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Category Archives: Random acts of Blogging

What is this magic of which I speak?

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book-1012275_1280What is this magic of which I speak? My wish for you to find your magic? This magic that people mention in testimonials? This word, ‘magic’, that seems to be associated with me and my work, even if I have moments that I’m not so sure it’s a fit?

Okay, it’s a fit. My memoir, Beyond All Imaginings, tells the tale of several years where being in the creative process through tragedy and loss opened the door to a realm of magic that may seem fantastical, but is, in fact, true.

Rolling Stones playing on unplugged stereos? Yes. That kind of magic. Enchanted beings sharing their stories? Yes, that, too. Where connecting with family on the otherside becomes a normal? And can be for anyone? Yup. That. Where synchronicities lead to answers in our daily life? Yes.

This post isn’t meant to be about promoting my book but I’m sharing this here because my memoir does tell the story of magic and the creative process.  And it does touch the hearts, and open a little door to magic, of those who read it.
What an amazing book! Powerful story of tragedy, discovery and rebirth. I laughed and I cried and was so delighted with the magic! JL Whitehead please keep writing books!”

Herein lies my passion for all that I do; my knowing that the creative process – the way that people can access that brilliant part of them – is not simply a way to feel a little better in life. It’s the way, especially those creatively inclined, to open the doors to all that they can be, to find the answers to questions that otherwise can’t be answered. (Logic will never reveal the hugeness of who you are. It lives in the world of ‘fitting in.’)

And once that door is open, it doesn’t just stay open while you are writing, or painting, or potting, or singing, or inventing. The magic of it all becomes a part of your whole life. Synchronicities, insights, aha moments, and a contentment knowing that you are more than what we are traditionally taught we are –   that extraordinary feeling that shifts us, fuels us, helps us find our way through struggles, brings us joy and makes life a way better  and more magical place to be.

That’s the kind of magic I’m talking about.

 

 

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Faetreen

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I have chosen to turn Faetreen today. It honours magic, nature and the brilliance of a teen age mind who has not yet limited the possibilities in their thinking and can imagine all kinds of amazing things for each day and the future. Ta Da!

20180525_202751

However, my family seems to think this means I turned 5.

Ages since I stopped doing normal

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AGES since I stopped doing normal

27 1/2
28 3/4
ageless
infinite
timeless
amaranteen
faerinthian
12 20 Phoenix
(I think I’ve missed some)
sixty years of magic imagine more
Cabinnaturian of the Blue Sky Decade
Peaceflow Rainbow of the Blue Sky Decade.

In Feb 2018: Lainey said to me, “How old are you?”  “Peaceflow rainbow of the blue sky decade”  “Oh, right, ” she answered, “I have trouble remembering this one.”  “Me, too, ” I answer. We laugh.

And now… what age shall I turn?… I nearly turned faerinbithian, an age that just popped out of Evalee’s mouth when I asked for ideas, but it is a little close to faerinthian of only a few years back.

Tomorrow I’ll decide. On my birthday. There’s no rules I need to know my age when I wake up in the morning. Synchronicity will present something ideal.

And for those of you who are certain I am crazy, there’s this explanation. You, too, might want to create your own age.
https://musingalong.wordpress.com/?s=amaranteen

 

 

 

Your story deserves to be told…

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story told_edited-1

If it’s there in a never-ending loop tape of the exciting “Oh, I could add this twist to the story! ” and the less than exciting, “You don’t have time. You need to be making money, or, I dunno, doing dishes,”

Or, “This is going to sell!”  and  “Nobody is ever going to want to read this,”

Or, “This is good. This is so good” and “I can’t write worth sh*t,”

Or, “~deep philosophical thoughts~ ” and “If it was meant to be done, it would be easier. Give up.”

Then you are a writer whose story deserves to be told.

With coaching, and with this more recent almost-launched project, Writerly Kits, I’m pretty happy to help redirect the thoughts, the lack of time, and the fear that keeps getting in the way and share tools that’ll help you get to your written works more often.

Meanwhile, once in awhile, you could just imagine the feeling you have when you are in the flow of writing – your writerly self will like that.

And then there’s also this;  Write, anyway. Even just a little.

Tucking Unboxed Thinking into a Box.

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I’m boxing up unboxed thinking! Like magic, this idea found its way into my thoughts and it has me so inspired. I’m soon launching ‘Writerly Kits’; a subscription box service for writers, emerging writers and wanna be writers.

For the writers here, my vision for you…
Be the bold, brave, kickass, sometimes doubtful, often procrastinating, writer that you are…. but be the one who has all the tools to master the bold, brave and kickass, and who has the techniques to quiet the parts that are getting in the way. That’s what Writerly Kits is bringing to your life. That, and organic specialty coffees or teas to drink only while writing, chocolate to celebrate even getting to one paragraph, and other treasures to remind you that you are truly a writer.

We have a mailing list to keep writers updated. Go here to sign up.

Why this? People can justify personal coaching for life changes, and for that I am grateful, but few writers can justify private coaching to get their written works rolling. Yet, in my coaching practise, more often than not my clients (who arrive for other reasons) reveal a secret wish, a hidden agenda, to write.

On the street, among friends,and posting online, I know of so many people who are haunted to write, but they simply do not get to it. Perhaps you are one of those people. If you and I happened to have a conversation about wanting to write a book, do know that a little piece of me feels sorrow – knowing that without some kind of support, you might not actually get to it.

I know the contentment of completing a book that has haunted me – it’s a rare feeling, like it only belongs to those who finish their book. I want writers to feel that feeling.

If this is you, (a person wanting to write/ finish/ share that book) you’ll know how much holding a story in our mind takes up so much thought energy. Not getting to it at all causes so much regret. And these stories that are not yet told? Our world needs our stories – fiction, memoirs, self-help, poetry, songs, screenplays. Stories are the way we best hear, learn, and process our own thoughts.

And why now?   My blog followers and friends know that I’ve had a challenging number of years. Not too long ago, I finally finished years of medications – important meds to prevent a recurrence – but that played havoc mentally and physically (and damn it, financially.)  I am delighted to be free of pain, and have my usual thinking energy back. I’m thrilled I can enthusiastically get to the things that have been on hold. This project, Writerly Kits, screams “YAY!” to me.  It allows me to play in all my realms of interests and expertise, and that feels so good. From the imaginative process used for Novel Mind clients, to scheming up exciting themes, to creating content (written, graphic, and even, yes, there’s a clay project in the works ), to building a community, this box is like ‘living the dream’ of the unboxed unboxing others with a box!

It’s a pretty box, by the way. Just wait until you see what’s inside.

The Art of Deadlines

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This is what a deadline looks like:

If not for a group of friends who randomly agreed to take the gallery space for a show, when the original artist was no longer available, well, none of these would have happened. We learned about the opportunity in November and it was almost a no-brainer that we would say yes. Each of us already know that there’s nothing quite like a deadline to make sure we make stuff.

The Muse Guild’s ‘Muses and Mysteries’ show opens tomorrow night. And yes, all 12 of us made stuff.

I can’t count how many times I’ve coached a creative soul – performer or visual artist – and suggested, “What if you just book a show?” Initially they kind of freak out; “But I need a body of work!”

Well, no, you need a deadline.  You can be pretty sure the elusive-until-now, body of work, will happen.

Thinking about it, it might be the only way I’ve created: Announcing my home shows, booking an art show, off the cuff announcing what I would create when asked by a curator what I would make if I had a space in their gallery…. hmm.. yup, always a deadline.

My book? My client’s books? No, booking a Book Release Party before writing the book hasn’t happened. But, just a sec, those books, they take a long time to write. I wonder, would booking a Book Release Party before the book was done speed up the process?  Damn, I think I’ll try that!

My Dirty Kitchen.

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Came across this article I wrote a while back. It’s worthy of sharing again, I think!

I hope my grandchildren will always be able to imagine many perspectives of the same situation, that they learn not to be judgmental, and that they learn to consider many possibilities. Quite simply, I hope they remain the creative thinkers that they are born to be.  And I hope that one day my grandchild tells the story of “The Dirty Kitchen” revealing how her Nana is incredibly amazing and creative. I hope that the idea that her Nana might be a slob doesn’t even cross her mind. Storytelling is the key to this one and it goes a bit like this:

dirty kitchen story image

Once upon a time there was a very dirty kitchen. “Oh my!” the kitchen cried out as they watched their homeowner slip out the door balancing a baby shower cake, “she left us! We are the messiest dirtiest stickiest kitchen ever!”  

“We need help,” announced the pots and pans in a very tinny sort of voice.

They opened the window and the faeries flew in exclaiming, “We’ll help!” 

“Is our homeowner a slob?” asked the teeniest tiny of the sticky forks.

“No, no,” answered the faeries, “she’s been very busy with making things and with people and workshops and, topping it off, with making a fancy dancy baby shower cake.. well, she just hasn’t had time to clean you up.”

“I’m happy to be part of her fun and imagination and creative play!” admits the icing coated counter top. The rest of the kitchen, including the dirty dusty dog print covered floor, cheers.

And so the faeries with a wave of their wand fill the sink with soapy warm water. The gluey gooey pot leaps in and does a little jig that sounds like this: kaswish kaswoosh. The faeries rinse him off and magically dry him and plop he finds his place in the cupboard.   

The story does go on and on as each character in the kitchen gets swept, washed, or wiped with the grand finale that the homeowner comes home, with her little granddaughter in tow, to find a lovely clean kitchen.

Easy to guess how this story began.  Even I was a bit shocked when I looked at my kitchen as my granddaughter said, “oh, the kitchen is very dirty.”  Pretty bad when a 3 year old notices. I could have succumbed to feeling like an incompetent housekeeper, but the more valuable and truthful perspective was that I had in fact pulled off some wonderful things in just a couple of days. I admit I was partially inspired by not wanting her to tell everyone “My Nana has a very dirty kitchen” in the same way she told EVERYONE “My Nana smashed into Auntie’s car.”  I thought it would be better for my granddaughter to consider how the kitchen came to be so dirty and our storytelling adventure of “The Dirty Kitchen” evolved.  In creating the story together I’d asked my granddaughter “why was the homeowner soooo busy that she didn’t get to clean the kitchen?’   It was a joy to watch her think that through and name all the things her Nana does. The story inspired both of us to clean the kitchen and it has since become one of her favourite bedtime stories at Nana’s house.

Storytelling is a great way to introduce new perspectives that focus on ‘what’s right’ instead of ‘what’s wrong’, encourage imagination and of course, feel better about a dirty kitchen.  All you have to do is say “Once upon a time there was (include topic)” and whisper to your child, “what happens next?”

by Janet L Whitehead  –  copyright 2012, 2017

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