Author Gayle Brandeis posed that question on SheWrites last month. “What electrifies you? What gets your heart pumping? What takes your breath away? What makes the hair on your arms stand up on end?”
Dancing, which I do as often as possible, even to the extent that I missed talking to a lot of people at my high school reunion because I couldn't leave the dance floor. Also playing my drums. I'm not any good. It will never make me any money so no matter how hard I try I can't justify the time I spend on them, but I play anyway, because playing them makes me feel alive. (But only when no one's around. Unless I've had a few drinks.)
And guess what? My answer was the Grand Prize Winner! What a sweet surprise when I saw my name in a SheWrites newsletter yesterday, especially since I had totally forgotten about it. I won a copy of Brandeis' The Book of Live Wires, along with a copy of her Bellwether-Prize winning novel, The Book of Dead Birds.
Yay! Books electrify me, too! (Also winning Grand Prizes and getting things for free!)
Something else that electrifies me is seeing my friends follow their dreams... and trying to help them along the way. Here are a couple who inspire me...
Walking the Walk
When I first met Jimmie Jackson, he was a tow-headed golf-loving teenager, rarely speaking up in the Confirmation class I taught. Now he's all grown up with a degree in Electronic Media, living in Nashville, and preparing for the experience of a lifetime: a solo 2,178 mile long journey along the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine.
Only Jimmie isn't just walking it... he's going to film a documentary as he goes, focusing on the spiritual aspect of the walk as much as the physical. "Why do people hike? What is the connection between being outdoors and leading a spiritual life?" He hopes to find the answers to those questions along the way.
Go to his website, Walking the Walk.org to find out more, and please consider making a small donation to help him see this dream come true. He really is a sweet kid (and I'm not just saying that because I was his Confirmation teacher!)
photo from WalkingtheWalk.org
Indie Friendlie is my friend Byron Tully's 'baby'. With his beautiful wife, Darlene, and friend, Weathorford Bradley, he created this site to support and promote great filmmakers and great films, the ones without huge advertising budgets, the ones that get stomped on by the bullies with huge marketing campaigns, the ones left shivering in the cold outside of the theaters.
If you love independent film of any kind, go to the site and watch the clips from wonderful movies, documentaries and shorts they're spotlighting in their effort to give them "a voice, a face, an opportunity."
I've only watched one or two, but they were great. "Validation", a full length short, just made me smile and "The Inside Out Project" made me want to stand up, cheer and grab my camera.
Also, if you're a filmmaker, you can submit your own film to be showcased on Indie Friendlie. Click HERE for how-to's and guidelines.
Tully's a sweet kid, too, although I guess "kid" is a bit of a stretch since we went to high school together. He's also very, very funny.
(Full disclosure: Tully promised me one free margarita for every 1000 visitors his site receives from mine. So what are you waiting for? GO! And tell your friends to tell their friends!)
Oh, wait, before you go... What electrifies you? Share in the comments below...