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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Okay, phew… that was brave of me.

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“Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage.
Just, literally, 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery
and I promise you something great will come of it.”
From the movie, We Bought a Zoo.

I’ve had a few 20 seconds of bravery of late. Today, I delivered my book to family members. Embarrassing anxious bravery. It took many teeny 20 second steps to do it.

Working title: Beyond All Imaginings. A true story of love, loss, life and beings who introduced themselves as faeries.

The book is full of stories I tell, some of you know about the crazy way faeries came into my life. But within this book, also, are the sad stories and the otherworldly stories that evolved from the sad ones; the stories that I’ve never told.

As it is a creative memoire of a 15 years period of my life, my family are in the story. Before it goes any further, I need to know they are comfortable with that. More than that, its been important to me that they know the stories I’ve never told.

Nobody has read my book. And how frickin’ crazy is it that family reads it first?  Not that they are critical or judgmental of me. They are all pretty amazing. BUT family is not the place to first put your creative dream because they love you, care about you, and are most likely to be concerned about others being critical or judgemental of you. They don’t want you to be hurt.

And the stories I tell in this book… well, let’s just say a lot of strange things have happened in my life. There will be some who will doubt, criticize and judge.  Heck, it’d be a dull book if there weren’t.

But my family first?  There’s a chapter on faerie sex! And it’s not just about faeries. Oy.  Definately needed courage to share this book with them.

20 seconds: “Just open a document.” Then you can write the letter that goes with the book for the family. Just start with opening the document.

20 seconds: Get envelopes out of the drawer.  Just that.  It leads to packaging the book for the two that are sent out of town.

20 seconds: Dial daughter’s number.  Once she answers, you kind of have to say what you planned, “I’m bringing my book over.”

20 seconds: Breath. Hand book to brother as he opens the door.

Yes, that is what it took. Many small 20 second steps that led to other steps. Each of those 20 second steps feeling like I was being insanely brave.

It is a  little scary as I wait for them to read it. Such relief when my brother called tonight to say he’d read just a bit so far and thought it very well written. He’s very well read, his opinion matters.  I had tears in my eyes as he said that.  Now, if only he doesn’t think me crazy by the time he is done. Ditto for all the rest of the family. (Ditto also that they are well read!)

Tonight to tune out of the anxiousness I watched “We Bought a Zoo.” Seemed like it might be a light humorous movie to be distracted by. It surprised me that it was very good and when I heard Matt Damon speak the quote above, well, I took a little moment to acknowledge those 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery of mine.  Heck, no, apparently I took  more than a moment… I wrote this blog post too!

Pondering that quote, I recognize many occasions where 20 seconds of embarrassing courage, things I didn’t say or do but wanted to,  might have made some interesting changes in my life. I’m going to hang onto this 20 second insane bravery  philosophy. I’m going to notice moments where a 20 second action of crazy courage is called for.  It’s only 20 seconds after all. And it could lead to something great.

How about you? Any 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery in your life story?

 

 

 

 

For Valentine’s Day…

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Have you

Starstruck answers: An interview with Author Jill Badonsky

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jill cover real cover with museThe moment I held “The Muse is In: An Owner’s Manual to Your Creativity,” I was starstruck. First off, the book feels really good… fits nicely into my hands, an ideal weight, smooth sexy silkiness, and cool curvy corners. I opened it up and was drawn in… to the colours, the images and oh, the words! Thank you!
It prompted an email to the author extraordinaire, Jill Badonsky:

Subject: F*ck, your book is good.

“Holy f*ck. I am so impressed. Truly all your work has made this into clear, concise, fun, and inspiring teachings that will make such a difference. I think you’ve done what’s needed now: Sometimes reading is exhausting!!!!! But we can enjoy illustrations with teachings that don’t tire our unfocussed overworked minds. By gump, people will soon be able to focus again once they practice these tools. It is really really really f*ckin’ amazing.”

I can talk like this to Jill because.. well, we’re buds.
It was one of my favorite emails. 🙂
(By the way,  dear readers, all the purple responses are Jill’s)

And I am ever so grateful to be acknowledged in this kick-butt book twice. Thank you, Jillybean.
You’ve been an inspiration to me, Janet Whitehead, so thank YOU.

But, like I said, I was starstruck. That’s not always the best thing. By golly, I’m having moments of wanting to toss my work(play)books into the trash – I’ve heard myself say, “they pale in comparison.” What troubleshooting tips would you suggest, and where should I go directly in the book?

Start here: Know that I do the SAME thing. I see the work of others – including YOU- and get slimed by my Ego. This is a normal reaction especially for sensitive creative people. It consists of fears that normally surface in the creative process: The fear of not being good enough, of someone doing it better so there’s no need for you, of someone else beating you to an idea you really would like to share, of never being able to finish your work in a way that is significant. THESE ARE ALL LIES I TELL YA!

Understand that it’s the Beast of Comparison sneaking in your head and talking, also known as the Ego. We have to pass a lot of spiritual tests when we answer the creative call, it’s not always easy. Not being derailed by comparison is one of them. When you figure out its dynamics, you can save yourself time and grief.

When you feel that sensation of envy or comparison, let it be a signal that it’s your ego talking and not the truth. Seeing the work of others can also feel really good- but NOTE: It takes practice. It won’t happen just because you read that last line. I just expect myself to be 5% less envious each time I catch that awful feeling and it becomes a relief.

I also allow that feeling of envy to light a fire under my butt to go back and ask myself “Where can I improve my work?” Make feelings work FOR you not against you. They can do that. The book didn’t start out looking or sounding like you see it now. It really was a disaster. I know that my first renditions, even my fifth renditions usually aren’t going to be as good as the tenth or eleventh. There are exceptions. I did take things out I wish I would have left.Something important to know is that your subconscious always thinks you are talking about you, so if you compliment works of others that you love versus get down on yourself or try to decrease envy by criticizing them or the people themselves, it will feel better AND you will begin to thread the shuttles of the loom that will weave your own masterpieces, you will beam with good energy.

You make the craziest creative connections. These alone are inspiring. How do you come up with things like “Fuel yourself into loving the process” and “The Duhs.”
Crazy? Why THANK YOU. I’m not quite sure how I come up with things. They seem to just be there as a personality trait. I do a lot of free associating and daydreaming, but I think that’s just the way my brain works. It isn’t until people ask me how I come up with these things that I realize not everyone does (although I KNOW that you do too).

It’s brain play, figuring out what things SOUND like other things and also refusing to title pieces with predictability. I gravitate toward the off-beat and I suppose that makes me do off-beat things as well. I had eccentric parents…. well, they had me. Always looking for a way to be defiant helps too.

I love the preface. I mean, really, who has the nerve to do something that simple? Can you tell us how that page came to be?jill Preface2
My editor sent back the whole first draft of my book and said to cut it down by two thirds before she would even read it – BECAUSE IT’S AN OWNER’S MANUAL and is supposed to be concise. The preface used to be three pages of why creativity was important to me, how I used my pathology to be creative, hardships I went through, yadda, yadda.. just like many prefaces I had read before. When I thought about cutting things out I became rebelliously delighted about how different my preface would be from all those other ones I had read. How liberating it was to just throw all that writing out and leave the most important line.
Thanks for asking about that, that’s one of my favorite stories about the book that I seem to find funnier than anyone else.

Speaking of simple, you’ve taken creativity topics, principles and ‘how to’s’ that could fill a set of encyclopedias (if such a thing existed) and simplified them into concise, understandable concepts and simple do-able actions. That’s quite a feat, especially for the creative mind that can have.. ummm…. a LOT to say once it gets rolling. (and sometimes rolling right into overwhelm. Fortunately, I see there’s a troubleshooting section for that) Can you tell us how you mastered taking so much and tucking it into ‘so simple’?
As I mentioned in the last question, I HAD to or my editor wasn’t even going to read it. She kept saying, “Think powerpoint presentation,” which made me groan because I had so much more to say.

Although cutting the preface was fun, making the rest of the book concise and cutting out parts I was attached to and felt were important was painful and difficult. It was a huge lesson in cultivating non-attachment and figuring out what was most important. It took a long time and a lot of sighing. I just had to tell myself there would be a way I could get the rest of the information out there.

Is it okay to have used the f*ck word on my blog? Fuck yeah.

An honour to have you here, Jill. NO! IT WAS AN HONOUR TO BE HERE!!! Thank you Bo!!

Readers, thank you for stopping by!  Twenty comments and I’ll do a draw for the book! Pretty sure if you have questions, we can sneak Jill back here to share more.

You can find more about Jill at themuseisin.com

I love this quiz!

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