Showing posts from June, 2010

The Flow of Creation

Peace settles over me in the most soothing way when I venture into the Blue Ridge mountains.  The trek up here always ignites a fire in me (and my accelerator).  I love riding the curving mountain roads, and these days my GPS provides a new perspective, disclosing the upcoming hairpin turns.  What fun! Once I'm here, I relax and sink into the green mountains and fresh tree-oxidized air.  Everything feels new and fresh and familiar and old at once. From this place, I write, finding that the words flow with little effort.  So each year, I agree to the excursion and pack my writing materials, good books for inspiration, and a plan to write. Some of my best material began in these mountains, ideas that unroll like they spill down the side of a mountain and into my innermost creative thoughts.  I would stay here longer if I could, but reality claims me and soon I must go. Until then, I will write and breathe and live the joy of creation. Where do you escape to write?  What places

Things My Dad Gave Me

My Dad and I rode the chairlift at Tweetsie, our legs dangling in the air. Dad clung to the bar that separated us from the plummet below and did his best to restrain me as I kicked my feet and leaned over exclaiming, “Look, we can almost touch their heads with our feet!” I stared in fascination at the people below us. This story—Dad clinging to the bar, fighting his terror in order to keep me in my seat—has entertained our family over the years. He shared this ride with the only child he raised that did not share his fear of heights. I recall the ride but nothing of his fear. I was five. Over the years, I learned of other facts that he managed to conceal, hoping to not affect our outlook on life. Questions about his missing finger received a simple answer, “It got shot off in the war.” He fought in World War II, and a bomb exploded beside him causing extensive damage. He received a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. As children, we knew his finger got shot off. That’s it. I hat

Piecing Together the Experience

Some days fall together in a perfect pattern like your favorite jigsaw puzzle. I taught a training class last week in Problem Solving, and I couldn’t have asked for a more ideal experience. Training classes, when designed well, take several different aspects of a common topic and weave them together into a seamless picture. Each piece of the puzzle fits into another with segments in proximity sharing a common theme. I’ve taught this class several times. In fact, I designed the class. It identifies participants' learning styles in relation to problem solving, follows the problem solving model using problems identified by the participants, and finishes with a fun, but applicable, activity. The activity allows participants to apply what they've learned as well as using their teamwork, creativity, and communication skills. What made last week’s class ideal? Simply said, the participants. Training participants fall into three main categories: those willing to be there, absorbi

Giraffes, Rhinos, and Impalas Oh My!

We all know what can happen on a three hour tour thanks to Gilligan’s Island. Luckily, for us, our three-and-a-half hour tour gave us lots of excitement but not of the shipwrecked kind. Last week, my husband and I traveled to California where we visited the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Two years ago, we visited the park, but I wanted to go back. Why? Because, silly me did not go on the photo safari last time. I’ve regretted that decision ever since. So, off we went, to the park, with one plan in mind—take the photo tour so I can see and feed the giraffes. San Diego Wild Animal Park offers three different photo safari tours. We opted for the three-and-a-half hour one AND discovered that no one else signed up for that tour, but us. Imagine! Our own private tour guides and driver. Three people to take care of little old me and Bruce. How about that? We quickly learned that one of our guides, Vicki, likes giraffes as much as I do. How cool was that? We talked giraffes and I experienc