Who Are Your Secret Social Media Inspirationalists? #sol16

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The other day, I came across a facebook post by an artist I adore, Rachel Caringella.  She wrote about how there are people on social media that we follow, read their words and are deeply inspired by.  It’s almost like we can feel a connectedness to them, as if we were best friends.  We share common passions, feelings and thoughts.  To be honest, we are like-minded-souls.  We may comment or message them, but really, many of them have no idea that we even exist.

In my mind, that is perfectly okay, if it makes us happy.

I need to share out more who these amazing people are that inspire and energize me. They need to know of their healing powers.  And, I just need to say thank you. Thanking them for the work that they do, for putting their words out there.  They nourish both the heart and soul of others.  They feed the mind.  It is my obligation to say thank you.

Today, this person was Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

She posted this illustration on her twitter feed:

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It knocked me out of my chair because I am supposed to be working on a project for one of my doctoral classes that is due tomorrow.  I can’t get the words out that I want on to paper, so I keep revising my plan.  I sheepishly peered by behind me.  Was there someone watching me?  Seriously?

“Who is this lady?” I asked my laptop.  I had to know.

It’s pretty easy to do investigative work online.  You just keep clicking on the links.  It turns out, she is children’s author, illustrator, reader, Donalyn Miller fan, and even shares (for free, mind you) teacher resources for readers.

I dove into her site and tweets, marveled by her illustrations and creative work.  Her words so encouraging.

Struck by her found art, I discovered her  you tube video to share with my third graders this week for art workshop.  Her instagram page is just too much.

I got lost in her world for over an hour.

Then, her words jumped on my screen:

“My biggest piece of creativity advice for writers & illustrators (all ages): make time to PLAY.”

Ummmm. . . yeah.  That was it.  I forgot to play before digging into my work.  I know this.  Why can’t I remember it?  It would open the flow.  I know.

I pulled out my notebook, printed some images, grabbed my paper tapes (oh, how I love my paper tape), scissors, glue stick, markers and did some playing.  20 minutes later. . .

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It surely was a Happiness Day for me.  Thank you Debbie for inspiring me and reminding me to play.  Your influence will spill over this week when I introduce you to my kids at school.  And, hopefully, to others who read my words thanking you.

This week, my slices are showcasing the inspirationalists I call my friends on social media.  They don’t really know me, but, I am letting them all know that what they do matters.

Who are your secret social media inspirationalists?

Shari 🙂

I’m participating in twowritingteachers March Challenge of posting a blog post every day for the month of March.  While I’ve missed a few days, I’m still in it for the long haul!  To check out other writers, visit here.

Stealing Ideas sol#16

If you’ve read Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon, you know that nothing is really our own idea.  Every idea we’ve ever come up with was born somewhere else by someone else, somehow.  We can put a new twist on things, but honestly, a totally new idea is rare.  Old wine in new bottles.

Elizabeth Gilbert in her book, Big Magictells the story of how she believes there are these ideas floating around out there and they decide who to land on.  When you feel inspired with an idea, that’s the idea angels, fairies or whatever you want to call them.  If you don’t do something with that idea right away, it up and takes off from you and goes to someone else.  Gilbert documents a true story that proves this to be true – in her life.

Well, my truest inspiration, if I’m honest, comes from other writers.  I love when that little nudge from someone else’s writing whispers, “Try this, Shari!”  Sometimes it’s an idea about content because a memory is triggered.  But, what I find more beneficial is when I discover a structure because I can use it not just once, but again and again.  A writing structure is like a tool that can be pulled out anytime.  The more you use it, they easier it is to remember and to whip something up from it.  In the last few days, I’ve found quite a few structures that I intend to steal and try out – with a must of giving credit to my inspirational writers.

Elisabeth Ellington at the durigible plum, wrote in her sol today about small gratitudes.  Loved it.  I’m stealing it.

Here goes ~

I am grateful:

For the morning snuggles that keep me in bed too long

For the lab with a sprained leg that lies on the couch with a wagging tail as I walk to the kitchen to make coffee

For the scale that shed one pound the last time I stepped on it

For the deep dark Caffe Verona Starbucks beans that wait to be ground for my coffee

For the clean pair of jeans that beg to be worn

For the fresh inch of snow that blankets the ground (not)

For arriving at school before most others, savoring the quiet and preparing for the day

For the conversation with my soul-teacher-friend, drinking our coffee, before kids arrive

For Grace, who enters my classroom first, with a giant smile and a full wrap around the body hug because she is happy to be here

For Wonderopolis, because we wondered about four leaf clovers and St. Patrick and all things green and Ireland

For will power to refrain from the bars and desserts in the staffroom

For gratefuls.  Because once you start looking for them, they bombard you and you cannot document them fast enough

For Elisabeth Ellington who always seems to do something in her writing to inspire me

For the gumption to write a post today

For writing. Period.

Shari 🙂

 

 

 

Stepping Away To Restock The Well sol#16

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Writing can consume you.

Even when you are not actually writing, you are preparing for writing by seeking the topic for which you might write about today.  Knowing you have to put a post out there each day adds that pinch of added pressure to pick something good, something worthwhile, something that others really care to even read.  I mean, do you really want to read about how my coffee maker overflowed?  Or all about the zipper that broke on my favorite pair of jeans? How about the fact that my dog is dragging old deer bones to the front door step now that the snow has melted?  Yes, these daily happenings could take me to deep, underlying themes of angst, aging and rebirth if I decide to go with some of these topics, but frankly, I just don’t want to go there.  Ugh. Blah. Meh – my daughter calls it.

It was time to step away for a bit.

I skipped two days of the 30 Day Slice of Life Challenge.

“This is okay,” I kept repeating to my “Bernice” brain.

I needed a little break.  Not from writing – but from writing for an audience.  Not everything we write is for the public eye.  Thank God.  Even though I had some content from my days that I could have crafted into a post, my inner writing angel, Gabby, nudged me away from the keyboard this weekend to travel with my husband to his swim meet five hours away.  Yes – to restock the well.  Prime the pump.  Collect new fodder.

Oh, how I love collecting fodder.

The collecting part of writing is where my pure bliss happens.  The not knowing what I will do with a noticing – or if it will grow into anything at all is not the concern.  All I am doing is collecting.  There is an inner joy when there is a shift into a “presentness” mode of being, a living wide awake. Arrival at this place, fills me with peace and contentment, the heart opens and expands as reminders of how connected we are to everyone and everything saturates every moment.

~the sweet coffee shop lady of Mexican decent (I think), a beautiful smile that lights up the shop, her voice like music.  I felt her healing morning blessings as she crafted my decaf dark-as-you-can-make-it latte with almond milk and a shot of hazelnut syrup.

“Can you do that?” I asked.

“Of course,” she comforted me, “It’s an art, you know”.

Can you fall in love with your coffee making lady?  Umm. . . yes.

I left the coffee shop, my hands surrounding the warmth and love in a cup that was created for me.  Yes, I can feel that.  It’s a big deal.

~the college age boys slumped back in their stools at the restaurant bar, beers waiting for them to sip on, their attention – each of them, on their phones, few words spoken between any of them.  Yeah, I felt that, too.

~the waitress who swayed us away from the house soup.  “It has been sitting in the pot too long,” she warned us.  Again.  Felt it.

~my husband’s college buddies who show up to swim with him.  My husband is 52.   These boys shift to 22 year olds.  It’s pretty hard not to feel that.

My notebook filled faster than I could keep up.

My husband became annoyed at my wonderings.  “You’ll have to google that,” became his response to anything he really didn’t have an interest in investigating with me.  That’s ok.  It was my own senses on high alert.  His focus on driving or to get his swimming mindset on.  There’s no way he could keep up to me on my fodder collecting days.  A child, I am.  He’s lucky I do most of my wondering in my head.

The most miraculous thing happens when you tell yourself you are only “collecting” and not going to write.

You can not help but be driven to write.

It’s a little trick I play on myself.

I love it when I fall for it.

So, I’m out of being eligible for any prizes in the March 30 Day Slice of Life Challenge.  I’m okay with that.  I had to go with the ebb and flow of my own writing self.

And, my well is restocked.

Shari 🙂

 

 

Migration To My Sanctuary #sol16

I could begin this as my boo-hoo tale of how my coffee spilled all over my writing desk ruining papers, a binder and several books.  But, there is great light in this dark tale.  The coffee stained desk was parked in my bedroom, the “winter writing space”.  Today, as the temperature climbed to near 50 degrees, the mess on my desk pushed me to clean up and migrate up to my three season Sanctuary above the garage.

The space heater was hauled in to warm it up a tad and then the move was on.  A few hours later, my soul welled up.  I sat, savoring the gratefulness I have for my husband who made sure that when we added on to our house, I’d have my own space. Love that man.

Let me tell you about my Sanctuary.

My writing desk is really just one of those cheap white tables that fold up – you’ve used them for graduations and garage sales.  Straight from Walmart.  I need lots of space on my desk to spread out as I tend to need several books at hand when I write.  I cover the table with a quilt, hand stitched years ago when my children were small.  Scraps of fabric found their way into this quilt from some of the dresses I made my girls when they were small.  Yeah. Heart stuff here.

Atop the quilt sits a statue of my guardian angel who reminds me to be fearless.  I discovered her years ago in a thrift shop. There’s a story. Feathers are also here – reminders of angels surrounding me.  Quotes and pictures of family adorn my bulletin board for inspiration and to fill my heart with joy.  I have a flower pot filled with fodder (quips and clippings) from random places that I can pull to prompt writing – my hatching station.  I need to write about that.

In the corner is my personal library and my comfy chair I bought myself for my birthday last year. When you turn 50, you can buy yourself presents.  Note to self:  write about the library.

Behind my writing table is my art journaling table.  If I am stuck for writing, I scoot over to art journal.  This clears my mind and always, something appears that needs to be written down.  Like magic.  It’s the angels, I know.

I didn’t even show you my sewing corner.  It’s a mess over there. 🙂

This room.  Days get lost up here.

Where creativity runs free and the muses reside.

A safe haven from the world out there.

My sacred space.

 

Doodle Revolution #sol16

I’m in a little bit of a doodle frenzy lately.

The Doodle Revolution arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago and I’m kinda hooked on doodling my to-do lists, school notes, and reflections on my day.  It seems the visuals stick in my head a little more than just written text.

So, this morning, I doodled a flow chart doodle of how I would LIKE my day to go – of course this is all speculation and open to diversions.  Like lesson plans, we must leave room for intuitive moments of flow that nudge us down a different path.  As enjoyable as side trips are, eventually, we need to get back on course in order to accomplish what we intend to accomplish.

After reflecting on my intended plans for the day, I probably would have had time to complete all of my tasks, but, the house was quiet, so my bed called me over for a nap (I forgot to draw that in – it’s really not a productive event though).  I also got lost commenting on Slice of Life stories for a tad bit of time (so many inspirational pieces out there).  Oh, and I researched Donald  Trump for a bit to affirm my belief of why he should not be president. (This was easy work.)  I also spent some time digging around for snacks and trying to decide if I should bake something but I didn’t because I figured I’d eat it all because no one else is home.  So, I ate chocolate chips.

Sigh. Smile.

Life is good.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Bullet Wednesday ~ #sol16

It’s Day 2 of the Slice of Life Story Writing Challenge at Two Writing Teachers.  The mission is to blog daily for the month of March.  This is not an easy task.  Our days are full and often we think there is nothing much to write about.  But magic happens when you are on this mission to put something out to the world every day.  Stuff to write about appears. Everything appears blog worthy.  The issue then becomes what to choose.

I follow Tim Ferris, author of 4-Hour Work Week (even though I know that will never happen – I’m a teacher for Pete’s Sake) and am inspired by his 5 Bullet Friday posts.  The structure is easy for any kind of writing day, especially when you need to write something quick and have several ideas floating around in your head.  So, here goes.  My 5 Bullet Wednesday:

Book I Am Loving Right Now ~ All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  I’m telling you, the writing in this book is so savory.  I can study a paragraph for an hour analyzing how Anthony Doerr tried to do that.  I often share my journey through this book with my third graders at school and they are in as much suspense as I am.

A Quote That’s On My Mind ~ “Living in a state of wonder involves creating space in our lives for storing up our impressions of the world, and reflecting on them.  There is something important about the storing up of things.  We are sorting, sifting and making sense of our thoughts and experiences.  And holding these things close-in a compulsively over-sharing culture-is a rare discipline.”  ~ Christina Crook

Clothing I’m Loving ~ The super clearance winter jacket I bought at Walmart FOR $19.00.  Yes, you heard it.  $19.00.  You’d never guess.  Dang, I love a good deal.

Song I’m Loving ~ Jake Owen’s Real Life.  I cannot help but dance around in my car when this song comes on the radio.

What I’m Wondering Today ~ Why did Jimmy Johns quit putting sprouts on their tuna club sandwich?  I really loved the sprouts.

There you have it.  Easy Peasy.  5 Bullet Wednesday.

Shari 🙂

 

Writing To Quiet The Voice

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While readying myself to pen this post, I couldn’t get Bernice’s voice out of my head.  Bernice is my critic, my fear, my alter-ego and she likes to taunt me whenever I try to share some writing with the world.

Today, I actually heard these words come out of her nagging mouth, “You can’t call yourself a writer.  You have not blogged for months, your book proposals have been rejected, your e-book ideas sit in your notebooks and seriously, you are just plain too afraid of me showing up in your writing.  Give it up, Girly.”

I hadn’t heard these words in a while.  A long while.  When I do put my writing out there for the world on a regular basis, Bernice quiets down.  If I have a severe lapse, she shows up, louder and louder.  Funny that.  I’ve given her space to balk.

So, to show her she’s wrong, I came to one of my blogs today (my other is theliteratemind – just as neglected) to actually get back on track to feel more writerly today. I’ve been here so many times, I could write a book on that.  I’d call it Fear of the Keyboard.  I also need to remind myself that I AM A WRITER because I do put my pen to paper every single day.  Like breathing or brushing my teeth. My purpose for writing, however, on a daily basis is not to always share with the world, it’s to find my way in the world.

So, to inspire myself, I vowed to join along the writing journey of 800+ teachers in Kate Messenger’s Teachers Write Summer Camp.  Today’s lesson was on character sketches by Melonie Crowder, author of several books, Parched, Audacity and A Nearer Moon. I’m anxious to read these books after hearing Melonie’s voice in her writing lesson.

I enjoy creating character sketches.  My favorite ones are of my husband and children because I know them so well and they are interesting to observe and write about when they don’t know you are writing about them.  But, I’ve written a few character sketches sitting in airports and on airplanes that bring me back to that moment in a second when I reread them.  I decided to rummage through the notebooks. Here is one I found from a trip to Ohio a few years past.

When I travel alone, the one thing I’ve started to become apprehensive about is the unknowingness of who has purchased the airplane seat next to me. Before boarding the plane, I scan the waiting room for loners wondering which human it might be.  Once on the plane, I sit with my eyes attentive to the entry, eyeing passengers as they look for their seats.  I wait.  On this particular flight, I sat in my window seat for quite some time, beginning to think I was going to be lucky enough to have both seats to myself.  Just imagining it was bliss.

And then he appeared.

A large man, late 30ish, maybe 40’s, wearing a tattered and tight Harley jacket, carrying an Arby’s bag, began his stagger up the aisle.  “Please.  No,” I heard my insides quiver.  I scolded myself, “Shari, that’s terrible.  Be nice.  He might be a very kind man who could be here to teach you something.”  Ok.  Breathe. Look out the window.

The closer he got to my row, the more anxiety I had.  Sure enough, after looking at the seat row signs, he scrunched himself into the seat right next to me. I hugged the window a little tighter.

“Hi,” I greeted him.

“Hey,” he replied.

After settling in, he fumbled with his Arby’s bag and jumbo pop trying to adjust his seat bucket to accommodate him.  Waves of smells came along with him – tractor grease, a faint smell of farts, (can’t think of a better word here – sorry). I began to wonder if maybe gas of this sort just leaks out of some people all day when you eat the kind of stuff that’s in that Arby’s bag.

Then, he opened the bag.  Good Gloria Lord in Heaven.

This was not your average hamburger and fries kind of stench.  I was gyro-like with strange sauces.  That combined with the tractor grease and farts was enough to make my eyes water.  I turned my head to window wishing I could open it for a whiff of fresh air or of hopes of a lady behind me with strong flowery perfume I could inhale.  Sadly, behind me was another fairly large man with a bad breath issue.  Yes, I could smell it.

I wished for a sedative.

Shut your eyes.  Breathe, Shar, meditate.  Imagine yourself laying in a field of wild flowers or fresh cut hay.  Deep breaths, one – two in, one – two out. Relax.

The Arby’s bag began to rattle.  He’s going in.  My meditation cracks.  I decide not to open my eyes.

Breathe.The stench increases three fold.  Oh my heavens – WHAT is that??????  I’m suffocating.  I should go to the biffy.  No.  He will have to move, too.

Stick it out. Breathe.  Sleep.  Breathe.I drift off. . .

I stopped writing after that.  Too traumatic.  But, I think this guy would be a wonderful character in a story about how we learn something from each person we meet. I could have had a conversation happen in real life.  But, I slept.  Wasted an opportunity.  At least there is still an chance to make it happen in my story.

Thank you, Melonie, for having me revisit this character and memory.

But, more than that. . . for helping me safely put my writing out there today.

Shari 🙂

 

Letting Go of Needing to Know

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(art journal page by Shari Daniels)

I’ve been gone for a spell.  Six months, actually.  Goodness sakes.

Last fall, I went into retreat mode.  I had just come to the end of teaching my first online writing e-course (for 28 days straight) and was exhausted. The experience was more than I ever expected.  It felt like the bravest step I had ever taken and I was so grateful for the brave and beautiful souls that joined me in this first class.  They truly held my hand all the way through, cheering me on.  Honestly though, these women changed me, not only as a writer, but as a human being.  I felt my path shifting to new places as I wrote words for them every day.   So much was waiting to be born and I was beginning to bloom as I wrote for each person waiting for my message.

By September, I was exhausted.

Because I am an introvert by nature, a summer of online presence meant I needed a season to hibernate.  Well, it’s turned into almost two seasons.  My loud inner critic, Bernice, harped on me to get my butt moving, but I ignored her.  I told her things would be okay, because it’s really cold outside and it’s nice and cozy in here.

I had come across a blog entry from one of my favorite writers, Heather Kopp about quitting deeper and I could not shake it out of my brain.  She wrote about how we humans are always demanding to know what’s next in our lives.  We are in a constant state of planning in our date books, scheduling our days with action plans and dreams, needing to be in full control of our destiny.  Anxiety sets in when we don’t know how we are going to fit it all in or when we start thinking ahead into the fear of what might happen.

Well, it spoke to me big time.

I was in that place.

My mind was swimming with writing plans.  School was starting and I was working with new teachers helping to ease their anxieties.  All of my own children had finally emptied the nest and I worrying about them.  I wasn’t sleeping well – or eating well – or moving my body.

You are all sharp enough to know what happens when we go down that road.

I decided to quit all my plans for the time being and just be for awhile.  Julia Cameron calls it “restocking the well”.  I call it “being a hermit”.  But, whatever you call it, it’s been quiet, and I’m loving it.  I did some redecorating in my writing room (reorganized all of my books, bought a new chair, light and rug).  I read books.  I took naps.  I even started watching Downton Abby.  (If you have not started to watch this series, you do not know what you are missing.)

And, I filled five notebooks, one a month, of writing.

It was heavenly, writing for my eyes only. Gabby, my writing angel, showed up daily. She and I did lots of chatting, just about every day things, no real purpose in mind. Eventually, she pushed me to write of my fears, getting to the root of them and I ended up revising this old stuff into new stuff that served as a new truth.

Just the other day, I did some rereading of these notebooks.   I realized that they are full of guidance.  Words of healing.  Of joy.  Of pain.  Of surrender. . . of letting go. All of this writing  had become my spiritual practice.  Like prayer.

I’m taking baby steps back out into the world as I try to let go of needing to know where I am headed.

I just felt called to write this post today, so someone must need it.

Besides just me.

Shari 🙂

 

 

 

 

Pondering on Four Big Questions; And A Showcase of Four Amazing Friends

 A dear writer-thinker-lady-friend kindly invited me to join in a blog hop and to ponder a few questions in where I am at in my journey of writing, creating, breathing and just being human. Well, of course, without a hesitation, I said yes ~ not to promote myself, but to make myself create some space to actually reflect on where I am right now, and where I might be headed. AND, I wanted to have the chance to shout out to the world some of the most amazing friends I’ve made out there in the writing, creating, heart and soul seeking world.

Jeff Goins, a writing teacher I’ve learned so much from, writes that “content is not king ~ it’s all about relationships.”  Well, we know we need to have something worth saying for someone to spend time reading it, BUT, if we don’t have others to share with, it’s only helping ourselves.

 So, here are the Four Big Questions ~

 1.  What am I working on?

 I love how Laura Risser Moss, in her blog, gratefulamazement,  writes that at this time in her life “the curtain on her Second Act is rising”.  I could not find more perfect words to say this is where I am as well.  My children are emptying the nest.  I’m having more time to discover who I really am – other than, wife, mother and teacher of children.

 I’m learning to listen to my body, heart and soul more, as my mind is being ordered to take more time to sit on the bench, or riding the pine, as my husband used to say during basketball season. It’s pretty hard to quiet a voice that’s been leading the parade for so many years, but my heart and soul are pretty pleased.

I’m in my bliss when I’m writing, teaching, creating, learning, helping or guiding others in finding their own true self, but also in helping others to speak and to trust their own voices.  I am working on a hodge-podge of projects right now to live out this bliss.

My bravest step begins August 1st, as a 28-Day Living the Writerly Life E-course.  I began writing this several years ago when I took an online course, called Flying Lessons, by Kelly Rae Roberts, but fear kept showing her scary face and I’d tuck it away.  Well, one day, when the scary monster was out barking at someone else, I hit publish and out to the world the course flew!  There was no turning back.  I can not contain the excitement I have bubbling up inside me to begin this journey guiding others in living like a writer and into hopefully believing that they truly are writers as well.

 In 2012, I vowed to listen to my soul and instill more creativity in my life.  Jeff Goins, was offering a free writing e-course at the time called, You Are A Writer, and this course became the door I entered that opened up an entire world of possibility.  I began two blogs, islandsofmysoul.com and theliteratemind.blogspot, joined a few writing groups, one called Tribe Writers,  and am now working on a book about listening in education.  It’s a timely book due to the increasing use of technology and lack of face to face communication.  This book was born two years ago, so I need to do a giddy-up on it before something more attractive diverts my attention.  It usually does.

I also have two other E-courses marinating in my brain right now as well.  One revolving around writing through our brokenness and the other, a course designed to heal ourselves while taking a journey through our mind, body, heart and soul.  I’m hoping to invite some other fabulous women into this e-course.  These courses came to me during my own writing and through a need.  Our world is going through a huge shift right now.  I’m feeling so much pain and brokenness “collectively”, as my friend Bridgette says, and my soul is crying to help do some healing in any way I can.  Perhaps this healing will take place through writing.

Julie Cameron writes that we need other creative sources besides writing, so that when writing feels stagnant, we can switch gears to another medium and that restocks the writing well.  Art journaling is this other passion.  While painting and using mixed media, messages of encouragement, inspiration and guidance fill my pages.  To keep my art journal girl happy, I participate in the Life Book 2014 online community of art journalists.  Each week is filled with a new lesson by an amazing artist and energetically filled connectedness with others.  Almost by magic, my art journal images often fit perfectly with my blog post writing.  Funny how that works.

 More recently, I’ve been nudged towards making Spirit Dolls. These are dolls created by a its maker to hold energy or an intention, lead one to a dream or to guide one in their path.

I’m not sure where these creative parts of my being will lead me, but for now, I’m just feeling the flow and enjoying the journey.

In August, I go back to my full-time job of being a literacy coach at a K-5 elementary school, so I fear writing and creating will slow down.  I am vowing not to let that happen this year as my artist self begs me to integrate creativity into my work wherever it’s possible.  Working with teachers and children, there’s plenty of room for this if I just pay attention.

2.  How does my work differ from others of it’s genre?

 Well, I’m not 100% positive as to what my “genre” is yet.

What I do know, is that my writing flows from my heart and soul.  It’s not always me putting those words on the page.  It might be poetry one day.  Another day, it could be a short narrative or reflective essay.  I’m still searching for my voice and theme, yet, I like to believe my words are healing and filled with an energy that radiates light, love, and hope.  Sharing my vulnerabilities and my own brokenness has connected me to others that feel pain, too.  If I can help others, even if only a few, to heal through the use of tools that have worked for me, then I am grateful.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I write what I do in order to live.  If I neglect writing, the rest of my life begins to get muddy. Foggy. Unclear.  Depression seeps in.  Writing gives me clarity and direction.  It clears the cobwebs and allows my soul to speak.

Most of my writing remains in notebooks.  I am faithful to Morning Pages each and every day – at least a full 3 pages of whatever comes out of my flowing pen.  Sometimes, words from these notebooks find their way into my blogs, but often, they remain in my notebook as answers to my wonders or lessons learned.

I write what I do on my blogs as a way to reach out to others who may be wrestling with what I wrestle with.  Perhaps they have tools they can share with me, as well.  But, mostly, it’s to share what has helped heal myself in hopes to help others.  It’s a way to build community and affirm to us all we are not alone and that we all share the same humanness.  I’ve learned that writing is one tool I can use to share my gifts of teaching and helping others heal ~ through words.

4. How does my writing process work?

Not very well.

Like I said, I am faithful to my Morning Pages every day, but beyond that, it’s a circus.  Writing for my eyes only are like breathing.  Once I desire to put something out there for the world, my hands hover over the keyboards for a lengthy period of time.  My fingers often weep at what comes out.  It can take me all day to do a blog post as I am also a bit of a researcher and feel obligated to have some valid words from others to support my own opinions.  I am critical of my words and attempt to weave in craft, trying out different leads and structures.

Once a blog post is written, I leave it sit for a period of time and come back to look at it with new eyes.  Of course, I won’t like it.  And, chances are, I’ll change the whole piece or choose just to chuck it.  If it doesn’t feel like it came from my heart, I can’t send it to the world.

One of the biggest roadblocks that hinders my process is the fear of ever sounding expert-ish, know-it-all-ish, self-promoting, judgmental, critical or laced with ego.  I scour my words for any evidence of these demons.  Often times, even when I know my words are written with love and compassion, my fear will tell me otherwise and the words will sit in my draft box indefinately.

My writing process truly is a love/hate relationship for me.

Wow. . . those were some pretty thought provoking questions.  The answers are true for me today, however tomorrow they might be totally different.  These four questions might be path unfolding for anyone to ponder on.

Now ~ here are some amazing writer-artist-healer-people, that I call my friends~

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Laura Moss is beyond grateful to be able to say she has survived being Mom to 4 spirited girls, a battle with aggressive breast cancer, and some difficult seasons in her almost-25-year marriage. She calls herself a Creative, is drawn to beauty in all its forms, and loves loving on people. You can find more of her musings at gratefulamazement.wordpress.com.

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 Leslie Molen is a doll and textile artist.

I have been a full time artist for over twenty years, specializing in dollmaking and textile arts. I have had discussions with friends about what keeps me going, the drive to continue onward.

 Many comment on how I nice it is that I have found my passion…

pas·sion

noun \ˈpa-shən\ : a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

I tell them it is my calling, I must do this- create in cloth.

call·ing

noun \ˈkȯ-liŋ\

: a strong desire to spend your life doing a certain kind of work or impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.

And so my journey to create in cloth continues…this past year I have taken a step back from teaching so that I may start to work towards focusing on my personal art. It is a slow endeavor that will take time to nurture into existence! Stay tuned!”

You can visit Leslie’s page at Rootie Studio and her blog at from these Hands.  Prepare to get lost in her studio!

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James Prescott is  a writer and author from Sutton, near London in the UK.  He loves writing, encouraging people, and seeing people discover their true identity.

“My life journey keeps on teaching me lessons about discovering hope in an imperfect world, and how we can discover our own unique stories in the the midst of this. I share those lessons here in all their brutal honesty.

I’m believe deeply in the power of encouragement. When I was only 12 years old my Dad gave me the opportunity to help him write a major newsletter – which set me on a writing journey. That journey has led me to create this blog and author three books.

If you’re interested in discovering your true identity, if you have a passion to make a difference in the world, if you know you’re broken but are looking for hope, you’re welcome here.

If you want open and honest discussion about issues which matter, or like facing up to the important but difficult questions of life, or you’re a human being, this blog is for you too.”

Early in 2015 James will be releasing his first full-length book, ‘Mosaic of Grace: God’s Beautiful Reshaping of Our Broken Lives’.

To read James’ written words, visit him at jamesprescott.co.uk, or read his bi-monthly posts over at digi-disciple, run by the Big Bible Project, and he also guest posts for prominent authors and bloggers Sarah Bessey, Jeff Goins & Mary DeMuth, amongst others.

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Bridgette Doer connects others to their inspired intuitive life.  I’ve worked with Bridgette and she is the real deal.

“I am overflowing with creative, empowering energy with so much anticipation for what is possible for all of us. There is so much untapped potential, so much capacity. We are much more than we believe we are at this moment.

When I accepted the invitation to be a channel for empowering women by inspiring intuition, the fun energy of the Fairy Grasshopper was created. It is my mission to activate hope, inspiration, and POWER  to help to you grow and glow!  I am in love with my Inspiring Psychic and Soulful Women Empowerment work! It’s not just my job- it is who I AM. I look forward to connecting with you, to cheering you on!”

Bridgette’s website and blog is at fairygrasshopper.com.  She is one amazing woman.