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My blog is a mix of ideas, links, Aha! Moments and skills–not just mine, but contributions from my smart readers. Join the conversation and leave a comment!

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Vanishing Space and Other Questions

Not my desk, but mine could develop into this over time.

As long as I've worked at a desk, I've had the following unanswered questions. Let me know if you have an answer: 1. I've had big offices and small studios, but no matter how much space I have, when I'm working, I'm using  about one square foot of space. Everything else is filled with pens, ink, glue, and papers. I swear, if I worked on the surface of an aircraft carrier, I'd be working in one square foot and the rest would be piled up … [Read more...]

Power Bars that Travel

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If you spend any time on an airplane, you know how difficult it can be to stick to a healthy menu when you travel. While it's great to find a restaurant close to your gate that has salads that are not tired, drenched in oily dressing or supplemented with processed, salty meat, the reality is that airports don't cater to special diets. You will wind up carrying food that has to substitute for lunch or dinner. When I travel, I take a small … [Read more...]

Helping Anyway You Can

homeless man

It's already hot here in Phoenix. And one of our biggest homeless shelters has closed, sending 80 homeless men, some of whom have jobs, to sleep in empty lots or under freeway overpasses. Our recent legislation has made "aggressive panhandling" illegal, but I'm not sure that our tent-city jails are a good alternative to homeless shelters. There are several intersections at which I routinely see homeless people holding signs asking for help. … [Read more...]

Story and the Storyteller

Not the same at all. Ask Frank Sinatra or Indiana Jones.

The little boy was no older than four. He sat next to his father on a bench in the mall. His father, an earnest hipster around 30 years old, sported the uniform of beard, slightly-too-small trilby, and large-screen phone, on which he tapped rapidly and with great concentration. A cup from Starbucks was next to him. No cup for the boy. The little boy sat next to him, fidgeting. He would steal glances at his father, who was busy. The boy had … [Read more...]

Creative Stroll (April 17, 2015)

© Gabriel Isak, The Illumination in the Dark.

Dreams are ephemeral memories, translucent landscapes, ambiguous landscapes that are out of our reach almost before we fully wake up. Gabriel Isak is a Swedish photographer who understands the delicate nature of dreams well enough to create them using digital photography. Isak obscures the faces of his subjects, giving his work a mysterious, unknown feel. The emotions Isak evokes are contrasting--safety and risk, hope and despair, … [Read more...]

Stifle Your Editor So You Can Write

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You sit down to write that article you have been looking forward to,  and . . . you stop. It's not that you don't know where to begin, you are suddenly flooded with a feeling of dread. What if you forget something you wanted to say? What if you say too much? What if that first sentence isn't compelling enough? That's your editor showing up. Your editor is the one who wants to format, replace, cut, polish. The editor has a critical voice and a … [Read more...]

Starting Out on Your Own

Giacomond [The Edge]  ©Quint Buchholz, 1984

Do you dream of starting your own business where you can do it right? Where your decisions will truly matter? Are you scared to leave the safety of your job? Are you afraid that your [art, music, dance, writing] won't be enough to pay your mortgage? Excellent! You are perfectly normal. Starting your own business--whether it's full- or part-time, is a big step. Right now, you are imagining having to do it all at once. Maybe you are worrying … [Read more...]

Doubting Your Power

Meridies_MaxCrown

Leadership. It's a tricky word. We want someone to lead us through the storm, through the tough hike, up the mountain. When leadership turns to an authority figure, we can have more trouble obeying, doing what we are told without questioning, and letting go of control. Authority figures show us our own unclaimed power. The part of us that didn't make it to the top of the heap, the part of us that, our Inner Critic tells us, just doesn't quite … [Read more...]

New Site, New Learning Curve

"Open Book." © Quinn McDonald, 2015. Typography and ink on paper.

Thank you to everyone who has followed me over here and signed up again to get the blog. You are wonderful, adventurous and kind. You inspire me. Thanks, also, for all the comments and questions sent via email and texts, some of which were, ummm. . . sent without checking time in Phoenix. Luckily, I remembered how to turn off my phone, which was the easiest answer for my level of critical thinking skills at 3:30 a.m. Here are some of the … [Read more...]

Look Up

Grazing Sheep And Lambs

A sheep gets lost from the flock blade by blade. She doesn't look up. She concentrates on what is right in front of her. And then, suddenly, her flock is long gone over the horizon. We get lost from our tribe by not looking up, by not wondering, "Huh. I wonder what this is really about."  Break the habit of the repetitive life, doing the same thing every day at the same time. Look up before your repetition vanishes you over the … [Read more...]