This is not an extensive travelogue and it doesn’t cover all I saw during my trip, but rather these are some really subjective impressions of traveling in and around Mexico City, Guanajuato, and Puebla recently with my 24-year-old daughter. She is such a private person, and so far the only way she has allowed me to show her image on this blog is through this caricature a wonderful artist did for us. She’s beautiful and as the portrait suggests, she looks young for her age. She’s a sweetheart but don’t let appearances fool you: She’s also a tough cookie.
Before getting to Mexico, I had a feeling that it would be a life-altering trip for me and I wasn’t wrong. In addition to wanting to see my daughter, I was well overdue to shake up my routine, get away from worries, clear my head, and just relax. Being around my daughter’s energy was a huge factor in helping bring me back in balance.
The Guantajuato mountainside
At first, I was a bit nervous about the trip because my Spanish is not very good. However, it’s true that when you lose one sense, such as sight or hearing, your other senses get stronger. In this case, (more…)
Is “inspiration” necessary for someone to be creative?
Here, when I say inspiration, I’m talking about the mythical, romantic notion of what inspiration is. In this mythical world, inspiration usually is random, coincidental, and unexpected. It seemingly comes from nowhere. When people decide to look for inspiration, their gaze is indiscriminate, taking in everything and nothing in particular, with no frame of reference, hoping something will jump out at them.
The problem with living in this world (more…)
(10/13/2012 – This ebook is no longer available as a free download. But for $0.99 at Amazon.com or Smashwords, it is still a great bargain! The commentary [but not the poetry] has undergone revisions and the wonderful illustrations by CJ Tittle have been removed.)
I had no idea when I took part in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) this past April that it was going to be fun, educational, cathartic, inspirational, and tremendously fulfilling. But it was–so much so that I decided to compile the poems posted on the blog that month into an ebook called “30 Poems, 30 Days: Inside a Poet’s Mind,” with illustrations by blogging friend and amazing artist CJ Tittle.
In addition to the poems, I added never-before-seen commentary explaining my thoughts on each of them, such as what led me to write them and my interpretations. I think it provides some insight into the creative process and how it relates to just being human.
That’s a great value for free, so please, download and enjoy. Share the ebook with family, friends, and anyone you think would be interested. Click here for the pdf or here for the mobi file for Kindle and other ebook readers.
[Added 10-9-2011: “30 Poems 30 Days” is now available as a free download in various formats at Smashwords.]
Now that I know how to make a Kindle ebook, could an ebook with original poems be far behind?
© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2011
Do you have nightmares?
Lately, I rarely remember whether or not I have dreamed at all. If anything, I may wake up laughing or else seething in anger, but I won’t remember what the dream was about.
Not long ago, a fellow blogger talked about dreams, fears, and the fear of dreaming. Her post made me think back to years ago when I learned how to have lucid dreams, meaning I knew when I was dreaming and was able to control what happened in my dreams. I haven’t done this in a while but I remember how I did it. So, I’m going to share those techniques here. They may sound crazy but they do work if you put in the time. Mastering them may help you get a grip on your fears.
First of all, you must (more…)
This is a blog meme I hope you will enjoy. I have to name my most beautiful post, my most popular post, my most controversial post, my most helpful post, the post whose success surprises me, a post I feel didn’t get the attention it deserved, and the post I am most proud of.
(Note: I like the number 7. In numerology, people with a 7 life path are seekers of truth. I do not have a 7 life path, technically speaking, but I pretend that I do.)
Cathy Jones Tittle, a wonderful blogging friend and terrifically creative visual artist and writer, tagged me to participate in this exercise. Cathy did this on her blog, which is funny, serious, deep, and from the heart. She had great material to choose from. Please visit her at ~just my thoughts to see what I mean.
At the end of this post, just as Cathy did, I’ll invite 4 bloggers to chose their links and tag other people to do the same.
So without further ado, here are my 7 links (I excluded my 1 + 1 Wednesday posts or any of my poems from consideration).
My most beautiful post (more…)
(Phantomimic,**–a blogger who writes essays, poetry, and fiction–provides this guest post. In it, Phanto describes how unique circumstances make an ordinary day a little more special. Please read, enjoy, and comment!)
I want to thank Sweepy Jean for the offer to post as a guest here. I chose the following true story, I hope you like it.
A few days ago I was busy working in my cubicle at my day job. I had been staring at the computer screen for two hours non-stop so I did something I often do. Still sitting down I stretched and looked up at the wall above my desk. To my surprise I saw something I had never seen before in the thousands of times I looked up at that wall over the ten plus years I have been working at that desk.
I saw shadows of leaves and branches. They were silently swaying up and down as if moved by a gentle breeze. I must have stared at them for a whole minute before it dawned on me that these shadows could not be the result of direct sunlight unless the sun was near the horizon. Not only was the time of day wrong for that (it was about 4 PM) but our work building is in a neighborhood surrounded by houses and trees: you can’t see the horizon.
Photograph by A.O. Used with permission.
I called my co-workers who, probably eager for a break themselves, flocked over to my cubicle to admire the shadows. One of them took pictures, including the photo shown above. We then went to the window to try to locate the source of the light for the shadows and we found (more…)
(In this guest post, writer John Magnet Bell** gives some amazing advice. I tried it; it works! Read, enjoy, and show him some comment love!)
I have this trick.
When something’s troubling you, and I mean really troubling you, but you need to concentrate on a task, you can do this:
You picture the problem as a bristling, vibrating ball of mercury floating over a green field, against a blue sky.
Like this wallpaper you’ll probably recognize.
Now, that ball of mercury is angry. Angry as all hell. That’s understandable, as it contains every facet of the problem you need to put out of your mind.
What happens next?
A large box (more…)
I have Stephen King to thank for this particular blog post.
Among my major influences as a writer–which include two novelists, a poet, and a visual artist–King may seem to be the unlikeliest. But an entire section of one of my bookcases is dedicated to his work.
This is one of those days where I’m feeling a little unmotivated and I don’t feel like doing any real writing. (I consider blogging to be real writing, by the way.) Some would say I was “uninspired.” When I am uninspired, I think of Stephen King.
Stephen King Influence #1: You shouldn’t wait to be inspired to write.
King is wildly prolific and at his height, (more…)
I know I’m taking a chance here, but it has come to the point where I have to set the record straight, although I know full well that even after this I may still be utterly incomprehensible and misunderstood. I want to thank you in advance if you had been following this blog or following me on Twitter. If after you read this you want to unfollow me, don’t do it right away. Coordinate it amongst yourselves and do it discretely. Stagger it, because I have serious abandonment issues.
It has come to my attention that some of you out there think I’m inspirational, or something along those lines; (more…)