Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Word on Wednesday - Friends Doing Good Things

I said I was back and then promptly left again... Well, this time I mean it. I'm back and I've missed everyone!

Today's WORD goes out to some people I know who have recently followed their hearts (or guts, as some would say), with inspiring results.

Million Dollar Hunch and Hope's Last Request

A little while back I wrote about a former student of mine who had taken a risk on a hunch and started on a journey to simply hand people what they needed. His goal was to raise a million dollars and give it all away. He ended up giving all of his own savings away. He also ended up buying a Harley Davidson on his credit card as a dying wish for a girl, who wanted to give the bike to her father before she passed away.

He did and she died a few days later.

A friend of mine, who has been with Jim on his entire journey, documented the story and now it's available on DVD. The sale of the DVD goes towards production costs, as everything was created and funded at their own expense. Jim put almost $20,000 on his credit card to buy the motorcycle for Hope and some donations have come in to pay him back for his good deed.

Check out MILLION DOLLAR HUNCH to see what they've been up to or to buy the DVD.

Who Do You Think You Are?
by Keith Leon

I had the pleasure of helping edit a new book, now available on-line and to be released as a physical book in Spring. It's called Who Do You Think You Are and it includes interviews with successful people who have embraced their "purpose" in life and are living that purpose to the fullest. You can listen to a recorded teleseminar with Keith, and some of the people interviewed for the book, on the above link.

Participants include some of the top "thought leaders" of our time, many names you'll recognize from movies like The Secret or from the work that they do. He divided them into teachers, authors, entertainers, healers, speakers, and entrepreneurs. Included in the book are Jack Canfield, Marcia Martin, Dr. Joe Vitale, Terry Cole Whittaker, Bob Proctor, John F. Demartini, Hale Dwoskin, Rhonda Britten, Curtis Sliwa, and others. There are so many viewpoints, that I guarantee there's something for everyone... some one in that book will speak to you.

He asked them all the same three questions:
Who do you think you are?
What event or series of events led you to this realization?
What advice would you give to others still searching for their purpose in life?

It was really inspiring to help edit the book, because I was so immersed in these people's lives. I realized while I was reading it that they are no different than I am, they simply broke through the barriers (the ones we put in our own way). Reading it was like being bonked on the head with a velvet hammer over and over again. I have to say, it really helped me to take some big steps forward in my life.

Congrats to Keith. I know his book will do well and inspire many people.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Poetry Train (I've lost count of how many)

hello poetry trainers, how I've missed this ritual, this discipline. but I am back and hope you are all well and full poetic cheer.

again, I've used the fabulous friday five word list from poefusion to create tonight's poem.

when I retire

the snow silence will greet my notorious late morning
orchestrated by commuting leaf breath and teapot
gasping minuet-ish piano keys through
fogged window life a background
of mayonnaise and mustard jars
filled with small pebbles collected off
tropical beach waves and saved moat dreams
my art surrendered to an elastic infinity of views

For some reason, I have this notion that I will retire when I hit 45. That sounds pretty good to me.

friday's words were: notorious, piano, mustard, moat, and infinity.

Join the train.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I'm Back! Time to get back into that Weekend Workout

Yes, I'm moved into my new home (not unpacked, mind you, that happens later) and although we did end up moving during a snowstorm with slick streets and sidewalks, I am happy to announce that there were no overnight hospitalizations and only one broken jar (that we know of so far).

And my Internet is up again! It only took 6 days for Telus to get it running properly! Thank you Mr. Telus man for coming to my house and fixing it!

I would also like to extend thank yous to the random friends who appeared out of nowhere to help and to all the coffee shops around town with Internet access... without which I would have been unable to perform the duties of my new job this week.

For this weekend's workout, I wanted to keep it simple. The holidays are approaching and creative time is minimal. I haven't written in over 10 days and it's making me a bit anxious. So, that's the theme of this post:


I always recommend writing every day because it keeps the creative "faucet" from freezing up, it keeps material fresh in your mind, and it's easier to keep a commitment to something you do every day. If you tell yourself you have to write every day, you'll more likely write than if you tell yourself you're going to write 3 days per week. Trust me on this one.

But life happens and sometimes our time gets sucked up by other things (births, deaths, metaphoric and literal). When we decide it's time to get back, it's challenging.

Here are a few things I'm going to do to get myself restarted. You can use them whether you've been away for 24 hours or 24 weeks.

1) Be kind to yourself for the missed time. Guilt is useless. Getting upset with yourself is useless. Just be grateful for the fresh jump back in.

2) Decide what you're going to work on (in my case, my 2nd novel and I'm about 3/4 done) and how much time you're going to work on it. Try for at least 45 minutes, because after being away, you may need extra time to get back into it.

3) Review where you left off. Read the last 10 pages if you need to. DON'T edit what you've written so far (unless you are done with the first draft and ready to edit). You'll get focused on editing and not moving forward.

4) Set your timer for 5-7 minutes. Using the start line: When I left off, my protagonist was...

Write for the full time (by HAND), do not edit, do not cross off, do not stop. Just keep writing and see where it takes you.

5) Set your timer for 7-10 minutes. This time, write spontaneously starting with the line: In the next scene, my protagonist must...

Again, write by hand without stopping.

6) Before you write your scene, try one more spontaneous writing exercise, choosing one of the following for your start lines and writing for 7-10 minutes:

This scene moves the story forward because...
This scene reveals the fact that...
My antagonist appears in this scene to...
My protagonist's / antagonist's goal in this scene is to...
In this scene, the secret is...
The BIG MOMENT in this scene happens when..

7) Read what you have written, circle "hot" words and relevant phrases. Pull stuff you want to use. Then, WRITE YOUR SCENE!

Have a great weekend!