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” Join the noise. Plant your lotuses in the noise and fire of your daily life. Give up the questing and searching for meaning and make meaning through your writing and living. Give voice to things bound by experience. As meaning makers we create and manifest meaning as we walk, as we write, where we live. We discover who or what we are within our families and communities, within the “noisy street” … Continue reading

Wake Up And Smell The Coffee

Dear Writer, That’s you. Me. So yes, I am writing this to myself too. I am at the 2014 Write-By-The-Lake retreat teaching a class on writing a captivating book from personal experience. This is my first year at WBTL. The invitation to teach here is a wish-fulfilled. This morning my class will explore clichés. Dead metaphors. Where once a cliché may have served a purpose they lose meaning with overuse. When we use them in writing we are being lazy. When clichés remain unchallenged in our “off the page” life we are giving up originality for convention. Last night I took … Continue reading

Habit-Forming Words (How Conscious Writing Transforms the Page)

In our writing and in our relationships, habits can interfere with a genuine expression of our ideas and our emotions. Habitual ways often handicap our ability to understand others and to be understood ourselves. On the page, as writers, we rely on habitual words. In our daily life, as people, we rely on habitual behaviors. Unless we are willing to identify these habitual patterns, we will remain a bit duller and flatter in both arenas. Recently I resumed work on my novel. When I had stopped working on it some weeks ago, I inserted the word “here” at my stopping … Continue reading

Ten Ways To Show Up Consistently and Write

YES “It could happen any time, tornado, earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen. Or sunshine, love, salvation. It could, you know. That’s why we wake and look out–no guarantees in this life. But some bonuses, like morning, like right now, like noon, like evening. –William Stafford, YES, from “Learning to Live in the World”   Anything can happen. If we show up, something will happen. My novel, now in its lengthy stage of rewrites, won’t write itself. (I know, duh). But this relationship with my novel reminds me just how important it is to show up. And, how hard it is … Continue reading

How To Be Properly Outraged (And, Thank You Pete Seeger)

I advocate for tolerance but have found too many women and men whose tolerance of abuse leaves them beaten down. I am tolerant, but I have my limits of what I will tolerate. Some argue that karma will take care of it. Wrong! This is using such concepts as karmic justice to help keep you passive and uninvolved. Life is for the living, so participate. “Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”― Pete Seeger With the staggering number of people on the planet and with less and less privacy, we are often fooled into assuming someone else is … Continue reading