A Song in Your Sails

24 Aug

Seattle Lake Union Song

Here’s to starting the week with something beautiful.

Here’s to being inspired and having the guts to do the inspiring.

Here’s to being our best selves—flawed, ever-evolving, and committed to following the path that’s calling, even if it’s not the easy one.

May this song put wind in your sails and resolution in your heart. Continue reading

Hey Parents: Be More Selfish

4 Aug

Vashon ViewParents have a conundrum. For every moment we spend doing our own thing, it feels inversely connected to our family’s care. We are the nurtures, the caregivers. If we’re caring for ourselves, isn’t that less time (and money) spent caring for our kids?

We’re programmed to think it comes down to selfishness or selflessness. And have you read any Mother’s Day cards lately? A vast majority of them worship at the pedestal of the almighty selfless.

But we can (and should) rewrite that script. Because it’s simply not true.

As the American Psychological Association’s site states, Continue reading

Follow Your Bliss

28 Jul

Compass Poem Directions“Follow your bliss.”

It’s a saying coined by one of the most intuitive minds of the twentieth century, Joseph Campbell.

If you haven’t heard of my friend Joseph, you need to go watch The Power of Myth. Right. Now.

Okay, fine. Maybe you don’t have time (cough cough MAKE TIME), so let me provide you with a much too simplified summary:

Joseph CampbellJoseph was a literary anthropologist, so to speak, who spent his life researching myths throughout human history. After decades of research of countless religions and cultures, he found a common thread of what it means to be human throughout every story, every age, every religion, everywhere. Continue reading

How Do You Know When Your Manuscript Is Complete?

21 Jul

Editing Red Ink PenAs anyone who’s ever undertaken a creative endeavor knows—from drawing a picture or writing a poem to writing a corporate creed or even painting a room—the idea of being finished is highly subjective.

Technically, you could tinker with it forever. However, at some point it’s up to you to stop and say, “Yes, this is it. It’s done.”

In today’s digital world, that’s less of an issue. You can always edit a site, tweak your status, or repost a picture.

But with some things, like printed books, the result is a physical object that will be out there in the world, unchangeable.

That terrifying fact recently prompted me to ask some writer friends:

How do you know when your manuscript is complete?

Here are some of the answers I received:  Continue reading

You Can Do More Than You Think You Can

14 Jul
Clouds Jump Rainbow

© Horia Varlan, Flickr Creative Commons

Since I’ve traveled with kids a decent amount, people often ask me for tips.

My most frequent advice is:

You can do more than you think you can.

The same holds true with many things in life actually. Continue reading

Slant Rhymes

30 Jun
slant rhyme

© Thomas Shahan, Flickr Creative Commons (“White Collar” c. 1940, Linocuts by Giacomo G. Patri)

What are slant rhymes? Oh, you know them. They’re the ear worm of every pop tune on the radio.

Case in point, Taylor Swift:

‘Cause baby now we got bad blood.
You know it used to be mad love.

So take a look at what you’ve done.
‘Cause baby now we got bad blood.

Now we got problems.
And I don’t think we can solve them.

You made a really deep cut.
And baby now we got bad blood.

Notice anything about these rhymes… Perhaps that they don’t actually rhyme?

They’re slant rhymes, half rhymes, B-rhymes, or (if you’re going to get really nasty about it) lazy rhymes.

Pop songs aren’t the only culprits either. You see slant rhymes in plenty of kids’ picture books. That’s why most publishers have foregone picture books that rhyme altogether.

And that’s a shame really. Because when rhymes are done well, they’re instrumental in laying the foundation for reading readiness, by building vocabulary and developing sound discrimination.
Continue reading

Make Your Own Day

16 Jun

Szaba Seattle Space Needle

Any big plans for Father’s Day?

I’m going to be honest… My Mother’s Day wasn’t very good this year.

The four year old seemed rather on a mission to make my life miserable. I didn’t take it personally. Toddlers have those days.

It’s tough figuring out the world and your place in it.

Sometimes even we adults have issues with that. Now imagine doing so without reference or control of your emotions.

Trying not to take it personally, I gave her space and let Dad take the reins.

The next morning, something unexpected happened. Continue reading

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