Sanibel Scribbles

Here’s a photo my husband took of me as we gathered seashells on Barefoot Beach right before sunset.

Hard to believe that was only last week! Yesterday it snowed here in Youngstown, Ohio. My light suntan and the array of tropical-themed postcards on my desk are the only remaining evidence that just days ago I was cavorting under palm trees, swimming laps and working on my screenplay by the pool.

My husband was attending the International Maintenance Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Bonita Beach, Florida and his five-star boss shouted us an extra ticket so I could go too. Lucky me!

On the way back from Barefoot Beach we stopped in at Mango Bay Beach Co. for a little tourist shopping. I bought essentials such as “frogs on the half shell” (too adorable to pass up), tiny track suits for my baby grandson, a beach bag and sun hat, and the obligatory postcards of manatees and other symbols of Florida.

But the very first thing that caught my eye was a book called Sanibel Scribbles by Christine Lemmon.

The word “scribbles” naturally made me curious (I was hoping the story would be something to do with writing). The inviting cover suggested a novel with a beach theme and a handsome gold seal declared it to be an autographed copy. I snatched it up and flipped to the back cover.

Two friends scribble in crayon the dreams and goals they have for their lives on the paper tablecloth of their favorite café. But later that night, in a single shocking moment, Vicki Brightman learns that life takes unexpected turns.

The realization that she is not in control of everything and that life on Earth does not last forever plummets her into the depths of insomnia, a preoccupation with her own mortality and full-blown panic attacks. In the dark of the night, she struggles—the kind of struggle that either lays to rest the dreams a woman has for her life or inspires her to reevaluate those dreams and stride out on a new path.

Sanibel Scribbles is a story about a woman who sets her never-ending “to-do” list aside and takes off on a venture, encountering strangers who entangle her in their secrets. The insights they share redirect her steps and forever alter her perception of life. Inspired by their wisdom, she returns to the café and rewrites her tablecloth scribbles. Her new list is nothing like the old.

A book that has been passed from friend to friend since its first informal release, Sanibel Scribbles is back in a new edition by passionate request.

CHRISTINE LEMMON has been walking the beaches of Sanibel since she was a child. She lives on the island and her love for the area has inspired her writing. She is also the author of Portion of the Sea.

With a blurb like that, how could I resist? I promptly added postcards of Sanibel Island to my collection and promised myself to return and visit the island someday.

Meanwhile, Brian found it ironic that even in a store selling beach trinkets, a book was still the first thing I managed to lay eyes on.

Hey, ever heard of the Reticular Activating System? The RAS is a mechanism in the brain that determines what we pay attention to. This helps us avoid being overwhelmed by the millions of bits of information and stimulation coming our way in every moment. With our thoughts and preferences, we give it instructions on what to alert us to (for instance, when you set a goal you are telling your RAS to focus on anything that will help you achieve it).

Mine’s working very well, thank you!

3 Responses to Sanibel Scribbles
  1. Anonymous
    December 20, 2008 | 9:02 AM

    Milli–Your blog took me to Sanibel with you. In addition, I sensed the deep spiritual spledor of giving—the news anchor brings me hope.

  2. Sidney
    December 20, 2008 | 9:03 AM

    You hit the trifecta!

  3. Milli Thornton
    December 20, 2008 | 10:24 AM

    Editor’s Note: When speaking of the news anchor and the spiritual splendour of giving, Anonymous is referring to my blog post entitled, “Lauren the Christmas Elf”:

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