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Observations: April, 2017

My father once told me he'd been a genius for a few days. For fewer than a hundred hours in his life, sometime in his early forties, everything made sense. All the pieces fit, and everything felt easy to him. In those days, art flowed (he's a visual artist), math was cake, the right word was always on the tip of his tongue. Answers came readily, and nothing felt overwhelming. The universal codes seemed to materialize everywhere. Then, he said, as fast as the feeling came, it disappeared.
I like to believe those genius days hit us all, though they will sometimes be more dispersed - seconds or minutes spread out over a lifetime. I woke up this morning, after what I think was a brilliant dream, worrying that all of my genius time will be spent asleep. One can hope we all have a few minutes to come.
Some observations from last month:
Today's terrorized are tomorrow's terrorists. If you trust that people can rise to the occasion, good or bad, they usually will.Belief in one&…
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Observations: March, 2017

A few observations for March.... Giving without thinking about personal gain ends up bringing personal gain.I've meditated for over 60 days straight, and the only way this is possible in my life is to lock doors and/or wake up at 5 a.m.I've meditated for over 60 days straight, and I'm just now over the angry-all-the-time stage.Repetition, for all its simplicity, is probably the fastest way to brainwash large numbers of people.People will only hear what they want to hear, until they see. Distracting people is not difficult in the digital age. (This is what's happening while we're distracted by Twitter: is a blessing and a curse.Magic is everywhere, but it can be condensed in story.Transparency is both a blessing and a curse.I cannot make myself enjoy drinking any beverage that contains bubbles.Espresso, as a general rule, is far less potent than drip coffee.If all adjuncts quit, the system would have to change (more of a speculatio…

Observations: February 2017

I just got back in town from a trip to Ohio, where I visited family, then a trip to D.C., where I hung out with 12,000 writers at the AWP conference. I learned a few things.
Saying goodbye is always hard.Life will end, and might end soon, so live it up.Shiny scrambled eggs will never fail to hurt my stomach (see: free continental breakfast).Free scrambled eggs are tough to say no to (see: free continental breakfast).Michael Bolton is rather funny. Fiction does pay.Sudoku can create the illusion that one is good at math. Sleep is helpful when I want to be charismatic.Sleep is helpful when I want to be coherent.Airports are the only place I will read an entire magazine.Daily controversies are exhausting.There are a lot of writers in the world. Writers are the best people in the world.Lyft rocks.D.C. is oddly enchanting. History reminds us how much we forget.Twitter behavior says a lot about a person. Radical self-acceptance is great, but a healthy amount of self-critique propels growth.T…

Short interview with Agnes Marton

What an inspiring week. After seeing the peaceful outpouring of supporters at the Women's Marches around the world, I can't help but feel hope for our country. People are power.

Speaking of strong women, I sent the amazing Agnes Marton a few interview questions and am thrilled to share them with you today. Agnes will speak on creativity and the creative life. So, without further ado...   

Agnes Marton is a poet, writer, Reviews Editor of The Ofi Press, founding member of Phoneme Media, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Recent publications include Estuary: A Confluence of Art and Poetry (winning the Saboteur Award) and her poetry collection Captain Fly’s Bucket List. She has participated in an expedition to the Arctic Circle.

Hi, Agnes! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions. So as a writer, I'm curious as to what a day in your life looks like. I have a day job – otherwise I avoid routines. I write whenever I can. I travel a lot. I love writers'…

Observations: January, 2017

With the new year comes possibility. Sure, many of us are afraid for the health of America's states. We worry about the integrity of our new administration, we worry about basic human rights, we worry that families won't be able to afford basic healthcare and that our educational systems are broken beyond repair, but 2017 could surprise us. Our mistakes and complacency and greed are being amplified, and this can teach us a lot.

We got here together, to a time of disbelief and propaganda-fueled beliefs. We need to listen to each other more than ever before, and we need to talk to each other more than ever before. Things may seem dark, but I believe real change will come from it. In the words of the late Leonard Cohen: "There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in."

In 2016, I learned:
Family is everything.Fear can either be turned into energy or it can sap energy. The weak and uninformed follow anyone who gives them a common enemy and an excuse, but th…

Observations, December: Part 15

The best way to reach out is to look within. Sounds good anyway, right? It definitely seems the basis for meditation and the theme of Westworld, so how can it not be true?

I've been taking a break from social media, specifically Facebook, to focus on a few writing projects. In a way, looking within through art. Or maybe I'm just strategizing about how to live in a less-than-ideal reality.

Whatever the answers... here are my observations from the last month:
Don't take HVAC systems for granted. Internet advertisers: Send me a coupon, get a click. Send me twelve coupons, I'll block you.Most of us are dehydrated (drink some water).Cold weather = increased coffee consumption.Basic civics, logic, and humanities curriculums need more attention in America. Too many people are under-informed and easily manipulated. Art saves. Action saves. Bitching is just bitching.There are way too many dystopic films for my comfort. (*cough* education)One can resist respectfully. Love regard…

Observations, November: Part 14

I've had trouble distilling my thoughts since November 8th.

I have worries surrounding the future of our nation, including the very real loss of my rights as a woman. I am worried about the economy, foreign relations, a racist police state, and illogical and emotional responses to real threats.

I saw this morning that the president elect said something positive in regards to the thousands who are protesting his presidency. Something about how their passion for country is a positive thing.

I can only hope this small bit of positivity, if genuine and not written by an intern, grows. I did not vote for Trump, and I do not feel he is fit for the position. He is not my choice, and quite honestly, I am terrified. I am acting, in what small ways I can to reroute. In case we cannot, however, I do hope I'm wrong.

I am thankful that good people surround me, people who give me hope. They remind me that in the darkest of times, the light shines brightest. It is Veterans Day, and today I…