Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Writing Revolution

Have you started thinking about your 2018 Writing Resolutions? Consider a Writing Revolution of Ideas instead.

Timothy Pychyl, a professor of psychology at Carleton University in Canada, describes resolutions as an effort to reinvent oneself. People make resolutions as a way of motivating themselves, he says. Pychyl argues that people aren't ready to change their habits, particularly bad habits, and that accounts for the high failure rate of resolutions. Another reason for the high failure rate involves unrealistic goals and expectations.

Stop the resolutions!  Let the Revolution of Writing Begin. Change your approach.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton etched eternal, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” in his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy. When he played The Joker in Batman, Jack Nicholson threw a poison quill into someone’s neck. The powerful pen concept has seen constant use in communicating the force of language.

All writers face beasts that sap word power. They wear a variety of costumes. Often we have to discover how to conquer them in ways beyond disciplining ourselves to write.

"It's always just beginning. Everything is always just beginning." - Jakuso Kwong

Move into your flight pattern:

Write in moments. Make each feel fresh and full of surprises. Strike from all sides of the subject. Revolutionize with positivity.

Plan every day to focus on an aspect of writing in the moment. No matter how mundane the words appear, let them flow, flee and fly on the page or screen.

Celebrate your success of making the moments happen. If you write today; you're a writer today. Applaud yourself!

Be mindful. Get playful. Stay physically, emotionally and mentally aware of your inner state as you write moment by moment, rather than living in the past or future.

Don't take yourself so seriously. Have fun and laugh when you feel cranky and don't want to write.  Write about cranky.  Write even more.

Fire up the pen, flap those wings, and take on the moments of 2018 in words.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Take on the Night

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have begun our real journey.  
- Wendell Berry

 ". . . wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again."
- Antonio Machado

Metaphorical thinking helps us connect to the secrets and mysteries inside. If one decides to experience what lurks behind the door or deep inside one's own cavern, self-knowledge awaits. 

Robert Frost felt, "poetry takes you to a place you have been and thought you'd never return to."

Days provide challenges and chances to take. 
At sunset, the sun exhausts its focus and blends into the sea.

Elipses and clouds merge.
Colors translate
the sky.

Tangerine translates
into persimmon.

Where sun dragons

Move into the darkness. 

Bring a lantern for revitalization. Illuminate sensitivities.  

Take on the night!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Marvel of Moments

"The secret of health is not to mourn the past or worry about the future but to live in the present moment wisely." — Zen Proverb

Human beings have such a difficult time just "being."  We are always doing . . . worrying about yesterday, then shuddering about tomorrow.

The natural world has a lot to teach about existing in the marvel of moments. 

When the brain sends out negative thoughts or someone sets you off about events in the past or future, take time to identify with an animal in nature.  

Make time for a walk. Forget about politics, negativity, and even the weather. 

Go for a natural immersion.

Appreciate the feeling of breezes on the arms, a whiff of eucalyptus or a scent in your environment. 

Listen to birdsong and look up to appreciate the miracle of flight.

Let the shimmer on a hummingbird's wings in sunlight activate a peaceful state of mind.

Observe behaviors that fill each moment. 

Enjoy a glorious opportunity to dance, trot, and breathe in, then out.  

Once in a rhythm, you will stop the mind chatter.  

Let laughter stimulate the stomach muscles to tighten.

The magic of minutes in the present will calm your nerves. Find a friend who will remind you to stay in that focus.

In the details you will Merge with the Marvel of Moments.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Through Different Eyes

"Art is a personal act of courage. It's something one human does that creates change in another." 
- Seth Godin

Look around your living room at the amazement of products the human mind has created: appliances, digital clocks, computers, cell phones, mirrors, photographs, art objects, books, rugs, tables and chairs. Utility items we take for granted make life run.

Art energizes the spirit.

Each required a view through different eyes to develop. Individuals had the courage to create change.

During the day think about the human spirit and motivation to fill needs in positive ways. Also ponder how negativity seeps in and its effects on the process.

How does progress occur?

Recall all the changes and advances experienced in your lifetime. Consider personal, cultural as well as technological progress.

What have you added to the process?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


The word "miracle" has been used too often and has lost its value. But we live in miracles. The thrusts in the park, the ducks drifting on the canals, the floating seagulls, but also the car on the highway, the mechanical digger in the polder and the large square apartment blocks. 
Whoever can take the time and the peace to observe is surprised. 
-Janwillem van de Wetering

Discover a miracle each day that inspires you to view life with wonder.

Images abound and will approach you with possibilities.

Squint to capture shapes and colors.

The peregrine blends with its branch. A sentinel of color supported by the sky.

A collage of feathers.
Secure on its perch,
The sparrow
         in ease.

Clouds swirl magenta in a setting day.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Need to Write

Margaret Atwood presents several one liners about her need to write:

To record the world as it is. To set down the past before it is all forgotten.
To excavate the past because it has been forgotten.
To satisfy my desire for revenge.
Because I knew I had to keep writing or else I would die.
Because to write is to take risks and it is only by taking risks that we know we are alive.
To produce order out of chaos. To delight and instruct.
To please myself. To express myself. To express myself beautifully.
To create a perfect work of art. To reward the virtuous and punish the guilty; or – the Marquis de Sade defense, used by ironists – vice versa.
To hold a mirror up to the reader.
To paint a portrait of society and its ills.
To express the unexpressed life of the masses.
To name the hitherto unnamed.
To defind the human spirit and human intergrity and honor.
To thumb my hose at death.
To make money so my children could have shoes.   

Rainer Maria Rilke in his Letters to a Young Poet said, “Go into yourself.  Search for the reason that bids you to write. This above all, ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: Must I write?  Delve into yourself for a deep answer.”

Imagine yourself in an isolated location. Consider Atwood's responses and how you might reply. Use the following or create your own scenario.

You're at the top of a mountain in a Zen-like teahouse with food and drink.  You have three days alone. What will you write? 

You have three days on an island with fruit trees, fresh water and fishing equipment. What will you write?

You find yourself isolated in a hotel room in a city of discomfort. What will you write?

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Memories

‎"One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six." 
              ~ A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas*

The season stimulates memories in the form of anecdotes, conversations, and relationships.  Events turn over and over in the heart and mind. Will the memory fulfill itself in the events of the moment?  Will those who have left return home to celebrate?

What do you wish for to complete your holiday celebration?  Would you request a return from a deceased relative for the day?  Will you return to a childlike self for the festivities?  Do you require a day of youthful pleasures?  Do you recall when someone told you about Santa Claus? 

How might you transport yourself in words over the miles and years?  

Bring memories to the fireside and write.

"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!" ~ Charles Dickens.

*Full Dylan Thomas text:

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy jólabókaflóð - Christmas Book Flood

Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world. The Nordic island with a population of 329,000, loves to read and write. They publish five titles for every 1,000 Icelanders. That means one in 10 Icelanders will publish. The majority of books are sold from late September to early December. 

On Christmas Eve, Icelanders exchange books during, jólabókaflóð, the "Christmas Book Flood."

Iceland's literary history dates to medieval times. Landmarks of world literature, including the Sagas of the Icelanders and the Poetic Edda, are still read and translated.

According to Baldur Bjarnason, a researcher who has written on the Icelandic book industry, "If you look at book sales distribution in the U.K. and the States, most book sales actually come from a minority of people. Very few people buy lots of books. Everybody else buys one book a year if you're lucky. It's much more widespread in Iceland. Most people buy several books a year." 

Designated a UNESCO City of Literature, Reykjavik has a population of 200,000 people. Within that small group, the city's library book loans total 1.2 million in one year.  A popular television show in Iceland, Kiljan is devoted entirely to books.

Bjarnason continues, "The book in Iceland is such an enormous gift, you give a physical book. You don't give e-books here."

On Christmas Eve enjoy the power of the book flood. 

Take time to cuddle with chocolate and a fun book.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Resolve to Rest

When rushing to develop a product, creators often power from idea to solution and avoid the percolation process. Although they accomplish a result, they may have missed insights gained from the incubation period so vital to the creative process. An interval of rest and diversion from thoughts and brain noise helps everyone reach the "Aha" moment with more possibilities.

During a period of not doing, notions and ideas flicker the synapses in kaleidoscopic fashion. With deadlines approaching, it becomes difficult to let that "nothing" happen. Even a short break will prove valuable. After a respite, a feeling of freshness and invigoration pushes one into the final stages of creation.

The ancient Greeks and Romans believed the magic of brain swirl depended on channeling from the Muses. Unknowingly, while leaving it to the Gods, they permitted time for rest to take over. They also enjoyed bacchanalia for diversion.

Elias Howe, an adapter of the sewing machine, became frustrated with the notion of the sewing needle because he could not determine how to thread and mechanize it. One day he stopped and stared out the window. His mind spun in reverie.

Later he and told his wife he had a daydream of standing inside a black pot of boiling water in the jungle. A native came to him ready to thrust a spear. He looked up and noticed the spear had a hole in its tip. When he returned to his work, he decided to try a hole in the tip of the needle in his machine. Aha!

It takes courage and resolve to rest. 

Each person has a different way of accessing this place of rest as a springboard to illumination.Take time from a project to investigate your place of silent awareness. 

Does this work during the moments of tranquility before sleep or in moments upon awakening? Do you make discoveries in the flow during a run or walk? Will breathing exercises push you into a calm and tranquil state. Will meditation provide the rest needed?

Define what a place of rest means to you. During a time of frustration, give yourself the permission to rest. 

Friday, December 22, 2017


Take time for nature's miracles
without cell phone or computer delays.

When many of us require an audience,
the rose never requests applause.

It needs to rise from the earth,
to shine with each morning's dew.

Reciprocate with a scent of awakening
to flare magenta into a twirl. 

Soon majesty of the moment will
attract a butterfly to nuzzle the future.