Words of Wonder

i am a snake below

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 in Creativity, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

It's all about perspective: I am a snake below the bird and cloud…

The sharp ‘krak’ from that bird’s brazen beak startles me from my doze. I am sunning the entire spectacular length of my faceted body on a grey shale boulder. Glorious heat from the yellow eye bakes my ropey form into a writhing bundle of bliss. I am whole here, satiated. The sun completes me. I inch the coils of my body in an incremental slide; dry glowing scales embracing themselves entwined in constant touch and motion. Narcissssssist? Oh yessssss. I stare at my serpentine self and swell with pride mesmerized by my own magnificence.  The orange and red patterns appear like puzzle pieces on my skin as if outlined with kohl from long ago Egyptian eyes. The smaller patterns are leopard spots on my belly and attest not only my sleek beauty but my speed and agility.

The Raven has finished her scathing diatribe of the lowly crows and shuts her beak. Finally. As she escapes the earth her body is a mere blemish in the expansive dome above. My coils whisper to stillness once more. Instinctively I taste the air—for food or foes. That black blight’s pontification would have warned off either category. I taste again to be sure. Darting, seeking, my midnight tongue speaks a language of smell. Does the Raven ever wonder what green smells like or how blue tastes? Not likely.

I am content to return to my doze. The avian atrocity is up near the clouds now. At my thought of the clouds a skimpy shadow passes briefly over my domain. The cloud lacks enough substance to cool my sun salutations; the shadow is there and gone like the flit of a nightmare. On another day I will be grateful for her gift of a cool saturated world and drink it in. On another day. Today I lift my striking head to the golden orb the all-seeing one. I bow it in gratitude—not humbly. I am whole here, satiated. The sun completes me.

a dress for tess

Posted by on Jul 1, 2012 in Authenticity, Connections, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

Jenn shared Amy’s post (scroll down to Richmond) about Patti’s daughter Tess. I liked A Dress for Tess on Facebook and images of this small child having the courage to put on a dress to face the unknown besieged me. Tess is a wise, wise soul. I have procrastinated, resisted, and ranted about rewriting the ending to my screenplay. Enough! Tess knew you see. All I needed was to put on a dress and sit down and write.

Dear Reader, what will you tackle once you slide into a dress?  




i am a cloud above the bird

Posted by on Jun 30, 2012 in Creativity, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

If you read Krak this writing prompt came next: I am a cloud watching the bird…

Bodiless I watch the dark creature alight and soar. She is noisy where I am silent. I wonder about her form and curiously study her actions—how her wings allow her to swim through the air. How the flick of a wingtip turns her body. How perfectly designed she is. What must it feel like to be created from hollow bone and feather? Does she look at me and wonder about my incorporeal form?

I feel other beings emotions more clearly than I see them—we clouds have highly developed empathic abilities. I do not see the Raven as other beings would; I feel her movements and her joy. The instant her body enters the invisible (to her) funnel of the thermal her heart beat quadruples with excitement. A physical rush of adrenaline and exertion that I experience with her! She looks upward beyond we clouds to the Sun. If her beak allowed her to smile I imagine she would grin her joy. I feel her bliss as she does what she was born to do—fly.

I move stealthily between her and the Sun, my shadow will cool the air and dissipate the thermal. My form is still wispy I am gathering, absorbing, expanding with every molecule of moisture. I ask the wind for more speed!  You may think me at his mercy—not so! Envision us as lovers entwined and he the besotted; his happiness is pleasing me. I glide freely in my domed blue expanse, I am life-bringer. My rains may spatter gently on beings below or they may be hurled with the force and thunder of my passion! We clouds do not receive the same appreciation and devotion as the Sun and are occasionally prone to a touch of jealousy.

Today though I am a wispy cloud and curious. I move past the Sun and do not cool the thermal. I float slowly beyond the Raven in her element. Her cries fade but I still luxuriate in her palpable elation. Soon my belly will be as dark as her feathers and I will release my joy and bliss—I am life-bringer and that is what I was created to do.



Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 in Aging, Authenticity, Family, Food and Drink, Gifts, Love, Self worth, Wholehearted | 1 comment

During the past decade and a half I have grown emotionally and spiritually in ways I never would have foreseen. An inextricable foundation for this blossoming has been practicing extreme self care. I shifted from a place of believing that taking care of myself was selfish and silly to a life affirming empowering practice of giving to me as a reflection of how deeply I love and approve of myself. The chasm I crossed was huge, Grand Canyonish. And so the summer days leading up to my birthday were planned around being unplugged from my purple 'puter, filled with family and friends and surrounded by delectable food, laughter, and joy. Celebrating my birthday is all about being loved, and I am blessed to be loved in so many ways by so many precious people.

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Then the rain started and didn't stop—it still hasn't stopped. And I learned again (wash, rinse, repeat) the grace of flexibility and spontaneity as I canceled some plans due to weather and created new ones on the spot. I experienced the truth of my coach's wise words, Whatever is good and right for you is almost always what is good and right for everyone involved. Every day Friday through Monday has been a unique celebration of my first breath and I am still reveling in the love.

There are unfortunately no photos of Jeff and I at Crescent Beach huddled under our bent beach umbrella (the wind was that strong) waiting out the sudden downpours until we could sit back and read again. (I love you JS!) The ocean was wild and magnificent and my soul rose up in mirror image of nature as a force of action envisoining the endless possibilities awaiting me, in this, my forty-eighth year. Imagine!

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starting where I am

Posted by on Jun 11, 2012 in Challenges, Connections, Creativity, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

Start where you are, Patti said to us in VerbTribe. Here I am halfway through the year approaching my forty-eighth birthday and I am beginning to write again.  I wrote through March on my screenplay and slapped on a to-be-continued ending and pronounced it done. My fellow WriteNiters sagely called me on it and said they wanted an ending with oomph not fizzle. I have been in a funk since the end of April feeling overwhelmed, uninspired, and resistant to writing—of any kind.

My journal lies unopened on my bedside shelf; my blog languishes from my absence. My resistance has taken on the form of not showing up. I’ve been on auto-pilot gliding over the surface of my days. I’ve felt disconnected and de-energized and I catch myself turning to look for something half remembered behind me. My muse, my creative spirit hangs her head and quietly trails me from room to room. I have the time in my schedule, I have the space to create—I am simply allowing fear to make my choices for me. I may fail spectacularly. I may succeed spectacularly. So what!? Do it anyway. Instead of dragging around like a husk of a passionate creative writer just write. So what if it’s crap? It’s still writing. Write through the crap to get to the good stuff.

Writing is a huge part of my life I have not shared on my blog until recently. I want to face that edge and not back down. I commit to sharing writing prompts or portions of my screenplay here regularly, anything goes. Yes, that scares the heck outta me yet at the same time it makes me stand up taller and say, Yeah, I wrote that.  I am starting where I am. Resistant yet determined to dissipate this funk. Sharing and connecting with you dear reader is the most loving step I can take for myself in this moment.

2 Common Raven in flight_ J Schmidt - nps

Here’s a poem I wrote for a prompt of being a bird:


My body is the night

blacker than pitch.

Imagine the evening sky, stars snuffed out like candles.

I am soaked in black

my feathers reflect iridescent purple.


Bold am I.



I scream at my crow cousins.

I am mighty—

They are minions in my kingdom.


Raven am I.

Maven of heaven.

My intense inky eyes

blink rapidly

on either side of my head.

Monocular vision—

so foreign to you,

allows a view of ALL.


I am always alert, ready, poised.

The branch sways

I hold my head still

to triangulate.

What buoyant substance is sealed in

these hollow bones?

Which make my body


than the air that kisses it?


I am not shackled by gravity

my wings spread in a shadowy embrace

my legs thrust

I point my beak to the rising sun.

Close to the ground I swoop and loop

over my crow cousins.

Krak, krak I call

to remind them

I am here.

Always watching.

Their dark master.


I lift on a current like a branch in the sea

and surge


a black smudge in an azure sky.

My belly is full.

My wings are strong

I beat them up then down


and feel the wind

shoot me higher.


A thermal!

I bank right.

The heavens are devoid

of other life

I circle the funnel of air

feathers streaming

eyes seeking

my wings stroke the air.

krak, krak

alive, I scream. I am alive.

dearest laura

Posted by on Jun 4, 2012 in Authenticity, Healing, Inspiration, Writing | 2 comments

On Day 36 in March I opened my Verb Tribe daily prompt to read the directions 'write a love letter to yourself'. Instant resistance. I do love myself, a million times more than I did a few decades ago, but I wasn't ready to commit it to paper. I balked for a few days. Then there was a moment of clarity, my heart shifted and said, do this. The rest of the prompt instructed us to seal letter, address it to ourselves, and give it to a friend to mail it within the next six weeks and not say when they mailed it. I gave it to Brin and eventually forgot about it.

In May I wondered where it was and almost asked once but didn't. In the middle of a difficult week: I was stuck with my writing, mired in self doubt, overwhelmed by life when I opened the little metal mailbox door with my sticky key and there was my salvation. (Thank you Brin for your ideal timimg!) This beauty of a reminder. I'd hand written it in a blank card the same as I would for a dear loved one and wrote from my heart what I knew my heart would most need to hear on a challenging day: the things I adore about myself.

Dearest Laura,

You are SO gorgeously enthusiastic; you glow with radiance and possibility. You shine. Your heart is huge and filled with seeing the best in others; seeing their potential. You share your love freely and openly and honestly. Never change that. You mirror for others with your unconditional love what they most need to walk on their journey. You are an inspiration. You are the wind beneath the wings of those who love you. You are a treasure. Your smile lights up the recipient’s heart like flowers blooming in winter. Keep giving. Keep loving. Keep being who you are. Love is the answer—no matter the question and you know that deep in your wise self and you live it beautifully. When you write authentically you touch people with your passion and realness—keep sharing your words and stretching yourself you are capable of so much more than you imagine. You are possibility. You are love in action. You are love.

I love you, always and all ways, ~L.


I had no recall of what I'd written, I'd let it go. These simple truth filled words brought tears to my eyes and the biggest grin that I could not hide. It feels good to be loved. It's our purpose as human beans: to love and be loved. Loving ourselves is an especially rare seed we usually plant in dark corners and tend hesitantly. I encourage you to shine a ray of possibility on that seed, open up and be vulnerable—write yourself a rockin' love letter and ask a loved one to mail it to you. Booyah!

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Artful Blogging

Posted by on Apr 27, 2012 in Books, Creativity, Inspiration, Learning, Writing | 0 comments

I began blogging in 2005 as a team of bloggers sharing our journeys as Virtual Assistants and building, launching, and running our own businesses from home. Blogging was new to me but I quickly learned how to write with the intention of starting a conversation, sharing authentically, and seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.  In 2009 I took the leap and created this blog to share my weight loss journey, writing, creative endeavors, and well…my life.  Artful Blogging introduced me to a community of kindred souls seeking connection for their art, passion for living their dreams, and real people striving to find a balance with who they are and what they do in this world.

Stampington & Company publish only four scrumptious issues per year. I relish my time with these pages—curling up with a cup CVR_BLG0212_lgof tea and turning the ringer on the phone to mute. The smooth thick matte texture of the paper appeals to my photographer’s eye, the colors and detailed photos burst off the page in swirls of inspiration. Reading these blogger’s journeys through art and words reveals a theme of serendipities that occur upon embarking on blogging—of finding their true north and living their dreams.    


fantastical fantasy

Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 in Books, Creativity, Inspiration, Learning, Writing | 0 comments

As a teenager I lost myself for weeks in the Four Lands created by Terry Brooks in the Original Sword of Shannara trilogy. I ached to create a world of good versus evil populated with unexpected heroes and dark hooded villains. I learned to write by reading—fantasy books engaged my imagination and allowed me to sprout dragon wings. As an adult when our daughter was born I even chose her name from the third book in the Shannara series; Brin (a headstrong princess disguised as a peasant boy) and Leah (a magical city).

My passion for fantasy has not ebbed over the years but I find I am choosy where I invest my time and A Storm of Swords is almost one thousand pages and I have savored every word George R.R. Martin penned in this tome. This is Book Three of a planned eight book series: A Song of Ice and Fire.

Martin’s Seven Kingdoms of Westeros has been a scintillating adventure lesson in character development. The series has a plethora of characters that are vividly realized—the proud voices of kings and knights ring clear and true from a world similar to medieval England. Martin masterfully crafts relationships and forges unforeseen connections. I found the chapters written from a child’s point of view the most captivating and inviting which has fueled my writing with alternating shadows and spotlights contrasting innocence and malice.

Curious if there are dragons? Of course there are, but I’m bewitched by the dire wolves. Have you seen the television series of Book One: Game of Thrones on HBO? Incredibly well cast and deeply detailed I'm engrossed even when I have to look away from the realistic combat scenes. You?


The Weird Sisters

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 in Books, Creativity, Inspiration, Learning, Writing | 0 comments

I was intrigued by the quote on the cover of the book: “See we love each other. We just don’t happen to like each other very much.”  My half-sister is eleven years older than I and so I grew up as an only child yearning for a sister. Siblings and birth order are fascinating to me—my husband is one of nine!  

I was a loner as a kid and books were my whole entire world. These three sisters and their parents relate through books so much so that their dad speaks to them primarily in Shakespeare quotes even sends this message in a crisis:   “Come, let us go; and pray to all the gods/For our beloved mother in her pains. And this is how Cordy knew our mother had cancer. This is how she knew we had to come home.”

I was entranced by the unique writing style Eleanor Brown chose to tell this story: first person plural, narrated from the collective perspective of the three sisters. How cool is that? Awkward to read at first? Yes, but now I’m on a mission to experience more books written in first person plural. Can you recommend any? Have you ever written form this perspective and if so how’d it go? You can read more about Eleanor’s unique choice of style here.


the war of art

Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 in Books, Inspiration, Learning, Writing | 0 comments

This book rocked my world, kicked me in the butt, eradicated my excuses, and was the ultimate wake-up call for me to sit down and do my creative work. Must, must read. 'Nuff said.