Air and Sunshine into My Brain

Already I’ve seen that when you’re pulled away from your normal routine, it’s as though air and sunlight come into your brain and do a little housecleaning.  A lifting up of what’s been practically rusted into place to reveal something else, a thing that makes you understand the origin of the phrase ‘new and exciting’, a phrase usually offered with irony, in order to hide the longing.

~ elizabeth berg, Tapestry of Fortunes








In real life, get out of the way when a person with a gun is running down the street.

In your writing life, step in front of his path, let him shoot you in the heart.

What you fear, if you turn toward it,

will give your writing teeth.

~ Natalie Goldberg, Old Friend from Far Away

Upon Request

If you called me and said, “Hey, Tricia?  We’re doing a craft show or a rummage sale or a bake sale or a yard sale or a fundraiser of any kind, and we would love for you to contribute.  What can you give us?”


I would first feel compelled to make something,

or give something of value, 

or give away something I have plenty more of,

or contribute something altruistic that would do my heart good.


And today, I know what that would be.  I would set up a writing booth at your event.  I would have reams of paper, great pens, a timer, and a sign:


Poetry Upon Request

You Choose the Topic, I’ll Write for You.


And, in the vision I have of this whole fantastical wish, people would line up, pay $1.00 (and the proceeds would go to your benefit, of course), give me a topic, and set the timer for two minutes for me to write and write and write.


They would ask me to write about anything.


or jelly beans

or cotton candy

or butterflies

or friendship

or love

or tummies

or books

or school

or justice

or parenting

or boys

or girls

or grace

or anger

or breakups

or green beans.


Anything they choose.  And I would write with the practice of zero selfconsciousness, and I would hand off my work at the end of the two minutes.


Even if it was something good that I might like to keep, I would give it away.


And maybe a few people would like what I gave them, 

and she would hang it on her bathroom mirror 

or he would carry it in his wallet.


And I would have made something, given something of value, 

given away something I have plenty more of,

and contributed something altruistic that would do my heart good.


That’s what I would do.

Seth Godin: Buy The Book.

Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors.  Pure brilliance.  He wrote this yesterday, and I would like to have it written across the sky.

You should buy the book

Mitch Joel is a generous and perceptive blogger. Well worth the daily read. He has a new book. You should buy it.

David Meerman Scott writes an essential blog, daily. His book is a classic. You should buy it.

Tom Asacker writes a very thoughtful blog about marketing. Worth the read. He has a new book. You should buy it, too.

Every day, Mark Frauenfelder and Corey Doctorow blog tons of goodness at Boingboing. They each have books. You should buy them and share them.

Bernadette Jiwa’s blog keeps getting better and better and you are probably already reading it. She has a new book on the way. You can guess what you should do.

There are authors and actors who only show up when they have something to sell, who hit the road to briefly entertain us, pitch us and then leave. If you love their work, then by all means, buy it! But the frequent blogger is here for another reason. He or she has something to share and is relentlessly showing up to teach and lead and connect.

If you want that to happen more, if you’re getting something out of it, buy the book.

[I actually hesitated to write, “should,” because it puts books into the same category as classical music and supporting NPR. No one says you “should” buy comic books or go to action films…

Buying books is actually scary for many people, so they make up excuses about not having enough time or money. The reason that books are frightening is that they might make us feel stupid, or we might get a lousy one or we might end up feeling like a failure for not finishing it. This is pretty common, actually.

I think buying books from consistent bloggers is a little different, though. First, you’re probably not going to be disappointed with what you get. Second, it’s almost always their best work, because it doesn’t feel as ephemeral as a blog post to the writer or reader–it’s a far more focused and direct shot to your neocortex. And third, most important, because it’s a very concrete form of encouragement (not just for the writer! but for the reader too), one that will selfishly make it likely you get more blogging from the very people you’d like to hear from more often as well as reminding you, the reader, that you’re worth the effort and investment.

Plus, when you’re done reading, it’s a generous act to share one.]

Where Are You Speaking?!

Tricia, you mentioned Ohio.
But where in Ohio are you going?  
When are you coming?  
What’s the story, and can we come?

Here’s the story, my friends.

I am traveling to Ohio this weekend for a women’s retreat in a Cleveland hotel, sponsored by the unbelievably gracious women of West Hill Baptist Church.

We are going to talk about the seasons of the heart – winter, spring, summer, fall – how I have experienced them, what we can learn from them, and what journeys and tasks are most futile and most fruitful in each season.

It’s going to be beautiful.  And even now, I’m praying for the women who will sit in every chair in the hotel ballroom.

So, that’s where I will be this weekend.  And I do wish I could invite you all.  But hotels get finicky about things like fire codes and capacities and paid registrations.  :)

If you’re interested in inviting me to speak at your church’s retreat or event, or perhaps to teach at a writing seminar or conference in your community, I am honored and very open to the idea.  So, shoot me an email.  We’ll talk and brainstorm and make it happen.