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 What the F*ck are Morning Pages?

Friday, March 2, 2018

SO, if you haven't read this book, and you have an inner artist begging you to be let out to play, who's sick of being told to go sit in the corner and be a respectable Adult with a capitol---A, then this book is a must read.


I got this handed to me at age twenty, with no idea what direction I wanted to go artistically, and it was like the Holy Grail. 


Seriously. I'm gonna go for the cliche---> It changed my life.


I've been writing morning pages for over twenty-three years, and I have boxes of spiral notebooks [Gasp! Yes, there is this an archaic, dying art form, called longhand that people actually still use with pen & paper] cluttering my garage, gathering dust.


Morning Pages are a ritual.

I wake up two hours before most of the world.

I make my delicious, mocha-flavored fancy-schmancy coffee,  light candles, play native-american drum music, and write three pages, stream-of-conscious writing.


If you aren't familiar with this psycho-babble phrase it means: writing without editing.


And don't misunderstand; it's three pages.

Not one, not two and half, not four. . . 

THREE.

 Why?

No freakin' idea, but my guess is, that's what it takes to get the ol'motor really reeved-up, and the night's cold engine warm.


Sometimes, by the end of page one, I've had  some next-level prophetic life breakthrough. Sometimes by page three, I'm still bitching that the scale went up three pounds because I ate those two slices of Dominos before bed. 


But the deal is, it doesn't matter what I write as long as I write it.


So, as a wanna-be-best-selling- author this kinda goes everything we've been trained to do.  Make it perfect. Edit! Edit! Edit!


Since the advent of social media, I've been told over-and-over-and-over again to start a blog. I mean, what's the big deal,right? I already write the better part of my day. I've got no issue posting selfies, and philosophical insights on my Facebook news-feed like it's a full-time job, but  somehow I've avoided this whole [and apparently important] blog business.


Even the word itself---> B L O G, it's so bleh-ish.

Like soggy-foggy-boggy.

Sounds like just another platform which requires me to write perfect.

Well, I say screw it. 

Forget your blog!


These are my Morning Pages. 

[Which means by default, they will not be grammatically proper, or even follow any of the ordinary rules surrounding this whole publishing being a Big Time Author thing]


::PHEW::


I can't make any promises, the topics will be all over the place. 


You will never know what ridiculousness is going to be found here, but one thing I can promise, it will be authentic and hopefully entertaining and insightful.


And it will come to you unedited - unsensored - unplugged.

[Do you even remember MTV Unplugged? It was in an era when they actually played music videos instead of reality shows.]


Either way, I digress.

Morning Pages are a rebellious act.

It's writing for the sake of writing.


P.S. I wrote these as Evening Pages [such a rule breaker, what will people say?] because I'm preparing for a upcoming Writer's Conference, and my old website sucked so bad it inspired a total overhaul of my "author branding". 


I believe when we're authentic, our voice will be heard.

Because it rings loudly over the lull of margainlized whispers.


The Holy Grail featured here is:

The Artist Way by Julia Cameron

https://www.amazon.com/Julia-Cameron/e/B000AQ2R2S


 D A N C E to T R A N C E

Saturday, March 3, 2018

So here I am. 

It's morning and I've already realized a fatal flaw in my plan. 

I'm supposed to do three pages of writing, and I have no way to actually track that in the blog-o-sphere format. Call me old-fashioned, but sometimes trying to translate things digitally just doesn't work out.


So I'm gonna improvise.

From here on out, I'm going to either begin or end my usual spiral binder, college-ruled,longhand archaic act of journaling with this digital continuation.


It's an experiment and an evolution of the Morning Page process.


I can dig it. So, I stayed up way to late watching one of the newest Sci-Fi series on Amazon called EXTANT with Halle Berry, and I'll save my take on that series for a different morning that I've had more than four hours of sleep. Normally, it wouldn't matter, but tonight I'm going out dancing--something I still do on a pretty regular basis for a 40-Something.


And I don't mean I go sip dry martini's in high heel shoes and shake my ass to some top-40-s mainstream radio music at a plushy Buckhead bar - I go - where most of the club is the dance floor and when you do see someone daring to sport heels, you:

 A] Feel Sorry for Her 

and 

B] Laugh at her for being so silly


Nobody can dance in those Satan torture devices, unless there's a strip pole somewhere close by. Which at this club there will be no such thing. You might see some glow/flow toys, and fuzzy boots, a ton of backpacks and other club kid gadgets, but the parties I attend are for a specific kind of clubber - a connoisseur- of what we used to call underground house, but the labels have expanded into a wide-variety of genres - all under the label Electronic Dance Music - tonight's focus is - T R A N C E.


I am an artist in every sense of the word.

Dancing is part of my life expression.

If I don't get in at least one session a month, it's like taking my therapist couch away.


And that's just not healthy for anybody, including my sixteen year old kid.


So because I only got four hours of sleep last night, due to an unwarranted EXTANT binge sesh, I will have to fit in, what us 40-Something Club Go-ers call a

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::D I S C O  N A  P::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


If my cats allow it.

I'll introduce them at some point, but for now, just know - they try to foil every nap and good night sleep I ever try to attempt. It's an on-going issue. 


Maybe I'll write a book about it. ::laughs::


WARNING: Tomorrow's pages will most likely make no sense and include Sunday cures for dance floor hangovers. This isn't an implication of too much alcohol [remember we are dancers so we spend most of the time actually dancing] The hangover is a blend of staying up well-passed your usual bedtime combined with a 6-hour aerobic workout that your older body doesn't quite bounce back from like it did when you were twenty.


Unity events can be found here https://www.facebook.com/unitymusicevents/  




Am I Having Fun?

Monday, March 5, 2018

The key question to always ask yourself is: AM I HAVING FUN?


If the answer is NO, invest as little energy into it as possible, because it's an utter waste. 

I recently came to the conclusion, that as artists we often become so obsessed with being the best, with being noticed, that we slowly turn what was once fun into not only work, but work we begin to avoid. Somewhere in the mix, we replace our child-like wonder at the creative process, with stress to achieve certain goals with that art. 


One thing I've learned, is if you aren't having fun, it's simply a sign that the scales have tipped, and you need to frame your perspective in a way that re-focuses your energy into experimenting, maintaining a playful attitude, and simply allowing the process of creating be the reason. 


Everything else after that will unfold naturally.


If you aren't feeling good, or enjoying the process, it is a sign that you need to take a step back and evaluate what your intentions are. 


Although I intend to create an illustration for my new novel, I became inspired to put together a mixed-media piece, it isn't done, but I'm having such fun creating it!


We all have some genius inside us.

But we've got to be willing to get out of the way, so it can come through.

And that only happens, when we let go of final results, and enjoy the process 

by-----------------------------------------------------------------------------> having F U N!

Self-Expression-Confidence

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

I admit it.

I'm a fashion-freak, and I bought this badass dress to celebrate the completion of my newest YA paranormal thriller. I'm attending a writer's conference on Saturday, March 10th [and NO, this isn't what I'll be wearing!] and even decided to buy a pitch session with Cate Hart at the Corvisiero Literary Agency as part of the experience.


I've gone to plenty of conference's and have been a member of SCBWI [The Children's Society of Writer's and Illustrators] for fifteen years, and frankly, I had to take a break from it all. I found most of the attendee's had this desperate, competitive vibe that just didn't make the experience very fun. 


However, at my last conference, I will say, I genuinely connected with several of the agents attending, and it happened very naturally. It was as if they could sense I wasn't trying to sell myself, or my work, to them.


And I wasn't.


I was simply there to learn - and get my self back in the mindset of publication - as I worked on newer material.  I found during that conference there is a specific energy you put off when you are needing validation for your work.


It's like the girl who is looking for a husband, but never gets that damn ring.

And that's because every man she dates can sense she doesn't really love HIM, she loves the idea of having a husband, any old one will do.


Literary Agents I believe have that same sense.


So, to all my newbie aspiring writer friends, I suggest when you go to conferences, go with a playful attitude, be expressive and bold and confident, and go with the intention of simply learning among your peers. 


Be confident, not competitive.

This goes back to the: Am I having fun question?


I had a blast wearing this dress out dancing, celebrating my new novel, allowing the self-expression of my writing to flow outward into what I chose to wear. Living life artfully, means bringing all aspects of it together so there is no differentiation between play and work.


On  an end note, I picked an agent from the Corvisiero Literary Agency because they're supporting this amazing program called Sparking Literacy to help create awareness of our kids' literary needs in order to raise funds to help teens as well as younger kids receive books and other services needed to give them access to these resources and motivate them to read, write, and dream big.


I especially love they've got a place to donate books! I plan to donate a few of mine that I still have hanging around from the Red Cygnet Press publishing competition I won back in 2006.


Today, I'm in such a celebratory mood.


After the results of my test readers, including my sixteen year old, I'm feeling very playful and confident in this novel. There's a new sense of excitement because I'm not attached to how this book gets published.


I simply have faith that my work will fall into the right hands at the perfect time.




COMMAND-IT

Friday, March 9 2018

Meet my newest desk buddy.

I call him the Commander!


Yesterday, I found this little guy at Junkman's Daughter down in Little 5, after a delicious lunch at Savage Pizza with Cole. If you've never been to this store, it's filled with all sorts of odd-ball goodies.


[See what I did there? So clever.]


As I've previously stated, I like having fun, and so where I write is decorated accordingly,

and he is the new star of the imagineering stage, I call my desk.


Why?


Because he's the all-knowing EYE, and represents unwavering vision.

I've been studying the law of attraction for many years, and listened to endless teachers speak about the universal law which says "Like Attracts Like" and basically whatever we are thinking and therefore emitting emotionally, we are aligning ourselves with on a daily basis.


So, that's why when you're in a rotten mood, well rotten things just keep poppin' off that keep you in that state - and when you're flyin' high - it feels like literally nothin' can get you down.


If you're new to this mindset, I'd say it's worth checkin' into.

Honestly, the most important skill you can learn.


For all you naysayers out there, who think this sounds like some new-age-mumbo-jumbo, you go on right ahead, roll your eyes, while my EYE stays focused securely ahead on my visions. One thing, I've learned through learning to harness the power of my mind/emotions, through daily basis, is that this stuff works.


Is it easy?

HELL-NO.


It's one of the hardest things you can do, mastering the mind.

It's like a starving monkey hunting for a banana it can smell but can't find.


Gaining control over your mind, takes diligent practice, and a tremendous amount of patience when you have to confront the layers-upon-layers of limiting beliefs you're programmed with. It can be exhausting and frustrating, but it becomes very liberating as you move from being trapped in this kind of mental prison to exploring the limitless freedom of life.


Long&short, it's well-worth the effort.

So that's where this little guy comes in.


I like having visual representations of things, that help trigger, and remind me of things I've come to and learned.


And at the turn of the new year, the next level of understanding in reference to the art of manifestation, was born from something my good friend Chuck had hinted at years ago. It's this idea of making C O M M A N D S.


You have a vision.

You believe you deserve it.


And then you know and trust it will come to you by commanding it to be so.

You basically leave room for no any other option.


I know, you're sitting there thinking, so I can just wave this imaginary magic wand around in my mind and --PRESTO--everything I want happens.


::EYE ROLL::


No. That isn't what I'm saying.

It's much more complex than that, and if you continue to read my blog, you will get lots of insights into how to make this universal law work in your favor to honestly attract the things you truly want into your life.


I love the Commander!


He's going to be sitting front and center on my Temple of Words, guardian of my dreams, and a reminder that when I start takin' myself a little too seriously, that means EYE need to lighten up, and ask myself if what I'm doing in that moment, is fun.


And if it isn't----------> hopefully you know the answer.

[Don't do it.]










PITCH-SESSION

Saturday, March 10 2018

I opened today's conference with pitching my new YA Thriller to Cate Hart from Corvisiero Literary Agency, and she was simply delightful.


Needless to say, I'll be submitting the opening chapters upon her request.


I truly enjoyed this experience. 


Be bold, friends in pursuing your passions, and above all else, make sure 

you have F U N doing so.  If you do, there is no such thing as failure.


You are winning every step of the way!


Mixed Media for [Insert Novel Name Here]

created for my Book Chat with Cate Hart








MID-DREAM-CRISIS

Saturday, April 14 2018

Art by KarineDiot - DeviantArt

To write or not to write?

That is the question.


I believe every artist, writers included, come to a place in their journey where 

they stop and ask themselves: Do I really know where I'm going with this? 


At almost 44 years old, I'm going to call this my mid-dream-crisis.


And it goes a little something like this, see if you can relate.


You had a vision. 

You've honed your craft. 

You've studied it from all angles and put in endless amounts of hours into it. 

And if you're lucky, you get enough of an audience who enjoys what you do, and you might just be one of the rare few who can make a living at it.


But is that all it is?

After this last writer's workshop, I hit a brick wall artistically. Although I got a wonderful reception from the agent I pitched, and from attendees and the instructors, I found myself spiraling downward in the preceding weeks.


Suddenly, it was like I was Alice standing in Wonderland, looking up at the big scary  All-Knowing Caterpillar, wondering what I was doing in this world of words? 


Did I really know where I was going?

Or worse, had I lost my way? 


Discontented, I couldn't help by wonder, was I really on this majestic path to the land of Author Awesomeness or was I simply continuing to be thrown detours only to find myself stuck in a never-ending game of Sorry where I get sent back to start before I hit my goal.


Through this mind-bender of a period, I really had to get very honest with myself and take a hard look at My Dream. 


I had to ask some hard questions, such as:

Am I writing for the fame, the accolades, and an audience?

Or am I writing, because I MUST write, because it is a part of who I am, and my overall experience as a human on this planet?


 Because if the answer is the later, then where this path is leading doesn't matter!

It may sound cliche, but this is where the concept - Enjoy the Journey - was born from. 


It's a universal truth.


A dream isn't something you can compartmentalize with an end point in mind.

It's an organic, ever-evolving process that is simply an external expression of our internal world. 


It doesn't have to have a purpose to exist.

The process of doing it is the purpose.


Everything else we encounter is an added treat brought to the Dream Tea Party.

And isn't it more fun to be surprised by what shows up at the table, than sulking about what doesn't?