If You Knew How Much Time You  Had to Spend

If You Knew How Much Time You Had to Spend

If You Knew How Much Time You Had to Spend

Sherri Tobias

It’s time. It looks like I’ll be going back to school this fall not only as an instructor, but as a student. I’m all set to begin a doctoral program in August.


Am I nervous?


Excited about the challenge?


Is this the best way to spend a large portion of my time over the next four years?


This fall will be a chance to test the water and see where the opportunity leads. During the four-plus years I’ve been on A Path Not Chosen, the issue of how I spend time has been at the forefront of my mind.

None of us knows how much time we’ve been given, so do we make plans for the future or live like there’s no tomorrow?

And what does it really look like to live as if there’s no tomorrow?

  • Eat, drink, and be merry?
  • Carpe diem–seize the day?
  • Set up camp on the top of the nearest mountain and wait?

Or do we simply keep walking (justly, mercifully, and humbly) equipping ourselves for the future yet content to simply enjoy the journey as it comes–no matter how long it may be?

Would you change anything you’re doing if you knew how much time you had left to spend?

Behind the Story “Dandelions Dance” | Perseverance in the Face of Unfulfilled Dreams

Behind the Story “Dandelions Dance” | Perseverance in the Face of Unfulfilled Dreams

Our yard has gone through the first round of dandelions already.

It always amazes me when I look out to find the golden-maned flowers have overtaken the lush, spring grass seemingly overnight. And then only days later, with their flash of youthfulness complete, they stand tall, gangling and white-haired, ready to become the seeds of the next wave of dandelions.

Because of the dandelion’s ability to reproduce exponentially, we usually see them as weeds, but no matter how many times we mow them down and spread weed killer, they come back. That perseverance and strength in the midst of adversity is what inspired me to write the vignette, “Dandelions Dance,” which is tucked into the middle of Refractions: A Collection of Short Fiction.

Though short, this glimpse into a young mother’s life takes on some big issues: we don’t always get to finish what we start, we don’t always get to do what we want to do, and we mourn the paths in life we’re unable to take. Sometimes it helps to stop and learn from the flowers because even the so-called weeds have a story to tell.

I’d like to invite you to read all three of the selections in Refractions: A Collection of Short Fiction if you haven’t done so already. You can find links to your favorite book retailers below.

[mybooktable book=”refractions”]

Four Dollars and a Penny for My Thoughts

Four Dollars and a Penny for My Thoughts

I know what you’re thinking. What’s with the four dollar increase on the price of thoughts?

Here’s the deal. Today on Amazon, the paperback version of my short story collection, Refractions, is on sale for just $4.01. If you add it to an order that is $35 or more, shipping is free!

Buy the Paperback

If you’d rather download the eBook version, check out My Book Table for links to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Buy the eBook

If you’ve read the stories already, I’d be grateful if you’d take a few minutes to leave a review on the site where you purchased the book or on my Facebook author page.

Review from Amazon.com: 

Three short stories: Wordsmith Sherri Tobias brings us into the lives of Carla, Leila and Ms. Jenkins. Each story explores the mysteries of what makes our minds tick. What happens when we are uprooted from familiar surroundings and when new beginnings are disappointing? What makes communication so difficult for newlyweds? Why is it so hard to break into an already established circle of friends? How do baby blues and other forms of depression affect our lives? How do unexpected sources bring us communion and consolation? What happens when an injury or illness interrupts our passion, and when the life of nature inspires us? And what dark secrets or grief lead us from light into darkness? Each story explores the hope of renewal as Ms. Tobias poignantly brings us into the minds of each protagonist. I wholeheartedly rate this short collection 5 stars and look forward to reading the upcoming novel written by Sherri Tobias.

Review from Facebook Author page:

I just had to let you know I finished reading your book a couple of weeks ago and loved it! Ms. Jenkins is such a moving character, that her story has stayed with me; hers was an especially touching story. And I have to tell you that I been craving tamales since I read “Liquid”. I am looking forward to reading more

Journey Through the Center of the Heart | Where Telling Your Stories May Take You

Journey Through the Center of the Heart | Where Telling Your Stories May Take You

They used to say you’d end up in China if you dug a hole through the center of the earth. Apparently the person who coined that cliché was somewhere in South America at the time.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet and GPS, you don’t have to stick a skewer through the family globe to find out where you’d end up if you started digging today. This site allows you to pick any spot on a map, and the second map automatically shows your eventual destination. Turns out, I’d end up in the vast expanse of ocean off the western coast of Australia. In other words, I’d end up in the middle of nowhere, and most days that sounds just about right.

Starting last November, I pushed myself to write more consistently. Some days things would flow, but other days I enjoyed writing about as much as I would shoveling through the earth only to become stranded in the middle of an ocean, which is where I’ve been in the intervening months. (Didn’t know I’d made a trip to the other side of the world, did you?)

You would think that during the flurry of activity or in the lull afterward you would have seen more evidence of my labors on the blog or somewhere, but in my case, the opposite happened. When I’m writing intensely, I usually end up digging deep holes that tunnel into my memories, my psyche, and my heart. And when I’m in those holes, I’m not keen on coming back to the surface because though the journey is often rocky, uncomfortable, and a little too hot for comfort, the thought of sharing what I find through essay or story often proves to be more terrifying than the process itself.

Should I have picked a different starting point and destination? What if someone reads what I write? What if no one does? What if it stinks? What if it doesn’t? Should I be doing something more meaningful and productive with my life than digging a hole to the Indian Ocean?

All of these questions go through my mind as I pick away at the layers of thoughts and ideas that could end up on a page. And at least every other day, I’m tempted to back out of the hole and fill it back in.

So now you know where I’ve been.