Friday, September 12, 2014

Finding the way without forgetting

How ironic that I attended a writing conference, which stressed regular writing time, in Cleveland on Monday and haven't found space to blog all week. And, last post, I wrote about craving routine and its value. I haven't found it this week. Not with work, life or spirituality. 

I've been running and crashing, running and crashing. Typically, I plan for more balance; time off after projects, traveling and late nights. I never was one who could burn the candle at both ends – my body simply won't let me.

It's all been deep, rich work, but at such a fevered pace and not of my creation.
Bookends: from glitzy hotel to packing my studio

Monday was a killer conference packed full of marketing know-how for authors. Exactly what I had hoped it would be. I drove up Sunday afternoon and spent the evening and overnight with a wonderful friend from freshman year at Miami U. I loved getting to know her in her house and with her likable spouse. Her girls are away at college. I even got to visit her 85-year-old mother whom I hadn't seen in 30 years. She had home-baked cookies and tea prepared.

I dashed out of the house at 6:40 a.m. to make the 7 a.m. conference registration. Scored super-cheap, convenient parking thanks to online trolling and arrived. All of the speakers are published authors who sung the praises of treating your work as an entrepreneur not an artist when it comes time to market. Authorpreneur, they called it. One women, over a quick lunch lecture, asked whether you'd put your work on a pedestal inside of velvet ropes or next to a stack of sneaker at a garage sale. That image really drove home the point for me. I was encouraged and hungry for information. I loved that an Amazon best-selling author said his work was awful at first, even sharing nasty reviews. He was so humble and encouraging of what really can happen all at the same time.

I had another offer to stay in Cleveland and drive home in the morning, but my head was swimming, I relished the quiet four-hour drive home and was eager to be in Cincinnati. The next evening, I was scheduled to present my non-profit elevator speech on stage to potential new board members.

The speech went very well even though the spotlights were overwhelming. Maybe it helped that I couldn't see the audience. Good practice for this introvert, at any rate.

I've been gathering, planning and organizing all week for the annual community art day and registration for Artsy Fartsy Saturdays, held at the complex we serve. A lotta work, yet a lotta fun.

Serving poorest of the poor on the heals of listening to marketing gurus are interesting bookends #salonforthesoul

Serving the poorest of the poor on the heals of listening to marketing gurus are interesting bookends to the weekSprinkle in a mini reunion, being center stage at an edgy theater, the subject of a ministry care committee, making a personal grant request and re-initiating art Sunday in the inner city and I think I may take at least Monday off to rebalance.

• What's my usual balance of work, play, family and spirituality?
• How do I handle it when I become off-kilter?
• How easily do I let my spiritual life fall to the wayside?
• Where or how do I feel God in these moments?
• How do I take time to see where God is in all of this messy life?

knowing it would
be inspiration,
and what I hunger

I took the plunge
although it
the rest of the

that just got
busier and busier

things happening
that I just couldn't
say no to

trying to find
my way through
and not forget
who put me

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