Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Personal and Global revolution—who started this war anyway?!

Hello everyone.

I recently wrote a comment on a blog about the role of women in Egypt’s current political revolution. (See, http://www.care2.com/causes/womens-rights/blog/the-women-of-egypt-a-strong-defiant-force/).

I’m interested in these issues because I have a friend in Egypt, and more than usual lately, our discussions have been stretching my thinking about the possible practical implications of Self-to-self learning. The current Middle East situations represent a clear example of the traceable pathways of creating reality from the inside out of individual concept, into the sociopolitical global arenas of collective action.

In any country, political revolution is actually only a first step to the kind of “real” revolution, which strives to re-design, realistically, the social fabric of real people’s lives. Everywhere, people are recognizing that for any new political structure to be accepted, it will have to grow up from the “a priori” common-law of human rights, as the ideological-social mandate of the people who spark revolution. Ultimately, the life-force of any government’s legitimacy, the ability of any regime’s political power to bind together the comprehensive diversities of every country’s sociopolitical fabric, depends on its mutualistic socioeconomic heartbeat!

There are many who see the aftermath of any sort of revolution with starry-eyed hope, believing that they can invent legitimate authority as political legality, out of the smoldering ashes that are actually social uprising, forgetting that it is inevitably the “cri de coeur” (heart’s cry) for social and economic justice that lights the fuse of all revolution. The corrupt political-power regimes that grotesquely continue to struggle to derail mutual democratic reform for their citizens are under siege across all nations of this world. There are those involved in many struggles against political, social, economic, scientific, medical, educational, cultural, religious/psychological domination-power ploys, who fully understand reality’s human rights as a life-necessity.

If you’ve been reading the material on this site, either on this forum here, or at (http://selftoself.com/messages/amesshome_sum.htm (click the article headings), you will surely be able to connect these dots of creative power. The Self-to-self understandings that underlie our personal, individual responsibility for the intimate reality we each privately create are the same understandings that uphold our social responsibility for our shared world reality that we collectively create.

To grasp the beginnings of our global equity-issues we need look no further than our own lives in our own countries. (The rallying call of feminism, that “the personal is political”, is still true). The world over, each country still struggles to fully implement women’s socioeconomic equality, not just as a political matter, but as part of common-law human rights issues that all countries still squabble with. (Simply look at the current, readily available list ranking countries that consistently undervalue and underpay women’s labour regardless of political endorsement.)

To my mind, the legitimacy of any popular revolution (social or political) arises from the grass-roots grasp of the unifying principle of equalitarian human rights for ALL citizens. Any understanding of human rights and freedom begins with the recognition of the global realities of patriarchy's primary injustice (in varying degrees) that denies women equal social-economic rights. This irrational domination is a power-identity problem that over-rides fact and intelligence at every turn. This false, illogical conceptual view of human identity is the origin of religious sexism clothed in cultural and political ideology and steeped in centuries of historic fictionalization, that too often, still rules people’s lives. Patriarchy’s Self-to-self dishonesty to fact and motive (masquerading under many names), is the original corruption of the universal human truth about human power, and thereby a debasement of human identity. Fundamental Human Rights are by nature, equal rights.

Only such a revolutionary understanding of the roots that currently continue to grow (manifest) this unjust reality, can break the operational hold of sanity-slaughtering political regimes designed specifically to keep humankind blindly perpetuating these sorts of experienced, dominative, petrified power-paradigms.

Clarity of thought need not take generations to electrify into mass revolt against barbarity; truth has no timetable in the current culture of the World Wide Web’s open communication. The generational evolvement of human mind (and spirit) has been naturally progressing, with or without the corrupt, inherited, power-players consent. Time alone can no longer sustain the manufactured, mass ignorance that once held the old guard of degenerate power patterns in place. This is the real hope for a new reality for all people.

As women in every country define their equal rights by joining in humanity's struggles for sane and equitable world development, humanity will redefine itself both ideologically and operationally, from every layer of its learning, as its own growing Self-to-self knowledge. We each need to do our own learning in order to support rational revolution as both personal inward knowledge, and social global enlightenment. We each need to recognize that our own struggles, be they the individual revolutions that overthrow private tyrannical belief systems or the social-political revolutions of whole counties that strive to do the same, are rooted in the very same misidentification of human nature into domination-subordination power.

Regardless of any overarching characteristics that might seem to divide and separate us as the human family, the injustice of denying fundamental human rights to any people, spans every heart, to join us in the common struggle for freedom and dignity for all people. That effort begins within our individuated heart and mind, as each of us frees ourselves from the tyranny of our own irrational power-identity.

Pleading ignorance is fast becoming an illegitimate claim, as our world lurches toward increasingly dire circumstances in every direction; yet humanity’s collective hope is in our collective wisdom to change our own path—if we choose to. Rationality is a choice. Using one’s own intelligence is a choice. Learning is a choice. No one can make me, and no one can stop me. So in the Middle East, in China, in Africa, in our own back yards, in our homes, schools, churches, parliaments, who started this war anyway?

Best Regards,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chicken Soup for the Soul Update

The editors of the Chicken Soup series of books are preparing a whole new set of books. They will only publish if they get enough good stories. Keep up to date on what they are working on. http://www.chickensoup.com/form.asp?cid=possible_books

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tried the prompts!

While I couldn't make the last meeting, I did try my hand at Pat's interesting prompts. Here's what I came up with:

The glamorous being, besieged by tears, stood in a huddle with a ponderous roman and gave her eroded account of events. Her heavy heart wounded by the cubic zirconia her lover had presented. In a red liquid phobia, she’d descended on him like an Indian on cotton, her fitness no flicker. The release of tears and wails continued while he scrolled steep lists of emails, tidy in his iPhone. There would be an ovation, the dead man’s fame already made him immortal against all the odds. It would be a cinch that after this, the woman would junk the jug of wine.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I chose the word, "fitness" from out list of prompts at our last writing meet, March 20th. One word jumped out at me and reminded me of a few conversations I've had with doctors. The actual conversations didn't go as described below, but that's what imagination and embellishment are for: :-)

Fitness, fitness, fitness! I feel like a bloody machine! I workout every day, well .... I give myself one day off at least. God, I hate exercising! I keep hearing that it eventually becomes easy and fun ... 'eventually' is nowhere in site to be found.

"Lose weight, eat healthier, and exercise more or I'll put you on cholesterol medication" instructed the doctor.

"Oh God, NO! Anything but that! I'll do it .... I'll eat better, I'll exercise more. I don't want go on the medication; you take it to fix a problem, but then you need different medication for the side effects of the first medication!" I said.

"Well, that's true" said the doctor with a slight smile on his face.

Check out my blog page @ http://www.kelli-curtis.blogspot.com

Glamorous And Other Prompt Words

Dictionary Dip Words: glamorous, being, huddle, erode, roman, ponderous, beseige, account, heavy, heart, cubic, release, scroll, steep, tidy, ovation, fame, cinch, junk, cotton, liquid, immortal, odds, red, descend, jug, fitness, phobia, indian, flicker.

I never felt more glamorous than when I stood on the stage receiving a standing ovation for my performance of a Roman Emperor. I originally turned down the role of the heavy set male character. I am female and I feared I couldn't do the role justice. What were the odds that I would be convincing? But the beseige of requests eroded away at my phobia and I rose to the challenge.

Like a jug of liquid, I poured my heart into the role. I took into account his entire being. My soul decended into the steep hallows of this immortal man.

And now, as I stand on the 60 cubic foot stage dressed in a red cotton robe, a scroll in my hand, I release a happy sigh. No one cared about the indians huddled in the corner. They were junk to my tidy performance.

Flashes of cameras and flickers of light reflecting from diamond jewelry assaulted me. The applause, the cheering - this was fame, if only for 15 minutes.

(Though this exercise seemed like a cinch, I was ponderous as to how I could use all the words to boost my creative fitness.)

Meeting Minutes, March 20, 2011

We had a small group due to the March Break and other stuff. Thank you to those who attended.

Kelli read her rejection letters from Harper Collins Canada and Scholastic Canada. They both told her they don't accept unsolicited manuscripts but one read her story regardless. Pat said she believed Kelli's query letter indicating the story was based on her own experience played a role in that. Members gave Kelli advice about checking publisher websites for their guidelines and recommended websites writersdigest.com and writing.com for information.

A question arose that no one had an answer for. If anyone knows, please feel free to share. Kelli submitted to Harper Collins Canada. Would it be okay to submit separately to Harper Collins U.S.? In any case, can you submit to a company AND their sister company in the U.S.?

Joe read an article he wrote 15 years ago about his visit to an Istanbul marketplace which was published in Roots Magazine. Though the marketplace was well described, Clare said he felt the smells and sounds were missing. Joe said he was writing to a specific market.

Judy read a poem, "Mother", she plans to present at an event at Alton Mills the first weekend of May. (I checked Alton Mills website but couldn't find an event fitting this category). When asked about "Fat and Other F Words" Judy said she is considering self-publishing.

Pat has been busy with various deaths in the family but promised to writing something about her aunt's last days.

For prompts Pat, a fill-in leader for a fill-in leader for a fill-in leader, chose to do Dictionary Dip. Since there was no time to advise people to bring a dictionary for this purpose, she did her own dipping and came up with the following words:


The idea is to take one word and write about it - prose, poem or whatever.

Of course Judy circled the words beginning with "f" and chose to write about fame and, of course, was able to include many other "f" words.

Clare used the words heavy, release and flicker about an experience with "heavy" luggage in an airport.

Ron used all but one word - fitness.

Ashley used the words fame and ovation.

Kelli wrote about the word fitness, inspired by a conversation she had with her doctor.

Pat used all but 3 words - fitness, cinch and ponderous.

Pat urged members to post their exercise on the blog. I also recommend that this be done more often, where appropriate.

The next meeting is Sunday, April 3rd. Clare will be leading. Hopefully Diane will be back to take notes. She does a much better job.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Next Headwaters Writers' Guild Meeting

I know some people are away due to March Break. Please advise whether you will be attending, as opposed to NOT attending. (Obviously, if people are away they may not get this notice and cannot respond).

We meet this Sunday, March 20th, 1:30pm, at Tweedsmuir Church in Orangeville. Leader Swap: Marilyn will be leading.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Murder In Hum Harbour

There's a sleuth on the loose.
I am pleased to announce that Murder In Hum Harbour: A Seaglass Mystery will be available in paperback and e-book in October 2011.
It is part of Harbourlight Books' new mystery imprint.
Jayne E. Self



A great video re creativity. The Change Artist Book - a novel.

It might answer the question why you're blocked or why you can't finish your novel, painting, or whatever creative work you may be working on.

I suggest you check it out.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meeting Minutes March 6, 2011

"Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man." - Sir Francis Bacon

It was a much smaller group this week than in weeks past, but it was no less entertaining!
Jayne was leading this week and did a wonderful job.

Pat announced that we've decided on a June 4 date for our next Brian Henry workshop which will be about developing characters. He is leading a "Writing with Style" workshop in Guelph March 12.

Judy read a revised story called "Words from Beyond" that she sent to the Toronto Star Short Story contest. It was very well done and she got a well-deserved round of applause!

Marilyn was "channelling Isaac Asimov today" and read from her new blog! She has a great story about meeting Mr. Asimov.

Pat told us that "Diane inspired me to write about anything." She read us her story called "Stalker Mom" which was very funny and well done. We look forward to hearing where this story ends up!

Nancy was interviewed on CBC Radio this past Tuesday regarding her article about why she loves the f-bomb that was published in Facts & Arguements in the Globe and Mail in 2009. It got a lot of attention then and, with someone using the word at the Academy Awards last week, they called her up for her reaction.

Kelli was going to bring her rejection letters she's gotten since starting to submit her children's book to publishers. She forgot them at home, but will bring them next time.

Caitlyn read a piece from the POV of being a ghost walking through the world. Eerie and fascinating all at once.

Joe had a technical problem. He has saved most of his writing onto floppy disks and has bought a new computer that doesn't accept them. Pat said she has a reader that will allow him to transfer the info from his disks to the new computer. The general consensus was for him to email the info from his old computer to his new one. And to get an external harddrive.

And we come to The Prompts!
Jayne had a book she'd read called Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood and gave us an interesting assignment:  we picked slips of paper with an emotion written on it from a plastic bag. We had to write about the emotion without using the word or any like it. We actually did this one twice since we ended up with lots of time to spare. The second time, she told us to close our eyes and feel the emotion before we wrote about it.

Some of the emotions we wrote about were:
sympathy, contentment, tenderness, hostility, hope, confusion, loneliness, love - parent/child, curiosity, forgiveness, despair, jealousy, revenge, suspicion, gratitude, restlessness, happiness, fear, surprise, anger, excitement, passion.

We all agreed that it was nice to not have the usual "prompts" and that our leaders are getting creative with the things to motivate us to write. It's nice to have some ideas that promote building our skills as writers.

Nancy told me to make a special note to Laura that Pat was especially funny this meeting.

Our next meeting is March 20. Nancy will be leading.
Come on out and write!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Nancy's Radio Interview

Following is the link to Nancy's interview on CBC Radio regarding her article and opinions on the F-Bomb.

check the archives at http://www.cbc.ca/ontariotoday/archives/

Kelli Curtis' New Blog Entry

Hello, I'm a member of the Headwaters Writers' Guild aand I would like to share with you a piece I wrote from a prompt I was given at our most recent meet.

Please click on the link below to read my recent blog entry and while you're visiting my blog page, click on "LIKE" for my new Facebook Author Fan Page.


Writing Characters Workshop, Orangeville

"Writing Characters," a full-day workshop, Sat, June 4, Orangeville, Ontario

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - now there's a character!
How to find and create great characters
Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church, 6 John Street, Orangeville
Presented by the Headwaters Writers' Guild

Whatever you're writing – fiction or nonfiction – readers will care about your story only if they care about your people. In this workshop, you'll learn techniques for creating fictional characters and depicting real people. You’ll learn how to breathe life into the page so that your characters start telling you how the story should go.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He teaches at Ryerson University and has led creative writing workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he's helped many of his students get published.

Fee: $40 paid in advance for HWG members only.
$38.94 + 13% hst = $44 paid in advance
or $42.48 + 13% hst = $48 if you wait to pay at the door
To reserve your spot, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Nancy's Debut on CBC Radio

I'd just like to congratulate Nancy for her debut interview on CBC Radio during the lunch hour on Tuesday, March 1 regarding her article about the F-bomb. She did a fabulous job and sounded like she'd done this a hundred times or more!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why I Write

I never choose to write. My hand is drawn to a pen, and the pen to paper, like opposite poles on a magnet. When the pen hits the paper, the effect is like ink on a paper towel. The ink is drawn out, sometimes in the form of coherent thoughts, often not.

It's probably good that I also have an impossible to fight need to edit as well, because I can then turn that mess into English.

I see editing as being like sculpting. Trim a little here, a little there, and you are left with the beauty of the artist's original vision. I'm not so sure other people see editing in quite the same light.

When I'm not writing on paper, I'm writing in my head. I dream about my characters. While I sleep, I write scenes for them, create their lives beyond my story.

I worry that one day I'll wake my husband up by talking in my sleep to one of the male characters in my work-in-progress. This is likely why none of my characters are named after people I know.

I write because it's who I am. It's who I've always been. If somehow I managed to stop, I'd turn into one of the characters in my stories. And then I'd really have problems.