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A Watermelon for God

I’m hijacking my own blog! Instead of creative writing, we’re doing some creative life-ing.

The Background:

My whole life, I wanted to be an actor. It defined me. It gave shape to my life and context to my actions. I pursued it with a laser focus: got a BFA in theatre performance and lived in Los Angeles for a number of years.

Then, one day, I decided to leave. And I intentionally took my hands off the reins of my own life.

It’s almost three years later, and the ride has been great - but I’m ready to take those reins back.

The Big Problem: I have no idea what I want.

The Experiment:

For the month of December, I will follow a routine. This routine will be a mixture of:
- cultivating gratitude
- making wishes and asking for signs
- experiencing delight
- being with the broad strokes of what I know I love

The Anticipated Result:

At the end of this month, I will know what I want.

The Foundation:

I believe that the Universe is a living, responsive thing that I am part of in every way possible. I find the teachings of Abraham-Hicks to feel particularly true for me as far as big picture, what-am-I-doing-here kinds of questions.

I also believe in the Law of Attraction, which the movies The Secret and What the Bleep Do We Know? explore. The Law of Attraction basically states that thoughts and emotions have the power to affect physical reality.

Based on these principles, I will perform the following routine:

1. cultivating gratitude - Every morning, I will make a list of 10 things I am grateful for. Based on what I've read, gratitude is one of the most powerful emotional states we can be in. (I will post this list on here.)

2. making wishes - From that powerful emotional state, I will make a wish: to know what I want.

3. asking for signs - As a sign that this whole crazy mess works and that I've been heard, I will ask for a sign. This sign will be so strange that there will be no way its appearance could be a coincidence. (For example, two days ago I was practicing this whole thing, giving it a little dry run, and I asked the Universe for a watermelon as a sign. Two hours later I was walking past a used bookstore and saw the book pictured above.) Whenever possible I will photograph these signs as they appear and post them here.

4. experiencing delight - At some point throughout the day, I will do something that makes me feel good. I will record what that was when I post in the evening.

5. being with the broad strokes of what I know I love - At another unnamed point in my day, I will take a thought/concept/experience from my past that I know I love (example: travel) and hold that thought for 17 seconds. Again, based on what I've read, 17 seconds is somehow a magical length of time. My intention with this is to help the Universe - if it's going to tell me what I want, then the least I can do is tell it what I like.

See you tomorrow morning...when this whole thing starts!

Creative Writing Assignment: National Novel Writing Month

That's all. :)

A Change of Pace


National Novel Writing Month has sucked all my creative juices for the past few weeks. I am 3 days and a little under 10,000 words away from the finish line. So I haven't been blogging...

...but I HAVE been cooking up something new in the spaces of my brain not consumed by work, or novel, or life.

Starting December 1st, I'm going to kick off a month-long life experiment geared towards answering the following question:
What do I want?

If you know me, you won't be surprised to hear that there are rules, lists, and routines involved. I'm really excited about going on this journey, and hoping you'll come with me! Stay tuned.

In the meantime, you can follow my NaNoWriMo progress here.

Also, I splurged a bit this week and re-bought a copy of Garrison Keillor's excellent Good Poems which I lost in the cross-country move. Since I'm too NaNoWriMo'd out to bring you any of my usual bits, here is one of my (and Garrison's) favorites:

where we are

Gerald Locklin

i envy those
who live in two places:
new york, say, and london;
wales and spain;
l.a. and paris;
hawaii and switzerland.

there is always the anticipation
of the change, the chance that what is wrong
is the result of where you are. i have
always loved both the freshness of
arriving and the relief of leaving. with
two homes every move would be a homecoming.
i am not even considering the weather, hot
or cold, dry or wet: i am talking about hope.

Bad Poetry

I am amazed to find that writing more (National Novel Writing Month) leads to writing more. I don't usually title my (bad) poems, but I think this one's called The Weight.

When you carry things
that you need –
a sleeping bag
a good book
a gift
The weight is okay. The pulling swaying shoulder-crushing are like friendly whispered secrets.

But when you carry things
that you don’t need –
a laptop
someone else’s trash
The weight is so much heavier.

Where is the incentive to keep your body under it?
Much rather shake it off, like a dog shakes water
And dance the ache out of tired muscles
And leave it in the road.


The feeling of the change of seasons from summer into fall feels like it should be a sad memory—for whatever reason, that nip in the air and the sudden dark after 6:30 connects directly with my gut and turns my head—makes me stop—as if I’m remembering something with nostalgia. It’s not that fall reminds me of anything in stirs up generic kind of fallen-leaves-warm-fire-frost-on-grass-in-mornings kinds of pictures in my’s not that my head or heart are remembering something that happened to me.

It occurred to me today that it may be that my body is remembering something… something cyclical, like the feeling you get on a particularly fast ferris wheel at the bottom, where all your weight drops down, just before the momentum carries you up again. Being in the Northeast (the home of "real weather", I've decided) has been funny that way, to experience my body reconnecting with the change of seasons. Maybe that’s part of what was so hard about LA, and why I lost patience so fast: it felt like one extended, dirty summer, one long season stretched out for 3 ½ years. Now, here, my body remembers what it’s like to be reminded—by the air, by the light—that we are in perpetual motion. But not a straight line with a single point of origin and one inevitable destination; a circle. Literally a circle, as we orbit the sun, but also a circle in time, as we return to this place in the seasons over and over again. It’s my body remembering the passage of time that feels like nostalgia. Reminding me that the skin that touches this newly-crisp air is older this time.