Celebrating my Extraordinary Father

Writing this February feature article for Idaho Magazine was an honor. Such an opportunity commemorates on paper, all of my Pop’s hard work in Pearl. With his own two hands and the sweat of his brow, he molded acres of sage brush, rock, and high-desert terrain into an Oasis. Benevolence, being one of his many gifts for his family, enabled his legacy to live on for future generations. This is my thank you to an extraordinary man, who is missed by many -everyday.

Managing Fear

wildflower_Tatters_ccSomething that I frequently explore is the idea of technology and how it shapes our world, and quite frankly, at times, scares the ever loving crap out of me! However, it just so happens, it was during one of these conversations when the concept of my Domestic Wildflower was born,  and I recognized how to face, and perhaps embrace, some of my technological fears.

As artists, many of us find ourselves in an ever changing technical landscape where we must learn to navigate in order to make a living at our craft. That artistic soul, trying to make their talents known to the world – for profit or not – will ultimately experience a certain amount of growing pains on this journey.

As a Wildflower [artist], those ‘to-do-lists’ we have all been conditioned to follow are in direct violation to the wild pounding of our hearts. That anxiety, that blind determination – those are simply wake up calls, reminders – that we were born to create – not cross off!

And I love my to-do-lists! How is that for twisted logic?

My point is, as we become more reliant on technology, and the expectations to learn, develop, and keep up – it can make us feel as though were in some kind of race with humanity. Or worse – with ourselves.

How nice it would be to completely lose ourselves in our chosen crafts and never look back. I envy those who have figured out how to do that. Those are the true Wildflowers!  Instead, many of us feel forced to live with one foot in two worlds, until striking a balance to make those worlds work.

At times this is a painful, confusing, frightening transition, but one that forces growth and experience. Those are the moments beckoning us to face our challenges. To face our fears.

The following is an excerpt from my book The Writer’s Handbook; 365 Days of Motivation & Inspiration:

Feb 23
Fear

“The ‘public’ scares me, but people I trust.”
~ Marilyn Monroe

This magnificent woman was known to both publicly announce, and privately manage her fears. As artists, we are all subjected to a broad spectrum of criticism. How do you manage your fears?

For more quotes, or to purchase a copy of The Writer’s Handbook, visitwww.rochellecunningham.com by clicking on the link(s) in this sentence.

Writing that Wakes the Dead

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by Rochelle Cunningham, Gypsy Writer

One of my favorite prosaic pieces, I jotted down at 3 a.m. The rest of the construction came later, but I’ll never forget how the majority of this prose flowed out of me in one sitting. Had I ignored the persistent muses’s calling – this piece may have died on the vine.

Here is an excerpt from my poetry collection on my website, entitled Jealousy of Night.

There is a man out there…

…who refuses to abandon a dream that naps quietly on a dusty shelf in someone’s basement. He’s caught clawing at the blank pages of a bedside journal – unwilling to turn on the lamp. And his breath weighs heavy on the back of a sleeping poets mind.

There is a man out there…

…who assembles broken memories that crash on the shores of desperation. Wrestling with the rising tide he sails the course of a barely beating heart toward the horizon of a forbidden kiss. A swell in the stillness of the room uncovers a woman’s face and stirs the bedroom curtains as a reminder of troubled waters ahead.

Remember that persistence pays of in many ways. . . even if it’s completing a burning piece of prose keeping you awake! Keep challenging yourself. Keep listening to your muse. Keep writing.

Below is an excerpt from by publication, The Writer’s Handbook; 365 Days of Motivation & Inspiration:

Dec 14
PERSISTENCE

“I heard a preacher say recently that hope is a revolutionary patience; let me add that so is being a writer. Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” ~ Anne Lamott

The next time you are unable to return to sleep – get up and write. It may end up being some of your best work.

For more quotes, or to purchase a copy of The Writer’s Handbook, click on the link in this sentence.

How Do You Brew?

Boil Boil Toil & Trouble_wittco.gmbh_cc
by Rochelle Cunningham, Gypsy Writer

As a writer, I am always in the midst of several projects. This morning, the inside of my head felt like three Scottish witches were using my congested skull as their personal cauldron!

Boil, boil, toil, and trouble . . . I write a few lines of a poem . . . eye of newt . . . a dark villain presents himself to me as I apply mascara . . . a pinch of bat hair . . . my sweet, brunette heroine falls from grace – ohh, what event shall return her to the arms of her lover . . . and toe of salamander . . . fictional names explode like popcorn and I’m digging through my purse like a cat covering crap on concrete, desperately trying to find a pen! Not an unusual morning for most writers.

We’re crazy like that.

The challenge is getting all that great stuff from our heads, on to the page. Writing is magical, and can be quite therapeutic. But it’s also a lot of determined, disciplined work. I frequently fall short as life continues to get in the way. It’s crucial to develop good habits.

The most important, is writing (and reading) EVERYDAY. As a blogger, I’ve discovered an addictive way to strengthen that habit, and keep me motivated and accountable. <strong>The Gypsy Writers would L O V E to hear some of your dark secrets or challenges with the craft, and perhaps, some remedies for how you stay on track.</strong>

Wishing you all much luck with your boiling pots and good habit development!

An excerpt from my book The Writer’s Handbook; 365 Days of Motivation & Inspiration:

Nov 04
STORY TELLING

“I would rather write 10,000 notes than a single letter of the alphabet.”
~ Ludwig van Beethoven
Regardless of your medium, or the craft that calls to you, connecting to the human soul – as an artist of a written language – is what you have been called to do.

For more quotes, or to purchase a copy of  The Writer’s Handbook visit my webpage by clicking on the link(s) in this sentence.

Communicating Our Experiences

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by Rochelle Cunningham, Gypsy Writer

Life is full of juxtapositions, many rich in fodder for writing. In my experience, it’s all in the timing. Learning to seize delicate moments, albeit brief and fleeting, is about keeping your eyes peeled and your heart open to capture them. Take my life over the last week, for example. I buried two uncles, one from my mother’s side, and the other from my father’s. Painful? Yes, of course, and one might think a writer would produce only dark or dreary material. That wasn’t the case at all.

On Thursday evening surrounded by family, I watched my Uncle Dennis take his last sip of air. Having been closer to this uncle, I experienced a more profound, and peaceful sense of his absence the next day. It was there in the sunrise, and not any ordinary sunrise, that I found him.

The Friday morning sky wasn’t painted with the typical broad strokes of amethyst and orange against the crisp, blue canvas. On this day there was an entire cosmos of exploding pastels that reached out from the waking foot hills, shrouding the dampened grass and fall leaves in full glory, as it came to pass over me with warm yellow light. I stood outside in perfect humility while my uncle greeted me, quietly assuring me he had arrived at his destination. I smiled back at him.

It was in those moments, standing alone, bathed in lustrous golden, new morning sunlight – that all was well in the world – even though it felt a little different without him in it anymore.

My muse immediately began dipping her pen into a more poetic ink well. We are currently creating a poem entitled The Mourning Sky.

An excerpt from my book The Writer’s Handbook; 365 Days of Motivation & Inspiration:

Nov 02
DETAILS

“If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

When was the last time that your writing made you happy? Did you call a friend, dance a happy-dance around your desk, or simply chuckle to yourself with great pride? Be sure to celebrate the moments when your words come to life.

For more quotes, or to purchase a copy of The Writer’s Handbook, visit www.rochellecunningham.com by clicking on the link(s) in this sentence.