Friday, May 5, 2017

Fabulous Phrases: Pablo Neruda


"I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees."

-- Pablo Neruda

Thursday, April 27, 2017

#Creativity Tip: Tuck It

Ahhhhh. Proofreading is a wonderful art. But, I did mean tuck it in the headline -- not what you might have thought.

Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day -- part of the National Poetry Month celebration. While I have been woefully remiss in celebrating on the blog this year, I am going to tuck a poem in my pocket today, and I hope you do too! It's a lovely reminder of the power and beauty of words.

If you looked in my pocket, this is what you'd see -- right after I smacked you for looking in my pocket:

Mother, in Love at Sixty
by Susanna Styve

Reason number one it can't work: his name is Bill. For god's
sake, he hunts. He has no pets, other than two doting
daughters, and his ex-wife is still alive. He's simply not my
type. Who wants to get married again, anyway? I'm too old.
I go South at the first frost. Plus, he's messy. Men are messy.
He could die. Then where would I be?

And in my back pocket, there's this -- from a poet I took classes with, years ago:

How Things Are
by Philip Miller

You asked me to tell you
how things are,
why we rarely speak, never touch.
Words won't come.
In the garden, yesterday,
the pampas grass turned silver,
whispered in the wind,
the edges of its leaves
felt sharp.
We were weeding petunias,
and I touched your shoulder,
spoke your name.
You jumped,
as if all afternoon
you'd been resting
sure you were alone.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Creativity Tips: Do. Or do not. There is no try.

Yep. Yoda was right: Do. Or do not. There is no try.

So I'm doing something new -- a bullet journal! Mary gave me a Moleskine (yes!) graphed journal as part of my birthday present, and I'm off and running on a new creative endeavor, learning as I go.




What have you been wanting to try? Do it! And remember my theory with creative adventures: You can't get better until you get started.

P.S. You know what's fun about being 62 instead of 26? I'm willing to share a work in progress, rather than waiting for a work of art.




Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Creativity Exercise: Don't ask. I tell.

There are some life lessons I learn. And forget. And learn. And forget. And learn. And ... well. You get the idea. For example:

People ask questions they don't want answered. 

You know what question tops the list? It's one we hear all the time: How are you?

Apparently, 98.6 percent of people who ask that question do not care about the answer. They are, I think, trying to be polite. And yet ...


Do me a favor today, my friends. Show up. If you ask a question, listen to the answer. And if you doubt the veracity of my lead-in line, look at the date on this post.

P.S. Thanks to Kate O'Neill Rauber -- one of the world's great listeners -- for the blog idea!

P.P.S. This post also reminds me of a favorite Yiddish proverb: No answer is also an answer.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Fun: Be Amazed

Kate and I recently went on a fabulous mother/daughter vacation to Seattle and Victoria, B.C. Gotta say, it was close to perfect. Even the weather cooperated!

At the start of the trip, a friend who lives in Seattle took a day off work to drive us to Snoqualmie Falls.


It's gorgeous. After admiring the view from the top, we hiked to the bottom. Along the way, every twist and turn took us to another incredibly beautiful vista -- a fairy tale forest, complete with moss-covered trees, soaring in the sunlight.



Kate walked ahead, taking these pics, while I dawdled. And oohed. And ahhed. And repeatedly said, "It's so beautiful!"

After a while of this, our Seattle friend finally asked, "What is?"

"All of this," I said, astonished by the question. "All of it."


He looked around again and quietly said, "You're right. I forget to be amazed."

My friend is a writer, an artist. His world revolves around creativity. It doesn't matter -- sooner or later, we all forget to be amazed. This weekend, don't forget. Open your eyes. See the beauty, appreciate the wonder. Be amazed.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Creativity Tips: Treat Yoself

You know the feeling. You go to one of your favorite restaurants, and there's a new menu. It can only mean one thing: They've raised the prices. Right?

OR, in the case of Houlihan's, they've raised the bar on menu copy. Enjoy! Or, as they say, Treat yoself. And think of ways you could add some humor and interest to whatever you're writing today. 


FYI, the website is fun too. I don't know who's handling Houlihan's creative work, but I like it!

P.S. I snapped the menu pic while at Houlihan's with my wonderful Kate, and it's her birthday today! Happy birthday, Kate! You've been a sparkler since the day you were born, and every year, you shine brighter. I'm incredibly proud to be your momma. xxoo
All the love. All the time. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

#MondayMotivation -- Don't Quit. Denik.

When was the last time you had a fun customer service experience? You know, the kind that makes you feel like someone is actually taking care of you and values your business?

I was on the hunt for a specific notebook from Denik, a company that believes Art Can Change the World. The response to my first email was fast and friendly -- and offered alternatives, since the notebook was no longer in production.

Now, options are lovely. But writers can be a choosy lot when it comes to our notebooks. If I'm going to veer from Moleskine, I want what I want, not an alternative.

Then, the second response! While I was thinking about what to do next, the Denik Team searched again, found exactly what I was looking for, and offered to ship it to me ASAP. Yes!

During the back-and-forth emails re: the order, Melanie from the Denik Team was exceptional. Proactive, friendly, instantly responsive, helpful, courteous, informative -- everything you want in customer service and so rarely get these days.

I didn't have to wait. I didn't feel like a number. I didn't get lost in the shuffle. And I'll be back for more Denik goodies in the future.

This week, be extraordinary. Be Denik. If you don't have an answer, if you can't find what someone wants or needs immediately, don't quit. Look again. Look a little harder.

Art Can Change the World. And so can you. Happy Monday!

This is not the notebook I was looking for, but isn't it great?
They still have it online!
P.S. Want to be a Denik designer? Start here.