The Art of Receiving

It’s not hard to imagine what to do with a billion dollars. After tithing & offering 20% to my church, I’d finally build the four-story community center I’ve imagined since my glorious summer of Swahili and dance classes at Elmcor the summer I turned 13. Only now, with more money than I’d imagined, I’d build one in each of several cities, add the Algebra Project and teacher training retreats at each location. 

These community centers would have a library on one floor with hardback and digital collections, music, art, and dance studios on another floor, a  juice bar & gathering place for poetry on the ground floor, and an art gallery on top. People who could or couldn’t pay for classes would donate their time and a foundation would be endowed at each location to provide oversight and inspiration.

Staff would be paid top dollar but educational and other benefits, after the sheer joy of being there with kindred spirits, would be the things that set these centers apart. Educational debt forgiveness after three years’ service would be one benefit and credit counseling and investing would be another -with seed money provided to start a stock portfolio for use during class. Who knows what the ripple effects might be…

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Practice Trumps Talent

…One day, I ran into something I did not understand and instead of giving up, I pushed through… That day was a turning point for me. It was the last time I thought that whether or not I was successful depended on my talent or intelligence. It really comes down to hard work people. Ever since then, I have attacked each thing that I do not understand until I understand it. John Noonemaker

Time Off For Behavior

We’re heading to a retreat with church this weekend. The plan is to write longhand and dictate to Day One Journal when I have bathroom breaks and a strong enough signal. The last retreat we attended revealed little appreciation on other’s part that writing could be one’s ministry and a form of thanksgiving to God. I think I should at least manage 750 words each day to keep my streak going and then add my daily words on the My Nanowrimo site.

Be Encouraged

Just checking in to wish all the other Wrimos out there words flowing with purpose and panache! I’ve just tried laying out paperback and eBook versions of what I’ve got so far – to encourage myself that I can reach the 50K words in 30 days goal – on lulu.com & fastpencil.com It makes editing easier, especially on an iPad if you click on the eBook beta format. I also pass along the wise words received in today’s Note From The Universe: Declare and exclaim your intentions and then, git ‘er done!

Fear, My Heart’s No Longer Your Home

Kirk Franklin weaves this sentiment throughout his beautiful psalm, Hello, Fear. It’s a great farewell to one’s past. I heard it yesterday after attending a webinar offered by the Conscious Consortium, a community of people committed to changing business as we know it. Giving myself permission to be who I am and was meant to be, in the company of like-minded travelers, changed my perspective at once. For example, the simplest act of making breakfast was turned into a victory.

I was making a frittata. I had chopped the potatoes, onions, red pepper and put the three eggs through the bullet to make them fluffy. Using a new oil-free fry pan, I was browning one side of the omelette before turning it over. I remembered that I had seen chefs in New Orleans flip their omelettes high into the air and catch them in the same pan over a blazing fire. I had done the same in the past, perhaps with a little less showmanship, but I had succeeded. It’d been years since I been in the kitchen though, and I wasn’t certain I still had it. Hearing the self limitation, I decided to go for it. After all, what did I have to lose? I cleared a space on the counter wiped it off in case it fell I decided I didn’t want to clean up the stove if that were to be and I didn’t want to have to get on my knees if it were to fall on the floor so I flipped it over the dishwasher counter. But flip it I did – and caught it – no fuss, no muss.

I’m beginning to believe that much of life can be just this way. We can give ourselves permission to soar. We can give ourselves permission to know that we know what we know. We can dare to shine privately and in public. So, next challenge: I’m writing a novel this month. What miracles are you up to?

On Your Mark, Get Set!

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NANOWRIMO!
Today is the day that all gears engage, so sharpen your pencils, stack your paper, fire up the computer, or dust off the upright and get busy!
Of course if anyone can write a novel in 30 days YOU can. All you need is 50,000 words! Any one will do for starters. Call me, Ismael, is already taken however. You don’t have to be original. So there’s no pressure. Just be real.