Monday, May 31, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week Four - Day One

Week Four - Recovering a sense of integrity.

Working with the morning pages, we begin to sort through the differences between our real feelings, ones we keep to ourselves, and official feelings, those on display to others. Official feelings are usual signaled by the phrase: I feel okay about that. You begin to stop saying it's okay when in fact it's something else something more specific.

Many tend to neglect or abandon the morning pages just when an unpleasant piece of clarity is about to emerge. You will also notice that during this time you become irritable. The morning pages have become habit, and when you do not write them you will become crabby.

Through the morning pages, you will find clarity. Clarity creates change. You may find in your morning pages, "I've out grown this job." This begins as a troubling perception but overtime it will call for action and then an action plan. The morning pages raise our subconscious and allow us to learn what we want.

A sure sign that you are connecting with yourself, is the need to throw out the old, tossing papers, giving away old clothes, etc. You will find a change in your energy patterns, you will begin remember your dreams and find yourself easily lost in your daydreams. Your tastes and judgments will change. Your identity will begin to shine through as you find yourself.

You will feel the need to rest as you are moving ahead so rapidly. Learn to rest in motion. Your morning pages are a time of rest. Mindless activities, such as dishes and hanging clothes, are a time for rest.

Affirmations to try this week:
I receive your goodwill willingly.
I trust my own perceptions.

Now, I know no one is ready for this, least of all me. Do the best you can with this.

A controversial artist's tool is reading deprivation. Yes, no reading for a week!

Cast yourself into your inner silence and allow your inner voice to be heard. The result will be a new outflow of your own art and your own thoughts and feelings. This is a very powerful tool and a frightening one. You ask, "What will I do?" Listen to music, crochet, exercise, meditate, entertain, re pot plants. Eventually you will run out of work and be forced to play.

Extra exercise for today: List 5 hobbies that sound fun.


the Artist's Way - Week Three - Day Seven

We've made it to the end of another week of reconnecting with ourselves. How's everyone doing on the daily activities: Morning pages, artist's date, and affirmations?

I have to admit I've been neglecting these activities. Although, the morning pages not written, my mind plays through the things I would write and in turn is freeing my mind for the day's activities. I do feel more open minded and creative at the end of this third week.

The question for the day: List 5 childhood accomplishments.

1-Learning- I made honor roll each year.

2-Books read- I used to have a list of each book I read, wish I still had that.

3-Writing- Even at an early age, before I knew exactly how to write a story, I strived toward my goal. I even submitted a few stories, which were kindly rejected with form letters.

4-Overcoming obstacles- My childhood was not filled with friends. I did usually manage to weave one from the bunch, not always the same one. Through my school years, I always had at least one friend and learned to count on myself, which is why I'm so independent today.

5-Becoming responsible- As a child, I was pretty much left to my own accord, but managed to always be responsible. I didn't go wild, but turned to my books and that one friend and made it through childhood without the usual experimental downfalls.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Interview with Aubrie Dionne

I'd like to present to you Aubrie Dionne, fiction writer.

Aubrie has been kind enough to donate a copy of her story Winter Queen from the Seasons of Fantasy Series. To qualify for this prize all you have to do is be a follower and make a comment. You have a week to do so. The winner will be picked in a random drawing and presented next Sunday, June 6th.

I have gotten to know Aubrie over the last few months. She's a great person and enjoys communicating with others. Don't be shy. I'm sure she'll be happy to answer any of your writing related questions.

When did you start writing?
I've been writing all my life. I started my first book in high school about a flutist that goes back in time and plays in a medieval court and falls in love with the prince. It was awful, and I'm glad I got that out of my system! I've been writing seriously (with the goal of getting an agent and getting published) for four or five years now.

Who has influenced you most in your writings?
The classics influenced me most in my writing. Especially the poem, "The Lady of Shalott" by Lord Tenneyson. I also loved Jane Eyre, and all the Jane Austen classics.

Also, I grew up watching Star Wars, Star Trek, Labyrinth, The Last Unicorn, all of those crazy 80's and 90's movies. They all have had a great influence on my writing, whether I like it or not!

What are your publications to date?

I have three books, one novella, five anthology stories, and numerous short stories. I'm so excited because after all of those years and all of that writing, my first print book just came out: The Voices of Ire. It's a young adult epic fantasy, and the first book I wrote when I considered writing seriously for publication. It's available in paperback on

You can read a full listing of my other works on my website:

Do you ever feel blocked? If so, what is your process of moving forward when feeling blocked?

I feel blocked almost every day! This happens when I'm not sure where to go next with the story or the characters. It helps me to take a walk, do the laundry, or do something to get away from it and let it stew in my head. When I come back, my vision clears.

What would you say to a beginning writer?

You have to keep writing everyday and find critique partners to read your work. Also, stay current on industry blogs and agent blogs. Read books on the craft of writing. My favorites are Donald Maass, The Fire in Fiction, and Stephen King, On Writing.

Would you like to tell us a little about the book you are currently working on?
I'm polishing up a novel about a woman stuck on a deep space transport vessel, destined for a paradise planet two hundred years away. It is set in a post-apocalyptic future where people must marry computer designed mates. Soon, I'm going to start querying agents!

BIO: Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Lyrical Press, SynergEbooks, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. Her epic fantasy, The Voices of Ire, is published in print by Wyvern Publications. Aubrie teaches flute at Plymouth State University and the Manchester Community Music School. Please visit her website:

the Artist's Way - Week Three - Day Six

Remembering your artist child.

List 5 traits you liked in yourself as a child.

1- Tendencies to explore - I loved going outside and wondering where ever the road would take me. I also enjoyed going to new places through my books.

2- Ease of play - As you grow older, playing is harder to do. My sister and I enjoyed weekly bike rides from our house to a nearby store for ice cream.

3- Curiosities of the unknown - I remember experimenting with Ouija. As an adult, I know this isn't the best form of connecting with the spirits, but it is proof that I have always been curious about the spiritual side of life.

4- Unconditional love - As a child, I loved everyone. There was no bad to see in another. As adults we are able to see more of another and find it hard to give unconditional love.

5- The ease of laughter - As a child, laughter was an easy thing to come by. The happiness of a child is a great quality that some of us lose as adults. Laughter is great medicine for the soul and should be found as often as possible.

Friday, May 28, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week Three - Day Five

Let's take a trip home.

Describe your childhood room. Colors, hanging pictures, stuffed animals, whatever comes to mind.

I shared a room with my sister. The walls were blue. What I most remember about the room is that I was such a neat person and she was such a messy person. The arguments got bad enough that eventually my parents put a wall up to divide the room in half.

I did get to move into my own room later, once my brother went away to college. But I think the best time were in that room with my sister, even if she threw her clothes all over the floor. :) It's funny how the times you felt were bad then can produce memories that you enjoy remembering.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week Three - Day Four

The question for today is:

If I’d had a perfect childhood, I’d grown up to be a ...

writer. I've always wanted to be a writer, even with my childhood. But, with the perfect childhood I would have made it to college, been able to have classes on creative writing and my progress would be further than it is at this time.

the Artist's Way - Week Three - Day Three

Sorry I'm late to post again.

Question for today is:

The best movie I saw as a kid was ...

Annie! This was my favorite movie for a few years as a child.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week Three - Day Two

Sorry about the late post.

The question for today is:

My favorite childhood game was ...

Mine was Candy Land, or would I have to say McDonald's. Yes, I must go with McDonald's. My brother would play with me. We had a little kitchen set up and we'd serve imaginary customers. It's odd what we do as children. Why would anyone want to work at McDonald's? Don't get me wrong I did work at Krystal's for three years. We all start somewhere, but to want this as a child, come on. I think the main attraction was this was the one place we went out to eat as children. So we associated it with being happy and by pretending we were a part of that happiness brought us joy.

I'm enjoying this. Bringing back old memories.

Monday, May 24, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week Three - Day One

Recovering a Sense of Power

We are taught to repress our anger because it is not a feeling that nice people reveal. We push it down and ignore the rage. Anger is a emotion that should be acted upon not acted out. Anger is there to be listened to. Anger produces actions and in turn produces reactions from the universe.

Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door shall open. Leap and a net will appear. There are no coincidences. We reach out; there is someone there to receive us.

When you watch a bad movie, and you become upset because you'd just wasted an hour or more, what better way to resolve your anger than to do exactly what you are thinking? "It was a good story line; they just did it all wrong. I could have done better than that." Well, what's stopping you? Do it!

(This is a good example for me. I do this all the time. After listening to this course, I started paying more attention. An earlier post: Where do ideas come from? This is a great source, bad movies, turn them into good books. Go ahead, you can do it.)

Shame and fear may also prevent an artist's actions. "What will they think of me and my work?" You cannot shield yourself from criticism but you can use it to your advantage. Some critiques will seek out to shame you. You must push those aside and only use the ones that will help you grow. You can usually hear the tone of the critique and know whether they are trying to be helpful or not.

Many artists begin a piece of work with no problem, but as they get close to completion they run into trouble. If they don't finish it, well no one will see it and no one will critique it. Don't let shame and fear stop you from accomplishing your dream.

Shame and fear are emotions that a child is not born with. They are taught by parents, teachers, older children to have these harmful attitudes. Let's spend this week restoring ourselves back to the child that we have abandoned along the way.

By priming our memory, we will allow ourselves to recall our authentic self and in turn become closer to being who we used to be. Don't worry we are going to have fun. :)

For Day One: Complete this sentence:

My favorite childhood story was ______.

Remember. Think about it. Why was it your favorite? Did you read it? Was it read to you? What emotions did the story produce?

You chose to share this with us or not. It's up to you. This week is important. The more we reconnect with our child, the easier it is to remember when we were not afraid and to reconnect with this moment.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Very Vampire May Giveaway

 This is an extreme giveaway. Top prize is a signed copy of Twilight, but that's not all. Among prizes are Bram Stoker's Dracula, Anne Rice: The Vampire Armand and more. Plus they are all signed!

Visit: for more information.

While you are there, gain me two additional entries by saying I sent you.

Finding Ideas

Every story begins with an idea.

Without ideas, there is nothing to create. So you may ask, where do you get ideas?

Ideas can be found everywhere. In the newspaper, magazine articles, in a picture (they are worth a thousand words right?), in your dreams, in a comment. The sources for ideas are endless.

Where do you get your ideas? It is a question that a writer encounters often. Curious minds want to know. I will share with you my most common practices for finding ideas.

Quick writes: Open a dictionary and randomly select three words. Begin writing focusing on these words.

Random sentence prompts: Open a book and let your finger fall upon a sentence. Start with this sentence and begin writing.

Daydreaming: Let your mind open up to possibilities. My latest short story idea was produced this way. I closed my eyes and saw a woman running, next thing I know she comes upon a body and sees the killer in the edge of the woods.

What if? Use newspapers or top news stories for this process. For example: two found dead in a half-burnt house. What if, neither of these people lived in this house?What if, the owner was gone on vacation? What if, one of the victims was someone who has been missing for ten years? You see how this goes. An idea is produced and all is needed is to dig the story from the remains.

So, I ask you, where do your ideas come from?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week Two - Day Seven

Your Identity

Every one of us has multiple identities: mother, teacher, writer, etc.

Write the phrase: "I am a ..." five times and complete the sentence.

Well, that's the end of Week Two. How do you all feel? I for one feel good about the direction the course is taking me. Hope you do to. Besides, aren't we having fun?

the Artist's Way - Week Two - Day Six

Ten tiny changes - Part 2

I'm sure you saw this coming. Pick one item from your list and at least start the change.

Tasks for the day: Morning Pages, Affirmations, and Tiny change

the Artist's Way - Week Two - Day Five

Ten tiny changes.

List ten changes you would like to make, from the significant to the smallest. Examples - get new sheets, paint the kitchen, go to China.

Don't forget to do your morning pages. :)

Note: This is for Saturday, but I wanted to get it posted before I forgot.

the Artist's Way - Week Two - Day Four

Life Pie - part two.

Today, spend at least an hour to make your life pie more balanced.

Is exercise low? Take a walk.

Romance adventure low? Well, use your imagination.

Spirituality low? Visit a church, meditate, or pray.

Work low? Get a job?

Play low? Go out on the town.

Friends low? Call your best friend and have a chat.

These are just some ideas to help balance your life out. Have fun with this.

the Artist's Way - Week Two - Day Three

Life Pie.

I don't even have to do this one to know I'm not balanced.

Draw a circle and divide it into 6 pieces. Label each as follows: Spirituality, Exercise, Work, Play, Friends, and Romance Adventure.

Place a dot in each piece at the degree to which you are fulfilled: In the outer rim for greatly fulfilled; close to the middle for not so fulfilled. Connect the dots from piece to piece. This will show where you are lopsided.

Let us know how you are doing on the other daily tasks, morning pages and affirmations.

Are we having fun yet?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week Two - Day Two

Let's reconnect with things we love. Life take takes us away from the things we enjoy. We get busy and forget.

List 20 things you enjoy doing.

Tasks for today: Morning pages, Affirmations, and Enjoyment List.

Monday, May 17, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week Two - Day One

Week Two - Recovering a Sense of Identity.

Doubt can cause an artist to lose themselves. It is important to avoid self-doubt, caused by both internal and external sources. Make a conscious effort this week to open your mind and to pay attention.

Choose companions who support you in your goal. Stay clear of other artist who are blocked and talk of how they can't seem to find time to create. You will use these companions as excuses for yourself not to do so.

Today let's start by finding where your time goes. List your 5 major activities this week. If you do not have a set routine, you may save this exercise for the end of the week. Who's using your time besides you?

Tasks for today: Morning pages, Affirmations, and Track your time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week One - Day Seven


Create something. This can be a story, a song, or even a cake - anything that involves creating. And it doesn't have to be your goal; you may choose something in the opposite direction. Painters write a poem, Writers draw a picture, and it doesn't have to turn out good. The important thing is to have fun. Your child will appreciate it.

Tasks for today: Morning Pages, Affirmations, and Create.

We come up on the end of week one, how is everyone feeling? Is your artist child happy? Do you feel more relaxed and open to your creative side?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week One - Day Six

A Gift.

Today, buy your artist child a gift. Writers purchase a notebook, painters - a sketch pad, musicians - music sheets, whatever your child desires.

Tasks for today: Morning pages, Affirmations, and a Gift.

Friday, May 14, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week One - Day Five

Finding Freedom.

If you could do anything today, what would you do? Do it.

Tasks for today: Morning pages, Affirmations, and Finding Freedom.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week One - Day Four

Artist Date.

Schedule a date with your artist. You should allow at least an hour for just the two of you. Do whatever: take a walk, take a virtual tour, or even go shopping. Enjoy yourself.

Tasks for today: Morning pages, Affirmations, and Artist Date.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week One - Day Three

Note: I've tested the scheduling of posts and for some reason its just not working. As I have to work the rest of the week, I will post this now. I'll continue to post each post the afternoon before the scheduled day. Look forward to comments to these exercises, but I do understand if you can't keep up daily. Pick the lessons you want to do and feel free to save some for later.

Imaginary Life.

If you had three more times to live, what would you do in each of them? Be creative: where would you live, who would accompany you in your new life, and what would you do during your days?

Tasks for today: Morning pages, Affirmations, and Imaginary Life.

the Artist's Way - Week One - Day Two

Notice: I had this scheduled to post this morning. I have no idea why it didn't. Sorry about the delay.

Time Travel.

Take out a piece of paper and write down three enemies of your creative self-worth. Your historic monsters are at the building blocks of your core negative beliefs. By recognizing these, it will make it easier to fight them off.

Now, list three old champions of your creative self-worth (parents, teachers, friends, authors). These will be the ones who have sent you seeking this dream. Take this as far back as you can remember. Claim them as your personal heroes and mentors.

Tasks for today: Morning pages, Affirmations, and Time travel.

Two days in, how are you feeling?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week One - Day One

Week One - Recovering a Sense of Safety

Most artists run into resistance when attempting to follow their artistic dreams. They are stirred toward shadow work, which is more stable. They end up working in the shadows of their true dream: teachers, newspaper directors, or even writing coaches. You must learn to nurture your artist child.

You must be willing to be a bad artist, to become a good artist.

Negativity can kill your artist child; you must protect him/her and shut out the negative energies around you. You’re not crazy to dream, but you may be scared to follow.

Affirmations will help you allow yourself to follow your dreams.

Pick an affirmation. Such as, ‘I am a great writer.’ Say or write this down ten times. You’ll hear your subconscious screaming negative thoughts. Write them down. These are blocking you. Change them to the positive. Do this each day after the morning pages.

Tasks for Day One: Morning pages: three pages of long hand stream of consciousness writing, and Affirmations.

You are welcome to post any tasks you wish or to comment on your progress. Each day I will post a new task for that day. Enjoy the journey.

Monday, May 10, 2010

the Artist's Way - Intro

This program is for writers, painters, sculptors, musician, or any other creative fields. I strongly recommend getting a copy of this to follow along. You will find much more than what you will find here. The book contains a number of exercises, more than can be covered in an actual week. What you find here will be a summary and the exercises I’ve picked to do during each week’s lessons.

The Basic Tools - these will be used throughout the twelve week process.

The Morning Pages - Once a day, sit down and write out three pages of your thoughts. There is no wrong or right way to do this. Fill your pages with whatever comes to mind. It is important to do this by hand. Rather you use a journal or spiral notebook or whatever, fill three pages. Morning is the best time, but some of us will find this impossible, so do this when you can, but try to do it once a day. These are to empty your logical mind and open your creative mind.

The Artist Date - Once a week, take some time to be by yourself. Go on a walk, visit a museum, or visit the park. The main purpose is to do this on your own, by yourself. Spending time alone with your creative child is essential to connecting with that child. (I plan to do these online. Take a tour of the Capital: Of Italy: The possibilities are endless.)

Filling the Well: Creating empties your well of creativity, it is important to replenish that source. Think magic, mystery, and discovery. Listen to music, experiment with incense, or even create a new dish for dinner. Also repetitive tasks can open your mind to creativity. Wash dishes, dust, or even clean the toilets. Any mindless activity can produce an opening for your creativity. Use the processes that work best for you and use them. Be sure to refill your pot with new material, or you will find it empty and you will find yourself blocked.

Exercises will be posted throughout each week. Each week will also have a basic focus. Week one's focus will be posted soon. Feel free to follow along and join in.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

the Artist's Way * A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

Do you feel blocked? Do you feel lost in your creativity? I will admit I don't feel blocked. I feel as if I'm lingering, perhaps wondering on the wrong side of creativity. The thoughts are there but something keeps me from putting it on paper.

If you are feeling lost in any way, this may be the path for you.

The Artist's Way is a twelve week program that aids you in connecting with your creative side and your spiritual side. Even if you are not a spiritual person, the lessons may be helpful to you.

I hope some will join me in this path. You may find it helpful to get a copy of this book. I borrowed the book on CD's from the library. I've listened all the way through and am intrigued enough to give it a shot. Also, you may visit to get a feel of what it is all about.

Look for my next post to get started. Feel free to do the exercises in the comments or leave comments on the exercises. Some may seem too personal to post, but I would still like to hear your thoughts on your progress and whether you feel a better connection with your creativity.

God Bless,
Cher Green

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Writer's Digest Contest

I knew Writer's Digest held contests but most I look into has a fee. I've found this and it looks to have no fees involved. I'm not sure if I'll have a chance to enter but here is the link for any who wish to.

Short Story - deadline May 10th.

First Line - deadline May 14th.

Good Luck!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The frustrations of learning HOW to Write

Most writers begin writing by writing. You sit down, press pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, and create. One after another, you produce short stories, poems, and chapters to a future novel. It begins as a simple enjoyable task.

Then it happens, you decide you want to be published. You grab as many how to books as they can find, search the web for advice, and study on how to write.

You sit down to write again and suddenly it's a complicated task. They draw out character sheets, plot out novel chapters, and determine goals and conflict to include in the story. Then with pen to paper, nothing comes. Slowly a word appears on the paper, then a sentence, and then a paragraph. The words flow once again.

It's time to send the piece out and a few months later it comes back rejected. After a few times of this, it's back to the how to books. Something's missing from your writing. You are doing something wrong. You read and read trying to figure out what's missing.

You sit down to try again, but suddenly you don't know where to begin. You have over analyzed the process and confused yourself with everyone's advice. This book said to plan it out, this one said to know beginning and end, and this one wants you to know your character from head to toe. Oh, and this one said you have to figure out your own process of writing. Confused as you are, no wonder the words aren't flowing as they used to.

Now what?

A writer must separate the tasks of writing. The right side of the brain controls your creativity. The left side controls logical choices and structuring of your work. You simply can't use both at the same time. Well, some may be able to. You must separate the two to get anywhere as a writer.

You have learned from your reading, whether you realize it or not. Your logical brain has pulled information from both the fiction and the how to books and stored it away. You are trying to use this information during the creative process and that is why you are confused. It simply doesn't work that way.

This is of course easier said than done for the beginning writer. My advice is to try a few different methods and eventually you will discover your path. The main thing is to remember creativity and structuring are not done at the same time. You must decide which side of the brain should go first.

Outline - Write - Edit - Rewrite
Write - Outline - Edit - Rewrite

You may find that you work best by writing one chapter, edit, revise, and write the next chapter. You may need to complete the whole novel before looking at it with your logical brain. You may need to outline the entire novel before beginning the creative process. Think back to when you first began writing. How did you do it then? The way you began is most likely the same way you should do it now.

I began by just sitting down and writing. I didn't think of how the story would end, that came at the end. I didn't chart out my character's likes and dislikes. Of course, back then I didn't know about editing and structure either. But still, I've come to the conclusion that this is where I need to go, back to the beginning. I've never wrote a short story knowing where it was going. The story grows as it will. Why would a novel be any different?

How did you begin? Is it similar to how you write now? I'd especially like to hear from you plotters. Have you always planned out your writing, even in the beginning?

Stephen King writes from beginning to end with no outlines to guide him. I'm sure you wonder how this is possible, especially with the larger books he produces. My guess is that he does do as he suggests and possibly jots downs notes at the end of each writing session to keep himself on track. Then when he's done and wrote the end, he kicks on the left brain and begins structuring the book. This is only a theory, only King knows his true process.
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