7:30 BELLS Guest Post: Hark! How the Bells by author L.L. Owens

I'm so pleased to share this month's 7:30 BELLS Guest Post by the ever-original  author for kids, L.L. Owens.

Invite a writer to muse on what, exactly, makes her feel alive — on the thing that makes the bells ring — and I can all but guarantee you’ll receive the resounding reply, “Yes, please!”

Now, I’ve enjoyed my share of resonant THIS-is-life moments, so I jotted down some memorable examples:

· successfully holding my breath underwater and coming up for air that first time

· devouring Wind in the Willows in my childhood closet

· nailing Mozart’s “Rondo alla Turca” during a long-ago piano recital

· viewing Charlotte Brontë’s original manuscript of Jane Eyre

· gasping at the view of Maui’s Haleakalā at sunrise

· marveling at jazz great Dave Brubeck’s stunning live performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

· falling permanently in love at hundredth sight

· writing my first-ever professionally published piece (the bells rang for me from start to finish)

· seeing a baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound

· sharing a hilarious private joke with a total stranger

· thrilling at the sight of a hummingbird finding the feeder one minute after I set it up

· receiving a sign from a dearly departed loved one that I was on the right path

· clicking with a new friend I’ve clearly known, on some level, forever

· reaching the “A-ha!” after struggling to determine what my WIP’s main character really wanted

Perhaps you can relate. As varied in scope and import as these experiences are, each one has produced in me a flash of emotion strong enough to make it seem like nothing exists beyond whatever I’m seeing, hearing, doing, or being. I can’t tell you why such moments happen, but every time one occurs, I wake up to life. (Often, a ginormous goofy grin is involved.) I feel connected to my truest self — and to the world around me — in a brand-new way that’s, somehow, not new at all.

Then I’m reminded that there’s so much wonder to behold in the universe, if only I can stay open to it. Invariably, I’m inspired to reset my intentions . . . whether for the next minute, or the rest of my life.

I can’t predict when I’ll hear the ringing or the clanging or the tinkling of a bell. But when I do, I try to act on the phenomenon while I can still access its reverberations. For me that means continuing to work on living my most authentic life.

You might have noticed that some items on my list resulted from big life decisions, while others sprang from more mundane everyday tasks. All the instigating actions, though, were no-brainers for me. Which means that simply responding to what I’m most drawn to and acting on my deepest instincts has led to some pretty darned incredible moments I could never have predicted or manufactured — and that I wouldn’t have missed for the world.

I’ve learned this lesson the hard way many times over. And I expect to learn it again, and again, as the future unfolds.

Lucky me! 

Lisa L. Owens is the author of 85+ titles for young readers and has published everything from picture books to middle-grade fiction to YA biography. She works from her home near Seattle, where she always has several projects and a pot of strong coffee brewing.

Author site:
Twitter: @LisaLOwens

7:30 BELLS  Posts run every Tuesday.
7:30 BELLS Guest Posts run on the second Tuesday of every month.