Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Writer's Halloween

Halloween decorates neighborhoods and malls. 
   Ghosts, witches, and goblins abound at every corner. 

Skeletons shake in the breeze. 

   Pumpkin designers become more creative each season.

Write a fable or poem about a Halloween happening. 

Choose a costume to describe yourself.

Imagine a cat in a artichoke costume.

Transform a carved pumpkin into a story of flight.

Write about a haunting at Halloween. Who lives here and what evil lurks in the shaded rooms?

Imagine what happens in the turret?  Creep around to the back where you hear dogs growling.

What does the full moon inspire?

Create clankings and eerie sounds that arise from the basement.

Do you dare open the front door?


Shine up your Whines

“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 

Do you worry too much and have serial complaints that take up brain space?

Stop the chatter and take up a pen or go to the keyboard. Write, don't whine.

l. Use awareness to learn about your complaining moods. Who or what sparks your whine tones? What area three ways to eliminate or minimize your exposure to these sparks that set off your flames? Add a humorous line.

2. Gratitude saves the day. Write three things, people or opportunities that make you feel grateful. Don't stop with three.

3. Take a breath before you gripe. When you feel a whine whirring about in your brain, toss a thought in its path. Write about overcoming blame. Keep thoughts handy for the next toss for gripe deflection!

4. Let creativity spark your troubles. Start with positive statements and write a few humorous lines about how to solve problems.

5. Rethink a whine and make it shine.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Upside Down. Inside and Out

Nudging into creativity today, I ran in a pattering of rain. Puddles and reflections encouraged ways to view nature upside down. What fun to notice leaves relaxed in their morning spa.

Spokes of spider webs draped from the bridge railing.  Dappled with beads of dew, the lines refracted rain. Fir trees stood on their heads as squirrels twisted down oak trees in search of breakfast.  In the ponds, ducks ventured upside down to feed beneath the surface, tails wriggling in the breeze. Even the herons appeared to search for a reversal.

When we take the opportunity to break from the ordinary and move out of a mind set, it clicks our imaginations into a fresh gear. Ideas and ways to view our life's challenges appear from the inside out with a variety of connections.

Notice the leaves in communal hugs on a park bench. What a better world we'd have if everyone shared a morning upside down and inside out.  

What do you have hiding inside?

Approach the day upside down. Go inside and out.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Joyful Day Recipe

Staying balanced involves permitting oneself to feel the highs and lows, then leveling off from daily dips. A smile activates a positive attitude, improves mood, and helps us benefit from the day's challenges.

Smile and motivate your writing into action.

l.   Set a writing intention. Choose a subject daily and write regardless of a need for outcome.

2.  Exercise your body with a walk, run, weight training, or yoga.  Get that motor running for at least 30 minutes each day and power the endorphins. Imprint the energy.

3.  Choose your quality of the day: grace, courage, persistence, self-acceptance. Use it as a focus if you have a meditation practice.  Or, write about it to begin the day.

4.  Feel gratitude for all your gifts. Give thanks for waking up with a healthy body and mind clear enough to do this exercise. Last thing at night: Review all the good things that happened during the day. Build your gratitude muscle and train your mind to focus on the good. (Are you alive? Do you have clean water? Do you live in harmony with the land?)

5.  Avoid taking in all the media's views. Let it go. Choose nutritious brain food by choosing what works in life.

Drink lots of water and fresh juices during the day.

7.  Listen to uplifting music, sing and dance. Open the heart. Change your mood.

Choose wisely what you read, listen to, and the people with whom you associate. Avoid letting negative individuals populate your world. You cannot change them.  Move on.

9.   Learn to listen with both ears. Evaluate before disrespecting another person's opinion.

10.  Call a loved one or friend just to say hello or catch up.

Plan your Top Ten Joyful Day Recipe. Write what elevates your spirit.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Drive into Experiences with Words

During days of algebra, my teacher advised me to "show my work." She wanted to follow my calculations to the answer.  So, I showed my ideas by writing all over the page. Chuckling at my comments that took the place of  numbers, she handed the paper back with a red C- and said, "You should be a writer."

Now I advise my writing students to take their readers on a bus ride.  I ask them to drive the bus into an experience for the reader rather than acting as the tour guide and pointing everything out. This means don't go on and on about thoughts and feelings or share opinion. 

Drive into the drama of the situation and reveal the story. Unfold and unravel the details rather than tell them.

The reader needs a thread to follow in order to connect with a writer's weave. Sensory imagery that involves sight, sound, scent, and taste will interlace to deepen the texture of a story or poem.  Metaphors and similes provide images by referral or comparison.   

Detail the squint in a person's eye or the thump of a fist on the table. Show the frustration of a step into chewing gum.  Reveal the thunder of a friend's mood.  What does lightning in a bottle represent?

Drive the bus into experiences for your readers. 

What does stubborn look and sound like? Search for sensory imagery and a metaphor to show it.  

Let the readers connect with their insights.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hummingbird Tales

I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen. 
- Pablo Neruda

If we consider possibility that dinosaurs evolved into birds, imagine Brontosaurus Rex shrink into a hummingbird body. What a change had to occur from a bulky creature who walked on thick legs and shook the earth with each step. 

An amazement of technology, a hummingbird can fly upside down and backwards while dipping its beak and tongue into flower nectar.

Where did the jewel of glitter first open its eyes? In Peru and other South American countries a variety of hummingbirds exist. They flew to the rain forest and the high peaks of the Andes. Hummingbirds arrived in Argentina and Mexico. One species even made it to Alaska.

The Quechan people of present-day Ecuador tell stories of how the hummingbird represents a variety of attributes such as wisdom, optimism and agility. One story tells of a fire in a forest where many animals live. The hummingbird carries single drops of water back and forth from the pond to try to put out the firs. When the other animals ask why, the bird replies, "I am doing what I can."

Craft a story about an animal, "doing what it can."

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Write into Pausivity

Pausitivity - The feeling of joy and optimism that comes when you stop to take a moment to restore and nurture yourself. - M.H.Clark

Frustrated with life's details, we often avoid "pausitivity" and reflection in our daily lives. Our culture has created an avoidance behavior because the media irritates with negativity. 

Awareness becomes the first step to alter the apathy. It has to start with each individual taking responsibility and extending it. Then communication will headline positive people who make a difference.

A positive attitude does not mean sign waving. Thought patterns require reorganization to consider, "What can I do? What are five ways I can solve problems and make changes today and then tomorrow?" Shout out what works.

Start with family and friends. Focus on success from the past in order to motivate for the future.

Why point out what's wrong with politicians or use "shoulds" in conversation?  Strive for ways to instigate change in yourself first.

We need more life coaches and less critics. 

If one person can reach just one, it makes a difference. Alter your kaleidoscope and put thought into five ways you notice greatness in daily life. Show how you have used opportunities to gain positive results.

Share solutions with your family and friends and urge them to pass ideas forward.

 "Write as often as possible, not with the idea at once of getting into print, but as if you were learning an instrument." ~ J. B. Priestley

Monday, October 24, 2016

Morning Opportunities

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.”
– J. B. Priestley

Miles Davis said, "I am always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wakeup in the morning.  Every day I find something creative to do with my life."

After a night's rest, the brain sparkles. Morning insights lead with gratitude.  Opportunities ignite.

Ovid felt one should say  - I believe - three times after awakening.

Take time to arise gradually when the eyes open.  With each breath feel energized for a new day. 

Let positive thoughts percolate. Possibilities will abound.

Use mornings to refresh your sense of wonder.  Believe!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Celebrate Friendship

We have four hundred or more religions in the world that divide us. The poet, Rumi, sought to find truth in competing beliefs. He said, "
A life without love is of no account. Don't ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, eastern or western; divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water."

When Mongol armies got close to his home in Konya, Rumi walked out alone to speak with the general, Bughra Kahn.  Surprisingly, the Kahn felt such authority in Rumi's presence, he did not sack Konya. Legend has it that the general said, "There may be others like him."

Coleman Banks, who has translated the words of Rumi, speaks of friendship, "However it might be in this violent world, I would rather see us walking along inside the mystery of friendship, with its soul fury and its kindness, to sit down together finally at the table that Rumi, and many others, have set."

Of all the things that wisdom provides...the the possession of friendship.” –Epicurus

Reach out to a friend today.  

Reconnect with someone you may have forgotten over the years.  

Write to a friend to resolve issues.  

Send a note to someone who has inspired you because of Friendship.

Everyone has a deep friend
and something that they love to do,
A beloved and a craft. - Rumi 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Cozy into the Blue

Imagine a nap under the sea's comforter,
                 awash in a blanket of blue from nose to toes.

Just a snuggle into the sea

                while clouds perform
                               to relax concerns.

Moments taken to snooze among the ripples.

Let the mind melt into the luxury of sea and sky. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Write about Obsessions

"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle," said the poet Rumi.

Does your writing reveal an obsession with something amazing or amusing?  Do you write about aspects of life confuse and confound?  Obsession with writing itself provides material to write about.

Make a list of three obsessions you would like to pursue that you haven't considered before.

Write from your point of view deep into a cavern of obsession. Also develop a character to fly to the flame.

Writers need obsessions to help them create works of wonder.  Always add a spark of humor.