Here’s something you probably don’t know about me.
I have a thing for colored sand.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved colored sand. I loved colored sand in kindergarten when we glued it to popsicle sticks. I loved colored sand at Great Adventure and Asbury Park when we poured it into tall, clear bottles to make sand birds. I loved colored sand enough to order 10 different colors of it and make those sand birds again as a camp activity when I was an arts and crafts director. I just adore the vibrant colors, the smooth feel, the infinite ways it allows you to express yourself. Basically, colored sand rules.
So when I was walking to the doctor’s and trying not to stress about the part of my annual physical where they take blood because needles have, like, the opposite effect of colored sand, I cannot explain to you how ecstatic I was to encounter:
Artwork with colored sand! Exclusively! It made me so immensely happy to find another person who also feels a bond with colored sand. I felt such a strong connection to this sand painting. Of course I ran up to the artist all like, “I LOVE colored sand!” Naturally, he understood. The amazing artist behind this gorgeous creation is Joe Mangrum. Colored sand is his most recent medium of choice. You can check out his incredible sand paintings and other works of art on his website.
I told Joe I’d be back after my appointment to see the progress of his sand painting. He had a huge crowd, but I found a space and sat and watched Joe work. I could have watched all day. Hot pink sand was touching turquoise sand. The effect was electric. By the time I left, the piece looked like this:
I can’t wait to run into Joe creating another sand painting! I know the Universe will make it possible.
Something else touched my soul recently. A reader’s mom sent me this email (which I am posting with her permission):
When I bought my fourteen year old daughter the book Waiting for You, it just sounded like a good read. She has liked your other books and I love to find good YA for her to read.
I was totally blown away when I picked the book up after she had had it for a few weeks and saw she had highlited many lines…unfortunately about suicide. I had no idea that these thoughts were in her head and she obviously didn’t know how to tell me. I think having your book gave her the opportunity to bring her troubles to my attention (she left the book out on the kitchen island).
We talked about what was going on and I have made an appointment for her to talk to a therapist. Neither of those things would’ve happened I believe without you.
So I just wanted to say thanks. I’m a writer myself, and I hope as I continue to work on my craft, I can connect with readers the same way you do.
I’m relieved that my reader was able to reach out for help in a way that worked for her. Talking about hard issues can be really embarrassing – even impossible for lots of people. As someone who was never able to talk about hard issues with anyone as a teen, I can relate. This is a reminder that there’s more than one way to reach out for help. And there are so many ways to make a difference in this world. Whether you’re creating art that speaks to others or finally deciding to get the help you need, you are making a difference.
It’s easy to forget how strongly our words and actions can affect others. Something that means nothing to you could mean the world to someone else. We are all connected. We can all create the change we desire.
How will you?