22 of 40 – It’s Been a Minute

Another revelatory round of Morning Pages. Check this out. I have come back to my home town every year since I moved away in 2005. I started coming back to do writer’s events in 2010.  It has snowed every trip back with the exception of the one time I came back during a summer to take my daughter to a (no rude jokes please) band camp.  I moved to Georgia in 2005 – it has snowed in Georgia to some extent every year I’ve lived in there. What is the deal with the snow, I wondered.

Another little bit of background. I used to not be concerned with snow or the cold. Even when I had to get out in it to go to school. It was an inconvenience but still nothing that bothered me much. Then one afternoon, one of many where I’d manged to lose my house key, I came home from the bus stop and no one was home. It was COLD out. I had on my ‘good’ winter coat, a lovely velvet – maxi length coat that was all the rage back in that day. It was heavy, but not long term cold heavy. Anyway, I sat on the porch for awhile in the fading light of the winter day. When it got dark, I huddled in the recess between the front door and the wall. I don’t remember how long I was there. I got home from the bus at maybe, 3:30pm. It was full dark when my mom and sister finally pulled up. I’ll never forget, my sister, when she got out of the car said, “Hey look mom, we’ve got a package. No wait, that’s Dana.”  They opened the door and got me inside. Shortly after, I began to cry because my hands and feet hurt so bad; my sister had me holding my hands under warming running water. I don’t remember much of the rest of the evening. I can tell you that like most women I know, I tend to stay cold. And once my hands and feet get cold, you can pretty much hang it up. I’ve never had a pair of gloves that kept my hands warm since that incident. Suffice to say, snow and cold are NOT my forte.

So, why has the snow followed me around? Here’s where I get to the point of this post. After this morning’s Morning Pages, I think it happens as a reminder to find the beauty, I’m using beauty as a general term, in every moment. When I stopped complaining this morning, just stopped and listened, I was reminded of how beautiful this city can be when under a blanket of cold, but crystal, sparkling, snow. How spiritually cleansing the silence of a snowed in city is – when every sound is muffled, the skies are of HD clarity, the stars overhead shining like cliched diamonds. The Source exists in those moments for me, without a doubt.

I am reminded by this snow fall to find the beauty in my fear, in the uncomfortable moments. Not every day is going to be peace-ful so sometimes, in my discomfort, I will need to look beyond the cold, the pain, the unease – I will need to reach deep, beyond the surface, and find the beauty. That is the reason it snows.

Apr 29 2017 Denver CO

Sending love and light,

Dana

17 of 40 – Light bulb…

giphy

Or an “ah ha” moment. Or an epiphany (we’ve had plenty of each on this blog).  Either way, this morning’s Morning Pages coupled with some questions from Terri Cole’s Love Revolution series (specifically the Secondary Gain work sheet)…

 

helped me to identify some key behaviors I need to stop doing. Yes, there was some “why” exploration involved, but it lead very quickly to how to “pull out the arrow” so to speak. You’ll remember that from this post, 11 of 40.

Anyway, since this worked for me, I thought I’d share it here, in hopes someone else found it useful.

Might I suggest:

  1. Watch the video
  2. Click to get the worksheet (you can unsubscribe after)
  3. Put each question at the top of a blank page
  4. Free write whatever comes up as you focus on the question

Might take a couple of runs – I’ve been doing Morning Pages now since late December and some things take me a couple of days or so of Pages to get to my truth; others have taken one and half pages, lol. This was a one and half pager so I’m thinking my Divinity really wanted me to get this lesson quickly so She shouted the answers at me instead of whispering.

Oh well, all I can do is point out the water. It’s up to you to decide to take a drink or not.

Sending love and light,

Dana

Will you make this the year you…

finish that manuscript?

The last name and the website address may have changed, but the foundation of how to go about writing your first manuscript has not.

Mark your calendars to join me, Dana Ellington at my 7th Annual Writer’s Workshop held at the Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library, 2401 Welton Street, Denver, CO.

This year, I’m presenting an updated version of last year’s popular: How to Write and Publish a Novel in 6 Months!

I’ll share the tips, tricks, and tools you’ll need to write, edit, and publish a full length novel by the end of this year. You’ll also hear from a past attendee who successfully followed the program and published her first novel!

This 90-minute session is great for writers 16 years old and up and can be applied to any genre, of writing, fiction or non.

So, if you want to finally get that novel from blank page to published, join me and my guest author, Monday, May 1, 2017 – 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM.

Nowata Press (that’s me)

Along with the closeout book sale, I’ll be hosting the following:

FREE coaching session on how to write and publish a novel in six months or less. You’ll not only hear from me, but you’ll be able to speak with a client from last year’s workshop who successfully published her first novel!  If you know of any writers who want to start AND finish their first manuscript, be sure to encourage them to attend.  The workshop will be held Monday, May 1st from 6 to 7:30 PM, Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library. Attendance is free and suitable for writers of any genre, ages 16 and up.  Click here for more info.

Independent Author Book Expo at the Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library, April 29th, from 2pm to 5pm.  Each author will have half of a 6′ table to display, sell, and sign their books (limited two titles).  Registration is $25 and will go toward providing bags and refreshments for attendees. Authors, If you’re interested, click here to register.

Questions / concerns? Leave a comment below or email me at: nowatapress@gmail.com.

Thanks!

Dana

 

Dear Me,

(I’m on week five of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This is what came from yesterday’s Morning Pages.)

Epiphany – the sudden clarity of thought that exposes the deeper truth. I have epiphanies as I’m sure you do as well. You may have been wrestling with a problem, a decision that had to be made but each solution or choice didn’t FEEL like the truth until one moment, a light bulb came on and suddenly, your path was clearly lit.

Why did I stop publishing my work? Why did I stop working on my existing manuscripts? Why wasn’t I excited to look for opportunities to do readings, to schedule workshops? Why had my annual sojourn to the MileHi stopped inducing that giddy feeling of anticipation or excitement? Why was I feeling blocked, cut off from my passion? Why was I procrastinating on or avoiding altogether the few activities I knew would move me toward some long standing, positive, goals?

Epiphany – because my efforts to that point hadn’t resulted in what I deemed to be other’s show of acceptance, love, or admiration that ultimately was what I was seeking. I wanted my books to garner lots of fans to the point where they’d help me market my work, they’d talk about and share my books to the point where word of mouth would sell my books (allowing me to hide); I would be invited to speak to groups, asked to conduct workshops (allowing me to hide). I’d be featured here and there, gaining some level of notoriety which would then “prove” to my dad that he was wrong for not spending more time with me, for not telling me he loved me, or thought I was beautiful. I would prove to the bullies and ex-boyfriends that they were wrong for calling me ugly names, teasing me, excluding me, using me, molesting or hitting me. I would show them all that I am worthy!

I mean, look at all the people who buy my books, and listen to me when I do readings, or attend my workshops.  If all of that outside attention didn’t prove it then what would?

Well, that’s not how things work out. My workshops where hit and miss with attendance, so I lost my enthusiasm for them. My first book sold relatively well despite its issues, my next two books did okay, but I was losing my motivation to keep marketing the way I had been. I didn’t realize it at the time but hindsight, I wasn’t getting the response I wanted / craved, so I’d begun to retreat. The fourth book didn’t do as well as I’d hoped but by then, I’d stopped actively marketing my work. It felt too much like begging by then. My unrealistic expectation that  other’s reactions to my books / workshops / coaching  would “make” me worthy, wore me down. Each failure to sell, to raise the money, to save the money, to meet the deadline, to have people show up, highlighted (the lie) that I wasn’t worthy after all. I rushed into this or that scheme, plan, idea, in hopes that it would be The ONE.  Each time I fell short, not taking the time to realize the level of fantasy my expectation had reached was never going to be met by reality.

So, what did I do. I blocked. I stopped writing; stopped going out; stopped taking my walking breaks; I stopped doing anything that would allow the voice of my Muse and my Divinity to be heard. They told the truth, They exposed the fantasy.  They put the responsibility for my life back where it belonged (in my hands) and I didn’t want the responsibility. I wanted to blame my dad, the bullies, the folks who didn’t think my writing was the bomb. I filled up my time with activities that didn’t do squat to move me toward my desired feelings (that ultimately are my responsibility to generate). I spent hours watching YouTube videos, hours doing spreads in my BuJo that ultimately I ignored no sooner than they were done. I kept up the schemes and plans – throwing parties I knew wouldn’t be well attended; fitness challenges, the wedding, my Count Down to 50 and its accompanying group-site and list of activities NO ONE kept up with, including myself. I did any and everything to maintain that damn lie. To be unreliable, unworthy.

Epiphany – “Healing is as ugly as Healed is beautiful”, Danielle LaPorte.  I began the healing process four years ago now. I’m feeling just about as ugly as I can. Scattered. Untethered. Unsure of what to do next. Emotionally all over the place but where I “should” be.  But I am healing. So there’s that.

Please, bear with me a little longer. Please forgive me. Please breathe. We’re going to get through this and we will be better for it. Thank you, I love you.

Dana

This Morning’s Prayer

So the hate train has pulled into the station and its occupants are poised to be in power for a minute. Those of us being hated feel some modicum of fear. I get that. I also get that in order to become really good at something, “you have to get terrible out of the way.” In other words, you have to do something badly often enough that you get to a point where you’re not so bad. “Practice makes perfect” provided you’re paying attention and learning from your mistakes. Eventually, you’re going to get good.

Our country (well, let’s be honest, humanity as a whole), isn’t so good at inclusion, acceptance, managing fear, or governing its self. Each go round, as in each generation, we have our moments of suckage. Of truly terrible. But with each generation, we managed to learn a little something and suck a little less. The changes in the right direction aren’t obvious or very noticeable in the moment, but hindsight (history) shows the baby steps.

In light of that point of view, I’m choosing to believe this latest happening is the catalyst for the next forward step toward sucking just a little less. Another baby-step forward if you will that we’ll learn from and do better at next time.

I pray the suck doesn’t come with a massive loss of life but let’s face it, human nature.  There will be bloodshed.

I continue to BE the peace, tolerance, acceptance, love, courage, and faith I want to see in the world. Amen.

be-the-change

(from top to bottom, left to right:  Ghandi, Maya Angelou, Mother Teresa, Li Yinhe, Malcom X, Malala Yousafzai, MLK Jr., Gloria Steinem)

Love,

Dana

And yeah, because…well, reasons.

It’s been a LONG time since I leapt without looking. So of course, what did I do?  I registered for a workshop happening in New York City in January.

WTF?  How am I going to get there? Where am I going to stay? How am I going to afford it? You have got to be kidding me, life. Seriously? But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited in that, goofy, giddy, way I tend to feel when I’ve set my sights on something amazing.

Wanna join me? Click

Wow.  I am. Just. Wow.  Remember when I said I was feeling oddly hope-ful? Then Trump and the Hate Train pulled in and I died, sort of. But then The Artist’s Way was found on a bookshelf and purchased. Since then, that sneaking feeling of hope (LIFE) is returning. The cynic in me is afraid this is false and that untold darkness is about to overtake the land.  This back and forth between the consuming fear and blinding faith in the positive is going to wear me out.

Still, recovery is at hand and I will take my joy as often as I can in any way that I can.

And then there was this…

Just how will his new gig effect the reported 3500 law suits currently pending?

And just in case the way your cousin’s brother-in-law explained it didn’t make sense,  here’s the electoral college described in simpler terms.

Oh, and there’s also a lot of talk going around about some potential felony charges from not so long ago that may come to bear between now and the inauguration…

But hey, once you’re elected, you can just wipe the slate clean, right?  Perhaps, but that sets the stage for an impeachment, eh?

All of this stems from a conversation I had with my sister last night as she was unknowingly talking me out of fleeing the country.

Despite that punched in the gut feeling from yesterday; the fear that so many of the (still not applied equitably) rights I enjoy in this country may be wiped away in the next four years, I am somehow finding a glimmer of hope that some major, positive change, may still be on the horizon and that Karma will do what it always does to set things back to zero. Perhaps not on my desired schedule, and not without some pain on mine or the world’s part, but set things straight It will.

I have my life to date to solidify my belief, shore up my faith. I will do what I’ve always done and that’s rise up, face what I gotta face, take what I gotta take, and survive until I’m dead. I know I’ll find some joy along the way.

thlgw1axtnI love you,

Dana