Hi! I’m Thomma Lyn Grindstaff. I’m a fiction author and a musician. I have several novels and short stories available through online outlets, and I’ve released one music album. Of course, I have more fiction and music in the works!
I’m a classically-trained pianist who has played piano nearly all my life. I also play classical guitar by ear. I compose songs and instrumental pieces, and I love to sing. My other interests are diverse and include cat wrangling (four adorable fuzzballs live with my husband and me) and nature in all its wonderful variety. I love animals. All of ’em. Even snakes and bugs. I thrive best when I hike regularly — time spent on my Magic Mountain inspires my creativity and rejuvenates my spirit. I get some of my best ideas on the mountain, whether for novels, songs, stories, or poems. And I love gardening — there’s a wonderful satisfaction I get from planting seeds and watching them grow. You can’t beat homegrown food, and it saves a bundle on groceries. I also enjoy cooking, photography, and riding motorcycles.
Other passions: practicing Zen Buddhism and posting on my Dharma blog (hence the ox-herding reference, and while I’m at it, here’s another good link about the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures), trying to understand relationships of all kinds in their never-ending dynamics and permutations, studying philosophy and various forms of spirituality across cultures and the ages, keeping up with scientific discoveries so as to learn as much as I can about the universe (I especially dig astronomy and mind-blowing theoretical physics), critical thinking and reasoning (crucial in today’s world), feminism, and reading all the good books I can get my hands on.
If you could sum me up in three words, they would be Artist, Seeker, and Adventurer.
Here are some of my favorite Words to Live By:
“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought;
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” ~from “The Four Quartets” by T. S. Eliot
“Believe nothing on the faith of traditions,
even though they have been held in honor
for many generations and in diverse places.
Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it.
Do not believe on the faith of the sages of the past.
Do not believe what you yourself have imagined,
persuading yourself that a God inspires you.
Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters and priests.
After examination, believe what you yourself have tested
and found to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto.” ~The Buddha
“That you carry yourself forward and experience the myriad things is delusion. That the myriad things come forward and experience themselves is awakening.” ~Dogen Zenji
“Our attitude and integrity as artists are very important. We need to encourage and nourish the notion that we are not going to yield to the neurotic world. Inch by inch, step-by-step, our effort should wake people up through the world of art rather than please everyone and go along with the current. It might be painful for your clients or your audience to take the splinter out of their system, so to speak. It probably will be quite painful for them to accommodate such pressure coming from the artist’s vision. However, that should be done, and it is necessary. Otherwise, the world will go downhill, and the artist will go downhill also.” ~Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~Steve Jobs
“Some people live closely guarded lives, fearful of encountering someone or something that might shatter their insecure spiritual foundation. This attitude, however, is not the fault of religion but of their own limited understanding. True Dharma leads in exactly the opposite direction. It enables one to integrate all the many diverse experiences of life into a meaningful and coherent whole, thereby banishing fear and insecurity completely.” ~Lama Thubten Yeshe
“If you spend too much time trying to find out what is good or bad about someone else, you’ll forget your own soul and end up exhausted and defeated by the energy you have wasted in judging others.” ~Paulo Coelho
“your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.” ~ Charles Bukowski
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.” ~Carl Sagan
“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” ~Walt Whitman
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” ~George Bernard Shaw
“Courage is grace under pressure.” ~Ernest Hemingway
“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” ~Albert Camus
“Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.” ~Shunryu Suzuki
“there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die” ~”Bluebird” by Charles Bukowski