Thursday, March 31, 2016

Revel with Words

When a moment of awe arouses a reverence for nature, the next level requires an expression in words.

Discover life's thrills in sensory details. When you observe, squint and refocus. Look up and around. Listen to drizzle and wind. Pay attention to textures when using fingertips on surfaces. 

Use your nose like a Bloodhound and breathe in to tickle the nostrils with scents. Let your arms feel changes in temperature.

Notice what surrounds the object you’re viewing.

Ask questions in the abstract and answer them in imagery. 

Life astonishes (in what ways?).  In the flash of reflections blurred in blue and purple feathers.

Nature stimulates curiosity (reveal it). A bee invites an adventure. Search inside the labyrinth of petals.

How would you communicate admiration and respect without using those words?

Find reverence in a moment that takes your breath away or makes 
you stop and ponder.

Revel and write about life's mysteries. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Your Question Engine

Do you have ideas but feel challenged about where to begin, what to place in the middle and how to finish a piece of writing?

Alter your typical approach. Avoid writing an outline. Outlines often restrict ideas if prepared in desperation or too soon in your process. Instead of thinking in terms of structure, develop a series of questions. Don’t respond, just continue with the questions for a full page. They perpetuate forward movement.

A journey with questions will open possibilities you have not considered. You will discover what you’re trying to say while questioning. Questions will help you write beyond frustrations and chronology which both get in the way of creativity.

Here are a few to start your question engine. Remember, write for a page and don't answer them.

What’s beyond the focus of this piece of writing?

What’s necessary to this writing?

What’s troubling about it?

How and where will the reader become most curious ?

What happens next? Then what?

In what ways could I become outrageous with this writing?

Will humor help?

What would the writing say to me in dialogue?

What if I begin with the conclusion?

Would the middle provide a different beginning?

Do I want the reader to follow along, feel frustrated or satisfied with my ending?

What if I leave the ending open to a variety of interpretations?

How will my sentence structure help with the tempo of the writing?

Take a piece of writing that has not performed for you. Ask questions. Ask more. Let them sit for several hours while you’re doing different things. Then return and ask questions of the questions.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Play With Laughter

"Seven days without laughter make one weak."   
-  Joel Goodman

The use of humor daily helps redeem moments lost to pain, fear, despair and loneliness. Scientific studies have determined that humor makes an impact on degenerative changes associated with neurocognitive decline as we age. 

Random acts of comedy activate the brain. The neural stimulation changes brain function to improve memory and promote neural plasticity.

Each individual has a unique funny bone. What appeals to one person may not cause a giggle in another. Regardless of your tickle sensation for laughter, develop what feels humorous to you. Adding comic relief to stressful situations will add to your talent for observing silliness in all situations. It helps you avoid frustrating thoughts and emotions.

Begin with a series of mishaps. Target negative situations. Give them a twist and add a spark of hope with humor.

Here's a start:   What if you awaken ten minutes later than planned?  Then toothpaste lands on your shirt. You trip on a rug, landing on your funny bone on your way to the car. There's a maintenance vehicle in the middle of the street with someone pushing wires into the sewer. What is going on down there? The technician looks suspicious with his frog hat tipped to the left.

By now you're not going to make it to work or an appointment on time. Then what? Keep progressing through the chaos and add lines of humor. What if you decide to alter your day and skip work or the appointment? What funnyness for an excuse will you devise?

Create random acts of comedy as you alter the details. Brake for humor and laugh out loud at a stop light with your window down. Daily practice enriches your brain power. 

Take a day to rejuvenate with laughter and play. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Truest Feeling

Ernest Hemingway’s dictum: When you don’t know what to write, write the truest thing you know.

What subject could you write that involves a "truest feeling"? Write it without using the word, true. Make readers realize your truth with the use of metaphor and sensory imagery. Avoid abstract words. Bring color sensations into your writing about truth.


Return to a time as a child when you experienced a truth or situation that involved feeling "true."

Recall a conversation with a friend about a truth.

Write a memory of winning an argument.

How will true speak to you in writing today?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ways to Live From the Inside Out

How do you live from the inside out?  

Here's a place to start.

Grow yourself each day. 

Exercise the mind and body.

Add healthy food for fuel.

Spend time alone and with others.

Keep a Positive attitude regardless of the situation.

Promote Optimism. 

Permit your emotions to cycle. 

Give. Give. Give.

Express gratitude.

Learn from making mistakes. 

Explore nature's wonders each day. 


Help others help themselves.

Discover a spiritual practice. 

Make sleep count. Take naps. 

Let laughter conquer fear and frustration. 

Make FUN the most important discipline of all.

Write rather than worry. Live from the inside out!

Odyssey into Words

Do you pursue experiences as an odyssey into words? Are you able to leave the comfort of understanding to delve into ways to discover a wisdom of well-being?

This happens by thrashing about in the wilderness, forests and seas of the unknown.

Which vehicle will you take today?  If you go on foot, by car, boat, plane or fantasy, amusements spring on every sensory level.

Each time you decide on the destination, you will become surprised and distracted by attractions along the way.

Should you stop for a carnival? Sticky your face with cotton candy and a candy apple?

Where will the merry-go-round take your mind if you change to a different lion, tiger or horse to ride? 

Taste a notion like a lozenge. It dissolves and words arise.  They flutter and flicker at the lips and beg for release. Taste the flavor of their feathers and sigh. They baffle, energize, and frighten. Some hide as ink soaks into a finger.

Ride the train with your face pressed against the window ready to hop off at the first astonishment.

Probe the mysteries of travel in myriad ways. 

Explore an odyssey into words.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Why Does the Easter Bunny Bring Eggs?

Did you know that etiquette requires individuals to eat the ears first when munching a chocolate bunny? A survey conducted by the Chocolate Manufacturers Association (CMA) and National Confectioners Association (NCA) reveals this information. It also noted that chocolate bunnies are the number one “must have” item in an Easter basket.

I have always wondered about the bunny bringing chicken eggs. Where did this start?  

An Anglo-Saxon myth reveals that the German Goddess of springtime, Ostara, evolved into an egg-toting Easter bunny. According to the myth, Ostara personifies the rising sun. A friend to all children, she amuses them by changing her pet bird into a rabbit. The rabbit brings colored eggs which she gives to the children as gifts. 
In my imagination, the bunny clan and the chicken clan played tricks on one another. They had their territories to defend above and below the earth. One dark night, the bunnies climbed up from their depths in the tree roots and stole all the chickens' eggs. The bunnies hid the eggs in their tunnels that weaves under the ground.

All night long, the bunnies painted the eggs a variety of colors made from chewing daisies, geraniums, and nasturtiums. They popped them up into the chickens' land and hid them behind bushes. The next morning feathers flew as the chickens ran around trying to find their eggs.
What do you think the chickens did when they discovered their eggs had turned a variety of colors?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Spring Awakening!

Measure your health by your sympathy with morning and spring. If there is no response in you to the awakening of nature—if the prospect of an early morning walk does not banish sleep, if the warble of the first bluebird does not thrill you— Thus may you feel your pulse. - Henry David Thoreau, from Journal entry, 1850

Dip into gratitude for awakening. Delve into ways to enliven your day. 

Use all the senses to write about a morning's examination of nature's delights.

Let nature's way enrich your ability to shake off despair and frustration.

Develop balance word-by-word.

Discover ways to choose different approaches to life's challenges.

Notice what internal change reveals.

Write into awakening.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Take a Turtle Day

Everyone needs to take a turtle day.  It involves delving into your protective shell. Go beyond the shell 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.

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.

Show how you jump hurdles. Sport your medals. 

Twirl in Life's mysteries.  

Stretch for change.  

Dive into 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!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Happy Birthday to the Best

I honor my father today on his 126th Birthday. He left this world in 1977.  I celebrate him each year with updates and amusements.

His days began by reading a quotation from his datebook/journal. He loved to share fables and folk sayings and believed William Feather's adage, "One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure."

With his background in broadcasting and passion for international communication, he would be quite a fan of the internet.  He'd revel in the technological gadgets that abound.  A cell phone with all its applications, super digital camera, and a huge screen for sports viewing would attract his attention.

He might feel frustrated by the sensationalism and inaccuracies of the media regardless of its ease of access. I doubt he’d feel surprised at the state of international relations. Even though the world has conflicts and troubles, he'd have faith in possibilities. He'd believe in ways to develop ideas and new institutions. 

What fun it would be to bring him back for a day.

I'd take him to breakfast at my favorite café overlooking the Pacific coast, so he could observe the sea and its creatures.  We’d order a jelly and cheese omelet and have half grapefruits to start. Multi-grain toast and boysenberry jam would top it off.

I’d tour him on my computer and show him how a cell phone works.  His eyes would grow large and he’d want to take over.  I’d advise him - First a walk!  He'd try to convince me otherwise but I've mastered his techniques in assertiveness.  

"Let's go!" I'd lead the way.

He’d remark at the scents of the flowers and watch the pelicans and seagulls testing the currents.  A pod of dolphins would delight him as they jumped and fished.

"Do they still make coca cola?" he'd ask and, "Wow, cameras without film so you can take shot after shot . . . Really?"

He'd turn, and chuckle, "Petsy, I miss hot dogs, mustard, and Delaware Punch."

I'd hug him and breathe his Old Spice then watch the curling smile at the corner of his lips.

"Now, show me that communication net?" he'd ask. "Stock market still around?"

We'd walk to another café where he could go WIFI, play all day and acquaint himself with world politics. Adjusting easily to the keys, within minutes he'd have mastered the world wide web.

He'd look out at the clouds turning into animals and shapes. "Nature hasn't changed too much has it?" he'd say. "It's still a marvel."

Before sunset, we would return to sit on a bench by the sea. We'd watch what we called our “great ball of fire” ease past the horizon.

"I finally caught the green flash, twice" I'd say. "But never by camera." We had always tried for years without success.

"We'll just have to keep trying to see it together, Petsy."

Happy Birthday, Daddy. Same time, next year.