Waking Up Earley

Thoughts, Ideas and Inspiration by Melissa Earley

Skiing Right Off the Edge

It’s been close to ten years since I went downhill skiing, but a recent dream brought to mind how much I enjoyed it when growing up in Colorado.

I had a ski instructor who encouraged us to not hover at the start of the run, but to just ski right from the lift, over the edge, and down the mountain. I remember the thrill. I couldn’t see what was coming next – a patch of ice, deeper powder, a large mogul. It was about committing to the run. Our instructor said it would make us look cool (I’m fairly certain I felt cooler than I looked). I think he really wanted to push us to the edge of our skill level and boost our confidence. I remember how it felt to not hesitate and trust that I could handle whatever was just over the edge.

With that dream lurking in the cobwebs of my mind I signed up for the National Novel Writing Month. I have committed to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. 1667 words a day! I’m flying by the seat of my pants. I have a couple of story ideas but no plot outline, developed characters, or clear location. It feels a bit like running the marathon without training.

I may crash and burn. It could be a total yard sale[1]. I’ve given myself permission to flail around, not look cool, and do it “wrong.” It’s okay if I don’t actually write a novel. Entries may not be connected to each other, I may start down my first idea and get stuck and so start down another path.

I want to plunge in more in my life — to just go for it, to not hold back or worry about the consequences.  I’m ready to take risks and dare failure.


[1] A “yard sale” is a crash where the skier’s or snowboarder’s equipment, hat, goggles, etc. are strewn all over the mountain.


  1. not familiar with that use of yard sale but totally enjoyed it

  2. Melissa, you are a superb writer of sermons and blog entries. Transposing your skills into writing a novel will be daunting, but I’m impressed by your ambition and wish you luck.

  3. Yay! I’m excited for you (and a bit nervous). This is a big undertaking!

  4. It was five o’clock and the hill was closed. I was last at the top of the hill, trying to gather courage to go “over the edge”. “I must start turning immediately before I am going too fast to turn”. What I did not realize was that as the shadows swept across the hill, the soft snow had tuned to ice. Here I go… OOOPS here comes a mogul…airborne… WHEEEEE…Yard Sale!! I slowly stood up and tried to recompose myself, but here comes the damn Ski Patrol “OK, move it, MOVE IT, everybody off the hill!” So over the edge I go. Same thing… oh my God I am going too fast to turn… mogul… airborne… WHEEE…yard sale!! OH %@#$ there goes one ski firing down the hill like a missile. (Thank God there was only one nutcase still on the hill!). Picked up my remaining possessions and walked down. All in one piece. The sky was blue.

    • admin

      November 21, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      I somehow missed your comment — thank you! Very well told. I’m glad you lived to tell about it. Thanks for sharing.

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