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Writer’s Retreat . . . in Florence, Italy! September 16, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Writing & Writers.
40 comments

Julie Hedlund is running a Writer’s Retreat in Florence, Italy . . . and YOU are invited.

Unless you are man.

Writer’s Renaissance is for women ~ especially women who love gelato . . . wine . . . pasta . . . and traveling to exotic ports of call.

Writer’s Renaissance, scheduled for April 7 – 13, 2013, includes:

  • Six nights accommodation at the beautiful Antica Torre Tornabuoni
  • Welcome Reception on Hotel Terrace
  • Two meals per day – Breakfast + Dinner
  • Writing inspiration and exercises with Faculty
  • All Program activities, including any entrance fees
  • An excursion to the gorgeous Badia a Coltibuono, a cooking class, wine tasting, and celebratory dinner
  • Plenty of “white space” (free time) for you to write, explore the city, visit museums or just rest
  • All included hotel amenities and services

For more details on the Writer’s Renaissance, visit Julie’s website.

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Quote to Ponder:  Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money. ~ Jules Renard

Rolling Round Corners & Corridors September 16, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Mindfulness.
26 comments

Pluto-RollerskatingIn the blogosphere, articles come and go at a rapid clip.

Some stay with us longer than others . . .

Rolling round the corners and corridors of our minds as we attempt to make sense of the non-sensical.

Some recent examples:

* A month ago, PiP (Piglet in Portugal), responded to a photo challenge by asking, Is Bullfighting “Wrong”?   Responses varied across the board ~ some defending tradition, others defending the bulls.  Seeing red, and refusing to sidestep the issue, I charged full speed ahead:

“Bullfighting is neither ART nor SPORT . . . it is IGNORANCE in action.”

Wikipedia ~ Bull Fighting (in Public Domain)

I stand by what I said . . . and would extend the same sentiment to Cock-Fighting, Bear-Baiting, Dog-Fighting, Canned Shoots, Rodeos, Circuses, and more than a few Zoos.

* Months ago, Renee (Life in the Boomer Lane) posted an eye-opening, blood-boiling,  wallet-closing article from Ed at www.ginandtacos.com ~  Komen Foundation: Race for the Consumer.   I agreed with and applauded the sentiments expressed:

clap * claP * clAP * cLAP * CLAP –> wild applause

As Ed pointed out, with finesse, non-profits often use the “cause of the day” to advance their own agendas and pad their own pockets.

“[M]any organizations . . . use the funds they raise primarily to raise more funds and pay handsome salaries to the administrators and their talentless family members.” 

The Susan G. Komen Foundation is “a fake charity run like any other company with a product to sell. In this case the product is a combination of guilt, pity, and hope dissolved in a weak acid and dyed a nauseating pink.”  

Caveat Emptor.

* How do we KNOW the unknowable?  By tapping into our intuition . . . our sixth sense.  When we circumvent reason and logic (and tell Ego to shut up), we tune into the Universal Internet and can read each other’s minds via “the collective consciousness.”  Or so say I.

Animals do it all the time:  Dog is home alone. No distractions. It tunes into its owner’s mind and “sees” owner on the way home. It waits by the door, tail wagging.  To read more, visit Colonialist:  Pets Give Proof of Telepathy?

* Kate’s wanders cause us to wonder and ponder.  One that stayed with me, A Psycho in Chaucer’s Canterbury, focuses on the little used, frowned upon lexicon entry ~ psychogeography.  In Kate’s words:

I am in leurve with a word which, it is possible, does not even properly exist: a beatnik-word, a shady semi-respectable possibility.

I stumbled across psychogeography as I was searching vainly for the source history of the strangest piece of street furniture. I had entered: “Canterbury wooden demons Mercer Street.”

* * * * *

Which brings me to psychogeography: a word the dictionaries seem to shun, the urban dictionaries mistrust. Wikipedia, that strumpet, will talk about anything, but even it insists that its entry needs to be re-written completely to comply with its free-for-all standards.

* * * * *

And what an environment Canterbury has set: a place designed to awe and cow pilgrims in equal measure, to stun with towering architecture, to crowd with overhanging buildings, to instill fear and superstition with those grotesques and carvings which people the city.

It is as if someone thought: how shall we best get money out of those trusting pilgrims to Canterbury?

And then , they built it.

Kate’s Canterbury Tale exemplifies how “we shape our environment . . . and then our environment shapes us.”

Perhaps the Komen Foundation took its cue from the Canterbury Tales?

* As Don (Candid Impressions) recognizes in Perceiving the Whole, when we can’t see the forest for the trees, it’s time to take a giant step back so we can view the big picture:

The great masters of life teach us not to see in an isolated way. They call on us to see things as a whole, not as fragments, but in context. Seeing in this way enables us to truly grasp the full implications of what we do and what we decide upon. All things are mysteriously connected at a level we have not yet even begun to grasp. Only this kind of perception awakens a true compassion and a true ethic for life.

When we perceive the connection, “us” and “them” fades away to become a more unified “we.”

* Life’s curveballs often are both beyond our ken . . . and outside our control.  Kathy (Pocket Perspectives) creates visual reminders that  we can change our lives by changing the thoughts we think.

When I replied to her post, Brainstorming Strategy Charts for Opening Up To and Creating a Good Outcome, Kathy incorporated my thoughts into a new page:

How’s that for going with the flow . . . as the path unfolds before us?

* With practice, we can control how we relate to the challenges tossed our way.  This week, Joss (Crowing Crone) shared a powerful post, Facing the Moment, which included a link to A Leaf in Springtime ~ a breast cancer survivor who is an inspiring example of how to transform life’s  challenges into Life Lessons:

2. Some parties are not worth attending. Especially the pity-parties where we indulge and celebrate ourselves. Stop pulling out your favourite chair to watch re-runs of your life.

3. Once in a while it is useful to stop and ask oneself this question – “What if I am wrong?”

7. The surest way to know what kind of person you are becoming is to watch what things you are feeding your mind, your eyes, your ears and what kind of speech filters from your mouth.

11.The single most powerful thing on earth is the power to choose a thought, a response, a habit, a life.

17. One of our greatest failures is making ourselves victims of the failures of others.

18. If life is a gift, then the simple act of chopping tomatoes, brewing a cup of tea, even getting down on my knees to clean is a sacred act of service I can render.

22. Stop. Wait. Rest. Listen. Sometimes that is the best kind of doing.

Yes!  Exactly.

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Don’t just do something . . . sit there.

Aah . . . that’s better!