For the joy

for the joy - 7049

Run for the joy of running because your spirit cannot be contained in a walk.

Write for the joy of writing because your spirit can’t hold back the words.

Sing for the joy of singing because life has a melody and harmonies so pure and clear that it has to have music.

Speed across the page never-you-minding whether the phrase is perfect or awkward or pretty or odd, because the words have to spill out and never you mind whether they spilled out in a perfectly ordered order.

Because it’s fun to write, or it better be, because you’ve spent your life writing and the spirit who has never had fun is a sullen spirit indeed.

Attend to crasftsmanship? Craft away, child, but not until after you’ve said it all raw and full and with all the joy you can’t hold in your heart a minute more.

A brief lesson in writing and self-forgiveness

brief lesson in writing and self-forgiveness

“Hello. My name is x and my mind wanders.”

“Hi, x,” intoned the others in the group.

“I’ve been sitting here for 20 minutes, and my head has been all over the place. I glanced at my phone until I realized what I was doing. I read some back pages of my journal, I sipped coffee, I added to the to-do list for today, and what I didn’t do until a few moments ago was write. It’s funny, because I call myself a writer. On the other hand, I recently discovered that preparing my mind to write is part of the writing process, but if all that fussing was prep, then I have prepared for 20 minutes during a period when I had 25 minutes total to write something.”

“Still,” one of the others said, “you did write something. So stop beating on yourself.”

It starts when you’re always afraid

beware of hobgoblins

REMINDER: The 99-cents introductory price on Refuse to Be Afraid: Tenth Anniversary Edition ends after today. (The print-on-demand price is the print-on-demand price.)

’Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country.

Thomas Paine

No doubt you’re afraid of something, or you wouldn’t be reading this book.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’m scared, too. We all live with fear, ranging from little anxieties to sheer, stark-raving-mad, paralyzing terror, and everything in between. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of getting started, fear of being stopped before we’re finished, fear of what to do next after we’re finished. Fear of hate, fear of love, fear of hating, fear of being loved. Fear of sickness, fear of health, fear of other people’s habits, fear of our own.

Fear of death.

A portion of this book is necessarily about politics. So many people have found a sure way to get elected is to make voters afraid of something — or someone. Continue reading “It starts when you’re always afraid”

Book release: This frightening world being built around us

Refuse to be Afraid 2020 BREFUSE TO BE AFRAID Tenth Anniversary Edition on sale now in print and at a special introductory price from Kobo and Kindle.

I’ve wondered about the kids who were born around 2001, the ones who have now graduated from high school and whose impression of Sept. 11, 2001, is like mine of the Korean War, which entered a permanent truce around the time I was born: A relic of history of which they have no direct memory.

They have never lived in a world where you could enter an airport or a large public building without being screened and searched, their personal property and selves treated as if they may be planning a crime, guilty until proved innocent. They have never lived in a world not cluttered with cameras and other surveillance devices. They don’t know what it’s like to walk free wherever you go. Continue reading “Book release: This frightening world being built around us”

And then there’s this one

Dejah the escapee

This one. Willow is such a sweet dog, we have grown old together, and she is the loving animal that they say all golden retrievers are, and then some. But this one!

Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars, decided to test for flaws in the backyard fence on Tuesday morning. As I was trying to wrap up a project, I heard Cj yell, “Is Dejah in there with you?” Well, no, she wasn’t. And she wasn’t in the backyard, or the laundry room, or the main bedroom, or … uh oh.

Continue reading “And then there’s this one”

Reopening and reclaiming

Willow - You awake

Don’t be scared.

No, that’s not what I meant to say.

I know you’re scared. I’m scared, too. It feels like everything is unraveling. People shouting at each other, wishing harm on each other, accusing each other of evil or at least evil intent. Beneath it all, the fear.

Everyone is scared, except – oh, and now I begin to sound a little paranoid – except for the ones who benefit from our fear. The sociopaths, if I’m not too harsh, who sincerely believe they know better than the huddled masses. The ones who want to rule us.

Oh, there are some people among them with a true servant attitude, people who sincerely want to protect and serve, people who believe in preserving the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and such and so.

But then there are those who – I love that the man said, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” because those seven words so perfectly summarize the politics of fear. Continue reading “Reopening and reclaiming”

Shortcuts cut us short

Warren and Willow 5-10-2020

When I started writing, in my journal, the thoughts that emerged for this blog post, I wrote “6:14 a.m.” When I changed subjects a little while later, I wrote “6:24 a.m.” And thus I realized I could finish a page of my journal in 10 minutes, thanks to these time markers, not unlike mile markers on the highway.

The markers help us understand that we can travel a mile in one minute, 60 miles in an hour – or a greater distance if we press the accelerator a bit more firmly – and the miles pass in a series of numbers on the side of the road.

Now I’ve passed the 67 year marker – 68 in 10 months or so – a fairly long journey, longer than many travelers have been, although not as long as many others.

And what have I seen along this road? Continue reading “Shortcuts cut us short”