More Holes Than Swiss Cheese

My friend Misty is making some changes. As most creatives, she’s rather hard on herself. Trust me I’ve read her writing and it’s not nearly as bad as she makes it out to be. In fact I’m reading her latest, and begging for each new chapter. So – go – READ!


A Time of Grief


Cancer  is no respecter of persons.  It doesn’t matter what your social status is, how many friends you have,  or what religion you are. Cancer  isn’t prejudiced against age or race.

As a wordsmith,  I usually don’t have a loss for words.  I  have an opinion to express, thoughts on any given topic, and sagacious witticism to lighten a mood. But not in this.

What do you say to  your family member that is writhing in the hospital bed while on the morphine drip? What  can be said to comfort the surviving family watching the inevitable end approach and helpless to do anything to stop it or help?

For anyone that feels they are in control of their life, you’re not. All the power of positive thinking in the world will not change the inevitable end result.

I lost my father  rather quickly several years ago.  He was happy and laughing one day, then didn’t wake up the next.  Of all the ways to go we could only hope for that. My mother was a different matter, we watched a steady decline as her heart failed her.  Nine months of hell with trips back  and forth to the hospital resulting in a stay in a rehabilitation center from which she never returned home. Now I  watch another family member fight as cancer steals his life from him – helpless to do anything to stop it.

I absolutely understand why there are support groups for survivors of cancer, and surviving family members. It’s a horrible disease. It’s cruel, unjust, debilitating, and painful.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless in my entire life as  watching as cancer has slowly, painfully destroyed another life has made me feel.

I’ve never liked hospitals.  Most of the time though you can say something to offer hope; something  to  encourage the patient and the  family. So I mostly sit and be there, squeezing a hand, offering a hug,  not having a clue as to anything useful to say.

These are the days that remind us we are never truly in control. These are the days that can make or break your faith, your mind, your sense of trust.  These are the days that will test your every fiber  as to whether you stand or fall by the wayside.

I would ask each of you to make a difference today.  Tell someone you love them. Help them with their groceries,  hold open a door, assist an elderly veteran,  offer a smile to the cashier.  Every one of us needs a little sunshine in our life, and  a hand up at times.  Be that hand up so that when it’s  your turn someone will extend a hand to you.

Be a true friend when your friends are down.  Be the light in a dark world when opportunity opens that door. Trust me,  when staring into the pitch black, even the most optimistic person needs a light.



Passionate Pursuits


heart flame


Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

–          Winston Churchill


To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.

–          Mark Twain


I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.

–          George Burns


Listen to any motivational speaker and they will eventually touch on passion. Kurt Warner believed with a driven passion that one day he’d succeed as a football player.  That passion drove him to push himself every day.


Passion is a key element to success but until you apply some action to the passion, it will remain nothing more than a pipe dream if action isn’t applied.  I can passionately desire to be a writer but until I plant my behind firmly in the chair and set my fingers to work typing or firmly grasping my pen I will never achieve that desire.


You can want it with your whole heart but until you are willing to DO what needs to be done, it’s not much more than a daydream fantasy.


This of course brings me to my final part of my creative series, matters of the heart. The part that passion plays in the creative’s life.  All creatives have more than a little passion.  They often exude it in everything they do. They have a passion for life, a passion for food, a passion for sports – whatever they are into they are passionate about it.

These are not fence riders, these are face painters. They are hot or cold on any given topic.  The thing that undoes a lot of the creatives though is the action. Some remain dreamers because they are afraid to act on their passion, or make excuses for why they aren’t  pursuing their dreams.

  1. They follow their true passion. Creative people tend to be internally motivated. External rewards, recognition, prizes, medals are not what motivate this group.  These are the children that those child psychologist’s suggestions don’t work on. They often embrace a challenge, if they are interested. Find an activity in something they like (remember a creative is either hot or cold, and if they like it they will be totally into it) their own internal drive will then provide them reason to engage in an activity or not. When they have the internal drive, they will perform the activity on a high level.

“Eminent creators choose and become passionately involved in challenging, risky problems that provide a powerful sense of power from the ability to use their talents,” write M.A. Collins and T.M. Amabile in The Handbook of Creativity.

  1. They surround themselves with beauty. Creatives tend to have excellent taste, and as a result, they enjoy being surrounded by beauty. Tastes vary, but a creative’s home will not be austere, will not look institutional or dull.  You can count on vivid colors, tasteful art, eclectic items collected that hold significant meaning to them.

We sometimes attend auctions and estate sales.  You can get some great bargains and I happen to like antiques.  Last summer we attended two particular auctions. One was an estate of a woman that  was a collector of little figurines.  There were hundreds of them, most still in the boxes and the ones that she had on display still had the boxes and bubble wrap carefully stashed in a plastic tote. We weren’t there to bid on figurines, but the auctioneers spent a long time because there was so many of them.  A month later we attended another auction, same auctioneers. This woman also had the same figurines, but not even half as many as the first.  She had a journal that she kept in which she wrote about each figurine that she selected. Each one had a story, either about a person in her life or an event.  I know about the journal because I bid on the box of books that had a first edition copy of Tom Sawyer in  it.  I wasn’t interested in the other books, although there were 3 more first edition copies in that box along with  3 composition type journals. Ironically, I found the journals far more interesting than the rest of the books.

The first woman had a collection. The second collected deliberately with an inner passion.  Each one meant something to her personally.

  1. They follow their hearts.  They will follow their heart, even when their mind tells them otherwise.  Creative people are less likely to worry about problems and more likely to take risks. This can lead to a thousand fails, but a million satisfactions.


  1. They fall in love with their work/ they hate their work.  NO, they are not bipolar. Well, I suppose they can be. They fall in love with their pieces of work, and work diligently on them. Then a day later they will vehemently hate it.  You can call it being fickle, but it’s a common trait in the creative mind.


  1.  They are humble and proud at the same time. One thing I’ve noticed is that  they are always eager to learn new things, to improve themselves. Humble in their hunger to better themselves. Yet when it comes to their creations, they are extremely proud and confident.


  1. They love.  They love, They love. Everything. They love life, they love people, they love emotions, they love animals, they love pizza, coffee, chocolate, they love beauty. No one will ever love you more passionately than a creative. Likewise, no one will feel as deeply hurt as a creative. They take it personal because everything affects them. They can sit silently watching the most beautiful sunset they’ve ever seen or bounce exuberantly for the next big art exhibit in town. They are infectious, their love for life is contagious. If you have some friends like this, stick with them, your life will be richer for knowing them.  Their passion burns brightly. It lights the paths of those around them.



For every successful creative, there are twenty more that never cross the finish line.  Twenty that let the cares of life keep them inhibited. Ten more that hide their light, another ten that conform to the practical parts of their brain.

All in all, if you know a creative you should be encouraging them because they truly are a precious commodity in our hectic rushed world.  They should be encouraged to pursue their passion because that passion may just spill into your life and add some beauty there.

Would you rather live in a world where the Systene chapel is whitewashed plaster,  or the magnificent masterpiece that it is?  You can thank a creative for that.

LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH and give a creative a hug today!  They may just need the encouragement.

Write on my friends, write on!


Philosophically Speaking


How many times have you heard  it’s all in your attitude? Well for a creative it really is in their attitude.


“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
― Walt Whitman

“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.”
― J. Sidlow Baxter

“If you say you can or you can’t you are right either way”
― Henry Ford

“Our beliefs about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we can be”
― Anthony Robbins

“Winners Evaluate Themselves In A Positive Manner And Look For Their Strengths As They Work To Overcome Weaknesses.”
― Zig Ziglar

“Our Positivity repels the external negative energy and attract the positive energy.”
― Sukant Ratnakar

“Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.”
― Mandy HaleThe Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

My words, thoughts and deeds have

a boomerang effect.

So be-careful what you send out!”
― Allan Rufus,

Our outlook determines our outcome. It is true that attitude can make a huge difference.   If you believe in  the law of attraction, then you know well about the boomerang effect.  You attract what you think.

Our thoughts are as powerful as our words. The words we speak put an energy into the atmosphere and we have what we say.  If we say that we’ll never amount to anything – guess what?  It’s true.

Here’s the catch though.  Everything you say begins with a thought.  If we direct our thoughts, then we can manipulate our future.  Controlling those thoughts that were maybe planted by someone else in our past, and changing them by putting a positive spin on them can turn the negative energy around and create a positive energy.

I know, y’all think I’ve fallen off the deep end into psycho-babble land.  I don’t normally get into the existential metaphysical mumbo jumbo stuff – but  in the case of our thoughts and words I am firmly convinced there is some truth to it.

I am not asking you to believe the same as I do. It’s your own choice to  change your future how you see fit.

Instead I want to share with  you common outlook characteristics of the creative mind.


  1.  Creatives turn life’s obstacles around. Think about how many songs, poems, and iconic stories stem from gut-wrenching pain and heartbreak.  Like a Phoenix rising, some of the greatest silver linings  came from life’s hardest challenges.  Great art in any form  is often fueled by emotions.  The deepest emotions are created by tragedy, romance and heartbreak. A new form of psychological therapy for post traumatic stress disorder involves facing their hardships and trauma, to transfer into creative expressions of some sort.  Whether the trauma is caused by loss of loved ones, facing combat, or surviving a tornado or hurricane karma therapy can affect the person to grow in areas of interpersonal relationships, spirituality, life appreciation, personal strength and creating the ability to see new possibilities in life.


“A lot of people are able to use that as the fuel they need to come up with a different perspective on reality,” says Kaufman. “What’s happened is that their view of the world as a safe place, or as a certain type of place, has been shattered at some point in their life, causing them to go on the periphery and see things in a new, fresh light, and that’s very conducive to creativity.”


“Since my house burned down

I now own a better view

of the rising moon.”

– Masahide

Mizuta Masahide was a Japanese samurai who wrote this simply haiku in 1688 after his house burned down.  His ability to find an awakened awareness after this loss is remarkable.


Creatives tend to have that rebound, or phoenix outlook.


  1.  They fail up – are resilient. Resilience is practically a prerequisite for  any creative’s success.  Doing creative work is often described as the process of failing over and over  until you finally get lucky or something actually sticks. Successful creatives learn not to take failure so personally.

I’ve heard many times about Edison inventing the lightbulb. Edison was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name yet  what we remember him for is inventing the incandescent lightbulb.  Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

Resilience   is what keeps a writer resubmitting to publishers after numerous rejections.

  1. They are risk takers. Part of doing creative work is taking risks, and many creative types thrive off of taking risks in various aspects of their lives.


“There is a deep and meaningful connection between risk taking and creativity and it’s one that’s often overlooked,” contributor Steven Kotler wrote in Forbes magazine. “Creativity is the act of making something from nothing. It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination. This is not a job for the timid. Time wasted, reputation tarnished, money not well spent — these are all by-products of creativity gone awry.”


Yet for the successful creative like Stephen King, J.K.Rowling, Mark Twain, and numerous others they are hailed as brilliant.  What  you don’t hear is the years of mocking and ridicule they took before they “made it”.


If you never take a risk and only stick to the safe path, you’ll live an unsatisfied life of  the same daily rut until you die.  Well at least that is my creative take on it.  Life is to be lived, experienced to the fullest not for cowering in the corner of the what ifs.


  1. They see opportunities. They can see the bright side of things, and brilliantly come out of troubles in unusual ways. It’s said that the mother of invention is necessity.  Witty inventions come when faced with a problem.  The solution doesn’t occur until one is presented with a problem to solve. Every problem presents opportunity.


  1.  They don’t like rules and boundaries. Many popular creatives in history have been labeled as rebels.  In the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, Barbosa said the Pirate’s code is more like . . .guidelines.  many creative feel this way about rules and boundaries.


Rules are  set to  push the boundaries.  Boundaries are set to  gauge what you push beyond.  A creative mind looks at boundaries like a velociraptor views the perimeter fence, something to get beyond. If a creative followed the rule – stay inside the lines, the Mona Lisa would never have been painted.  The Cysteine Chapel would be covered in tiles.


  1. They don’t like numbers. Creatives are brilliant and can really amaze you at times, but try to let them do the math and you will be surprised by how much they dislike numbers. Don’t put a creative in charge of the bank account, that’s not a smart idea.  Accounting is a bad career choice for a creative.  mathematician – also a bad idea.  Scientist – bad, bad idea.  For these careers you need someone with  a logical mind that isn’t going to invent facts.  Creatives are not only calculator dependent,  they often have trouble  with that part of cognitive thinking with weights and measures as well.


An interesting point to note, creative often are drawn to  either evens or odds.  Or in creative terms – symmetry or asymmetry.  Some artists work in pairs, their work always balanced.  Others work in odds, the asymmetry carrying  out a realism aspect that subconsciously appeals to our sense of belief and order.

Do any of these apply to you?  Can you recognize  these characteristics in yourself or  others in your life?

Previous posts in this series can be found here:

The Creative Mind  (

2. A Mentalist (

3. Time Bandits (

4. Expressions http://

5.  Head Games

 Write on my friends, write on!  Let your creative juices flow!