Holi – The Festival of Colors

The three of us, Cindy, Natalie and I have a strange relationship with this Indian festival of color. Natalie and I have been to a local festival, it is making and appearance in a novel the three of us are writing together, and we’re all planning on going to the festival this year. For some reason, it speaks to our collective soul.

Imagine our surprise when a follower contacted us and asked to write about it for the blog. We were thrilled. Anuj Kumar lets us in on the beauty and meaning of this fun celebration of life, spring, and human togetherness.Holi

Holi – The Festival of Colors

Holi began as a festival celebrated, like many others, as a commemoration of a mythical event. For some, it signifies the victory of good over evil, and for others, the celebration of love. It is one of the few Indian festivals which has widespread international appeal.

Holi-OneThis is probably because of how inclusive and simple the revelry is. It involves throwing colored powder and water on pretty much everyone celebrating. There’s no competition, no rules, just pure countrywide enjoyment – which means hundreds of millions of people taking part at the same time!

Holi is one of the most famous Indian festivals, with major celebrations happening in over ten countries. These include India’s neighbors like Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, as well as countries around the world like the UK, USA, Guyana, Suriname, and South Africa.

These countries have large Indian populations that celebrate it, and the local population joins in. The inclusiveness of the festivities has helped it spread beyond India’s borders, by bringing in a spirit of oneness and equality. In fact, some new countries even have their own ways to celebrate Holi, adding to the gamut of traditions that make up this now international festival.

As much as it has spread, the merriment cannot match the massive scale at which it is celebrated in India. As such, there are many Indians outside that miss the unbridled spirit behind the revelry, just as much as they miss their loved ones back home. There are, however, workarounds coming up. Smartphone apps like iHoli allow them to take photos of themselves, and add splashes and smears of color, and send these colored photos to loved ones!holi10

Though it’s based on Hindu mythology, it has the power to bring people of all religions together, in ways unlike any of its counterparts. It’s only a matter of time before Holi is as ubiquitous the biggest festivals of the world, with it’s new, unique traditions mushrooming as communities make it their own.

Anuj Kumar is an app-freak. He is very keen to try out the new exciting apps. Be it Windows, iOS or Android – all the platforms are a matter of interest to him.”

Woke Up and Remembered

Wish I could believe this was all a big misunderstanding
That you’re thinking of me as much as I’m thinking of you
Don’t know what else to do…

I’d give anything to hear your voice again
I don’t care if we can’t be more than friends
I miss you…

You’re gonna regret letting me go… Just a matter of time, babe.

But you’ve cut me off

You hung me out to dry

All I can do is cry and wait for the pain to stop

Then start again…

I know it’s silly to still dream
You could be the one I need
When you take every opportunity to prove to me you’re not…

I’m just a hopeless romantic
Lost in this cynical world
A heart without a home to live in
A hand without another to hold

I had a dream you showed up again
We talked it out, we’re on the mend…

Then I woke up and remembered…

You cut me off

Hung me out to dry

I won’t cry over you anymore, only one way to settle this score

Time for me to start again.
And now, the last strand connecting you to me has finally been severed.
I hope you feel better.
You’re free.

You’re gonna regret letting me go… Just a matter of time, babe.


About Jenny

Jenny Shaw is a die-hard Ogdeneer; local community supporter, little bit of a hippy, lover of music, anything British and sparkles. She can be found regularly at the Grounds for Coffee on 30th and Harrison, doing homework and drinking coffee or at the Sandtrap on any given Wednesday, singing her heart out at karaoke.

When she isn’t helping with Indie Ogden, she is volunteering all over town, when she’s not at work with the Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership (Head Start). Jenny also works with the Buy Local (Ogden) group and is passionate about promoting, connecting and uplifting local businesses to make a stronger, more unified community and economy.

If you ever want to catch Jenny, just track her down at MacCool’s for ½ priced appetizers, at any of the fabulous vintage stores scattered throughout Ogden playing dress-up with Mikaela, or with the rest of Indie Ogden wandering around our lovely town.

Paradise Found

Rough trail leading to a seclysed campsite. Boats bobbing up and down on the lake.

Crystal clear water.campsites


Searing sunlight.


Smoke and pine sap.

Cool, clean air.


Crackling fire. Yelling and laughter. Hissing and fading voices.


How long will this paradise last? When will I have to leave?Indian_Lake_Campground_004


Calmed by the natural beauty. Overjoyed that it lasted. Sad to leave.


Lasting paradise. Lasting paradise. Lasting paradise.


By: Bradin Hodgson


Bradin Hodgson is 14. He lives in Utah. Bradin enjoys playing baseball and reading. Bradin is working hard to attend BYU after graduation.




Today’s post comes from a dear friend of mine. I met her while I was living in Virginia. Her heartfelt love of everyone captivated me. She is an honest-to-goodness angel on Earth. She is an excellent mother, grand-mother, wife and friend.

She posted the following on Facebook and I thought the sentiment was so beautiful that I asked if I could use it for the blog. Writing comes in all forms, but my favorite is when it comes from the Heart.

This puts the Fire in Writing the Fire.

Building Bridges

By Elizabeth McClellan

 Humble Pie Check:


I am sure I have burnt a few bridges in my life, knowing or unknowingly. The important ones need to be rebuilt. The others were forgotten by all. If I need to rebuild a bridge to you, I have the nails and wood! Do you have a hammer and can we do this together? I would like that…

Lovingly- Liz

Posting from Humble Pie Check:

*What a wonderful thought. I need to rebuild some bridges of my own… thanks for posting this.

Liz: (Husband). I should mention this to you because maybe some of your friends and (typo-are) not my friends, but it applies to them too…

Liz: Suppose I can add (Daughter) who has built and rebuilt our bridge with me many times! Thank you for loving me enough to keep building!

*We have a great bridge, we just need more traffic on it! Miss you guys

Liz: Well, I must not need to rebuild any bridges, though I see where the bridge was and how now it is gone. I have nobody that wants to fix the bridge with me, no hammer to speak of… <drops head, falls knees to the ground and prays> God, help me to be here with my supplies when my other bridge builder comes with a hammer and some elbow grease. In Jesus Name, Amen

Building Bridges Part 2:built bridge

Proposal for my co-bridge builder: The purpose of the finished bridge is not to render us to think the same about life, its mysteries and afflictions; its purpose is rather to promote mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence. Also, it facilitates a smoother interchange of ideas and thoughts about all the aspects of human life and in doing so will promote understanding of others. A greater understanding of differences, and what gives rise to them, will hopefully lead to a decrease in the less pleasant aspects of modern life, such as strife, comflict and misunderstandings. In the process a framework can emerge, one where we put our differences aside, one in which we respect each other; trading cynicism about others and their motives for understanding, respect and tolerance. With an open heart ~ Me

I love you Liz. Thank you for sharing your beautiful ideas.

My Dad

I’m not much of a writer, in fact I usually only write to express my emotions because I really don’t know how to express them any other way. So, with that I felt there was a need to give just a little background on the poem I wrote below.

My mother had me out of wedlock, I didn’t have a father in my life at all, until one day she met a man who she decided she would marry. That man adopted me when I was five years old and has become the only father I ever really knew. Of course I loved him…always did…always will. But as you can expect, my parents had another child and I did have some resentment at one point of feeling he may not love me as much as he loved my sister. Later, I became a teenager, and struggled with my emotions regarding my dad. I said things like “you’re not my dad” and even set out to find my biological father. My dad and I struggled a lot when I was growing up. Sometimes I look back and wonder if he thought I didn’t love him, because I sure didn’t act like it some of the time.

I’m now 37 years old, and my daddy just passed away this March 5th after a long bout of liver cancer. The irony is it was nearly two years to the date of his liver transplant. In October of last year he was officially told the cancer had engulfed his liver and there was nothing else they could do. He was expected to have less than six months. I demoted myself at work and my husband and I dedicated myself to helping my mother care for my father.

The thing many of you may not know about liver cancer is one of the stages one will go through is the loss of their mind. They tend to start acting “drunk” at times. This is due to the toxins in your body no longer being able to be filter correctly, and thus, beginning to poison your brain instead. I really really wanted to be able to express to my dad how much he meant to me. But, as I told you, I don’t express my feelings and emotions well. So, I decided to write him a poem for his 60th birthday that December. However I had to give him the poem early because he started to show signs of his brain deteriorating.

Below is the poem I gave him. It’s not my best, nor do I really care, because it totally expresses the way I felt about him. I don’t expect you to understand some of the lines as they were written specifically for my dad with little tidbits only he understood.

My Dad

By Sarah Cooper

I’ve never been much for words,
Or showing much emotion at all,
But I’d like to tell you a story
That started when I was very small.

I never had a dad you know
But always dreamed I would
It’s something every little girl should have
A special part of their childhood.

I’ll never forget that day
Seeing him come through that door
Somehow I seemed to know
That I would get to see him more.

Eventually he and my mom got married
That special day years ago.
However he didn’t marry just my mom,
He married me too you know.

Shortly after that special day
My name was changed to match his and his new bride.
I remember feeling super special
As we left the building to head outside.

He carried me closely in his arms
And I knew he loved me a bunch
But he quickly passed me off to my mom
Because he spotted a way for a celebration KFC lunch!

Although I now had a daddy,
Growing up wasn’t the fantasy I thought it’d be
I learned my fair share of discipline
And occasionally questioned his love for me.

There were times we’d fight and yell
And I’d say things I didn’t mean
I really don’t think he took my words to heart
I think he chalked it up to me being an irritable teen.

Like any normal parent,
He made his fair share of mistakes
But I was definitely not the perfect child
I know I caused plenty of heartaches.

It wasn’t until I became a parent myself
That I realized the sacrifices he’d made
That despite his imperfections
I’d always been a recipient of the love he displayed.

My dad has always been there,
And has shown what it means to lead.
He always displayed hard work for us
As well as being available for those in need.

Although he may not believe it,
He taught me many important things in life,
Like how a man should provide for his family
And always be there for his wife.

I wish there were words to express
Just how much love I have for him inside
How much I love calling him my dad
And how it fills my heart with pride.

Dad, you showed me how a father
Isn’t blood at all,
A father is a man
Whose daughter sees him as ten feet tall.

You will always be my daddy
And I’ll always be your little girl.

I love you and will love you always!

“I Apologize” and “You Have Some Wonderful Stuff Coming”



Well, this isn’t uncommon for me. I start out with a goal and I fall flat on my face. Our first week of guest posts and I only posted two. (My fault, not the group or our guest writers.) But, as I say this type of failure is not uncommon for me and I know how to pick myself up, dust myself off and just keep going. I apologize for the hiccup.

That being said, we will have some amazing writing for you in the coming weeks.

The whole of next week is a story by Josh McCracken. In his words, “it is a bitter sweet tale of first love.”  You’re going to enjoy it! I was tempted to post it this weekend, but refrained. It’s like when you want to give your kids their Christmas presents early. I’m so excited to share this with you!

The following week will have some very special, personal posts. They are pieces which come from the heart. Although some of them are written by people who do not describe themselves as writers, the pieces themselves are full of love, warmth and tenderness…the fire part of Writing the Fire.

And so, with our first week done we are moving forward.

I’d like to personally thank those who have submitted their poems, stories, articles and ideas. The pieces which have been submitted are beautiful, imaginative, funny, heartwarming and provocative. This has been a humbling experience. Thank you to our writers and thank you to our readers!

We are still looking for other writers to join our month of guest posts. If you would like to join us, or you know of someone who does, please email lori.king322@gmail.com. We’d be happy to have you.


Prejudiced and Discriminatory Propaganda via Emotional Appeal–”Dead-beat Dads”

“Dead-beat dads” are created by the government. Emotional justice (again using the emotional appeal of children, as was the case in the Sandy Hook school incident to take away our gun rights) to leverage prejudice against men is effectively used to persuade a mass populous in a prejudiced campaign. This sex-prejudiced identity does not exist prior to any court intervention–a discriminatory, extortion process of assessing fathers as dollar signs. A father’s support to the child is to be assessed no different than the mother’s, going directly to the child in no matter what form–emotional, food, gifts, warmth, shelter, etc. and not discounted and purposely deprived in order to place him as the parent having obligations without rights—a mere slave. And he is not to ever be imprisoned per Constitutional law for not fulfulling this government made-up financial identity. In tact families that are poor aren’t sought out and the father taken from them and imprisoned.

government controlUnder the government-imposed terms of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action the designation “dead-beat dad,” a term first publicly coined by the first President Bush, is self-evident of prejudice and discrimination due to the fact dads are labeled as financial obligees more than are moms. The term can not exist unless discriminatory practice by government exists to purposely assess more fathers than mothers with the financial/slave identity to begin with. However, the government isn’t holding back jobs from women to compensate for men being designated as the financial obligees either. This equates to a mere set-up in modern society for men who are first not only purposely deprived equal parental rights to impute financial obligations (with less justification than a personal debt–what the government system has arbitrarily deemed child support in place of the father’s forced absence). The whole premise to this line of thought is based on the mother having parental rights over the father—a condition that does not exist prior, as under the unity of marriage, and therefore that has no legitimate standing thereafter.

child supportWhat amounts as a mere attempt to try to justify this injustice is the claim that some fathers don’t care about their children and that they only want custody to not pay child support. The argument is not valid. Some fathers aren’t even allowed to choose whether a child be born or aborted or adopted out, and/or are only sought out later to provide finances–a demented lack of values combined with deprivation of equal rights and coercion represented by our government. There are mothers who do not care about their children, many who only want children and custody as tokens to receive government-imposed benefits. The government is actually accusing fathers of the counter practice it supports in mothers! Yet, we don’t hear “official” terms made up against them. This is because, due to chivalry and feminist influence, special privileged terms are created and supported for women by the government, one that is guilty of using children to exhume money despite the importance of fathers in their lives and the rights of fathers to have them. The term “dead-beat dad” therefore directly reflects a government-instilled discriminatory policy against fathers. The prejudiced campaign creates many beat-dead dads. So many people, including many men, come to accept these terms and subjective conditions purposely sculptured for women by the government and its propaganda that they too accept the societal condition, even though it all amounts to nothing more than hypocrisy. These terms are never to be regarded as acceptable in a society that also claims to uphold equal justice for all.

Alan Millard

Alan Millard was raised on a farm in northwestern Washington where he was involved in a family-owned feed and cattle business. He has worked with wildlife, cattle and other livestock, and with a diversity of people at all levels. Mr. Millard has lived in the farming community as well as in the city environment. His experience includes occupations as land resource manager, woodsman/logger, construction worker, professor, phlebotomist, naturalist, and park ranger. He is an accomplished writer, broadcaster, public speaker, and educator.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources from Western Washington University, a Master’s degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix, additional graduate work completed in Anthropology from the University of Utah, other graduate work completed in education, English, and history from Weber State University, as well as doctoral studies in psychology from North Central University and Capella University. For the past 11 years he has been employed at Weber State University where he has taught as a professor and worked in the testing center.

Alan Millard has a background of knowledge and experience gained from several natural resource agencies. His first appointment was with the National Park Service as a back-country ranger in Colorado. He then worked as a Washington State Park Ranger along the Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon. After this, he worked for the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada as a supervisor over a district’s campgrounds and wilderness study areas. He then became a Utah State Park Ranger, with his last appointment as a ranger/naturalist and visitor center manager.

Mr. Millard has also gained knowledge and experience from his personal research, visitation and exploration of the most renown, and many remote, cultural sites—both occupied and abandoned. He has been actively involved in various projects designed to preserve local history and the environment. He served as a committee team member inan effort to preserve the historical, cultural and natural resource values of the Wendover, Nevada area, which include such interests as Danger Cave and Juke Box Cave, the Enola Gay Hanger, the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Donner-Reed/Hastings Cut-off Trail, Pilot Peak landmark, and the Bonneville Speedway.

Alan Millard developed a self-perpetuating miniature environment of the Great Salt Lake, complete with brine shrimp, brine flies and algae, and secured the Fremont Island archaeological exhibit (Stoddard Collection), for which project he helped prepare and write the text. These exhibits are currently on display at the Antelope Island State Park visitor center and are often visited by university students and professors, and the general public.

Mr. Millard has had many articles published, been a guest speaker on many radio talk shows, conducted news announcements on local events, and appeared on television for environmental and societal news shorts. He has conducted many presentations and educational seminars, and been featured as a guest speaker at writers’ and other conferences.

He has also edited other natural resource publications, and is one of the co-authors of Great Salt Lake–an overview of change, Gywnn. His speaking engagements pertain to both political issues and natural resource education. He is involved in parental/fathers’ and men’s rights.

He heads a men’s rights advocacy group, Men and Fathers for Justice http://www.mf4j.com/, and is the author of several books, with his first being Equality: A Man’s Claim, and two others pertaining to local history and the environment, including his latest, The Great Salt Lake Regional Book of Facts and Exploration

Alan Millard continues to be a tutor, mentor, speaker, writer, and loving father. He believes his greatest asset is the ability to think for himself, with the courage to express the truth to others.

lotusWelcome to our new home.

Our writer’s group is excited to be able to move over to WordPress, offer help to other writers and hopefully spread around some joy and a few good stories.

We have some exciting things planned for the upcoming year including more fiction, some writing advice and opportunities to hear from other writers. We want this to be a true (and yet virtual) community where we can share ideas, resources and friendship with other writers.

With that in mind, I have an invitation…

Have you frameever been to a place where everyone is equal? A place where race, religion, economic status, physical appearance and abilities don’t matter? A place where it is safe to just be you.

Natalie and I experienced that at the Holi Festival at the Sri Sri Radah Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah last year. The Holi Festival is a Hindu celebration of spring.

We arrived at the ornate temple after parking our car at a local high school. Where we were herded onto a school bus and taken to the temple amongst a throng of people, most of them dressed in white to make the colors stand out on their clothing.

As we enteredmeaghan the temple grounds, a sweet scent became evident on the breeze. Something soft hit me in the chest. I looked down to see a streak of orange across my shirt. A young woman stood smiling at me. Before I could say anything she ran off to join her friends in laughter.

We made our way to the top of a small hill and were met with a crowd of multicolored humans some of them on the outskirts of the celebration, some right in the middle of it.

babyNatalie and I were soon covered in colorful powder as the celebrators noticed the “fresh blood” entering the festivities. The revelry was contagious and we soon joined the mass in covering our fellow humans in bright pinks, oranges, blues, yellows and greens.

Out of breath and smiling, I climbed the temple stairs to view the mass of humanity from a different perspective. The air was thick with powder around the crowd. Music from a rock band pounded its way through the mass while people danced. Laughter could be heard everywhere. Then I noticed something else – a spirit of connectedness. There were so many people and unlike any other celebration I’ve ever been to, everyone was a part of everything. It didn’t matter who was there, simply by existing, they were a part of that huge celebration of spring.mouse

I was amazed at the number and variety of people. There were families, couples, lovers, the young and the old, hippies, yuppies, every race, every creed…you name it, there was a member from every facet of society. The Holi Festival brought us all together and made us all equal. All of us were covered in sweet smelling powder and all of us smiling. For a moment all pretense was removed and we were a human family. Spring and the Holi Festival brought us all together for a weekend.


That is what we want to have with our blog this month. Once again it is spring and the Holi Festival is upon us in Spanish Fork. So in the spirit of the celebration, we want to invite our friends, followers and family to provide a guest post on our blog this month. Anything goes. Our goal is to have a post every Monday through Thursday for the month of March. If you are a writer or a dreamer or you just feel the inklings of spring moving you, email your submission to lori.king322@gmail.compillar. Every one is welcome, including children, (sometimes they’re the best) and all posts will be considered. The only thing we ask is that you keep your post clean and polite.

So welcome to the new blog and may spring find you at peace, happy, healthy and surrounded by people you love.

Natalie, Cindy and Lori



Photos of Holi Festival were provided by Samantha Chapman.

samSamantha Chapman is an aspiring photographer from the beautiful state of Maine. She currently resides in Clearfield, Utah where she spends her time cooking amazing food for and scheming shenanigans with her two super awesome kids, her BFFF and other members of her Security Council, a very handsome and hilarious Scotsman, and some amazing friends and family. She is happy to sell any of the photos she takes while out and about on one of her adventures, or photograph your friends and family on an adventure of your own!