Thursday, October 25, 2007

Most of the time, the news is depressing. Downright dark. But once in awhile you stumble across an article that may not exactly renew your faith in humanity, but it sure makes you laugh:

CANBERRA (Reuters) - An Australian barmaid has been fined for crushing beer cans between her bare breasts while an off-duty colleague has been fined for hanging spoons from her friend's
nipples, police said Wednesday. Police in Western Australia said the 31-year old barmaid pleaded guilty in the local magistrate's court to twice exposing her breasts to patrons at the Premier Hotel in Pinjarra, south of the state capital, Perth.

The woman "is alleged to have also crushed beer cans between her breasts during one of the offences," in breach of hotel licensing laws, police from the Peel district of Western Australia said in a statement.

The barmaid and the hotel manager were both fined A$1,000 ($900), while an off-duty barmaid was fined A$500 for helping to hang spoons from the woman's nipples, police said.

"It sends a clear message to all licensees in Peel that we will not tolerate this type of behavior in our licensed premises," local police superintendent David Parkinson said.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Subscribe. Submit. S..enjoy

Some of you may know about the Write Free E-letter that Rebecca Lawton and I edit and put out 10 months a year. If you don't, it's based on the concepts of our book by the same title, Write Free: Attracting the Creative Life, which can be pre-ordered now by visiting the Write Free website. Simply put, we offer insights, activities, interviews and resources to help you attract and create the perfect creative life for you.

To make sure that as many people have access to this information as possible, we've now made the E-Letter FREE as well. To Subscribe, follow THIS LINK. And if you should need to, unsubscribing is as simple as the click of a button.

In the E-letter we have a feature that we'd like to see more submissions for called Your Turn. Read the details below, and then, please, submit!

After the carefree joy of summer, autumnal responsibilities have pushed our Your Turn judging out another month. In November, as promised, Arthur Dawson of Kulupi Publishing/Beija Flor Books (publisher of the upcoming Write Free, the book) will be our guest judge. Arthur will select an essay to be featured in the next newsletter. This month, we pulled one out of the stores that we enjoyed the first time we read it on the theme of Rebirth.

For November, we're asking for your 300-word contributions written on the theme of Calibration-the way in which you take stock of your life, assess your creativity, and measure your happiness. Fall is a time of reflection, a time of asking what you want for yourself, and digging within to harvest your precious resources. If you've already created a short essay on this theme, dust it off and send it in. Or, if you'd like to exercise your writing muscles by coming up with something new, write a piece of 300 words or less and email your submission to us at guides(at)writefree(dot)us by November 1st.

If you'd like writing prompts to get you started, you can use either of these:
The way I assess my happiness is . . .
Creativity requires calibration because . . .

Or answer these questions:
How do I chart my progress as a writer?
If I didn't take stock of where I am, how would I know where to go?

The winning entry will be published in the November 15th issue of the newsletter. You have until November 1st to email your piece to Hope to read you soon!

Judge bio: Arthur Dawson lives with his family near Jack London's Beauty Ranch in the Valley of the Moon. He works in several realms: as historical ecologist at the Sonoma Ecology Center, as poet/teacher with California Poets in the Schools, and as the publisher of Kulupi Press, dedicated to "Publications with a sense of place." His award-winning poetry and prose have appeared in local, regional, and national publications, including Travelers Tales and the Chicken Soup series. Saying this Place Right, a chapbook of his poems, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2005. Arthur is also the author of a Sonoma County bestseller, The Stories Behind Sonoma Valley Place Names, and several other books.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

After nearly six years of writing freelance articles my essential pattern has not changed and it continues to make me scratch my head.

Excitement at getting the assignment.
A sense of vast leisure about getting the thing done. No need to start today!
Dread at the encroaching deadline followed by further procrastination
Terror. When did the deadline get so CLOSE?
Utter panic and manic energy to finish the article.
Sweet blissful endorphin rush when said article is done.
A desire, nay, a craving to do it all over again.


Monday, October 15, 2007

I am not sure why this is, but ever since childhood it has been clear to me that rain cannot merely be watched through a dry window. It must be touched, tasted, smelled.

Sometimes big things go on in your life that you decide should not be discussed at large on your public blog, and so, as a result, you find that you must instead blog about the smaller, more meaningless, and sometimes trivial aspects of your life instead.

Which is my long-winded way of apologizing for being boring.

* * *
About a week ago I visited a pet cemetery for an article I'm writing. Not some off-the-side-of-the-road little shrine where people furtively bury their pets by torchlight at night. No, a fully fledged plot for our creature companions with headstones and flowers and a lovingly tended lawn. People who love pets too much often get a bad rap. Anyone who does more than feed, shelter and walk their animal risks the chance of falling into the category of "eccentric" and possibly even "crazy." And like anything, there are certainly people who take it farther than the rest of us (doggie hotels; acupuncture treatments; gourmet meals). But what I've learned through the loss of some beloved pets myself, one still fresh in my heart, is that the heart does not differentiate between love for a human and love for an animal. And if a person is lonely and finds solace in a dog or a cat, or even a ferret, for that matter, should we begrudge them this source of comfort? I don't think so. Not at all.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Don't cross me this week. My moods are dangerous. I'm noticing a tremendous intolerance for petty details and menial conversation. I wish I was warmer and fuzzier but this is just the way it is right now.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It feels more like fall every day, and I am going more and more internal. In lieu of my own words, therefore, I'll try to give you meaningful words of others.

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
--Joseph Campbell

"Things do not change, we change."
--Henry David Thoreau

Hope you're all meeting the season with a sense of comfort and reflection, as well.