Women and Wine 2

“If you’re a sophisticated professional woman, you’ve come to know your wines. It has become the modern woman’s steroid.”

– Ann Dowsett Johnston


Hey Everyone – I’m doing a survey about ‘Women and Wine’ for an article I’m writing.

It’s completely anonymous and I’d really appreciate your feedback.

I’ll posts the results here with the article soon.

Click Here to to do the second survey.

Thank you again in advance!

Women and Wine

 

“If you’re a sophisticated professional woman, you’ve come to know your wines. It has become the modern woman’s steroid.”

– Ann Dowsett Johnston


Hey Everyone – I’m doing a survey about ‘Women and Wine’ for an article I’m writing.

It’s completely anonymous and I’d really appreciate your feedback.

I’ll posts the results here with the article soon.

Just go HERE  to do the survey.

Thanks in advance!

 

The Fear and The Hope; The Doubt and The Trust

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho

So very wonderful to be featured on She Writes Press Behind the Book!

If you don’t know about the website She Writes – go explore it now, it great! What is She Writes?

She Writes is the largest community of women writers online. She Writes is your place to find community, and all of our place to foster it. Whether you’re well published, just starting out, a novelist, journalist, blogger, memoirist, screenwriter, poet, playwright, agent, editor, or publicist, She Writes is Your Community.

Here is a copy of my post featured this month:

The Fear and The Hope; The Doubt and The Trust

For any of you out there that have read other posts on She Writes or just about anywhere else that writes about writing, you will have read about the self-doubt, about fear, and finally as Susan Jeffers describes it, about “feeling the fear and doing it anyway.”

I had a dream of writing  a book for many years; of getting published, of talking about things that I hold so sacred in my heart; but the fear of failure was rampant, the self-doubt debilitating. It took years just to start the process, then it took ten years to write, ten years! I thought that was exceptional. Then I read about all the other writers who took just as long and longer.

I began writing the book that I had been thinking about and talking about for so long because my son Lukas, at age 12, challenged me to.  I felt backed into a corner, I knew I had to put my money where my mouth was or I would feel like everything I had been saying to my sons – “You can do it!” “Follow your dreams!” –  would be empty, a lie.  So I started writing.  I started writing and deleting; and feeling not good enough to write a book and feeling like a fraud.

I’m kind of a quote junkie, often looking for inspiration from quotes when I’m mired in self-doubt. So when I was in that place of doubt and fear, I looked for inspiration.

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”

– Anne Lamott

There were plenty of times when I was in the dark and all I had left of my dream of publication was stubborn hope.  It was not an easy journey.  When I finally finished my first draft about 5 years later, I started looking for an agent.  Oh my God – talk about sitting in the dark with nothing but hope! I had months and months of rejection letters, too many to count, the darkness got darker, the hope fainter.

Then finally, I found an agent in London, I signed a contract and I was over the moon.  Now, I thought, now finally the hard work is over, I have someone else to do my work and get my book out there. It took over a year, lots of frustration and more darkness, but finally my agent was able to land a publication deal with a small publisher in London.  I was thrilled. I celebrated and believed the time had come.

About a year later, after jumping through hoops, working with an editor and inching closer, my agent decided he didn’t want to be an agent anymore, that the publishing landscape had changed too much and was not working for him anymore; so I lost my agent and the publishing contract went with him.  I was back to square one, and I decided that I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Then about two weeks later, while meditating, I heard a small, still voice in my head, the voice said ‘don’t give up.’ I grimaced. What an unimaginative inner voice! I thought of Richard Bach’s quote – “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”  So I revamped and reworked and wrote some more. Then I contacted an old friend. Her name popped into my head, and I thought it unusual. I wasn’t that close to her, and had not been in contact with her for years.  But we were friends on Facebook, and I have learned to trust things that pop into my head, sometimes not very imaginative, but usually very helpful.  So I messaged her and she messaged back the next day.

She’s the one who told me about She Writes Press.  I had never heard of them, but when I read about them, my pulse quickened.  They sounded perfect. I contacted Brooke Warner and we scheduled a Skype.  She said my book sounded like a good fit for SWP.  I signed a contract and I started working with the amazing team at She Writes.

I still had a steep climb ahead of me, but luckily the climb was accompanied by some truly magnificent women:  Brooke Warner, a power house and visionary; Annie Tucker, editor extraordinaire; and a host of truly talented authors, all so supportive. The fellowship of authors at SWP is fantastic; they are generous of spirit, freely give advice and tips, and always cheer each other on.  I am grateful beyond measure that I ended up in such an incredible publishing house.

And now I am on a book tour with my very own book. This Way Up was truly a labor of love, and an extreme act of faith.  I believed that if I just kept showing up and kept moving in the direction of my dream that the dawn would come. And it did. So I am here to tell all of you – Don’t give up!  Keep moving in the direction of your dream. It is so worth the journey.

 

Check out  She Writes – it’s a great community of women writers supporting each other. If you are a writer or aspiring to be one, join us there!

 

 

 

This Way Up

Thank you Darrell for featuring This Way Up in Snowflakes in a Blizzard!

Snowflakes in a Blizzard

 

THE BOOK: This Way Up:  Seven Tools for Unleashing Your Creative Self and Transforming Your Life.

PUBLISHED IN: April 2016.

THE AUTHOR: Patti Clark.

THE EDITOR: Annie Tucker.

THE PUBLISHER:  She Writes Press

Patti ClarkSUMMARY: This Way Up is a story of healing for women who yearn to lead a fuller life, accompanied by a workbook designed to help readers work through personal challenges, discover new inspiration, and harness their creative power…

Women spend so much of life nurturing and giving to others that when they find themselves alone—because of an empty nest, the end of a marriage, or the death of a partner—they often struggle with feeling purposeless. This Way Up provides a step-by-step way out of this sense of loss and into a life filled with enthusiasm, creativity, and joy.

The book centers on the essential wisdom of introspection and on the importance of following one’s dreams…

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Being Too Busy

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”
― Socrates

Busy – So damned busy!  It seems like everyone I speak to  recently is saying the same thing. Too damned busy. Argggghhh! The way it manifests for me is that I feel chaos in my brain.  I feel like there isn’t enough room in my brain for everything that I need to keep track of. I keep telling people that I wish I had that little tool that Dumbledore used in Harry Potter, the pensieve. Well not the pensieve itself, which is the shallow stone or metal basin used to review memories; but instead the tool, the little crochet hook thing itself that Dumbledore uses to take the thoughts and memories out of his head. He explains:

I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure. It becomes easier to spot patterns and links.

I’m not as concerned with the patterns and links, but mostly just to extract the excess chaos out of my head!

With this in mind, I was touched by the latest article in Daily Good: The Disease of Being Busy.

How did we get so busy that we no longer have time for each other? What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?

This disease of being “busy” (and let’s call it what it is, the dis-ease of being busy, when we are never at ease) is spiritually destructive to our health and wellbeing. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.

I love the way the writer, Omid Safi,  explains about haal

In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal?

What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.

I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.

I want to remember this the next time someone asks me how I am doing. I do not want to go into a litany about how insanely busy I am these days. I will try to remember to answer from a place of how my heart is doing at that very moment. And when I ask people about how they are, I will hope they can tell me something about their own heart and soul.

But is there anything that we can do to avoid this avalance of busyness?  In this short video –  I feel too busy! How can we get out of this busyness trap? Oliver Burkeman gives us some ideas.  The one that resonated with me is to make sure that we choose what’s important, and to schedule time for the stuff that fills us up instead of continuing to do what depletes us.

It will never all get done, so until I find that elusive pensieve tool, I shall endeavor to make time for the things I love and choose what’s important!

 

 

I’d love to hear how you avoid the busyness trap. And as always thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

 

Visualization on Love and Compassion

“The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the lack of love and charity, the terrible indifference towards one’s neighbor.”

– Mother Teresa


Do you consider yourself a loving and compassionate person?  Are you able to show love and charity and compassion towards your neighbors? And if so, are you practicing this same love and compassion on yourself. Most of us, especially the women among us, find it difficult to be very loving toward ourselves.

Lucille Ball famously said – Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.

I believe we do have to love ourselves first, be filled up with love, in order to let love flow. And when we are filled up, then let it flow; flow freely and copiously, because love and compassion are not luxuries, but necessities:

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries, without them humanity cannot survive

-Dalai Lama

I’d like to share one of my favorite visualizations with you today.

 

Do it today, do it everyday . . . Love the Earth, Love Your Neighbors, Love Yourself . . .

 

 

I would love to hear any feedback about how this visualization was for you;  I always love hearing about people’s experience with creative visualization.  And as always, thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it.