Apr 222017

There’s nothing like a change of scene to wake up curiosity and creativity. We recently had the opportunity to travel to south Florida to catch up with a family member and, together, did a bit of exploring. Familiar with our love of art and innovation, she whisked us off to Wynwood where the vibe is as friendly and colorful as the wall-to-wall street art. I can’t imagine anyone spending time there without thinking about creativity and where it fits in their lives. Here are some favorite thoughts on the topic.


Creativity is not just for artists. It’s for businesspeople looking for a new way to close a sale; it’s for engineers trying to solve a problem; it’s for parents who want their children to see the world in more than one way. ~Twyla Tharp

Creativity is not just for artists. Click To Tweet

Art knows no prejudice, art knows no boundaries, art doesn’t really have judgment in its purest form. So just go, just go. ~ K. D. Lang

Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas. ~ Donatella Versace

I want art to make me think. In order to do that, it may piss me off, or make me uncomfortable. That promotes awareness and change, or at least some discussion. ~ Pink

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. ~ Steve Jobs

Creativity is just connecting things. Click To Tweet



Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens. ~ Phylicia Rashad


When you live under the power of terror and segregation, you can’t ever start a work of art. ~ Jeanne Moreau



Terrorized by your Inner Editor? Inner Critic Kicking your butt? If you’re looking for an answer be sure to check out The Inner Critic Advantage: Making Peace With the Noise in Your Head by Andrea Patten. (On Amazon. Or ask at your local indie bookstore.)

 April 22, 2017  Posted by  Inner Critic, Thinking No Responses »
Apr 132017

As part of Women’s History Month, a Cleveland, Ohio bookstore decided to turn all inventory of male-authored books spine IN, effectively “silencing” them for several days.

Fewer than 40% of the titles were written by women. Click To Tweet

The project took ten people more than two hours to complete and, when they were done, fewer than 40% of the titles remained visible: 3700 of 10000 bookstore titles were written by women.  It reminds me of a recent conversation about museums: that it’s far easier for women to get into a museum as an artist’s subject than as an artist. It also wasn’t too long ago I learned that a certain fairly accomplished dinosaur – oops I mean editor just “won’t read” fiction by women. Excuse me? It’s as if seeing women’s words on a page is going to cost him $.22 on the dollar?

Will seeing women's words on a page cost him $.22 on the dollar? Click To Tweet

I don’t often pay close attention to such things but I recently watched an author promote his new non-fiction offering with a blog post about “life-changing books.” He had a long list –without a single female author on it. For some reason, it got under my skin.

I can’t imagine my reading history without all the amazing female authors who have been a part of my life. I was a shy kid who read a lot. My imagination was captured by Astrid Lindgren’s feisty Pippi Longstocking and, as a sometimes farm girl, I was intrigued by Marguerite Henry’s powerful horses. And as I grew older? Who could fail to be moved by Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn or The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath?

And as an adult? I’m all over the place. I’m fortunate to be connected with a wonderful group of local writers. Terri Clements Dean writes non-fiction that highlights the way people learn and grow. Start with Traveling Stories. If you’re trying to sort something out? You might want to pick up the companion journal.

I can't imagine my reading history without amazing women authors. Click To Tweet

Books have brought me a number of wonderful women as mentors. Almost anything by Anne Lamott speaks to me, especially Bird by Bird. Julia Cameron and The Artist’s Way helps me take the space I need to write.

And, when I think of remarkable non-fiction by women? Don’t miss The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot or Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit.

With such an amazing array from which to choose, can you think of any reasonable reason that women are so under-represented on library and bookstore shelves?

Let’s speak up. Please use the comment space to shout out about your favorite female authors.


This post was originally part of a “Favorite Books” blog hop with some author-sister-friends. The links below are other posts on the topic.

 April 13, 2017  Posted by  Thinking, Writing and Reading 14 Responses »
Aug 242016


silver and gold.jpg


“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other, gold.” – Girl Scout Song

Lately, my life has been pretty peaceful. Some of my friends, on the other hand, have been having their turns in the blender. Professional frustrations, personal betrayals, family upheavals, big moves and small… my people have been going through changes.

I’ve been thinking about the nature of those relationships, our histories, and our connections. The ease of online connection contributes something. There’s (usually) something wonderful about hearing from someone with whom I haven’t connected in years. (Hey, cut me some slack: we’re talking about friends, not bad boyfriends, OK?)

Here are a few more thoughts on friendship.




“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.” — Octavia Butler

day lilly


“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” —  Oprah Winfrey

“Please take my hand. I give it to you as a gesture of friendship and love, and of faith freely given. I give you my hand and welcome you into my dream.” -Wonder Woman



I’d love to hear some of your favorite thoughts about friendship. Please feel free to share them in the comments section, at the bottom of this post.


You know who else could be your friend? You might not believe it, but that pesky #innercritic that lives between your ears could become one of your strengths. Check out The Inner Critic Advantage: Making Peace With the Noise in Your Head to learn more.

 August 24, 2016  Posted by  Fun & Inspiration, Happiness, Thinking 4 Responses »
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