Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Fun Injection

When was the last time you just let loose? You know, got up and danced for no reason, to no music?

My BFF from high school finally joined Facebook and, already, I feel that shimmer of that girl I used to be coming through in our posts and private messages. No one -- NO ONE -- knows me like she does. We have been apart for 11 years, since I moved away, and yet it takes about one sentence to bring us right back to where we left off. Nothing changes between us and yet we've changed a whole lot.

Language, inside jokes, cut-downs ... all in good fun, of course.

It makes me want to write about high school. Finally, perhaps? OK, maybe not. That might be too scary.

Actually, what would be scary is writing about middle school. Now, that's a drama I don't ever need to relive.

This fun injection, of sorts, has been a breath of fresh air at a time when things need to be lightened up.

This is when writing comes easily, when the heart is feeling light and happy and soaring to new heights.

It's not easy to work all day and then take care of children and still fit writing in so finding the Fun Factor is essential. We have to make writing fun, even when we aren't sure we can muster the energy to hit the keys or grab the pen -- or even the paintbrush. Creating is hard work but it's the most fulfilling work, for sure.

What's your fun factor? What makes you smile so easily? What silly thing could you curl up and write about right now? Please share in the comments and I might use your prompt for future writing exercises.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Writing -- and life -- is about balance

By now, most people have heard that my husband lost his job. His position, along with the rest of the staff, was eliminated. Rather than cry a river, we're making the best of a crummy situation and getting resourceful. For now, we are OK.

For now.

It's so easy to get comfortable, to sink into a life that is familiar, like an old pair of sweats, and never want to leave. To think of change is to unravel. Our backs go up and we start to get defensive of that life that we grew to love so dearly.

In my last writing course, Fearless Writing, I talked a lot about taking risks, doing things differently and trying new things when all along I was doing the same thing every day as I do now. Sure, I take more risks than most but the big picture stuff, it all remains wrapped around me like a cozy blanket.

I don't want to sit on just any cushion in life. I like this one, the one that is perfectly molded to fit my body, thank you very much. I can no longer question why my daughters both are so attached to their little bear blankets that they've had since infancy. Of course they still need those. Of course.

And yet my cushion has been sucked out from underneath of me and we're having to adapt to the changes to the life we were so desperately clinging on to with no inclination it would change. The changes of routine and cushy bank accounts and getting used to a New Normal are upon us.

So much of this lesson has to do with writing. It's not easy to write when things are really good. It's always easier to let the tears flow and drip down onto the page. But that's not what a writer should do. A writer has to return to the page day after day for the good and for the bad. It's only in between all of that when we start to see ourselves and our writing for what it truly is in the balance.

I'm so looking forward to the writing retreat that I'm hosting so that we can walk in the balance together.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Like a grumpy bear -- it's time to wake up

It has been a long, sloggy, wet Spring. And I feel much like a grumpy, hungry bear right now. A bear in need of nourishment and sunlight and energy to run and play, again.

This is exactly why I am hosting a writing retreat on a friend's very tranquil, very majestic farm. It's not a working farm but a lot of acres of rolling hills, intense beauty and nature all around.

That's how I get my energy, that's how I get filled up inside. Being outside, staring up at the sky and then writing it all down so fast -- as if it will slip away from memory if I do not.

We need creative nourishment almost as much as we need food and yet so many just ignore that little facet of their being. That same being who goes without a break, without something wonderful to cling on to ... will just slumber on, trod on, drag on watching the clock and crossing off their to-do list.

Do they dare to step outside and let their feet touch the dew-drenched grass? Do they stop and just lounge on the hammock or are they busy mopping and sweeping the floors? Do they ever just sit and do nothing, nothing at all?

Well, writing is on my to-do list every day and while I may not get to it every single day, I sure do want to try. And, believe it or not, we have more time than we think to write or paint or do any other Art we wish to do. This retreat will point that out in a few different head-bonking ways.

Please join me in Waking Up. Please join me in dragging ourselves out of spring and springing forth into summer. Please join me to write all day in the wonders of nature.


Wake Up! A one-day writing retreat:

Forget the coffee. Wake up to the life that is already happening all around you. Pay attention. Let go. Be free. This one-day retreat on a farm in Glen Rock will help you discover 12 writing tools you can use anywhere, anytime in order to live a more mindful, creative life.

We often, as artists, think we don’t have much time to write or create. And yet, so much of art and creating is about noticing -- noticing the way the morni
ng breeze hlps the curtains dance to the songbirds outside. Noticing a stranger’s wrinkled smile. Noticing a loved one’s broken heart. Art is what happens when we’re too busy to pay attention. This retreat will help discover a life worth writing about – every day.

Who should register? Writers. Wannabe writers. Artists. Creative souls. Anyone. You. Your friends. A beginner. Advanced writers. Painters.

Anyone can write just for one day!

June 25th – 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Cost: $45 Seating is limited! Sign up on the left-hand sidebar.