Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Spark: Tiny Stitches and Golden Thread

I've enjoyed two rounds of Spark as a writer, so I participated as an artist in Spark 18.

Me? An artist? EEEK!

Once I stepped into my fear of creating something really awful, I lost track of the clock. I didn't know how long it would take to cut and strip blue and white strips out of magazine, weave them together without tearing them and take a needle and thread to the entire caboodle.

I, of course, was under the mindful tutelage of the Jumping Bean--a very accomplished creative and mixed media artist himself. He was especially complementary of the bead work and the "golden" tape.

Spark grandmaster, Amy, give us a ten day window of creation. Wow, did those ten days fly. (Oh, my, the things I could add...tire tracks.)

Here's the result:
Navigating the Web
My random partner Heidi Mordhorst shared a fun poem "Black Under Blue" to work from. Thanks Heidi! Heidi shared some of here creative process on her blog my juicy little universe.

Check out our pieces:
Are you inspired? Pick a picture, a painting, a quilt, a sunset, or a poem and create something that moved you. Allow yourself to be surprised and please, please, have fun!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Smiling Bomb

I haven't written in a while. I took a Smash365 prompt from Cool Blue Souls today.


To my own
Smiling Bomb

My grin Grows

My heels Strike.
Echo. Echo

Like the Shoe
of a horse

At the Fourth
of July Parade

I advise you:
Stay out of
Blast radius

Smiling Bombs
Can be disarmed

Are you brave?
Are you afraid?

Come closer.

Beware of the turn--
to Smiling Grenades
I've just Pulled the


Take Cover
From this thing.

This Lethal Grin
This Pretty Sin

Take cover

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

So What?

How many times have I heard...

What's the bottom line?
Why do I care?
Where's the so what?

I'll tell you what.

no care
             no line

Miles of horn
A cold train base
A raspy symbol

and the so what.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Manifestos? What?

Manifestos seem to be hailing in an increasingly disturbing frequency and size in my neck of the woods. I've been seeing them everywhere. (Is that a hint?)

So what's a manifesto? I keep thinking Manifest destiny. EEEK!This is what Wikipedia says about manifesto (definitely not the same as mainfest destiny):
  • Latin root word: manifestum. Clear and concise
  • Comes to english from the Italian word "manifesto"
So manifesto is really Latain Italian word. Neat. In the business world we call this a vision or a mission statement. <Barf> and very helpful in the context of business, profit, and the pursuit of whatever.

As a manifesto I see these written in posters like Holstee's manifesto about "Life" or go check out these examples at Life Hack.

What's your manifest? What are you clear on? Here's mine:

Yeah. Blank slate. I'm contemplating. Help?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Endless Shades Of Maple

I don't find many times when I am speechless. The endless shades and shapes of this year's fall leaves has been one of those times.

This week spend some time reflecting: When do you find yourself speechless?

Friday, October 5, 2012

In My Next Life

I am fortunate in this life to have found so many mentors and friends in places I didn't expect. Jennifer* once said we design our lives before we are even born: our parents, our challenges, our fatal flaws, our gifts, our location...). Sometimes I stand in amazement of all the places I've been, strength I've had, and words I've read. Other times, I wonder what I was thinking when I decided how to do this life. Who would inflict this on anyone? Who would choose to be the way I am?

I did, of course!

I am grateful for this life. The design is a masterpiece--it's full of adventure, surprise, and opportunities to be flexible and ever changing. I've been think about what my next life might look like because maybe it will help me see the part of the what I might be missing in this life.

I invite you to explore what you are learning in this life and consider what you might design into the next one. Write about it. Create about it. Cry about it. See what happens!

In My Next Life

I'll have a magic wand
And faerie dust
Swirling from my finger tips
As small as a speck
As mighty as a star

When you inspire joy
and expire sorrow
in slowing breath
After a storm
You will know me

You will know me
In the familiar smile
of a passing stranger
And carry me as 
The itch inside your nose

I'll wave my wand
As small as a speck
With the might of a star
You'll blink the out dust
Like I never existed at all

*Thanks to confidant Jennifer for a new way to think about the many pickles I found myself sandwiched between. (Yes, Jennifers, see if you can figure out which one you are!)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Teasing Out the "Big" Questions

Now that the Jumping Bean is in first grade, we have homework. This week we were introduced to "answer a question poetry." Question poetry format is:

1) The question (What's...)
2) At least five lines answering the question
3) The question as a declarative That's...)

JB's assignment was: "What's School?" While JB was writing his poem, I wrote one of my own: "What's JB?"

Writing about JB is quite easy for me. I'm writing another about a "thing" I can't see my way around. It's taking more thought. What is it exactly? What's upsetting about it? What's the joy in it? How do I feel about it? I'm teasing it out, and I hope to untangle the rat's nest.

Ask your own question. Use a question/answer poem and see what comes up. If you are moved to do so, please share your experience with us.

Our Creative Space

What's Jumping Bean?
Silly. Funny.
Creative, building artist
Awesome, wondrous, stupendous
Mystery of the Universe
Full of Magic
That's JB.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scribbles and Prompts

I came across some jots in my journal. On our way home from Germany or flight was delayed three hours, I wrote these down as for both amusement and writing prompts.
  • A suited woman in her sixties is holding a red rose and looking at it
  • A nun wearing baby blue robes is walking back and forth. She passed us by four times
  • A woman with two very young children is singing songs. "Doe a deer, a female deer." "there's one little duck with a feather on its back..."
  • A little boy dive bombs a water bottle with a cardboard airplane found
  • We missed our train home

The challenge: Pick one or two and write stream of consciousness for 10 minutes. Enjoy and share your results.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Boom Boom Boom

For about a year now the Jump Bean has been singing "Baby, you're a firework, come up to the stars tonight" over and over again. He learned if from his best friend at school, and I sang along. I never thought to find out where it came from. We were eating in the Hard Rock Cafe in Budapest and saw Katy Perry's video for "Firework." I finally put it together. This was JB's song!

Our waitress proudly told us Katy gave a concert in the palace across the river and filmed the video for "Firework" in Budapest. By evening JB was jumping on the hotel bed listening to the song our friend downloaded on to her Ipad over and over and over.

This weekend, we searched "Firework" on Youtube and watched the video several times (like 100 times). The Jumping Bean doesn't tire of it. He points out the places we've been (including the bridge where the spider shoot took place) with such excitement. My hope is JB doesn't eat any fireworks thinking they will shoot out of his chest. He's already brighter than the moon.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shoes and Values

Budapest was not all smiling spiders. More than half of the city was destroyed during World War II. Budapest did not escape racial cleansing either. People took off their shoes, their most valuable possession in the eyes of their executioners, before being shot. Then the bodies were thrown into the river to save the labor it would take to dig mass graves.

Budapest Memorial to Jewish persecution stands on the Pest side of the Danube. JB, being who he is, was fascinated by shoes made of metal. As our friend explained to the Jumping Bean why the shoes were placed on the side of the river, I watched his expression change from open mouthed wonder to scrunched up puzzlement to wide-opened eyes of sadness. JB walked the promenade, putting his own feet in the big shoes. He tugged on the shoes to see if they would move. He was especially taken back when he come to a small pair of shoes, realizing even children were killed. He couldn't understand how shoes came to be more valuable than people.

I am surprised to hear JB highlight the shoe story as part of our trip to Budapest. "Hey, Mom, who were those people that took off their shoes?" Even at five, he recognizes Jewish persecution as an important story to tell and WWII as time worthy to remember. Maybe someday we will go to the Holocaust Museum in DC, and maybe shoes along a river are enough sadness to remind the Jumping Bean the value of both human and universal life.

What stories are important for you to tell?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Say Cheese, Spider!

Budapest* at Sunset, Friday June 22, 2012

Imagine walking across a lion-guarded bridge that holds a history large enough and long enough to honor a king.

Look over your shoulder. You see a palace and a sky of cathedrals lit up under the moon. You mindlessly hand the camera off of little hands with the reminder to wear the strap because you don't want to loose two weeks of writing prompts--I mean memories--to the Danube.

You pause and take a breath. The breeze from the river cools your face. You can almost taste the water as you let the air slide down your throat.

Still talking, you casually glance over at the photographer. His jaw is set to get the perfect shot. His brow furrows. He squints his eyes. He moves forward. He moves back--checking the angles, zooming in. He backs up again. You feel a warmth in your chest in the same moment he becomes very still.

Photo Credit: The Jumping Bean

"Say cheese, Spider!"

You laugh and wonder: Did the spider smile? Does the spider eat cheese? Does the spider speak English?

These are our memories from our summer adventure. Stay tuned for more.

What treasures are you savoring from the summer?

*Thank you to Jen--who made our adventure to Budapest possible. We would have never thought to go there.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dance of the Woman

What does being a woman mean? What does being a man mean? I've been turning these questions over and over as the Jumping Bean gets older. What do I want him to know about "gender"?*

What happens when you start pondering "gender"?
From http://openclipart.org
Here's what happened when I did:

Dance of the Woman
Stepping between rain drops
The fertile come to bear
Whether under an antiseptic showerhead
Or a cloud-baked sky.
We will dance

When I lie forgotten in cooking steam
Swept away by a four bladed fan
Silenced in the clunk of autowash
Deafened by pull of a vacuum
Smiling as the screen sterilizes the children
We are still dancing

I am dancing to the drum
Of low-hanging breasts slapping and swinging
Dancing with my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother
Leaping, wobbling, jumping, swaying
Let loose in a circle of stone
We are dancing

I dance, my sweet boy,
To pull of your lips
The tingling rush of warmth in my breasts
As I feed you the juicy wilds
You know the dance of a woman and
You will dance

*Thank you to my teachers: Bob, Helen, John, and Dee for requesting I read Ivan Illich, Merlin Stone, and  Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Okay. Okay. So I already posted about Get Sparked. I had so much fun the first time, I did it again!

Instead of "working alone" with donated artwork, I worked with a random partner. Speaking back and forth to with partner while you are creating from one another's work is a totally different experience.

I was speechless (in wonder) when I received my partner's* artwork. I didn't write a word for the first six days (we only get 10 days!) because I couldn't put words to something so amazing. When I started writing, I was more careful with my words and more nervous about posting.

The Writer's Vibe decided to write fairy tales, so The Amber Tree is littered with fairy tails How many can you find?

You can the results here.

*Thank you Sharon Deegan for the perfect inspiration. Thank you Amy Sousa for bringing us Sparked. Thank you WV for keeping the pen in my hand.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Walls: Blocks, Walls, Stuck (Part 3)

Walls. Walls. Walls. Walls.

Do you every feel like you are up against a wall?

Here are a few questions I ask myself when I come to a wall:
  • What's does if feel like? Is it rough, bumpy, smooth? Hot, cold?
  • What does it look like?
  • What color is it?
  • What is is made of? Bricks, rose bushes, marshmallows?
  • What does it smell like? Poo, lilacs, mashed potatoes?
  • How tall is it? Can you jump over it or parachute off it?
  • How long is it?
Even the Great Wall can be scaled and walked end-to-end.

Tell us about your wall.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Blocks: Blocks, Walls, Stuck (Part 2)

I was shocked to find when I looked up blocked in Mariam Websters on-line dictionary a few days ago, all I saw was some medical and psychological stuff. When I write the first block I usually think of is writer's block. I've been stewing in it for months!
Structure by J.B

Today I looked again and, my, how blocked looks different! How fascinating!

Here are a few of the definitions MWD offers for blocked:
  • To make unsuitable for passage or progress by obstruction 
  • To shape on, with, or as if with a block
  • To secure, support, or provide with a block
  • To make flush at the left or at both left and right
The antonyms are ever more fun: clear, free, open up. Hmmmm...

So here are a lot of ways to look at blocked. Which one do you choose?

Supports by J.B.

The words stopped
For months and months
And lay end to end  two end
Whys next to Eff and Mmmm
Ach to the Oakland As
High-railed Els back to mumbled Ems
Wide made it almost to the June bugs
With warmth to mold, shape and
Anointed a sweaty flush
Blocks open into strong arbors
For vining and spinning
                                                                     A sweet summer rose

Friday, May 18, 2012

Stuck: Blocks, Walls, Stuck (Part 1)

Recently I was in a conversation was about being blocked, stuck, and walled. How do we move through a block, a stuck, or a wall. The answer...magic, of course! Tinkerbell is coming around with the magic fairy dust now.

This is how I think of stuck.

Stuck has a lot of other words inside of it*:
  • Tucks
  • Suck
  • Cut
  • Cus(s)
I see a lot of movement in the middle of stuck.

What do you make of it?

Stuck sucks
Cut or cussed
Mixed-up-side down
Muddled in between
How stuck is stuck?

*Thanks Granny Z for bring word puzzles into being for me. I still carry paper new words I just can't not play with

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Living at the Speed of Life

Whew! Normally I'd be out of breath, totally exhausted, and tossing and turning in bed with all of this spring movement. The birds are singing, the irises are blooming, the grass is tall, school is certainly in session, and vacation is right around the corner.

May is here already!

Unlike my worry-wart overwhelmed self, I'm breathing with a big belly, gathering sweet wild flowers, picking fresh strawberries, full of energy and <gasp> sleeping through the night.

The last place I've been is behind the screen of a computer...I've been outside playing in the dirt, skimming the ponds with the dragonflies, and hunting the wild raspberry bushes.

This weekend my masters class that the pleasure to write a few proverbs to pass our wisdom on to the youngers. Proverbs are short bits of wisdom without a 50 foot ream of logic...and fun!

Proverbs are FUN, so let's have some fun and be funny!

In honor of all this bursting and living and speed, let's slow down (a little) and share a bit of wisdom with a proverb or two. What proverbs do you have share?

Here are mine:
Live at the speed of life.
Life will tell you when to speed up.
Life will brake you when you need to slow down.
You are already going exactly the right speed

Love at the speed of light
Who knows when and which star love will land on

Love is like a hybrid car, it extends the life in a moment
Love regenerates when you hit the brakes
and smiles when you tap someone else's bumper
Life will be over long before love runs out of gas

Friday, March 23, 2012

Orange Juice Kisses

Squeezing Oranges
You say: "Put your hands down
I'm going to do something
You can't do it back to me
Keep your hands to yourself"

You wrap yourself around my middle
Your arms almost long enough
To clasp your hands at my belly and squeeze
How tall and strong you've become

You slip away, your feet running
From the tile to the wood floor
I smile and squeeze the oranges
Squeezing and spinning round and round

I watch the juice soak through the pulp
Moving seeds aside with a finger
To fill the rising cup below
I pour you a glass, spilling a bit

Of the pale sunrise juice hinting at
The sun's sharpening focus
Through the misty dawn darkness
and the open kitchen window

You come back and grab my hand
A gentlemen planting an enthusiastic kiss
On its pale veined back and smile up
"I wanted to give you an orange juice kiss."

Monday, March 19, 2012


I've spent time--a lot of time--looking at how impossible I am:
  • Impossible to live with
  • Impossible to please
  • Impossible to hold a conversation with
  • Impossible to understand
  • Impossible to teach
  • Impossible to motivate
Could "impossible" be another contraction like "alone"?

 I am possible

Terra Naomi  urges us to "Say It's Possible"

 This week, be possible and see what comes up.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Divergent--Wide Thinkin'

Children have this amazing ability to make many things out of one thing. For example, we have a box at our house. The box become a boat, a confetti truck, a pirate ship, and almost became a space ship. Who knows what it will be next. I've heard this amazing ability called divergent thinking.

Many of us stop practicing divergent thinking as we be come "adults." I look at a box, and I see a box that needs to be recycled.

So, let's practice. Pick out an object that you can see right now. For two minutes list all of the things it could be. Then write for 5 minutes about this amazing object. You are welcome to share in the comments below.

I picked my favorite writing chair:

A Chair?

Is this a chair?
It is a chair
It's not a chair
Lift the flap
What's under there?
A cave
A deep, dark cave
Water rushes from far away

A kitty perch
A scratching post
A plane with wings
A place for sleeping
Add a blanket and it's a tent

Grab a flashlight
A place of ghosts and goblins
and scary things
A boat with a sail
"Who goes thar?"
Lift the cushion

And make a slide
Head first and it's a dive
Into a pool 
In hot summer's cool
 Oh, a table
I'll eat dinner here if I'm able
And snuggle in a movie theater

All in a chair

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wishing Bones

I opened the fridge tonight to get out the kale. Under the bag lay a chicken's wishbone. How did it get there? Perhaps we forgot it with the last crock pot chicken and saved it for later. Perhaps it's gift from the previous house's owner...she leaves things for us sometimes.

There's no one here to pull on it with. There's no one here to help decide who gets to make tonight's wish.

The wishing bone is yours. What do you wish for?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Music Remembered

My left arm hurts. My left wrist hurts. My left shoulder hurts. The left side of my neck hurts.
The x-rays say I'm fine.

I can't practice my guitar.
I can't type all day.
I can't cross stitch.
I can't hand write.
I can't carry anything heavy.

I'm a lefty...this sucks. 

Or not. 

I choose joy.

This week, watch the video above and be your own experiment. (Yes, please, do share!)

                                            Music Remembered

Mozart dances a scale
Doe (a dear a female deer)
Rae (drop of golden sun)
Mi (a name I call my self)
Our fingers float, stumbling
Long remembered melodies
Fa (a long, long way to run)
So (a needle pulling thread)
Mostly forgotten between
Twitches, tears, and years
La (a note that follows so)
Ti (a drink with jam and bread)
Fingers fly across smooth, cool keys
   A trill: Gently rocking
   An upscale: Thumb
swinging under to F
A cool grand arpeggio adds
The rumbling bass
   pinky finding high C
The strings echo the chorus
   A downscale:
Tallman swinging over,
resting on E
We swell to a forte song of joy
With pianissimo pain and
Into andante giggles
   thumb finding home on middle C
All we need do is listen
(that will bring us back to) Doe

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Joys in Collaborative Art

When I first started meeting with the WritersVibe last year, Lila, Traci, and Anne mentioned that after a while some parts of our writing would merge. Sometimes we wouldn't know who said what or how a phrase of a style might show up in all of our writing. In different ways, we have rubbed off on one another. I say that's collaboration. We find such joy in encouraging each other and watching one another grow as writers and humans.

Over the last month Katie introduced to me to a different form of collaborative art. I love playing with words and reading. I had forgotten the joy of playing with paints, crayons, and clay. Writing almost took a back seat to playing with the Jumping Bean's many craft supplies!

On the heels of Katie's workshop (I wrote about it here), I signed up for Spark. I made Connie Begg's picture my wall, so I could gather its secrets. Over the course of 10 days, a poem was born--along with a few new words to add to the dictionary too!

Consider trading inspiration with another creator. Let what happens next amaze you.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I Will Not Go Small

Have you fooled them again? Did you pull it off so well no one knew you weren't perfect, and you were scared out of your wits? Did you wait to speak last, knowing that everything you wanted to say would be spoken or passed over in the revolution of conversation?

I do.

I've been fooling you all for so long I forgot the Jules Fool was an act.

I've been discovered, caught, outed, Ha ha ha...ha. I'm mortified. My deepest, darkest secret has been exposed.

I am not as small as I make myself. I've promised my classmates--my council--that I will not go small.

I will speak, and I invite you to listen.

Where are you playing small? This week, let yourself be large--be seen, be heard--and see what happens. Please do share what happens when you show up a large as you already appear to us.


Here I am. I've fooled you again
Small and quiet in the corner
Never known to be any smarter
Than the brown painted door frame
Patiently holding up the roof


Here I am, following magpies
Out the window, mouth drool drips
And long brush branch dips
Swaying to the disjointed music
We call conversation


Here I am dancing in brush branches
I hear your words, rhythm, pitch, and tone
Matching the heartbeat I claim to own
A hawk screams, magpies fly
I'll speak now and you listen.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Graditude--Own it

I am practiced at giving gratitude.

I learned how to say "Thank you" when I began speaking 34 years ago. Saying "Thank you," became an automatic response.

A few years ago I woke up to gratitude. I gave gratitude--sincerely and with intention. "Thank you" has become come more than an open door, plate of food, or change at a cash register for me. For me, saying "Thank you" has becoming a blessing of being--a culturally acceptable form of "I love you." Sometimes I see gratitude received as an extra second of eye contact and a hint of a smile. Other times, I see a downward look and a mumbled "You welcome."

I am not practiced at is receiving gratitude, a thank you, or a sincere compliment. What I notice is that when someone says "Wow, thank you!" I say "Your Welcome. That's my job." To "the color or that dress is amazing on you." I say "Oh, thanks, that's my house dress. I didn't want to get out of my PJs today." In the "professional" world, gratitude comes as a yearly monetary percentage from a bodiless management. This is the gratitude I am practiced at receiving.

When was the last time you took in gratitude?


Take a moment and receive the gift of gratitude. Ask for it.

Practice taking in gratitude. Notice where gratitude shows up in your body (a smile, a skipped heart beat, a breath, a downward look, a tear).

This weekend I stood in a circle, words coming between tears, the purple elephant on my chest, and the swelling in my throat. "Tell me I'm wonderful." Going around the circle*, one by one I took it in. Each breath, intentionally deep--the meditation of receipt.

Could it be that I am also a blessed being, and I am wonderful?

I missed it. Please, please, please, please, please say it again.

I am wonderful. You are wonderful. We are wonderful.

Rachael Naomi Remen's book My Grandfather's Blessings offers a visual: Our blessings [gratitude] circle above us like airplanes in a holding pattern ready for us to receive them. These blessings hold for a life span--waiting for us to allow them to be received.

Practice receiving. Practice giving. What do you notice?

*Thank you to J11 for tending and teaching me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I signed up for Spark on a whim last week. I got my piece last night. To my surprise and delight, my spark is open water, a horizon, and cloudy skies. I'm pondering what light comes from such beauty.

Spark is writing from art and arting from write. You can work with a chosen partner, a random partner, or work alone with a donated piece of art. Today marks day 1 of 10 to complete a creation. Final results are posted here. Mouse over the art the see the writing.

Who do you think inspired who?

Here's a bit of arting from my camera for you:

You are welcome to share your results or your experience writing using a picture prompt. I do hope you'll all be with me for the next Spark round.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Silk ,Erasers, Brushes, Chalk, Water...Oh Boy!

Last weekend I attended an collaborative art workshop a three hour play session.* I have a story about art--I'm not "good" at it.
Play and creativity--the Jumping Bean way

I played for three hours without stopping with a room full of friends The best part: We sat on the FLOOR.

We played like children passing our work and adding to the next piece put in front of us. We made circles, lines, squiggles, rubbed them out, and made more on top of them.We used all kinds of different creating tools--erasers, water, brushes, silk sticks, graphite, chalk, and model magic.

I could be an artist.

I remembered how much fun I have creating and playing. We played with words:

We even made a list of how we are creative everyday. My list looked something like this:
  • Desk top toys at work
  • Jade/copper wire tree (recreated when I'm thinking)
  • Picking out jewelry
  • Spreadsheets (I do so love colors)
  • Singing
  • Writing silly stories for Jumping Bean
  • How I design the day
  • How I make the Jumping Bean's bed (I hide snakes under pillows)
  • Dinner (what is it? How does it look?)
I am an artist--not in the way of a perfect water color still life or a perfect bit of prose. Perhaps when we say 'play', 'art', or 'create,' it could all be art.

How did you play today? How do you create everyday? What did you paint with your artist's brush?


*Thanks, Katie--for reintroducing us to play, art, and collaborative creation. Katie tells me if you've forgotten how to play, she is happy remind you (for at least three hours.)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Oh, the Day I Was Born

Today is my birthday. I have a habit of sweeping today under the rug and hiding it. Everyone has a birthday, so why is mine so special?

As a precious beloved pointed out this morning, I am amazing at crafting excellent days. Today, we are going to be a most excellent day.

What are celebrating on this most excellent day?

February 6, 1977
This is the day I was born
In the company of Bob Marley and a few lefties:
A world record heavy hitting babe
A patient soon-to-be republican president
At 9:32A.M.--Mountain Standard Time
Staring at the sparkling hospital floor tile instead of the sky
Never was there a more perfect moment
To be born so alive

Happy birthday, Happy New Year, my friends. Today is our most excellent day.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Please Open the Flood Gates...

...and they were opened.

I was nestled and snuggled in my winter den and what didn't happen?
  • A jumping bean turned snot fountain
  • That new longed for position at work took a totally unexpected turn
  • An avalanche of fun emails
  • Fingers that don't keep up with the flow of words tucked into little wrinkles
  • A quite peacefully Saturday turn torrent of re-connections and fun
  • A dream of driving on an upside down mountain road on replay
  • Tears that won't stop
  • Smiles that won't stop growing
Mysteries all.

What's the gift in the mystery that spins your way? If you are willing, please share. Comments are welcome.


Flood Gates
How has the dam not broken?
How have the flood gates open?
Mystery spins a sweet snot fountain
A tropic of tears
Swirled into eddies
Swept to a quiet,
Slow elbow bend
Deep in wilds of Mystery's river

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Be a Bear

Wow! Winter's here.

What I am very clear on: I am hibernating! Early to bed, sluggish to rise, slow to answer emails, writing next to nothing creative, falling asleep with a book in my hands...

I decided not to wallow in the "shoulds" and I'm allowing myself a little grace...after all isn't that what I would do for a friend?

This week treat yourself like you would treat your best friend, child, or favorite love. Give yourself a break!

Find a few minutes and breathe...close your eyes and fill up your belly. Whether it's cold or warm outside feel how the temperature of the air slides down your throat and comes back at a perfect 98.6 degrees--consider the warmth--a gift to the snoozing trees. Allow the trees gift you with their patience, peace and strength...you may even consider tucking yourself in for a long winter's nap.

Breath in.
Breath out.

Oh, if you want to check out some really scientific stuff about hibernation go here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

12X12 Squared

Last week I sent out a cover letter and a picture book manuscript to a publisher. I love reading picture books* and writing one was an unexpected joy. It lead me to Writersvibe powerhouse and reminded me how much I love words.

Picture books are not unlike poetry...the language is precise and simple, and the goal is get your read-tos and read-ers to ask for the story over and over (and over and over.)

So this year, I'm putting some of those funny life quirks into 12 picture books in 12 months.

*Thanks, Mom, I love the way you spoke to me well into adulthood through gifts like Tacky the Penguin and the princess story where the princess outwitted all of her would be princes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Like One Million Kisses

Winter is my favorite season. This year I've longed for winter. She comes in fits and starts. She's been tease that doesn't stay.

Yes, I did take the swing for a swing.
Why do a love winter? It could be that I'm a winter baby. It could be that I spent my winters with wind chills sending the temperatures well below zero. I love the feel of the air burning down into my lungs, the death wind that steals my breath, and the chill to my marrow that only thaws when spring comes.

When I think of winter, I remember walking to school in my moonboots with Lila Alger--one of us on each side of the rutted dirt road hunting for the thin white ice because the ice tinkles like chimes when you stepped on it exactly the right way.

Tonight it snowed. When I stepped outside, like a child, I forgot to feel the cold. I turned my face into the wind and invited the flakes to fall.

Go outside and invite winter into your bones. What does she say to you?

Like One Million Kisses 
The maples stand naked
Already tipped
With spring's seed
In the dusty pearl dusk
Hiding smoke breath
Cold, not shivered
Face turned to the wind
Eyes closed
You fall like one million kisses
Smothered and dripping,
Never have I been more loved

Sunday, January 8, 2012

360 Degrees of Truth

A new guy started in my office. The first week he was high fiving everyone. He kind of figured out that we don't go for that. The second week, he said my boots were "uhhhh....loud", and it he liked it. (Ummm....seriously.) Last week he was chasing me around the cubicle to read my shirt after I said "No, thank you." (Yes, I am going to give you permission to stare at my chest.)

My co-worker (whom I respect) said "Maybe he's making friends." (Poorly. Maybe next time he can pull on my braids.)

What is he thinking? I don't know. My guess is that to him, I am one scary woman who knows a lot more about what's going on than he does.

What's the point of the story? Truth lies with the observer.

If you sit in a circle with two other people and put a stone in the center, there are three truths for the stone. Add 357 people to your circle, and you'll hear 360 truths--when you remember to listen.

I forgot. Last week, I was reminded with a slingshot and a stone.

This week look beyond your own truth and listen for another degree. If you'd like to share what you noticed, please do.

360 Degrees of Truth

Angle, circumference, degree
A cherry pi
Blinders closed
ON locked OFF
Ready the knife
Defended by thundering stone
Falling one-by-one
Sprawled and burning
Sweeping all 'round
Seeing circles of truth
Binding the center stoned

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolution--The Dirty Word

It's the first day of 2012. Resolution is a dirty word in my world. Making a Santa sized list of all the things I want to do in the next year is like asking to be on the naughty list. I might as well go buy the lump of coal and bronze it for the mantel. Tomorrow it will still be a lump of coal.

This year, like last year I set an intention. ONE intention. Last night I realized I was successful at my one intention. I created more time for the things that I love..writing, playing, gardening, traveling, resting, reading.

Was it perfect? Yes!
Did I laugh, cry, scream, and dance? Yes!
Did I do enough? Yes!
Will I create more time for love this year? Yes!

If you are feeling disappointed by what you didn't get done last year, light a candle, send it away on a star, and allow yourself a little grace. Pick one "R" or intention for this year, and let it grow. Notice what falls and what flies.

When you stand at a threshold
Only sky falls before you
A leap is necessary
Love the wings that hold you
Don't be afraid to fly