Monday, December 27, 2010

Quotables...

If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.  ~Toni Morrison

It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them.  The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page.  ~Joan Baez 

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay. ~ Mark Twain

What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. You can't reread a phone call. ~ Liz Carpenter

I'm traveling today...again. So I thought I would share the words of others who help to inspire me and light me up. 

Prompt #35: Write a letter. to an old friend. to your mother. your grandfather. a lover. your puppy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Favourite Christmas Gift...

When I was seven...

Money was tight that year.

My mother asked me what I would like for Christmas. She said she could afford either a few small gifts, or...she could get tickets to the Seattle performance of The Nutcracker.

I chose the ballet.

It remains one of my fondest memories. ever.

Music and dance have a strong place in my soul. I began dancing at the age of three, continued to dance through my high school years, and still occasionally bust a little ballet move now and then...

Music can bring me to tears simply because of the sheer magic of it...the right combination of tune and lyrics...and if you dare to add violin and cello...my my! I may just fall to my knees and weep!

and so, in fond recollection of that perfect Christmas gift, I share with you my favourite piece from The Nutcracker. Orchestra or (if you prefer) Ballet

Prompt #34: What is your favourite Christmas memory?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hallo, Piglet...


“Hallo, Piglet,” said Pooh.
“Hallo, Pooh,” said Piglet, giving a jump of surprise. “I knew it was you.”
“So did I.” said Pooh.
~ the House at Pooh Corner

Maybe the holidays have me feeling nostalgic (and perhaps a bit sappy) but I’m thinking about the people who love me.

The friends and family who have loved me through my good and bad days – the people who have stood beside me while I made tough decisions - who have supported me through words and hugs - who have been my personal cheerleaders and my occasional therapists – the people who have forgiven me…

You all know who you are. You are the loves of my life.

And so, with words too small to truly express it…
Thank you.

Prompt #33: How do you say thanks for the things that really have no words?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Great Expectations...

I've been looking at the road ahead of me through very critical eyes.

Today I woke and found the eye drops to help me see things a bit more clearly.

I've moved a lot...usually with little or no warning...a week. a month. Most of my friends are planners and have a hard time reconciling my "fly by the seat of my pants" way of making decisions.

The thing is, I've often lucked out...sometimes a job is waiting for me when I get to my next destination...sometimes a great one falls into my lap. The point is...I usually land on my feet pretty quickly.

This move has been a bit more difficult. I'm finding the job market a little bit rough...which is VERY frustrating...I've been a bit disheartened...

but today I made a shift in my thinking...and I am determined!

so with great expectations I am moving forward and making this my best move yet. I don't know where this path will lead me (that's part of the excitement in walking down new trails) but I am aiming my feet to plant firmly and soundly...and whatever direction this wind takes me...I am going!

Prompt #32: How do you reawaken your fire? your determination? When circumstances shift your life, how do you find your way back?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Unmotivated...and blank

So I'm having a day.

How do I write an inspiring, motivating, writing-prompting blog when my mind is feeling blank blank blank.

This has been my day:

~ I wrote two poems this morning while waiting for new back tires to be mounted on my car.

~ I went around and shot several photos of gorgeous moss on trees.

~ I grabbed a fabulous latte at one of my favourite local spots with every intention of writing

~ I tried to take a nap

~ couldn't nap...so I got up and looked through my photos and cleaned out my email inbox (84 emails down to 11)

~ I attempt to start the blog...stare at the screen...finally start writing and it's about not being able to write. really?

Did I use up all my creative reserves?

Prompt #31: What do you write about when you feel you have nothing to write about? How do you bust through a rut?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Surprises...

My son hates surprises.

Any time I've attempted to surprise him I've been met by a blank stare, followed with the inevitable and oft repeated statement: "Mom, I don't really do surprises."

I surprised him when he turned six by blowing up several dozen balloons and covering his bedroom floor with them. When he woke in the morning to his room full of balloons he looked at me vacantly and said "Mom, why are there balloons all over my floor?"

We've had more conversations than I can count which go something like this:

me: I have a surprise for you
son: what is it?
me: I can't tell you...it's a surprise...if I tell you, that kind of goes against the whole nature of a surprise.
son: mom...just TELL me
me: you'll just have to wait
son: mooooooooommmmmm. pleeeeeeeeease just tell meeeeeeeee.
me: nope. (smile)
son: Mom, you do know I'm not really a surprise guy, right?

Yah. I know.
but I keep trying.

I happen to love surprises.

Like the one I received this week when my best friend's husband got a wild notion at one o'clock in the morning Saturday and decided to book me on a train that afternoon to come see them for Thanksgiving. (of course, when I got in last night it was NEGATIVE SEVEN!...SurPRISE!)

But I happily and hurriedly packed up my little suitcase and hopped on the train for a 27 hour ride (delays in the mountains for eighty-four thousand freight trains to move through bumped the trip to 29 hours.)

(eighty-four thousand might be a slight exaggeration.)

Let me tell you, nearly 30 hours in coach is not the most fun you will ever have on a train...but the destination was oh so worth it!

Prompt #30: Write about your favourite surprise. or write about why you love/hate surprises.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dreaming...

When I was six I wanted to be a prima ballerina. at eight I wanted to be an Olympic figure skater. age twelve produced dreams of becoming a famous poet. and thirteen was full of aspirations of becoming an astronaut or astronomer. at fifteen I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic. I wanted to be an architect, furniture maker, psychologist, journalist.

I am bits of all these things.

I danced from the time I was three until I graduated high school - hula, ballet, jazz, modern, interpretive. When I was eight I began ice skating - I performed in ice shows and several competitions - and the last time I stepped on the ice was when I was twenty two. I am a poet - my first collection of poetry, Three Thousand Doors, was released this summer by Laughing Cactus Press. I am a stargazer who knows a handful of the constellations and the names of a few stars. I am an amateur photographer who loves the look of a perfectly shot black and white photo. I am a counselor to my friends, a writer of my stories, a creative mind full of ideas that may or may not make it into the world through my hands.

and I keep dreaming.

dreams, aspirations, ideas...these are the things that motivate me to do more. to keep growing, keep exploring, keep creating. because when I'm not being creative I feel dull and lackluster...but when I write, paint, photograph, build...I feel like I glow.

Prompt# 29: What are your dreams? What do you want most for yourself? What makes you glow?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Balance Beam...

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." ~ Albert Einstein 

I'm a big fan of balance. 
finding balance.
remaining balanced. 

balance is key. 

especially when dealing with changes.
there have been a lot of big changes this year.  
some have come from outside my bubble, some I've thrust upon myself.  
I made a tough decision and said farewell to people who are precious to me. 

I believe great new adventures are ahead. new experiences. new opportunities. 

I love change. I hate goodbyes. 
but I can't have one without the other.

balance. 


prompt #28: How do you maintain balance? 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sweet November...

November 1, 2010. Do you know what today is?

It is the start of National Novel Writing Month! NaNoWriMo!

It is also the starting day of Robert Lee Brewer's Poem a Day Challenge! Poetic Asides November PAD!

Prompt #27: Head over to these sites and write write write for the month of November! good luck! Happy Writing!

Monday, October 25, 2010

survey says...

~ ding ding ding ding ding ~

I had a pretty great signing today for my poetry collection Three Thousand Doors.

My best friend sent flowers...from North Dakota. Honestly, if no one had shown their face at my signing today, I would have been happy because I had flowers from Kaci. because she loves me.
Lucky for me though, I also sold what I think is a decent number of copies. 

Now here's the thing...I've been to several signings in the past three years. My publishing firm has 13 titles available, we've had local signings for about 10 of those titles. Signings are weird creatures. Sometimes we sell a lot...sometimes we sell a few.

The thing all four partners agree upon is this: every signing gets our name out there (as individuals AND as a business.)
Positive thinking? Yes, I believe so.

Prompt #26: What are your expectations? Are you disappointed if events don't meet those expectations? Or do you have the capacity to think positively, and be proud of the efforts made?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Aspire to great things...

If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.  ~Vincent Van Gogh

I have a stubborn streak.

Anyone who knows me will attest to this, and most likely follow it with "Uh, yah, that's an understatement!"

I'm not ashamed of my stubbornness, it has carried me far.
The best way to get me to do something is to imply that it cannot be done,
or rather, that I cannot do it...

WATCH ME!

I like a challenge.


People are like stained-glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.  ~Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross

I loathe muddling.
I detest those brief moments of darkness when I feel like I may not be shining at my brightest...

and I will change like the seasons if things are not moving in a direction I desire.

I don't fear change, nor the uncertainty that moves in like a slow fog...the thing I fear is mediocrity.

I prefer to dream big. I prefer to be extraordinary.

prompt #25 - What is your greatest motivator? How do you face challenges? Do you shy away from the unknown?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Life's Like a Jump rope...

Blue October - Jump Rope

This song has the ability to put me in a great mood. It's just so (as my friend Kelsey would say) "ding-dang" cheery! How can you not smile when you hear a bunch of kids singing along with Blue October...yaaaaaaahhhhhh!

This year has been a big year for change and challenge. Me, my friends, loved ones...we've all had a multitude of things to absorb, adjust to, deal with.

BIG changes.
life-altering changes.
permanent changes.
tear-inducing changes.
and some happy-making changes.

Some people fight change.
Some people roll with it.
Some people ignore it; deny that it's happening.
Some people just sit back and wait for the clouds to roll away.

There is no right or wrong in it. we do what we do. we ride the roller coaster, jump through life's hoops, and wait for our chance to stop and take a breath now and then.

Life is...
tragic and beautiful, 
incredible and heartbreaking,
balanced and topsy-turvy,
up and down...
like a jump rope.

prompt #24 - How do you react to change? Are you a go-with-the-flow-er or a fight-it-all-the-way-er?
Or pick a big change that you've dealt with and write about how you powered through it. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Picking through the past...

For some reason, even though I desperately want to, I cannot get rid of my old writing.

Old, BAD, writing! Old, bad writing that I thought was fantastic when I was 12, and 16, and 18. sigh. Oh boy, was I delusional.

The thing is, someone long ago told me never to get rid of anything I write.

So here I am, some 20+ years later, with stacks of writing I'm pretty much embarrassed by. Piles of junk that make me laugh out loud and cringe at the absurdity and childishness of what I wrote. ugh!

The good thing about that bad writing, is that it allows me to see how far I've come and how my writing has progressed. I don't write in circles as I used to. My lines and words are much cleaner - more precise - more thought out and controlled. Without the ridiculous, juvenile writing to look back on, perhaps I would never know how far I've come.

And really, isn't life about growing, rather than being stagnant?

Prompt# 23 - Do you have old writing you've saved, but you're almost ashamed to pull it out and read it again? Do it anyway, find an old piece of junk and shine it up! One thing I've found is this: sometimes, in those piles of rubbish, there is a gem to be found - just a line or a few words that can be refashioned - like piecing a quilt together from old scraps. Why not write a "quilt" today...

Monday, September 27, 2010

5 song shuffle

I'm borrowing the idea for this prompt from a site I ran across last year...(I'm a terrible person - I can't remember the site and I didn't save it in my favourites, so I cannot properly credit it - boo hiss on me!)

It's the 5 song shuffle.  It goes something like this:(everybody clap your hands! just kidding)

pick 5 CD's. pop each one in the CD player and hit "shuffle" write down the first song that plays on each.

or...grab your ipod - hit shuffle - write down the first five songs it plays.

my list looks like this:

1. Long Ride Home (Patti Griffin)
2. The Story So Far (Flogging Molly)
3. A Case of You (Joni Mitchell)
4. Wicked (Switchblade Symphony)
5. Let it Be (The Beatles)

prompt # 22 - Now take those 5 songs (you can use my list if you like - or compile your own list, because it's just kind of fun and cool to see what you'll get!) and write! You can use the actual titles, or the feelings the music stirs in you, what it makes you think about, remember, look forward to. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Winding down...and giggling

Arrived back in Texas today from my nearly month-long Seattle trip.

My dear friend made the drive back with me. we always laugh a lot together. my abs hurt today.

We first met about seven years ago while working for the same company. We used to laugh together so much that our boss would walk down the hall and carefully shut our door, because our laughter would echo down the hallway and disturb our co-workers. They always wondered what kind of fun they were having while they toiled away. (side note: we always got our work done)

So one night, about two weeks ago, she handed me a few gifts she'd collected for me. The first thing she gave me was a little block of wood, about six inches long, one word painted across it: Giggle.

We giggled for 30 minutes.

Prompt #21 - What or who makes you happy? Who do you giggle with? What makes you laugh?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quotable...

Your life is an occasion. Rise to it! ~ Mr Magorium

I watched Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium for the first time last week. Fell in love with it. I think it was one of the sweetest, most magical movies I've seen in a long time...like Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder's W.W.) but toys instead of candies. If you haven't seen it, I would assign it to you now.


Decide what to be and go be it. ~ The Avett Brothers

I heard this song a few weeks ago - loved the above line. jotted it down so I wouldn't forget.


prompt #20 - pick one of the quotes (or both) and WRITE!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sand and Sea...

well...rocks and Puget Sound. 

photo copyright keg. Edmonds. Marina Park.

I'm in Seattle. This means I go down to the water as often as I can.

Saturday and Sunday we went to several beaches and shot hundreds of photos. Water, rocks, driftwood, seagulls (sorry Kaci,) ferry boats, clouds and sky. We sifted our fingers through rocks and sand looking for perfect stones, shells, sea glass.

photo copyright keg. Downtown Seattle.

We're adventuring again today. North. Oak Harbor.


Prompt #19 - write about the rocks and the water, the seas and the sands, the first time you saw the ocean. or, if you've never been to the ocean, think of your favourite place and write about it. 

~ Announcing the Winners of the Three Thousand Doors drawing~
and
Scott Horn of Scornphoto

Tammy and Scott - 
drop a note (with your mailing address) in a bottle and toss it in the sea. 
I'll collect it from the Puget Sound!
(or - send me a message on Facebook)


Monday, August 30, 2010

travelling again...

because I am happiest when on the road.

so because I'm travelling, I'm posting light this week.

Upon arriving at my hotel Sunday evening (terribly over-priced...sigh...such is the luck when one travels without an itinerary) it appears only one channel is available on the silly TV - one channel which happens to play only REALLY bad 80's movies.  ummmm...REALLY bad. Bad acting, bad script, bad backdrops. at one point I could actually see the seams on the beach scene backdrop. wow.

so your prompt this week...prompt #18...is to write something tacky, terrible, awful.

~ today and tomorrow are technically the last two days to comment 
and have your name entered in the drawing for my poetry collection
Three Thousand Doors
I think I'll go ahead and extend that to include the whole week. 
Drawing is next Monday, Sept. 6  ~

Monday, August 23, 2010

a little patience...like, NOW!

So I'm waiting on my book. waiting waiting waiting...

My book! The one I've spent the last 20 or so years working toward. I've compiled a collection of my poetry, Three Thousand Doors, and my copies are not here yet! The universe is testing my patience.

Oh sweet patience, I do not know you very well. I do not care much for you, you usually interfere with what I want and I can't have that kind of interference. but. you do like to pretend sometimes that you are the boss.

so. I'm trying. to be patient. (psst...it's not working very well) I've yelled at the UPS tracking screen at least three times today because the STUPID website will NOT give me any information. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip.

Bupkis.

sigh.

writing prompt #17 - Patience. what are the things that challenge your patience? 

~ don't forget to leave a comment to win a copy of  
Three Thousand Doors 
(if UPS ever delivers my stock.) 
The drawing will be held and winners announced on September 6, 2010 ~

Monday, August 16, 2010

it's all about the Story...

I am on the road again today.

Travelling to Oklahoma City to see my darling soulmate best friend. The passing of her grandmother necessitated an impromptu trip - which I'm happy about because it means I get to see her before Thanksgiving - but it is of course, bittersweet.

So...for today I'm writing less. But also...thinking about the many facets of life. Where are we going? what are we doing? what do you want, need, desire from your life and your choices? one of my favourite bands to listen to and to watch live Flogging Molly. Have a listen.

Prompt #16 - What is your story so far?

~ Remember: leave a comment any time in August
have your name entered in the drawing for a copy of my poetry collection
Three Thousand Doors
two winners will be announced September 6, 2010 ~ 


Monday, August 9, 2010

Simplify...

Not so easy for a pack rat.

I save everything! old letters and cards. old computers that don't work. childhood memorabilia. I have too much stuff.

I have at least eight different lotions to choose from on my vanity - and five different brands of shampoo and conditioner in the shower.

I will say it again - I have too much stuff.

but efforts to simplify, to weed out the unnecessary; the superfluous, often fail.
I mean, really, they're just things, why shouldn't I just get rid of them?

because...there are memories tied to them.

I can't throw away the box of old letters in the garage - it doesn't matter that I haven't opened it once in five years - there are letters from my father in that box. I couldn't possible bear to part with the box of clothes Mrs. Bayer lovingly stitched with her own hands when I was 7 simply because she adored me. My elephant collection carefully wrapped and packed in boxes for the last seven years because I've had no place to put them.

This "stuff" is tied to my past, and the memories make me smile, laugh out loud, cry. I wouldn't want to let go of that. 

besides, when I do get a chance to open those boxes, lifting out treasure after treasure, it's like having the best Christmas ever!

prompt #15 - what do you struggle to simplify? what is the hardest thing to let go?

~ don't forget to leave a comment to be entered to win of two copies of  
Three Thousand Doors
winners will be announced on September 6, 2010 ~

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fear can make a donkey attack a lion...(Arab Proverb)

Fear is an ugly word. an ugly four-letter word. 

A few months ago I had an email conversation with a dear friend of mine (we've known each other since high school.) We were discussing the upcoming release of my poetry collection (which is causing some mild anxiety - because of course, I want it to be PERFECT!)
I used a variety of words to describe my state of mind, and wrote: 

it's not fear.  it's just slight antsy-ness. a mixture of anxious and something else.  not worry or concern - but jitters.  like going on stage. excited, but mildly nauseated.  

and she repeated the word...FEAR.

I said:

but they (my words) don't sound as bad as FEAR! ...and it's not something that would keep me from doing it. there's simply a YIKES about being so close

Then, my long-time friend, my confidant, touchstone...the woman who calls bullshit on me, said:

You can’t escape fear, it’s an autonomic response.  A good one, as it’s what makes you haul ass so the saber-toothed tiger doesn’t eat you.  Or in this case motivates Karen’s DELUXE gene  – the Yikes factor – to avoid perceived failure.

Fear by itself is simply a motivator.  Fear is being on the verge, fear is the unknown, fear is the state right before a revelation, breakthrough etc.  It’s what happens on the other side of fear that can be good or “ugly.”  Fear is a vehicle to harness.

to which I replied: 

it sounds so pretty when you say it that way.

I've always associated fear with those who are too afraid to try anything! too afraid to change. too afraid to MOVE. too afraid to do anything but lock up inside themselves and let the world go on around them. 

Fear, by my definition, and what I've witnessed in life and people around me, has not been a motivator, but the thing that causes one to completely stall out. 

That's why I detest the word. Fear, in my vocabulary, has a very different definition than what you've just given. 

I like yours better.

prompt #14 Do you allow your fears to motivate you or stop you? What do you fear most? 

~ Blog Giveaway ~
I will be selecting two people to receive a copy of my poetry collection Three Thousand Doors. In order to get your name in the hat all you have to do is leave a comment anytime during August. I will announce the winners on Monday September 6th.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I am completely exhausted...

I spent the weekend in Dallas-Ft Worth.

Friday - Drove in to the metro-plex...construction traffic made my drive take almost 4 hours! ugh. Dinner at the Angry Dog - best hamburger EVER. Fantastic server, Vincent. Noise and bustle. Great Beer on tap. Incredible companions for the evening. Then to the House of Blues for one of my favourite bands, Blue October.

Oh. my. gawd!

I've been to several Blue October concerts. This! was the. best. show. I've seen them play! It was an acoustic show - they had big loung-y chairs, a rug and a huge comfy sofa on stage. they just kind of sat there, all relaxed-like, and...played for us. wow!

Saturday - Einstein bagel and coffee for breakfast, then drove to the Ft Worth side to visit with one of my longest friends. We had decided we'd go see "Inception." ummm...I loved it! It's one of those movies I wouldn't mind seeing in the theatres more than once!

After the movie...dinner, wine, and hours of conversation with one of the people I am most fond of.

Sunday - woke to amazing coffee. cheese danish from the Central Market bakery. a few hours of HGTV (LOVE it!) and an introduction to "True Blood."

Monday - I'm exhausted. lots of fun...very little sleep. tried to attack my piles of work today with only slight success. But! I did manage to get the remainder of my photo shoot for a project I will announce soon!

Today's prompts are as follows: write about exhaustion, friendship, food or music.
If you choose music, and would like a little help, I offer this: Peter Gabriel Here Comes the Flood because for some reason, it's the song running through my head this evening.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Raindrops on Roses...

Favourite things. Favourite people. Favourite places.

I have my lists. of people, places and things I am most fond of.
The people? well, they know who they are, I have no problem informing people of their importance in my realms.
Things? things like: perfect photographs in vibrantly lit and shadowed black & white...trees, god how I love trees - especially the baobab...wine...green olives...really good crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-and-warm-on-the-inside bread - ciabatta, focaccia...dark beer...chocolate eclairs...tiramisu...cheese - camembert, chevre, gorgonzola...used books...antiques...tattoos...music...
coffee!
Places? New Orleans - ah NOLA...what can be said. Seattle - hometown. Louisville, Kentucky - I love Louisville so much it breaks my heart. Nashville. Cincinnati. Monterey and Carmel. Santa Barbara. Coronado. Montana. The amazing rolling hills and rivers of Western Nebraska. New Mexico. Arizona.

This week, write about your favourites. pick one fave or multiple.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lost and Found

Losing things pretty much just bites.

Lose your keys? can't drive your car or get in your house.

Lose your marbles? well...I would comment but the voices told me not to.

Lose your lunch? never want to eat pears again.

Lose a friend? Loved one?

Letting go and saying goodbye...usually not the happiest of times. and it doesn't seem to matter if it's a short goodbye, long goodbye, permanent goodbye... goodbyes tug at our hearts, bring tears to our eyes and turn us about to reflect on  when we smiled last with that person.

Think about the people that make you smile the most. What is it about them that makes you happiest. Tell them how much they mean to you, how much you love what they do for your soul. How they brighten your heart, lift your spirits, ease your worries. Then, send that letter, poem, story to them. Because it never sucks to hear that someone loves you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Minot Monday

I'm in Minot, North Dakota. I drove up to visit my best friend, because today is her birthday. Her 30th Birthday. it's kind of a big deal.

We drove up to the International Peace Gardens, so we could stand on the border with a foot in Canada and a foot in The United States. The Peace Gardens are full of flowers, trees, lush grass (I walked barefoot for a bit...and I gave a tree a big hug) and beautiful monuments.

The newest addition to the Gardens is a memorial made of steel girders from the World Trade Center. It was moving and tragic, a painful memory of 9/11. There was a memorial plaque, and a design sketch for how they plan to finish the monument, which read: Reflect, Recall, Remember, Forgive.

I overheard someone say, "Forgive? I don't think so."

Forgiveness? wow. that's a tough one. Forgiving is hard even on a small scale.

But one of the things I've learned in the past few years, while working through my own feelings of anger and learning to forgive, is that Freedom is in Forgiving. We all work through our pain and begin to forgive in our own time, but wow! How free and light we feel when we finally do let go.

This week, use any (or all) of the following words in your writing and art: Reflect, Recall, Remember, Forgive, Freedom.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Spare Change...

I know people who walk through life terrified of change...I happen to be a big fan of change. I welcome it, relish in it, thrive on the new and different...

Sometimes change just happens. It can be sad, certainly, but it can also open unexpected doors. Change occurs due to choices we make, or it can simply be brought about by force of will. There are small changes like painting a room or redecorating; big changes like a move across country or switching careers. And of course, there are the changes we bring about in ourselves and the way we look at the world, how we deal with certain circumstances, and how we move forward.

This week write about change. Whether you embrace it or fear it. How you deal with change. Do you fear leaving your comfort zone and stepping outside your boundaries? Or do you think that the unexpected is part of the great adventure?

Monday, June 21, 2010

playing with shadow and light

** Photo copyright KEG

So I think you already know I love to write. and create. and make people laugh. smile. and I love to inspire. motivate. and praise those I find uber talented.

I also love photography. Black and white has always been my favourite, but I'm learning to love taking colour shots as well. I adore light and shadow, though sometimes what I see and what translates through the lens are two totally different things. Take, for instance, this past weekend...

I was visiting a dear friend of mine who lives near Houston. We woke early-ish and ventured out in the "cooler hours" of the morning, parked at the edge of the road, and dragged two red velvet chairs and several children into the middle of a large field. (universal haha on us - 9:00am in Houston is NOT cooler - I actually got a bit of a sunburn in the hour we were outside - WHAT!?)

At one point the children were all off chasing bubbles, and the chairs were empty...I thought, hey, that's a great shot! The shadows and sunlight were playing beautifully off the velvet and wood and so I took a few photos of the empty chairs. Well, let me just say, the shadows were much deeper once I saw the photos on my computer screen.  Not at all the vibrant contrast I was looking for. Sigh.

The point is: sometimes, what we envision for our artistry, and what actually comes through, are completely different. For me, learning to accept that my muse sometimes has a different vision than I do can be a bit of a power struggle. I'm fairly stubborn, which means the body of art sometimes needs to be stubborn-er.
Art, aching to be born, will find a way! Sometimes we just have to sit back and let the muse flow through us and see what is created - rather than forcing the creation of something that may not be ready.

This week - write about your own struggles with shadow and light, composition, structure, arguing with your muse. Or simply write about shadows, light or both.
Happy Creating!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Partly Stormy...(Monday - 6/14/10)

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Louisa May Alcott

Storms.  

Emotional storms; literal storms. We all have to drive through them at times. They can be so big and blinding you quite literally have to pull of the road until it passes.  

storms are frightening; calming, cleansing; downpour, destructive, renewing. We brave through those dark hours, white-knuckled, and move on to the next challenge. Hopefully, we are changed for the better...made stronger, valiant, unafraid; electrified.

This week, write about something that changed you. An event, big or little. An upheaval, a decision - something that altered your path and took you down a new road. The challenges encountered - the storms weathered.   


 

**all linked images found through the Bing search engine

Monday, June 7, 2010

drive me crazy

Actually, it's kind of the opposite - I love a road trip.

Whether by myself or with a friend, long drives are therapeutic and relaxing - hours to think, compose (I have an old mini recorder, given to me by a man I was interviewing for my journalism course,) or stop roadside for the perfect photo opportunity.

I'm a pretty devoted nomad, which makes staying in one place REALLY really tough...lucky for me, my sweetheart is very understanding when it comes to my wanderlust, and he's happy to stay put while I traipse all over the U.S.

This summer, travels include: Dallas, Houston, Austin, my annual Seattle visit (with a nifty detour through North Dakota so I can see my midget) and an Autumn trip to Louisville to take photos of my friend and her family. Somewhere in between all of that I want to figure out how to include a visit to New Orleans, Savannah and Germany. I'm thinking something is going to have to take a back seat and be rescheduled. ugh! really? I can't do it all?

This week, write about your favourite drive. What made it memorable? Or perhaps it wasn't the drive that you found wonderful, maybe it was the destination, the people you met, a perfect sunset, fabulous meal...

Happy Writing! (Happy Driving!)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Beautiful Scorn

Last weekend, at my best friend's going away party, I met her photographer friend, Scott Horn. Scott is not only a fabulous, interesting and incredible human being, but an amazing photographer as well. His work is inspiring, beautiful, thought provoking and stunning. Here is a man who has been photographing bands for years, and only just realising the true, raw talent he possesses! I feel privileged and honored to be a part of his creative circle of friends, and would like to encourage everyone to get to know this man, for his artistry, if nothing else.

For your prompt this week, I would like you to go to Scornphoto and browse through his galleries, find something in his work that inspires you to write - his Wichita Falls Photo Outing and Dallas Outing are among my favourites, and I know my musician friends (Sir Eric! et al) will love his Guitar shots and various band sessions. I also encourage you to go over to his Facebook page and "like" it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bittersweet and Melancholy

So, I've just returned from a going away party/going away weekend for my best friend and her husband. Bittersweet, you know? The weekend was full of laughter, jokes, late late late hours; lots of food and beer, good friends - new friends, old friends, friends I'd not seen in four years - and today I am just a wee bit sad because the whole thing was fabulous! Now it's Monday, I'm back home, and the next time I drive to Eastwick I won't get to see my midget. Makes for a sad girl.

So today's prompt is bittersweet. You can write about chocolate, moods, feelings, bittersweet moments, The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony...time to write.

Monday, May 17, 2010

sing a song of sixpence...(Monday 5/17/10)

When I was seven I began taking piano lessons.

My first piano teacher was fabulous. She was young, hip, and enjoyed playing duets with me. I loved heading to her house on Tuesday afternoons. I loved playing the piano.

When I was nine, we moved from Seattle to Southern California, and my mother found a new piano teacher for me. She was ancient, strict, and she would slap my wrists if they fell while practicing scales. I didn't love playing piano anymore.

I had a "bad" habit of playing by ear. At the time, I couldn't figure out how she knew I wasn't reading the notes anymore, but she always knew! She would slap my hands and yell "Stop playing by ear! READ the music!"

Within a couple of years I stopped taking lessons. The soul had gone out of my music, I didn't feel like playing, and mom wasn't really into forcing me to practice.

When I was in high school I began to play again - for myself - picking out the tunes I knew by memory...a bit choppy at first, but soon those old, familiar, haunting sounds came back and I played with verve and gusto and passion! BY EAR! Soon I started composing my own pieces or playing songs I'd heard on the radio. I loved piano again. I was never a virtuoso, by any stretch, but playing was magical to me.

When I was in my early 20's my mother called...she was in the process of packing up the house for the move to Texas. She asked me if it was okay to give my piano to a local church or if I wanted her to move it again and keep it for me. I was living in California, or New Orleans, or Kentucky; lugging a piano around on the back of my car probably wasn't going to work out very well, so I told her to give it to the church.

Music has always had the power to move me - it can bring me out of an angry mood, make me sing along, dance, laugh, even cry. I have a very eclectic collection which spans the decades: from Harry Belafonte to Queens of the Stone Age; Johnny Cash to Marilyn Manson; Van Morrison to Rob Zombie. Berlioz and Tchaikovsky, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, Peter Paul and Mary, John Denver...it goes on and on. I have collections on vinyl, cassette, cd and mp3. I am constantly adding to my own infinite playlist.

For your prompt today, I'd like you to think about your favourite songs or musical compositions, even an instrument or sound that inspires you. Write about it; how it moves you; what inspiration or feelings it can unearth in you.

and p.s. I'm looking for a piano again...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Challenge. Dare. (Monday - 5/10/10)

~ Welcome back folks.Thank you for all your comments and feedback on week one. Thanks to Tiffany, Cathy and Sir Eric for the blog shout-outs, (I apologize if I've missed someone) and everyone who posted their writing in the comment section. I encourage sharing in the form of comments, links to personal blogs, etc. I do moderate all comments and will not post anything that I consider detrimental to another writer. I believe in the strength of creativity and voice, and while we all need editors at times, I do not wish for this venue to be the place for it. In addition, I respect the desire of some to post anonymously, but would ask them to reconsider so we can know who our fellow authors are. I am honored to be among you all, to witness your art and share in your process. Thank you! ~


Wisdom. Challenge. Discovery. Change. Journey. Intuition. Inspiration. Illumination. Passion. Independence. Balance. Creativity. Sovereignty. Grace. Divinity

This is my personal mantra, of sorts; something that gets me going when I'm lagging; it reminds me who I am and who I want to be; it is something that reaffirms my ambitions. I read it often; recite it aloud. Just words. Single, stand-alone words, but each one, for me, carries enormous punch. Favorite words which mean as much to me on their own as they do when mooshed together. (mooshed - that's one of my mom's words - mooshing and moiling. nice!)


For today's prompt, I would like you to choose any one of the above words. Or. you can choose all of them and incorporate them into a piece. Happy Writing!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Where do you find your inspiration to write?

As artists, we are always observing - viewing life from various angles. We run whispered dialogue across our lips; frame the perfect shot when watching friends, family, strangers, babies, animals, clouds, sunsets…

I have found inspiration in nature – in the heaving of the ocean, the dust of a spinning vortex, and the blades of grass blown sideways by the wind…
I have found it in music – in the sway of melody, the rhythm of percussion, the beauty of lyrics…
I find inspiration in art and sculpture, architecture, photographs, paintings and in the words of other authors.

It is my desire for this blog to fuel the fires of momentum and encourage creativity in others. (It is also a means of keeping my own imagination stoked, because we all know, the worst thing any artist can encounter, is that big-fat-brick-wall of UNINSPIRED!)

I will post a prompt each Monday. It might be a quote or a link to a song. It could be a painting, a photograph, a single word, or just a phrase. All you need to do…is simply write. Write a song, or a story, or a poem. You don’t have to share it with anyone unless you want to. Let’s compel CREATIVE to get off the ground!

Day 1 – May 3, 2010 – Your prompt is the title of a movie from 1996:
Unhook the Stars.