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Dear Nathan,

How do you like the photo of the horned toad I took at my house in Carlsbad?  He thought he was hiding but stilled just in case I saw him.  I understand the feeling.  I feel somewhat that way regarding your book.  Enjoy my discussion of the dilemma I find myself facing as well.

Love, Mom


Incognito – having identity concealed.

Assimilation – process by which social and psychological characteristics of a group are acquired.

This morning I searched my computer for a picture of a horned toad taken on an early summer morning in New Mexico.  The toad had been sitting by the foundation of the pump house.

Thinking of a title for my photo, I realized the name my brothers and I would have called him when we were children, would certainly never do.

In our innocence of not only linguistics and grammar but also of life: we would have called him a “horny toe”.

I pondered what the toad may have been thinking as he stilled, waiting for the click of the shutter.

  • “She will think I belong here resting on the edge of the foundation, after all, I look a  lot like the concrete”   Hide.
  • “Maybe she won’t see me among the twigs and branches beneath these small leaves, No worries”  – Blend in.
  • “Uh oh!  I wonder if I can successfully make a break for it” –  Run.
  • “Sure is nice and cool in the damp from the faucet.  Maybe I could make myself at home here by the pump house wall instead of in the hot sand beneath the cactus across the yard” – Stand my Ground.

Incognito or Assimilation:  Sometimes the place in which I find myself, is so unlike what I grew up with that, like the toad, I try to conceal who I really am. My first book was recently released.  Now that is definitely the epitome of incognito: twenty-five years writing a book.

Now what am I going to do?  What happens next?  I consider my options.

  • “Surely with my book “Now I Can Think Myself to Mars” published, no one will expect another one, will they?  No expectations of a Grandma Moses’ spark of creativity from me at this point in my life” – Hide
  • “Maybe I am so involved with family, friends and church community that I should just continue in this quite retired life. No worries” – Blend in.
  • “I could return to the mountains of New Mexico and resume helping my brothers work on our properties.  I’d keep busy enough and there wouldn’t be any pressure to pursue writing. Did someone just say –    Run”?
  • “However, like the toad enjoying the newness of a refreshing place alongside the pump house wall, maybe I too can enjoy where I now find myself” –Stand my Ground.

Although being incognito is more comfortable, should I perhaps no longer hide, blend in, or run? 

Like the toad in the coolness beneath the faucet’s drip, can I stand my ground? Can I settle into a wonderful and exciting new environment, that of being an author?

If I choose assimilation, then seminars, webinars, newsletters and editors will become more prominent in my life. However, with the changes, I must first of all remember that the strongest source of reliability for acquiring the requisite social and psychological characteristics of this new career is to first of all look to my creator.

  • The Psalmist said “Teach me knowledge and good judgment…” (Psalms 119:66 NIV).
  • And the wisest of all men, Solomon, gave this advice, “The fear (reverence, awe and worship) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV).

Keeping God in the equation, including reverent awe and worship, will allow my identity to be tempered, not eclipsed by knowledge and experience.

  • “For you (Lord, God) created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV).

horned toad 2 oil oil

And now, if I embrace learning, I will be able to increase in maturity.  No longer being incognito, I choose to no longer conceal my identity; to no longer hide, blend in, or run. My goal is to stand my ground, allowing assimilation into this, my new role of author, without losing the uniqueness placed within me by my creator.

We’ll see how it goes.



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