Uplifting Conversations



Today's Creativity Wisdom:

Angela Hook

Angela Hook: Artist Interview
Wire Art: A Whole New Language
Become a Storyteller through Photography


Inspiring Conversations

Cathy Yardley: Chick-Lit Author
Joan Lefkowitz: 'Mother of Invention'
Jill Badonsky: Kaizen-Muse Founder
Quinn McDonald: Paper Artist & Coach
Sonia Wijts, Center for Adaptive Learning
Lilly Fluger, Artist & Cartoonist
Creative Careers Interviews Introduction


Jurgen Wolff

Four Brainstorming Guidelines
Power of Off-the-Wall Combinations
Be a Successful Part-Time Writer
Interview with Author Jurgen Wolff


Steve O'Keefe

Set the Page on Fire: Thinking, Talking, Writing, Reading


Judy Wood

Riding Lessons for Artists
Forging a New Path in Art and Life
It's (Almost) Never Too Late
The Basics are Basic
How Do We Learn and From Whom?
Community
Where am I, and where am I going?
Mirror, mirror


Marianne St. Claire

The Top 10 Benefits of Play
The Pendulum Swings Right to the Conceptual Age


Lynda Lehmann

Artist Lynda Lehmann Interview
Why Artists Create Art
Creating Art is an Affirmation of Life
What is Art? Traditional vs Abstract
What Good Art Does to Us
In Praise of Creative Process
Think Small (No, I'm not Joking...)
The Artist: 'Tortured Soul' or Joyous Participant?


Susan Anderson

Outer Child and Your Future
You, Two Years from Now Exercise
Dream House Guided Visualization
Healing Abandonment, a Creative Process


Hal Zina Bennett, PhD

Get Unreal: A Writing Exercise
Solitude and Creativity


Lisa Collazo, LSCW

The Power of Words
The Writer's Ailment: "Stuckitis"
Writing Out the Gremlin
The Emotional Writer


Peter Clothier
The Art of Looking At Art
'Slow Looking' Meditation
'Slow Looking' Silence
Peter Clothier 'Persist' Interview
Making Space
Heeding the Call
Nurturing the Artist Within
PERSIST: The Big Lie
Peter Clothier MIND WORK Interview
Today Is Thine: Tempus Fugit
Not Just a Number

Kimberly Wilson
Enlightened Work & Mindful Play
Your Life Is Art
6 Ways to Evoke Creativity
Modes of Creativity

Stephen Nachmanovitch
The Art of Is
Improvisation: Rubbing
Improv: Mushrooms & Tide Pools
Improvisation: Twists and Turns

Nancy Mills Interviews
Wine Maker Lane Tanner
Actress Sybil Temtchine
Mediabistro's Laurel Touby
'Girl Blue Project' Marlow Wyatt
Artist and Activist Ellen Spencer
,Spoken Word Artist Sally Shore
Cathy Salser: Window Between Worlds
Astrology Zone's Susan Miller
Swirly Girl Christine Mason Miller
Mystery Writer Rochelle Krich
Jewelry Designer Katy Leakey
Jet Set Modeling Cindy Kauanui
Mystery Writer Rochelle Krich
World Traveler Marie Javins
Radio Host Frances Halpern
Creative Sage's Cathryn Hrudicka
Author & Actress Fannie Flagg
Writer Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey
Entrepreneur Crystal Allene Cook
Frou Frou Flip Flops Alice
Lotus Blossom Style Tabby Biddle
Comedienne & Storyteller Roz Browne

Shakti Gawain
Shakti Gawain Interview
Becoming a Creative Channel
Trusting Intuition
Transforming Our World

Seeing Differently

A New Look at Photography

By Angela Hook

Photo by Angela HookSlipping behind the lens of a camera allows you to become a storyteller. Photos make people appreciate the things their naked eyes see every day. When someone recently told me that, I began to see my photography in a new way. For many years, a camera has been merely a tool that I have used to collect reference or record memories. Lately, I have been visually documenting my own personal love affair with horses. Observing these amazing, beautiful creatures in their natural environment is one of life's greatest pleasures for me. No posing. No portraits. Just bits and pieces of what makes a horse a horse. That's what I like to capture. 'Glimpses' of their magical world and how it crosses over into ours


Let the Wire Inspire

Wire Art: A Whole New Language

By Angela Hook

Horse wire sculpture by Angela HookYears of art appreciation and education led me to realize that art can be thought of as a language, spoken only by those Earthlings known as "artists." The remainder of the population requires interpreters in order to understand their messages. Hence, reading about art can be thought of as learning another language. Of course, this is always easier to do if you immerse yourself in the culture. If you want to learn to speak "art", then be an artist. If you are skeptical, and you are thinking that you could not possibly be an artist because you don't have a creative bone in your body, then you need to remember this: creativity does not come from your bones; it comes from your heart!


Creative Careers Interviews

Interview with Creative Wire Artist and Equestrienne Angela Hook

By Molly Anderson-Childers

Uplifting ConversationsQ: Tell us a little more about the fantastical, magical creatures you've lately been inspired to create.

A: Well, I recently received a commission to create a winged unicorn. This seemed reasonable, since it was really just a horse with accessories! I had a lot of fun creating that piece. Around the same time, I watched the movie 'Eragon', which tells a tale of dragons and their riders. From this, I was inspired to create a wire dragon. The basic form was unfamiliar to me, so it challenged both my skill and imagination. I would like to experiment further with creating fantasy creatures… maybe a centaur or a griffin?


Creative Careers Interviews

Interview with Chick-Lit Author Cathy Yardley

By Molly Anderson-Childers

Uplifting ConversationsQ: You have such a distinctive voice. Reading one of your books is a lot like chatting with a girlfriend. Tell us how you developed it as a novelist. Was it tough to cross over to the how-to market and still retain your individual voice and style?

A: I didn't really develop my voice, per se. That's just how I write. The lucky part was finding Chick Lit, which fit my voice so perfectly. I used to try writing historical romance novels, then I tried writing mystery — and boy, was that disastrous! Once I found Chick Lit and romance, I realized where I'd been going wrong. The how-to market wasn't difficult, considering it was still for a subject I love and one where the voice made it a natural fit. It'd be interesting to see if my voice was embraced in something that tends to be more academic, like "how to get a mortgage" or something.


Creative Careers Interviews

Joan Lefkowitz: 'The Mother of Invention' at Accessory Brainstorms

By Molly Anderson-Childers

Uplifting ConversationsQ: As unlikely as it seems, you started your professional life as a drama teacher. How and why did you make the transition to a new career as a fashion accessory designer's sales representative?

A: I wanted to expand my life experience by taking on something that I did not know and learn how to do it. I made a list of my interests, and my strengths and weaknesses. I pruned my list and found I was most interested in taking innovative unknown products and making them available to people. Many inventors lack the business experience to get their products from 'mind to market.' We give seminars at the Learning Annex, the Fashion Institute of Technology Continuing Education Department, and the Yankee Invention Convention, laying out the steps to take to get an invention ready for the marketplace.


Creative Careers Interviews

Punny Cartoonist and Artist Lilly Fluger

By Molly Anderson-Childers

Art by Lilly FlugerQ: When did you first discover your talent for cartooning and painting?

A: Which came first? I am discovering my talent still. Some days more than others. I don't really know how it all started, but I wanted to be happy and laugh, and lighten up the seriousness of my life. So I played around with cartoon drawings. I wanted to be important and popular and be liked, so I tried to be clever and funny and get others to laugh. Painting came after. In Portland, I signed up for a cartooning class. I arrived a bit late to notice that lots of adults were leaving the building. Was it cancelled? I head inside, and open the door, to see that it's filled with kids! Those were the moms leaving (who had driven their kids to the class). Everybody was 4-10 years old, 90% boys, and me! I felt so strange at first, but then realized, hey, I'm with my correct age group!


Set the Page on Fire

Thinking, Talking, Writing, Reading

By Steve O'Keefe

Set the Page on FireAll writing originates in thought, so it's understandable that thinking and writing sometimes get confused. It is amazing how many people, myself included, think of the thought streams in our minds as "writing." That is a seduction to be avoided. I've spoken with dozens of people who want to be authors — and think they already are — because they have thoroughly worked-out streams of stories and articles in their heads. Until you translate those thoughts into words, you're not writing. You're thinking. They're two different things.


Guided Imagery

Freedom: Freeing Your Inner Muse

By Molly Childers & Chris Dunmire

freedomYour work, your every idea, is significant, for only you can bring your unique perspective to life. This guided meditation will free your inner muse through a Milkyway Marbles Meditation and sowing seeds in the Garden of your heart.


Juicy Journal & Wild Words

Creating an Artist's Sketchbook

By Molly J. Anderson-Childers

Juicy JournalsIt is important to take our creative work into new, unexplored territory. In this feature, we will be creative pioneers, taking journaling a step beyond words. We will also discover new ways to combine your words with visual art to create an artist's sketchbook. I know, I know, you're a writer, not an artist. That's what you're saying to yourself. I'm here to tell you that you are dead wrong. Everyone I meet is an artist, even if they don't know it yet, or can't believe it. Take a deep breath, and try to suspend doubt and fear — then, dive in!


Series Spotlight

Hank Kellner's 'Reflect and Write'

Write What You See by Hank KellnerNow more than ever, we must take advantage of students' increasing fascination with graphic images as opposed to written words. This engaging series from educator Hank Kellner is based on his book Reflect and Write and capitalizes on marrying dynamic images to original poems that were written by students at the junior and senior high school levels, teachers, and other writers nationwide. Each installation in this series contains key words and popular quotations to inspire critical thinking along with poems, photographs, and quotations to help stimulate spirited class discussion and provide prompts that will evoke meaningful writing by students.

Why People Respond to Images | Graphic Images Surround Us | Inspiration in Monet Paintings | Black and White Images | The Power of the Visual | Isolation and Education | Nature's Dynamic Forms | Where You're From | Crossing Bridges | Rap as Poetry | Humor Inspires Writing | Metaphors Inspire Writing


Kaizen-Muse™ Body Blissmas

We All Could Use an Imaginary Friend

By Jill Badonsky, MEd

Body BlissmasAlly McBeal had background singers, Jimmy Stewart's character had a six foot rabbit named Harvey, countless characters have angels and well… those of us who write have all the characters in our novels, screenplays, poems, plays and songs. Who do you have? We humans can invent characters. The world is not only populated with us flesh and blood souls, but it is filled with millions of fictional characters that we both love and hate. Since we have this ability to invent characters, why not invent ones that can help with our creative challenges and our desire to improve our health? No, really. It can work. We did just that this past week in Body Blissmas (and a Happy New Rear), a program that combines the creative process with wellness/weight loss. And I invite you to do the same.


Spirited Woman Q & A

Interview with Radio Host Frances Halpern

By Nancy Mills

Spirited Woman InterviewsFrances was born in the Bronx. She married before she was 20, raised three kids with her husband Ted, and then later in life at the age of 40 — she blew the lid off her traditional life and went to work as a newspaper columnist. She won many press awards, and later wrote the "Writer's Guide To West Coast Publishing" and the "Writer's Guide To Publishing in the West," and became widely known as a publishing expert. Later on, in Santa Barbara, she started her own radio show called "Literary Lunch," and then she was offered a highly coveted spot on NPR's affiliate KCLU, where she co-created "Beyond Words," a nine-year-long running show. She interviews everybody and anybody connected to the word — from actors to authors to producers.


Books & Printables

Boost your Brain Power: Tree-mendous Memory! Games

By Chris Dunmire

Treemendous Memory! GameDid you know memory-boosting exercises help improve brain function and positively impact your creative ability as you age? That's why so many sage people are addicted to puzzles like word searches and Sudoku! Here's a playful way to exercise your memory and boost your brainpower: Engage with my Tree-mendous Memory! papercraft and game.


Creative Writing Prompts

'Seuss-erific Q&A' Writing Exercise

By Bonnie Neubauer

Q & AIf you’re stuck in the middle of a piece, ask yourself some non-related “what if” questions like: What if the plot were a light bulb? What if this character were a bird? What if this magazine article were blown up to be the size of a Thanksgiving Day parade balloon? You will likely generate odd answers that will expand your thinking and enable you to brainstorm beyond your normal limits. No matter how absurd it seems, the more you think like this, the more you will come up with original solutions to writing challenges.

365 Pictures

Today's Photo Prompt

Inspiring & Uplifting

Deal of a Lifetime

By Lilly Fluger

Art by Lilly Fluger

In our world of shopping and commerce, coupons and rebates, one-click buying, price comparisons, free trial offers, 2 for 1 sales, and "drastically reduced sale prices", it seems that everyone wants to find a good deal. And that makes simple good sense. But perhaps we've all forgotten that we've already gotten our best possible deal: We each 'got to' be born for free. I didn't pay to be born, did you? This idea hit me over the head the other day with a bonk of gratitude and a delightful fresh new perspective. I realized that I have a whole free life! But that's not all.


Engaging Series


Your Writing Coach
with Author Jurgen Wolff


Thinking, Talking, Writing, Reading
Set the Page on Fire with Steve O'Keefe


Riding Lessons for Artists
with Equestrian & Artist Judy Wood


Celebrating the Ubiquitous Beauties of the World
Artistic Perspectives with Lynda Lehmann


In Praise of the Creative Spirit
Persist with Peter Clothier


Taming Your Outer Child and Healing Abandonment
Exercises & Visualizations with Susan Anderson


Get Unreal; Solitude & Creativity
Write Starts with Hal Zina Bennett, PhD


The Art of Looking at Art
Slow Looking with Peter Clothier


Hop, Skip, Jump: Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life
with Marney Makridakis


Creativity is Your Birthright
with Dave Storer


Creativity & Transformation
with SARK


A Primer on Collage & Mixed-Media Art
By Chris Dunmire


Writing and the Body in Motion
with Cheryl Pallant


Creativity, Depression, & Meaning-Making
with Eric Maisel, PhD


Juicy Journals & Wild Words
with Molly J. Anderson-Childers


10 Mind-Expanding 'Take Ten' Writing Exercises
with Bonnie Neubauer


Inner Voices of Creativity
SoulCollage® with Ann Marie Bennett


9 Ways to Escape from Creativity-Halting Goo
with Rick Benzel