I spent the first half of my day having a potluck breakfast with a wonderful group of women who are all doing The Artist’s Way through Flathead Valley Community College.
If you’re not familiar with the book, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, I’d urge you to check it out.
It’s a book about creativity and unblocking and enjoying yours, however you want to express it: art, music, writing, cooking, photography, etc.. and just doing whatever you do with more zest.
We’ve talked a lot about creativity in our home environment, purging, rearranging, & claiming new ways to live. We’re 11 weeks into the class, and I think all of us have tossed things from our closets and added things we really love to our homes.
Gathering with them was a great way to start my day, and now it’s time to put that energy to work in my own creative life.
At the end of O Magazine, Oprah writes about one thing she knows for sure.
Today, I’m only sure of what I DON’T know…
A couple of nights ago, I hosted a collaging party for my bookgroup. It’s an exercise from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. You take a stack of magazines, rip out images and words that appeal to you, and arrange them on a poster board.
I’ve done it before, and it’s an exercise that can reveal both where we are, and where we’d like to go next.
This time, mine asked more questions than it answered.
For example, I was drawn to phrases like “What could she possibly be doing?” I also cut out and pasted the following words of advice: Define good. See the world… differently. Wake up and smell the tea. Pay attention. Use your imagination. Bring on spring. This season, bold.
And my personal favorite… Do the chicken dance.
In the center of it all I glued, “There are no rules.” Apparently, I don’t even know what the rules are anymore.
So, I’m going to celebrate, yes, celebrate some of what I don’t know.
1. I don’t know what happens when my first baby turns 18 years-old next month, graduates from high school in the spring, and leaves home (followed in the blink of 3 years by her younger sister).
2. Will my husband and I sit around listening to NPR until we bore ourselves into comas, or will we get out there and live an exciting next chapter? I don’t know!
3. Should I disguise the wonky silver hair showing up amid the brown or embrace it? I don’t know!
4. I’m doing a revision of a new novel involving Greek gods who wake up in a Montana fraternity house and the woman who hits one with her pick-up truck. Do I put it out as an e-book? Print? Or become a hybrid author with both indie and traditionally published books? I don’t know!
5. Have I used the term “hybrid author” correctly? I don’t know!
6. I write in the morning and try to stay off the internet (I hear you laughing). When I accidentally see a headline about a girl with hiccups now on trial for murder, why do I click it? I don’t know!
7. Besides avoiding articles about girls gone wild with hiccups, I don’t know how I will ever get done what I want to accomplish today, this week, this month, this year, this lifetime.
8. At this moment I’m sitting in my backyard watching a squirrel run off with a sunflower ripe with seeds. How do I say goodbye to summer? I don’t know!
9. What is the post-menopausal fairy dust that makes a single, solitary pound stick right at belly level? I don’t know!
10. And the last thing I don’t know… Much. Of. Anything.
And this weekend through Tuesday only… Back To U is 99cents. (I really do know that for sure!)
click on the cover to download in seconds from Amazon…
This Memorial Day weekend, while my daughter Grace and I suffered colds together and the rest of the family enjoyed the long weekend (we really were happy for them), I sold my first book. Yes, The Do-Over appeared at long last on Amazon and hooooooooray, a sale!
I thought about a great many things besides “where did that box of facial tissues get to?” But one thing that struck me was how glad I was I had learned to see and accept synchronicity when it showed up, sometimes even on my doorstep.
E-Publishing as a Fear-Based Activity
I’d been letting the idea of e-publishing roll around in my head for a while. My friend, the novelist Dennis Foley, cheered me on for at least a year before I let myself imagine it. Still it took more nudging than that for me to consider a non-traditional approach to getting to readers.
I’ve been a big fan of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and had the privilege of taking several groups of amazingly creative people through it. (Peer pressure should never be underestimated as a great way to get your life rolling.) In the book, Cameron stresses the importance of looking for synchronicity, ways the universe helps us out.
So I was half-way thinking about moving ahead with my dream of publishing, and doing it my way. (I once had a bumper sticker with Frank Sinatra in a snappy fedora that said, “It’s Frank’s world. We just live in it.”) But, of course, I lacked all the technical skills to make it happen. And then the magic of synchronicity brought me Roxanne…