birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Keep Moving Forward

"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney

The white pillow was half a foot long and maybe four inches tall. It had a little Steamboat Willie stitched into it along with the above quote.

My mom and dad bought it for me at Disney Market. They tried to get us to stay away from buying a million stuffed animals or tchotchkes.

And I loved Steamboat Willie because it was the start of Disney. And I loved Disney because we went there every year and sometimes two times a year when I was growing up. It holds so many memories for my family.

Then in 2004, my dad passed away unexpectedly. That pillow was placed on my bed every morning when I made it.

Three years later, a movie called "Meet The Robinsons" was released. It's about an orphan who finds his family in the future, but it turns out to actually be his family, the one he was waiting for all along. 

The advice in the movie to the boy is that when his wacky, crazy inventions don't work to not just say he failed. That failure is a good thing and if you don't fail, you won't create something great so keep moving forward.

Then it ends with Walt Disney's quote.

It is by far my favorite Disney movie and it came into my life at the perfect time. I was in high school and struggling with the fact that my dad wouldn't be there for my junior prom or for my high school graduation or anything in my future. 

I've been asked many times if I ever got a tattoo what would I get, and I never used to know. But I would get a small arrow because its symbolism is in moving forward. (Although I'm too afraid of needles to ever get one inked on my body!)

These days, I have little arrow reminders everywhere. I found one in Alabama when I was on a getaway to a lake with some girlfriends. I found another in a small shop in a small town in north Texas while away at a writer's weekend where I refound my love of putting words on a page. Even that, putting words to a page, is moving forward, symbol by symbol. And that's what I love about it. That in order to tell a story, you have to keep moving forward.

These three words really impacted me. Life is all about moving forward. It forces you to do so every day when a new sun rises. A book is about turning the page. A run is about logging another mile. Even a storm cloud passes. So why not move forward?

Yessir, Yessir, Zero Bags Full

All sound is created equal