My mom loved words.  You would often find her reading the dictionary, giving people little notes.  

My dad loves words too.  He's a writer, a thinker and has four self-published books to his name.  Not bad.

The Bible says, paraphrased of course, in Proverbs 18;21 that the "tongue has the power of life or death".  I believe that to be true.  They can hurt, or they can harm.  Once spoken, they can be forgiven, though hard-pressed to be forgotten.

Many people throw words around carelessly, lobbing them like emotional grenades.  Words are powerful.  And they hurt.  Words burn in our psyches for a long time, sometimes even outlasting the people who said them.

Why are we always quoting what this person said or that person said if words have no power?  My word is my bond.  I gave you my word.  You gave me your word.  You went back on your word.

Especially in this time, be careful with your words.  We tell children all the time to "use your words".  I think we as adults need to also follow that admonishment but in addition, use them to heal and not harm.

I have discovered I too have a deep love of words.  I intend to do my best to use my words to heal the world, not harm it.  That is part of my life's work.

I decided to say thank you today to someone publicly on Facebook.  It felt good for me to do it, and it felt good for them to receive it.  And I daresay it brought us that much closer.  

So use your words.  And realize the power that lies in them.  Will you heal, or will you harm?


Get Shit Finished.

I made it through Mother's Day.  And the first part of this week.  I've already done a little "Lyfting" this week, 3 rides last night.  I'm steadily building up to working more and more hours and find I love driving for Lyft. In fact, I love driving around the city at night.   I'm also working at Pier 1, around 16-20 hours per week is my average.  In addition to that, I have all sorts of what I call my "creative work".  That means things like this, blogging.  Writing words for my novel.  I'm getting close to approaching 10,000 words, which is good.   And the story keeps coming.

I am also doing some historical research on Portland to make sure some of the details of my story are correct for the time period, so I have a stack of books I need to skim through to get back to the library. I'm working my way through Julia Cameron's second book "Walking In This World", which is the follow-up book to the "Artist's Way".  It's another game changer.  This week she talked about finishing things, in her section "Discovering a Sense of Momentum".  She talks about artists getting blocked not because they have too few ideas, but because they have too many.

Ugh!  I so know what she is talking about.  I either freeze up, or the wheels come off, because there is so much running around inside me.  One thing she recommends is taking a walk, because some of the creative energy needs to be siphoned off.  So true.  This is also something morning pages is really good for.  Siphoning off of some of that creative energy.  But, another part of this is finishing things.  Many times we artists are amazing at starting things...a million different projects going at once.  But the real gold is when we finish.  

This is what Julia says: "A body in motion remains in motion, and nowhere is this law more true than in creative endeavors.  When we want to grease the creative wheels, we do very well to muster a little elbow grease elsewhere.  Mend the trousers.  Hang the curtains.  I do not know why hemming the droopy pant leg gives you the juice to get to the easel, but it does.  I cannot tell you what it is about detoxing the mud closet that makes you see more clearly how to end a short story-or start one-but it does.  Finishing almost anything-sorting your CD collection, pumping up a bike tire, matching and mating your socks-creates both order and an inner order. "Now, start something," finishing something says."

And so for me, I have some finishing to do.  Actually, lots of finishing.  Classes I have purchased but have not taken, books not read, messy piles of paper and things that need to be sorted.  Though right now I occupy a fairly tiny space, you would be surprised at how messy and cluttered this can get.  I cannot create amidst the disorder.  So I've decided to get a binder for those half-finished songs and get them finished.  File my paperwork.  And get those plastic bins under my bed labeled and organized.  Go through my closet, small as it is, and get rid of the things I never wear.  Delete old emails, voicemails and text messages I don't need.  I am a packrat with information.  These are projects I have long put off, but now I need to get this shit finished so I will be clearer about getting other things finished, like my two novels.  I don't know who this guy is yet, but I like this quote.  Let's get epic shit finished!

My Book

Last November, I completed NaNoWriMo.  I sat down and wrote out 50,000 words in the month of November.  And since that time, my book has been staring me in the face. It sits in the folder, all alone.

For whatever reason, I am afraid of my own book.  Afraid to finish.  I know what the next steps are, and where I need to take the plot.  I have a million and one writing resources.  I don't touch those either.  Steven Pressfield calls it Resistance, with a capital R.  I think he's right.  

This is the thing I am meant to do, write.  I know it.  Yet, I still deny it, still run from it, still allow my ego to distract me.  I know if I finish, then I am obligated to get the book out there.  Whether through traditional publishing, or self-publishing, it has to happen.  I never give myself a deadline, so then it is impossible for me to fail.  

I am making a promise, a public promise.  My book will be finished by Dec 31st, 2015.  Good, bad, ugly.  Whatever it is, it will be.  Because my soul longs for this.  I am dying to get my stories out and for some reason decided it's okay to punish myself and not do the thing I love the most.  

Ridiculous.  So my ego is going on a shelf, in trade for my dream.  My real, true dream of being a published novelist and a freelance writer.  There.  I said it.  Now that wasn't so, hard was it?  What is the dream you are running from?  Sit down, pound it out and do it.  Because it will never let you go if you don't.