Discover What Is Truly Possible

My father was a traveling salesman throughout most of my childhood. He sold packaging products to small local cheese factories throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest. This was a face-to-face affair. There were no scams or virtual exchanges in the mix. And he loved the sale. The “wealth” for him was in making the contact and in a successful sale. He did well and at some point expanded into his own company where he had others working for him. Even then he kept traveling to sell his products face-to-face. This made him a weekend father at best, which was typical back then for many working parents. My … Continue reading

Just For Today

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” –Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning physicist, considered the father of quantum physics Each morning I begin with some inspirational reading, scripting, and meditation. This gives me an internal compass to navigate my day, rather than being pushed around by outside circumstances. Lately, with so much uncertainty, I have been doing my best to turn everything into the path. I meet up with what arises with gratitude and curiosity (as best I can). Throughout the day I may use a slogan to help me focus. These slogans typically come … Continue reading

When Writing Becomes a Train Wreck and How To Get Back on Track by guest writer, Patrice Peltier

(This blog is written by journalist and gardener, Patrice Peltier): Sometimes my brain is like a train barreling towards its destination. When I get to where I think I’m going, I realize somewhere along the line I switched to another track. Just recently, this runaway train of a brain derailed my writing process. About three years ago, when I planted a new garden I began keeping notes. At first, my entries were brief. “Watered today.” “Added leaf mulch.” “Planted three ‘Cajun Fire’ heuchera purchased on sale.” It was record-keeping more than anything. A way to refresh my memory if I decided … Continue reading

Living and Writing in the First Person: ASSUME This!

“It is the nature of the mind to become addicted to certain ways of seeing things.”  -Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Transforming Problems into Happiness When we write in the first person there are boundaries of what we can claim to know about the other people in our story. In fiction and nonfiction alike, the same boundaries apply. In first person we can’t assume what others are thinking, or their motives for their actions. At the same time, what we the writer or first person character assume about the others in our stories and scenes are critical to our message and the reader’s experience. … Continue reading

Everything Is Waiting For You

MY QUINTESSENTIAL LESSON FOR MY WRITING STUDENTS IS THIS: STAY IN THE CONVERSATION. FROM THIS ADAGE I OFFER ESSENTIAL WRITING PROMPTS AND EXPLORATIONS TO HELP WRITERS STAY IN THE CONVERSATION WITH THEIR SUBJECT AND THEME. Presently a subject I am writng about is spiritual teachers and the theme is around what makes a good teacher. I carried this question as I went on my morning walk. On several walks this summer I noticed how a Blue Bunting sat on the top branch of a dead tree. I recalled how a friend of mine mentioned how it seemed that birds liked to occupy dead trees. From here i got … Continue reading

Give Your Self A Day: It’s Free

On this coming FRIDAY AUGUST 5th  and then on FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd I am offering my (free) WRITERS’ RETREAT at our home and retreat center: Thundering Clouds Center for Creative Living, LLC. Begins at 10:00 am and goes till 4:00. Bring own lunch. Write, walk the labyrinth spiral in the restored prairie, stalk the woods, visit with the horses. Take a spot on the deck. Enjoy the awakening inside and out. We have 40 acres to explore. Or, sit comfortably in the Writer’s gazebo. At 3:00 we have a sharing circle. The prairie spiral is in full August bloom.  This is an opportunity too … Continue reading

A Writing Prompt from Me and T.S. Eliot

Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.  –Ralph Waldo Emerson Every writer needs a bit of prompting at times. I have several techniques and explorations that help us write when we have fooled ourselves into believing we are stuck. I find that there is never “writer’s block,” when we are in conversation with the world around us. There is always something to write about. When I can’t seem to move forward on a particular idea I either write on something else, go … Continue reading

What’s Trump Got to do with It?

“What we name it matters little to me, since the origins, nature, and destiny of call-it-what-you-will are forever hidden from us, and no one can credibly claim to know its true name. But that we name it matters a great deal. For “it” is the objective, ontological reality of selfhood that keeps us from reducing ourselves, or each other, to biological mechanisms, psychological projections, sociological constructs, or raw material to be manufactured into whatever society needs — diminishments of our humanity that constantly threaten the quality of our lives.” Parker J Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness Our self-hood, true nature, integrity, or, self-esteem (call “it” … Continue reading