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Monday, December 31, 2012

Richard Avedon

"My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph."

— Richard Avedon
American Photographer
1923 - 2004

As a speaker one of the truths that I have learned is that a speaker often talks about what he himself has to learn.  And I believe the same is true about writers, artists and other creative leaders.  Our stories and poems are more about us than about the people we write about.  The subject matter we choose for our paintings is more about us than others.  We all have lessons that we need to learn in life.  For me, that is the chief reason we are here.  We need to learn and grow as human beings.  The creative process helps us learn those lessons.  Sometimes I run across a person who says he writes to help others and there is some truth in that statement.  But the heart of why he writes is to help himself.  I often say that I teach others what I myself need to learn over and over.  

Creative Practice
This week identify 5 life lessons that you have learned through the creative process and share those lessons with others.  Has the creative process taught you patience?  Have you learned about the importance of attention to detail?  Have you learned to trust your intuition?  How can these lessons learned in the creative process be applied to your life?

Background on Richard Avedon
Avedon was born in New York City to a Jewish Russian immigrant family.  His father owned and operated a successful retail dress business.  In high school he worked on the school newspaper with James Baldwin.  He joined the Merchant Marines in 1942 as a photographer.  In 1944 he worked as an advertising photographer for a department store.  In 1946 he set up his own studio and started publishing his photographs in Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and Life magazines.  In 1952 Avedon became the staff editor and photographer for Theater Arts Magazine.  In 1962 he became a staff photographer at Vogue magazine.  In 1992 he became the staff photographer for the New Yorker magazine.

Besides fashion photographer, Avedon turned his attention to studio portraits of civil rights workers, politicians and cultural dissidents.  He was interested in how portraits capture the personality and soul of its subject.  His subjects included Buster Keaton, Marian Anderson, Marilyn Monroe, Ezra Pound, Isak Dinesen, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Hillary Clinton, Toni Morrison, Saul Bellow and Andy Warhol.  He published more than a dozen books of his portraits and photographs.

Here is the first part of a documentary about Richard Avedon from the 1995 American Masters Series.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Paulo Coelho

"A boat is safe in the harbor.  
But this is not the purpose of a boat."

Brazilian Novelist
1947 -

Life is about balance, not extremes.  Sometimes we can be too careful.  We stay in  the harbor and never leave because we are afraid of what might happen out on the open ocean.  Sometimes we throw caution to the wind and venture into dangerous waters.  We behave in a reckless manner that endangers others as well as ourselves.  Too much of anything is harmful.  

So have you been sitting in the harbor too long?  Have you been waiting for the perfect wind so long that you have forgotten how to sail?  Or have you thrown yourself into an adventure without adequate preparation?  Are you seasick from the bumpy ride and looking for a safe harbor?  Life is about balance, not extremes.

Some writers sit on their manuscripts too long, wanting to make sure each word is perfect. I have read stories of writers making changes even as the book is headed to press.  Perfection does not exist.  We can always make changes in the next edition.  Other writers fail to put enough time into perfecting the manuscript.  They are sloppy.  Which are you?

Creative Practice
This week raise the sail on the boat that you have left in the harbor.  Prepare to sail into unknown waters.  Is there a manuscript you can send out that you have been unwilling to submit to the eyes of critics and editors?  Is there a painting that you have been wanting to complete, but have not had the courage?  Set sail for the unknown.

Background on Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  He wanted to be a writer but his parents were opposed so he entered law school only to drop out after a year.  He traveled through South America, Mexico, Europe and North Africa.  Upon returning to Brazil, Coelho worked as a journalist, actor, songwriter and theater director.

In 1986, Coelho walked the 500-plus mile pilgrimage on the Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.  Following the pilgrimage, he wrote his most famous book, The Alchemist, with a small Brazilian publisher.  The novel has sold more than 65 million copies and has been translated into 71 different languages.  He has published 30 books.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fiona Robyn

Satyavani Fiona Robyn"If we are serious about being artists, or about being true to ourselves, I believe that it is essential to spend time alone."

Satyavani Fiona Robyn
British Writer
1974 -

Do you spend time alone?  Most writers and artists would say: "Yes, I am alone with my writing and my art?  But are you comfortable being alone with your thoughts?  Or do you run away from thinking?  We need to become comfortable in our own skin — in being alone with our thoughts.  And some would say we need to be comfortable with no thought.  Have you ever been thoughtless?  I can honestly say I have not.  My mind rarely is still.  It slows down only when tired.  Even when I sleep, my mind is working overtime.  I seem to always be dreaming.  Scientists say that we only dream during REM sleep.  I do not find this to be true.  I dream sometimes even before I am fully asleep.  I dream during those twilight moments between wakefulness and sleep.  So when was the last time you were truly alone with your thoughts?  Not listening to the radio or the television or the neighbor talking?

Creative Practice
Find fifteen minutes this week when you are alone with your thoughts.  Not writing.  Not painting.  Not listening to music or podcasts.  Not watching television.  Not reading.  Take those fifteen minutes to explore your mind, to feel the texture of your thoughts, to open your heart to what your mind has to share.

About Fiona Robyn:  
Robyn is a published novelist, poet, psychotherapist and creativity coach.  She is fond of Earl Grey tea and home-made cake.

Quote Source:
A Year of Questions: How to Slow Down and Fall in Love with Life by Fiona Robyn

Website:  Writing Our Way Home

Monday, December 10, 2012

Denis Diderot

Painted by Louis-Michel van Loo
"Only passion, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things."

— Denis Diderot
French Art Critic, Writer
1713 - 1784

Are you passionate about your creative work?  Passion is key to achieving great work.  Without passion you will likely lose your way and become lost in the desert of disillusionment.  Without passion your work will be mediocre.  

Writing a novel takes years for most people.  You have to be passionate about your characters, about the people who inhabit your novel or your novel will fail.  If you don't like your characters, neither will others.  

Writing poetry has almost no financial award and very little recognition.  Are you passionate enough about writing poetry that you can do it for years in seclusion?  Are passionate enough to continue writing even when no one reads it or appreciates your skill? Passion drives the poetic soul.  

Painting by yourself in a studio day after day can be boring.  You long to meet people and talk.  You long for noise and interaction.  Do you have the passion to keep painting even when you are drawn to put the brush down.

Creative Practice
Make a list of 10 creative activities in which you are engaged.  Using a scale of 1 to 100, rate how passionate you are about each activity.  One means no passion.  100 means totally passionate.  Focus your creative efforts on the activities that you are most passionate about.  Stop engaging in creative activities that you are not passionate about.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Soren Kierkegaard

"Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living."

Danish Philosopher, Writer
1813 - 1855

We best learn about life by living — by living in the here and now.  Books will introduce us to many worlds and open up new universes of meaning.  We gain insights into many mysteries.  But life is the mentor that teaches the most profound lessons if we are open and ready to receive.  And if we are not ready, life will teach the same lesson again and again until we grasp it.

Creative work is like living life.  You have to do it.  Yes, books, classes and even teachers can help.  But the real work is in doing the work — of standing in front of easel and moving the brush or sitting at the table and moving the hand across the page.  Doing the work teaches the most profound and important lessons if we are ready.  Many people hesitate to do the work because they believe they are not ready.  And if they don't do the work, they will never learn the lessons needed to be successful.

Creative Practice
This week make a list of the lessons that life has taught you.  Don't stop until you have at least ten.  And these should not be lessons that you heard or read about.  These should be lessons that you learned through experience.  Maybe it was a broken heart.  Or the death of someone close to you.  Or the fact that you were fired from your job.  Maybe it was falling in love with your soul mate.  Or not being asked to the homecoming dance.  After you have identify the lessons that you have learned.  Select one lesson and write about the experience or illustrate it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Norman Fischer

"We all need to have a creative outlet — a window, a space — so we don't lose track of ourselves."

— Norman Fischer
American Poet / Zen Buddhist Priest
1946 -

I believe that creativity is as important as breathing to living a happy, successful life.  We all need a outlet for creative expression — whether that is writing poetry or painting canvases or discovering creative solutions to problems.  Creativity is not limited to professional writers, dancers or artists.  We all have the need to be creative.  And most of us should and can express ourselves through various media.  Don't limit yourself to one medium.  If you write novels, take up dance and see how they inspire each other.  If you paint, learn to play a guitar.  

Being creative is not about money or skill or success.  Being creative is about opening yourself up and letting go.  Being creative is about exploring yourself.  Some of the most creative people have never made a dime from their creations.  Some professional novelists, actors and painters find that their success becomes a prison and they lose the outlet for their creativity.  They lose the reason for being a writer, actor or artist.  Create for the sake of creating.  The joy is in the process not the product.

Creative Practice
This week find a new outlet for your creativity.  Explore new ways to express yourself.  Create something in a medium you have not used previously.

Background of Writer
Norman Fischer was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1946 to Jewish parents.  He studied poetry at the University of Iowa.  In 1980 he was ordained as a Zen priest.  He served as the co-abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center from 1995 to 2000.  In 2000 he founded the Everyday Zen Foundation.  He has published 9 books of poetry.  He is married with two children.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

"If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others."

— Anne Morrow Lindbergh
American Writer
1906 - 2001

I have often heard beginning writers and artists say that the reason they write or paint is the need to express themselves.  I remember I was the same way.  And, I believe, the reason for this is that we are not in touch with ourselves.  The artistic adventure is a powerful way for us to find ourselves.  We write or paint to find out who we are.  Only when we are in touch with ourselves can we begin to touch others.

One of the goals of creative leaders is to touch the lives of others.  Have you ever read a book that inspired, motivated or changed you?  Have you ever looked at a painting and felt your whole world shift on its axis?  One of the reasons we create is to touch the lives of other people.  To make a difference in people's lives.  To change the world.

Are you in touch with yourself?  Do you know who you are and what your are contributing to the world?  Are you following your path?  What is the legacy that you will leave behind? Have you touched someone's life today?

Creative Practice
Write down all the reasons that you create works of art.  See how many reasons you can uncover.  Then ask yourself:  If I die in 24 hours, what legacy do I want to leave behind?  Write down your answers.  Then ask:  Am I on the right path?  What is your answer?

Background on Writer
Anne Spencer Morrow was the daughter of Dwight Morrow and Elizabeth Reeve Cutter Morrow.   Her father was a partner at J.P. Morgan who became the Ambassador to Mexico and a U. S. Senator from New Jersey.  Her mother was a poet and teacher who served as president of Smith College.  Anne graduated from Smith College in 1928.  She married Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator, in 1929.  The same year she flew solo herself and with Lindbergh would fly and explore the world during the next decade.  Their first son was kidnapped and killed in 1932.

Lindbergh published 8 books between 1935 and 1969.  Her most famous work is Gift From the Sea.

Monday, November 12, 2012

George Washington Carver

"Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses."

— George Washington Carver
American Scientist
1864 - 1943

The easiest thing to find are excuses for our failures.  Excuses are a dime a dozen.  "I don't have enough time."  I don't have enough education."  "My father used to beat me."  "I grew up without a father."  "I did not have enough money to go to school."  "I don't have time to write."  "I don't have time to draw."

Life is about choice, not excuses.  We choose what we do — how we spend our time.  Everyone faces problems.  The key is how we respond to our problems.  Do we bury our heads in the sand and ignore the problems?  Do we make excuses and quit?  Or do we choose to keep fighting for our dreams?  Do we find another way to solve the problems.  The choice is yours.  

What dreams have you given up on?  What excuses are you making today?  Why have you settled for less than you are capable of achieving?  

Creative Practice
Make list of all your excuses.  Then light a match and watch them go out up in smoke.  Make another list of all the reasons you want to be a writer, an artist or a creative leader.  Post this list where you can read it daily.  Stay focused on what you want.  Most people focus on the obstacles in their path; instead, focus on your goals — where you want to go.

Background on George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver was born a slave in Missouri.  When George was a week old, his mother, sister and him were kidnapped and taken to Kentucky.  Only George was recovered by his owner, Moses Carver.  When slavery was abolished, George was raised by his former 
owner as his own child.  His adoptive parents encouraged education and taught George how to read and write.  He earned a diploma from Minneapolis High School in Minneapolis, Kansas.  He earned a bachelors and masters degree from Iowa State.

After college, Carver taught at Tuskegee Institute for 47 years in the agricultural department which he turned into a strong research center.  Carter researched and experimented with new uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, soybeans, pecans and other crops.  He discovered over 300 uses for for peanuts.  Carver never married.  He died at the age of 78 and was buried next to Booker T. Washington.  On his grave was written: "He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sally Field

"It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes."

— Sally Field
American Actress
November 6, 1946 -

Probably one of the meanest, most destructive critics that creative leaders confront are themselves.  We are often harsher on ourselves than we are on our family, peers and friends.  We compare ourselves to those around us and believe we are not as good.  We believe that others don't like us and are looking down their noses at us.  We take a simple negative statement that often is uttered and forgotten to heart and walk around crushed for days and weeks.  

Don't judge yourself through the eyes of others.  Don't let their negative comments penetrate your heart and soul.  Protect yourself from the onslaught of their poisonous arrows.  No one can know you better than yourself.  Their comments are only their perception of who they think you are.  They only see only a part of you.  They don't know you.

Creative Practice:
This week make a list of 25 of your positive traits and post them somewhere that you can read them.  Read this list aloud to yourself when you wake in the morning and again before you go to bed at night.  Carry a copy of the list with you and whenever someone puts you down, pull out your list and read it aloud to yourself.

About the Actress:
Sally Field, the Academy Award winning actress, was born in Pasadena, California to Richard Field, an Army officer, and Margaret Field, an actress.  Her parents divorced when she was four.  She was a cheerleader in high school.  In the 1960s she starred in two TV shows: Gidget and the The Flying Nun.  Gidget lasted only 32 episodes (one season) from September, 1965 - April 1966.  The Flying Nun lasted for 83 episodes and ran from  September, 1967 - September, 1970.

Sally Field starred in the title role of the 1976 TV movie, Sybil, and won an Emmy Award.  She co-starred with Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit in 1977.  In 1979, she starred in Norma Rae and won the Academy Award for Best Actress.  She won a second Best Actress award for the 1984 movie, Places in the Heart.

Here are clips from 10 of Sally Field's movies.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Theodore Roosevelt

"With self-discipline most anything is possible."

— Theodore Roosevelt
American Writer, 26th President
1858 - 1919

One of the weaknesses of some writers and artists is the lack of self-discipline which is the key to their long-term success.  One of the hardest things for me to do in college was to sit and study.  There were many activities vying for my attention.  The same is true of many creative leaders.  Thousands of activities are vying for our attention.  We have to be willing to forego short-term pleasure for long-term success.  We have to sit down at the keyboard and write or stand at the easel and paint.  If we don't develop self-discipline, we will never be more than a wanna-be.

Creative Practice:
Is there some creative project that you have been putting off.  Take the time this week to work on that project.  Find a half-hour every day to work without stop.

Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York city as the second child of Theodore Roosevelt Sr. and Martha Bulloch.  He was a sickly child, suffering from asthma.  He took up boxing and exercising to overcome his health problems.  Roosevelt had a photographic memory and spent a lifetime reading books.  He graduated from Harvard.  After graduation, a doctor advised him that he had a serious heart condition and that he should avoid strenuous activity.  He did the opposite.

Roosevelt married Alice Hathaway in 1880.  She died of kidney failure two days after giving birth to their daughter, Alice.  He married Edith Carow, a childhood sweetheart, in 1886.

Roosevelt wrote and published 3 books between 1885 - 1893 while on his ranches in the Dakotas:  Hunting Trips of a Ranchman, Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail, and the Wilderness Hunter.  

In 1995 Roosevelt became president of the board of New York City Police Commissioners in 1995 and radically reformed the police department.  In 1897, Roosevelt became Assistant Secretary of the Navy under William McKinley.  In 1898, Roosevelt formed the Rough Riders and invaded Cuba.  The Rough Riders became famous for the charge up San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898.  In 1898, Roosevelt was elected governor of New York.  He was nominated as Vice-President in 1900 under William McKinley.  When McKinley was assassinated in 1901, Roosevelt became the 26th President of the United States.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A. E. Housman

"I have seldom written poetry unless I was rather out of health."

A. E. Housman
English Poet
1859 - 1936

A new study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute near Stockholm, Sweden links mental illness to creative individuals like artists, writers, dancers and photographers. Researchers analyzed the anonymous medical records of almost 1.2 million patients from the last 40 years.  The study was published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research this month.  The study shows that families with a history of mental illness are more likely to produce creative family members.

What do you think?  Do you have to be a little bit crazy to be creative?  "I don't think so, but it helps," I say with a grin on my face.  For me the real question is what is normal?  Very few of us are normal.  Some of us are just better at hiding our craziness.  Creative people have to be willing to be different from the norm — to see the world in different ways.  Some of us are able to function in society and some of us are not.

Creative Practice:
Reflect on when you do your best creative work.  Is it when you feeling great and on top of the world or when you are under the weather?  Sometimes my best work occurs when I am not feeling the best or when I am experiencing loneliness.  Pay attention to the time of day when you are the most creative.  For me it is early in the morning if I get up early or late in the day if I get up late.  Study your work habits and change if necessary.

About the Poet:
Alfred Edward Housman was the eldest child of Sarah Jane Williams and Edward Housman.  His mother died when he was 12.  He attended St. John's College at Oxford where he studied the classics.  He was a professor at University College London.  His reputation was build on his classical scholarship.

His major poetry collection was A Shropshire Lad, a cycle of 63 poems which he self-published in 1896.

Study Sources:

Quote Source:
Anne Dillard, The Writing Life, p. 34.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Friedrich Nietzsche

"When my creative energy flowed most freely, my muscular activity was always the greatest. . . . I might might often have been seen dancing; I used to walk through the hills for seven or eight hours on end without a hint of fatigue; I slept well, laughed a good deal—I was perfectly vigorous and patient."

— Friedrich Nietzsche
German Philosopher, Poet, Composer
1844 - 1900

What is the connection between movement and creative energy?  When sitting at my desk writing, I often have the urge to stand up and walk around.  Sometimes I am able to control this urge while on occasion my subconscious takes over and I suddenly find myself walking around.  I also find that some of my most creative thoughts come when I am taking a walk in the early morning.

For the past 25 years I have been teaching a 2 - 3 day workshop in which students sing and dance 4 to 5 times.  Now the dance is not really dance but more physical movement.  The impact on the classes has been amazing.  During the course of workshop people become bonded and connected.  The normal barriers between people fall away and people willingly share about their lives. 

A few years ago I took a class that combined movement, journey and creativity.  We were encouraged to move about an open room with no chairs and find our place in that room — our home.  Then we were asked to find some destination — some place we wanted to go.  And we were to create a path around the room to that point.  We were to move along that path multiple times until it became very familiar to us.  We were also to express our feelings through writing while on this journey.  I found the workshop fascinating.

Years ago when I was only writing haiku, I would take walks during which I would write one or two haiku in my head.  When I reached home, I would write a narrative about my walk and include the haiku.  This type of writing is called haibun and was first written in 17th century Japan by Matsuo Basho.

Creative Practice:
Take a fifteen minute walk and sit down and write for 15 minutes about anything that comes to mind.  Don't stop.  Keep writing.  Don't worry about grammar or spelling.  Repeat this process multiple times during the week.

About the Philosopher:
Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche
Edvard Munch
Friedrich Nietzsche was born 168 years ago on October 15, 1844 to Carl Nietzsche and Franziska Oehler in Rocken, a small town near Leipzig.  He was named after King Frederick William IV of Prussia who turned 49 on the day of Nietsche's birth.  Nietzsche's father died when he was five.

In 1864, Nietzsche began studying theology and philology at the University of Bonn.  Within a year, he lost his faith and stopped his theological studies.  He wrote his deeply religious sister: "Hence the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire. . ."  He focused his attention on philology.

In 1868, Nietzsche became a professor of classical philology at the University of Basel in Switzerland.  Before leaving Prussia, he renounced his Prussian citizenship and remained officially stateless for the rest of his life.  Nietzsche published his first book, The Birth of Tragedy, in 1872.  The book was poorly received by his colleagues in the philological field.  He resigned his position as professor in 1879 because of health issues.

In 1889, Nietzsche suffered a mental collapse.  In 1898 and 1899, Nietzsche suffered two strokes and was partially paralyzed and unable to speak.  He had another stroke on August 24 and died on August 25, 1900.

Nietzsche is known for his use of poetry and prose in his writings.  Nietzsche was not widely read in his lifetime.  Because of his evocative style, people either love or hate his philosophy and his work even today is very controversial.  Nietzsche's best known writings include: Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Will to Power.


Without a Home

Swift horses carry me
Without fear and trembling
Through the distant land.
And whoever sees me, knows me,
And whoever knows me, calls me:
The homeless man ...

No one would dare
To ask me about
Where my home is:
I have never been bound
To space and fleeting time,
Am as free as an eagle! ...

Biography Source:

Quote Source: 
Anne Dillard, The Writing Life, p. 33 - 34.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Paul Klee

"Art does not reproduce the visible, rather, it makes visible."

— Paul Klee
Swiss Painter
1879 - 1940

Art does not simply copy the physical world in which we inhabit.  Whether the person is an abstract painter or a realistic painter, each painter must transform the world and make it visible to us.  The same is true of the writer.  Even the novelist with the most realistic dialogue has altered the world so that we can better understand it.  Painting or stories that simply duplicate the visible world fail to inspire us.  They must somehow make the real world more visible to us.

What is your creative vision of the world in which you live?  How does your artistic vision alter the world?  What do you bring to the table that changes the way we see?

Creative Practice:
Write down your artistic vision.  Be sure to write for a minimum of 15 minutes.  Keep writing until you have said everything you can think to say.  Don't try to be perfect or creative.  Don't worry about grammar or spelling.  Simply write and until you have nothing more to say.  If you have nothing to say, keep writing the same thing over and over until something comes.  Start with the phrase, "I see ...."  When you run into a roadblock, start over with "I see..."

About the Painter:
Klee's father was a German music teacher and his mother was a Swiss singer.  Although he was born in Switzerland, he is considered both a Swiss and German painter.  Early in his life, Klee studied music at the encouragement of his parents.  He was very talented on the violin, but chose to become a painter during his teenage years.  He studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.  He married a pianist and fathered one child.  In 1910 Klee had his first solo exhibition in Bern.  His artistic breakthrough came in 1914 when he visited Tunisia and was impressed by the quality of light.  He wrote, "Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it, I know that it has hold of me forever... Color and I are one.  I am a painter."


Red Balloon
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
New York

Flower Myth (1918)
Sprengel Museum
Hannover, Germany

Fire in the Evening
Museum of Modern Art

Quote Source: Clint Brown, Artist to Artist, p. 11.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jean-Paul Sartre

"A man is always a teller of tales, he lives surrounded by his stories and the stories of others, he sees everything that happens to him through them, and he tries to live his own life as if he were telling a story."

— Jean-Paul Sartre
French Writer
1905 - 1980

What stories are you telling others?  What stories are you telling yourself?  Stories are vital to our understanding of who we are.  Stories connect us with others.  Stories connect us with ourselves.  Stories are the lenses through which we understand the world we inhabit.

My story:  One summer while in college I attempted to read Sartre's novel, Nausea, but the book made me sick to my stomach and I never finished it.

Creative Practice
Tell a new personal story this week -- one you have never told before.  Tell the story several times to different people.  Let the story grow and evolve.  Retell the story with new emphasis.

About the Author
Jean-Paul Sartre was a French existentialist philospher, novelist and playwright.  He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize for Literature  but he declined it.


Quote Source:
Jack Maguire, The Power of Personal Storytelling, p. 46.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Josephine Hart

"Poetry has never let me down. Without poetry, I would have found life less comprehensible, less bearable and infinitely less enjoyable."

— Josephine Hart
Irish Novelist, Writer
1942 - 2011

Reading is a habit that many of us cultivated at a very young age.  And most of us would admit that reading has helped us through some difficult times in our lives.  What do you read?  Poetry?  Novels?  Biographies?  History?  Memoirs?  Reading has brought me much comfort during my life.  Without reading I would have been a much different person.  Reading has opened my heart and shown me many worlds.  I remember once while I was in college of going to a restaurant late at night and reading poetry aloud for the shocked customers.

Creative Practice
Read aloud  one of your favorite poems for family and friends to hear.

About the Novelist
Josephine Hart who was born in 1942 in Ireland.  She wrote six novels and hosted public readings of poetry.

Here is a video of Hart discussing her novel, Damage.

Biography Sources: