Commitment

At the farm, we begin each circle by reviewing Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements:

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.

Often Sara asks the participants which agreement causes them to struggling the most. Agreements 1 and 4 are like breathing for me. If I am alive, I am practicing them. Agreements 2 and 3 have eluded me for 40 years now. Even now, after 2 years of intense effort, it takes all my concentration to even get close. Yesterday, as I contemplated the question of which is the most challenging, I finally decided that it’s the assumptions.Read More »

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Chaos and Perspective

Last night, as I stood in the horse pasture, I looked beyond the fence to the field of soybeans next door. I ran my eyes along the chaos of green under the wide, post-storm sky, and recognized its similarities to the vast disorganization of my thoughts. Just as the first flutterings of panic rose in my chest, I turned a little and found myself looking down a series of perfectly straight rows, each exactly the same distance from the next. Immediately, the panic subsided, replaced by the realization that what looks and feels like chaos right now will eventually fall into organized lines. I just have to keep turning it over and around in my mind until I hit the right perspective.

Blank Page Syndrome

The beginning of a new project is terrifying. I imagine there are creative people out there who love the start of something new, who revel in the potential of a blank canvas or an empty notebook.

I am not one of those people.

The vast expanse of an empty word document paralyzes me. I can (and have) sat staring at an empty page for great swaths of time, afraid to take the leap from imagination to reality.Read More »

Excerpts from my DFWCon 2018 Journaling

Saturday night:

“I accidentally pitched a story idea and the agent didn’t immediately tell me it was a terrible idea. In fact, she said something that made me realize I’ve been thinking about my story all wrong. I’ve been worrying about what parents and adults will think when what I should be thinking about is what teenagers will think. So suddenly the time I spent on [the story] doesn’t feel like a waste of time. It seems like something that could have a market if I ever actually wrote it.”Read More »

Repost: Newbie Guide to the DFW Writers’ Conference

I initially published this on May 24, 2016 on a blog I shared with some fellow writers, The Missing Comma Club. Since DFWCon is less than a month away and I’m SUPER excited, I figured I’d repost.

I attended the DFW Writers’ Conference over the weekend of April 23-24. Having never gone to a writing conference (or a gathering of more than ten writers at a time), I was nervous. Not only did I survive my foray into the world of other writers, I came out with a number of new friends, a wealth of new knowledge, and an addiction to surrounding myself with the people of “my tribe”. Here are a few things I wish I had known in advance and which I plan to remember for the future.Read More »

April Goal Review

I am one third of the way into my very unofficial goal of writing every day this year. We’re already more than a week into May and I still haven’t written up my review of April. I’d feel bad about that, but it is all for good reasons AND I’m meeting my writing goals, so I’m just going to let that go.

Here are the stats for 2018 so far:

Read More »

I Am Not A Toy

“Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind – even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say.”

Maggie Kuhn

I wear my heart on my sleeve. I say what I mean. I have no poker face, and I have worked hard to develop the courage to stand up against injustices when I see them. This makes me a target for a particular type of conversation.Read More »