• Paintings

    I Painted Earth’s Portrait

    A week before I launched this year’s Earth Day project I painted the picture at the top of this post. It started as a blue flower and then it slowly became this. I use an intuitive approach to painting. At the time I wasn’t clear on what the painting was saying to me. Then a couple days after launching the call for submissions for the Earth Day e-Chapbook I realized the connection.

    I need to celebrate Earth and I’d love for you join me. It has been hard in recent times with the strain on our water, air, and land. Some days I can’t read the news. I’m worried our planet will ‘crack’ one day.

  • Creativity Workshop

    What is a Writer’s Solitude?

    It’s a weekend in early March and I thought it would be easier to find solitude here. I’m away at a conference in Muskoka. Snow and ice stretches across Lake Rosseau. After the workshops I have time in the evenings to write. My room is quiet. The fireplace settles me from a full day of learning. I want to write. I sit with my notebook ready to write. Then I fall asleep.

    To write in my best state of flow I need to be well rested. I need time in a quiet space just to be quiet before I am able to fill the space with words. Sometimes it looks like falling asleep. When I wake up, still in that dreamy space, the words will rise from the stillness deep within me. Transitions are important. When I allow time to transition from a busy day I can create space for writing.

    I’ve learned that this transition needs to be a time for nothing. No electronics. No new adventures. I can walk a familiar route. I can sit in my favourite chair. My goal is to decrease the stimulus around me so I can clearly hear the voice within me. Once I enter into the stillness then I am ready to create.

    The goal this week is to pay attention to transitions. How are you moving from your everyday routines to your creative work? What do you need to make this transition go smoothly? How long does it take?

    I continue to explore these questions in the video below.

  • Creativity Workshop

    Creativity Workshop Overview

    Welcome to my Creativity Workshop!  

    Join a self-reflective journey through eight learning spirals in this creativity workshop. The course is as much about self-discovery as it is about creating.

    Sign-up to engage in the workshop via email.

    I want to make this as easy for you as possible. Workshop materials delivered to your inbox every couple days! This is the BEST way to experience the learning.

  • Poet Laureate of Cobourg

    Earth Day: Call for Submissions

    To celebrate Earth Day and National Poetry Month in 2020, let’s create an e-Chapbook. This will be a free PDF collection that will be distributed via email, social media, and posted on this blog.

    The focus of the collection is on celebrating Earth. The current working title is “Light in My Eyes: An Earth Day Collection.”

    What if everyone valued our natural landscapes and resources? What if we could reverse climate change? What if we lived sustainably? What if our planet had enough for everyone and we only used what we truly needed?

    What do you love about Earth? When you listen to trees, what do you hear? What is beautiful? How does nature make your life better? What if water was protected? What do we know about clean air? What do we need from Earth to survive? To thrive?

    How do you celebrate Earth?

    Let’s capture what we love about Earth and what our greatest wishes are for its future.

  • Creativity Workshop

    How Do You Write with Honesty and Courage?

    What does it mean to write with honesty and courage? What is the relationship between the writer and her work? Do you sometimes step back and look at what you are writing as an opportunity to gain self-awareness or as a practice of self-development?

    Here are five ways I try to write with honesty and courage:

    1. I practice the art of noticing. Not only seeing, but trying to understand the significance of what I am seeing (or experiencing). Then, I use this information to capture the essence of what I’ve learned on the page.
    2. I let go of control when I am writing and let the words lead me somewhere. I release my expectations and trust that whatever forms on the page was meant to form on the page (for now). I can regain my sense of control during the revision phase of the process.
    3. If I enter into writing something that is difficult, I light a candle. When I’m done writing, I blow out the candle. Using ritual can help to establish boundaries and safety.
    4. If I don’t want to share a piece of writing because it is too personal, then I don’t share it. Writing with honesty and courage is separate from the act of sharing the work with readers.
    5. I often close my eyes when I am writing, pausing only when the inner voice fades. Closing my eyes helps me to listen. I’m doing it now as I write this post. I allow my inner voice to lead me through the piece.

    “The truth about stories is, that’s all we are.”

    Thomas King

    I love this quotation about story. I think about the stories we tell ourselves. The stories other people tell about us. The stories we tell others. The stories we hear from others. Story is a universal human experience. There are elements of story in how we live our lives and in every form of writing.

  • Curiosity & Adventure Spiral

    Do You Sing in the Car?

    It feels so good to sing in the car. On the drive into Toronto yesterday I listened to an audiobook. Then I started to hum Ella Fitzgerald. Soon I drowned out the audiobook. By the time I passed Bowmanville I had given up on the audiobook to blast jazz standards, singing along like when I was 12. I was all in.

    As the city sprouted up around me, Nina Simone and I slid our way through “Feeling Good.”