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I am reading my way through the new issue of National Geographic magazine, titled Women – A Century of Change. (November 2019).

Early on, it asks thirteen contributors the question, “What is your greatest strength?” The topic itself intrigued me. For this writing, I reworded that question to ask, “What is your superpower?”

My superpower? My curiosity. I am a lifetime learner. I have a thirst to understand how the world works, especially the human element. Communication. Art. How people live worldwide. Politics. Food. Health. Families. Friendships. And so much more. Theses are the subjects that feed me, drive me, cause me to take classes, participate socially, and enjoy life.

I look at what I choose to do now that I am a retired from the workplace. I attend writing workshops and have developed a new network with writing peers and teachers. I travel internationally. I love to read and gather information from many sources. I wrote two books. This is my life, heavily influenced by my superpower of curiosity, and my interest in communicating and sharing life stories with others.

What is YOUR superpower?

Recently I read something (probably on Facebook – I don’t have a quote or source) to the effect that your difference is your superpower. I love that. What sets you apart from the crowd? What is it that calls to you? How do you see your place in the world or in your own circle?

Please comment. We learn from each other. I would love to hear about your superpower.

Goodreads Giveaway

I will be giving away 100 Kindle ebook copies of my book, Memory of Rivers – A Past Life Love Story, through a giveaway on the Goodreads website. Winners will be chosen among all entries for my book’s giveaway. Enter by November 4, 2019. Good luck!

Memory of Rivers – A Past Life Love Story is now available as a paperback or Kindle Ebook at Amazon.com.

Three Lifetimes, One Love

Vivid images and sensations from Diana’s dreams stream into her conscious mind. Are the dreams memories of her past lives?

“In an age of brief encounters and ‘friends with benefits,’ lasting love is a rare commodity. But you’ll find it here in Shelley Odendahl’s Memory of Rivers. Enjoy.” – Faith Sullivan, author of nine novels including the latest, Ruby and Roland.

Ode to Rivers

The currents of rivers run through my veins and resonate within me.

When I was a little girl, I fished with Grandpa on the Sheyenne River of North Dakota. It was murky and mysterious, but it gave up northerns (Northern Pike), crappies and bullheads to our cane fishing poles.

Growing up, my family lived only a few blocks from the mighty Mississippi River, which originates as a tiny stream in northern Minnesota. Yes, I visited the source, and walked across its rocky footpath, as many tourists do. Closer to home, as a teenager, I partied with friends on a piece of sandy shoreline.

For nearly thirty years, I lived near the meandering, rocky Snake River of Central Minnesota. We often went canoeing when the water was high on a warm and sunny day following a major rainstorm. Our destination was the St. Croix River, designated a Wild and Scenic River by the National Park System. The whole time we were in the canoe, we had to be on guard – watching for boulders jutting high out of the water or big flat rocks lurking just below the surface. Yes, we had a memorable canoe upset, but lived to tell about it.  

Now my home has a view of the Crow River, which has become my muse for countless photographs. And, in my journeys around the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, I frequently take one or more of the bridges over the Mississippi River. I like to nod or otherwise honor the waterway as I cross it.

Throughout history, communities were built near rivers, a source of water, food, minerals, transportation, and more. What lies below the surface is often unseen and unknown. Rivers are never the same twice. They change and erode, creating waterfalls and views of breathtaking beauty, as they serve as flyways for bird migration, and give sustenance to animals, trees, and wildflowers. They can also be dangerous and sometimes even deadly.   

As a person who has been blessed by my connections to such memorable rivers, is no surprise that a theme of rivers runs throughout my soon-to-be-published novel, or that the word River is part of its title. I am just one of many writers, artists, singers, photographers, poets and dreamers who see a river as a metaphor for life.  

Copyright Shelley Odendahl, 2019

I am so excited to tell you about my novel. Here is the book description I plan to use for my sales page when the book is published.                                                                        

Three Lifetimes, One Eternal Love

Vivid images from Diana’s dreamlife swirl around her and flood into her conscious mind during her daily life in 1972. Are the dreams memories of her past lives?

As Kari, she danced in a coming-of-age ceremony in a smoky, ancient cave, with wild animals painted on the walls. Captivated by flute player, Lor, they promised to love each other forever, but dangers of the prehistoric era threatened their plans.

Rachel, in the gold rush days of Deadwood, was mistreated by her drinking, gambling husband. She found comfort with Civil War veteran Sam. Was a future together possible?

When Diana meets Eric, a singer-songwriter at a local bar, something familiar about him, and a deep longing for love, connects her soul with his. Could his spirit be that of Lor and Sam from her past lives? Will they finally find happiness together? 

My first novel, Memory of Rivers: A Past Life Love Story, will be published this September. I’m so excited to finally bring my book into the world.

Changes to my website today will lead to new postings about the novel in coming days. I’ll be back with stories behind the story soon.

Themes for 2018

Happy New Year 2018!

Wishing you a very healthy, loving, peaceful and happy new year.

In keeping my tradition of themes (instead of resolutions or goals with too many rules) for the new year, I am revisiting my topics from last year. Except I gave them teeth and put them on steroids for 2018.

Live in a spirit of love and peace.

Personally… Love more. And show that love. How? I can bake bread and break bread with others, to interact in a warm and comfortable environment. Beyond my circle of friends and family, I will try to be open-minded, understanding and supportive of people whose circumstances are different than my own. And not forget people who are out of my sightlines. (Hello, Puerto Rico!)

Politically… Create peace and wellness. We need to make huge changes in the USA this year. For me that means finding new, progressive candidates to support, joining with like-minded forces, participating in everything available, from caucuses in February to mid-year conventions to an election in November. And I’ll keep doing what I did last year: donating to causes I believe in and sending opinionated emails to my senators and congressional representative.

Eat Healthier

Less sugar, more vegetables. Enough said. Just do it!

Write My Novel

I wanted to finish and publish it in 2017. That didn’t happen, for a good reason. I keep going to classes and workshops – which totally rev me up, I love them – and now I keep revising my manuscript. I’m convinced I’m writing a better book! So, I’ll keep learning and keep writing.

Have more fun and adventure

I’ll keep on doing fun and adventurous things as long as I live.

In previous years I’ve had themes that still carry through to my current life. For example, the theme of Vincent Van Gogh will always be with me. (Did you see the film Loving Vincent? Awesome!) I like to find and create recipes that become part of my cooking repertoire, and I still love swans!

On a final note, Faith Salie offered this take on resolutions inspired by art on the CBS Sunday Morning show. It inspired me! Check it out. And, please, share your comments about the new year. I would love to hear them.