Friday, June 30, 2006

Retreat for Writers

Welcome to my retreat for the weary writer: The Conestoga House. This estate is open to the public every Wednesday with formal gardens with thousands of rare and exotic flowers/plants from around the world. The public is allowed access from June through September and it's absolutely free. A picnic lunch is allowed in the terraced garden area by the pool. This is my great escape! You're free to join me on Wednesday afternoons (if you're in Lancaster, PA)! LOL

I started going regularly last year because an author friend of mine confided in me that she lost her "passion" for writing. I was amazed--shocked really--that anyone could lose their passion once they found it! It seems to be epidemic among writers/speakers. Too much on their plate with deadlines and multi-tasking! Her words came as a great admonishment: anything taken to the extreme can become a weakness! Writing became a "chore" to her--an obligation to fulfill and, yes, one more deadline to meet. Her health suffered, her family lamented, and eventually she experienced a total breakdown. I cried--no sobbed--as she shared the loss of her passion. I wondered, "Would she ever write again?" She said, "I don't miss it at all--my life is full of people that I love--not deadlines. In the process of writing, I lost contact with those I love, my family and friends, and I kept putting things off because of deadlines." Does this sound familiar to any of you writers?!?!?!? Take heed!

I have taken very seriously what she said because I never want to lose my passion for writing, but as long as I'm hooked into the "passion giver," I think I will continue to love what I do.

Of late, I have met even more authors/speakers just like my friend. Create a refuge, guard against a writer's worst enemy--the loss of your first love--the Lord Jesus Christ! Find your own "Conestoga Gardens"--refresh and renew your weary soul! A deadline can wait--your soul cannot!

Living Life Passionately,


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Greek Tragedy or Roman Drama?

For those of you who have never given birth in a foreign culture, you have missed one of life's greatest moments. In less than 45 minutes, my oldest son, Jeremy, will turn 25 years old. He was born in Catania, Sicily (the little island off the boot of Italy!). We had a "Cinque-Cento" for a car, which is just about as big as a loaf of bread, and with my nine-month pregnant tummy--we had a car load full! I gave birth in a small clinic without a doctor. I truly believed them when they told me I would deliver sometime the next day!). Jeremy came kicking and screaming into the world in less than three hours after my arrival (while I slept--please don't hate me for having a nearly non-existent labor). I was surprised as anyone to realize that "birth" was so easy (what was that verse in the Bible?). I was expecting unbearable pain, but quite frankly I was scared by all the other laboring Italian women shouting, "Maria, aiutami!" (Translation: Mary, help me!) The only real drama that occurred was watching everyone else run around with haste trying to get me to the delivery room (don't move a laboring woman!). I won that battle and Jeremy was born. I was passionate about giving birth; it was just too much fun! My only disappointment was it didn't last long enough and I didn't get to use my "American" Lamaze classes that we took at Signonella Air Base. I expect those of you who have labored for 36 hours will be giving me a call and letting me know of your disgust! But I have "suffered" in other ways--just not childbirth!

Italians live life passionately without trying (I know I married one), and if I had to do it all over again, all my children would be born there. La dolce vita! Add Italy to your passionate places to visit--you will never regret it!

The "birth" of our passions is often the result of great suffering, but more on that later. Tune into where I will be sharing how God used another kind of suffering to reveal my passions. (I will be blogging the week of July 3-9.)

Living Life Passionately,

Connie Pombo

My Son is Living His Passion

Jeremy, my 24-year-old son, called me on his cell phone from "El Cap" in Yosemite. He's the rock climber and is in "rock climbing heaven" right now. Last night they did a nine-pitch climb using their headlight gear and he said, "It was great, Mom; I could see the stars above and it was "pitch" dark below us." Great! There are some things a mom just doesn't need to know!

He's coming home tomorrow on his twenty-fifth birthday, June 30! But I think he already had the best gift of all--"Yosemite"--a rock climber's paradise.

Holding onto the "Rock"!

Living Life Passionately,

Superman Returns in 3-D at the IMAX

I just got back from a fun writing assignment: Reporting on Superman Returns in 3-D at the IMAX. Okay, I know what you're thinking?!?!? But I will never see a movie again unless I can see it on an IMAX screen in 3-D. Did you know that the film they use is three times larger than normal size film, the projector is the size of a car, and the light is so bright that it can be seen from space!!! The popcorn and drinks were great too--I love this job! I'm passionate about certain movies, but this absolutely tops the list. This is your movie critque's corner for today!

Living Life Passionately,


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Day without the Internet

Yesterday my modem went out on my highspeed Internet and a new one had to be ordered through my Internet provider, so now I'm using "dial-up" (and I thought highspeed was slow!). To get an old password for dial up re-activated, I spoke with four technicians from India: Raymond, Michael, Ben, and James, obviously not their real names. The problem: I couldn't understand a word they were saying, so I asked my computer technician whom I had called to help interpret. He couldn't understand them either. Three hours later, we got someone from the states who solved the problem in 3 minutes instead of 3 hours. My point: How did we become so dependent on the Internet in the first place and how did out-sourcing become so prolific?

I'm passionate about writing, but when there is a systems' failure, my passion dwindles. Today, I'm up and running (mind you a tad bit slower), but I realized through the whole experience, I'm entirely too dependent on the "computer"; it's my best friend and worst enemy. But as a writer, I can take any situation--bad or good--and write about it! Stay tuned for the tales of: Raymond, Michael, Ben and James (I wonder what their "real" names are). If you have a "passionate" Internet story, I'd love to hear from you.

In the meantime stay connected!

Living Life Passionately,


Monday, June 19, 2006

Wedding Bells and Happy Father's Day Weekend!

This past weekend, my oldest son, Jeremy, was in a friend's wedding. I was supposed to be at a book signing for God Allows U-Turns for Women in Whitehall, PA, but my "U-Turn Sisters" allowed me this time to be with my family at the wedding. Thank you Susan, Tammy, and Carolyn--you are so precious to my heart! I can't wait to hear all about the reading/discussion and signing!

The wedding was beautiful and the flower girl upstaged the bride by throwing and "re-throwing" her petals up and down the aisle! But the best part of any wedding is re-living your own when the vows are given. What made Terry and Danielle's wedding so memorable was the similarity to ours (minus the adorable flower girl!). The bridemaids' dresses were lime green; they played "The Wedding Song" and the "Lord's Prayer," and read from I Corinthians 13--all of which we had in our 1975 wedding! There was "passion" in the air.

Passion--what is it? Webster defines it as: "a compelling emotion or desire." Mark and I are more "passionate" about each other now than when we first married 30 years ago. That my dear friends is a tribute to our Lord Jesus Christ who made us one. Now we complete each other's sentences, we speak the same words at the same time, and some may say we look like each other (I'm the one with the hair!).

Thanks, sweetheart for 30 wonderful years! I'm sending this post to your e-mail! And thank you to my dear U-Turn sisters for allowing me to make yet another U-Turn back to the future--if only for one day!

Living Life Passionately,


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"The Grand Canal," Venice, Italy - 2004

Today while trying to find a Father's Day gift, I came across a book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Okay, I have to tell you . . . that reminds me of my "Passionate Life" speech--27 things I want to do before I die, and many of those things I wanted to do were in the book--that is places to see! I guess it's no secret to those who know me best, that I love to travel! And one of my favorite places is Italy: my son was born there, we lived there six years; I love the Italian food, language, and culture. So the first chapter I turned to was Italy, of course, and I had to make sure I had visited all the places that were on their list. With a few exceptions, I have seen all the "passionate" places in Italy except, are you ready? - Pompeii, the "Leaning Tower of Pisa," Verona, and "The Last Supper" in Milan at Santa Maria delle Grazie. On my last trip to "Milano"--it was closed! That was my third trip to Milan and I left without seeing "The Last Supper." Okay, what's my point here? Do you have a list of places you've not seen, but always wanted to? Start making the list and crossing them off. There's no time like the present to "live" your passion! I will leave you with a picture postcard of Venice. Marcel Proust writes, "When I went to Venice, my dream became my home." Enjoy your ride down the Grand Canal--experiencing the city from a uniquely Venetian perspective.

Living Life Passionately,


Monday, June 05, 2006


This morning I read on MSN the "Five Dream Jobs of Women." I looked to see if Author/Speaker was on there and "no" it wasn't. But what was listed intrigued me; I guess because I've actually thought seriously of doing one of them! Here they are ladies (keep dreaming!): Hollywood Wardrobe Stylist (no thanks!); Vacation Tour Director (Yes! Of course, it also pays the least--$20,000 per year--but who cares?!). After living in Italy for six years, I realized it's a BIG world and I want to see more of it! Actually, I considered a job with "Pirillo Tours"--only because I speak "Italian" and I love Italy (need I say more!). Here's one that made me laugh: Ice Cream Creator! On a recent speaking engagement, I was in Stowe, Vermont and passed by the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Plant and went on tour and met the "ice cream tasters." Except they call themselves "food scientists" for a whopping $56,000 per year! You can have your ice cream and eat it too! Okay, are you ready? Number Four: Concert Promoter (maybe!--I guess it depends on who I'm promoting!). And last but not least, Doll Fashion Designer. Okay you "GI Janes" at $68,000 per year you too could learn to like dolls--again?!

They all sound fun and interesting, but I'm going to keep my "job"--writing about my passion!

That's what's on my heart today!

Living Life Passionately,

Connie Pombo

"Delight yourselves in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." -Psalm 37:4

Sunday, June 04, 2006

God Allows U-Turns for Women Book Signing, North Wales, PA

From left to right: Carolyn Ruch, Susan Kelly Skitt, Tammy Gehman, Connie Pombo.

At Barnes & Noble in North Wales, PA on Saturday, June 3, the U-Turn authors and I had our third book signing. It was pouring down rain and sure enough it proved to be a good day for having a book signing (authors--keep that in mind!). What a joy it has been sharing these signings/discussions with Susan Kelly Skitt of Chalfont, PA, Carolyn Ruch from Hatfield, PA, and Tammy Gehman from Allentown, PA. Their U-Turn stories are amazing and what a gifted group of women that I have had the pleasure of being with since our first book signing on April 1 (no joke!). Had it not been for our stories and inclusion in the series, our paths would have never crossed.

This morning on the way to church my husband said, "If you could be doing anything right now at this time in your life, would what it be?" Without hesitation, I said, "Exactly what I'm doing now!" For the first time in my life, I can truly say, "I'm passionate about what I do!" Unfortunately, it all came with a cost!Through my tragedy, pain, and loss, I found my passion--speaking and writing.

Don't wait for something tragic to happen to ask yourself the same question. Evaluate your life: Do you want to be doing what you're doing in a year from now? It's estimated that 84% of Americans dislike their career or profession and 63% don't want to get out of bed on Monday morning because they dislike what they do. Are you one of those statistics? It's never too late to evaluate your life and make a U-Turn!

I'll be guest blogging on the U-Turn website the week of July 3-9. Be sure to check it out at

That's what's on my heart!

Living Life Passionately,