Monday, April 01, 2019

The News

The man waited for his child to come out of the school. He was early, so he shut off the engine of his minivan. Everything was quiet as he waited for school to get out.

Flags flapped silently atop the flagpoles, but the man was sheltered from the wind.

There was an occasional sound of a car door in the parking lot, but it was really pretty quiet.

Years earlier, he had waited for his other children here.

Those kids were gone. They grew up and left once they had come out the doors of the school enough times.

It wasn’t enough times for the man.


He waited for his child so he could tell him the news.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Joy & Co.


My books are now available at Joy & Company in Grand Marais.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Interview

I keep returning to C.S. Lewis, as I have since I was a child. George MacDonald, Hans Christian Anderson, The Brothers Grim, and more recently Ben Loory and Italo Calvino.

Music inspires me, but I can’t listen to it and write at the same time. I do listen to music sometimes when I paint.

I’ve never really had a writing mentor. I share what I write with friends. I read about writing, and I have taken classes and joined writing groups.

My favorite writers are my mentors, I guess. I don’t have the opportunity to talk with them, but they inspire and influence me.

Getting “stuck” has not been a big problem for me. I just start writing to get it flowing.


I think about things, or notice things, and whatever is in me comes out again in creative ways. I don’t do anything to be creative. I just document the thoughts in various ways.

The biggest surprise for me in The Adventures Of Flash Meridian is that it happened at all. I didn’t plan to write a book, and I didn’t realize, for 19 years, that I was writing a book.

At first, I was writing captions for pictures. Then I was writing “episodes”. I did that for a long time. Somewhere along the way, I noticed that the episodes fit together ... dovetailed into one continuous story.

Writing a novel is too big of a job for me, so I had to “unlearn” or let go of the expectation of it being anything. I wrote the book because I loved writing it. I love the surprises that I, myself, found in it. That is enough for me. Others may enjoy reading it, but I don’t need anyone to validate it. Of course I love it when someone reads it, and discusses it with me, or asks questions about it.

“Unlearning”, is a key to my writing. Through writing, I am able to focus on long held beliefs about myself and let them go. I can pack away the gifts that were given in love, and with gratitude, slip into something that fits better.

The best piece of advice I’ve gotten this week is to keep it simple. Keep the writing about the story, and not about impressing someone with my vocabulary or ability.

A piece of long term advice was to describe things, rather than just saying something was “beautiful” ... what made it beautiful? Don’t ask your reader to do your work as a writer.

The next thing I’m working on is a collection of short stories.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Book Tour

My next book tour date will be Saturday, March 16, 3 pm at the Cook County Senior Center in Grand Marais. I'll be reading from all three books, and will have books available for sale.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Still Me

I believe every human is creative. Maybe you haven’t shown a painting in an art gallery or danced on a stage, but I believe you are creative. Navigating the pushes and pulls of life requires some ingenuity, and just being here proves that you are a survivor. You are creative.

You might think you have a plan for your life. We have to have some idea of what we will do tomorrow. But if you write your future in indelible ink, you may find yourself frustrated or disappointed. All we can do is try. We move from one day to the next with an idea, but if we are flexible, we can shift and cope with the reality tomorrow brings.

In the same way, I cannot plan the end results of my creative impulses. I listen to my spirit, and let my hands follow the leads of my heart. Each impulse informs the next one. I’m not following a recipe that someone else has worked out in a test kitchen.

And yet I do have a roadmap. Humans have been drawing and painting for many thousands of years. But I can choose the route I take, which may lead me to unexpected discoveries on that map.

Others may have followed the path I choose, but my carry on bag is different from theirs.

I bring all that I am on my journey. This makes my experience unique.

Each one of us comes upon the designated photo opportunity with a particular history that is unlike anyone else’s.

The meaning or interpretation that is obvious to you, may never occur to me. What I surmise may surprise you. And that is the gift.

This is what I hope to achieve. To encourage you to trust your gut. To follow your heart and express whatever it is that you feel.

The more you ponder, the more you will discover. You have all you need already.

Often, the thing I am most reluctant to acknowledge or express, is the thing that will be the most enlightening for me, and beneficial to others.

My weaknesses become my strengths when I embrace them.


The thing I am ashamed of can be the thing that enables you to say me too! I thought I was the only one.

I charge my creativity by reflecting. Meditating. By making sense of what I have felt. When I calm my mind, memories bubble up ... I don’t know how else to describe it ... from yesterday or my distant past.

I used to think it was too late. Too late to grieve whatever I thought I lost as a child. Too late to change long held beliefs.

Now I see I am still me. I am the child I was. I am the one who has allowed me to persevere, and not to quit.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Books

My Hand Paints, 2018



My Hand Paints (122 pages) is a collection of writings from 2018, mostly on the subjects of creativity and self esteem. Like everything I write, it's an autobiography. Not a linear account of my life, but memories that bubble up from deep inside me when my hands are busy. Though it was not intended to be a picture book, it does contain some color plates of my paintings... examples to support the written words.



The Adventures of Flash Meridian, 2019



The Adventures of Flash Meridian (308 pages) is my sci-fi autobiography. If I can say this about my own work, I love this book! It took me 19 years to finish this, and I am so happy to have it available.

I removed a section, so the book chapters do not coincide with the episodes on the blog.