When Nothing Changes

When nothing and everything changes One has made room for the God of Mysteries To arrive and take Her place in our heart to let us see what has always been true.   If you are fighting your life You are the walking dead.   If you harbor resentment You are the jailer.   If you want from another That round, golden gift Unwrap the one inside your own soul   Let what’s dead decompose Into the earth Beneath your feet.   There really is only love Which comes in through the door Of letting go.   JTJ, 8/15/17   … Continue reading

Planting Lotuses In the Fire: On and off the Page.

Today’s blog is taken from one of the lessons in my on-line class: The Initiated Writer. I am still offering the entire series to you, my blog readers, for $65.00. This includes some one to one consultation with me! Planting Lotuses In the Fire: On and off the Page. For me the most remarkable part of writing is that I can make meaning from any circumstance or condition. On the page I can express any view, explore any idea, become any character, and not only travel into places I have never been, but create worlds. I first tend to plant my … Continue reading

Join The Noise

There is a community of the spirit. Join it, and feel the delight of walking in the noisy street, and being the noise. –Rumi, A Community of The Spirit Each year at Write-By-The-Lake I work with 15 other writers to help them bring their world into word. I understand my main role is to help them translate their meaningful experiences into captivating stories that become meaningful to their readers. Fortunately, there are many points of success for us writers (or we would give up too soon). Success comes in getting our ideas and stories down in our journals. Success comes … Continue reading

The Initiated Writer

Dear Writers!  I have been offering this on-line class, THE INITIATED WRITER, for the past 5 years. I would like to offer it to you at a (ridiculously) reduced fee of $65.00 for all the lessons, which includes me reading some of your work (regular fee is $250.00). I will send you all the lessons at once, and you can go through them at your own pace. However, you will have till September 15th to send me any pages related to the lessons! Consider it a summer course. Here is the description and invite to this initiatory experience: The Initiated Writer: An online … Continue reading

A Call To Action (And the Democracy of Love)

“Want some fries with that? Buddhist teachings reveal how distraction from the moment, and the reality of the moment, leads to confusion, apathy and misinterpretation of reality. But too many pasttimes are just that – built in to distract us. One of the great distractions is television, now extended to the screens of our computers and phones. Advertisements brag how we can watch our favorite shows any where, any time. Why wait in line in silence, or in conversation with those around you, when you can watch the little screen on your phone? I remember when going on a road trip meant we … Continue reading

Meeting Up With The Villain

One of my favorite writing coaches is Steven Pressfield, author of War of Art. His Wednesday blog: Writing Wednesday is consistently worth my time. Today he writes about Elements of a Great Villain, both the external ones and the internal ones in great stories. “What qualities do these Hall of Fame antagonists have in common? They cannot be reasoned with (Okay, the Furies did have a bit of a soft spot). They cannot be appealed to on the basis of justice, fair play, or the idea of right and wrong. They are internally, relentlessly driven to achieve their ends. Nothing can stop them except … Continue reading

What’s Your Story?

I’m attending a 4 part advocacy training through the Friends Committee on National Legislation. My motivation is to join others in lobbying for public interest during these dark and difficult times. I also need to learn some basic skills that will make me more effective when advocating for human rights. Guess what the first lesson in advocacy is?: “As a grassroots lobbyist, your power is in your story.” I felt right at home among these strangers, both in our collective motivation to make a difference and in the opportunity to “flesh out my story.”  Through story “we can form a relationships based on … Continue reading

FREEDOM Right In On Time

It’s freedom we truly want. And fear. Freedom from attachment, freedom from anxiety, freedom from bad relationships, freedom from our habitual and negative states. We want freedom to create, to love, to speak up, and to be ourselves. We were born free. Yet, dependent. Those who raised us either trained us toward freedom or toward an increased dependency on establishing our worth and self-hood on outward validation. We all experience suffering; this is the core teachings of the Buddha: We suffer but there is freedom from suffering. (The Four Noble Truths). We have the capacity to bring forth lasting states … Continue reading

A Bridge Over Troubled Water

One of my teaching themes for you writers is to help you write what’s meaningful to you, and to make your work meaningful to the reader. I invite you to first write for yourself, with some consciousness around what you want to get out of writing any given piece. A writing prompt that I give my writers (and you, now) is to first make a list of pivotal moments (flashbacks, scenes, or memories). This list can be related to a project; a theme or subject you are writing on. If you are writing fiction, your pivotal moments can become helpful in … Continue reading

Half Way There

I got half way in the (possibly, hopefully) final draft of my debut novel. I set myself up at Barriques in Middleton last night again, where one other writer joined me to write. My manuscript is 400 pages long. So, around 7:45 last night I reached my half way point. Did you feel some shift in your world around that time? No? Me neither. It’s good to mark such places in our writing and life though — feel some sense of accomplishment. Of course, there’s those coming 200 pages I have to rewrite my way through, and make captivating as I do. … Continue reading