Writing in old age: changing formats, topics, style and purpose — Write Into Life (repost)

When I write my blogs it is to share, to instruct, and to encourage artists of all worlds and styles to follow their hearts and to go for the gusto.

It seems I have found a co-heart in exploring my world. The world of getting older, sharing and connecting with others, of changes in both creativity and interests.

Let me introduce you to Rachel McAlpine. As she shares, ‘once a child, always a writer.’

Give her a read!

My writing regime has changed as I grow older. So has the substance. Are these changes voluntary choices or a natural result of aging? The post… 16 more words

Writing in old age: changing formats, topics, style and purpose — Write Into Life



Lesson #1,329 — Listen to your Gut

A little story, a little lesson, a little glory — isn’t that what life’s all about?

I follow many friends who do remarkable craft/handy work.. Laura Kate at Daily Fiber is always showing her handiwork, including fabric art, quilting, and her discovery of new painting techniques. And Tiffany at Tiffany Arp-Daleo Art is amazing at turning out new and unique watercolor paintings.

There are more. There are many, many of you with creative hands and minds.

But I digress.

Isn’t one of the purposes of a blog is to share knowledge? Experience? Art? Let me share all three this fine day. I will make it as brief as possible.

Title: Listen to your Gut

Scene: Downstairs at Granny’s house. Oldest grandson is outside with Grandpa; five-year-old is playing video games with Granny, almost-three-year-old playing with dolls nearby. Library/Craft Room door open.

J: Come on, Granny! Follow my guy! Pew! Pew!

E: Takes her dolls into the workroom. Granny glances in the door.

(Gut Feeling) I really shouldn’t let her in there without supervision.

(* = thoughts)

*She can’t really mess anything up in there.



(Voice over) You really should put your Angel Tears away when they are made.

(Self Voice) I’m waiting for my business cards to come. Then I’ll put them all away at one time.

G to J: Open that chest! Good job!

E: tinkle-tinkle-plunk!

(Gut Feeling) I better see what she’s up to.

J: Go this way, Granny! I got the money!


*I guess I’d better go check on her.

So, as you suspect, there are about four 5′ strands of tears on the floor.

E: I help!

Granny goes to pick them up. A few ends are tangled (remember they are on super durable fishing line).

J: Granny — Come ON!

So Granny grabs all four and swings as she walks and puts them down on the board that’s on the table that’s holding two more finished tears.

Later that evening….

Here is where lesson #1,329 comes in.


I know it wasn’t anybody’s fault but my own. Too much in a hurry, ignoring the seriousness of the situation, not preventing disaster but creating more of it. Instantly.

I wonder if all crafters go through this humiliation.

I spent three hours trying slowly, gingerly, to untangle the mess. My result:

How many times does your gut — or to choose a more favorable word, intuition — tell you something is wrong? That Bad B is going to come after Accidental A if you don’t do something to change it?

But we lollygag around, dismissing our paranoia, not listening to that strong voice in our head (or strong voice from another) and assume the chips will all fall back into place perfectly.

I have entertained the idea of dissolving solvents for a chance to save some of the gems, but calmer voices said it won’t work. So I’ll at least save the Tears and start all over again.

If I had thought writing was tough, it doesn’t hold a candle to crafts.

Pay attention to that little voice when it screams in your ear. At least look logically at what it’s saying and stop and see if you really need to do something about it.

Maybe then your life won’t turn out to look like this:



Symphony for a Friend

jillianEvery now and then I like to recommend other blogs, websites, books and music that have touched me in some way. I am not a walking advertisement, for my likes are not always yours. But now and then I enjoy sharing things that have made me smile more than once. My sphere of connections is quite limited, but now and then I luck out and find a friend that is more than that. My friend, Jillian Maas Backman, and I have been buds since our kids were in 1st grade (they are now both 24). She was my first friend when I gave everything up in Illinois and moved to Wisconsin to open a bed a breakfast, by my side when we sold same B&B, listened to my griping about all my jobs since, and fueled my love for Writing and the Arts. She also is an intuitive life facilitator, radio show host, and book author.  What is an intuitive life facilitator, you may ask? In a nutshell, she has the uncanny ability to connect with your heart and soul and see what’s really going on in your life.  I believe we all have that ability, but most of us don’t either see it, feel it, or pay attention to it. Jillian just is one of those people who have “IT.” Now you all know about Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).  Everyone has checked out this site for book suggestions, reviews, and just great chit chat about the world of Books. Jillian’s book, Beyond the Pews: Breaking with Tradition and Letting Go of Religious Breakdown, has been a recommended read for almost three years.  To thank her loyal followers, she is running a contest through Goodreads. It’s simple, straight forward — no strings, no sticky glue. Three lucky readers will win a FREE  signed copy of her book, Beyond the Pews, along with a FREE one-half hour private intuitive consultation.  To be eligible, all you need to do is sign up through the Goodreads GIVEAWAY program! I’ve already read the book (which really made me feel good about myself), and Jill and I are the kind of friends who skip the deeper, cosmic, one-on-one side of things to deal with more mundane things such as kids out of college looking for jobs and retro designer shoes. But I know if I’m ever hung up my “bigger picture” she will always be there for me. Go on and check out Jillian’s website (www.jillianmaasbackman.com), read her book ( http://jillianmaasbackman.com/book), enter the Goodreads contest ( https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/96961-beyond-the-pews-breaking-with-tradition-and-letting-go-of-religious-loc).  The deadline to enter is July 16, 2014. If you can’t get to check any of the above out, it’s okay. Find a best friend, share a glass of wine or orange juice, and love them for who they are. Listen to them, offer words of encourage when appropriate,and nod when words aren’t enough. Here is a bit from one of Jillian’s earlier blogs…once again, she’s on the mark… The phrases “live your life” and “follow your soul” have been blooming around us like a field of clover lately. Everyone has their own idea on how to “move forward”. Everyone has “insight” or “advice” to share with whomever will listen. On one hand that is wonderful. It is the beginning of an enlightened movement that encourages us to entwine our paths with others along the way. Some of us need a little guidance. Some of us need a little company. And truth is the only light we have to follow. But whose light do we follow? Is there a glow that is stronger down one path than the other? One’s word that is more spot-on than others? That is what the journey is all about. Finding your true path, your true direction in life, should not be one that frightens you with eternal darkness on one side and  blinding light on the other. It should be the path that glows with your own footsteps. It’s the path that  twists and turns and goes up the hill and down the crevice and still allows you to see your footsteps ahead of you. That’s why the shadowed feet behind you are nothing more than a means to an end. Where you have been is only a shadowed footstep. Nothing more.

Tuning In

Tuning In

I was watching an old “Closer” tonight. Brenda’s kooky future sister-in-law was calling herself an “intuitionist” (as opposed to a psychic), reading auras, getting signals from skin-to-skin contact, and receiving telepathic messages, helping the Task Force solve another murder.  It was an amusing combination of murder and mayhem, and, as usual, the character was so obnoxiously cosmic she made everyone roll their eyes.

After digesting this hour and moving forward, I started to think about the validity of one’s second sense ― something we all have, and all dismiss.  How many times have we met someone and instantly made an impression that later proved to be right on? We do it all the time. We instantly like or dislike someone. Admit it. It is only when our guilty conscience kicks in that we note our prejudices and tell ourselves that no one is always as they seem at first glance. The book-and-its-cover thing.

We get impulses and intuitions and psychic images all the time. Sometimes we know the phone is going to ring before it does. We have an urge to leave for work early only to find that just ten minutes later there was an accident that tied up traffic for three hours. And it’s not always the big-deal intuitions we get.  Moms know their kids are sick long before their kids do. Kids know when their moms are about to call (or text).  We know when our friends need to talk without them saying a word, and when our check is going to bounce.

Yet we dismiss these quirks as just that ― quirks.  No one can know the future. No one can channel energy from the cosmos or talk to dead people.  It’s all in one’s imagination. An active imagination.  Yet how many times do you talk to your mom or dad who’ve passed away some time ago? How many times do you connect with someone’s intimate feelings through the power of the written word? How many times do you walk through the woods and feel the energy around you? Energy you can’t see, energy you can’t explain. There are people who talk to God and Archangel Michael and others who swear their grandma is right there giving advice.

Humans have a need to label everything around them – compartmentalize what they can so they can feel they have “control” of their world. Which, we all know, is impossible. Nevertheless, we all do it. To me, mathematics and physics are in the same world as astral traveling. I will never understand the p’s and q’s of combinatorial geometry and lepton flavor violation, but they hold as much fascination to me as the Kobayashi Maru or the Dementors.

So someone outside of our sphere says they can talk to ghosts or read the glow around the human body.  Just because we can’t see or do out-of-the-ordinary things like that doesn’t mean they can’t. We can’t see electrons with the human eye, but scientists insist they exist. We say there is not life on other planets, yet there are giant tube worms that live a mile below the ocean surface under incredible pressure, and gain nourishment in an environment with chemistry radically different from our atmosphere.

Some psychics and mediums have devalued the importance of true life intuition. But you see, you don’t need a cosmic guru to tell you you are making bad choices — that you are overeating, in a bad relationship, or smoking too much. You are your own best intuitive when it comes to these things. You just have to listen to yourself. To the magic that speaks to you every moment of the day. Don’t be so quick to dismiss your innate ability to feel and understand the world around you. 

Can others read auras and predict the future? Can the future be seen in the spattering of tea leaves in the bottom of the cup or in the alignment of the stars?  What does it matter? All these connections to the world of the mind and the Otherworld are nothing more than people paying attention.  Those who seem gifted do nothing more than pay attention to the world around them. They watch people’s faces, notice the tapping of impatient feet or hear the anxiety in their voice. They know you are looking for answers, for guidance. So they do their best to guide you on your way, or to open your mind to new possibilities.

They do it — you can do it too.

I’m not saying the “intuitionist” is the wave of the future ― I’m just saying that there is a bit of the “intuitionist” in all of us. Seek guidance when you need it, listen to your own spirit guide when you don’t. Have fun lining up planets for your next shopping spree or matching your astrology sign with potential love interests. Just have fun with your intuition, period. It’s a part of you, of your very DNA.

Ah…DNA… Deoxyribonucleic acid. Another one of those winjy kinds of words. Think I’ll put that in the same pocket as ESP. Extra Sensory Perception. I don’t understand the depth of either word, but they make me feel good, knowing that they’re both a part of me.

Now…what do I “feel” my hubby will make for dinner tonight?