See You In The New Year!

Storm King

When I lived in New York City I would take breaks from my full time job. The spot I chose to take a break, relax and unwind was Storm King Art Center, commonly referred to as Storm King after its proximity to Storm King Mountain. I would take the Greyhound bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd Street and arrive early in the morning and take the last bus out at 4pm. I would spend the whole day walking the grounds, taking pictures of the art and sitting and taking in the scenery and breathing the fresh air. This was my place for solitude.

Storm King Arts Center is an open-air museum located in New Windsor, New York. It contains what is perhaps the largest collection of contemporary outdoor sculptures in the United States. I miss it.

Now that I live in Florida I have plenty of open spaces to find peace and quiet. I’m taking the rest of the year to relax and re-energize myself. See you in the New Year!

A Better Place / Playing For Change Around The World

Mind Mapping

Brian Rea

I was reading Austin Kleon’s “Tuesday Surprise Newsletter” and he was writing about how to make a map of your mind. He included some of his mind mappings and also Brian Rea’s website. Where he makes art from his mind mapping. It got me to thinking that I can make zines about my mind mapping.

Austin Kleon

Feel free to check out Austin Kleon’s website at http://austinkleon.com and Brian Rea’s website at http://brianrea.com.

Enjoy mind mapping and please feel free to share.

Poets & Writers

Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay has penned two story collections, the essay collection Bad Feminist, Hunger: A Memoir of My Body and the novel An Untamed State, all to acclaim. She is now starting Roxane Gay Books, a new imprint of Grove Atlantic. She is seeking submissions of a variety of genres, as well as nonfiction and memoirs. There is no fee to submit. Gay intends to invite submissions from writers traditionally locked out of publishing opportunities; namely, people with the talent and discipline to write a powerful work of art.

“I’m going to publish books that I love,” Gay said. “I am very invested in making space for Black women, queer women, queer writers, and writers of color broadly-writers whom we don’t see enough of in mainstream publishing, despite the prevailing attitudes toward diversity.” Gay is excited to begin modestly and see what comes through the submission, which opened this summer via Submittable https://discover.submittable.com; Gay plans to look at all of them. “We’re going to publish three great books a year, so you can read them all!

*Excerpted from Bran Gresko story in Poets & Writers.

Aurielle Marie

Aurielle Marie says the manuscript that became their debut poetry collection, Gumbo Ya Ya, (University of Pittsburgh Press (https://upittpress.org), grew more “wildly audacious.” After walking away from a book deal that didn’t serve here, she “stopped editing out all these queer or strange or subversive poetic moves.”

Zibby Owens

Moms Don’t Have Time To Read Books with Zibby Ownes (http://www.zibbyowens.com). Listen to host and author Zibby Owens as she interviews authors 7 days a week on her award-winning podcast.

Joy Harjo

Harjo is a traveler and a community leader whose experiences drive her storytelling. “My creative life, I have come to understand, finds energetics in traveling, either physically or through knowledge gatherings.” she says, and these voyages inform the passages of poetry and prose in her new memoir, Poet Warrior, published by W.W. Norton. The book is told in six parts and each movement opens for readers a different doorway to understanding the way lives and places intertwine. (http://joyharjo.com).

Community Storytelling

Dr. Caren S. Neile

On Tuesday, November 2, 2021 I attended Beacon College “Salon Speaker Series.” The guest speaker was Dr. Caren Neile who is the founding director of the South Florida Storytelling Project. Neile’s teaching and research are in the fields of Intercultural, Cultural and Rhetorical Communication Studies. Her research emphasizes peace and tolerance building, conflict transformation, health and well-being (particularly with regard to the elderly) and culture performance.

Dr. Neile read stories from her book “Only In Florida: Why the Manatee Crossed the Road.” Her book is a compilation of stories collected throughout Florida with the goal of connecting neighbors to neighbors and to the areas in which they live, to deliver a performance/lecture that includes readings and retellings from the books, as well as an introduction to her philosophy of community storytelling and invaluable how-tos to bring storytelling into listeners own lives.  She is a 2005 National Storytelling Network Oracle Award winner.

I enjoyed Dr. Neile stories and comedic delivery. She explained the importance of community storytelling and how to study the craft of storytelling. I’m interested in having my friends, who are now older, tell stories on how my mother’s advice effected their lives.

Only In Florida book

You can contact Dr. Caren Neile, Director, South Florida Storytelling Project at 
cneile@fau.edu

The Moth

You can hear/see storytellers at The Moth https://themoth.org

Everyday Is A Poem

Jacqueline Suskin

I’ve taken the free “Every Day Is A Poem” course through Commune onecommune.com with Jacqueline Suskin. She gives simple techniques to get you writing every day.

“There is no shortage of wonder in the human spirit. We were born to ask why. We are here to make up our own answers. This is the poetry of being alive.”

Jacqueline Suskin

Day 1 – What does it mean for us to be in awe? Can you recall something in your life that has been awe inspiring? What did that moment inspire? Give yourself permission to find awe in anything at all, and then let that awe push you into poetic expression.

Day 2 – Assigning meaning to objects, places and animals is an ancient human practice and when we develop or own collection of important symbols, we establish a foundation of support and inspiration that we can always access. Write about it.

“Because we are the ones asking questions and finding answers, we are the ones who get to determine the meaning that we live by.”

Jacqueline Suskin

Day 3 – The difference between awe, meaning, and inspiration is a fine line that is clarified by personal definition. We start with awe, polish it it into meaning , and then drink freely from the well of the inspiration that arrives day after day as we write with purpose.

Day 4 – Asking ourselves why we do what we do, what the purpose is behind our work, and why we want to create in the first place helps us heighten the energy we put into our writing.

“Begin to reveal the roots of your poetic purpose, the reason you write your words on the page.”

Jacqueline Suskin

Day 5 – We all have a poet living inside of us, or beside us, close at hand. You have permission to love that part of yourself, to work at that piece inside of you until it comes out in words, to gather up all of those swirling expressions and make sense of them in language. You can be a secret poet, a poet who never writes, a poet who just appreciates the craft but keeps a journal locked away from others. You don’t have to call yourself a poet to be one. This can be a private journey of naming feelings and processing experiences. But if you are looking to give yourself over to your work in a deeper way, there are a few things that will make the process that much more of a craft. This means dedicating yourself to a practice.

This was a fun, free course and I ended up purchasing it at a 50% discount. Now I’ll have the opportunity to practice my poetry writing with a professional instructor (smile). If you get the chance check out the course at onecommune.com.

I believe purpose is a large part of practicing a craft with clarity and intention.

Are You Playing Small?

Regina Louise

Memoirist and motivational speaker Regina Louise has spent the last three decades advocating for what becomes possible when we give ourselves permission to live our best lives. In her newest book, Permission Granted: Kick-Ass Strategies to Bootstrap Your Way to Unconditional Self-Love, she offers proven techniques to connect with your deepest desires, follow your dreams, and live life on your terms. 

Author Regina Louise

Regina Louise asks the question “Are You Playing Small?” Below is a list of her strategies to help you figure out what you really want out of your life and go for it.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you. It’s a beautiful thing when you see the bigness of your own possibility reflected back to you in another human being.

Take the 18-inch journey from your head to your heart. To step into our own permission is to step into what we believe to be true about ourselves. It’s to remember what is meaningful to and for us, and what it feels like to be on purpose.

Give yourself a permission slip to play. Playing means engaging with joy. It’s letting go of the shoulds and the have-tos and the rigidity that our modern-day schedules all too often require. 

Remember you need permission to live your life—and that permission needs to come from youYou are worthy of flipping the script on your life.

https://www.iamreginalouise.com/

What will you do to play big and live your dreams?

Feeding The Soul

Internet sensation Tabitha Brown has her first book out “Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business): Finding our Way to Joy, Love and Freedom.” She says about her book title that “Feeding the soul is how we feed ourselves. Our soul is our life—it’s how we live and what we put out. So, it’s our business to do that well. Life is our business and I always tell people: If you don’t take your business—which is your life—seriously, you might go out of business.”

Tabitha Brown

She says “Through these tough times I often tell people that I know this is a pandemic that we’re all in at the very same time together, but we have all been through our own personal pandemics before. We have all felt like our life was in an upside-down pattern and things were all over the place—and we got through those times. What I always encourage people to remember is that it is temporary. It will pass. We will get through it. Even if the light is a small crack, focus on that light. It’s so easy to focus on the negative. It’s easy to accept the darkness. But the light will eventually break open and things will get better. That’s how I got through some of the darkest times of my life.”

Tabitha Brown

As for self-work she says it’s a real thing. “And if you include too many other people, you can forget who you are. Sometimes we must do things alone so that we know we’re not influenced by someone else, and we know that we’re making that decision solely on our own. So we know: This is for me and no one else. No one else can tell me how to feel. No one else can tell me what to do in this moment. I don’t need anyone else to fall back on in this moment. This is about me.”

You can follow Tabitha Brown on Instagram for her candid, funny, and honest videos that offer a mix of self-love, vegan cooking, and fortitude.

Zines

Zines By C. Minor

According to Wikipedia a zine is a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via a copy machine. Zines are the product of either a single person or of a very small group, and are popularly photocopied into physical prints for circulation. Wikipedia. I learned about zines while reading Austin Kleon newsletter http://austinkleon.com and followed his video and started making zines. I really enjoy the freedom of making them and not having to have any writing or photography restrictions. I used an old photos form my vacations, pictures from magazines, coloring book, calendars, junk mail and scrape paper. It was fun! I make zines for relaxation and when I don’t want to write. There is just no limit to the infinite possibilities for creating zines.

C. Minor lunch box

While strolling through Goodwill Industries during senior discount days, I found this neat lunchbox for two dollars. This is where I keep my zines. I carry them with me to the park or the library anywhere I can sit and just create in peace. If you’re looking for something fun to do, while you write your book, zines are the best distractions.

Redefine Time

Photo by Judit Peter on Pexels.com

“The world is entering a new time zone, and one of the most difficult adjustments people must make is in their fundamental concepts and beliefs about the management of time.” Quote by Dan Sullivan Founder and president, The Strategic Coach

I’m still in the process of reading Jack Canfield’s book “The Success Principles: How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be.”

http://www.TheSuccess Principles.com/resources.

I am now trying out a new writing schedule. Here’s Mr. Canfield’s concept:

Focus Days-A Focus Day is a day in which you spend at least 80% of your time operating in your primary area of expertise-interacting with people or processes that give you the highest payoffs for the time you invest. To be successful, you must schedule more Focus Days and hold yourself accountable for producing the results.

Buffer Days-A Buffer Day is a day when you prepare and plan for a Focus or Free Day-either learning a new skill, locating a new resource, training your team, delegating tasks, projects or traveling to a work site. Buffer Days ensure that your Focus Days are as productive as possible.

Free Days-A Free Day extends from midnight to midnight and involves no work related activity of any kind. It’s a day completely free of business meetings, business-related phone calls, cell phone calls, emails, or reading work-related journals and documents.

I’ve decided to try this new system for the next thirty days. I’m feeling good about the process. Do you have a writing schedule that works for you?

Ask! Ask! Ask!

Photo by PICHA Stock on Pexels.com

How To Ask For What You Want by Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup For The Soul author)

  1. Ask as if you expect to get it. Ask with a positive expectation.

2. Assume you can. Don’t start with the assumption that you can’t get it.

3. Ask someone who can give it to you. Qualify the person. “Who would I have to speak to to get…”

4. Be clear and specific. Vague request produce vague results.

5. Ask repeatedly. One of the most important principles of success is persistence, not giving in.

As a beginner writer and now podcaster. I am constantly asking for help, guidance, advice, feedback. I can pretty-much tell by the conversation I am having with someone if they are willing to be of service. Once I was told if I ask any more questions I would have to hire the person as a consultant. I got it! There are somethings, perhaps the majority of my writing and podcasting research I’ve done on my own, but it’s always good to ask. Help is sometimes freely given. I’ve been surprised that many people are proud of what I’m doing and are “rooting” for me to succeed.

Have you asked for help lately?

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