Come Write With Me In Vermont!

barns Just close your eyes and imagine the writing possibilities of riding out a snowstorm snuggled in a 1809 farmhouse next to a crackling fire, while peering out upon acres and acres of powdery landscape. Nestled in the quiet hollows of the Green Mountains, with the demands and distractions of life falling away, I enjoyed an incredible writing opportunity -- a few days at an intimate writer’s retreat in Vermont.

It was pure writing heaven. I even went snowshoeing each day when I needed a brain boost. With the ‘ol heart pumping goodness to my muscles, I rediscovered how my writing gets a mega-boost from outdoor exercise.

While I was readying my book for the next phase of its publishing path -- to meet and greet publishers, I met the writer-in-residence of Where Words Count, Marie White Small. We became instant friends. And when she read an excerpt from her soon to be published novel, Stony Kill, I was captivated by her literary voice and compelling subject -- a family experiencing a child's senseless death due to irresponsible gun owners. Marie is also a writer’s workshop leader -- and she invited me to teach a blogging workshop at the retreat!

wwc_retreat_smWhether you want to create a “blog-to-be” and need to demystify blogging, or already have a blooming blog and want to juice up your writing, I would love you to join me!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the food. Chef Aaron cooks up a gastronomic feast. Each meal served was inventive and indulgent, using locally-sourced ingredients to the max. Think New England comfort food with a gourmet twist. Even cocktail hour was a scrumptious event.

Here are all the particulars for the So You Want To Blog? workshop. And please let me know if you have any questions.

See you in Vermont?

Photos: Ronnie Citron

A Watched Pot

Lately I’ve been blogging to a beach party of one…me. Earlier this summer, I started squirreling away posts ideas. New ideas kept tumbling into the pot. Unfortunately, I did not keep a close enough watch on the swirling wellspring and it boiled over. I was all poised to push the pause button on the whole exercise and let the unpublished draft simmer down, and then the pot kept going round and round.

These 10 timely ideas rose to the top:

  1. Put pests in their place with this DIY bug zapper tutorial (yes, it is eco-friendly and humane).
  2. My husband will be happy to know that if air conditioning could make me fat, and maybe even sick, I just might be persuaded…But not this summer.
  3. Just for fun: Don’t these Monkey Orchids make you smile?
  4. I have more than a few problems with the word "unconsumption." The Unconsuption blog says, Unconsumption means enjoying the things you own to the fullest – not just at the moment of acquisition.” I can live with that.
  5. I swore I wouldn't stir the political pot, but doesn't this list scare the living daylights out you?
  6. I generally think Dr. Andrew Weil is on the right track. I'm a sucker for posts that reveal weight-loss without deprivation. This post left me hungry...and thinking I should be dancing more.
  7. As an ex-teacher, the end of summer always brings stirrings, especially when I read poetic notes written to school kids.
  8. Don't you wish politicians would sacrifice more to make this world a better place? (OK, I broke the political promise, but I hope you agree it was worth it.)
  9. The balance between creating and consuming lures me into stuff like this. Then I worry that I suffer from stuff like this?
  10. Did you know that 90% of all Americans get married? I tied the knot 29 years ago today, and really have no revealing sage advice, except love, luck...oh, and the secret of a long marriage still seems to be a secret.

Photo: Ted Fink

The Center Is A State Of Mind

The passage below is from a Seth Godin post. It reminded me of everything I loved about playing with the geometric drawing toy, Spirograph.

Follow Seth, he's awesome. And I don't use that word often. Ever.

The action used to happen at court. In France, if you wanted to get ahead, you put on your outfit, called in favors and hung out near the King, because proximity was all.

If you're in Kibera, are you too far from Silicon Valley to write an app? If you live in New Zealand, are you too far outside the mainstream music world to perform a hit song? What about an author who lives 3,000 miles from New York?

The magic of our new form of communication is that it's no longer one-way. If you consume an app, you can write one. If you can read a blog, you can publish one. If you can grab an ebook, you can produce one.

The center has nothing to do with geography any longer. The center is a state of mind.

Drawing: box64studio

Try Harder My Love

I follow a lot of online happenings. It’s a big part of my world. This rosy red morning, a poster made its appearance all over my world. Many of you have told me that you enjoy the words I post. That makes me feel happy and loved. Thank you. I am a devoted writer, and I don't write for free (except here).

It doesn’t make me happy when something I've written pops up on another post, or in print without my byline.

When I can, I send a tactful note about recognition and attribution. Sometimes it slides away from me. Sometimes it makes a difference. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Along comes Pinterest and I fall blindly in love. Head over heels, I’m pinning away. I have two accounts, one for business, and one for pleasure. Inspiration is image driven, and I cannot contain my sincere love for the luscious photographs. In the blush, I try to find the source of my image affections and share pins with my world.

I will try harder.

How about you?

Please share with love.