The Love of Words

February 19, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans 

Have you had a job where you get to literally fall in love every day. Well that’s what being a writer is like on a good day.  Writers touch people with their words. So, if you are reading and you can feel what the author means imagine what him or her felt. Writing is challenging because there is so much emotion attached to it.

Although this emotion is good for writing it sometimes makes one a bit too sensitive for everyday life. When most people build walls, being a writer means being open to the world around you and allowing it to filter in so you may make an interpretive expression of it. Writer’s like all persons who can’t face the world anesthetize with drugs and alcohol. Sometimes writers can’t even face writing.

Yes, some writers run away from their profession. That’s because they don’t always choose it; it becomes this all encompassing thing they have to do to satisfy some need buried deep within. Writing is a beautiful obsession that allows one to feel words as if they were a texture.

Putting words on a page gives one a unique sense of comfort. Being a writer is doing that one thing that brings you the most joy every day. In fact, I even enjoy on writing on days like today when my mind is elsewhere and the words don’t come easy.

 Being such a lover of words does not always bring a lot of financial stability, meaning some of us have to keep our day job a bit longer than we like, but it does fill your spirit. Filling your spirit is what makes life worth living; it warms and fills that empty void that we all carry within us.

 


 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved) 

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

The Art of Rejection

February 17, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

Writers pour their hearts into a project, and more often than not get rejection letters for leaving their blood on the page. If this has been your plight as a writer you are not alone. Some of the most famous writers have endured repeated rejections. It’s the price writer’s pay for wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

Dr. Seuss was rejected because his work was so unique. Rudyard Kipling was admonished for his use or lack thereof the English language. Behind every famous writer there are tons of rejection letters. Writing takes more than just talent it also requires sheer will and determination. In the writing world half the battle is not giving up. Writing is one of those strange professions in that initially few if anyone believes in you, but after you have made it everyone goes on about how you were always a literary genius.       

Therefore if you have been rejected you may be very well on your way to greatness. You are now in the company of elite writers. The first few rejections may send you to your bed to hide under the covers but after that pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and go back to your computer. There’s no crying in writing; well actually there is but write ten pages first. By that time you will forgotten that you are feeling sad and dejected.

Hold you head high; rejection is a rite of passage for writers. The more rejection letters you receive the closer you get to finding the right publisher. Remember there are real people reading your writing and finding the right person who will appreciate your gift may take a bit of time and effort. I have included several websites pertaining to writer rejection, by all means read a bit then go write. Have an outstanding day; isn’t it great to be a writer?     

 http://susiesmith13.tripod.com/id12.html

http://www.writersservices.com/mag/m_rejection.htm

http://www.literaryrejectionsondisplay.blogspot.com/

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

Just Trying

February 15, 2010

 

What I love most about the sunrise is every morning is a new opportunity to start again. Life can be so overwhelming and it’s difficult to make clear decisions with so many things coming at you at once. We’re all so very busy and before you know it the day is over and we did not accomplish all your goals.

That’s why tomorrows are so wonderful you get another opportunity to try again. There are only 24 hours in each day and we can only do so much with that time. We have to make the most of this time knowing that we can always get up the next day and try again.

To try our best every day; this is what God expects of us and all we should expect of ourselves. It does not have to be perfect. In fact as the Japanese accept wabi sabi in art, I have come to accept it in life. Wabi sabi is finding the perfect in the imperfect. Life is an art form and we are the artist. We practice our art every day so that may achieve some level of personal mastery.

Personal mastery is achieved through life-long-learning and a sincere desire to become a better person who contributes to society. It’s okay to fall short of our goals; it’s not okay to give up on becoming a better person. Person mastery is something one works on everyday because it’s all about the journey.

In other words we continue to work on becoming better people knowing we will never be perfect, but we try our best every day. In the end, we are not looking for perfection in ourselves we just need to know we lived a good life; we helped others as much as possible; and every morning we got up and tried again.  

 

 


 

 

 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

Writing to Find your Voice

February 11, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

Writing is truth, therefore if you let go and write naturally you will find that voice that is uniquely yours. Life is such a clutter of activity and we are bombarded with messages from the media, family, and friends telling us what we should believe. We sometimes don’t take the time to figure out what we truly think.

Writing helps us to uncover our truth. A lot of times when writing we find that we start off writing about one thing and our project seem to take on a life of its own and takes you in an entirely different direction. This is truth coming through in more ways than you could begin to imagine.

This is not information you have to share with anyone or you may pull forth or hide whatever you want to hide in subsequent revisions. If you are still not comfortable with putting your expression of yourself on full view you could always make it a work of fiction. Remember fiction writers figuratively get away with murder.

There are so many ways to find your voice through writing but it won’t happen unless we do that thing that most writers dread, sit down and actually write. It’s okay if you’re not Shakespeare; in the beginning Shakespeare was not the writer we have come to know. Take your time and slowly nurture your writing. Okay Dear Reader, enough of that reading; go forth and write with reckless abandon.  

 


 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)  

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

A Week of Mondays

February 10, 2010

 

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

I have fibromyalgia and occasionally I experience what I consider a week of Mondays. During this period everyday feels like a cold, rainy, Monday when you don’t want to get out of bed. What do I do; I get up and exercise like every other morning. I put on an extra layer of clothing, add a few minutes to my meditation, and try to make the days as normal as possible.

I spend these Mondays in quiet contemplation, using it as an opportunity to go within and pray. I find that during these periods I am most grateful for the times I feel healthy.  I try to have something inspirational on hand to read; presently I am reading Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom. I am grateful for these Mondays because they help me keep my life in proper perspective. It reminds me to be kind to myself in ways I don’t usually take the time to do on ordinary days.

I have my favorite breakfast a soothing cup of hot tea with toast. I take an afternoon nap. I make a very simple dinner steamed vegetables or a stir fry. I watch HGTV, which is my guilty pleasure. I keep my idea book close at hand because I often come up with various writing projects or inventions during this time. I guess the primary magic about this time is the moments spent just being quiet.   

It reminds me life is sacred and not to take a minute of it for granted. It reminds me I am a writer, as with most writer, when thing are good we write, and when things are less than lovely we write. In fact writing turns the Mondays into slow, cozy, lovely days.    


 

 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

Screenplays Gone Bad

February 9, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

I dream in screenplays on a fairly regular basis; my dilemma is what to do when I dream a really bad screenplay. Usually when I dream a screenplay I wake up excited and write a quick treatment with as much detail as possible so that I can develop it later. I feel the ability to dream in such a creative way is indeed a gift. But, what do I do when I wake up startled because I dreamed such a turkey?

My last two dreams have been worse than anything I have ever seen. I’m tried to mine them for nuggets and found maybe a hint of treasure in one and no redeeming value in the other. I try to find the lesson in everything in life but this stumps me beyond belief. I cannot find a lesson rhyme or reason. Maybe the lesson is life does not always have to be logical. After all is it rational to dream in screenplays.

Life is about ambiguity, so maybe instead of constantly analyzing we should all just live. So, maybe I will stop trying to analyze so much and be grateful to have such vivid dreams. Maybe I should try to enjoy the bad screenplays along with the good. I do find really bad jokes funny in that they are so not amusing it’s funny. Hay, maybe one day you find a really bad movie coming to a theatre near you.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)   

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

Hacked!

February 8, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

Wednesday February 2, 2010 Writing as a Sacred Art (WAASA) was attacked by a hacker. The hacker was highly skilled in that he or she by passed the password and infiltrated the index file causing the site to go down. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

I am disappointed that someone obviously so talented would spend their time doing such malicious deeds. I am always taken aback when humans behave in an inhumane manner. I pray that whomever did this will start using their intellect to make positive contributions to society.

Sometimes when one is trying to achieve a goal one encounters obstacles. To paraphrase Professor Randy Pausch (1960-2008) in The Last Lecture (this book should be in everyone’s personal library), obstacles are not meant to stop you but to see how badly you want to achieve your goal. The purpose of WAASA is to encourage writers and put a few positive words in to the Universe. WASA is one of my contributions to society it will not be deterred by hackers.

 It has taken few days but WASA is restored with only a few missing post. I would like to take a moment and thank each and every reader for your patience and hope you continue to enjoy this site. If there is any particular issue you would like me to address please leave a comment or drop me an email.  FYI, WASSA will now have at least five weekly posts. Thank you so very much for your support.         

 


 

 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved) 

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

A Prayer for Haiti

January 19, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

Along with most everyone else in the world my heart is breaking for the people of Haiti. I have had to take a step back from technology for a few days to reflect on what I can do to help. A few dollars and a few words just don’t seem to be enough. I guess when you add my dollars with your dollars and your neighbor’s dollars we began to pick up steam. But the faces of the children are haunting because they are not just on TV but are real people with real lives that crying out for help; Words just seem so insignificant.

Although words seem insignificant, there is a pseudo-religious leader and a radio talk show host saying all the wrong words. There are so many in need, how could we ever condemn them or ask people not to send aid. When we help others we elevate our humanity; when we neglect to help others we diminish our humanity. We are all connected when we help the Haitian people we help ourselves. The United States is such a blessed country how could we not be of service to others. There are so many third world countries that seem to be the Jobs of the world. Let us pray that like Job from the Bible God gives the Haitians what they need to survive yet another calamity.

A collect is a short Christian prayer that makes a request of God. The following is a collect I wrote for the people of Haiti. Like I said previously words seem so insignificant right now but maybe the prayers and positive words will add up and the Haitians will feel all the love and support they are receiving from around the word. Remember “Where two or more are gathered in my name I shall be there also” (Matthew 18:20).   

 

Heavenly Father,

Who saw Job through his trials and tribulation

Please lift up your Haitian children and cradle them in your arms

So they may be feel the comfort of your love, and know there is power in your name

In the name of your son, Jesus Christ

Amen

 

Help for Haiti: Learn What You Can Do
 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans   

 Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging, Life.

Baby its Cold Outside/Florida Whiner

January 12, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans 

It’s so cold outside. How cold is it? It’s so cold I can’t even think of anything witty to write because my brain is frozen.   I don’t mean Florida cold, but rather a Hell freezing over kind of cold. Here in Florida temperatures in sixties are considered cold. When it gets any colder we are just beside ourselves. No one wants to catch the sunrise on the beach when its twenty-four degrees. I typically spend hours every day on my patio writing; now I’m stuck inside complaining and I typically don’t complain. 

I did notice on the news today that it will be in the seventies by the end of the week in the mean-time I have to pace, drink hot tea and complain. I have never acquired an appreciation for cold weather. I imagine, at this point in my life, if I lived in a colder state I would sit in my house and cry. In the past when I lived in a colder state I felt as if something was missing as if my life were not my own.

I recently read an article about the Happiest States, of which Florida is number three. I want my happiness back. Florida is the Sunshine State and I feel cheated. I think there is some law that we should not more than three successive cold days.  This just is not fair, there are few things that unnerve me, but Florida not holding up to its end of the bargain as the Sunshine State tops the list.

 On these sequential cold days instead of practicing Writing as a Sacred Art I feel as if I am practicing Complaining as a Profane Sacrifice. I am a creature of habit I thrive on warm weather, beautiful sunrises, and frequent trips to the beach. I know I’m being a hysterical writer about this whole thing and I assure you, I don’t care. Dear Readers, please send me warm thoughts as I lament my fate of being in the frozen tundra that is Florida for a few more days. Okay, I got that out of my system I feel good once again; I think I will have a cup of tea.

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans 

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

Resolution ???

January 6, 2010

 

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

Well it’s that time of year again when we make resolutions that we barely keep a week. Last year I decided to do something different, rather than resolutions I started setting goals. I mean clear concrete goals with a plan of action. My goals were simple: start a blog, write a screenplay, and loose a few pounds. To start a blog I read five books; I know that may be a bit much but I’m information junky. The screenplay was easy, I watched so many movies in 2008 I began to dream entire movies. I also purchased several books to learn structure and format. In losing weight action plan I extended working out with my Pilates DVDs to five or six day per week and trade off with Yoga DVDs every six weeks.

My goals for this year (2010) are to continue writing, loose a few more pounds, and become a minimalist. The last goal to become a minimalist was an unexpected, but as life has a way of steering us along the right course and it is very much in order with my vision for my life. It’s always good to listen to what your life is telling you. On some level I believe this journey is about more than being a minimalist but rather an opportunity to get my house in order: spiritually, physically, financially, and emotionally. I’m not really sure, I’m just going to be open and enjoy the journey.

That is my prayer for you this season of new beginnings that you are open to what life has to offer and don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Feel free to share your thoughts on the subject.

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans


 

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

Home for the Holidays

December 31, 2009

Home for the Holidays

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

I just spent a few days home with my family over the Christmas season and, boy, did those lovely people feed me. I gained 700 pounds. By the time I was packing to leave I could hear my abs singing to the tune of, Its Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas:   

 

          I’m beginning to look a lot like a fat bird. Everywhere I go.

          It’s the cake, the ice cream and the pie that burst your seams

          When you visit home SWEET home. 

 

          Since you’re beginning to look a lot like a fat bird,

          I hope you don’t mind I bought you a jogging suite

          so no one will ask you when its due.

          We all know the father is cake and pie.

 

I really did have a wonderful time visiting my family and food is a very big part of our holiday traditions. This year I was particularly cognizant of all the meals I had especially Christmas dinner. I ate very slowly and savored every bite. There is something truly special about food prepared by people who love you; you can feel the love and taste the history. There was the traditional moist, golden fried turkey and cornbread dressing from my mom. There were also recipes from those who are no longer with us, like my Aunt Gwen’s famous apple custard pie.         

Part of our Christmas tradition is to have a non-traditional meal; Aunt Rudine created a taco bar with ground turkey, homemade guacamole, and all the fixings. Valerie made her to die for German banana split cake (which is actually a pie). We also feasted on green beans, squash casserole, and mash potatoes with gravy. We had strawberry jello with cream cheese balls filled with nuts. Appetizers: chicken salad, artichoke dip, and a fondue station with; which I used for roasting marshmallows. In my book roasting marshmallows spells Christmas. Cakes: Chocolate, cheese, pound, Japanese fruit, and red velvet. Pies: I never made it beyond sweet potato. And although, my dad did not cook anything for the dinner, his very presence filled me with happiness.    

So, why am I writing an entire post about food? Two reasons; first of all, my digestive system is such that my diet is restricted to primarily fruit and vegetables, so over the holiday I indulge in poultry, fish and deserts (never red meat). Secondly, because just like all the different foods came together and made the perfect meal for our family; all the different people of our clan come together to be a perfect family. I’m not saying we are a perfect family, but maybe we are perfect for each other as a family. Therefore, I would like to use my last post of the year to tell my family:  I love you and I value each and every member of our family for the unique quality you bring to the table.  



 

© 2009 by C. J. Stegall-Evans     

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like …

December 24, 2009

By C. J. Stegall-Evans 

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas in this season of miracles. I’m sitting in the mall waiting for my car to be serviced at Sears. As I sit and people watch I began to think about my readers, I ask God to bless each and every one of you. I notice there is something special in the air and I take out my composition book and pen to record. It’s nice to sit and watch so many people with smiles on their faces. I notice some shopped at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Store, but that okay, Christmas is cause enough to be tacky.

A guy walks by pushing a big trash cart, smiling and speaking to everyone who passes. He even bumps elbows with the UPS guy (a fist bump for those with their hands full). He gives me a big smile and says, “Hello.”  I ask how he is doing. He says, “Fine, fine, that’s the only way to be.” I can tell he genuinely means it. 

Most people are not carrying packages, but rather seem to be out for a long mall walk. I also notice it must be dress your children cute day as I have seen everything from reindeer antlers to beautiful taffeta party dresses. Security passes on a segway; it looked more like fun than a job. There a lot of laughter in the air. I’m not a shopper so wonder if the mall is always like this or is this just a Christmas thing. A man walks by in a Santa hat with Christmas lights on the ball, we both smile and I know it’s beginning to look a lot like…

A family with two teen, a small child, grandparents and a mom stops in front of me and give each other long warm hugs. I’m having my car repaired with the money I was going to use to buy presents for my family; so this year I’m giving long warm hugs. Christmas really is more about what you feel than what you give. Have a Very Merry Christmas and don’t forget to give more than a few warm hugs.  


 

© 2009 by C. J. Stegall-Evans      

 Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

My Kind of Heaven

December 15, 2009

 

For the past few days I have had the pleasure of waking and watching the sunrise on the Atlantic Ocean; that’s my kind of heaven. A few years ago I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and was taken aback by the sheer loveliness of the wording. In the book14-year-old Susie Salmon is raped and murdered and when she goes to heaven, her version is at school on the playground at recess. If we do indeed get the heaven we create for ourselves mine is definably the beach. When I was in seminary, no, I’m not ordained (Hark, the herald angels sing!), our professor asked us where do we meet God? Every person gave an answer relevant to parts of the church worship service.

 I simply said on the beach; at which point the class erupted in a litany (pun intended) of differencing opinions and Christians began speaking to me in a un-Christian-like manner. I had spent the previous year in jail and prison ministry and the experience I took away is (since I already knew God was in beauty) is that God is also in the desolate places. In other words God can meet you, as you are wherever you are; this is the beauty of omnipresence.

So when I look out upon the ocean I can feel the beauty and majesty that is God. Church is fine, but I’m sure God knows everyone is not going to be sitting in church. So, do the people who do not attend church fall by the wayside? Mind you this is only my humble opinion, but I think God can lift you up no matter where you are. The most wonderful thing about feeling closest to God on the beach; I don’t have to wait until I get to heaven for my reward, I just go the beach. That’s my kind of heaven.    


 

© 2009 by C. J. Stegall-Evans

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

Writing and the Art of Procrastination

December 9, 2009

Yes, procrastination is an art form. I went out to see the sunrise this morning sans pen because I didn’t feel like writing:

 

I‘m Not Going to Write About It

 I see the clouds swirl through the air as if waves in the ocean,

 but I’m not going to write about it.

 The clouds start swirling faster and they become a herd of dinosaurs running from the roar of the train that’s bursting into the morning,

but I’m not going to write about it.  

The sun slowly stretches out its arms and the sky becomes a dull blue-gray,

 but I’m not going to write about it.

The dinosaurs are tired so they stop in mountain pose; as the dinosaurs become mountains, a hungry seagull dive bombs a fish,

 but I’m not going to write about it.

 

Interesting, isn’t it; only a writer could write about not writing. Anyway I spent thirty minutes not writing, while writing in my head at the same time.

Earlier this year, comedian George Carlin died and the most interesting thing I read in an article was he was a “nine to five comic.” He had an office and he would show up for work and write every day. The difficult thing about writing is have to be dedicated and show every day.   Writers should write even if we don’t feel like it, every other job you have to show up and work every day, writing is no different. I (usually) write for a few hours after I exercise Monday – Saturday. Although, I don’t have to, I usually write on Sundays too, but you would be surprised how often procrastination rears its ugly head in a writer’s life.

Sometimes I give in to procrastination but most days I just write. When I find it really difficult I usually set a timer and sit down to write for exactly three hours. Sometimes it’s a long three hours and sometimes it flies. I‘ve been writing for so many years that I feel guilty or empty if I miss an opportunity. It takes twenty-one days to start a new habit, so try taking some time out of your schedule and for the next twenty-one days and write for twenty minutes. It does not matter what you write about, it only matters that you write. 


© 2009 by C. J. Stegall-Evans           

 Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

I Write Because…

December 7, 2009

I write to get that transcendent feeling of joy that I sense in every fiber of my being. I write because it gives me a sense of purpose. Writing makes me feel like anything is possible. When I’m writing my soul opens and I feel a heightened sense of awareness. It’s as if for that brief period all the stress of life just fades away there is a tiny bit of peace in the world.

My writing informs who I am and makes me a better person; it allows me know myself because there does not seem to be any other way. I write because it calms me down and lifts me up. I write because I am compelled and it makes my life worthwhile. I write because it sooths my soul and puts my life in perspective. I write because it makes sense. I write because life is so crazy I need the sanctity it showers over my life. I write because it is when I feel most real and more alive.

I wake up every day grateful to be a writer. I start the morning with what I consider my practice of writing as a sacred art. I don’t always know what I’m going to write about and sometimes have a difficult time collecting my thoughts; Then I remember to just relax and let the words come; I can always edit later. It does not have to be anything special I just have to write. It’s like exercising to stay in shape, except more fun.

I write to flex my writing muscles or because I’m lonely and it fills an inner void. I write because it makes me feel loved and heard. I write because it’s like breathing and I know I could not survive without it. Words have power; they can start wars and bring about peace. Words can make you a friend or an enemy. 

 Words can create; I get to write my life right the way the way I want to live it, and begin setting those words into action.  I write because I get to listen as the words come and peacefully pass through my ears (the ultimate sweet nothings). I write because it is the only part of my life that truly belongs to me. I write because it makes me feel important to myself.

I write because it is a form of prayer. I write because I could not see myself existing without it. I write because I don’t remember when I did not write on a regular basis. Writing has always been my way, a safety net. I write because it provides positive reinforcement for my life, and what it means to be human. I write because my words are tears poured out in ink.

Writing allows me to articulate grief, entertain feelings of, happiness, sadness, confusion, loneness, felling of being loved or unloved. Writing makes me feel like a princess who can sit around in her castle writing all day (no, I have no castle but I do have imagination).

Writing puts me in touch with the world around me, and if the need arrives takes me away from it again (there’s that castle again). Writing reminds me to make positive contributions to the world. Writing is my lifeline; it lets me get everything out. Writing is all I have in this world; in other words writing is everything.              

I have told you why I write; now please, share with me why you write?

 

(c) 2009 by C. J. Stegall-Evans

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

Embracing Life

November 14, 2009

Until recently, I thought it was not possible for me to be more peaceful, but with taking this year off to write, work toward my PhD, and reflect, I am reaching a new level of embracing life. Embracing life, I like the sound of that, it resonates in my ears. My life has become much quieter and I’m listening more to my life and the lives of those around me. I’m making a conscious effort to look at the whole picture before I make rash decisions. I take into account how my actions today will affect my future.

I consider my future, but I don’t feel the need to will it into being, but rather take each day as a blessing. Writing makes me feel as if I am fulfilling my purpose, but I am also trying to take better care of the relationships, I hold dear. I guess from the perspective of the outside world, I am doing less, but I am definitely learning more. Every ten years we reach a defining point in our lives, and we have to decide whether we learn from our past or do we spend the next decade floundering.

According to George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I have decided to learn and grow from my past so that I may get on with the next phase of life. I know a lot of people regret getting older but I find with each decade I become more fascinated with the all possibilities of life.   

I guess what I’m seeking more than anything is personal mastery; having the motivation, discipline, and creativity to learn and grow a little bit every day. Systems thinker, Dr. Donella Meadows tells us, “In the end, it seems mastery has … to do with…strategically, profoundly, madly, letting go and dancing with the system.” The same can be said of life; let go and embrace life however it comes.  My prayer for you as we reach the end of another year is that you reflect on the past, live for the present, and be consciously mindful of your effect on the future. 

 

  

(c) 2009 by C. J. Stegall-Evans

 

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

Passion for Education?

October 15, 2009

 

I’m up late as usual; and I am shocked out of my need for slumber (slumber? I can’t help its close to Halloween so I’ve been reading Edgar Allen Poe) by the following passage:  

 

          Real learning gets to the heart of what it means to be human. Through learning

          we recreate ourselves. Through learning we become able to do something we

          were never able to do. Through learning we perceive the world and our relationship

          to it. Through learning we extend our capacity to create, to be part of the

          generative process of life. There is within each of us a deep hunger for

          this type of learning.    

                                                                                                              (Senge, 2006) 

 

We come into this life full of hope, curious and thirsty for knowledge; we enter the school system and somewhere in our attempt to become educated we lose interest in learning. Peter Senge belives we can re-organize school systems so that they may become learning organizations. I am fascinated to find someone so passionate about education. The passage is relatable because as writers we are life-long learners. We get to become chameleons and dabble in any profession. I guess having passion for life is amazing no matter where you find it.  

   Senge, P. (2006).   The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization.   New York: Currency.


 

 

 

 

© 2009 by C. J. Stegall-Evans

 

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

Ph.D. Blues

October 14, 2009

Its 3:00am, I’m pursuing (yes, I mean pursuing as in chasing down) a doctoral degree, which means life without sleep. I’m researching a paper on technology in education and find I just cannot write another word about education. I want to be free; or maybe I just need a little break. My challenge is to write the first draft of my assignments as if I am practicing writing as a sacred art: write the first draft from the hart and revise and edit with your head.

 

I am trying to approach my assignment from a position of gratitude, but the most I can muster this early in the morning is a grunt. If the sun was out I could go to the beach, which always cures my ills. (30 minutes later) Alas, I found my spirit by going out on the patio and letting the cool tile sooth my feet; while that haughty slither of a moon smiles down on me because as I’m working it gets to has inspire dreams. The lazy river rolls gently by as the grasshoppers make a joyful noise. I am grateful the bird that sings out of tune took the night off. All is right with the world; I can pretend to be a student again.

(c) 2009 by C. J. Stegall-Evans  

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

A Little Imagination Goes…

October 2, 2009

 

The primary thing I like about the practice of writing as a sacred art is you are not confined to any one subject. There is a freedom to writing for the sake of writing. Recently I was ill and could not go to the beach, so I took the opportunity to write about it: 

I am on the beach in public parking and I close the car door a bit too hard in my haste to get out. I walk to the old brown rugged wood picnic tables and take a deep breath. I look to my right and take in the full beauty that is the ocean. I stand completely still, smelling the salt air, closing my eyes and listening to the roar of the ocean. It sooths my soul, I know I am home. I open my eyes, take a deep breath and sit at the picnic tables.

I stare at the ocean and become one with all there is. The blue-green water enters my blood stream and my heart beats in rhythm to the crashing waves. I become a fish. I am a small fish caught up in this cool-blue menagerie of life. I surrender to the vast expanse of everything and nothing, allowing it to take me where it wants me to go. I occasionally come up and look at the land-locked souls and wonder if they are content just sitting or walking on the beach. Then a wave overtakes me and they don’t exist anymore. 

I am back in my ocean I can breathe again. I feel safe in this large soothing womb; there is freedom; sound is muffled but beauty is magnified. I am still in quite shallow waters but I venture further down to spy seaweed as they dance to the muffled ocean music. The deep green skinny weeds sway in time to the current as if touched by an ocean breeze.

I close my eyes and try to think of a little song to go with the music but words fail me; I open my eyes and continue to watch the dance of the seaweed. I swim and I swim, I swim forever. I am lost in time, space, and nothingness. One lives forever in the ocean. You are always a part of it and it is always a part of you.  The ocean is the most perfect place imaginable.

I slowly come to myself and I am sitting at the picnic tables looking out upon the ocean and already missing my little fish dream. I look down and begin to envy the sand for its nearness to the ocean. I touch the tan, glassy sand and it feels like life slipping through my fingers. I am at peace and I have renewed energy to face my life. What do I do now? I continue to write. I continue to have faith. I continue to live with integrity.   

 

(c) 2009 by C. J. Stegall-Evans

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

Blog

September 14, 2009

***WASA will be down until 10/2/2009 due to technical difficulties.***

In the past several months I have engaged in tons of research trying to figure out how to best develop this website. I am truly enjoying my venture into the blogosphere but I find I have been so thoroughly focused on the technology behind blogging that I have neglected my other writing projects.

Therefore, in an effort to sustain both a relevant site and my writer’s life this website is once again in process of becoming. The latest incarnation of this site will include a writer’s resource page. The resource page includes information about grants, writing grant proposals, and job information.  I have included a resource area because one of the most difficult things about becoming a writer is finding a way to finance your craft.

It is much easier to practice writing as a sacred art if the writer is solvent and able to focus on his or her portfolio. I still plan to practice writing as a sacred art on a daily basis, as I hope you will too. I will post to the site on Mondays, and continue to check the site and my email several times a day. I really do enjoy hearing from other writers; feel free to continue writing and asking questions.

I’m not putting this site on the back-burner; I am just honoring who I am and removing obstacles from my path to keep me from writing.  That’s the thing about the writing life we have to overcome obstacles that stand between ourselves and our goals, and sometimes those obstacles are of our own making.     

(c) 2009 by C. J. Stegall-Evans 

 

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging.

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