• April is National Poetry Month!

    Prose writers can click here to find one way to honor their poetry fellows. See what Pacific Northwest poets are doing in April here.
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    On 12.01.09, I estimated that I had about 32,000 words left to write to complete my first draft of the opening book in my paranormal mystery series, THE LOST & FOUND.

    Here's my progress updated 2.12.10:

    33% of 32,000 (10,648 wds)
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Nancy Drew’s Powers of Observation: Friday’s rainbow meditation

Original image: “Lily Pads, Morton Arboretum, Chicagoland, 2007” by Tamara Kaye Sellman.

The simplest way to handle a meditation is to sit comfortably in a quiet, dimly lit space, light a candle, and stare at the flame while you read the meditation, multiple times if necessary. Very soft background music can help block out the sounds outside your space. You can approach a meditation in multiple ways. One popular way is to think about the meditation itself and “listen” from inside for responses to what it’s suggesting to you. “Listening” can include actually hearing words, but it can also mean feelings, intuitions, passing images and other idea “inputs” that are normal for you. Another effective way is to spend the first part of your meditation staring at the candle flame and breathing, thinking of nothing at first (do not read the meditation yet). Allow your mind to spend its stray energy and breathe all the random thoughts as far outside yourself as you can. The goal is to be blank; then read the meditation and “listen.” Sometimes, the material in the racing random thoughts you just dispelled can inform how you “hear” the wisdom in the meditation. Always remember, as creative people, we already carry solutions to our creative challenges inside ourselves. It’s how we find our access to them that unlocks our creativity and liberates us to make, be and do.

———-

Today’s meditation comes from Nancy Drew’s Guide to Life: Chapter 7, Powers of Observation

“Abandoned houses are not completely neglected if the electricity still flows.”–from The Mystery of the Ivory Charm.

If you think your own personal energy has slumped or even drained right out of you, try to remember this smart little tidbit from Nancy Drew. After all, your house (your body) may be out of shape (neglected) , but not out of commission, not until you leave this world for the next, taking your soul (your electricity) with it. This meditation is about hope, potential, and keeping at ease with yourself in all sorts of inner and outer turmoil. You may have your ups and downs, but don’t forget… even during your lowest low, your own pilot light still burns for you.

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National Poetry Month: What Pacific Northwest poets are doing to celebrate

NPM poster designed by Marian Bantjes.

What are you doing for National Poetry Month?

I’m judging a local limerick contest and reading my Poetry Corners poem, “Fabricland,” at the Flowering Around shop and cafe (Bainbridge Island) on Saturday April 24 at 7pm.  

Here are what some other regional poets are doing…  

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April Monthly Dispatch: How prose writers can honor National Poetry Month

… Pick up a pencil, not a laptop

I think of myself as an accidental poet. I have written and published poems over the last 10 years, but I’ve never studied it to the extent that my serious, hard-core poet friends have. Sure, I took a (great!) poetry workshop and it helped me a lot, but if I were hard-pressed to know why my poems worked, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I just know that learning to write poetry has made me a better fiction writer.

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Pearl Diving: Friday’s rainbow meditation

Original image: “Lily Pads, Morton Arboretum, Chicagoland, 2007” by Tamara Kaye Sellman.

The simplest way to handle a meditation is to sit comfortably in a quiet, dimly lit space, light a candle, and stare at the flame while you read the meditation, multiple times if necessary. Very soft background music can help block out the sounds outside your space. You can approach a meditation in multiple ways. One popular way is to think about the meditation itself and “listen” from inside for responses to what it’s suggesting to you. “Listening” can include actually hearing words, but it can also mean feelings, intuitions, passing images and other idea “inputs” that are normal for you. Another effective way is to spend the first part of your meditation staring at the candle flame and breathing, thinking of nothing at first (do not read the meditation yet). Allow your mind to spend its stray energy and breathe all the random thoughts as far outside yourself as you can. The goal is to be blank; then read the meditation and “listen.” Sometimes, the material in the racing random thoughts you just dispelled can inform how you “hear” the wisdom in the meditation. Always remember, as creative people, we already carry solutions to our creative challenges inside ourselves. It’s how we find our access to them that unlocks our creativity and liberates us to make, be and do.

———-

Today’s meditation comes from One Spirit: Pearl Diving

Pearls of wisdom are not only found by reading scriptures or books by holy men, or talking with teachers–we can also find the answer to many of our questions about life by looking within. So dive deep within your self, fearleslly, and find the truth that frees you from delusion and anxiety and allows you to live more freely–and more at peace.

Pounding Against the Heart: Friday’s rainbow meditation

Original image: "Lily Pads, Morton Arboretum, Chicagoland, 2007" by Tamara Kaye Sellman.

I hope to post a new meditation here every Friday to help you guide your thoughts, energy and impulses as a writer through the coming weekend. Some will be directly from me, others will come from coaches and thinkers I respect.

The simplest way to handle a meditation is to sit comfortably in a quiet, dimly lit space, light a candle, and stare at the flame while you read the meditation, multiple times if necessary. Very soft background music can help block out the sounds outside your space.
 
 You can approach a meditation in multiple ways.
 
 One popular way is to think about the meditation itself and “listen” from inside for responses to what it’s suggesting to you. “Listening” can include actually hearing words, but it can also mean feelings, intuitions, passing images and other idea “inputs” that are normal for you.
 
 Another effective way is to spend the first part of your meditation staring at the candle flame and breathing, thinking of nothing at first (do not read the meditation yet). Allow your mind to spend its stray energy and breathe all the random thoughts as far outside yourself as you can. The goal is to be blank; then read the meditation and “listen.” Sometimes, the material in the racing random thoughts you just dispelled can inform how you “hear” the wisdom in the meditation.
 
Always remember, as creative people, we already carry solutions to our creative challenges inside ourselves. It’s how we find our access to them that unlocks our creativity and liberates us to make, be and do.  

Today’s meditation comes from Beth Mende Conny:

 Pounding Against the Heart

There comes a point in an idea’s life when it begins to pound against the walls of the heart.

It seeks release, physical expression, be it by pen or keyboard.

Words give it shape and substance, yes, but cannot explain where it comes from or why, like a salmon crashing into rapids and rocks, it must get where it’s going.

No matter what, no matter how.

Listen to The Woodcarver

Public domain image: "Bells on Lacquered Stand: Marquis Yi Tomb"

I wanted to share a link with my readers, students and clients today from the Center for Courage & Renewal.

Founder Parker Palmer has his thumb on one of the key things that writers need to consider as a means for staying connected with themselves. The motto for the organization may be a simple one–“Reconnecting Who You Are with What You Do”–but it’s also one of the hardest things for creative people of every stripe to actually do.

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Monthly Dispatch for February: Use it or lose it!

Public Domain Image: "Treasure Island" by Georges Roux (1885) for Robert Louis Stevenson's book of the same title

What is it about American culture that drives us to possess things and then not use them? We are living in belt-tightening times and yet, all around us we can find plenty of things to keep us feeling whole and complete. 

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