1. Need a smile this morning? This is sure to perk you up almost as much as that triple espresso. Here, a motley crew of dogs “barks” the theme to Star Wars. May the force be with you.
2. Tip-toe through the tulips. You ever have a Norma Rae moment at the office? Or do you find yourself humming a few bars to the song “Take This Job and Shove It” while trying to get the !@#*% copier to work? Lately I’ve had more than my share of those days, and when I do, I go to my happy place. At the moment, it is The Netherlands because I just nailed down the dates of my trip this spring.
A few years ago, my friend and I went on a fantastic trip to Iceland. (Read my Icelandic Friday Five here. See #4 for mention of our wonderful new friends.) While on a ferry we met fellow travelers from The Netherlands, and hit it off. So now, we’re heading over to the land of tulips, canals and red-light districts to visit them. I can’t wait!
Have you been to The Netherlands? Any suggestions on where to stay or eat? What would you do while there?
3. If I’ve been a bit absent from posting lately, it’s because I’ve been
dreaming up ways to win the lottery completing my lesson plans for the online creative writing course I’m teaching through The Loft Literary Center. Twelve awesome writers have signed up! Class starts on Monday, January 23, so there’s still time to join the fun and get some writing practice in the process.
4. Every morning I get a little gem of inspiration in my inbox from Daily Om. This week, there was a blurb that particularly caught my attention since I’ve been preparing my class notes and thinking a lot about the creative process:
Many people move through life unaware of the presence of their muse. This lack of awareness can be compounded by the fact that we may have one muse that remains with us throughout our lives, multiple muses that inspire us concurrently, several muses that come and go as necessary, or a single muse that touches us briefly at specific moments. You will know that you have found your muse when you encounter a force that makes you feel courageous enough to broaden the range of your creativity. The presence of this force will erase your self-doubt and motivate you to give your thoughts and feelings form.
Do you believe that people have a muse? Do you listen to your muse? Have you ever felt that a muse was guiding your work?
5. What do you fear about failure? J.K. Rowling’s answer would be that your should fear not failing because then it means you’re playing your life too safe. She offers this piece of advice to a Harvard University graduating glass while describing her own failure. You may know her as the author of the Harry Potter series, but for years she lived in poverty after a failed marriage with her only escape a yellow legal pad on which to write the story in her mind’s eye. Her only other advice is to keep a sense of imagination, or what I would call compassion. She describes her first job working in the Amnesty International office in London and how empathizing with the people who came seeking asylum has served her in every aspect of her life since. It’s an inspiring commencement address that really invigorated me. (Cocktail party factoid: her agent advised her to go by her initials rather than her full name because, at the time, women fantasy writers weren’t taken as seriously.)
Have a great weekend, everyone!