Thursday, March 31, 2016


Frustration is not an interruption of the process, frustration is the process.

“I have watched so many talented, creative, and inventive people rage against their work, or even worse, stop doing their work because of the frustration that they encountered along the path of whatever it was they were trying to create. And they speak of this frustration as though it is this obstacle from outer space that is ruining everything. All they wanted to do is be creative, and here comes frustration again, just taking all the fun out of it, making it impossible to do this work, and destroying the entire game. And my feeling is, “You guys, you’re mistaking the whole process, because the thing that you’re in love with, and that you’ve gotten infatuated with, is that moment in your creative process when everything is working — all the cylinders are firing at full speed, and the inspiration is flowing, and it feels really easy, and it’s fun, and it’s delightful.” And that’s the aberration. That moment of smooth, easy grace where everything is going great — that is not the normal. That is the miracle that happens every once in a while if you’re very lucky. The frustration, the hard part, the obstacle, the insecurities, the difficulty, the “I don’t know what to do with this thing now,” that’s the creative process. And if you want to do it without encountering frustration and difficulty, then you’re not made for that line of work.” - Elizabeth Gilbert

Fear is boring, and other tips for living a creative life


Photo credit - Carol Hughes Wells

As the Light of the Sun Sustains...

As the light of the sun sustains all creatures existing in the material world, in like manner the light of the soul sustains and ripens man's inward being. Yet, the solar light advances the growth of weeds as well as useful plants, and the future of the garden depends upon the skill and patience of the gardener. Thoughts and emotions must be properly trained if they are to protect the harvest. - Manly P. Hall

Long Walk to Freedom

Monday, March 28, 2016


Noun: a small box for the gathering and sale of fruit and vegetables, typically small berries. The word is largely confined to Commonwealth countries and is of uncertain origin, but is thought to be a diminutive of "pun", a British dialect word for pound, from the days in which such containers were used as a unit of measurement or from the name of Reginald Crundall Punnett (1875–1967), a geneticist and grower of strawberries who used to sell them in the London market in a small chip basket.

" A seemingly plain green leaf may burst with vivid red shades, while a punnet of tomatoes is a multi-coloured palette of tones..."

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Mental Risistance

“The greatest difficulty is the mental resistance to things that arise, and the underlying assumption that they should not.”

Eckhart Tolle

Monday, March 21, 2016

Dark Sonnet

" I love that Chris Riddell is drawing illustrations for some of my poems for no better reason than pure enjoyment (and what better reason for making art could there be?)" - Neil Gaiman

Greatest Treasures

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.

~ Lao Tzu

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy first day of Spring!

Sunday Bike Ride

This is Balboa Park near Sixth and Upas, the halfway point of a 10.4 mile ride. I did pretty well getting up the hills: I got about halfway up the Florida Canyon hill each direction before getting off and walking and I got all the way up the hill to Bird Park. And thank you to the MTS driver for swinging wide around me on Park Blvd.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Keep Trying

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~ Thomas A. Edison

Friday, March 18, 2016

Your Bravery is Beautiful


No road is too long for him who advances slowly and does not hurry, and no attainment is beyond his reach who equips himself with patience to achieve it.

~ Jean de La Bruyere

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Walk on Air

The Wizard of Oz

Last night I saw a touring production of The Wizard of Oz. I parked in Balboa Park and walked down Third Avenue to the Civic Theater. I forgot that the parking meters downtown don't apply after 6, but the walk down and back was very nice.

"By order of the Great and Powerful Oz, please take a moment to turn off your cell phone. If you don't comply, a house may fall on you, too!"

It was very fun. Lots of gay men in the audience and lots of gay jokes in the show: "I'm a friend of Dorothy's!"

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Fear Sits Here

Dear Ones -

A friend of this page named Charlotte Murphy sent me this photo the other day. She teaches art to fifth graders (first of all, GOD BLESS YOU FOR TEACHING ART TO FIFTH GRADERS, CHARLOTTE) and she has found that already, many of them are too locked-down by fear to be creative. (It starts so early, you guys. It starts so early.)

So, recently, she read them the section of BIG MAGIC where I talk about how fear is allowed to have a seat in the car, when we are being creative, but it's not allowed to drive.

The kids came up with the inspired idea that the art classroom should have a FEAR CHAIR, where fear will be allowed to sit —but not allowed to control everyone's creative process. Each child wrote their fears on the chair, just to get them out. (Please note, if you look closely, the fears range from "tests" to "football"...I love this so much.)

When it's time to create, the kids now understand that they have to send their fear to sit in the FEAR CHAIR...and then they can get back to work.

Notice that the kids don't try to banish their fear (because we all know that's impossible; fear always acts up and throws temper tantrums when we try to banish it) but they bravely give their fear a name, and then give their fear a nice, pretty, respectful chair to sit in. They acknowledge that fear will always be in the room...and then they get back to the business of making things, anyway.  

It's such a beautiful idea, and I was so moved by this — by the handmade ritual (all my favorite rituals are handmade) of literally giving fear a seat, but not allowing it to take command.

Just wonderful, Charlotte — and so inspiring! Tell your students that I think they're geniuses, and that soon I'll be making my own FEAR CHAIR, which I will put in a prominent corner of my own writing room, where I can keep a close eye on it. I want my old familiar friend fear to know that I respect its right to be part of my life...but that it must keep its butt placed firmly RIGHT THERE.

In the corner.

And not one inch closer.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

After Winter Must Come Spring

"Everything is everything.  After winter, must come spring!   Sometimes it seems, we'll touch that dream; but things come slow or not at all, and the ones on top, won't make it stop!  So convinced that they might fall.  Let's love ourselves, then we can't fail to make a better situation.  Tomorrow, our seeds will grow, all we need is dedication."  The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Saturday, March 05, 2016


"We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us."  ~ Marcel Proust