Category Archives: concentration

Every Day at 5:50pm

Beginning July 1, I’m joining a group of people who will spend five minutes at 5:50pm (Pacific time; 8:50pm Eastern) every day meditating.

We expect that our energies will join to help eradicate fear and greed on this planet. We expect to concentrate on the concept of Rightmindedness in the hopes that this five minutes of concentrated effort will not only change us, but will ripple out and effect real change everywhere.

Please join us. Five minutes. Set your timer. Close your eyes and visualize our planet in good hands. How hard can that be? Sometimes the tiniest of actions produces the greatest results.

5:50pm for five minutes every day. I’m fairly certain that you won’t be doing anything more important for those five minutes, so why not add your considerable energy to the mix?

Magic might happen.

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Filed under concentration, connections, goals, peace, Possibilities, Prayer, Social Consciousness, Spirituality

Kick Start Your Novel

In November, I’ll be teaching the four-evening Kick Start Your Novel class in Eugene, Oregon.

This series of four classes is an intensive, hands-on novel-writing workshop designed to get your novel going in the right direction. Classes are structured so you will learn about the internal structure of fiction and the key aspects of writing a novel, then you will work on your book in class.

This workshop is for the writer who has basic writing experience, is highly motivated and has at least a nodding acquaintance with the novel that dwells within. While you may work on a novel-in-progress if you insist, I strongly suggest that instead, you work on something fresh for the purposes of this workshop. Leave your old work at home and let the spirit of the moment move you. Trust the creative process and watch the magic happen. Trust me. I’ve taught this class many times, all over the country. I know what kind of magic we can conjure up. 

Plan to attend all four sessions, and spend non-class hours working intensively on your book as well. Momentum is important.

This class is not for the faint of heart, the weak-willed or those who are afraid of the intense internal examination that novel writing entails. Your level of expertise is not as important as your dedication to the process.

The class will take place over four consecutive evenings, 6pm-9ish November 9, 10, 11, 12. Space is limited to six participants.

Come with your writing materials, an open mind and a willing heart. You will be amazed at what happens.  For more information, or to register, pop me an email.


Filed under concentration, connections, Discipline, dreams, Learning, Possibilities, Writing

My precious workspace

My husband is not a writer. He’s a tile contractor, and he doesn’t mind if people interrupt him while he works. Dogs, chatty homeowners, other workmen… whatever. He likes to put his head down and keep working, but it doesn’t take the intense concentration that writing does.

Electricians are here right now, installing much-needed lighting in our living room and master bedroom. I can’t concentrate. I can’t think for more than about twenty seconds and then one of them shouts up to the other guy in the attic, and I’m out of the land of my imagination and back into my office, grumbling. I should just give up for the day.

But aren’t there always interruptions? What about the phone? The neighbor’s leaf blower? The dog barking? The activists who ring the doorbell? I finally got a “no soliciting” sign for the doorbell, so that will help. But the point is, that when we project ourselves into the land of our fiction, step into the shoes of our point-of-view character and let his or her world envelop us, that world is easily shattered with an intrusive noise.

Like my husband, opening my office door, poking his head in and saying: “I’m not disturbing you. I just need to get my phone.”

Now that he’s semi-retired, we have had to make some agreements about this.  Susan Wiggs tried to enlighten him, by comparing a writer’s concentration to a golfer’s, when a $10,000 putt was on the line. He may have a better idea about it now. And I have drawn the line: when my office door is closed, I am not to be disturbed. I do not answer the phone. I do not answer the door. I do not make him a sandwich, and he better already have his cell phone with him.

Harsh, I know. But necessary. If I’m going to get any work done at all, it is imperative that I protect my solitude.

The rest of the ambient noise I’ve learned to live with. It slides in and out of my consciousness as it would my character’s. There is ambient noise in his life, too.  But the electricians drilling holes in the ceiling is a bit much.

We’re contemplating a major remodel to the kitchen in a couple of years.

I’ll probably rent an office for those months.

I was walking the dog through the park not long ago and saw a woman with her cell phone and her laptop doing business from a picnic table. Now that’s the way to office. If I thought I could write with such distractions, I would.

Meanwhile, I think I’ll go water the garden.


Filed under concentration, office, peace, Writing