Muse Your Imagination

Saturday, December 16, 2006

What's Christmas All About, Charlie Brown?

Have a Charlie Brown Christmas!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Painting a Mona Lisa with Words

Don't you just hate trying to paint a Mona Lisa of who you are and what you do at 2:00 in the morning? The more you type, the more ignorant you become. The harder you try, the less you accomplish. In the midst of struggling to find the perfect visual, you experience a mental black hole.

So you backspace, delete, cut and paste. Hmmm. Nope. Still not right. You trash the whole thing and start over. Or click on Start, Turn Off Computer.Sound familiar? Good. I could use a little empathy. Or is that sympathy? Anyhow, I am delighted you stopped by. You are a welcome distraction.

I have been involved in marketing communications for 20+ years now. Longer really. But I figure you're a savvy person who knows how to add 2 + 2, which means you could come up with my age if I were to tell you the whole truth. So we're not going there. Back to why I'm here and what I do.

I am "one of those creative types." I suspect you are too or you wouldn't be here. You're looking to improve your writing, make a new friend, exchange ideas - or maybe you're looking to improve your life: make more money, get out of debt, send your kids to college, be successful (or more successful), buy some things you really want, bring in some extra cash, or travel the world.

Maybe you just need a break from that not-so-creative job you go to every day and you know there is more to life. You want to wake up every morning with that "I love my life!" enthusiasm. Me too. That's why I'm here. So maybe we can help each other.

I am a creative writer. I write for magazines, newspapers, an online ezine, newsletters and for a megachurch in South Florida where I am the Director of Marketing Communications. I contribute stories for the Chicken Soup book series. I also speak to groups on leadership and women's issues.

I am addicted to words and know the power they have. I can't stop reading, writing, surfing the net or talking. My pupils have become permanently dilated, and when they stare back at me in my bathroom mirror I could swear there's a Microsoft Windows logo imbedded in there.

I recently became part of an amazing online community after seeing its tag line: "Turning knowledge into power." I LOVE that, don't you? Turning knowledge into power. The more I thought about it, the more excited I became because that is precisely what I do for a living. I take someone's knowledge and passion about a subject, mix it up with my creative know-how, and together we paint a Mona Lisa that can help make that new life become a reality.

Turning knowledge into power. That's what I do. Wow! I'm pumped.

So here I am, sharing what I know, forming friendships and partnerships.So check out my blog here. If you're interested in being put on my ezine list, send me an email that says "Subscribe Me" in the subject line at

Now put down that paint brush for the night and catch some zzzzzz's. We have work to do 'cause Mona needs a new smile.

Friday, April 21, 2006

A golfer, a fisherman and a mommy

What do passionate golfers, fanatical fishermen, shop-a-holics, racing fans, movie buffs, scrapbookers, avid readers, coin collectors, grandparents, college students, mothers of toddlers, stock brokers, personal trainers, car mechanics, financial planners, netpreneurs and EFS-ers all have in common?

They each have a LOT to talk about. So do you. Everyone has a lot to say but not everyone is comfortable saying it, especially on the internet.

I have such a need to talk and write that I am guilty of forgetting that many folks are more than a little uncomfortable with stepping out and chatting online - whether it's in a blog, a profile, or in the conference room chats.

My guess is that you can sit down and talk a blue streak with a good friend. You have no problem comparing handicaps with your golf buddies or discussing the last big game you saw. And you moms, I know you love to share stories about the latest brilliant thing your child learned to do. Or you car mechanics have a lot to say about computerization of auto repairs. So why is it almost painful to type a paragraph or two about something you know really well and put it on a mysterious thing called a blog?

Perhaps it's the thought of people you don't know catching a glimpse of who you are. Or maybe you think you're not a great writer and you want whatever you post to be perfect. So you keep editing it - but it never is finished. Or maybe you just can't land on exactly what it is you want to write about.

Let's think about that for a moment.

The first experience I had with a chat room conference was when I went back to college in my "old age." Let me tell you, if you want to feel out of place, go to school with young people who look at you like you've got two heads when you tell them you're not the instructor! Not only did I go back to school, but I took classes online. Now THAT's an experience to write about.

It's not easy having daily online conversations - which make up 30% of your grade - with strangers who are stunned to discover that Paul McCartney started his career in a band called the Beatles, or that most of today's movies are the third remake of a really old movie, or that the Vietnam War is not ancient history.

(And if you are shocked at these revelations, I apologize right now for having two heads.)

Every night I had to sit down in front of my computer screen and find a discussion question assigned by the professor. Then I had to read the comments of three students and respond to each of their thoughts.

I thought I would die. Or at least withdraw from class.

But I didn't do either. I MADE myself write those responses. I had something to gain: Knowledge and a grade. The first few times I did it I sat for hours trying to think of the perfect thing to say to sound brilliant and impressive.

That didn't work. Then I finally got it. It wasn't about sounding brilliant, it was about sounding interested in the discussion and in what my peers had to say. After a couple of weeks I was having a ball in that chat room and I loved seeing what everyone had to say.

Did I worry about being critiqued? Yup. Never stopped, although I didn't panic about it any longer. And I did quit worrying about sounding perfect. I discovered that once I let my guard down a bit it was pretty easy to just talk about what I had learned in a way that my peers could understand.

That's all a blog is - a place to talk online about something you already know in a way that others can understand. Let your personality shine through - don't try to sound different than you are. And pass along some helpful information or tips.

A great trick for getting started is to read an article about something you already know and enjoy - get the creative juices going. Then rewrite it in your own words, adding your own experiences and helpful hints.

Voila! You have your first blog article - and a totally unique one. Each one after that will get easier. Soon you won't need to figure out what to write about - you'll have more ideas than time!

So give it a try. Don't try to write a Pulitzer Prize winning book. Just think about what you know that might help anyone reading your blog. Start writing it down as if you were talking to a friend you've known for years. Then set it aside for a while - even a day. Read it over just to give yourself that mental "good job" pat on the back.

Believe me when I tell you, you may have the perfect solution to someone's problem. Don't keep it to yourself. Post it to your blog.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Beauty of Today

Crystal blue waters and a sky that proclaims infinity. A caressing breeze that awakens your soul. The gentle massage of squishy warm sand between your toes. Scattered seagulls reminding the occasional passerby not to stay too long while the rolling waves remind us that this is their home.

South Florida on a perfect Easter morning.

As the sun came up, early risers walked the beach in quiet reverence as they absorbed as much of the wonderous splendor of nature as their senses would allow.

Groups of worshipers stood in the sand singing to their risen King on this Easter Sunday.

Then there was the occasional beach chair holding one solitary human being, mezmerized by the complex simplicity of the life around him.

I don't know if this is a religious holiday for you or not. If it is, I pray blessings upon you and your loved ones on this pinnacle day of your faith.

If it is not and you just want to enjoy the life you have been given, I wish you peace, contentment and a day of great pleasure in the reality that you are alive.

I wish for each of you a profound awareness of the beauty that can be found in nature and relationships no matter what life issues you may be facing.

I pray that today you will remember or discover the value of who you are and the privilege it is to awaken each morning with the opportunity to overcome your past, to begin anew your present and to walk with hope into a wonderous future.

This day will only happen once in your life. Have fun with it, roll around in it, laugh until your insides ache. Tell someone you love how special they are. Forgive someone you're angry with. Whatever you do, don't miss out on the beauty of today.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

So what happened with the panther, the cricket and the tulip? I know it must have been fun to write for that five minute segment!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Writing Prompt - Fiction

So how did you fare with your journaling assignment?

I'm curious, which assignment inspired you more? Personally, I love to do both types of thinking - introspective and creative flights of fancy. Right now I'm working on a novel as well as an e-book. They're both very different in content but require the same amount of creative thinking - and planning. The act of writing is, for me, a creative brain dump. I have so much going on in my head that I have to "put it on paper" in order to sort it out. If you're like me, your paper is your computer most of the time. But I also carry a notebook with me for those moments of inspiration.

As a writer, you too probably have more ideas than you have time to figure out what to do with them. That's a great thing! But it can also keep you from being focused and will send you into the black hole of writer's block. It's not that you can't write, you just don't know WHAT to write so you don't write at all. Then your mind starts beating you up and suddenly you wonder how you could have believed you had the ability to write in the first place! That's how it works with me.

That's why MuseFlash! was created - to keep you thinking, planning and on-track. So here's today's writing prompt. Remember, use the three words in the first sentence and write for five minutes. Don't edit. Don't think about sentence structure. Don't rewrite. Just do a creative brain dump! Ready?


PS - For tomorrow I have somthing a bit different planned!Stay tuned...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Writing Prompt - Nonfiction

How did you do with the warlock, the riverboat and the coin?

Did you write for five minutes? Did you write longer than that? Perhaps you finished a complete article or short story that could be edited and sold to a magazine. Then again maybe you just discovered that you are totally creative when you're free to just write. Whatever the case, I hope you enjoyed your warlock adventure.

Today's writing prompt is more introspective journaling. Use the following three words and spend five minutes writing how you feel about whatever it is these three words conjure up in your head. Remember, use all three words in the very first sentence. Ready?