Writer’s fuel

 

Body Mind

Body Mind (Photo credit: DanAllison)

 

Words.

 

Words fuel writers.

 

More than that, it is the direction of creative energy through the body mind of the writer to the page (or screen). Writing ‘in the flow’ is a blissful thing. Hooking into this transcendent state is the drug that a writer joneses over when they get ‘blocked’. The process of writing, any kind of writing, is the primer for the pump to get that flow going. Writing keeps you writing.

 

Finding the freedom from having to be perfect or pleasing or any other conformity is a primary process in generating a mind that can plug into this ethereal ‘flow’. Surrendering to the process of writing in its most simple form, pen and paper, and letting go of everything else can open you and sweep you toward the page, now filled, with juicy sentences and luscious paragraphs.

 

Nurturing Creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert. She rocks. I hope she always keeps writing. I hope she always lets the magic fairies that live in her walls sneeze their fairy snot all over her.

Watch. 🙂

 

Calgary

Memorial Drive looking west from the Zoo bridge

Memorial Drive looking west from the Zoo bridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Calgary
It is home to me.
My family tree,
Started me
and my roots here.
But I stayed and planted myself
Here.

And why?
Why linger?

“Because I love her.”
Seems to be the only answer.

I cringe at my melodrama
I really want to be
cold & practical,
like the shell
of simple stories
that outsiders tell.

But, I love her.

Her, by the way, is her gender.
A single glance,
at the simple shell,
could confuse you.
Because she looks like a man.
An oilman,
a land man,
an old time pioneer,
all cowboyed up
and ready to domineer.

But no.
That is not her.
Or,
rather,
not all of her.

I stay for the city
that simmers
beneath faux buckles and fresh new ten gallons
beneath the ten days of infestation
while tourists ride the rides
the real Calgary,
She hides.

She is so much more than a mile of
red, drunk and topless,
Or a blurry night
of Buds & boots in the office.

Frontier fictions
hide the genuine.
She is the fragrance of damp grass,
let go from winter’s tight clasp,
while arching winds
rip our branches off
and beat them against
our house tops.

And, She is the surprise flurry
that catches budding leaves
AprilMayJune
and folds them in white
while we hurry.

And, She is poppies on Memorial Drive
And Deerfoot
where you don’t drive.
and Forest Lawn
where you can get sixteen bowls of Pho
in the same block.

She is not
white
either.

She is Multi
coloured.
Multicultured.

Bubble tea & Bul-go-gi
Philharmonic Strings & Blues, beers and wings

She is…
Poetry.

Yes.
Poetry!
In Calgary!

She is socialist peaks,
mountain peaks,
that share
the fine view
anchoring our western compass
no matter what the status,
Everyone
gets a peek.

Oh,
but it is dangerous to fall in love
and be blinded to
long lines & long waits,
too many poor trying to
grab a plate.

He looked at me with time weathered eyes & said,
“I’m not from here. I met a girl who was, and I fell in love.”
But,
I wonder,
did he fall for the girl
or the place?

Love,
You could fall in love here.
Fall in love with Here.

I love it here.

And so I stay.
Keeping the family tree
rooted in Seuss
for my new offshoot.

This is the place you go
when you fall in love twice
with the city you know.

The Writer’s Midwife – A transformational workshop

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I have been so fortunate to have two wonderful friends who are incredibly talented writers. Not only are they writers, but they are also teachers, and good ones too. Samantha and Marsha are a powerful daughter/mother team who will kick your butt (with love).

They are all kinds of good for your writing life. They have a perfect blend of support and safety for your fledgling first drafts and persistent encouragement to stretch you outside your comfort zone. In their writing workshop, you will be held accountable to your dreams. You will learn scores of tips, tools and tricks to stomp your inner critic and nourish your inner ally. At the same time, you have never met two nicer people. They really understand how nerve-wracking it can be to share your writing, so they specifically set the tone of their writing groups to be inclusive and safe.

I know because I have had the immense pleasure of being in their writer’s group since September. In that time my writing has blossomed. More importantly, I have developed a strong persistence and discipline with my writing. Before I joined the writing group, I would write whenever I felt like it, maybe once every couple of months. Now I write everyday, no exceptions.

What I love most about the group is how free I feel in sharing anything I write. First draft or final work, the comments are supportive and encouraging. Help and critical feedback are only offered if I ask for it (which I generally don’t), but it is nice to know that a careful eye is available to edit if need be.

Like I said, I am fortunate.

Samantha and Marsha’s upcoming writing workshop “Skin and Stories” starts April 16th at Pages Bookstore in Calgary. For a measly $150, you can invest in your creative dreams and get motivated to finally write that novel you have been thinking about for the past twenty years. Be warned! Writing is fun, addictive, and powerfully life-changing. This workshop will fill up fast, signup buttercup!

The Book that Changes Everything

Cover of "Women Who Run with the Wolves"

Cover of Women Who Run with the Wolves

I love books. My living room looks like a library, with floor to ceiling bookshelves on the available walls. I love reading fine words and funny words. Technical and emotional, spiritual and practical. But after all these pages flipped, there are some books that stay with you. They leave an imprint on your mind, like newsprint ink on your hand. There are some books that cause you to change during the course of reading them.

The book that sparked my transformation from scientist to spiritualist was “Women who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Up to that point, I rejected all things spiritual because I was disillusioned by the dogma and hypocrisy I saw in organized religions. I turned away from anything mystical and clung to the solidity of scientific reason. I found this book after a break-up with my high school sweetheart. I was looking for a book to distract me from the pain and at 537 pages, including end notes and index, I was sold.

But what I found in this book was something more than I thought possible. Estés is a scholar and a storyteller, she unwinds stories to find their core of truth. She analyzes fairy tales through the lens of archetype. The book hooked something in my linear, analytical brain and pulled it in a creative direction. Before reading this book, I only read non-fiction; after I read it, I read novel after novel. She somehow gave me the tools to see into the architecture of a story.  She taught me to see the spirit and meaning of a story and to think about how to apply those lessons in my life.

This book also gave me a glimpse of how women could be both powerful and soft, nurturing and fierce. Growing up in a family with a majority of women, this rang true for me. This book also gave me a ladder to climb out of a very low point; to grab hold of the rung of self-esteem and to keep on climbing. She told me I was worth it.

Throughout the book, Estés encourages you to hear the call of your heart. It is a profound and magical ride. I picked this book up again today, and it still holds the magic it did when I first read it sixteen years ago.

This is the power of books, of words. Books create change. Words are powerful.

What book changed your life?

What book do you need to write?

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