Of Cello Duets, Adolescence and The Art of Living ….

Our youngest daughter and I play cello duets.

While neither of us is Yo-Yo Ma, I have experience powerful healing in this shared experience with our fifteen year old daughter.

Never mind she plays much better than I, her

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Of Jonathon Franzen, Loneliness, and The Still Point of Attention …

It requires skill to craft tantalizing titles, bylines, etc. that coaxes readers, even those who receive your blogs as I do those written by The Mommy Psychologist
to actually stop what we are doing and take in the blogger’s words.

That what we read leaves us thinking, and pondering the subject of their website and blogs, which for The Mommy Psychologist is the whole gambit of parenting in the 21st century, evidences grasp of an art.

Readers can be grateful when the very topic of a blogger’s discussion plunges

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Of Reversals, Plausible Endings and the Artistry of Thwarting Expectations…

“A successful resolution thwart the our expectation; it doesn’t (fully) satisfy them.”—-Peter Selgin, 179 Ways to Save a Novel: Matters of Vital Concern to Fiction Writers

Reversals sit at the heart of a successful resolution. And since novels consist of a continual list of crises fostered by a string of obstacles, both physical and human writers must embed our stories with a minefield of reversals.

But what is the true nature of a reversal?

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The Muse, Mystery and Grace…

“It isn’t easy. Nobody has ever done it consistently. Those who try hardest, scare it off into the woods. Those who turn their backs and saunter along, whistling softly between their teeth, hear it treading quietly behind them, lured by a carefully acquired disdain.

We are speaking, of course, of The Muse.”

–Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing/Essays on Creativity

Many people imagine the life of a writer as one of awakening each morning to a flowing stream of words that pour onto our writing tablet or through our fingers and onto the computer string, our greatest challenge being that of writing or moving our fingers quick enough on the computer keys to catch the words.

There are times like that. But more often than not, we struggle to find those words that ideally give readers a smooth ride into the escape of our stories and novels.

A more honest way of describing what we do is to say that the smoother our sentences flow and the more intense a readers entrancement into at story, the more the writer toiled at kneading and carving that ease of journey presented in the magic carpet of our words.

But what of The Muse?

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Faith, Our Personal Best and the Work We Do…

But I want to stay with mothers, because so often when we write we, and the world, does not take seriously what we do seriously, particularly if we choose to operate primarily as a mother, and a writer second.

Those of us who choose to place our writing second do so because I think on some level we know that we will never reach our personal best at crafting stories until we have nurtured our children to an adequate point in their and our lives.

This is not the only way to come to writing. This is our way.

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Loving Our Characters

American Buddhist nun, Pema Chödrön, writes in “Comfortable with Uncertainty” that, “…When we start to meditate or work with any kind of spiritual discipline, we often think that somehow we’re going to improve [ourselves], which is a subtle kind of aggression against who we are…Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become […]

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The Value of Earning a MFA

The jewel in the crown of my experience in earning my MFA lay not in achieving a marked improvement in my writing. While my MFA thesis went on to be published by a small press, the greatest gift I gave myself in undergoing the rigorous and rugged course of study, was the habit I developed […]

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