Category Archives: Articles

Creative Juice #47

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Creative Juice #47

A baker’s dozen of inspiring ideas to enhance your creativity:

Why and How to Read to your Baby

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Why and How to Read to your Baby

This article first appeared on Doing Life Together.

Doing Life Together

All five of my children knew how to read by the time they entered kindergarten.

Are they incredibly brilliant? Yes. But more than anything else, I attribute their early grasp of a complicated but vital skill to the fact that my husband and I read to our children from the time they were babies.

story-time-with-mom-by-devinf-on-flickr Photo by devinf on flickr

At what age should I introduce my baby to books?

Somewhere from three to five months, while holding the baby in your lap, page through a board book with him. He will try to wrest it from your hands and put it into his mouth. That’s what babies do—they explore the world with their taste buds and their sensitive tongues. Let him have it, and gently try to draw his attention to the pictures.

This step is a lot easier if you have already been showing him things in his environment and…

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Guest Post: CAN MINDFULNESS BE APPLIED TO WRITING? by Sheree Crawford

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Guest Post: CAN MINDFULNESS BE APPLIED TO WRITING? by Sheree Crawford

A big ARHtistic License thank you to Sheree Crawford for this wonderful article, which first appeared on A Writer’s Path. Be sure to read the exercises at the end of the article–they’re dynamite!

 

Mindfulness is the hot thing right now; it’s being talked about, summed up, and debated in all corners of society, and so it’s reasonable to ask whether or not mindfulness can be applied to writing. Well, the obvious answer is of course it can! How is another matter.

If you’re one of those still in the dark there are plenty of resources which will help you to get a grip on it. At it’s heart, however, mindfulness is about self-awareness; being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and  our bodies, and recognising how these things affect our behaviour, moods, and even mental well-being (you can use mindfulness to control anxiety, for example.

For writers the effects of anxiety, depression, and emotional exhaustion are just as, perhaps more, disastrous as for those in more “mainstream” employment, but while mindfulness can help you with all this I’d argue it can help with things like lack of focus, writers block, proofreading, and even serial abandonment of writing projects. Here’s how:

1) It helps you to remain present

Mindfulness is largely about being present, being in the moment, and choosing to be that way. No-one is 100% focused, but when we are mindful we can steer our trains of thought into productive directions. It’s not about ignoring the tangents your brain takes you on (these can be key when you’re writing), but rather about learning when to abandon them.

Much like with meditation you should not aim for “nothingness” when you practice mindfulness in writing (in this case, nothing but your goal rather than blankness), but instead be aware of when and how you stray. Follow the train of thought to the end, if its useful, but be aware of where it’s leading you; if it becomes entirely unrelated or of no use remove yourself and refocus on your writing.

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2) It can help you circumvent writers block

Old school gamers will get me here; remember when your console used to overheat after a full day of playing, and suddenly it wouldn’t do anything and you were worried it would never ever work again….

That’s writers block, but the overload happens in your brain.

Mindfulness can help you to combat this in a few ways. Firstly, if you practice mindfulness you will learn to recognise when you need a break; take breaks, it is allowed. Secondly, when you choose to be fully in the moment you can remove yourself from the fear of underproduction (or non production) because very often it is this fear which creates the block. Thirdly, you can also use this to distance yourself from internal judgement.

“Waiting for the muse” is one of those things that stems from consistent judgement of unfinished work; not everything you commit to paper must be gold, and you’re not actually, you know, committed to it. Mindfulness can help you to de-clutter your brain; when you’re aware of your thought processes and the ideas floating around you it’s easier to order them efficiently.

3) It makes you a better editor and proofreader

Mark Twain famously and aptly said that when you think you are reading “proof” you are really reading your own mind; we fill in what we thought we wrote, or what we intended to write with our minds when we proofread our own work. This is why mindfulness is so key to efficient proofreading and editing.

Proofreading is a complex, draining, and time consuming process which requires you to be focused at all times. Now, there are many tips and tricks as to how you can make it easier (I’ve written one blog post about that myself), but at the heart of it all is being mindful. You need to realise when you’re getting fed up and skimming, skipping, or filling in from your mind, and when you catch yourself you need to either re-focus or tale a break.

Editing, too, is intensive, and practising mindfulness is useful here in many of the same ways it is when proofreading, but additionally it can help you to recognise sections in need of cutting or editing. Focusing on how each section makes you feel, and how it engages you will make you a better editor. Are you tempted to skip because you’re tired, or because it’s poorly written?

Mindfulness exercises for writers:

The Flush; this is a really simple exercise that I call the “flush” because it’s literally designed to wash out all of the detritus first thing in the morning/when you first sit down to write. This is simple; sit down with a notepad and a pen or pencil ( there are plenty of claims regarding writing by hand, but I say this just because it works your hand and wrist muscles, and eases the eyes into focusing before hitting the harsh light if a screen).

Now, whatever has been rattling in your brain, whether its a scene, some dialogue, or just a word, write it down and let that lead you. It might be nonsense, of course, but follow the train of thought to its natural end point. Et Voila! The Flush.

The Clapback; if you get completely derailed by negative thoughts or doubts, as we all do at some point, get yourself a fresh document or piece of paper and jot down positive responses to the worries/fears/criticisms you’re plagued by. This will let you exorcise them, and might even make you feel better.

Block-Be-Gone; when writers block makes a scene impossible to finish close your eyes, take three deep breaths (cliche, I know) in through the nose and out through the mouth s l o w l y… and root yourself in the scene. Write your own reactions as the characters, or the description as you see it in your mind as best you can; it might not be “Just Right”, but it’ll act as a placeholder until you have something better to replace it with. This lets you move on without skipping.

The Duracell Bunny; another block-buster (not in the Hollywood sense, obviously) is what I call the “duracell bunny”. Pick the part of your scene that most interests you and write from that point, perspective, or about that thing as fast as you can, ignoring spelling, grammar, and sense, for two minutes. Let your excitement carry you, and you’ll be surprised how much can change in 120 seconds!

Guest post contributed by Sheree Crawford. Sheree is a UK based content writer and ghostwriter and often writes about the art of writing.

Guest Post: How to Find and Reach Influencers to Help Promote Your Book by Angela Ackerman

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Guest Post: How to Find and Reach Influencers to Help Promote Your Book by Angela Ackerman

Many thanks to Angela Ackerman for this guest post, first published on Jane Friedman’s website.

Today’s guest post is from writing coach and author Angela Ackerman (@angelaackerman).


As a writing coach and avid user of social media, one of the most heartbreaking things I see is when an author puts a ton of effort into writing, editing, polishing, and finally publishing a book—only to see it fail to gain traction in the marketplace. Often this comes down to a marketing misstep that’s all too common: failing to understand (and therefore reach) one’s ideal book audience.

I’ve posted about how to find your book’s ideal audience before, so I won’t wander down the same trail. Instead, I want to look at another piece of the marketing map that can greatly improve your success rate with reaching your audience: influencers.

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What Is an Influencer?

Influencers are the people who are already doing a great job of connecting with your ideal audience, because it is their audience too. They have a good reputation, are visible, and they interact with your potential readers every day. Hmmm, sounds like people we should get to know, right? Exactly!

Influencers are not one-size-fits-all. Each author will have different ones depending on the audience they are trying to reach. However, one common ingredient with any influencer is that they are worthy of our admiration for the trust and respect they’ve earned with their audience. And admiration is a key ingredient of any healthy relationship—but I’ll get back to that in a minute.

Influencers for a fiction author might be:

  • popular authors who write very similar books
  • bloggers who are passionate about a topic or theme that ties into the author’s book
  • well-regarded book reviewers
  • bookstore owners
  • librarians
  • organizers of literacy or book programs and events
  • teachers and instructors
  • groups and organizations that cover the same specific interest featured in the author’s book
  • celebrities (hey, it can’t hurt, right?)
  • businesses that cater to the same audience as the author’s in some way
  • forums and websites dedicated to the same topic/event/theme explored in the author’s book
  • well-connected individuals (who endorse the book or author to other influential people)
  • people who are passionate about a particular topic/theme (that ties into the author’s book)
  • fans of the author and her work (if the author is established)

And that’s just the start!

Because influencers are recognized and have clout with your shared audience, they can really help you reach your readers. Not only that, but they are a living, breathing example of how to connect with your audience the right way. There is much to be learned by examining how an influencer engages with others online. In fact, if you want to see an example, check out this post by Author Accelerator’s Jennie Nash, who wrote about shadowing me online. (I had no idea, so this was eye-opening for me as well.)

When you determine who an influencer is, it isn’t just a matter of you asking them to help you. People are generally busy, and whoever you’re approaching likely works very hard if they hold a position of influence. They may already have a lot on their plate.

This might sound like a closed door, but it isn’t. It just means that, as in most things, there’s no marketing shortcut, and honestly there shouldn’t be, because we’re talking about creating a relationship with someone. Relationships, to work, need to come from a place of sincerity. Healthy ones are balanced, with each party giving and receiving.

How to Reach Out to an Influencer

Angela Ackerman

Angela Ackerman

When you’re seeking to engage with an influencer, your heart needs to be in the right place, so choose carefully. Get to know this person. Admire their work. Because if you truly appreciate what they do, you will naturally want to help them further succeed. And while of course you hope they’ll return the favor, that’s not your endgame. Creating a relationship is.

Sometimes an influencer will already know you. Maybe you are in the same circles, and have a friendly connection. In that case, it’s really just about you making it a priority to actively show you care. This can be done by trying to boost their visibility however you can (tweeting, mentioning, sharing links to their work, talking about them and their work online, recommending them, etc.), and lending a hand here and there because you want to. Think about what they need to better reach their audience, and then proactively help them do it. Tag them online. The relationship should naturally grow because they will see what you’re doing and will want to do the same for you in return. Helping each other out leads to collaboration, and with a shared audience, this becomes a win-win for both of you.

If you don’t yet have a relationship with an influencer, the first step is getting on their radar. To do this, think about what your strengths are, and what you can give. Put yourself in their shoes: what would you like help with in their position? If they are an author, a business owner, or an organization, visibility is usually welcome. So, how can you give them a shout out and help your shared audience find them? Can you blog about them, or recommend them in some way? Or what about sending a personal note to let them know you admire their work and what they do for others, and that you’d like to help if they ever need it?

If it’s a librarian, a teacher, or a nonprofit group, maybe there’s some way you can use your skills to help them. Can you volunteer your time? Show that you appreciate what they are doing, be it promoting literacy or an interest you share (because it will tie into your books, remember)? Perhaps you noticed they mentioned in a blog post that they wanted to know more about something and so you do a bit of research and send along a few interesting links their way. In all things, seek to provide value.

Generally speaking, when you consistently help someone or show interest in what they do (influencer or not), they will notice and appreciate it. A relationship naturally forms—they will want to know more about you. That’s your goal: to create a friendship that feels natural and authentic, and to have the type of connection where either of you can help, ask for advice, brainstorm ideas, and possibly collaborate with in ways that can help you both. In this way, you both grow and benefit.

Remember Anyone Can Be an Influencer

Are you cultivating strong relationships with the people you interact with day to day? I hope so! It’s just as important as seeking someone “established.” After all, a writer who asked you to look over their query letter might end up selling a five-book mega-deal a year from now. Or be affiliated with an organization looking for a speaker or visiting author. Maybe that blogger you contacted as a source of knowledge on a certain topic may become a huge fan of your work and want to help the world discover you.

Bottom line, wouldn’t you just love it if one day someone came to you and offered to put your name forward because they liked and admired you? So, adopt the mindset of a giver. Ask yourself what value you can add, what you can do for others. If you can help, do, because you never know when it will come back to you tenfold. (This is coming from someone who knows this firsthand!)

How Do You Find Your Influencers?

Determine who your exact audience is. Then, pay attention to the movers and shakers who interact with this group. These might be authors, businesses, special interest groups, forums, bloggers, and other individuals that produce content or a product that ties into the same topic, interest, theme, or element that you have written about.

To help with this, I put together something I call the Influencer Hot Sheet. This will show you what to look for to find your exact audience influencers, how to break down what they do online that helps them be successful (so you can do the same), and finally, ideas on how to build a relationship with them.

You can find it and many other marketing handouts on my Tools for Writers page.

Happy writing and marketing!


You can visit Angela at her sites for writers, Writers Helping Writers and One Stop for Writers.

#dyicad2017 Days 1-5

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#dyicad2017 Days 1-5

In June and July, I am participating in Daisy Yellow’s Index-Card-a-Day challenge, in which we create on an index card every day–61 mini-masterpieces. I will be posting my projects every Tuesday.

Day 1’s prompt was sunrise, which I chose to interpret in watercolor. It came out more abstract than I intended. And I confess, I made it on a watercolor postcard, not an index card. Last year I was frustrated at how the cards curled when painted.

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Tammy Garcia has a good reason for insisting on using index cards:

Simple materials push you to think in new ways. Index cards are without a doubt “not” the perfect substrate. But they are abundant, so we do not hesitate to pitch them when the work turns into a catastrophe! Get index cards. They can be lined, gridded, plain, neon or dividers or rolodex cards. …The maximum size for the challenge is 4×6″. And yes, gotta be index cards. Not nice paper cut to size. That misses the entire point. We are working with a basic index card, not with a perfect substrate.

I get it. However, my watercolors will be on watercolor postcards.

On Day 3 I thought I’d work with the theme of the week: Inspired by topography, words, hand-lettering, graffiti, found text, definitions, poetry & lists. I thought it would be an excellent excuse to practice my calligraphy. But my Sheaffer pens wouldn’t write well on my Staples index cards. The ink just wouldn’t flow evenly. Three cards pitched, Tammy.

So instead, here’s Found Words Free Verse:

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On the other days, the prompts and the theme just didn’t inspire anything for me, so I practiced some of the zentangle designs I’ve saved on my Pinterest board:

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Day #5, Frame Over:

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You can participate, too, and you don’t even have to catch up if you start late. Check the FAQs for more details.

Also, have you taken the ARHtistic License Survey yet? Help me make this blog a place you want to visit often.

Blog Birthday: Two Years Old

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Blog Birthday: Two Years Old

Two years ago, I posted my first article on ARHtistic License. Yes, I am now entering Terrible Twos territory. No, no, no!

Last year I discovered that most of my popular articles were responses to photography challenges. This year all ten of my top ten posts were photo challenge submissions. (See below for some samples of my photographs. Click on the images for a slideshow of enlargements.)

Why? Why aren’t the articles I spent days researching and writing getting the attention my random photos get?

I’m especially proud of these articles:

Do I receive more feedback for my photo posts because photographers check out other photographers and are very generous with their encouragement? (Thank you, by the way.)

Or does my writing really suck?

Or is nobody interested in the arts and the creative process?

Or do readers not want to go to the trouble of signing up for a Gravatar account just to be able to click the “like” button? (Please reconsider. There are so many fabulous WordPress blogs and so many authors just dying to hear how they touched your heart. If you don’t tell them, they’ll go to their graves never knowing that their lives had meaning. Do you feel guilty yet?)

Anyway, I really want to know how to improve ARHtistic License, so that I can inspire a large community of creative readers.

This is where you come in. Please help by doing one or more things for me:

  1. pointing-finger-right-800pxIn the sidebar on this screen, scroll through the TOPIC menu and see if you can find an article you’re interested in.
  2. If you read something you like on ARHtistic License, please hit the like button.
  3. If you have something to add, write a comment. (Other readers also might be interested in your opinion.)
  4. If you know someone who might want to read an article, please share it through social media and/or email.
  5. Please take the ARHtistic License Second Birthday Survey and let me know exactly how I can improve my blog. The survey consists of four mandatory questions, which take maybe five minutes to answer, unless you’re very indecisive. Then there are five more optional questions which you can skip if you want.

Thank you. Writers work in a vacuum. We thrive on feedback. When we don’t get it, we have no idea if we’re on the right track or missing it altogether.

Guest Post: #PitMad by Brenda Drake

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Guest Post: #PitMad by Brenda Drake

A big ARHtistic License thank you to Brenda Drake, the creator of #PitMad, a quarterly event on Twitter where authors post a 140-character pitch to be read by receptive agents and editors. You can find Brenda here and here.

The next #PitMad date is June 8, 2017. You have one week to prepare your tweets! Read on…

 

 

RULES (as of March, 2017) – READ CAREFULLY!!!

What is #PitMad . . . ?

#PitMad is a pitch party on Twitter where writers tweet a 140 character pitch for their completed, polished, unpublished manuscripts. Because #PitMad has grown over the years, industry professionals are finding it overwhelming to search the feed. It goes by so fast now, it’s a little mind-boggling. And we don’t want to scare off the industry professionals.

So our new rule is that you may only tweet three (3) pitches (they can be different pitches or the same pitch) per project for the day. You may pitch more than one project. I suggest every four hours or so tweet a different pitch. Or tweet during breakfast, lunch, & dinner breaks.

Please keep in mind, we never know what agents or publishers will be on the hashtag, so make sure you research each requesting agent or publisher. You do not have to send requests to those requesting if you don’t want to work with them. Read this post by Claribel Ortega for reasons why doing your research before hitting send on that request will save you tons of heartache.

INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS – TO SEARCH FOR A SPECIFIC CATEGORY OR GENRE, put #PitMad-(sub-hashtag) (i.e. #PitMad-MG) in the search engine at the top of your Twitter page. Doing this will give you only the tweets for that sub-hashtag. If you have any questions or would like another sub-hashtag added to the list, @ me (@brendadrake) or one of hosts monitoring the feed.

There will be unfavorable tweets on the hashtag during the day, please block all spam/porn ones and report them as you see them. To view #PitMad spam/porn free just put this up in the search tab: #PitMad -biturix -google or go here.

Rules for #PitMad . . .

Everyone is welcome to pitch. All genres/categories are welcomed. Must be completed, polished, unpublished manuscripts. You can pitch more than one manuscript. You may only tweet three different pitches for one project for the day. I suggest every four hours tweet a different pitch. Make sure to include the hashtag #PitMad and your genre/category (if you can fit it).

The pitch must include the hashtag #PitMad and the category (#YA, #MG, #A, #NA, #PB etc.) in the tweet. The “#” is important to include. It will sort the categories to make it easier for the agents/publishers.

The agents/publishers will tweet their submission preferences and favorite your tweet if they want to see more. If you get a favorite from an agent or publisher, follow their submission preference and send them their request as soon as you can. They should have tweeted what they want you to send, so check their twitter feed for that information. If they haven’t listed it, follow their submission guidelines on their websites. Make sure to put“PitMad Request: TITLE” in the subject line of your email when sending your request.

Don’t tweet agents and publishers directly unless they tweet you first.

Don’t favorite friends tweets. The agents will be requesting by favoriting tweets. so let’s keep that for requests. Starting with our December 1, 2016 event, we will now allow Retweeting of your friends tweets. Please use Quote-RT and add a comment to the retweet to express your support if possible.

If you can’t be there, you can always schedule your tweet by using Tweetdeck or some other application that schedules tweets.

And finally, be nice and courteous to each other, and especially to the industry professionals. We’ve had some success stories come out of our previous #PitMads and we’d hate to have it canceled due to abuse. If you do see abuse, please report it to Twitter or notify one of the hosts of the event. Thank you!

Below is a list of sub-hashtag categories and genres to separate your pitch from the main #PitMad feed.

Hashtags …

Age Categories:

#PB = Picture Book
#C = Children’s
#CB = Chapter Book
#CL = Children’s Lit
#MG = Middle Grade
#YA = Young Adult
#NA = New Adult
#A = Adult

Genres/Sub-genres:

#AA = African American
#AD = Adventure
#CF = Christian Fiction
#CON = Contemporary
#CR = Contemporary Romance
#DIS = Disabilities
#DV = Diversity
#E = Erotica
#ER = Erotic Romance
#ES = Erotica Suspense
#F = Fantasy
#H = Horror
#HA = Humor
#HF = Historical Fiction
#HR = Historical Romance
#INSP = Inspirational
#IRMC = Interracial/Multicultural
#MR = Magical Realism
#M = Mystery
#Mem = Memoir
#MA = Mainstream
#MH = Mental Health
#LGBT
#LF = Literary Fiction
#NF = Non-fiction
#R = Romance
#P = Paranormal
#PR = Paranormal Romance
#RS = Romantic Suspense
#S = Suspense
#SF = SciFi
#SPF = Speculative Fiction
#STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
#T = Thriller
#UF = Urban Fantasy
#W = Westerns
#WF = Woman’s Fiction

Here’s the dates for our upcoming quarterly #PitMad events:

March 23, 2017 (8AM – 8PM EDT)

June 8, 2017

September 7, 2017

December 7, 2017

For more information about Twitter Pitching . . .

Visit this post by agent @carlywatters here and this post by #PitMad alum @DianaUrban here. And here find a post from Diana on how to filter out spam from the #PitMad feed.

Articles about #PitMad:

examiner.com

TheDailyDot

Publishing Trendsetter

Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix

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Trinity  Cathedral, Phoenix

Near the center of Phoenix, at the border of the art district, Trinity Cathedral rises like an  oasis.

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Situated around a central courtyard, the buildings enclose a labyrinth and a sculpture garden recalling Christ’s passion and the saints. Conveniently placed benches allow visitors a place to pray and reflect in peaceful surroundings. The current sanctuary opened for worship on Christmas Day, 1920.

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Another building bears a plaque which reads Bishop Atwood House Erected 1930.

A beautiful leaded glass door serves as the portal into the cathedral.

Book Review: Old Broads Waxing Poetic

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A few years ago, Julie Kemp Pick, inspired by a poem by Susan Flett Swiderski, came up with the idea to create an anthology of poetry written by women of a certain age. Together, they compiled Old Broads Waxing Poetic from their own verses and the work of six other poets.

I don’t remember how I heard about it, but I bought a copy, compelled by the wonderful cover image. It sat in my study for a couple of years, forgotten, until I recently came across it again.Old Broads Waxing Poetic

The poems range in quality from okay to delightful. I’ve already shared one poem from this book. Here are a couple of my other favorites:

Lilacs and Love
by Connie Biltz

“Nothing says spring like a lilac breeze,”
Mom closed her eyes, smiled, and sighed.
The scent would come drifting in,
with curtains billowing and windows wide.

My mother gathered them by the armful,
bunches of lilac blooms with a fragrance that was heaven sent.
She took them to my grandma every Mother’s Day,
sharing her love, showing her gratitude, knowing how much it meant.

She loved lilacs too, my mother did,
and she was glad we had plenty to spare.
It doubled her joy for them, I think,
knowing she was able to share.

Grandma would bury her nose in the lilacs,
and breathe in the heady scent too.
She arranged them carefully in a milk glass vase,
and there was one thing I always knew.

Grandma loved me, and my mom did too,
so fierce and wide and deep.
Remembering those lilacs they shared
is a memory I’ll always keep.

Forever the sight of a lilac bush,
or the hint of its fragrance in the air,
will remind me of those two ladies before me,
who had lilacs and love to spare.

lilacs-close-up-600x400That poem hits me right in the memories. A huge lilac bush grew just outside the kitchen window of the house I grew up in. On May evenings, as my mother washed dishes and I dried them, the breeze coming through the open screen carried the fragrance of lilacs, which we both loved. Though my parents didn’t particularly care for cut flowers (they felt flowers belonged in the garden), on Mother’s Day there was usually a large vase of lilac branches on the kitchen table.

GOODBYE, LEFT BREAST
(ODE TO A MASTECTOMY)
by Fran Fischer

I just thought I’d like to say goodbye
As you go to that medical waste disposal in the sky.
Say hi to my tonsils and have no fears.
We’ll all get back together in a few years.

You’ve know me the seventy-nine years of my life.
You saw me as a teen, and then a wife.
Your first job was attracting men
And next you were a breastaurant for my children.
When the doors of the milkbar finally closed
You went back to a purely decorative mode.
Which was fine, until last week
When you (and other parts) became antique.
I no longer attract young men of twenty,
But that’s all right, because I’ve had plenty.
And as for that other use, well, we all know
The odds of me nursing again are low.
But it’s in my nature to be a little sappy,
And with or without you I’ll keep on being happy.
Most would count this a loss when it comes to my score.
Will I miss you? A little. Do I need you? No more!
I will be losing some symmetry,
On this I think we can both agree.
I may tilt to one side as I walk through town
But I’ll try to adjust and not fall down.

Yet I’m not through having fun
And lifting my face to the warmth of the sun.
And being friends and laughing (I’ll show you)
So ta ta, left ta-ta, it was nice to know you!

I’d never thought it was possible to make cancer surgery humorous.Old Broads Waxing Poetic

Is this book worth buying? Yes. Not every poem will resonate with you, but these sweet ladies are not trying to get rich or famous. They are donating all the proceeds from this book to CARE International. Go ahead and buy it already. It’s only $9.99 at for the paperback on Amazon, only $2.99 for the Kindle edition.

Creative Juice #43

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Creative Juice #43

A dozen delicious offerings served up to tempt your artistic palette:

  • This article is much longer than what’s usually included in Creative Juice. It’s also the saddest story I’ve read in a long time—and it’s true. But people need to read this.
  • Want to make time to be more creative? I participated in the Index-Card-A-Day Challenge last year, and I’m doing it again this year. You can, too.
  • This article is a little old (we’re past the end of the coloring challenge mentioned in it), but I love the artwork, so I’m sharing.
  • Love coffee table art books? You can enjoy 204 of them for free—virtually.
  • Reading list for personal growth.
  • Sand scuptures.
  • The Garden of Earthly Delights.
  • Wouldn’t this be a nice home to own?
  • You could totally do this flower pot project.
  • I didn’t even know I needed art masking fluid. Now I must have it!
  • Have you ever gone through The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron? It’s a 12-week exercise to increase your creativity. I’ve done it once, and I want to eventually do it again. A few years ago I read this related article, and it was so beautiful I saved it. Now I share it with you.
  • Reasons to make art, even if it’s not all that good.