Chasing your dreams requires stepping through scary doors.

photo by Thao Le Hoang on Unsplash

Pulling into the parking lot, I take a slot directly in front of huge plate-glass windows, put the car in gear, set the parking brake, and shut the car off in one smooth motion. I pick up my purse and bag, and I freeze, still in the driver’s seat.

My palms sweat as I stare at the massive mirror-tinted window in front of me. On it, two-dimensional guys in white ghees toss each other around while bright red stick-on letters advertise “Kung-Fu” lessons. Cryptic Chinese symbols tumble down the right-hand side of the window next to a giant Yin-Yang.

A…


Prehab beats rehab.

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

“Physically smarter beats physically harder in the long game of life.” — Gray Cook, Physical Therapist, Developer of Functional Movement Screening

Right about now, you’re probably moving into your vowed new year’s workouts; excited to lose the quaranton you’ve gained. Maybe a home fitness routine, virtual trainer, Peloton, or even a socially distanced gym.

Unknown to you, you are likely headed for a common roadblock to your fitness; injury.

The sound of motivation is all around me; upbeat music, the clank of weights, the occasional roar/SLAM as someone tosses a vanquished bar of weights down, bouncing amongst us mere mortals.


A short horror series

Photo: Original Artwork by Author

“Stan, could I see you for a moment?”, the dreaded words rang out across the office.

Stan jumped and looked around at his fellow employees. Furtive glances cut off as soon as he made eye contact, and heads ducked. Pink slips had been falling like rain lately; it was everyone for themselves. Stan swallowed and focused on getting his knees to support him on the short walk to Mr. Silva’s office.

Stan gazed distractedly at Edward Silva’s shiny pate while the senior partner pursued Stan’s file. Letting his eyes wander around the office, Stan felt a lump form in his…


Believing in yourself isn’t magic, it’s practice.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Thriving through change requires resilience, but how to build that resilience isn’t always obvious. Many of us start by trying to control change itself when what we need is belief.

When I was nine, I tried to keep my world within the narrow confines I knew. One morning, I paused mid-crunch in my cereal to ask my momma:

“Promise we will never move?”

“We will never move, sweetie, and don’t talk with your mouth full.”

I swallowed. “And we don’t have tornadoes?” I had probably watched the Wizard of Oz one too many times.

“Not here, believe me, I grew…


Surf Your Fear to Find Your Joy.

Photo by Samuel Scrimshaw on Unsplash

Anger crawled hot and prickly over my skin and up my spine. I didn’t care about the damn squash, and why did it matter anyway? I was busy, dammit, and the squash would be fine.

It was our third almost fight that evening. Over a spaghetti squash.

The actual chain of events doesn’t matter; my husband and I were both tired, groggy, and unable to heat our dinner without sniping.

Everything he did got on my nerves; my skin felt raw. The slightest emotional touch rubbed like a towel on a fresh sunburn. Although I had a bowl of delicious…


A monologue.

Image: Self-Portrait Credit: Diana Carson-Walker (author)

So a dirty little secret — everything I do it’s because I want to.

The forgetting diet, self promises, even a daily reset of who/I am what I want — some part of me wants it. Some part of me wants to weigh 180 lbs. Some part of me wants to be stretched for money. I am a creature of free will — or, if, not, the illusion is so complete, the matrix is perfect.

100%. Free. Choice.

Ok so…

Choice should allow happiness — but what do I base that on? Upon examination, it is a poor/weak correlation, yet…


How I Stopped Collecting and Started Creating.

Photo by Kristin Brown on Unsplash

The light streams in through cheerful curtains, and Johanna’s living room positively glows with the early spring morning. The warm-toned natural wood paneling creates a spa-like atmosphere, and Johanna herself (Jana to her friends) is a ball of sparkling energy.

Tiny and birdlike, topped with a fluff of white hair, Jana’s sixty-odd years lend brilliant energy to this wonderful sprite. Her work connects to the Earth, and many of her fairy-like creations remind me of her.

Jana’s work speaks of her soul; whether it's an elf peeking out of a hand-thrown garden pot, or longing etched in the hands of…


I let my daughter fly the helicopter, while I stick to the ground.

Boeing Chinook CH-47D Helicopter. Photo by Daniel Klein on Unsplash

It is the fall of 2005. I’m folding laundry, listening to the radio. Another convoy of U.S. Soldiers has been attacked in Iraq with several casualties. I pack up the rest of the towels into my basket and follow the sound of music down the hallway.

I emerge into a tranquil domestic scene. My youngest is curled up in a chair with her favorite novel. My middle daughter is sprawled on the living room floor, doing homework.

Brandi, my eldest is the one making the music. She is picking out Für Elise on the piano.

“Elyse” is her middle name…


Find more joy in your life.

Photo by Henry Hustava on Unsplash

Blinking, I stand in the sunlit living room, a blind creature emerging from a dark cave.

My husband looks up and smiles sweetly at me.

“What?!” I mutter and scuff to the kitchen to make my coffee, studiously avoiding eye-contact.

“Just content,” he said.

“Hrmph.”

I am not a morning person — is it obvious?

My day was off to a bad start from the first alarm

— at five am. I had promised myself I’d get up at five, and turn over a new leaf. Get up early, workout, get a move on, and get things done.

So when the alarm went off I thought, “Gee, I feel energized, I can…


Science and facts are not enough.

Girl with hair over face lays on drought landscape
Girl with hair over face lays on drought landscape
Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash

Our office door gives a cheery jingle, and I step out of my dark desk-cave. Even with a deep overhang and dark windows, the reflected outdoor light makes our lobby glow.

It is July 2013. High noon in Central California, the sun glares down; the temperature is already at 105 F and will climb at least another five degrees today. California is two years into a seven-year drought and I am working at ground zero.

Joe has come through the door. A leathery-faced guy in his 60’s, Joe wears a farmer’s armor: a light long-sleeved button shirt, jeans, and worn…

Diana Carson-Walker

Diana Carson-Walker. Scientist turned mad artist on her way to being a real human. P.S. I Love You, Ninja Writers Pub. www.sidewaysintocrazy.com

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