Monday

New Digs

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Sunday

Morning
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Thursday

Desired Things

Words may be inadequate to express the highest truths, but sometimes they can be joined in such a sublime and elegant way to express the simple truth with grace and purity.

My Grandmother used to keep this tacked to the wall of the boot closet, next to the saying - don’t judge another until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. Now I keep it on my fridge. I just read it again for the first time in years.

I want to remind myself to read it daily for a month.

Desiderata (desired things)

by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
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Friday

The Abundant Mindset in Book Marketing

Happy to discover book publicist, Arielle Ford's blog

Excerpt:
I do not approach this concept of championing others from a place of quid pro quo; I do it because I believe in the concept of abundance. I live in a world in which there is more than enough for everybody. When you come from a mindset of giving, you activate an internal state of abundance that attracts many wonderful things into your life. If you see other authors as your competition, you generate an internal state of scarcity and lack that repels good things from you. So instead of seeing competition, embrace cooperation, collaboration and championing others. Arielle Ford

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Sunday

The Wisdom of Bruce Lee

I found this quote on David Wahl's blog on creativity and overcoming creative blocks:

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.

~ Bruce Lee
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Thursday
























Bay of Dreams, by Varya
I've yet to see a photograph that captures the luminous energy of this artist's work. I saw a similar painting in a San Francisco gallery yesterday and just looking at it made my heart feel bigger in my chest.
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John Piper


Landscape by John Piper 1968
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Wednesday

Eat, Pray, Love...Show Up for Work

Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity

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Friday

The Colonel by Carolyn Forche

(Thanks Michael for introducing me to this amazing poem by Carolyn Forche)
What you have heard is true. I was in his house.
His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His
daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the
night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol
on the cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on
its black cord over the house. On the television
was a cop show. It was in English. Broken bottles
were embedded in the walls around the house to
scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his
hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings
like those in liquor stores. We had dinner, rack of
lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for
calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes,
salt, a type of bread. I was asked how I enjoyed
the country. There was a brief commercial in
Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was
some talk of how difficult it had become to govern.
The parrot said hello on the terrace. The colonel
told it to shut up, and pushed himself from the
table. My friend said to me with his eyes: say
nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to
bring groceries home. He spilled many human ears on
the table. They were like dried peach halves. There
is no other way to say this. He took one of them in
his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a
water glass. It came alive there. I am tired of
fooling around he said. As for the rights of anyone,
tell your people they can go f--- themselves. He
swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held
the last of his wine in the air. Something for your
poetry, no? he said. Some of the ears on the floor
caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on
the floor were pressed to the ground.

May 1978
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Monday


























Elisabeth
by Patricia Nix

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Sunday

Living Round

We live in square framed houses, built on square shaped foundations and look through square shaped windows. Many of us go to work in square shaped offices and stare at square shaped computer screens, then come home to watch square shaped TVs.

There’s something satisfying about the square, its straight lines and even corners - so stackable…,predictable. manageable.

Yet a square exists nowhere naturally in nature.

Instead of living in ways that are adaptive to nature, we’ve been living so nature will adapt to us.

And that’s exactly what’s happening.

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Saturday

Fred Tomaselli (untitled) media: pills and leaves in resin
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Buddah
Odilon Redon
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Sunday

Do You Recognize This Man?

Awhile back someone left some church literature on my door step. The brochure cover depicted Jesus. Not the feminine, virginal looking Jesus of the Italian masters, or the contemplative Jesus of the late twentieth century. This Jesus was on the move, blonde and buffed with angled Native American features, white skin and blue eyes. Terminator Jesus.

A team of forensic anthropologists worked with Israeli archeologists to come up with this depiction. It was published five years ago in a Popular Mechanics article called, The Real Face of Jesus.



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Thursday

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

T.S. Eliot
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Friday

Business Case for Social Responsibility

The WSJ recently announced the findings of this study associating profit increases of up to 300 percent for every dollar put toward CSR programs. (as long as the companies did their PR leg work)

download pdf here

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Thursday

The Mass Marketing of Fear

Scene I: 1 minute 90 seconds: Morning rush hour in downtown Miami. Three people are chosen at random by a hidden sniper and shot in the head.

Cut to the first commercial: Extra Strength Tide with Bleach turns our gray dingy whites, bright. Commercial II is an ad for antibacterial kitchen wipes. Commercial III shows somebody’s mother baking cookies in what can only be construed as a state of pharmaceutically induced glee.

The message is clear. If we purge our homes of bacteria and get our whites really white then we can manage chaos. We can manage death. A mitotic growth of products offers a glimmer of control in the face of prime time’s line-up of denitrifying corpses. Lock the door and sanitize your counters.

Contrary to commercial media’s fixation with the bleeding lead, the FBI’s compilation of crime stats shows that last years murder rate hit a 40 year low. Despite cuts in police budgets and the fraying safety net, all incidents of violent crime including murder, rape and armed robbery are lower now than they were in the 1970’s. This trend is expected to continue as the U.S. population ages.

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Wednesday

MLK

http://www.remembersegregation.org/

This was the 10th Annual Webby Award Winner for Best Home Page and Nominee for Best Visual Design Aesthetic.

Agency: DOB Seattle.

Well Deserved.
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Tuesday

Ideas I Want to Remember

Say yes more.

Accept all invitations for one month and see how life changes. I first heard this challenge about six months ago from Patricia Ryan Madson in her book, Improv Wisdom. And again from, Danny Wallace who made a pact with himself to “say yes to life for a year.” http://www.dannywallace.com/ I’m still trying to get through one month. It’s surprisingly hard.

Nature--including human nature--flows along the path of least resistance. In much the same way the flow of the river is determined by the structural support of the river bed, our collective hope is in the structure of the systems we create.

I want to remember this quote by Robert Frost:

“All great things are done for their own sake.”

Whether they’re scientific discoveries, works of art, novels, songs, inventions, or corporate startups. Great things aren’t accomplished for money, fame, to get the girl, or to prove a point to anyone. To paraphrase another Robert-Robert Fritz:

“Great things are motivated because someone desired for them to exist.”


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Friday


Gustav Klimt
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Insomnia
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Tuesday












Nano

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Why We Write

A writer friend recently introduced me to this perfect poem.

Watering the Horse


What a fool
I was
to think of
giving up
all ambition
when suddenly I see,
with such clear eyes,
the white flake of snow
that has
landed
on the horse's mane.

Robert Bly
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Odilon Redon
Sea
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Panther, Leroy Neiman
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Thursday

Creating on the Edge of Chaos

Art by S. Clay Wilson




Life is caught in the tension between order and chaos. If there is too much order, everything becomes the same and there is no room for creativity or anything new. Everything must fit the one pattern. If there is too much chaos nothing can last long enough to create anything useful; everything is just a jumble that destroys everything before it can get started. Between order and chaos is found the edge of chaos, the point where there is enough chaos for novelty and creativity, but also enough order for consistency and patterns to endure. This point is a magic point, where new and unimagined properties can emerge.

Quoted from Victor MacGill on Chaos and Complexity

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Monday
















Gray Wolf
John Nieto

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Queen of Spades
Patricia Nix

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Morning Glory
Patricia Nix
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Friday

Marc Chagall
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Reaction
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artist unknown
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Sunday

The Invitation, a poem by Oriah

Some one recently introduced me to this gorgeous poem.

http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com/

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
"Yes."

It doesn't interest me to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.
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Wednesday

Thomas Ricks on his Book "Fiasco"

Fred Tomesseli: media: pills in resin
Terry Gross interviewed, Thomas Ricks, Pulitzer winning Pentagon correspondent for The Washington Post. The result is some of the most insightful, creative and balanced thinking on the war in Iraq...where we went wrong and ideas for making it right, or at least better.

Audio archive:
http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=07-25-2006&view=storyview
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Saturday

Writing for the Literary Reader

Editor's insights into writing for the literary reader from Glimmer Train.
http://www.glimmertrainpress.com/writer/html/EditorsPerspective2004.pdf
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Fun Personality Test




My Personal Dna Report

My personalality DNA is a "Considerate Creator"

I like this test because it allows for shades and degrees rather than black and white answers.
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Tuesday

Secrets of the World’s Greatest Communicators

Carmine Gallo is a former broadcast journalist turned professional media trainer and author of the book, 10 Simple Secrets of the World’s Greatest Communicators.

Gallo studies the most influential speakers of our day to discover those qualities that not only inspire us, but move us to action. He looks for that elusive IT factor. Spanish speakers call it “duende” the creative dark spark, the French refer to it as, I don’t know what.

In short, speakers that inspire us embody a gestalt or a sum of these parts rather than any single trait.

I saw Gallo speak recently and he empowered his audience, whch I think is a key trademark of any great speaker. His speech in fact motivated me enough to write this down and send it to a bunch of people and now I'm posting it here. Here’s a brief overview of his findings:


Foremost, great speakers exude genuine passion. Make sure what comes out of your mouth is aligned with your head and your heart

Create a vision. It’s never about the product. It’s about what we can be, what the world can be.

Use stories and personal anecdotes

Constant reinvention. Keep it fresh. Keep looking for new ideas and inspiration.

Grab them with a strong first impression

Eliminate jargon at all costs. Keep your language clear and concise. If you can say it in three words instead of four, use three. If you can say it in two syllables instead of three, use two.

Keep your body language open

Use dynamic hand gestures. According to Gallo, studies show complex thinkers use complex gestures

Vary the inflection and pace of your delivery. Pause for dramatic suspense.

Maintain constant eye contact with your audience

Give your audience a break. Break up dense presentations with visuals, music or other activities. All 60 minute segments are less than 18 minutes long. Studies show we reach a saturation point after 18 minutes. If you’re holding a day long workshop chunk info into segments.

Dress your best in a way that’s appropriate for your audience

Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

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Wednesday

Good Stories and a Progressive Cause

Standing room only at the Make Out Room for litpac. http://www.litpac.org/
At this rate Steve Elliot is going to have to find a bigger place. The price for a Sierra Nevada went from 6 bucks to 8 bucks in the time it took to finish a beer. Jane Smiley read from her book, Thirteen Ways to Look at the Novel and reminded everyone why we love to read.
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Friday

Medusa
Margot Lovinger
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Wednesday



Marilo Carral

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Saturday

Coyote
Nieto
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Thursday








Night's Dream
fiber art by Victoria Rivers
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Wednesday

Art at Work

I've worked marketing Silicon Valley tech companies through periods of hyper-mania, depression and cautious optimism. As a marcom consultant I've had the opportunity to experience many corporate environments. I can gauge the "buzz" of a company as soon as I walk through the door. Does a place suck the air straight from my lungs or do I feel inspired? Do I feel like I die a little bit when I picture myself working there?

Art is a core differentiator when it comes to "atmospheric buzz." Perhaps the art infuses the environment, and/or perhaps an executive leader who values great art and the vibrancy is represents is going to have a more dynamic organization. I don't know. I do know that great art transforms a space and brings ideas and energy to the places we work.
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Thursday


Matrix

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Wednesday

What to Love about Writing?

There are an estimated 70 sextillion stars in our universe.
Dark matter comprises 70 percent of the fabric of the cosmos. Its nature remains a mystery, but some think it may be shadows cast from parallel universes.

The Vine of the Dead is an Amazonian plant said to grant entry into the land of revelations.

MK Ultra was the project name for the infamous mind control experiments conducted by the CIA in the ‘50’s.

Hitler became Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. Within a month seven articles of the German constitution were invalidated, including free speech, free press, freedom of assembly, the right to confidential post, telegraph and telephone communications and protection against house searches and confiscation of property.

The “procedure room” at the Oakland morgue smells like bleach.

In Costa Rica there are butterflies as big as a man’s outstretched hand.

The renderings in the Caves of Lascaux date back to the Paleolithic era, 15,000 BC. The paintings were discovered by a couple of kids walking their dog.

I love writing because I get to learn.

What thoughts would a man think if he were stranded on a life raft in the middle of the ocean, if his nagging wife of thirty years lay comatose in the raft beside him? What emotions would swell in his throat, or eat at his stomach lining? How would it be to suck the eyeballs of a fish for water?

I love writing because it makes me wonder hard.
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Tuesday

Bitch and Moan

Bitch, bitch, bitch. Moan, moan, moan.

You get the picture.
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Thursday

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Friday

There is No Them

End Global Hunger In This Generation * Fund Global Aids Programs For The Next Quarter Century * Immunize Every Child In The World * Hire One Million Public School Teachers * Fund Twenty- Million College Scholarships For Four Years * Build Houses For Seven Million People * Provide Every Child Born In The U.S. A Thirty-Five Hundred Dollar Savings Grant * Execute Worldwide Dismantle And Environmental Cleanout Of All Nuclear Weapons-Grade Material * Provide Full Healthcare For Fifty-Million Children * Provide Clean Water And Sanitization Services For The Entire Developing World * Fund A War And Call It Freedom *
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Sunday




















Gustav Klimt
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Friday


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Tuesday

Leveling the Advertising Field

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5419944823518404383

Internet video provides a worldwide audience with few strings attached.

There is one catch.
Your commercial must be worth watching.
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Monday



Wind

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Wednesday

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Creative

Kre-ativ
1. Having the ability or power to create
2. Productive; creating. Characterized by originality and expressiveness;
3. Imaginative:creative writingNoun: One who displays productive originality:

This definition of "creative" was lifted fromthe American Heritage Dictionary.
Note that the words, expression and production, are used to define what it is to be creative.
To quote Steve Jobs, "Art ships."
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Tuesday

Bovine Placidity or Placid as Cows?















This definition of the term Elegant Variation is from the blog of the same name: http://marksarvas.blogs.com/elegvar/
"The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."

I think an audience with a certain bovine placidity sounds much more interesting than an audience as placid as cows. An audience of placid cows sounds okay, or how about a cattle herd for an audience.

On the whole, a point to remember.


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Monday

Quote Spotting

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

Thomas Edison

Quote spotted on this article by writer Katrina Kittle:
How To Be in the Right Place at the Right TIme. How I Got Published

http://www.floggingthequill.com/flogging_the_quill/marketing/index.html

Her advice: "Write the book."

The blog, Flogging the Quill looks like it has lots of writer's goodies.
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What's Missing in These Corporate Marketing Shots?

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Tuesday


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Friday

The Five Disciplines of Happiness

Gustav Klimt
  1. Claim responsibility for your own circumstances. We all face the occasional wild card, whether it comes in the form of a runaway bus, or a priceless art find in the attic. Ultimately, we call the shots on our actions and the interpretation of our circumstances. The choices we make today, we live with tomorrow.

  2. Know thyself. Know your psychological slipping points and tipping points. Life is about relationships. The fundamental relationship is learning how to cooperate with ourselves. Set yourself up for success. If you’re trying to lose weight than surround yourself with healthy, beautiful food. Don’t keep ice cream in the fridge. Skip the ice cream aisle entirely. Skip it three times and you’re on your way to creating a habit. Small habits don’t only accumulate, they spread. Someone sent me an email about a woman who discovered the secret to keeping her house clean. She made sure her kitchen sink was always spotless. I tried it and she’s right! Keep your kitchen sink clean and watch it spread to your counters, and the floor and the dining room table. The same works in reverse. Remember small habits are cumulative.

  3. Way leads on to way. When we choose actions in one direction, doors will open in the spirit of the original choice. Paula Payne Hardin writes about re-marrying in her 50’s. She and her new husband developed the habit of settling down for a drink after dinner. It wasn’t long before one drink became three. They quickly realized they needed to develop a different evening ritual so they mapped out a mile-long route and started to walk after dinner. Over time one mile became two and then three. They met their neighbors, they got healthy. They explored the national parks together, then the walking trails in England. Paula had always held a dream of hiking the Himalayas. While attending grad school she happened to overhear a Napalese student speak about a trek to the Himalayas. They struck up a conversation and he invited her home to meet his wife and children. She writes, “All sorts of coincidences continued to develop until nine months later a motley group of six Americans in their 50’s and 60’s arrived at the trailhead in Gorka.” Way leads onto way. One door always leads to another.

  4. Work toward what you love. The more popular version of this is, do what you love and the money will follow. Maybe, maybe not. If we all loved what we did for a living then there would be no garbage men. (No doubt, some people really like being garbage men. They like watching the sun rise. They get to drive a really big truck.) If we don’t like what we’re doing however, we’re free to work toward something better. It’s working toward the goal that makes us happy.

  5. It’s nice to be nice. I heard a story about a little girl who was pronounced dead after a terrible drowning accident. A team of doctors and nurses finally revived her. When she was asked if she could remember anything about the incident she thought for a moment and said, “I learned that it’s nice to be nice.” This is not a debate about near death experiences and seizure activity in the left temporal lobe of the brain. It’s far simpler than that. It’s about the take away. It’s nice to be nice.

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Thursday

The New Global Energy Economy

Along with the U.S. Australia opted out of the Kyoto Treaty.
Per capita, Australia is the most polluting continent on the planet. Like the U.S. there are entrenched interests in maintaining the status quo.

Australia has now revised its official position on global warming and declared the debate over. Their leaders now admit that being frank about the reality of global warming is in the best interest of the citizenry.

Terry Gross interviewed scientist, Tim Flannery on his new book The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What it Means for Life on Earth.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5293273

What Flannery says isn’t new. He echoes his peers at large. “As greenhouse gas levels rise, the Earth is nearing a global climatic tipping point.”

As the ice caps melt there will be clear winners and losers. Life for polar bears and penguins—not so good. As for the rest of us--unknown.

Some obvious winners will be those on the forefront of the new energy economy. Wind technologies alone grew at a rate of 20 percent last year.

Where is the United States positioned in R&D for new energy sources?

The President’s 2007 budget includes gestures: $148 million for the Solar America Initiative and $44 million for wind energy research.

According to climate watch groups, the U.S. will need to spend from $100 billion to $300 billion alone to protect coastal property from erosion as sea levels rise. http://www.theclimategroup.org/index.php?pid=373

This gets depressing fast. In fact Tim Flannery said midway though writing the book he found himself feeling decidedly bleak. It wasn’t until he began researching and implementing solutions that his outlook for the future brightened. It’s amazing what retrofitting your house with solar panels (without the use of power tools) will do for your spirits.
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Tuesday

New Writers Reference on Squidoo


http://www.squidoo.com/writers-reference/

That's the link to a writers resource lens I created on Squidoo. It's basically a link compilation. Please send your suggestions if I've missed something interesting!

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Monday



Spring Tree

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Beware of Reification

Reification is the tendency to think of mental models as if they’re concrete realities. It happens across all disciplines from medicine to marketing.

The open source movement represents the free exchange of thought, the leveling of authority and opportunity. These are important ideas with inherent value on there own. It would be unfortunate if the open source/open idea movements were diffused by the resulting hot air from too much hyperventilation.

It's easy to forget that Web 2.0 is a marketing term coined by a couple of media firms. A name can turn a handful of weeds into a bouquet.
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There is No Them

Buddhism
Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

Christianity
Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

Hinduism
Do not unto others what would cause you pain if done to you.

Islam
No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.

Judaism
What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man.

Taoism
Regard you neighbor’s gain as your own gain and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
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Thursday

Woods
pastel, ink, acrylic, gold leaf on canvas
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Wednesday

I'm in Awe

For anyone looking for hyper-stimulation (or if you just feel the need to be humbled)
check out the back and forth between Malcom Gladwell (Tipping Point)
and Levitt and Dubner (Freakinomics).

Blogging, most amazing. Wow.
http://gladwell.typepad.com/gladwellcom/2006/03/thoughts_on_fre.html
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Tuesday

Manikins Gone Wild

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Monday

I Want Inner Cooperation


"Most of us have two lives.
The life we live, and the unlived life within us.
Between the two stands, resistance."

From Steven Pressfield
The War of Art
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Thank You Kevin at Blogger Review

There's Nothing to Get. It's a Horse


If anyone is looking for thoughtful, detailed blog critiques, Kevin is your man.
http://groups.google.com/group/Blogger-Review/browse_thread/thread/5072938b585492a6
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The After Time

Odilon Redon
This is an example of his work later in life.
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The Before Time

The Crying Spider Odilon Redon, 1881
This is characteristic of Redon's Early work
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Saturday

Can't Water a Tree with Poison



A research team out of the University of Washington can predict with over 80 percent accuracy which couples will stay happy and which couples will split. They say it has nothing to do with irreconcilable differences.

http://www.thislife.org/ (look for the search field on the left and enter episode 261 for an audio archive) or search John Gottman.

It occurs to me that Gottman’s principles for communication can be generalized to all kinds of negotiated peace, including the really big kind.

Gottman’s Guidelines for Keeping the Peace

Don’t let the praise-criticism ratio fall beneath 7:3

However tempted, don’t show signs of contempt. (that includes rolling the eyeballs)

Accept influence from the other person/party, show that you’re working to cooperate.

Do your best not to let the other person/party feel attacked.

When we’re attacked our heart rate escalates along with adrenaline levels. This in effect creates a perceptual mote around us. We stop hearing what the other person says and cling to our own positions.

When this happens look for ways to de escalate. It’s better to back away slowly than hit a stone wall. The American Life archive above shows a really touching example of a couple de-escalating after the husband felt attacked.

Most relationships—including the successful ones-- have about 15 or so irreconcilable differences.

This is a good thing. What would be more frightening than a world where we all thought alike?

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Friday

Low Hanging Fruit

I went all winter without changing the burned out bulb in the ceiling light in my room.
The fixture is made of glass and to change it requires unscrewing and re-screwing things.
It's not brain science, but it is a hassle. Plus the light is all the way up there.

One Sunday I decided to finally change the bloody thing. It took less than 5 minutes and afterward something truly amazing happened.
I could see.

Five minutes of effort enhanced my quality of life immeasurably.

What other simple things can I do that will yield such large returns?
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Thursday

Peacock

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He Who Makes the Most Mistakes Wins

This is the premise of a book by Richard Farson and Ralph Keyes titled, The Paradox of Innovation.

Failure is inevitable for anyone who dares to risk. It makes us stronger. Embrace it. Don’t be afraid of it. It’s a liberating idea, really.

It reminds me of a story about a number of research teams competing to develop a robot that could make its way out of a maze the fastest. There were many ingenious designs equipped with various sensory devices to detect walls and obstacles.

The winning team took the opposite approach. Their robot was designed to bump into the obstacles and immediately try an alternate path until it zigzagged free of the maze.

The moral of this story is to be sure and tweak your direction if you keep hitting the wall.
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Wednesday

Now You Tell Me

Cartoon By Hugh Macleod

I will remember Dave Gray's http://communicationnation.blogspot.com/ entry about hot buttons forever:

"Once you trigger someone's hot button, there's nothing you can say. It's better to just let the other person cool down."

I wish I'd learned this about 20 years ago.
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