Same dream; new plan

I’m a planner, as you may know. I like to keep things organized and to get a lot done each day. This year, I decided to put aside a busy life and have just one thing on my list: write a sequel to my Gunny Malone novel. In order to clear my list, my plan was to travel and write-in-place. To be inspired by the places I was writing about including rounding Cape Horn on a ship. To write as I followed the trail west from Virginia to San Francisco. To write as I spent time in Alexandria, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Charleston, South Carolina. And to write while living for a month on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland.

I had worked on my plans for about a year. I had an over-sized map on my wall with places I wanted to go, things I wanted to see, and people I was going to stay with. I got camping equipment and a new car for the journey, one I could sleep in if necessary. I quit my job. I sold my house. And I hit the road on February 26th. Continue reading

Bird by bird

I have a lot going on that’s pushing me to the limits of my organizational skills. I got divorced in December, we’re selling the house this month, and I moved my stuff out last weekend to store it at my daughter’s house while I travel through next October. Oh, and I quit my job. Things that have been in place for a long time are very much out of place and I feel chaos looming around every corner.

Then, at a Songwriting Workshop last week, our leader Jud Caswell, talked about taking small steps to get started on something new, and mentioned Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird. The title comes from a time when Anne’s brother was procrastinating writing a big report on birds. The dad’s advice was to go bird by bird. And finally the report was done. Continue reading

15 Toasts

If you’re planning a get-together, the place you meet should match the purpose of the meeting. People act and interact differently in different spaces. So begins a great new book, The Art of Gathering; How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker.

Before you meet, at home or at work, make sure you’re clear about the purpose of your meeting and who needs to be there. If you don’t get that down, the rest of this doesn’t matter!

Then… Continue reading

Creating a vision of the future

I wrote this post last Wednesday. Then we had a massive wind storm and lost power for two days! I have a generator but we had no internet so I just did art stuff for two days. Sometimes it’s fun to be forced offline. But now back to my previously planned thoughts… :).

If you’re looking to make a change in your life, it helps to be very specific about what you’re looking for. At times in my life, I’ve desperately wanted someone else to make a decision for me to help me head off in a new direction. And you know what? That never happened. When I’ve made big changes it’s because I pondered them at length and then came up with an action plan. Continue reading

Artist get-away idea

I’m working on plans for my writing trip next spring and summer, and have stumbled on several Artist Residency programs that are intriguing. I wasn’t familiar with the concept of an Artist Residency till a friend told me about the efforts of the Libra Foundation in Monson, Maine, a little town on a lake about 2-1/2 hours north of me. Continue reading

A well-organized miracle

I just wrapped up production of the musical Brigadoon in Freeport, Maine. I have loved this musical since I was in it in high school and jumped at the chance to direct it for the theater group I run. We pulled together a cast that included some of the best singers in the area, and put on a wonderful, mysterious show. I hope being in Brigadoon provides awesome lasting memories for the cast and crew, and know we touched the hearts of our audiences.

Toward the end of the run, I kept hearing one line from the show run over and over in my head: that the mystery of Brigadoon is a “well-organized miracle.” I have decided to carry that line with me as I head out next February to travel and write. I want to get everything as organized as possible – thinking through where I’m going and what I’ll need and won’t need in the car, to make order out of chaos so I use my time well. And I’m going to trust that along the route, I will encounter miracles that shape the direction I go and the words I write. Continue reading

Creating an inspiring work environment

Ideas need a healthy environment to thrive. Organizational skills need a strong environment to thrive. YOU need a healthy environment to thrive!

If you’re struggling bringing your cool ideas to life, take a look at your work environment to see if that’s an issue.

Ideas are kind of like the DNA in your body. Each of the 37 trillion cells in your body has a little road map of DNA in it. But DNA is triggered by the environment the cell lives in; the DNA by itself can’t take action. In a healthy environment, a cell thrives. In a toxic environment, a cell dies.

If you want to avoid catastrophic illness, you strive to create an environment where your cells thrive. You eat well, watch your weight, exercise, meditate, and you’re happy. Healthy living isn’t a guarantee you won’t have to deal with illness, but it gives you the best shot at keeping cellular proteins wrapped tightly around potential DNA triggers that can harm you. Continue reading