Creativity

Here's how to notice them. A faint tap on my window roused my attention. In truth, it made me jump, mostly because the window would not be a window a person on the outside could reach without a ladder. There, hovering outside the glass like a fairy, was a hummingbird. Its wings were copper-lined from the midafternoon sun. It seemed to want my attention, enough so that I laughed at myself as I sucked in my gut, because of course I was sitting in that person-living-alone slouched-on-the-couch position that no one ever sees. It appeared she was window shopping. Or perhaps she was seeking knowledge that she would carry along on her way. Or maybe, just maybe she dropped by to deliver a message of some sort. Hummingbirds are, after all, nature’s gossipmongers. She didn’t stay long, a few, maybe ten, seconds, but long enough that I felt a connection... Read more →


The calm lake beckoned. The house was still sleeping as I fixed my coffee, wrapped in a blanket against the early morning chill, and found a perfect spot in an Adirondack chair on the dock over Lake LBJ. Not a ripple. The houses across the lake reflected in perfect mirror images on the water's surface. Ah. Exhale. I took a sip of coffee and started the guided meditation in my favorite app. Then... A leaf blower with the whirr of a foghorn on a freight train blasted onto the scene. And. It. Echoed. Tenfold across the lake. I tried to stay zen, to focus on the muddled voice of the meditation guide only catching every few words. I turned it up but it was useless, the noise drowned everything out. I plugged my ears with my fingers in hopes it would reduce the noise. I so wanted to enjoy these... Read more →


The sunrise is a clean slate. That was the thought, the inkling, that popped into my head while meditating in front of the morning's sunrise (the photo is the sunrise off my patio). It got me thinking how, even as daily tasks and to-do's can at times feel like Groundhog's Day, the fresh perspective of a clean slate at the dawn of each day provides an opportunity to create a more satisfying and expansive experience. Each day. A clean slate. It rejuvenates the status quo. It changes the more-of-the-same game. It's a shift in energy. It can give our big continuing projects, our most important WIP's, new life. Just the notion of a clean slate feels like a cool breath. In fact, just uttering the phrase feels fresh. Give it a shot. Today is a clean slate. Each day is its own opportunity, its own time capsule. So, then the... Read more →


It's about time for the midyear check-in on my word theme for the year: to record ahas about how things are going and if any shifts have taken place. And, then I share them with you. Well, I've been stuck around the sharing part. Stuck. Ironically, my word this year is Motion. I've been stuck in motion. The truth is I've been in the midst of massive motion lately, lots going on in my work life, and changing locations, from LA to Austin, to be near family for the foreseeable future. So, massive motion swirling - physical, energetic, mental, material, emotional. All in about a three-month span. So how did that lead to a feeling of being stuck in motion? I haven't been writing. As a creative being in a mad love affair with words, not writing regularly feels like a piece is missing; a big enough piece that it... Read more →


On a recent episode of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" Jerry Seinfeld had coffee with his greatest comedy influence, Jerry Lewis. Seinfeld wanted to discuss some of his favorite iconic bits where Lewis was in his genius. One such scene from "The Bellhop" Lewis appears to simply be walking through an empty ballroom. Seinfeld said, "You were playing like eight different characters there." To which Lewis responded, "Yeah, most people don't notice the details..." What they notice is that it's funny. And, the reason it's funny is that it wasn't general; instead was filled with specificity. And it's why it felt real, even in its silliness. The best actors spend a vast amount of time and dedication to being so specific in their scenes - What's their intention? What's behind the dialogue and actions? What's between the lines? - So that they embody the truth of the life they're portraying.... Read more →


This is what TV showrunner and writer for ABC's "The Fix", Sarah Fain, said in a recent interview. "Remove the barriers to entry." She and partner Liz Craft were asked what makes them want to read, or more importantly, continue to read a script that's been submitted to them by writers looking to get hired. Besides good writing, surprises within the first five pages (if the first five don't grab them they stop reading) and interesting and compelling characters, they talked more about what interferes with the read or stops them from reading it all together - things that are firmly within the writer's control and where so often they fall short. Things like bad formatting, poor sentence structure or grammar, misspelled words, not enough white space (too many words on the page), are all turnoffs before word one. They said, do yourself a favor and remove the barriers to... Read more →


“I’m procrastinating,” I said. “It’s my inner nemesis.” As soon as I said it, I got a stomach ache, like I was revealing and also judging an integral part of myself. And, my brilliant writer friend said, “Process is tricky.” Ah, you said a mouthful there, sister. A few days earlier I'd received an intuitive reading from the wise Dina Strada. One of the hits she got was that “things are going to take longer than you think.” And, I thought, Grrr. How much longer? It feels like it’s taking forever for things to happen, as in career, love, body health, etc. Then, she said, “Keep doing your work and surrender to your timing.” Ah. “You can’t rush it.” Double ah. It literally made me exhale. Rather than feeling more frustrating, it felt true. I believe in divine timing and it’s something I discuss often with friends, colleagues and clients.... Read more →


It was a clear evening as I headed toward Pasadena for dinner. When I crested a hill on the freeway, the panorama made me pause. It was an expansive view, the roadways curving through the San Rafael Hills where homes were nestled in, and with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background. I thought, if I were writing this scene, this would be a great establishing shot of Pasadena. In classical filmmaking, the establishing shot is the wide or long shot at the beginning of a scene that sets the tone, and indicates where, and sometimes when (time period), the ensuing scenes are to take place. It can also provide an instant glimpse into the concept and/or character relationships in the story. What happened when I took in the stunning establishing shot of Pasadena on that evening drive, was I got a sense of scope, with an eagle eye view,... Read more →


I overheard a woman speaking the other day in the elevator. Well, didn’t exactly overhear, it was a confined space and she was speaking loudly. She kept talking about how exhausted she was and that she needed to regenerate. She must have used the word regenerate ten times. At some level I could relate. In fact, the other nodding heads in the elevator gave credence to this articulated common denominator. I love me a good “Re” word. Case in point, there are 26 of them in this piece. It got me thinking about the impact of a good Re. It can be powerful and allows you to live your life rather than your life living you. It’s taking control of your life. The power of the Re is that it places new energy in a new way toward, well, toward anything. There are a lot great Re words, but here... Read more →


“Does your soul have a message for you today?” That was the question the meditation teacher asked during session. It turns out my soul did. It often does, when I’m paying attention. Usually, the messages are so simple I almost miss them. Or I judge them. Or second guess them. That morning, I decided to just shut up and receive what was given to me. By my soul. Yep. I wasn’t judging it, or questioning whether it really was my soul guiding me, nor was I second guessing it, “Are you sure that’s all?” or “What am I supposed to do with that?” It was pretty simple. I got quiet. Inhale. Exhale. Body against the chair. Sink in. Inhale. Exhale. When thoughts came that started to take me somewhere else, I floated back to my breath. Inhale. Exhale. Then, I asked the question of my soul. “Do you have a... Read more →