainly informed the story. I took what I learned was essential in my life – family, friendship, shared grief, empathy, humor as a coping mechanism when life hands you unexpected changes – and wrote them into the story.

Now here I am at long last, helping Flashes of Insight leap into the world, and hopefully into your heart. May your journey reading it be a joyful one!

6 thoughts on “Why is Flashes of Insight leaping into the world on Leap Day?”

  1. I was in a virtual group with you soon after you quit your day job to pursue your writing and art. I admired that so much and still do! Now I’m looking forward to Leap day so I can order your book!

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