Living Deep


Set the timer for 5 minutes and write –

There are many practices I engage in daily. I like the deep practice of writing and how it feels when I get into the flow. I enjoy deep conversations. There is deep knowing in the truth of things. There is a depth of peace when I am in yoga, walking or running practice as well.

I have dabbled with meditation practice and am thinking a lot this week about silence practice. Natalie Goldberg’s quote:

It’s good to do ridiculous things. Please, not on a highway.

I am drawn to the idea of deep living as opposed to surface living. I want to savor and enjoy. The synonyms to savor in my life may be the antonyms in yours. That is ok — everyone has their own way.

The barriers to going deep with thinking and writing is interruptions. Interruptions are the devil, the stoppers, the corks in the creative juice. Interruptions derail depth.

Working with depth then leads to the fear revealed. What happens if I truly heal? Will I still be able to write from the dark and shadow then? There is light but it is tainted currently.

The real me comes out in spurts and I am attractive in new ways to people who have not seen me in this light before. This is how I become the Accidental Inspirationalist. I inspired someone this week to write again just because she saw me do it and talk about it briefly.

Day by day on the edge of curiosity I will continue to collect words on the page. I will continue to dig deep and see where it takes me.


#IWSG October

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog.

October 2 question — It’s been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don’t enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

On my business cards it says writer and reading advocate. Personally, I do not feel you can be a writer and not be a reader too. There is only so much time in a day but reading fuels your creativity.

When this idea is raised I think of this quote:

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
― Stephen King

One of the best things I did for my writing is to do the Bradbury Trio challenge. As a Do It Yourself MFA you read one poem, one essay, and one short story a day according to Ray Bradbury. This fuels my ideas for stories through memories that come up as I read or just a spark. It is the same way with podcasts for me.

Reading stories allows me to see how other writers have structured their stories as well.

Zadie Smith has been quoted as saying that all you need to learn about writing can be learning through reading. I believe her.

Why would you want to write if you don’t like reading? Does that mean you would not read your own work then? It is an interesting thought.

Reading is the gateway to everything in life — writing included.

You can read this post on Medium here. Clap and support!

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of coffee and a conversation between friends.

It is the last Sunday of September! The temperatures have been cooler which I have been thankful for. My beverage choice doesn’t change- still black coffee for me. I will have the pitcher of water in case we need it during our visit. What will you be having today?

This week has been interesting. The schedule was not the same and I was extremely tired. I fell asleep early several nights. The work days just took all my energy this week.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had amazing teacher conversations this week at work. The schedule felt difficult for some reason. I feel I should be used to the change in schedule by now but my body seems to have other plans!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I was excited to watch the finale of Big Brother and the premiere of Survivor. They are two of the handful of shows I watch at this point in my life. I was not surprised about Big Brother’s winner and am looking forward to learning more about the characters on Survivor.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I started doing yoga again. When I first started after my son was born I had to find exercise I could ease into. I had read an article that said a yoga practice was as simple as one pose. With my 100 days reflection article from earlier in the week I decided to start my practice again. I am a yoga teacher so I really have no excuse. It is not like I don’t know WHAT to do.

If you would like to read the 100 day post you can find that here.There are 100 Days LeftWhat Will You Do With Them?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I wrote every day. Storyaday September will be closing up on Monday September 30 with a Zoom call. I also start my Kathy Fish Flash 2.0 class that day. After that week of creation for the class I will continue with freewriting and morning pages in the early hours but then I will focus on revision In October.

If we were having coffee I would tell you it stormed here all day Friday. Thunder and lightening boomed and flashed. We have not had a storm like that for a long while and certainly not this past summer. Usually there are thunder boomers and huge summer storms here in the Midwest several times in the summer months. The weather has been weird.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had my Artist’s Way zoom call this week which I enjoyed very much. I also had the Storyaday call which was fun too. We laughed a lot and talked about what was in our trunks — it was a strange icebreaker question that turned more into a story prompt as we chatted!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I finally reached Llama success!!! After several failed attempts to order and find llamas that did not get lost, giggle or make some sort of noise Llilly and Lliam are here!

If we were having coffee I would tell you my writing collective had their first round of critiques for one of the members first chapters. I was blown away with the skill and the story! I really want to read the rest of the novel RIGHT NOW! I am thankful to have this group in my writing circle.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I went to Germanfest this Saturday. It was a local church fundraiser but they had good beer and souvenir mugs to take home!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I got outside on the trail and went for a run/walk. It was so nice to be among the trees. There was still a bit of drizzle and drops from the trees but nothing major. I hope to do the same one more time this weekend.

If we were having coffee what would you tell me? I would love to hear.

The Art of Creative Reading Manipulation

Photo by Liana De Laurent on

As a reading advocate it is my personal mission to provide opportunities for people within my circle of influence to read and write.

Today I was reminded of a daily practice that I am resurrecting today: graffiti boards.

What is A Graffiti Board?

I don’t even remember where I heard about graffiti boards but I started posing a question on a large piece of butcher paper outside my room so students could stop and write their responses

At a former school I hung the board outside my room which was midway down the length of the hallway. The concept took on a life of its own and would cause a traffic jam in the mornings and at dismissal.

Students also randomly asked to go to the bathroom so they could come and write their responses in peace in the middle of the school day.

As the instigator I pose a question, a vocabulary word or something crazy to get people thinking outside my office. Sometimes it is a serious topic and other times it is just fun.

Past questions have been, “What smell do you love?” and “What do you dip your chicken nuggets into?”

I have posted Words of the Day and challenge students to write a sentence with them and use them throughout the day. Words have been enigma and candor.

Other questions I love:

Have you ever made a bucket list or life list? What is one thing on it?

What is the favorite space in your house?

What is the perfect meal for you?

Who is your favorite character in what you are reading?

What is your favorite food?

What are you looking forward to over spring break?

What color should Mrs. Breitweiser dye her hair?

Rainbow and pink I believe were the most popular answers to the last one.

Why Do This?

The main reason is to get students to read and interact with text in a fun way. I also like to disrupt the status quo and keep people guessing if I am honest.

It also makes the kids laugh and it is just FUN.

Laughter helps you lose weight, live longer, and lower your blood pressure. Bring on the guffaws!

Other Ways to Inject Some Fun

Jokes and poems on the backs of bathroom doors, over pencil sharpeners, in the hallways, in the teachers’ lounge, in the teachers’ bathroom, and whatever random place is a fun way to provide an opportunity for people to read and write. You cannot help but smile when you pass a bathroom and hear kids in the stalls read and ask knock-knock jokes to each other.

A Warning If You Want to Try This At Home…

Some teachers were quite salty about this idea. They were afraid students would write something inappropriate. To be fair, it did happen twice that I can recall but it wasn’t suspension worthy. There were no cuss words just something minorly insulting that a 5th grader would think is funny.

Other teachers didn’t like the disruption of the flow of traffic in the hallways even if it was for a good cause. Adults do not like change so you will have to gauge how much pushback you would get. The board can always be put in the classroom to avoid this issue.

Overall, the good outweighed the bad. Any opportunity for reading and writing is a good thing in my book! Today some new reading materials are going up!

You can read this post in its entirety here.

Weekend Coffee Share – Autumnal Equinox Edition

It is time for a cup of coffee and a conversation with me on Sunday.

Tomorrow is the first day of fall which seems unusual to me because it is the 23rd rather than the 21st. I thought the calendar was wrong and Googled it three times.

I listened to a speaker the other day that was referring to fall as the time for deep rest and renewal. It is also the time to tie up loose ends before the winter season. This idea resonated with me and I am holding onto it. The idea has come up the last couple of days in my morning pages.

I will have my normal coffee today but also have some cider if you like today to celebrate the season. A random memory pops up for me of Snapple. They used to have a spiced cider that I would warm up and drink many years ago. It is a nice memory as I smell the apple and cinnamon.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am looking forward to the cooler temperatures that come with the fall season. I like hot weather in the summer but welcome the change. I had to drive our Jeep to work this week and it was HOT on the way home — NO AC. I haven’t run for several weeks and would welcome a walk and run with a little bundling necessary.

You can read the rest of this post here.

Do you have fall rituals you enjoy? Please share them in the comments.

The Sunshine Blogger Award

I have been nominated by the wonderful Extra Life ! Check out the blog.

Nomination Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Here are the questions Extra Life asked me:

  1. Have you ever purchased something that turned out to be phony? Not that I can recall…
  2. What time do you usually get up? I usually get up around 3 am. I have a different sleep pattern where I sleep for about 4-5 hours and then am up for 2 or more and then go back to sleep for 1 or 2 before I have to get up to go to work. I sometimes do not go back to sleep.
  3. What time do you usually go to bed? On a normal night usually pretty early around 8pm.
  4. What line from any medium managed to hit you like a ton of bricks? On a writer call last week a friend told me “there is enough” It has stuck with me.
  5. Have you ever owned a record player? I have! I still do actually. We gave one as a gift last year as well.
  6. What color do you prefer your consoles (or computer) to be in? Gray
  7. Do you prefer your books to be in a physical format or in an electronic format? Professional books I always prefer physical. Ebooks are easier to transport. I like all books.
  8. What is your least favorite thing about a work you like? I love the short story “Bullet to the Brain” by Tobias Wolff and wish I would have found his writing sooner.
  9. What is your favorite thing about a work you dislike? I recently read Celeste Ng’s short story “Girls, At Play” and I do not like the subject matter but I liked the writing style.
  10. Have you ever attempted to use an alternative keyboard layout? No.
  11. What is the longest amount of time you’ve ever been in a plane? 11 hours on the way to Hawaii.

Here are my questions:

  1. What is inspiring you right now?
  2. What is a small joy you do not give yourself often enough?
  3. What do you need more of in your life?
  4. What is something you buy that you always consider quality first?
  5. When did you last cry?
  6. What are you grateful for?
  7. What is your favorite season?
  8. What is your favorite smell?
  9. Woods or water?
  10. What is your favorite word?
  11. Would you rather have a sandwich or a drink named after you?

My nominations:

2 Surprising Crucial Items to my Mental Wellness

I have learned I have to protect myself from the people around me. Well, not the people necessarily, but their emotions. I have found since writing more, listening to my intuition, and opening up my own emotions I am more sensitive to others. I have always been able to read people well and tell them things about themselves they do not think I should know.

I found being around new people the past month I have been drained more than in the past. After consulting a trusted psychic healer she asked me if I protect myself before coming to work. It has never occurred to me.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

#FMF Start

Every Friday Kate at posts a word. Set the timer for 5 minutes and see what come out of the pen…Ready, set, GO!

What do I need to start?

I need to start a story for today.

I could start with a line.

I could start with a title.

I could start with a list.

I could start with a character.

I could start with a situation.

The line I could start with is: A top layer of a wedding cake was in their freezer and they had no idea where it came from but ate it anyway.

The title I could start with is: Just Because You Keep Saying it Doesn’t Make it True

The list I could start with is items in a weird grocery cart.

The character I could start with is Brooklyn.

The situation I could start with is the couple trying to get to Chicago and they have missed their train.

Now that I have that worked out I will set the timer for 10 minutes and write!

Happy Friday!

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