Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe

Thank you for making time to visit my virtual space.  Here you will find my Life Changes, Solution Focused Coaching page where you can explore the benefits of life and business coaching as well as ongoing workshops focusing on life's transitions.

On the Life Changes, Blog page are my musings on life changes as well as updates on my forthcoming memoir, The First Signs of April.

I welcome your comments and emails and appreciate you spending time here.


A Morning Walk

It's been quite some time since I last visited these pages. Life happens I suppose and so time slips away with my focus on other things.  

My recent birthday had me reviewing the last year and looking forward to the next as it always does and I realized just how unsettling this last year has been. I'll spare you the details, and instead acknowledge that as I am finally settling into a new home, I am finding the energy and inspiration to get back to the current path my journey is taking me on.

On my morning walk today I took a trail through the woods that lead to a path along the shore and up over the dunes.  Although the temperature was mild the cold wind blowing mist off the water and ice was biting.  Not cold enough, however, to keep me from exploring this new place and finding treasures. With each step, I was curious to see what was around the bend in the shoreline or on the other side of a dune.  In fact, thinking I might have seen a turtle way out beyond the ice, and knowing that it's common to find stranded sea turtles this time of year I even slid my way out across snow, ice and well, yes pools of seawater before realizing it was not, in fact, a turtle.  I clumsily made my way safely back to the sandy shore grateful that not only was there no stranded turtle, but I too made it back alive and well, albeit slightly wet and cold. 

As I continued to make my way back from my adventure I stopped a moment to offer thanks, grateful for the sand, sea,  trees, wind, all of it.  And in that moment I stood, ocean before me, woods behind me and thought, "I'm so insignificant."  The power and the beauty of each of the pieces of nature around me seemingly so much more than I could ever be.  So I thought, turned back to the woods and headed toward home.  

I walked listening to the creaking of tree limbs against the wind and feeling the way the pine needles softened the ground beneath my feet in a sturdier way than the shifting sands of the dunes, and I wasn't just me walking through this place.  I was this place just as the trees, the pine needles, the sands, the sea and the winds were.  We were each of us part of it all, and I knew in that instant I had been wrong.  I am significant.  Just as all of these parts make up this incredibly amazing and complex world, I too am a part of that.

I am significant, and I have a responsibility to honor not just that which I walk through or among, but myself and every other being I meet along the way.  Today I honored the trees, the sand, the sea, the winds...and I honor myself living among them and a part of them.

Two Days to Official Publication

It's a cold, wet Sunday afternoon.  Feels like fall already here in Vermont.  A good day to sit quietly sipping my coffee and flipping through the pages of my book for excerpts to use for my blog tour and for readings at my launch events.  It's official in just two days.  My memoir will be published and out there for anyone who wishes to read it.  People keep saying, "You must be so excited,"  and I am, but the excitement is only one of the many emotions swirling inside as Tuesday approaches.  I fancy myself a writer, yet I cannot find the words to express what this process has been for me.  So, on this cold, rainy day I reflect.

 I remember the day I discovered that memoir was the way to tell my story, it felt like my voice found its home.  I remember every painful draft and edit, and there were many. I remember every memory brought to the present moment and experienced again and again with every rewrite. I remember the relief at finding my editor, Nickey, who lived in a different state than I, knowing I wouldn't have to look in her eyes as she reacted to my words before her.  I remember a promise made to never share the details of my relationship with Joy and the shame at admitting my experience with Aunt Pat.  I remember the day the final edits of the final version were completed. I remember the hundreds of queries written, the torture of writing a synopsis.  I remember the Writer's Tears shared with my sister in Ireland after every three rejections and I remember celebrating the day She Writes Press accepted my manuscript.  I remember all of it.  

  While I was writing The First Signs of April and even throughout this publishing process I never really thought about anyone actually reading it.  Writing is such a solitary experience.  Aside from my dogs laying at my feet while I wrote, it was just me stepping back in time and creating a new world where only myself and my characters existed. And on Tuesday there it is being published and shared. What was once private is now public.  Yes, that is the whole point yet I never imagined how it would actually feel. I'm hearing from people I haven't heard from in over thirty years and I realize that in fact maybe people are going to read my book.  And I wonder what it will be like to stand before them and speak about my process and read bits of my story to them. To really share from the inside, out.  I have to admit I'm a bit anxious about that.    

It has been an incredible journey and I realize today that it isn't over with the publication of my book.  It's simply moving in a new direction.  I am excited. And too,  I find myself crying tender tears at the memory of it all while giggling with excitement for all that is yet to come.  In fact at this very moment the song I imagine hearing as my story ends when it is made into a movie is playing-I know, but humor me.  A girl can imagine...and I remember...and I dream.  So, maybe that's what I can say about it all.  I am excited, and I remember while holding all of it in a very sacred space in my heart. The private process is mine while I can share the end result with the world.  Perhaps that's what it means to be a writer.

I'm grateful for all of the support I am receiving.  Your excitement helps me to stay present and focused on the good that this process really has been and continues to be.  And for any of you so inclined to read my story, I welcome you to my sacred space.  I hope you will find meaning there.  

Look for The First Signs of April on Tuesday and remember if you want your local bookstore to carry it just ask them. And while you're at it, maybe suggest a launch event too.  Till Tuesday....