Thursday, September 27, 2007

I've Been Interviewed!

My friend Crystal over at the Chat & Chew Cafe has this great series of interviews going called "When I Was Just a Kid." She just posted an interview she did with me. Thanks Crystal!
And hello to all of you new visitors who are likely stopping by as a result of Crystal's interview. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Madeline L'Engle

Madeline L'Engle recently died. I've written about her book Walking on Water several times. It's one of my favorite books. I thought for my Top Ten today, I share some of my favorite quotes from this book in memory of Madeline.
  • The artist is a servant who is willing to be a birthgiver.
  • Until I have worked through self, I will not be enabled to get out of the way.
  • Stories are able to help us to become more whole, to become Named. And Naming is one of the impulses behind all art; to give an name to the cosmos we see despite all the chaos.
  • There is much that we cannot understand, but our lack of comprehension neither negates nor eliminates it.
  • God understands that part of us which is more than we think we are.
  • Art is communication, and if there is no communication it is as through the work had been still-born.
  • I want to be open to God, not to what man says about God.
  • Ultimately, when you are writing, you stop thinking and write what you hear.
  • The greater the radius of light, the wider the perimeter of darkness.
  • I must have more faith in the work than I have in myself.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Chicago Cubs

Growing up a Cubs fan had quite an impact on my development. I think I just realized this about an hour and a half ago. Let me tell you what the Cubs have taught me.
Loyalty Sometimes people disappoint you. People are human. Believe in them and come back to them anyway.
Persistence It's OK to be discouraged, but not for long. By the time you've showered & wiped the dust off your clothes you need to be telling yourself "there's always next year."
Have Fun I don't remember how old I was when I found out that not everyone sings "Take Me Out to The Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch, but I do remember I was appalled. How do the rest of you have any fun at a ballgame at all? Seriously.
Sometimes Small is Good They call it "The Friendly Confines" for a reason; it's small. But that's OK. And by the way, we don't need a bunch of cheerleaders or a half time show either.
Support Cubs players, fans, announcers, etc all make an effort to acknowledge the people who help them do their jobs. Remember the people who had your back, the hands that pulled you up, and the shoulders you stood on.
One more thing. It doesn't hurt that the Cubs' mascot is a bear.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


A couple of days ago I mentioned I'd like to work on outsourcing tasks that take up a disproportionate amount of my time and energy. While I was brainstorming a list of potential things to outsource, I came to the conclusion that I would love to outsource all the networking and excess small chatty socializing that seems to go along with being a successful writer.
The problem is, I'm an introvert. If I were any more of an introvert, I might just be a hobbit. And my day job is professional counseling. Now before you go making faces, introverts can make good counselors because we are good listeners. It's just that by the end of the day, I'm done with the whole talking to people thing.
My friend Cris is really good at connecting with other people. And my friend LeAnne also has a blog built entirely around interacting with other people in the arts. I just have a hard time finding the energy & time to make & keep those connections on top of my day job, and making writing a priority itself.
So if you visit and/or give me feedback, I appreciate it. I wish I could say I'll be better about responding and adding more links to my blog. Part of my problem is that I don't want to ask someone to exchange links unless I'm truly able to say I read their blog on a somewhat regular basis. There are a few blogs I do read, I just don't want to imply that I read & network more than I do.
There was recently an article in a writing magazine about a writer who succeeds as an introvert. I'm glad it's possible. I'm glad it worked for him. But the article didn't tell me "how" to make that work. I need some solid ways to work with my strengths in this area.
Anyone want to be a surrogate extrovert?

Friday, September 14, 2007


A fellow writer recently commented that it seems we spend too much of our time trying to overcome our weaknesses instead of playing to our strengths. I think that's true of people in general. We are uncomfortable with what we are not good at, so we work at getting better at it. To a certain extent, this is a good thing. But at what point is it better to invest our resources in the things we are equipped to excel at, and forfeit that self-improvement in favor of outsourcing?
For me, hiring someone to do my taxes is one of those out-sourcing opportunities. I may cringe at the thought of cleaning my house, but I cringe even more at the thought of someone else doing it. The time, effort, and emotional trauma of doing taxes, however, makes outsourcing the task a worthy investment.
Some tasks are a little harder to delegate. There are things I "can" do; they may not even be all that unpleasant. But are they a good investment of my time? It can be hard for me to ask for help, so I'm working on developing a set of criteria for determining what tasks I need to make a priority and which ones I can outsource. My hope is that having an objective measure of what I need to spend my time on will make asking for help a little easier.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Colors, Man....

I'm about to get my place painted. I'm quite excited about this. I've recently had cause to do everything I can to improve my mood. I've always known that my mood is particularly affected by color so this change couldn't have come at a better time. Right now I'm surrounded by a bold yellow that I find stress inducing. Normally I don't notice this much. But lately I find myself retreating from the main living space to read or otherwise occupy myself in my bedroom, which is the only room I've had painted so far.
The bedroom is my favorite color, a periwinkle blue. This is, IMHO, an ideal, restful color for a bedroom. And get this, the color of the paint is called "Beautiful Dream." How cool is that for a bedroom? Soon the rest of my home will have colors that are equally as enjoyable.
So maybe this post falls into the "too much information" category. Or maybe you think it's just pointless information. But if your life lacks energy, or peace, or creativity, you might be able to add a dose of it through the colors you surround yourself with. It certainly couldn't hurt.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A Bloggie Birthday!

Today my blog is a year old. It's been quite a year. I think the blog essentially keeps to the theme I intended when I started it, although the focus has perhaps shifted a bit. Then again, I knew that would happen when I started.
I know of at least 2 other blogs celebrating birthdays/anniversaries in this first part of September. I wonder when most blogs are started, and I wonder why?
If there's anything you'd like to read more about in the next year, I'd love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading.