The Thrill of Discovery

Life IS the Adventure

Have you ever noticed that…

The first bite of dessert is always the sweetest?
The first touch by a crush… the most electric?
The first kiss… the most soul-searing?

It’s the thrill of discovery.

As children, we experience so many things for the very first time.  Our senses are thrown open wide to soak in the incredible world around us.  We aren’t just on the edge of our seat paying attention, we’re standing on it with excited anticipation a split second before taking a huge fearless leap into the sensory overload.

Take the time to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel things you haven’t paused long enough to absorb, and you’ll be rewarded with new experiences.  Sometimes altering one element in your everyday routine incites a riot of new input simply by going off-course from the expected.  A shift to a different position at a favorite restaurant table is a basic example.  You’ve changed your viewpoint literally and your perception in a multitude of ways.  Try it.

A few months back, I sat on the ground examining a new transplant in our yard out of concern for its welfare (I’m a horrific plant parent) and found more than the plant alive before my eyes.  Caterpillar Surprise

What a treasure it is to stumble across something beautiful happening right under our busy noses.

Writers, Readers and Discovery

As a writer, we express our three-dimensional adventure onto the page, tempting the reader to get lost in the vivid world we’ve created.  Our goal is to take them along for a ride they’ve never experienced. 

If because of our efforts they…

Feel the abrasive surface of the jagged stone wall…
Squint at the brilliant sunset before it fades below the horizon…
Savor the taste of a tart cherry pie…
Inhale the sweet earthy aroma of a pine forest…
Hear the pop and crackle of a roaring fire?

Mission accomplished.

There is actually a phase in the writing process called discovery.  Some define it as the exploratory period in which we seek new topics and do research.  I recall an article I read over a year ago that described it ideally.  It appeared in a past issue of the RWR (the Romance Writers Report, a trade publication through Romance Writers of America) and described the discovery process as a time of rest and recharge between writing projects.  

The holiday from “work” should be a time to immerse ourselves in the outside world, separate from the isolated writing caves we’ve sequestered ourselves within most of the year.  Music, art, outdoor adventures, and civic events all become opportunities for us to turn our thinking brains off and amplify our learning.  Surrounding ourselves in melting pots of activity allows us to observe human behavior from a relaxed vantage point.  Wandering into a different solitary activity, like painting or reading a new book, maybe even in a genre outside our norm, helps expand our horizons. 

When the time is right, maybe after a few days, perhaps after a few weeks, our rested and recharged brains are stocked full of creative new ideas from a variety of sources.


Interestingly, layers of discovery happened while writing my latest manuscript.  The stories in my series are about self-discovery.

At the exact moments my heroine flew high with happiness and achievement, circumstances ripped away her newfound joy.  When she stood again from the pile of surrounding rubble, she learned something about herself.  She found strength because she’d tasted heavenly bliss and then plummeted to crushing heartache.  From a new perspective, she discovered what she truly wanted in life…and it was not what she’d originally thought.  Once she realized the ultimate prize within her reach was threatened, she discovered the one thing worth fighting for above all else… those she loved.  The ones in her world who relied on her suddenly had all her focused attention.

As my heroine’s discovery unfolded on the pages in true pantster-style writing, her realization provoked my own.  Everything is about the journey.  Life happens along the way from here to there, and if you aren’t paying attention you’ll miss it. 

How funny that my own character in a story taught me how to shift my focus from self-centered to selfless.  But then, I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me at all.  When we write, pieces of ourselves shine through onto the page and are expressed to some degree in many of our beloved characters.

Life IS the Journey

Treat your life as a rare adventure.  Look at each mundane activity as an opportunity to seize a new experience with a subtle shift of perception.  Channel the child within you, living every precious day you’re given as a sparkling gift.  Unwrap your treasure with unbridled excitement and embrace… the thrill of discovery.

Enjoy your world, my friends.  I wish us all the most spectacular time as we step from our ordinary lives into the world of the extraordinary.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Adventures Of An Optimist

Adventures of an Optimist

© 2012 by Kat Bastion


Half full. That would be a description of my beverage vessel.

Those who read my blog posts or watch my Twitter timeline know this indelible truth about me.

What does it mean to be an optimist?

The label means I’m fortunate enough to wake most every morning excited about the day. Present me a problem? I focus on solutions. If storm clouds threaten, I see sunshine after the storm.

I do have occasional defeated moments, bluesy afternoons and down days. There are times when I desperately need a hug, a smile, or a cheerleader. Most of the time… I’m the one giving them.

Optimists are hardwired to see and seek the goodness in a dark, harsh world. The blessing is multi-faceted. We share positivity with others, because our cups are more than merely half full.
They runneth over…

With enough joy in one’s heart, sharing with others is easy. The rewards for everyone? Immeasurable.

Many of those closest to me are not optimists. I dare say some are pessimists. It’s good, actually. We balance each other. They worry about the worst possible scenario. I anticipate the best outcome. Reality plays out somewhere in between.

One day a snarly stranger, upset by life’s circumstances, threw her anger at me. I smiled, deflecting it. My surprising reaction disarmed her. We focused together on the root of her problem, and she relaxed. I’ve never worn a cape, but I know I saved her day, or at least a moment in time for her. I gave her some of my optimism. I gave her hope. At no cost to me. The act lifted both our spirits.

It’s almost like a super-power. With not enough of it out there in the world, it shines like a beacon, attracting others to the vibrant feel-good. They want a hit of the drug you’re dealing.

Can someone learn to be an optimist?

Anyone can adopt optimist traits. No matter our natural tendencies—two loved ones in my life are textbook pessimists—we all have the ability to give selfless love. Smiles and laughter are contagious. Those same beloved pessimists often go rogue, making others smile and laugh.

Now you all know why I vibrate so much! {laughs}… It’s impossible to hold it all in.

We’re all on the same spectrum. I’m nowhere near the most optimistic. Every day I strive to find the bright side. Everyone has the capacity to find and share more happiness.

How can you increase your own optimism?

Here is what I find helpful…

  • Find a happy place. Look outside the window at the wind rustling through the trees. Imagine floating on a raft. … In Bora Bora. {smiles on a sigh}
  • Stop worrying. Every minute spent worrying is a wasted present moment.
  • Make someone else laugh. I dare you not to laugh yourself.
  • Remember the blessings. Wrapped up in troubles, we easily forget how good life is.
  • Give selflessly. The last dollar on you may be the first someone has ever received. Offer an unexpected hand, a random gift, or surprise hello. Make someone’s day.
  • Stop stressing. Imagine the worst outcome, but for no more than the briefest moments. Remind yourself there are so many scenarios better than the worst. Make those happen.
  • Seek positivity. Surround yourself with positive people. Read positive quotes. {whispers} … Like me, and my Twitter timeline…

Would you like to read more?

Two wonderful books on the topic are The Ultimate Happiness Prescription by Deepak Chopra and Always Looking Up – The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox.

An optimistic quote…

In the darkest hour, the smallest act of kindness bestowed becomes the foundation of many miracles. ~ Kat Bastion

I know I cannot save the world. But, I can brighten someone’s day.

Want to know what it’s like to have the adventures of an optimist?
{smiles slowly}… Join me and find out.

What are your favorite ways to find optimism? Who inspires you the most?

Go forth. Share your smile. Ignite hope in another.


Your Favorite Shoe,


© 2012 by Kat Bastion