Shake and Bake 6: The “I Got Rhythm” Edition

Take it in Stride - the road.

big handed human with a heart - rock carving - Arizona (p bustin 2004)Happy Saturday, to all my wild and lovely readers!

In homage to Havi’s Friday Chickens over on the The Fluent Self — This is the place I review my week – in an attempt to track some things – like progress on my novel and… living intentionally. I shake out my week and lay it out. Let the hard burn off and the good sink in. Call it an experiment in paying attention. Feel free to join in.

THIS WEEK’S EXPERIMENT: Exploring rhythms… NOTICING how it feels as I move through my days.

THE RESULT: Verrrrry Interesting.
I am loving up my new(ish) morning routines. My blah-est feeling days this week were days when I … purposefully “gave myself time OFF” of some things. Sort of testing the waters…. I suppose to see how it felt.
These things I DO each morning… they are making me happy AND productive on the work front. How cool is that?

The new time for Guitar Practice is also working out nicely.

Now… as for finding my yogi-spirit-rhythm…well… oof on that.

The Quick Chicken:

Work on NIP: Woot and a woot and woot woot woot! I’m on FIYAH!

Walks: Love ‘em. NEED ‘em.

Guitar: Really enjoying my practice sessions and… learning to strum. IT’S HARDER THAN IT LOOKS!

Yoga/Meditation: My … nemesis…. no my… haven’t found the right time for you yet THING.

And…the rest of the week…

THE GNARBLY BITS:
– Watching people I love hurt themselves – locked into patterns of anger/sadness and resistance.
How I wish I could facilitate some sort of … healing here. I know it is not “my stuff” and that I must leave them to it. It is an old old old, well established pattern… but OH I do wish I could… help.

– I become more and more aware of the fact that my default setting is… SCARCITY. I worry so much about … money, time… and so on.
I am turning my thoughts and focus to ABUNDANCE… This week I have been working with the idea that it would be really wonderful if I felt that TIME WAS ABUNDANT. I have this on “list of lovelies” that I am walking each morning. We’ll see how it goes.

– Fear. Still so much free-floating fear.
I seem to have moved a bit with this though. Now it seems that I just WATCH it with a sort of “Isn’t that interesting” type of attitude. Hmm… Interesting, non? Probably related to the scarcity mind-set.

THE TASTY BITS:

+ Walking – the morning walks are saving my life. Seriously.

+ Reading Havi’s Archives – so much wisdom within… so much SANITY. I thank you!

+ Watching these online, chats, lectures, conversations… especially The Compassionate Brain. Again, so much wisdom and things to think on.

+ Finding comfort and satisfaction in my dedication to writing hours focussed on the NIP and in my morning rhythms over-all. This was week 3 of rising earlier and so on. The simplicity of it makes me smile. I have always KNOWN most of the things I am currently putting into practice and/or experimenting with but – for whatever fabulous reason – I now find myself able to put them into practice. Rise early, Scribble, WRITE, Walk…. and don’t forget to EAT. It’s all good. And it’s all simple. So thankful that I am where I am right now and that I have the time to work this out and see how well it actually works. How good it feels.

+ Celebrating someone I lurve getting some AWESOME news on the work front. A well earned, well deserved BREAK of sorts. The beginnings of a new relationship and a wonderful new opportunity. YAY!

+ Allowing myself to rest. Taking time to curl up and read. Crawling into bed a bit earlier at night. S’good.

+ Also loving… Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothies, Cozy clean sheets and my lil BUNKY OFFICE.

NEXT WEEK’S EXPERIMENT: Turning my focus to this ongoing yearning for yoga time.

I shall try some different times, different routines this week and see how it FEELS.
This is the beauty of the the weekly experiment.
I can focus on TRYING SOMETHING OUT for a week and report back.
The Week Long frame makes things seem… do-able to me.
And the Reporting on it here in the S&Bs gives me… incentive to really TRY.

Thanks for being my sounding board on this whole thing.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Feel free to share a Shake & Bake of your own.

Or let me know what you are experimenting with this week..

Thanks for stopping by.

go easy -p

A SHINY BIT – Motivation…Inspiration… Solace…

Athena's Owl - shiny bit of MUSE blingIt’s a SHINY BIT!

Sending out a “Thanks for being awesome!” to The Living Notebook and sharing his fabulous experiment with you all.

Pop over for…inspiration / support / solace this month.

Over the past two months, I’ve been writing short nondenominational prose poems or “psalms”—one for each day of November—that are intended to motivate, inspire, and channel creative power.

via TLN’s Plan for NaNoWriMo.

Shake and Bake 5: The Dilithium Crystals Edition

Take it in Stride - the road.

“Ay cannae hold her captain, she’s breaking up!”

wherein Pam confesses that she seems to be STILL piling too much on and reins it back to reaching for gentle growth

Shake and Bake (Rock Carving Arizona - p.bustin 2004)

Happy Saturday, to all my wild and lovely readers!

In homage to Havi’s Friday Chickens over on the The Fluent Self — This is the place I review my week – in an attempt to track some things – like progress on my novel and… living intentionally. I shake out my week and lay it out. Let the hard burn off and the good sink in. Call it an experiment in paying attention. Feel free to join in.

THIS WEEK’S EXPERIMENT:
To TURN OFF the TYPER MACHINE by 7pm each day
– except Monday when I watched episode 4 of The Compassionate Brain from 8-9pm.
AND…. to have one day entirely FREE of said machine.

THE RESULT:
Epic FAIL.
Well no… not epic. I DID manage to turn off said TYPER MACHINE by 7pm four days out of seven.
But boy howdy – I turned directly to the TV AND to … eating and eating and EATING. Yoik.

And on Wednesday I totally had an online tv binge late into the night.

Anyone else think I’m … maybe… avoiding something????

The Quick Chicken:

Work on NIP: Groovy scary week. Made the shift on Thursday into the BwaB (book within a book). Having a TAD of worry around whether this whole Bwab focus is a good idea. (see below)

Walks – Loving them! Didn’t walk on the stormy days, but every other day I was bundled up and out the door right after my Writing Hours were done. Woot…I say WOOT WOOT!

Guitar – missed two days again – boo hiss! Shifted the TIME I do it and… it is feeling like a good fit. Now… if I could just get that third finger closer to the fret on the Dm…

Yoga/Meditation – Oh I hang my head in… no…there will be no shame…but oh it would be really lovely if I could find my way to the mat on a more … regular basis.

And…the rest of the week…

THE GNARBLY BITS:
– recognizing how hard it is for me to TURN off the outside STUFF.
Meaning, this week – the typer and the tv.

I have a bit of a clue why this happened.

I’ve begun working with Julia Cameron’s book The Vein of Gold. The first task of the book is to write a Narrative Timeline. Basically – the ole life story. I just did NOT want to do this. Too huge. Too scary. Too damned “been there done that and had the fight with my family already – thanks.”

ooof – right?

So, I found myself…

– Resisting HUGELY the VERY idea of doing this.

The good news is… I didn’t spiral into self hate over it.
I just… sat with it for awhile once I managed to pry myself from the TYPER and shut off the TV.
I set my timer and said… just a 1/2 hour… just one hour…

Kept at it – GENTLY and managed to work through it but…Oh my friends, it was hard hard hard.

– Trusting my self and my process was hard this week – even though things are actually going pretty well, in fact… AWESOMELY well on the work front.

I still doubt myself.
sigh.

Any “small waves from afar” to cheer me on are much welcome.

I spent a good deal of time this week gnawing on a book that has… appeared in the novel. It is mentioned in a few places and it seems to be looming larger and larger for Izzy (the gal who started this whole adventure rolling). She reads the book and thereby gains insights into the town she finds herself in and the people who founded it (some of whom are blood tied to characters living in her world today).

NaNoWriMo Web BadgeAs many of you no doubt know… November is NaNoWriMo time – that’s National Novel Writing Month for those who like it longform.

I got to thinking maybe I should WRITE this BwaB instead of just … referring to bits as Izzy reads it.

I don’t imagine that the BwaB will be included, intact, in the book.
But I have decided that I do need to write it – if only to allow Izzy (and mySelf) to read the darned thing!

So… I’ve stepped out of the current world of the NIP to write the BwaB. And I’m doing it as part of NaNoWriMo. For .. the company, maybe 😉

My worry is that I will lose the flow and forward momentum of the REAL book.
My hope and belief is that this will deepen the story. It will provide historical background for this new world and the people who inhabit it.

We’ll see how it goes.

OK – on with the week…

THE TASTY BITS:

+ All friends surviving the onslaught of SuperStorm Sandy intact. Some minor damage to homes and yards but all humans, pets and wine sellars (and cellars) safe and healthy.

+ Celebrating another week of rising early.

This is really helping with the shift into seeing Time as … more abundant. Uh…maybe because…it is (she giggles).

I allow myself a bit of a lie-in on weekends.
This is helping too. 5 is easier than 7.
This is week three – and all is well.

I think maybe it is more about… doing what really does feel good.
If I stay in bed “too late” I feel behind the eight ball right off the hop. Rising up early gives me time and space to … have more time and space.

It really is a no-brainer, but it has taken me a long while to actually put it into action.

+ Finding a sort of fun way to ease myself into a new Gratitude ritual.
It’s an online research type of thing. 14 days of gratitude at THNX4.org I’m digging it.

For some reason it has always been easier for me to do things for OTHERS. I signed up to help with the research.

What shifts if you say “thank you” each day for … something or someone…
What happens if you begin to recognize and soak it in when someone says Thank-you for something you have done during the day?
What happens if you SHARE this with others?

We’ll see.

+ Allowing rituals to form organically instead of trying to force them.
By rituals I mean things like…
this weekly check in…
my walks…
guitar practice…
and, most importantly – the Writing Hours.

It’s been a good week.

NEXT WEEK’S EXPERIMENT:
Allowing myself to carry on – exploring rhythms and finding my way.
Nothing NEW piled on. Just a desire to NOTICE how it feels as I move through my days.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Feel free to share a Shake & Bake of your own.

Or let me know what you are experimenting with this week..

Thanks for stopping by.

go easy -p

Making Strides…

Take it in Stride - the road.

the road I walk daily (p bustin 2012)So I’m in my work journal today, thinking about the steps I am taking with this new novel and in my life and  I go to the thesaurus and it is fascinating to me…
Yes– this is what I am doing… taking steps, stepping up, pacing, striding, taking it forward a hop-skip and a jump.
I’m walking it, finding the rhythms, moving into step with the woman and the writer I so desire to be.  In harmony.
Making Strides.

❄ ❄ ❄

From the thesaurus in Scrivener...

step

noun

1 Frank took a step forward: pace, stride.
2 she heard a step on the stairs: footstep, footfall, tread.
3 she left the room with a springy step: gait, walk, tread.
4 it is only a step to the river: short distance, stone’s throw, spitting distance; informal ‘a hop, skip, and jump’.
5 the top step: stair, tread; (steps) stairs, staircase, stairway.
6 each step of the ladder: rung, tread.
7 resigning is a very serious step: course of action, measure, move, act, action, initiative, maneuver, operation, tactic.
8 a significant step toward a ceasefire: advance, development, move, movement; breakthrough.
9 the first step on the managerial ladder: stage, level, grade, rank, degree; notch, rung.
verb
1 she stepped gingerly through the snow: walk, move, tread, pace, stride.
2 the bull stepped on the farmer’s foot: tread on, stamp on, trample (on); squash, crush, flatten.

PHRASES
in step he is in step with mainstream thinking: in accord, in accordance, in harmony, in agreement, in tune, in line, in keeping, in conformity, compatible.
mind/watch one’s step just watch your step when Mrs. Kline gets here: be careful, take care, step/tread carefully, exercise care/caution, mind how one goes, look out, watch out, be wary, be on one’s guard, be on the qui vive.
out of step the paper was often out of step with public opinion: at odds, at variance, in disagreement, out of tune, out of line, not in keeping, out of harmony.
step by step I followed the directions step by step: one step at a time, bit by bit, gradually, in stages, by degrees, slowly, steadily.
step down it’s time for Rowland to step down: resign, quit, stand down, give up one’s post/job, bow out, abdicate; pack it in, call it quits.
step in 1 nobody stepped in to save the bank: intervene, intercede, involve oneself, become/get involved, take a hand. 2 I stepped in for a sick colleague: stand in, sit in, fill in, cover, substitute, take over; replace, take someone’s place; informal sub.
step on it informal if we don’t step on it we’ll miss the boat: hurry up, get a move on, speed up, go faster, be quick; informal get cracking, get moving, step on the gas; dated make haste.
step up 1 the army stepped up its offensive: increase, intensify, strengthen, augment, escalate; informal up, crank up. 2 I stepped up my pace: speed up, increase, accelerate, quicken, hasten.

❄ ❄ ❄

I like it.
I’ve decided to revamp my weekly check-in/chickens to reflect this way of thinking.
So as we contemplate our Shake and Bakes…. let’s not forget to … Take it all in Stride.

And my newest stride… I signed up for NaNoWriMo.
More on this…anon…

Wishing you all a blessed Samhain.

Thanks for stopping by.
go easy -p

…a bunk of one’s own… A place to work.

“When I was seven, I said to my mother, may I close my door?
And she said, yes, but why do you want to close your door?
And I said, because I want to think.
And when I was eleven, I said to my mother, may I lock my door?
And she said, yes, but why do you want to lock your door?
And I said, because I want to write.” – Dorothy West

The typer

I’ve been thinking this week about work – about where we work and how we work.

With this rolling about in my brain, I happened upon another lovely post over at Bliss In Images – about our creative spaces.

I have worked in a lot of different spaces.
When I was writing Mostly Happy, I worked:

  • In a small studio apartment by a park.
  • At a desk, beside another desk, in a big bright empty room in Windsor Ontario.
  • In coffee shops – especially for the really heavy bits when I needed to be in public to let the scary words flow and not collapse into them.
  • In various bath tubs – I share Bean’s love of bath tubs and work well in them – especially old claw-foots that you can lay a board over to prop your scibble book on. I don’t have a tub right now and I miss it sorely. I dream of once again owning a bathtub, and a bright room to set it in…One day…
  • and finally – I finished the novel in a room of my own. We landed back in Saskatoon and got a two bedroom apartment on a sunny street near the library. My love set up his work space in the living room and gave me the “spare” room. It was full of books and sunshine and room to dance and it had a door that locked. I never locked the door, though I did close it a few times. Mostly it was enough to know that I HAD a door.

Things have shifted again and as I work on Sanctuary (yes that is the working title of the NIP)
I find myself building creative sanctuaries for myself in the shakey-shack on the Bay.

In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf said,
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

I don’t have much dough right now and I don’t have a room of my own – though there is one in progress

Here’s what I need work well:
—–    my back to the wall    —-

Seriously.

I think that these might be the only things I NEED. The rest is gravy.

levelling the trailer (p. bustin 2012)I was given a lovely gift, this summer. A trailer to write in. A new friend from down the lane heard that I was looking for a trailer and said, “I have one I’d like to get rid of. Come and take a look. You can have it if you want.”
Not only did he give me the trailer – he also delivered it and helped us get it set and level. What a huge act of generosity!

And… I love it.

I worked in the trailer during the 3day Novel Contest in Sept.

Then, I purposely told myself that I must turn my focus back to the NIP and leave the trailer to settle itself for the winter. In the spring, I shall make it my own beautiful writing/dreaming studio. I have all winter to dream on it.

 For now, My lovely raggedy-man and I share the big wooden work table that fills our a bunk of my own (p. bustin 2012)living room … and …I am working in the lower bunk in the bedroom. I have made it into a little office – with my lap desk and a bulletin board. I love it, actually. It is warm and downright cozy bananas. I rise up, start the coffee and light the fire. Once the fire is set to burn for a while, I take my coffee and head to the bunk. I have a lamp beside me on the dresser.pam's desk altar (p bustin 2012) I have candles and incense and a wee desk altar — some rocks and a shell, a tiny beautiful silver shell (gift from a friend) and a small fierce rune-casting woman I’ve been carrying with me since…the beginnings. She stands, beside the shell within a shell on a heart shaped rock. Casting.

It’s a good place to work.

A bunk of my own.

Have you claimed a space to do your creating/dreaming/working in?

What do you really NEED to work and what fills you with joy?

Let loose your imagination and tell me about your DREAM SPACE.

Thanks for stopping by.

go easy -p

Shake and Bake 4: The “Moving On” Edition

Ostrich on the Masai Mara (P.Bustin 2008)
Ostrich on the Masai Mara

In homage to Havi’s Friday Chickens over on the The Fluent Self — This is the place I review my week – in an attempt to track some things – like progress on my novel and… living intentionally.
Call it an experiment in paying attention.

THIS WEEK’S EXPERIMENT:

Getting up at 7am and eating Breakfast.

THE RESULT:

Up Mon-Fri at 7am and …. ate SOMETHING each morning but not truly fabulous breakfasts.

The Quick Chicken:

Work on NIP: A bit of a discombobulating week – fitting in shiny bits from previous weeks’ work and exploring the CORE. Seeking the clear clean line through amidst chaotic ramblings and demands from various characters.

Walks – hells ya – every day!

Guitar – missed two days – boo hiss! But picked up again and blustered on. Callouses continue to grow.

Yoga/Meditation – Only once, on the weekend. Sad lonely yoga mat.

And…the rest of the week…

THE GNARBLY BITS:

  • A heart sadness:
    • A dear friend crossed-over/passed on/left us.
      • I hurt for her son and daughter and I grieve her loss.
      • I am thankful she had a gentle transition with her loved ones at her side.
  • Rough going some days in the NIP.
    • Hit a different rhythm this week, doing a different thing, a not as much fun thing as last week.
    • I need to allow myself to enjoy, embrace and celebrate all the different pieces and ways of working that are necessary to this creation.
  • Saying “I need to”WAY too much – as a judging thing.
    • Need to need to need to…should should should…these words will bury me.
    • At least I notice them now. That’s gotta be good, right?

THE TASTY BITS:

  • A gentle passing:
    • I’m glad M has found rest, or moved forward to become a galactic ambassador – she would make a lovely ambassador, having been a healer in this realm.
    • I’m glad R could be home, with his mother this week. A miracle of timing that we are all so grateful for.
    • I’m honoured that I was invited into the room to say my farewell. I hold her memory in my heart and I wave to her departing essence from the shore.
  • Lending a hand:
    • Pleased to be able to help some pals shift their stuff into a new home.
    • Twas a joy to spend some time helping out, working some muscles, feeling useful and just hanging out with them and their fabulous furry friends.
  • Celebrating the Work Rhythm!
    • I did a super happy dance in celebration of the new rhythm of the 2 hours pure writing time I’ve followed through on for the past few weeks. And also give a woot woot for all the word done OUTSIDE the writing time – the researching, thoughtful walking and dreaming.
    • It feels so good, and though I had a rough time on Thurs and Fri — feeling overwhelmed by how much I NEED (yeah yeah, there it is again) to work on and feeling like I will never get it all in, all right, all….fabulous… I know that this is what is needed…steady, forward movement.
    • Word by word I build it!

NEXT WEEK’S EXPERIMENT:

It’s time, Pam. Time to make the move to… escape the MACHINE. In an attempt to free myself from my current online obsession/addiction…this weeks experiment will be….

the terror! (p.bustin 2008)

To TURN OFF the TYPER MACHINE by 7pm each day
– except Monday when I will be watching episode 4 of The Compassionate Brain from 8-9pm.
AND…. to have one day entirely FREE of said machine.

Fingers crossed, my people.

This could be a rough one!

And… How was your Week?

Feel free to drop a Saturday SHAKE & BAKE of your own

– no matter what day it is.

Thanks for stopping by.

go easy-p

Plodding vs Soaring…

Kite - White Rock (Pam Bustin 2008)I’ve been working well this week, on the NIP.

Some days I work on the Typer and some days I stay in my Scribble Book, which, these days, is big black sketch book partially used (by someone else). I love using these books. I flip them over, start at the back and am always surprised and pleased when I come upon the drawings/paintings/notes of the former user.

Whether I work on the Typer or in my Scribble-book depends on … what is coming through. Some days are listening/following days, these are best spent in the Scrib-book. The Typer days are more about weaving the story together with the bits I find on the listening days.

Different ways of working – handwritten vs typed.

Big sprawling mess in the Scrib — often with doodles vs organized, searchable text I can move around, rework, fit in.

Different rhythms.

Different focus.

I feel more … free… in the Scrib to mix in … notes to myself along with the words of the characters. I often find something interesting when I go back through to mark up the bits that will be reviewed and revised for entrance into the manuscript.

Like this…

I hold back. Hold it back and can’t get it out sometimes. And here on this page (which is the back page of someone’s [Alex’s] painting of some flowers), on this page I imagine how good it would feel to push paints around. I could do that. I could try. It seems, always that it might be a good way to … FEEL something through. But then I imagine such lovely swirls of colour and the actual THING done is usually so… clumsy…and so… I stop. Hmm.. Perhaps the back of the page looks better than the front. Does that mean you failed or that the … reflection, the leak through is a truer expression of what you were aiming for?

Like on the guitar… I am just getting the hang of strumming and I can’t for the life of me change the emPHAsis. I can’t get the boom-chicka-boom feeling right. Hmm… writing that, I see why – the booms [1 & 3] seem louder – even here – than the chickas but I think what Justin (my virtual guitar teacher) is saying is that the 2s and 4s should be louder. Sure doesn’t sound like a train when I play it. HA.

Connection? I am still clumsy… but it is entirely obvious to me that I need to build up to it. Build callouses on my fingers. Get the bend right to position the tips of my fingers on the strings. Build muscle in my chording hand just to PRESS right. Need to loosen my strumming wrist and learn the flick. Need to develop an ear and rhythm… so much. And so… It is no different with the handling of paint or words. True?

And sometimes, the bleed-through looks better than the original. I think that holds true with writing too – at least for me. If I go straight at something, I haven’t the skill to render it life-like. But if I try — and I must try — I must go straight at the thing… and when I do this, there are… hints, impressions left behind that I can make use of. It is often the sly word slipped in by my unconscious/subconscious that leads me on a whole new riff and THAT is where the juice is, that is where the TRUTH of it is. Truth ain’t “the facts”. But oh how it rings when you find it.

I am a plodder – on many fronts.Water Buffalo - Samburu (Pam Bustin 2008)

I return, day after day to the page. I put in my time.

I am also a soarer – once in a while. I swoop down and snatch up a shiny bit dropped, unawares, by my plodding self. I swoop, snatch and soar away with it.

Sometimes I take it to a safe place and turn it over and over in my hands to admire it’s beauty, then I fit it into the other shiny bits of the novel. It’s like… decorating the house, building the cathedral of the novel.

Sometimes I soar up as high as I can and DROP the shiny thing – smashing the piece open to reveal the true riches.

The day I found this in the Scrib, I turned the page in my last minute of writing and there was a pencil sketch with the word RISK worked into it.

I like that.

This whole thing is a risk, of course. The writing. Life.

I’m glad I stayed in the Scrib that day. It was good. I found THIS and I also had pages of fresh material to weave into the manuscript.

Little plodding… little soaring… and a dash of trust that it will all come together in the end.

How about you? Are you plodding or soaring right now?

Thanks for stopping by.

go easy -p

Shake and Bake 3: The “joy JOY joy” Edition

Blue Bird - Samburu (photo credit:Pam Bustin 2005)In homage to Havi’s Friday Chickens over on the The Fluent Self — This is the place I review my week – in an attempt to track some things – like progress on my novel and… living intentionally.
Call it an experiment in paying attention.

THIS WEEK’S EXPERIMENT: Getting OUT of bed at 7AM each morning.

THE RESULT: Tu-Naaa! I did it.
It was tempting some days to cuddle back into the warmth but I counted down the days and DID IT!!! And oh I’m so happy I did. It opened up so many things.

THE GNARBLY BITS:

  • Insomnia!  Oh to sleeeeeep for six hours at a stretch…. please please.
  • Being a big ole judgey-pants of my self.
    • starting to REALLY notice this. Hoping that noticing leads to … lightening up/shifting this.
  • Being content to keep it simple and not pile on more more more…
    • this may simply be an off-shoot of the aforementioned Mz Judgey-Pants sticking her snoot in and trying to sabotage …. again and still…Being content to keep it simple and not pile on more more more…

THE TASTY BITS:

  • the work the work the work!
  • the nights I DID find sleep were so very sweet.  Thank you.
  • bits of work around the shack to make it cozier and cozier.
  • shiny bits of wisdom landing in my lap
    • from online lectures: stop and notice the judging and lay a hand on yourself (on cheek, heart, for me it is tucking in my thumbs) and let yourself know that you are OK – for me this week the sentiment has been, “It’s OK, raggedy-girl. You are fine. Be gentle” – the raggedy is not a judgement, it makes me smile. (see Dr. WHO aka “raggedy man”)
    • from magical books arriving in my hands at just the right moment: the concept of switching my constant “I should… I need to…” over to “Wouldn’t it be lovely if…” I do believe this could save my life.
    • a visit from a lovely woman I am just getting to know: the vision of a lonely childhood and the urge to go back in time and visit that child and take a walk with her.
  • I’ve got the Joy joy JOY joy down in my heart…down in my heart…
    • the joy of actually DOING what I set out to do for the week (work wise)
    • the joy of eating breakfast and bonus of NOTICING what I am eating through out the day
    • the joy of guitar callouses and hand strength returning from… daily practice
    • the joy of walking
  • And… all this stemming from….
    • a huge happy dance about the getting up each day at 7am! Cheeeeers for me!

NEXT WEEK’S EXPERIMENT:

The TyperI am tempted to make this week’s experiment about turning off THE MACHINE earlier each night… but I also feel like that just might be me PILING MORE AND MORE STUFF ON.

As so much is falling into place by focussing on rising earlier and eating breakfast… I say… let’s have another week of the same!

And… I may BEGIN to turn my attention…. GENTLY… to getting off the Typer and into bed earlier too but… no presha!

And… How was your Week?

Thanks for stopping by.

go easy-p

Belonging…

English: The caption for this illustration rea...
“Norns” under Yggdrasil. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been playing about with the layout of the site. Adding this and that… trying things out.

I’ve begun working on some Resources for Writers.
I plan to use the section to guide people to … STUFF that I find interesting and/or integral to life as a writer.
You can check it all out ABOVE… but I thought it deserved a post of it’s own as well.

First of all… the books. I spent a few hours creating a new shelf on my Goodreads page. It’s called Reading for Writers and it holds books I have read as well as books that other writers have recommended to me that I haven’t read yet. I also spent some time putting together the beginning of my own PERSONAL favourites.

I also want to let you know about the fabulous writers’ organizations I belong to. The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC), the The Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC), Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild (SWG) and the place that served as my first HOME as a writer – Saskatchewan Playwrights’ Centre (SPC).

Why do I belong to these organizations?
There are many many reasons, but topmost, for me, are … COMMUNITY and SOLIDARITY. I add my voice (and my membership fees) to the voices of other writers as we speak out on various causes like Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Read, Copyright, Health Care for Artists…etcetera. Together we can (and ARE) speaking up when the government threatens our libraries, our archives and stages overt or covert attacks on Arts and Culture in Canada. These organizations are full of smart, articulate people: solid staff and fellow writers who volunteer copious amount of their time to work on behalf of all of us. I salute them and I support them.

These organizations also offer a variety of programs and services that support me, personally, as a writer: workshops on Craft and Professional Development, financial support for readings, manuscript evaluations, workshops of my plays with professional actors/directors/dramaturgs… the list goes on an on.

On the Writers’ Retreats front – I’m an alumni of the Sage Hill Writing Experience – as both a a participant and an instructor of the Teen Writing Experience.

As for Arts Funding in Canada – I have been blessed with support from The Canada Council (CC) and the Saskatchewan Arts Board (SAB). Through these funding bodies, my peers have awarded me with the thing I need the most – TiME to work. I have also worked with publishers, theatre companies and non-profit organizations that receive support from these bodies. I can not sing their praises loud enough and I once again lend my voice, and time, to their fierce defence.

And so we come to the mainstays in my personal support system… the friends/mentors/fellow artists I have met along the way.
The folks I gather with online or in person to shoot the sh*t with.

I’ve found a lively, supportive bunch over on the ABEbooks forums and am building this online tribe as I cruise new blogs and sites every day.
I’m getting to know the writers of the near north of Ontario now that we’ve relocated to these parts. Happy to be part of the newly formed NOLL (Northeastern Ontario Literary Lights).

But my bedrock are my REAL LIFE friends and cohorts who share their wisdom with me and the agonies and ecstasies of this crazy life.

Like Kurt Vonnegut’s son Mark said, “We’re here to get each other through this thing, whatever it is.”

Feel free to drop a line about what (or who) helps you “get through” and keeps you laying those words on the page.

Thanks for stopping by.

go easy -p

Shake and Bake 2: The “Go. Sit. Now.” Edition

The place I review my week – in an attempt to track some things – like progress on my novel and… living intentionally.
Call it an experiment in paying attention.

THIS WEEK’S EXPERIMENT: Eating Breakfast

THE RESULT: TASTY

Breakfast of Champions[Chaparral][Day19]*

  • Definitely had more energy – which is a good good thing.

THE GNARBLY BITS:

  • Time time time… is there NEVER enough time?
  • Still missing some HOURS in my planned 2 hours per day FOCUSSED on the NIP.
    • When I miss doing it I feel horrid and full of dread – even if I have spent hours writing something ELSE (like a blog post), or I’m busy with some other aspect of WORK. Then the next day I want to BiNGE again and do four, six, EIGHT hours instead to “make up for it” but I am not going to do that anymore. I want to get into this groove and…. it shouldn’t be so hard, right?
    • Once I SIT TO IT, I am fine. But I have to consciously say – “go. sit. now.”

THE TASTY BITS:

  • Scribbling in my book daily – oh I love that morning scribble time.
  • Breakfasts
  • Walks up the lane and into the bush – I love the place I’m living right now.
  • Free Online “lectures or conversations” – how fun to sit in my jimjams with tea and a cookie and listen to people talk about things I’m interested in.
  • The days when I DID manage 2 hours focussed writing on the NIP  were dread free.  So good.  I do think this sort of  container will work for me.  It’s like the … whaddaya callit – the analytical frame…
    •  In an essay called “The Analytic Frame, Abstinence, and Acting Out,” Robert M. Young, a psychotherapist, says,  that the reason we need a set and specific time and space to explore things with a therapist goes very deep. “The analytic frame,” he writes, “is the place where the madness is held so that the therapist and patient can have a space to think and feel about matters felt with a degree of intensity which is painful but still bearable.”  Now, I’m not saying the writing is therapy  – but I do think a frame is a good idea for me right now. Note – this quote if from that article by Aimee Bender called “Why the Best Way to Get Creative Is to Make Some Rules.” I talked about it here.

NEXT WEEK’S EXPERIMENT: More breakfasts. I need another week working on this one. And I will add in… rising earlier… Let’s experiment with rising each day at 7am.

And How was your Week?

Thanks for stopping by.

go easy-p

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