Advertisement

Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart Archives

writing, reflecting, old & new friends

I just spent the BEST weekend: writing poetry, visiting w/ one of my most beloved writing communities. This is one of my very favourite weekends of my writing year. I get to immerse myself in talking about writing. I write; […]

Advertisement

my own Amtrak writing retreat

Everyone who knows me even slightly knows I adore trains.  They’re my favourite way to travel. Because a) you don’t get airsick (or carsick). And b) you can just sit…and write. It’s this tiny world where all that exists are you, the […]

Advertisement

lists, writing, and cleaning the mind’s house

  Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve visualised my mind as an old house. And lately it seems more like a house that needs a LOT of TLC — re: it’s  kind of a mess. So when the […]

Advertisement

more on mastery, failure, and play

Lately my grandmothers — well, all my old ladies — have been whispering platitudes to me as I sleep. Yesterday’s was practice makes perfect. Today’s is if at first you don’t succeed… You know the rest! And yet… There’s a great deal […]

mastery, creativity, and letting go

Recently I read a piece on integration of skills. (And yep, I read that kind of stuff…) It was taking the Malcolm Gladwell approach — that you need a heckuvva long time doing something before you master it. Gladwell’s assertion is […]

small signs from the universe

I believe in signs. I believe that the universe — some might say god, I probably wouldn’t — talks to you. Where I last worked FT, the joke on the 4th floor (where I officed) was Britton believes the universe […]

time (outside) with family

Today I joined my sister, brother-in-law and sister -in-heart for walk through the Dallas Arboretum. This is a picture of the Fern Dell, not far in from the entrance. Liz — my sister’s best friend — used her membership to […]

what we do for love

We did it! Those of us who signed up for the half-marathon (and those who were insane enough to go 24 hours w/out sleep for the whole nine yards!) did it! As one of the participants noted, what kind of […]

marathons, half-marathons and the enemy of good

I’m doing a half-marathon tomorrow. Working HARD for hours. And now that I have you thinking what a sleek athlete I must be, I’ll confess: it’s a poetry half-marathon. The Poetry Marathon 2014 (24 poem/ 24 hours) also has a […]

heartsick reprised

I use this image alot in my blog. I wish I knew who first created it — they deserve my undying admiration & gratitude. Because to me, this is beginner’s heart. It’s what I think of these days, especially, as […]

heartsickness, the ’60s, and Ferguson MO

I write daily. Often it’s a note to family, or a response to a friend or colleague. Sometimes revising creative work, and usually this blog. Lately, the blog has probably saved my blood pressure (normally quite low). I write to […]

crowd-sourcing and ‘no’ as a learning tool

I’ve been working on a book manuscript for ages. Recently, however, it’s taken on immediacy, as I want to get it in the mail today. There’s one rather large problem: no title. Yep, I haven’t a clue what to call […]

FB, letters, and other little things

I’m huge on writing, as you know if you’ve read almost any blog post of mine. What you might realise, however, is that I’m huge on letter-writing, as well. In fact, I actually bought a life-time membership to the Letter […]

speaking poetry

I’m reading an old friend’s poetry manuscript. Something I adore — reading a manuscript as a writer, trying to see what the poems want to say, what the music is telling me. It’s the language of poetry, and I don’t […]

bliss, or, writers and writing retreats…oh my!

From the moment we turn off onto the rural roads outside of St. Joseph’s, I’m ready. I’ve been anticipating today for days, weeks even. It’s almost writing retreat time! I’m soooo ready. A full weekend of writing. Talking about writing. […]

tea and pencil sharpeners, or, seeing the real person

For Mother’s Day this year, I received the following: a promise of tea with my younger son — as well as a lovely note — and the world’s greatest manual pencil sharpener from my elder son. You may think those […]

poetry, coloured sand, and changing the world

I love Tolstoy. And I especially love this very Buddhist saying. Because the writer in me knows that every time I pick up a pen, or sit down to a keyboard, I’m going to change. It’s inevitable, like the sun […]

writing, beginner’s heart

Writing is my practice. It took me a long time to recognise this, and even longer to accept it. It didn’t fit my (preconceived!) notions of what ‘practice’ looks like. But over the years, I’ve come to realise that writing […]

in praise of short poems

I grew up on haiku. It’s popular in school classrooms now — fast, and relatively easy to teach — but I don’t remember there being a lot of my friends who learned it as children. My familiarity with it — […]

quilt pieces and a poem for beginner’s heart

It wasn’t that long ago that I realised how many of the poets I love best are Buddhist. They don’t make a big deal about it (most Buddhists don’t — I’m kind of an anomaly, blogging from a Buddhist/ Unitarian/ […]

poetry, seeing, and connection

I adore poetry, as anyone who knows me knows. Actually, you don’t even have to know me — you can just be sitting next to me on a plane (I’m often reading poetry), or standing by me in a bookstore […]

time and distance

I’m working (hard) on a chapbook manuscript. Which is to say, I’m going over work I did — some of it a while ago — line by line, word by word, space by line break by punctuation mark. I hate […]

writing, travel, and trains: a hopeful love letter

This meme is sooo me that my niece posted it to my FB page. And just in case you’re wondering, it’s NOT too much to ask! But it does seem to be a lot to get. However, I’m applying for […]

30 Days of Love: flotsam, jetsam, tanka, and learning the story

Today’s prompt for 30 Days of Love is to write a haiku, a 140-character tweet, or a six-word story. In it, we’re to reflect on our own story.This, I’m thinking, I’m ready for. I’ve been practicing. Digression: I’ve been thinking […]

permission

In a FB thread discussing art, anarchy, and writing, a friend & colleague reminded me that many people he works with want to know ‘the rules.’ They won’t write — he’s a teacher of teachers — unless they have a […]

sharing stories

When you go to a national humanities conferences, you hear a lot of stories. Stories of the past (especially in Birmingham, 50 years later…), stories of what-if, stories of maybe and possibly and even stories about stories. And when you’re […]

the candle and the mirror

When I was young, and my dreams as new-bright as clean copper, I believed I would set the world on fire. Somehow I would change what was wrong — poverty, ignorance, social injustice. There were, after all, so many of […]

(just??) breathing

Today’s meditation focus was why do I do this? Really.  Why sit? Why watch my breath? Why let noises come & go, feelings rise and fall, in rhythm (if I’m lucky!) with my breath? Why on earth would anyone take […]

Nimrod Saturday!

This is the weekend of the Nimrod conference for writers. AND it’s the ‘prequel’ to National Day on Writing. What serendipity, huh? The NDW’s theme is ‘write2connect,’ as I mentioned yesterday. And all day today, that’s what I did: connect. […]

writers’ weekend

This is a picture of an issue of my beloved Nimrod. It’s also (warning! self-advertising!) an issue I especially love, and not simply because I’m included within the pages. It’s one of my favourites because even when I was very […]

waiting (impatiently!) for the National Day on Writing

Sunday is one of my favourite days at any time — it’s the day when, if you’re working as a teacher, you’re (ideally!) caught up with your grading. Your household chores are sorta/kinda done. You can relax. Maybe. But this […]

what writers do ~

Sometimes, when people ask what I do, and I say ‘I’m a writer’ (especially now that I don’t teach fulltime), they look puzzled. Well, actually they look completely flummoxed. How can that be a JOB?? And just what the heck do writers […]

art festivals & beginner’s heart ~

Art festivals rock. Really! Tents of cool trinkets to explore, music, junk food (although really: who considers locally  made chocolate gelato junk?), kids with painted faces… What’s not to love? This week is Tulsa’s MayFest weekend. An old festival (as […]

poetry (again), practice, and beginner’s heart ~

If you know me at all, you know I’m not quite rational about poetry. Of course, poetry isn’t a rational subject. And writers of it tend to not be, either. How could we be? It’s all about stories and metaphor […]

message in a bottle: imagining a reader ~

Last month I wrote a poem for a funeral reading. The deceased wasn’t a friend — he was my sister’s dear friend’s brother. So writing the poem took some time, as I’ve noted elsewhere. Of course, all poems — most writing […]

words of encouragement ~

A woman I’ve never met made my day yesterday. Actually, she rescued from the the flu blues, as well as a bad case of the Eeyores (woe is me… life is sad…eat worms…). Not to mention a spiralling why do […]

after the holidays: writing your way back home ~

It’s all done — the build-up of lists & wrapping & shopping & cooking. The family from out of town have departed, or (if you’re that family) you’re home again, and back to work. You’ve written (maybe even already broken? […]

poetry time, or, when names are poetry ~

“…in Micmac … some trees ‘are named for the sound the wind makes when it blows through them during the autumn, about an hour after sunset when the wind always comes from a certain direction. Moreover, these names are not […]

Previous Posts

wanted: the perfect house to become a home
This is the house I identify with childhood, on the left side of this giant 'duplex,' with the giant screened porches upstairs. It's a villa, with a ...

posted 3:01:12pm Aug. 30, 2015 | read full post »

cultural burdens, with homage to Carol Emarthle-Douglas
This may be the most moving piece of art I've seen in many many months. When it came across my FB ...

posted 5:48:11pm Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

silver linings
For those d'un certain âge, the Rolling Stones said it best: You can't always get what you want/But if you try sometimes you just might find/You get what ...

posted 6:20:17pm Aug. 24, 2015 | read full post »

the impulse to art
This, my friends, is art. And better than anything else I can think of, it demonstrates our deep-set need to create beauty. The Dalai Lama ...

posted 9:41:23pm Aug. 20, 2015 | read full post »

cleaning house, reprised
As we come closer to moving -- even though we no longer have a house under contract, nor do we know when we'll find one! -- I'm getting ever more serious ...

posted 5:10:21pm Aug. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.