Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Guest Blogs’ Category

Displaying IMG_20170503_144600425.jpg

I am warming up for my own words, so I will start with a few of the things getting me to them. I did my water color practice this morning and many other students finished up with well-represented fruit images of even impossible things like artichokes, but me, no I am still on apples and bananas. And I will revisit this to play with the smudgy shadow and add other colors into it and lift what I don’t like and a few other things and stay at it.

Two things keep me motivated. The young male instructor lives his passion for art by teaching all the art classes offered at the senior center, including drawing, mosaic, pottery, and more that I don’t know about. And the other thing is he said we are doing nudes in the final class next week.  I’m on board. But I don’t think he was serious.

Also, I am going to write another person’s words here and then just get on with my business of writing.

Writing Advice from Lydia Millet

https://booklife.com/create/writing/0/20/2015

Lydia Millet was a Pulitzer finalist for her book Love in Infant Monkeys, and Publisher’s Weekly called her novel Mermaids in Paradise “a thrilling piece of fabulist fiction.

These tips are aimed at bucking the limits imposed by time as well as mental space.   (I will fill in #5 and just list the others.

  1. Quantity before quality. Today is the day for production.  Put words on paper. Later, clarity can be achieved.

2.  Bore not thyself. That rain of sludge may not be your finest hour. Yes, you need to put words on the page, but to qualify for the page those words must always interest you.  Delete-delete-delete, all the way back to the very line where last you cared.

3. Suffer the fools gladly. And by fools, I just mean other people.

4. Prefer the new.  I try to write the story I wish to read. I am most inspired when I suspect that what precisely I have in mind to make does not already exist and this is the sole reason for the bother of its present creation. Your hand should be a hand that trembles to make the new.

5. Seek to be licked by holy fire. Of course, I use the terms “holy” and “fire” fairly loosely. One man’s holy is another woman’s sublime. If you’re doing creative work, that work should never feel trivial.  If you’re going to do a thing, do it fully, so that no writing you give the world misrepresents you — so that nothing you put out there is like a sad regift you couldn’t throw away and had to find a place for.

(and here’s the part I REALLY like!)

I advise, if you’re stymied by a passage or paragraph or plot point — whether it’s for an assignment from the outside world or one that comes only from within – get up from wherever you’re sitting, walk outdoors, and do nothing but look at the sky for five minutes. Just stare at that thing. Then execute a small bow and go back in.

You’re welcome from Napkinwriter.

Read Full Post »

No Repro Fee: Seanchai Batt Burns brushing up on a story with his grand daughters Aisling and Laoise Burns ahead of the Sneem International Storytelling & Folklore festival which will take place in Sneem, Co. Kerry from 8th-10th November. Details on http://www.sneemstorytellingfestival.com. Credit: Dominick Walsh Photography

 

 

An article that came to me by way of Lora O’Brien, an Irish lass, author, mentor and personal guide for the green island of Ireland.  Napkinwriter corresponds with her occasionally and is inspired by her lifestyle of living according to her artistic roots in the home she loves well and wants to share with others.  O’Brien writes of the depth of Irish history, mystery, lore and mysticism of ancient pagan tales of the land.

You can see a wee glimpse of this on her website:   www.loraobrien.net 

Below is guest blog about Irish storytelling, by writer Sophie Gorman.

Photo caption:  Once upon a time… Storyteller Batt Burns reads to his granddaughters Aisling and Laoise. Dominick Walsh

Celebrating the Irish tradition of storytelling

By Sophie Gorman, Arts Editor, The Irish Independent

November 9 2013 1:00 AM

‘I don’t think you need to have been born into storytelling or need to be a natural actor. I think most people can learn how to tell a good story,” so says Batt Burns, eminent seanchai and chairman of the Sneem Storytelling Festival, which takes place in the south Kerry town this weekend.

Sneem has a rich storytelling heritage. For much of his childhood, Batt Burns lived a few miles outside Sneem with his grandfather in a “rambling house where every Sunday night local musicians, yarnspinners, singers and dancers would be invited to come along for an evening of fun and entertainment”.

“My grandfather was a traditional farmer, but he had the gift of storytelling. He was a product of the old seanchai tradition of the Iveragh peninsula here in Kerry, and growing up with him sparked an interest in it myself.”

“There was quite the community of storytellers when I was growing up. The art was alive, more so in the pubs, short humorous tales told over a pint. My dad was the village butcher and he had a man who would come in to help him out with work who was one of the best story tellers that I had ever known, even better than my grandfather. The gift that he had was that he wasn’t regurgitating old stories, he was able to compose on the spot, a tremendous gift for a man who wasn’t able to read or write.”

Batt’s own storytelling happened almost by accident. In his teens, he would go to parties but didn’t sing or dance or play the spoons. So he began telling traditional stories. And Batt has a softly lilting Kerry brogue that seems made for stories.

“I remember a piece by Brendan Kennelly comparing storytelling to a blackbird singing his song in springtime. He, the blackbird, puts so much effort into his song that he ends up becoming the song, and the storyteller puts everything into the story that they and the whole room disappear into the story.”

An Irish celebration was enjoyed here in Lexington Kentucky with Irish food, games, festivities and a company of high performance Irish dance teams.

Read Full Post »

 

 TIME IN A BOTTLE

Title from the song by Jim Croce ….. Guest Post from Alan Cohen, A Course in Miracles Made Easy

Note from Napkinwriter: (I am asking myself these questions, the answers are appearing.)

“What would you do if you had more time? What would you do if you had less time? What would you do if you had no time? How would your life be different if time were not a factor?

Time, invisible yet apparently rock solid, exerts silent dominion over our lives.

The purpose of time is to enable you to learn how to use time constructively.

What is the purpose of our day?

Is it to savor connection, express creativity and celebrate blessings?

If you were to leave this world now, would you be satisfied with how you have spent your time?

If not, what would make your remaining time here more meaningful?

Likewise, at the end of each day, conduct an honest introspection about what you did with your time today.

What would you do differently tomorrow to make your precious time count?

“We ask for long life, but ‘tis deep life, or grand moments, that signify. Let the measure of time be spiritual, not mechanical.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

To the ego, time is a relentless taskmaster. To the Spirit, time is our friend, calling us to receive the gift every moment offers.

PORTALS….

*A heavenly moment, even while you walk the earth, is a portal to eternity. Each day seek and find as many portals to eternity as you can. Any moment in which you feel peace or joy is a portal to eternity, because the hallmark of eternity is well-being.   Go to the place in consciousness where the success you seek is already accomplished, (BFTTQ) and you will HASTEN its demonstration in time.

All the good you seek is ALREADY HERE. It’s not about time.  It’s about TIMLESSNESS.”

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

I feel a nap coming on, so I revert to a post I made five years ago. Today, it is the same, however Tom and I just returned from Panera’s where we enjoyed the comfort food of soup and a pumpkin muffin.  We will enjoy our rest this afternoon.

Winter Warmth

It may not be a good sign that the first four photos I’ve put in my blog picture gallery are images of comfort food! Even my computer is (patched together albeit) exceptionally s-l-o-w, as I begin this day which is predicted to deliver our first major storm of this winter season. Only the second snowfall of any accumulation at mid-date of January, it seems the snow may come anytime now. Today, Friday the 13th would be a great delivery date.

I say this, only because I do not have to go out in it. Tom will soon be returning from an early morning doctor appointment and after I fix him a hot breakfast, I plan to put some order and design in my creative room, waiting patiently for a little attention.

After the snow accumulates, we have the perfect backyard hill for Amy to come over and do her favorite snow activity — sledding and going fast.

Which brings me to hot chocolate. That’s what we will fix when we return inside, complete with large size gooey marshmellows and all. Actually Amy likes to help me fix it, but then she prefers to drink her apple juice.

I, on the other hand, would like nothing better than a cup of hot chocolate that tasted like it did when I was a frosty-nose, ice frozen kid thawing from the inside out after a long romp in the snow. But I can’t get it. It is one of the three foods/drinks I don’t think can possibly taste as good as they as they did when my mother made them for me.

And the best of all oatmeal treats was the oatmeal mom made on the wood stove on the old farm in Wisconsin. On the “Make Three Wishes” list, that would be one — to eat, just one more time, oatmeal that tasted like it came from mom and the wood stove.  And our afternoon cocoa, simmering with a thin milk film you’d skim from the top.

Now a perfect day would be topped off with mom’s baked macaroni and cheese casserole — milky, creamy smooth and I was always ready to beat out my brothers in portion size. I saw a Martha Stewart picture and recipe of old fashioned macaroni and cheese, but I think it might be a very cold day in …….somewhere else…..before I’d go through the toil and trouble to produce it

Some may suggest that my nostalgia has affected my taste buds and that there really is no difference. I will step up to the blind-folded taste test and be able to tell the difference.

The difference is they all used to taste……well, better.

Read Full Post »

donna-knutson-91-year-old-motherMother Evie and Donna Knutson

I gift my friends and readers today with this guest blog. It was actually an entry Donna made on her Facebook page.  When I read it, I paused in appreciation, both of the photo and the text of this story and the beauty of this encounter between mother and daughter.  Napkinwriter

b-as-in-butterfly

From Donna:   News on Grandma Evie… grandchildren , nieces, nephews and friends who love my 91 year old mom up in Fargo:

So I said to my mom, ” I brought pizza and we are going to try selfies!” which makes her laugh. Then I asked her what was beautiful to her in the world. She talks about her favorite nurse at Bethany Retirement Living. How Gail puts the craziest nail polish on her nails, and tells her about her five dogs, how she stays with her until her pain level gets better again. Gail brushes her 17 year old cat, Timmy.

 

She wants to know if I’m talking about beautiful faces and I say, “well it’s kind of like that, but you can see their soul shining out. That special place of knowing something about another person that you see within yourself, and you want to be near it.”

 

We start talking about Audrey Hepburn, and Katherine Hepburn and all the dance movies we grew up watching together. And how women are still moving through barriers…and she looks at me and smiles, ” And you’re going to be a minister.” and I laugh and say, ” Mom, God knew I was always going to be a minister, it just took me a while to catch up !” and she laughs…and then she says,”That’s pretty beautiful !” and I smile, and heal a bit deeper inside of me.

 

The last thing she tells me before I leave is that someday she is not going to be in pain anymore and that will be alright with her. And, I say, that will be alright with me too, Mom.
Beauty,
Donna

b-is-for-butterfly

dementia

Read Full Post »

beautiful-moon

Napkinwriter is wishing my readers, family members and friends NEWNESS in your day……exciting STARTS in creativity, spirituality, kindness and wondrous living in your lives and in our world.   PEACE BE in 2017.

 

“Start Close In”
by David Whyte

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step you don’t want to take.

Read Full Post »

beverly-lanzetta,

 

Guest blog from Beverly Lanzetta

 

Howard Thurman: A Christmas Poem

December 21

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart.

~Howard Thurman, cited in “Black Fire: African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »