April 21, 2014
I was excited when writer Kimberly Saward invited me to this fun exchange known as a “Blog Hop” because it ignited a little fire in me to return to my own personal blogging (much of what I do with Green Treehouse Media, LLC involves ghostwriting for others). It also encouraged me to reach out to other a few other blogging friends with the opportunity to spotlight their work.
I just love happy endings – and beginnings!
Last Monday, Kimberly was kind enough to feature my work on her beautiful blog called Ariadne’s Thread:
“I am a writerly soul and creative. A California native, I now live in England with my husband, Jeff; we co-founded Labyrinthos nearly 15 years ago, and are best known for our work with labyrinths. I wrote my PhD dissertation on the transformative potential of labyrinth walking, and have since published a number of articles and booklets on labyrinths and their associated folklore. As past president of the international Labyrinth Society, I delight in networking with the worldwide labyrinth community. I am, in fact, a community builder at heart, researching the labyrinth symbol wherever it appears in the world, but also working as a social media consultant, and teaching knitting and beadweaving as a way of encouraging creativity, spirituality, and imagination in my local community.
My blog, Ariadne’s Thread, is an eclectic mix of my interests and passions, from my kitchen alchemy and knitting, to poetry, pilgrimage, and divination. For me, Ariadne’s Thread is the thread of divine connection that weaves all this together and connects me to Spirit. My blog invites you to explore my world with me as I spin the thread that is weaving the tapestry of my life.
Today’s social media fascinates me; its potential for community-building is without precedent. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, and from there connect to the various pages I administrate for community, craft, and labyrinth. You can also connect to me via the Labyrinthos website.”
Kimberly challenged me to answer four questions today about my own work. Here goes:
What am I working on/writing?
I’m always working on at least five projects at once on any given day. My creative brain actually thrives on this kind chaos! I really enjoy switching among completely different writing venues and topics. I find that doing so keeps my words fresh and exciting. Today, I have a new feature article I’m researching and writing for M&V Magazine’s July/August “The Family Issue.” I’m also reviewing a new smart phone app for ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine Magazine that will be released to their readers in June and drafting an article for one of my local small business clients that will appear in Florida Weekly’s May Healthy Living Magazine. Additionally, I’m plugged into all my clients’ social media platforms and responding in real-time to any comments/questions on their pages.
How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
I adore listening to other people convey their dreams for their businesses and organizations. Helping individuals craft their special stories is such a fun mission for me. My tag line “rooted and grounded in a love of words” is absolutely aligned with my own professional goals. Because writing is my second career (I’ve been a licensed Physical Therapist for almost 26 years and have another company I founded in 2008 called Labyrinth Wellness, LLC), I do it out of a pure love and devotion to the craft. I truly can’t wait to come to work every morning. Writing is my dream and now I get to do it everyday. The joy of crafting words and the intense attention to detail I bring to every writing or copy editing project (my love of research is a by-product of my medical training) hopefully shows to my readers. Nothing makes me happier than knowing I’ve delivered my best writing work to a client whether or not my own name is on the byline.
Why do I write what I do?
I was a junior in college when I wrote these words in my journal: “I write because I am confused and seek to understand.” Several years later through intense self-examination and creative exploration, I knew for certain that writing was my true calling. Another quote by George Eliot “It’s never too late to be what you might have been” provided me with the courage I needed to begin equipping myself with the skills I would need to be successful. Initially, I wrote inspirational essays and faith-based devotionals for various publications out of The Upper Room. Later, I focused on educating others about the creative tool of the labyrinth and stepped into my first editing opportunity for the San Francisco area non-profit Veriditas. On a whim, I even approached one of the most well-known trade magazines for PT’s called ADVANCE during an online job fair to see if I might incorporate my physical therapy training into some article writing for their print publication. Along the way, I discovered I loved utilizing social media and experimented by teaching myself how to build blogs, Facebook and Twitter sites for friends. Finally, I decided to go “all in” and launched GTM in 2011 to devote myself to my writing dream full-time. Now, I’m thrilled to be getting freelance writing assignments on all types of topics through exceptional publications such as M&V Magazine.
How does my writing process work?
I frequently intersperse my freelance magazine article writing with ghost writing assignments for small business clients and larger non-profit organizations. When I need a little brain break, I’ll check on my monthly Green Treehouse Media (GTM) clients’ social media sites. I’ve found that searching the web for relevant and timely topics often provides me with leads that I can later incorporate into some of my other work.
I try to journal at least three handwritten pages a few mornings a week or at the very least, scribble down writing ideas in my notebook. I’m old-school in terms of preferring pen and paper during creative brainstorming sessions.
Oh yes, and I drink coffee; LOTS of it (pretty much all day long).
Gosh, thanks again, Kim. That was actually pretty darn therapeutic!
Now, please let me introduce you to three fellow South Florida bloggers whose work I think you’ll love, too.
Meet Michele Haid of Winehooch.com:
“Curious? Well, I love to tell my story. The sip that put the first smile on my face was at a fairly young age. I do not want to say the exact number, but I was not quite legal in this country. Thankfully, I was in Portugal, so it was OK, and I was under the guidance of my more mature and wine savvy cousins. The pretty pink slightly sweet with a touch of effervescence wine was Lancers. That started it all. Luckily for myself and all of you my tastes have evolved and matured nicely. My sassiness and spirit have not.
I am half Portuguese and half Italian. Two of my favorite wine-producing countries. It is my genetic makeup and my mission to further my love affair with wine and share it with whoever will listen. Thank you for listening. This will be a great relationship.
I have been a Wine Professional for over 10 years. I have worked many facets of the industry as a wine buyer, marketer and in sales. Currently, I work for Southern Wine & Spirits as a Fine Wine Consultant for the Island of Palm Beach and Downtown West Palm Beach. I have always enjoyed wine and enjoyed sharing it with others. Winehooch.com is a not-so serious approach to enjoying serious wine. No wine snobs here. We host wine tastings, wine dinners, events, promotions and social media marketing. When I think of wine I think of fun, friends, purple teeth, and every once in a while the wine stain right above my chest. There is a time and a place to be super serious about your wine, never snobby. Winehooch.com is the place to go for wine reviews, tastings in the area, the latest and greatest establishments to enjoy wine, and anything else that is on my mind. Sip and leave the attitude behind.”
Meet Kendall Rumsey of Notes From a Southern Kitchen:
“As a transplant to the white sands of south Florida, Notes from a Southern Kitchen was born with the intent of reconnecting me with my Appalachian roots. Born and raised in northeast Georgia, the simple life of my childhood was in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of my present surroundings.
In creating Notes from a Southern Kitchen, I began to connect the stories of youth with the lessons of a 40 something year old man. The transforming moments in a strawberry field or sitting in a musical circle of family and friends, chance encounters with celebrity and the loss of my older brother all provided memories that created the backdrop of Notes. One of the great benefits of the blog was in helping my aging mother remember these family adventures in her last years of life.
While Notes has continued to evolve over the years, I long for those original days of stories and life lessons. While time doesn’t allow me to share as much as I used to, my story list continues to grow and one day, when I am able to let career take a backseat to passion, I will share them all. For now, great music, words to live by and the occasional story must suffice.
As I approach 50, a new project has recently begun to capture my attention. The Gay 50, a lifestyle blog for other gay men and women who have passed the half-century mark. This blog, while in its infancy, is a mix of health, style, entertainment, travel, sports, politics and anything else that may be of interest for the Gay 50 set!
Writing is a passion, one day I look forward to devoting all of my attention to words on the page, however in the meantime I will dabble in my blogs, write the occasional story and continue along in my marketing career.”
And finally, please meet Jules of The Wife Behind the Genius:
“The Wife Behind the Genius is a story of survival: a story of how Jules and many, brave women around the world survive their partnerships with their nerdy geniuses and particularly, how Jules survived life at the one and the only, MIT. (Of course, this could have been the story about the Husband Behind the Genius. Jules is a genius too, though she may not have the Brass Rat to prove it. But she is a great poser in her MIT Alumni T-shirt.) From course numbers to how nerds get their party on to robotic competitions, Jules provides an insider’s look to life at Planet Nerd, aka. MIT.
The Wife Behind the Genius has been happily married to Ted, whom she also refers to as her micro version of Planet Nerd, for 5 years, 6 months and counting. Ted and Jules live in the Sunshine State and don’t understand why people would live anywhere else. Definitely worth noting is that Jules is the eldest of the three ‘Tall and Hots’ as deemed by her brother-in-law, Austin. She wears that title with honor and humbly accepts the gold medal as the oldest and gawkiest of the Tall and Hots.
The Wife Behind the Genius does have a professional life and hopes that after this blog goes live that is still the case. She is working on her MBA and wants to help businesses do more good in the world. Jules and Ted love the beach. You can find her by keeping an eye out for the surfer who keeps falling off their board. Or, if you’re lucky enough- it’s possible you might view it as unlucky- you’ll find her at the closest nude beach falling off her surf board. Yep, that’s her.
So, take a minute today and click through to all four of these fabulously diverse bloggers’ sites. You’ll be so very glad you did!
April 14, 2014
My latest feature article for Muses & Visionaries Magazine‘s entitled “Turning Over the Tapestry” provided me with unexpected lessons in tenacity, courage and passion. Though I was very pleased with the outcome (pages 116-121), my own journey through the writing of it was filled with many unexpected challenges.
I was thrilled to have this environmentally conscious assignment for my favorite women’s magazine and couldn’t wait to begin. Yet despite a fabulous start, things began to plummet the more I poured myself into how the article might be received instead of simply letting the work flow through me. By getting too wrapped up in the final result, I nearly missed the joyful artistry of the creative process.
What transpired was my first case of writer’s block. It was horrible, but thanks to threads of wisdom left by other incredibly talented women writers, I finally found a pathway through it.
After many sleepless nights, I turned back to the well-worn pages of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron the very day before my deadline. I used my Morning Pages Journal in a final attempt to write out the issues key to my block.
Through these simple disciplines of journaling and prayer, I was led back to a quote I’d read days earlier in another of my favorite books called Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach:
“It was as if I had worked for years on the wrong side of a tapestry, learning accurately all its lines and figures, yet always missing its color and sheen.” – Journalist Anna Louise Strong (1935)
The quote was presented within the context of that profound moment when we finally come to the awareness that “creating a beautiful life is our deepest calling.” By reading those specific words at that precise moment of divine synchronicity, I was propelled into a familiar, sacred space of understanding once again: Writing is my beautiful life.
Within minutes, I’d written a brand-new intro with an accompanying title I loved that paid homage to a strong female journalist while capturing the true heart of my own article’s theme. I typed, “Just as the underside of a tapestry with its many knots and ties is vital to the finished piece, we can begin to appreciate the interconnectivity of every thread of our own textiles when we realize they each have a unique story to reveal.”
Although that sentence didn’t make the final (beautiful!) version of the article (Read it here: Issue 3- Eco Friendly Textiles), I knew my charge was to simply write and release those specific words.
And at some appropriate time, perhaps they might even be spun, pieced and quilted into a little story all their own.
January 18, 2014
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”- Proverbs 13:12
I’m beginning to learn that the timeframe of my life is mostly (totally) out of my hands. I pretty much have zero control of when my dreams will finally be realized. Zip. Nadda.
Take a couple of weeks ago for instance. I walked into the gorgeous women’s co-working space of Muses & Visionaries ready to embrace a productive New Year. Two minutes later, I’m trembling uncontrollably, stomach in knots, watching boxes of Issue Two of M&V Magazine being delivered through the front door and into the hands of the brilliant women who created it.
Because inside those boxes, a personal dream of my own was waiting to be unwrapped.
Flash back (many) years, to a quiet teenager sitting cross-legged on yellow shag carpet flipping through stacks of the latest fashion magazines. She appreciates all the gorgeous photos and celebrity updates, but she is instead drawn inexplicably to each one of articles. She reads every word. She fantasizes – not about being one of the beautiful models on a shoot in NYC – but about becoming a contributing writer with a little bio and a byline. And so, she writes. Diaries, essays, poetry, short stories – all she wants to do is sit in her room and write.
But eventually that dreamer-girl grows up and gets a sensible degree in a solid healthcare profession. She marries, works, moves around the country, works, moves back to her hometown, tries (forever) to have a baby, works, has a miracle baby, tries (forever again) to have a second baby, works, finally gives up her second baby dream and moves to Florida with her little family to begin a brave, new life and more sensible work.
But her kind and sensitive husband encourages her to take some time off her work. He sees she is grieving and dying a little bit more inside each and every day. He encourages her to explore her options. He challenges her to return to her childhood dream. He sends her to a writer’s workshop for her birthday. He empowers her to take a chance.
So, she writes. She walks. She works with sea turtles. She writes some more. She drives on school field trips. She cries, and she waits (and waits and waits) for whatever comes next.
Sad stuff happens. Joyful stuff happens. Many years pass. Her son grows.
Friends come and go. And still she walks and she writes…
…and she braces herself as she waits some more.
And then, on a beautiful, cold, spectacularly bright Tuesday morning a stack of fresh M&V Magazines are placed into her arms by a smiling blond-haired angel named Sasha. They are surprisingly heavy. They smell delicious. They feel like Hope.
She looks down into the radiant face of Lesley Stahl on the cover (sorry, Ms. Stahl, but the metaphor works) and as she cradles the bundle close to her heart she realizes on an intuitive level the gift of Grace that she has just received.
For although she was always a writer at heart, now she is a writer at work.
October 21, 2013
On our Monday morning walk, Lily and I encountered these images all within about twenty feet of each other. Here’s what we think they were trying to teach us:
When those around you are dropping like flies…
Hold tightly to Love…
Because holding the space can be lonely at times…
But even in the face of great adversity –
Make it a great day, friends.
October 5, 2013
It was quite a busy summer up here in the Treehouse. Our baby bird flew off to high school. To be honest, this chick hasn’t quite come to terms with it all, yet here it is October.
I’ve struggled to make sense of these joyful years of motherhood breezing past far too quickly. Working on the fly like I did nearly all of summer between coffee houses and car lines – scrambling to meet deadlines while trying to live in the moment with my kid – obviously stopped being effective long ago. A snippy, shrill and not too fun “me” continues to inhabit this normally serene, creative little space.
It’s way past time for her to fly away, too. Something has to give…
Last night, I caught sight of my own words advocating self-care, fitness and focus in my latest article for Muses & Visionaries magazine “Safe Stretching: What’s the Most Effective Way to Improve Flexibility?” and felt like a complete hypocrite.
But at the same time, my own healthful words inspired me with hope. Because if the same old bird who wrote that article earlier this summer, can write this desperate autumn confessional now, then something must be shifting, right?
Check back soon. I’ll keep you posted…
August 27, 2013
I spent a lovely, rainy morning with some delightfully creative folks at The Historical Society of Palm Beach County. On the way out of the museum, I spotted this gorgeous little beauty:
If you’ve spent much time around me, you likely know that in addition to tree houses, I am an absolutely freak for old antique typewriters. This gorgeous old girl was SO INCREDIBLY SMALL (seriously, like the size of a basketball).
In my excitement, I did manage to ask the kind docent if I could snap a flash-free photo with my cell phone. Thank goodness the answer was “sure.” Thanks!
August 2, 2013
We’re thrilled to have a new wellness and fitness article in this fabulous publication: Muses & Visionaries Magazine. Subscribe to this exciting magazine today to be sure you receive their very first print issue debuting Fall 2013. Gorgeous photography and timely, relevant articles for women.
Click here to read Robin’s article “Women and Sleeplessness: Causes and the Exercise Solution.”