The Sunday Gathering: Reading From the Week That Sticks With Me

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Reading is like breathing for me.  If a person is going to write, a reader they ought to be as well.

Sunday is the perfect day to reflect on all of those words and do some thinking about how to put them into action in my life – personally or in my work. Sometimes, this is one in the same.

As an educator, I read somewhere that it is our obligation to share what we learn with others.  Keeping it to ourselves only helps so many individuals.  By sharing it – who knows how far the inspiration goes?

Below is a gathering of some of the reading I did this week that I’m pondering on today.  Get some coffee and reflect along with me and let me know if any of it resonates with you as well. 🙂

Jessica Serran, an artist, guide and psycho-cartographer, blogs about owning your value and your gifts.  Mmmmmm. . . LOVE that.

Over at Circles of Faith, Elise Daly Parker shares a snippet from Holly Gerth’s latest book, You’re Going To Be Okay.  Holly writes about her grandpa’s life of serving and connecting with others.  Another book gets added to my Amazon cart! 🙂

My neice, Micara Link, writes about her panic attacks and shares how she now recognizes these attacks as her body’s way of speaking to her about needing more self-care.  She lists her key tools in her tool box to keep self-care in check. This young lady has shifted my soul in many ways.

I’m working through Jeff Goin’s Tribe Writers e-course and one big thing he writes about to build your tribe in order to share your writing is to create mouth watering anticipation.  Wow.  How do you do that?   Then, I came across Elisabeth’s Ellington’s blog at the dirigible plum.  Every Sunday, she creates a blog entry to round up her online reading from the week.  I anticipate it as I know her choices are ones I will savor and learn from.  So, I’m taking a lesson from her and creating my own Sunday list of readings.  Ta-da! Anticipation!!  Thank you, Elisabeth, for being a mentor blog for me and giving me the inspiration I needed today! 🙂

A teaching blog I follow faithfully is Blogging Through The Fourth Dimensions. Pernille Ripp writes from a deep and thoughtful place about the invisible children in her classroom.  It’s a thinker.

For a laugh, my childhood friend, Val, started a blog this fall to chronicle the issues we women have in our mid-life struggles.  I giggle at her stories because I live them, too.  I hear her voice in her writing and I’m anxiously waiting for her next entry.

Hope you find peace and love in your Sunday  and in the week that follows.

Be amazing ~

Shari 🙂

Gratitude Quiets The Mind

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Bernice is on a rampage this morning. (Incase you don’t know Bernice, she’s my mind.)

Awakening on a Saturday morning at home, after being gone for almost a week, will get her going like a crazy woman with an anxiety attack.

“Get up and clean this house, for Pete’s sake, it’s disgusting – kitchen, bathroom, bedroom. . . honestly.  The heaps of dirty clothes need to get washed, there are no fresh groceries in the house – get to the store, and you’d better bake something – the boys are home – they are looking for treats, work on some school presentations and planning being  you have all this fresh knowledge in your head from Ohio, and you should get up to school and do some planning for next week anyway, oh my gosh – TAXES!  YOU NEED TO GET GOING ON TAXES!! Your car is still sitting in the driveway, you know from when you hit that deer last weekend!  You’d better get it towed to the shop – and what are you going to drive next week?  Check with insurance and see if you can get a rental and have it covered.  You have not written a blog post all week, you call yourself a writer? TAXES!!  Ugh, walk or do yoga or SOMETHING with your body today – you certainly didn’t need to eat that teramisu and french bread dipped in olive oil last week – not to mention all the other restaraunt eating that does not qualify as very healthy, better change it up – get some food prep done so you aren’t walking that path all week.  Did you exercise AT ALL last week? (Well, yes, I did yoga one day.) THAT’s not enough.  Giddyup!  You’d better call Gracie, have you checked on her lately?  And, your parents, do you even know how your dad is doing??  Check out where the world is on the Ukraine crisis – make sure you spend some time worrying about this – you have two soldier age boys, you know, you NEED to be concerned about this. . . and pray for the people on that missing plane. . . heavens. . .”

She doesn’t stop.  Not even to take a breath.  I dread getting out of bed because I don’t know where to start.

Deep breath – get up and make coffee.

Ritual.  Start with ritual.

Climbing the stairs to my sanctuary to write, I set my coffee down, light a candle and open my notebook that begs for some words on the page.

I hear Bernice tell me to tell me to hurry up – I have things to do today.

Then,  a little nudge of an angel voice whispers in my ear, “Be grateful.”

I close my eyes and breathe from a place deep within myself.

Looking out the window, above my desk, I gaze at the sea blue sky, light fluffy clouds slowly sailing to the east – like ships moving, the sun shining directly in my window onto my notebook, still in rising mode.

My soul wells up.  Bernice quiets down.

I am so grateful for this day God gave me.  This gift of grace.  Of writing, this gift I give to myself, an honoring  of my true self.  The music serenading in the backgound – Chris Rice singing Hallelujas and guitars strumming. My deep dark coffee laced with swirling almond milk – this missing during my days away from home.  The first pen grabbed to write with begs to be written with and words flow out of it. My husband, who never harps on what I should get done on the weekend – he gives me this space.

This is my heart speaking.  I call her “Rose”.

I like listening to Rose.  She’s much nicer than Bernice.

I close my notebook and ask my husband what he’s planning for the day.

He tells me, “A little tv, I might shoot my bow, we should take some fish out for supper.”

I shake my head and smile at his ability to have a quiet mind and wish I could be more like him.  I know this is why God partnered me with him.

“You wanna get bundled up and go for a walk?” I ask.

“Yup, right after this hunting show.”

“Okay.”

I decide to have another cup of coffee and start a load of laundry.

I think it’s going to be a beautiful day.

My Angel of Love

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Life Book 2014 Lesson for Week 9 arrived in my email inbox this week.  I stared at it and already knew that I was not going to be able to complete this lesson this week.  Just like I didn’t complete Week 8, or Week 7, or Week 6.

I joined Life Book 2014 this year because I love to art journal, but I don’t make time for it, allowing “real life” to take over most of my time.  The bliss I feel when actually creating in my art journals is pure heaven.  The world disappears and my soul is nourished.  Early on, a disciplined student was I, Weeks 1-3 were completed. Now, the lessons sit idle, waiting for me.

Writing is different.  I write every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.  My hang up is making it public.  Fear of putting too much out there, looking like I’m self-promoting or needing attention, or being judged are issues I wrestle with on a daily basis.  This is why I joined the Slice of Life Challenge for March ~ and hope to “put something out there” every day this month, so that it feels natural to do so.

I fear not being able to keep up with it every day, just like my Life Book class.  Who can have something worthwhile to share with the world every single day for an entire month?

A fellow facebook writer friend today told me that I have things worthwhile to say.  Her words were savored by me ~ she probably had no idea how much I needed them right then and there.

How many times have we felt that our words didn’t matter?  That our voice would not be heard even if we spoke up?  Well, it’s not true.  Our words make a difference.  Even, if it’s for only one person.  That one person who needs those words at that one time, so that’s why we write.

I’m sharing my art journal page from my first Life Book 2014 lesson this year.  She is my Angel of Love.  She is a symbol for my WOTY, which is Love.  Gazing at her, she reminds me, to love my work, love my art, love to share my message and that it matters.

What the Internet is Doing To My Productivity

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What the Internet Has Done To My Productivity

There are currently 11 tabs open on my mac.  Before 10:00 am.  (Yes, this is a fragment.  I know.  I’m making a statement.)

It’s Saturday morning, 6:45 am.  A rediculous -26 degrees below zero in frigid northern MN.  I’m thinking that I am going to get a boatload of tasks checked of my to-do list today because I’m not stepping foot out into that danger zone outside.  Cleaning, writing, school work, decorate the tree and maybe even begin some Christmas baking.  I’ve got English Toffee on my mind.

Because of the mouse that I BELIEVE ran across my face this morning as I was pulling out my REMs at 6:30am, I first go to my facebook page and post this trauma to my status.  Childhood friends console me.  Teaching colleagues and relatives were as mortified as I was.  Former students from my first year teaching appear to reminisce.  Community friends offer solutions:  peppermint oil or cats.  My daughter scolds me in that I need to wash my bedding.

Knowing I should NOT log onto facebook before noon on a Saturday, yet realizing I’ve already broken my cardinal rule, I continue to peruse facebook status’, commenting and clicking on intriguing links that grab my now distracted mind.

A fb friend posts Steven Pressfield’s Writing Wednesday post on  Managing Your Time.  Whoa.  That is the Universe speaking to ME right now, so I’d better surf over there and find out how to best do that!

Pressfield relives a narrative that makes me chuckle because I live the same one, but these are the words that I write down to remember from his post:

“You have to run your day. You can’t let your day run you.

 You must roll out of bed each morning with an unshakeable focus and intention. Your novel, your start-up, your movie. That’s your day. That’s why you’re here.

 You can’t yield to distractions and temptations. You must be like the Blues Brothers.

 You’re on a mission from God.

 Who is in charge of your day? You are!”

Ok.  He is right.  As soon as I get off here, I’m going to start some writing.  But first, I’m going to tweet this blog post on Twitter.  It’s too good to lose and others will benefit from his wise words.  Pressfield wrote the War on  Art. The man speaks volumes. He knows a thing or two about productivity and resistance.

Once on Twitter, I come upon a tweet that has caught my attention.  Cathy Mere tweets that everyone should take time to read the tweets on #nerdlutions.  “Hmmm. . . what is this?  I’d better check this out as it must be too good to miss.” I click my way over there.

I believe “#nerdlutions” was started by Christopher Lehman, but perhaps the term was derived by Colby Sharp, but I’m not 100 percent sure, needing to give credit to where credit is due.  It seems “#nerdlutions” is defined as committing to doing something or some things for 50 days.  There are no rules.  Just make sure it makes you happy.

Of course, I’m a sucker for these things.  I’m in.  Being a part of this amazing  Twitter community is the draw.

I commit to 30 minutes of writing and 30 minutes of “moving my body in some form of exercise” every day.

 I’d better retweet this and I’ll pin it to my Pinterest wall as one of my blog posts to read over and over so I don’t forget about it.

Whoa, stop the trains – once at Pinterest,  after pinning this blog post, of course other pinners who have pinned this to their wall as well, pop up.  My mind tells me that these are “like-minded” souls, so I need to check out their walls.

I click on a pin that pulls me in.  It leads me to Brainpickings, a site that I have become lost in before.  Uh-oh.  Don’t know if I should be here this morning, but I’m already astray.  The post I’m called to is by Maria Popova and titled,

The Psychology of Getting Unstuck: How to Overcome the “OK Plateau” of Performance & Personal Growth”,

 which leads me to a book, Maximize Your Potential, by Joshua Foer.  These words from the blog post resinate in my mind for awhile and a rereading in necessary:

“In the 1960s, psychologists identified three stages that we pass through in the acquisition of new skills. We start in the “cognitive phase,” during which we’re intellectualizing the task, discovering new strategies to perform better, and making lots of mistakes. We’re consciously focusing on what we’re doing. Then we enter the “associative stage,” when we’re making fewer errors, and gradually getting better. Finally, we arrive at the “autonomous stage,” when we turn on autopilot and move the skill to the back of our proverbial mental filing cabinet and stop paying it conscious attention.”

The problem most of us have is staying stuck in “autopilot”.  By staying in our comfort zone, we tend to ‘cease to care about improving’.  Our mind tells us, “Ah, this is good enough.” I begin to think about the areas in my life I am on autopilot on and which areas need some improvement.

After savoring this post, I navigate over to Amazon to toss the book into my cart.

I don’t think I have to tell you what happens once I get there.

After losing two hours, I shut my laptop, I begin to wonder if I am crazy.  Am I alone in this world of distraction?  Are there others out there that are not able to accomplish their daily to-do list because of our online communities and getting lost in the internet playground.  I know I can’t be alone.  I ponder that if this is a struggle for me, an educated adult, what are our children going through?

I glance over to my bookshelves next to my desk.  A book seems to pop out at me.

The Shallows:  What the Internet is Doing To Our Brains by Nicholas Carr.    I don’t even remember buying this book.  I pull it off the shelf and realize I need to read this today.

After I post this to my blog today, an “unplugging” for the remainder of the weekend is in order.  I have things to do.  My mind needs a rest.  My husband will be home soon as ask me how my day was and what I did.  I’d better get something done, fast.

I might sleep with a sleeping bag on the dining room table tonight.  I don’t think mice can climb table legs.  You might say they can’t climb bed legs either, but when you blankets creep off to the floor, this creates a nice ladder for the little varmints to climb.

Did I mention I ran out of my decaf beans and perhaps ground caffeinated ones instead?  They were displayed in an unmarked glass jar.

Explains a lot.

Writers and Their Notebooks

I have at least 30 or 40 notebooks and journals filled with my writing.  They are all over the place.  This is a photo of some of the notebooks that would show up for a portrait.  Others are in boxes, shelves or drawers, or just in hiding.

If you are an avid writer, you know how fast notebooks can fill.

I’ve always struggled with the next step.  A filled notebook.  This treasure. . . where should I put it?

Put it on a shelf. . . or in a box. . . or a drawer. . .

I have been doing some reading lately in a couple of new books on writing.  One book, A Writer’s Book of Days, by Judy Reeves has shifted some thinking in my mind about organizing all these notebooks for actual productivity.

First and most importantly, a writer has to be clear on the kind of writing that the notebook contains.  It could be any of the following:

1.  Journaling

We need to clarify this term.  A journal is a noun, which defines it as a notebook, book or a log.  To journal is a verb, which is defined as to personally record occurrences, experiences, and reflections  on a regular basis.  This is writing that is for self-exploration, self expression and is probably private.  I usually do this kind of writing when I am in deep despair, wrestling with a deeper issue or problem, a catharsis of sorts.  Much of my writing is this.  I start with an issue and answers appear in my writing magically.  No one gets to see this stuff.  I really should burn these notebooks when done purging.  Therapy on a dime.

Journals can also be used as a record keeping device.  My father-in-law has kept journals for years.  He documents daily weather, visits with others, trips, and events of the day.  It amazes me how well the journals can help him remember details from his life.

2.  Morning Pages

I attempt to write every day.  I start where I am and try to fill three pages. I usually do not know where I will start or end up.  I sometimes start with how I have nothing to write about.  The muse almost always shows up and gives me a topic.  Many a day, this writing is blah, blah, blah, just to get writing flowing on a regular practice.  It also helps to diffuse the inner critic.  I don’t care what I write here.  I tell the critic to take a break.  It teaches me to not listen to this gremlin.  I write what I want and see what appears.  Any topic is meat for morning pages.  And, sometimes, morning pages ends up being journaling, although, I try to keep that in separate notebooks now.  Most of my really good ideas come from morning pages.

3.  Writing Practice

This is writing where one tries out a craft or a focused creative writing on a topic.  For me, I love to make captive a powerful sentence and then make it work in my own language with a variety of topics.  Love Love Love mentor sentences.  I think I need to start a menu item of just this.

Writing practice would also include those that like to respond to a prompt and creatively write.  Personally, these feel like fingernails against a chalkboard, but some writers flourish from these.  I’m forcing myself to try them.  All in all, it’s work on craft.

Again, a separate notebook for this.

4.  Project Writing

I typically start a journal just for the collection and writing of a single topic.  All my quotes, thoughts and new understandings about his writing project go into this notebook.  Once I determine a focus for an article, book or idea, I will dump everything to this one place.

5.  And this. . . is the biggie.  Writers notebooks entries.  Beginning writers tend to use the same notebook for everything:   journaling, project writings, writing practice, morning pages – all of it.  That’s okay, at first.  Just getting started writing is a feat in itself.  Applaud yourself if you are writing every day!

However, here is the rub, once you begin focusing on a project or a blog entry later on, and intend on revising and working on craft,  you can never find any snippet of writing that you know you wrote at some previous point in time that would have added that little pizzaz to the writing that you are craving!   I enter this dilemma constantly!

If you have over 25 something notebooks filled with random stuff, including moving quotes, phrases and words to describe a moment, scene or person, you might as well call it a night.  I’m banking that MOST writers don’t magically have this continuous flow of words that stream out of their consciousness like Hemmingway.  Real writers steal.

Seriously.

Read, notice, be astonished, save it for later use.  But tweak it to make it your own.

What to do?

I have decided that I need to have one notebook as my collect-all notebook.   I can capture conversations overheard, like today. . .

I was sitting in the clinic and listening to others sitting in the waiting room.  (I love waiting rooms for this reason.  So much writing material for free.)  This rough looking guy walks by with his jeans all ripped up like has intentions of wearing them that way.  An elderly man sitting next to me, leans over to his wife and says, “Now, what would make a person want to dress like that?” (My dad would say this.)

His wife replies softly, “I don’t know what they’re thinking.” (My mother would say this back.)

I don’t know what I will do with the conversation, but I know that I need to safe-keep it somewhere that is easy to access when I want it.

I stored that tidbit in my main writers notebook.  The “stealth” notebook as Howard Junker, editor of the literary journal ZYZZYVA, calls it.  This notebook will go everywhere with me, so I can capture all those secret bits of ideas, language and noticings and house them for safekeeping.

Later this month, I will do some re-sorting.  I’ll pull out the snatches of words from this main notebook and catagorize them into different notebooks.   I might have  notebook for these catagories:

*ideas for writing (books, articles, blog entries, etc.)

*poetry

*character development (this would include the dialogue snippets and character descriptions)

*five senses notebook organized by the senses (I would capture vivid descriptions here)

*quotes (not sure how I would organize these)

*sentence study (I love to collect cool sentences just because I love how they sound.  Then I try to replicate them using my own content and language.  Way fun. I know, I’m weird.)

I’m not sure what other categories will evolve. This will be a constant work in progress, but my hope is to be able to actually FIND some of the stuff I tuck into my notebooks. Yes, I’ll have notebooks galore, but I do anyway!  At least now, I’m a little more organized and focused on more purposeful writing

I’ll let you know how it goes.  Maybe I’m just dreaming.

So, I’m curious.  What kind of writing do you do?  What kind of notebooks do you use? I’d love to hear! 🙂

Shari 🙂

Why Aren’t I Writing? I Have Some Issues. . .

The first winter storm of the season has arrived to northern Minnesota with a welcoming sense of relief.  The blazing fires just north of us  subsided just yesterday, and the war zone-ish land along with charred buildings and trees can at least be hidden by snow, if only for a brief time, till some of the pain subsides.

School is cancelled.  Inner joy day for me.  This means I have a day to “catch up” at home.  Laundry piled high, dirty bathrooms and a good day for baking. . . but deep down in my core, I’m mostly being called to write.

I have not written on my blog for almost a month.  School started.  Whether a teacher or a literacy coach, the profession is all-consuming.  I vowed not to let this happen, yet I did.

But, today, I have to write.  I’m being given this day.

I’m going to write, I tell myself.

The house quiet, the snow falling.  My notebooks overflowing with some nuggets of gold in there, each screaming to be chosen by me to write about today.

Being given the perfect conditions for a writing day, I am still not writing.

Why, I wonder,  aren’t I writing?  What’s holding me back?

What really IS my problem???

As I ponder this, I’m recognizing the issues.  Several blockades are getting in my way.  The most prominent of these is being a highly sensitive person, not just in an emotional sense, but in all my senses.

First and foremost, a  prerequisite to all of my happiness. . . is heat.  This nosedive to 34 degrees (from 84, just 4 days ago) is a shock to my poptarts.  I gather my belongings (notebooks, books, laptop, tea)  and decide to climb into my warm bed.  I’ll do my writing here.  Getting snuggled in so that napping does not seem more pleasurable than writing is tricky here.  However, I’ve spent many a day writing in bed before, I know it can be done.  A nap later on will probably be necessary from all the hard writing I’m going to be doing.

Set up takes some time. Pillows need to be positioned appropriately.  Is the flat pillow best under my laptop, or none?  If my wrists get sore because they are up too high, I’ll get cranky and stop writing.  I debate. I pull the pillow out.

I need a softer blanket.  This one that covers myself, to keep warm, is stiff and kinda scratchy.  I get up to search for the log cabin quilt that my mother and I made.  The flannel strips, cut from work shirts of my dad’s and my husband’s bring me warmth, comfort and safeness as I cover my lap.  I smile.  K, I’m ready.

Type away, baby!

Let ‘er rip!

Tell that story!

Geez, what IS that smell?

My hyper sensitive nose is a gift, but also a curse.  It can always sense what’s been going on while I’ve been away (gun cleaning on the dining room table, fish cleaning in the kitchen) or not been done (dirty dish rag buried under mountains of dirty dishes, a toilet that needs unplugging).  But, usually, it distracts me from getting things done as when my nose knows there is an issue, it must be solved before I am able to move on to my task at hand.

I decide to get a candle from way upstairs above the garage in my studio.  Citron Basil.  I search for matches and once lit, I gently arrange a spot for it on my night stand.  (First, I am distraught by the newly piled clutter on my nightstand, so I have to clean this off.)  I grab the lavender linen spray and pump a couple of squirts over my bedding.  Both of these, a band-aid approach to the smell, I know.  But, I’m hoping it will detour my nose until my writing is done.

There, now let’s write.  I’m thinking about topic choice today and had planned on writing about the transition from fall to a sudden winter.  Let’s go with that.

It’s really blowing out there now. . . the wind is just a howlin. . .

My stomach growls.  Geez, I just ate a couple of hours ago, and I’m already hungry. This is a problem with being at home.  You can satisfy these callings quite easily with a kitchen at hand.  I climb out of bed, hike off to scrounge up some food and settle on a couple of slices of toast with some sensuous farmer’s market orange rhubarb jam.  Mmm. . . better get some more tea, too, while I’m here.  Save time.  I can’t be wasting time, you know.

I settle back into bed and am a little perturbed that this annoying scent is back.  It smells of someone who hasn’t taken a bath for quite some time.  It’s gotta be my sheets.  I get up and strip the bed.  Take all the pillow cases off the pillows (all 7 of them, yes, I sleep with 4, husband with 3, that’s another story).  I dig for new sheets and cases and make the bed so all is fresh.  Quilts back on.  Perfect.  Gotta love fresh bedding.

Now, where the heck was I?  For Pete’s Sake.  It’s already 9:30.

The front door slams out front.  My 19-year-old daughter enters from her 5:30 shift as a waitress.  She is giddy with glee because of the snow.  She allows Sandy in and they are both gallivanting throughout the house like a houseful of children at a birthday party.  After a small tornado in the kitchen, from her breakfast creations, she barrels into my bedroom to voice that she is NOT happy because the college has decided NOT to cancel classes and my school has.

“I can’t help that, hon,” I say.

“Well, it’s not fair!”

She packs up her backpack and hikes off to her politics class.

I shoo Sandy back outside.

All I can think is, “Thank the Universe for not canceling college today.”

Back to writing.  Now, you’d think I’d be giving up by now, but no.  I have all day.  I carry on.  I’m just not a quitter, you know.

It’s still quite chilly in my bedroom and my fingers begin that numbing whine of, “I can’t do this anymore until you get me some heat.”  Ughh.  I check the thermostat and notice it was turned down to 67.  67!  Now, this can only be the work of my husband who is highly conservative when it comes to heat.  I decide to crank it up.  Just for a while.

Up in my studio above the garage is also a little space heater.  I decide this is a necessary device for my bedroom this morning just to give it a little head start since the heat will take a little while to kick in.  I also change my socks.  I figured that it’s time to dig out my Smart wool.  My ankles were a little frosty.

It’s toasty now.  My fingers will be happy.  I won’t be, though, if they don’t produce something here.

I carry on, but more of the same ensues.

The front door slams again and Gracie barges back into my bedroom.

“Class was cancelled!”

“Haha.” I chuckle.

“There was a sign on the classroom door.  I don’t know why she couldn’t have emailed us!  Oh well, I’m gonna clean my room today, and Sandy’s gonna help and then I’m gonna make Pumpkin Spice cookies and decorate them with orange cream cheese frosting!”

Off she skips.

Oh my.  Expect kitchen clean up later.

And on it continues. . .

A large oak tree branch from a dead tree falls on the roof with a crash.  I have to get up and seek out the damage.  Squirrels outside my window are digging ferociously for acorns now buried under the new blanket of snow.  I watch this for a while and wonder when they will have enough stored up.  Music is now blaring from Gracie’s room.

I really need to get some decent writing done.

My fingers are just weeping at what is coming out.

Maybe it will quiet down around here later on.

Maybe I should do laundry.

Then. . . the power goes out.

I take a nap.  It’s a good day for a nap.

Maybe I’m not supposed to write today.

Ann Cameron calls this procrastination.  Steven Pressfield says it’s resistance.  Nancy Slonim Aronic:  lack of discipline.  I say it’s all of the above, with a touch of ADD.

All I know is that I had most of my day to write, and I didn’t write much.

Well, I did write this post.  I guess that’s something.

Again, my fingers weep at what comes out.

Trying Out Word Press Themes. . .

I get bored with the same shoes, clothes, food, anything. . .  after too long.  It drives my husband crazy.  I’m sorry, hon,  Anyways. . .. I’m trying out Word Press themes this week.

Visually, I’m having a hard time finding the one that speaks to me in a way where I say, “Oh man. . . this is it.”

Maybe it’s because I am not to the pay money stage yet for a theme.  I want free.

But, along with free, you lose the ability to choose fonts and background colors.

Anyways. . . this week, I’m trying out themes. I need help and advise.  Serious and critical.  What do readers like?  Coming from a literacy background I know that struggling readers need black font on white background.  It’s hard for me to stray from that.

But, I need pieces of my art in there.  Most of my posts will have my art journal page as the image.   I need that in there.

So, I’m looking for advise here.  Tell me.  Critical or positive.  Let me know.  What is it that attracts readers to actually stay long enough to read an entire post?

Shari 🙂

p.s. the Snoopy artwork was borrowed from http://stepupyourgamenow.com/2012/06/to-decide-or-not-to-decide-that-is-the-question/ and I read the entire post.  It didn’t help.  But, I loved the site!  I’m now a follower. 🙂