Monday, October 31, 2011

Laff Time

Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, cure your depression, and help you to put in perspective that seemingly terrible defeat and worry with laughter at your predicaments, thus freeing your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come. Never take yourself too seriously.” Og Mandino

Use writing about laughter to conquer life situations. Maintain a list of all possibilities for humor.  

How could you turn a mistake into a first scene in a sit com?  Prepare a dialogue between two people where both laugh every three lines.  Write about a humorous connection between a duck and a ladybug.

Laugh your fingers across the keyboard and don't take life seriously today.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Childlike Wonder

Write about your childhood self.  Discuss expectations, stumbles, and charms.

What vital essence can you extract and bring to the present?  Do you still take advantage of childlike wonder?  If not, search for it to include as a valuable addition to your life.

Recall playtime and write about your courage and curiosity.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bird by Bird

"Thirty years ago my other brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. [It] was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird."       - Anne Lamott

Often we forget that moments in movement get the results. We just need to take a breath and launch into the flow. Then the momentum takes over: one word, the next one, one sentence, one paragraph, one page.

We keep moving word by word. Suddenly, the story writes itself. The birds fly from our fingertips.

Creative Write: Become a bird today and fly from branch to branch. Capture notions as you soar; notice the sky. clouds, and leaves. Smell the geraniums and roses. Hear the breeze and send your song to the world. Release from expectations of "what should happen."

Let go on wings of discovery.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Antidote to Angry

Did you know that five-year-olds laugh 400-500 times a day?  Grown-ups laugh only 15 times a day on average, says Leigh Anne Jasheway who believes laughter is the best medicine.

She's concerned that people are, "peppered daily by angry talk radio and news media reminding us to feel angry or to panic."  She claims, "levity is the opposite of gravity."  We need to express ourselves in laughter.

Studies reveal that laughter produces basic mammalian benefits of reducing tension snd fear.  Check out rats laughing:

Create a humor antidote to your frustrations. Laugh about the weather.  Giggle when you make a mistake and try again.  Enjoy a few ha ha ha moments when you're at a low ebb.  You will discover how the funny bone takes over to energize the mind and spirit.

Creative Write:  Take a negative situation and turn it into a laughter solution.

Into the Dark

In, The Practice of the Wild, poet Gary Snyder says, "Life is not just a diurnal property of large interesting vertebrates. It is also nocturnal, anaerobic, microscopic, digestive, fermentative: cooking away in the warm dark."

What writing ideas and notions do you have cooking away in the warm dark?

Celebrate the unseen powers of the pen.  Pay reverence to what's underneath, elusive and uncanny.

Explore Shadows, dreams, moonlight and the depths.

Consider writing in November to obtain a novel of 50,000 words in National Novel Writing Month's challenge -NANOWRIMO.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sentences in Movement

A sentence creates a bridge from writer to reader. Every word moves the ideas and action. Add texture by naming the sparrow, hibiscus or magnolia tree. Stress key points by adding details of color and sensory imagery.

If you break long sentences into short ones you will attract the reader's attention. Create a breathing stop. To achieve emphasis, reverse the usual word order. Read your sentences aloud to gain rhythm and impact. 

Word choice provides clarity. Active verbs intrigue and intensify sentences.  Avoid the use of passive voice and the "to be" verb. The subject needs its verb near the front rather than separated by a clause and stuck at the end of the sentence. 

Ask yourself what does an adjective or adverb add to the sentence?  Often they creep in like bandits and hitchhikers to rob your sentences of power.  Make verbs your heroes to defeat them.

Creative Write:  Select a paragraph from your current work. Circle the adjectives and adverbs first.  Then use a green underliner to color your nouns and verbs.  Begin to re-arrange the sentences to add texture and movement.  It helps to read your sentences aloud.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Like an Elephant Needs a Bicycle?

What's as unnecessary as an elephant needing a bicycle? Elephant metaphors abound in speech and literature.
Kings of Siam offered a rare white elephant to noblemen who had fallen out of favor. The cost of feeding and caring for the creature destroyed the recipient.  This evolved into using “white elephant” to refer to an expensive and wasteful construction project.

Then a white elephant became an undesirable possession. A white elephant sale attracted individuals who found value in others' discards. In his story, "Hills Like White Elephants," Ernest Hemingway led the reader to decide the value.
An elephant in the room refers to an obvious situation no one wants to acknowledge.  When the elephant changes colors, a pink elephant refers to a drunk person's hallucination.

The elephant test refers to the difficulty describing an elephant.  One just knows it when one sees it. In one story, six blind men had the task of describing an elephant. Each felt a different part and described the animal from that reference point: the trunk, a tusk, an ear, a leg, the stomach, and the tail.

Have you heard anyone say that they hope to “see the elephant” ? Individuals traveled miles to view an elephant in a circus parade or under the big top. As a result, any overwhelming experience could result in seeing the elephant.
P. T. Barnum advertised his elephant, Jumbo's size which led to referencing the name as a synonym for colossal. (Elephantine, is another synonym, though it also refers to ponderousness.) Dumbo from Disney fame has discovered its name thrown around in disrespect.

Other elephant attributes include superior intelligence and memory. Since they have poor eyesight, based on observations in zoos and circuses, they are not bothered by mice as some have believed.
Creative Write: Create your own elephant metaphors for a story or poem. Or, try the fox, chicken, frog, snake or donkey.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Divine Dissatisfaction

“The process of revision is, then, at one with the deepest processes of nature, and so a nature writer, laboring late at night over a particularly stubborn closing paragraph should take come consolation in the fact that he or she is partaking in an activity as ancient as life on the planet.  It is the force, revision, that drives evolution, that makes possible the hand that writes the words.” - John A. Murray

Revision becomes one of the most important aspects of the writing process. 

Ellen Burstyn remarked that when an artist completes a work, such as a cup, a sense of 'divine dissatisfaction' results.  How nice that cup looks.  How it turns and sparkles.  

Something else happens here.  Oh, how we want to undo that cup.  Creative people never feel satisfied.  They must relent to the current stage of writing projects.

Before your final "peek and tweek," on a piece, spend time away from your work. Take a long walk in a natural setting.  Appreciate your “divine dissatisfaction.”  

Then approach your work from another perspective. Should you start with the middle and end with the beginning?

Check the Basics:

Check for content, organization and grammar.  Read your text backwards, sentence by sentence. Read out loud to yourself or others.  Listen to someone else read your text.  

Add new information or vocabulary, cut unnecessary detail, and replace weak or awkward words with more precise language. 

Ask these questions:
l.   Does my first paragraph grab the reader?
2.  Is my point of view or argument convincing?
3.  Are my transitions smooth?
4.  Have I developed all points fully?
5.  Have I explained any quotations either in context or through citation?
6.  Are verb tenses mixed?
7.  Does the ending satisfy?

Get beyond Divine Dissatisfaction.  Take a piece you've put aside.  Run it through the questions and bring it back to life.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Seesaw of Grief

"If I am beside a great grief I throw barriers up so the loss cannot go 
too deep or too far.  
There is a wall instantly in place, and it will not fall.    
-  CATS TABLE by Michael Ondaatje

Everyone deals with grief throughout life and attempts to balance it.  What works beyond setting up barriers?  If too many walls rise how will the life journey continue without a door or window to pass through?  What teeters on the other side of grief to counteract its effects?

Creative write:  Define what the sense of 'grief' means?  As you progress through a freewrite about the feelings, return to the first time you faced grief.  Did you lose something precious to you?  Did someone take a prized possession away?  Did you receive punishment by having something taken from you?  What did it feel like to lose someone?

Observe where these questions take you.  Create images or use a metaphor to describe the experience of grief.  Then create a balancing experience on the other side. Is it relief? Acceptance?  Renewal?  What opposing forces or emotions brought you to a different place?

Character Development

Play with the interaction of two characters to see if a story or poem develops.

Try these suggestions:

Two close friends are driving across the country.  They begin to argue about an "old wound" neither has resolved concerning their relationship.  How do the questions below relate?

A father takes his son for his first pony ride.  The little fellow is frightened but the father insists gruffly that he get on the pony anyway.  The animal bolts and the boy is thrown.  What happens next?  Use the questions.

What does he/she want?
What prevents this?
What choice is made?
What  are the results or complications?
What crisis is involved?
Does the character get what he/she wants?
Has the character changed?  If not, what's next?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lies into Stories

Sue Allison wrote a theatre piece, "Lies I've told."  Two actors take turns telling each other classic whoppers.    - This will only take a second. - I didn't get your message. - I have no idea how that got here.  - I thought you said the 6th.  - Would I lie to you?

Become a superstar of candor.  Think of the biggest whopper you got away with.  How did you accomplish it?  Embellish it with a twist and write from someone else's viewpoint.  Create a character to observe acting out the situation.

Creative write:  Freewrite in response to the lies listed above.  Play with your fibs to create a story or poem.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Solutions for the American Dream

One person can make a difference and every person should   - John F. Kennedy  
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you write about American's future and your involvement? What suggestions do you have for change, improvements, and progress?  Do you have an American Dream?

Everyone can criticize and whine about their frustrations.  If one person can make a difference, give it your best shot.

See where creative thinking might take you.  What do you say to the current claims by politicians and media portrayals?  Where do you agree or take issue?   Can you define your responsibility and be your true self and true to yourself?

Most Americans express dissatisfaction, and lack of confidence in the functioning of our country.  The Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWS) condemns the American economic and financial system. The Tea Party Movement launches its anger at American government and the modern corporate system.

Tea Party members claim to represent victims of the economic crisis because they lost jobs, businesses, or homes. OWS individuals want to break the power of finance in America.  They include middle to upper middle class liberals in political and cultural outlook.

Both movements blame bankers and politicians in Washington. They just place their blame differently. OWS hate the bankers whom they feel have manipulated the system and oppressed their countrymen.  The Tea Party rails against fundamental protestants, cultural conservatives, warmongers and Republicans. They plan to get Barack Obama out of office.

The two movements have erupted out of shared political resentment and economic distress.  How will they discover reform programs?

How will you rise above the whining from both sides? American workers are excellent at what they do.  Wall Street financial experts understand economics and could affect the economy with investments in educational and infrastructure issues.  Why do we lag behind in those areas?

Don't forget environmental issues.  Do you believe global warming is a warning?  Is the earth going through a natural stage or has humankind created pollution beyond control?  Do you feel a responsibility to Mother Earth?

Warren Buffet said, "I could end the deficit in 5 minutes."  He told CNBC, "You just pass a law that says any time there's a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.

Buffett's Proposed Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
2. Congress (past, present, future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen.

Would we get the brightest and the best to run for office?

With the 2012 election approaching, take the time to probe your thoughts, feelings, and responsibilities as an American.  Try to approach without judgment of past policies and current issues.  Write with open-minded creativity and a focus on possibility.

Remember, you do make a difference.  Become solution seeking.  Be yourself.

Write on!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Puppets of Experience

Many writers and poets use their experience as fodder for fiction. James Frey altered the truth and called it memoir when he could not sell the manuscript as a novel. Philip Roth writes in his novel, The Counterlife,  of how family members of a writer find themselves in material they don't believe is "right."

When Michael Greenberg approached his sister about writing a memoir concerning her manic breakdown, she said, "Mikey, if you tell the truth about me, I don't want to read it."  When her brother gave her the manuscript to review, she said, "I felt I was reading about someone else named Sally who had been to hell and was the only who didn't know it.  How many people get to look at themselves in such a way?"

Before Wallace Stegner published, Crossing to Safety, he contacted family and friends to advise them of their appearance in his novel.  They read drafts and did not recognize themselves so he had no worries.  

No matter what we write someone might think the or he and she involves them or the writer's life.  As writers we have the opportunity to take a peek at life's possibilities from a different place.  We wonder what happens beyond the window. No one sees the same face peeking out.

A way to express your life frustrations, emotions or experience involves mixing them into characters to talk and behave for you.  Plunk individuals into the middle of your angst or ennui. It helps to move from first to third person and change the sex of the protagonist.

Create the puppet that will translate your frustrations into publishable work.

Creative Write:  Choose a situation of frustration or rejection.  Define this in two characters away from the original source.  Put them on a train or plane.  Have them work through their issues. You may even discover unique solutions to a personal struggle in this way.

Football and Kisses

"Every morning I awaken torn between the desire to save the earth and the inclination to savor it."                                                                                                                                           - E.B. White

Bridges intrigue me. I linger during the crossing of a bridge and stop in the middle to feel the sway. Looking down at the water, I wonder where it meets the sky. My senses search for connections in words. Spiders taught us how to span locations. Many bridges reveal similar lines.

Often with writing projects we want the finished product right now when deadlines loom or frustration nips at our fingers. Our emotions and impatience get in the way of the experience. We do not want to take the time to travel the bridge span from idea to result. Fun slithers into the darkness leaving us alone with a blank screen or page.

Consider football and kisses. With our favorite team, are we satisfied to learn about the win and final score without watching the game? If we receive a kiss without a hug or any build up, does it provide the same thrill? Does an unwrapped gift have the same meaning without the fun we have ripping at ribbon and paper as it crackles in our hands? These invite the bridge experience.

Writing requires fingers on the keys or the clutch of a pen to pursue the ink flow. How many times have we started a story or poem and the ending did not come out as planned? We discovered it came out better if we gave it space.

Our synapses make fresh connections. For this reason, we need to dwell on the bridge and notice each moment before we reach the other side.

Creative Write: Take time to discover and delve into a bridge experience. Then write about it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Writing Triads




Create triads similar to those listed above. After you have created your own sets, draw arrows and play with words for fifteen to twenty minutes. Then take your lists for a walk around the block, to the beach or another natural setting.

Continue to observe the world around you and add to your triads. Find a place to sit, take a breath, read your list and write for fifteen minutes.Permit observations and distractions to take you beyond the obvious into new thought patterns.

You will discover a prose piece or a poem!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Launch into Laughter

"There is something in a child's laughter that momentarily mutes the distracting sound of our needless wants. The squeal of delight clears our mind and reveals the shrouded paths of contentment. It brings us back to a place of innocence and boundless joy where once we dwelt". - by Dodinsky

Write about a time of laughter experienced in childhood.  Delve into the chosen scene with details when anything appeared possible.  Recall the fun when giggling ruled the day. 

Consider ways you can bring that energy and contentment to your present life.  Enjoy a laugh fest today.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

See, Hear, Feel

Everyone has a dominant sense when communicating. Many respond to visual cues.  Others need auditory stimulation as their primary receptor.  Some individuals need to give and receive kinesthetic (touch/tactile) stimuli.  

When communicating with someone, listen to how they express themselves.  Do they use the word, "see,"  "hear," or "feel" when talking?  What do they do and say to project positive intentions?

Observe others' use of their senses and you will communicate more effectively with them.  Reflect back to them in their special sense with similar words and actions.  This will have a positive impact on their expressions.  

If you can't tell their dominant sense, combine all three. Let them hear something positive. Write or provide a helpful situation. Touch, hug, and appeal to their emotions. 

Eventually you will learn your family and friends' most valued sense through reactions.  This will assist you in ways to engage and boost their potential.

Creative Write:  Do you know your dominant sense?  Consider using an alternative sense as the dominant one today. If you're visual, listen more intently.  If hearing dominates your world, speak with intention. If you're not a touchy person, try using your fingers to Braille the world.   

Write about the experience of using less dominant senses. Notice what you discover about yourself.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bounce an Echo

Cliff swallow near bridge
fills beak with mud for a nest
forgets its shadow
                     - Penny Wilkes

A Haiku captures our attention for a moment. It bounces an echo in poetic form.The first two lines capture the scene. The last line opens to an insight or thoughts left to vibrate with the reader.

These mosaics of art focus attention in a meditative way. Out of stillness, an amazement teases the mind. The poet becomes calm, alert and open. In a single breath, thrills from an everyday occurrence arrive for a poetic awakening.


Take a walk in a natural setting for 30 minutes. Stop occasionally and write three lines. Look up and around and write three lines. Notice connections. See how many series of three line observations you can write in the time limit.

Mix it up by writing a scent, a sound and a sight.

The Haiku form will provide a rhythm. You do not have to follow it exactly in your three lines.

Creative Write: Play with the Haiku form in 17 syllables (5-7-5). Use the photo above as a moment of meditation.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Coat of Arms in Words

On the front of the British passport, a chained unicorn stands on its two hind legs. A crowned lion rises on the other side. What do these images convey if represented only in words?

Create your own coat of arms in words. Bring in elements of family history, fantasy, myth and imagination to reveal your background and philosophy of life.

Do animals or plants abound in your representation?  What if you invoke the archetype of the unicorn and unchain it?  Does your lion wear a different headdress?

Play with ideas and archetypes to write a decal of words.  Does a story or poem emerge from the elements?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Write About You

Show how you jump hurdles.  Sport your medals. Twirl in Life's mysteries.  
Give your best attributes away.  Stretch for change.  Celebrate You.

Indulge in YOU today.  Write about your challenges and your highest achievements.  List passions and thrills. Revel in changes accomplished.  Reveal how you might give your strengths away to benefit someone less fortunate.  Show how to help others adapt and grow.

End with a one line proclamation of YOU!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Play with Novelty

Choose a  novel, a travel article, a folktale, and a poem.  Within these writings, seek the company of an adventure, an unruly character, a mystery and taste or a sensation.

Once you have selected ideas from your chosen writings,  combine them in a freewrite.

Learn to play with novelty.  What will you do with a polar bear's kiss?

Letter to the Editor

Poet, William Stafford said he collected the raw materials for his creations from the fragments and debris of his daily rhythm.  "I have woven a parachute out of everything broken," he said of his life's work.

How have you used writing to turn dross into sweetness, refuse into treasure, less into gain?  Do a freewrite to see where it takes you.

Creative Write:  Write a Letter to the Editor to share your concerns in life.  Pose solutions to present day problems and offer suggestions in a creative and positive light.  Share ways to fix everything broken.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


"One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things." - Henry Miller

Unpredictable events in life may take us on an odyssey when we thought a drive down the block seemed the destination. Nuances along the way and our approaches to them enrich problem solving skills.  We might discover the town of Felicity by keeping eyes open during a long drive.

Recall a destination or vacation planned that became interrupted by another event or a mishap.  Consider an educational opportunity or job choice that veered into another direction.

Where did that change in plans take you?  Write about the possibilities discovered.  How does it look in retrospect?

Have fun writing today about life's myriad paths and processes. Don't let a destination get in the way of creativity.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Memory Takes Imagination

"For the older writer, memory and the imagination begin to seem less and less distinguishable. This is not because the imagined world is really much closer to the writer’s world than he or she cares to admit but for exactly the opposite reason: that memory itself comes to seem much closer to an act of imagination than ever before. My brother distrusts most memories. I do not mistrust them, rather I trust them as workings of the imagination, as containing imaginative as opposed to naturalistic truth.” ~ Julian Barnes

Choose three memories.  Reflect on one from early childhood.  Muse about a frustration in teenage years. Single out a thrill from your adult life.  

Freewrite about each.  Create dialogue with another person to bring in details. Add sounds and scents. Do not judge or evaluate during the writing. Keep it simple.

Notice as you write how your imagination works to fill in or adapt the experiences.  Let yourself go and flow in this freewrite.   Take advantage of all possibilities that arrive in your writing. How far do you wander from what you perceive as the "truth" may assist you to gain insights about the events.

Share your experience with us about how memory and imagination mingle.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Writeful Life Plan

How many times have you said you'd write every day?  The time has arrived. It's never too late to begin a writeful life.

PLAN now.

Make your autumn resolution to write for ten minutes a day. You'll become amazed at the results if you dedicate yourself to establishing a writing agenda.

Promise yourself one day, then two.  Soon you'll be up to a week.  Keep going for 21 days and don't stop until way into November.  You'll discover a writing habit that will keep you going.

Writing requires a daily routine. Like developing a muscle, you strengthen writing by exercising with words. 

Make an appointment each day and promise to show up and write.  Early morning writing works for some.  Try writing just before you snuggle into bed.  Vary your times and locations to notice how flexibility works for you.  Soon you will find your best writing time.  Be consistent.

Vary the location, engage your imagination and ability to link all your senses.  

Doodling with words liberates your writing zest. Wordling, when practiced daily, will energize the power of your mind and push your ingenuity to new heights. You will disappear into your deepest source of creativity and return refreshed with power renewed in thoughts and words.

Do you prefer a notebook and pen?  Does the computer feel easier?  Tap into both ways to energize writing.

A spiral bound book without a rigid spine provides flow from page to page.  Discover a pen that flows across the page. Fountain pens or rollerball pens are the best choice. Colored ink will spark imagery.  

If you begin on the computer, save your writing in a folder on the desk top.

How to begin:

Find your location and take a few moments to relax with several gentle breaths.

Write the date in the upper right-hand corner on each page. Date each session in this manner.

Allow yourself to become unstructured, playful and free to flow in any direction. Freewheel with your creative spirit!

When you begin, write a word at the top of your page. You could begin with a command such as, Astonish! or an emotion such as Eager. Write to the end of the page without stopping. In your next session, continue for ten minutes. No crossing out! Attempt longer writing sequences changing your command or emotion at the top of each page.

If you find a vacant spot, ask yourself, I think . . .I feel . . .If you stop again consider the opposites, I am not thinking of, I don't feel. 

Write Impossible. Turn it into I'm Possible. Write with colors, smells, tastes, textures, times of day, sounds, and sights. Return to the words you wrote at the top of the page to spark your flow.

Lose yourself within the momentum of words and phrases. Write what spills from your pen with awareness and thrill. Feel the freedom of movement and power as your mind moves in each moment.

Forget your internal editor who wants to change words. Keep comfortable with the process like a river flowing over all obstacles in its path. Notice how your pen progresses and trust it. This will provide a foundation for your writing habit.

Stop writing only when you are in the middle of a surge of words. Stop when you feel so full of words you cannot write fast enough. Please never end your wordling session when you are frustrated or stuck. Write just one more word.

Conditioning yourself to keep writing will reinforce your positive habit. If you stop when you want to write more you will always feel an excitement to return.

Think of writing students in Shakekspeare's time advised to, "tatter your quill." Keep that feather tickling the page.

Creative Write:  Let go of what you think you know.  Just Write - Today is the first day of the rest of my writing life because . . .

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Untold Stories

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you." - Maya Angelou

What have you always wanted to write but have not scribbled yet?  Now would be an excellent time to get that project off the ground.

Have you fantasized about a character?  Initiate an attempt today.

Discover a mysterious story and find your connection to it.

What profound question have you longed to write about but haven't?

Consider a heart-expanding message you want to deliver in writing.

What lurks in the shadows for you to write about?

You know what to do.  Do it now.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

As Above. So Below

Once upon a time a little girl named Zoe created a cartoon with a girl bending to tend to three magenta flowers.  Overhead a magenta five-pointed star watched.  The girl said, "I think It would be fun to be a star."  The star mused, "I think it would be fun to be a girl."

Create your own version of this cartoon.  Place someone else in Zoe's rendering.

An ancient formula that mystics use:  As above, so below.

Imagination will place you in the right frame of mind to observe and take advantage of all opportunities life will bring.  Write for them today.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Write about Money

The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.
                                                          - Unknown

How do you feel about the value of money?  Does it define you in terms of what you're worth to yourself, others, and society?  How does it affect your writing?

Creative Write:  Play with the meaning of money in a freewrite.

If you lost your money but had your writing and three other aspects of life what would happen?
If you only had your writing what would you do?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Think Different in Honor of Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Jobs said. “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 from his Commencement address, Stanford University 2005.

(Complete speech :

As you read his Commencement address at the link above, feel gratitude and honor Steve Jobs and his life of adversity and creativity. 

Then, follow his slogan - Think Different -  in your writing today.  

Undress the Mind

Victor Stoloff directed a movie, The 300-Year Weekend.  It presented a therapy group together in a room for the whole weekend.  The poster read, "Undress your mind." This means to step away from the mind chatter and endless suffering we pursue.

The mind replays scenarios over and over revealing ways we could have done something better.  A perpetual state of needless thoughts does not assist our progress.

Take your power back.  Begin to undress the mind.  Release negative thoughts.  Toss out everything not in alignment with your true self.  Trust your intuition. You know better than anyone else what is right for you.

Stop complaining about everything from the economy to how small you feel.  Be grateful for each moment.  Your mind is a powerful tool.

Creative Write: Freewrite your way out of negative thinking patterns.  Create new paths for powerful and positive patterns.  Change your choices - undress the mind.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Take a Turtle Day

Everyone needs to take a turtle day.  It involves delving into your protective shell. Go within to write about your true worth.  Applaud yourself for your self-sufficient nature.  You have everything you need to live from the inside out and explore a life of magic and miracles.

Once you identify and applaud your talents you gain the ability to share them with others.

Today, list your gifts and how they provide for the expansion of your true nature. Write about strengths that you rarely think about.  Write also about areas you need to develop to become more self-sufficient.  Let yourself shine.

Celebrate. Share your turtle nature with us.  Hurrah for you!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Honor Personal Heroes

Today, more than ever, we need personal heroes in our lives. We admire our mentors and teachers for what they've accomplished and mean to us.

Creative Write:  Think about individuals who have helped you develop your life skills.

Honor them with a few words.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tangle with Emotions

“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions." 
                                                          ~ James A Michener

Choose an emotion to tangle with today.  Explore it with all your senses.  

What does it look, feel, sound and taste like?  

Discover a metaphor to reveal its intensity.  

Get into its core and write from the inside out.

Feel upside down love. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 1st - National Make a Mistake Day

Did you know that October 1 is National Make a Mistake Day?

Imagine A WHOLE DAY devoted to sanctioned mistake-making that we can feel proud about!

Today, let mistakes that happen run off like water off a duck's back. Avoid guilt, shame, or frustration over not-being-perfect. Can you let go? What intended gaffe will make you laugh?

Shrug it off. Take a breath. Relax. Laugh. Laugh some more.

Enjoy making your mistakes today and tomorrow and next week. You're allowed to celebrate errors and in unlimited amounts. Let go of the pressure of trying to be perfect. This is life — right here — in all its imperfect glory.

Celebrate mistakes and make 'em good!

Creative Write: Write about the greatest mistake you have made. What did you learn? Where did it lead? Did it turn out to be a mistake after all?