Liz Andra Shaw

Journey into the Creative Mind of a Writing Reader

This is Real Life #7

February 28th, 2015
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On the Menu

I haven’t gotten this far yet! I’m making some wings Saturday, but not sure what to put with them. I got some new curry pastes at Lee Lee’s last weekend, so maybe some curry!

My Instagram Post of the Week

Instagram pic of the week

Reading

I’m now at 600+ pages of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I am enjoying it, although I still haven’t figured out why.

I started reading Connie Willis’ collection of short stories, Fire Watch. So far, I’ve found it to be a very diverse collection of stories – some history, some time travel, some hard sci-fi, and some fantasy. Each story is a beautiful self-contained world. I love Connie Willis’ writing.

The Song of the Week

And because singing astronauts are just too cool, here’s another:

Watching



More singing dragons please!

Good Things that Happened this Week

  • I won my club contest for the International Speech Contest. I’m busy preparing for the next level.
  • I finished 10 postcards for Tangie Baxter’s Art Emporium March swap and sent them off. Very excited to see what comes back.
  • Enjoying rewatching the first two seasons of House of Cards before diving in to the new season. Love this show.

Round and About

Lots of links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for February 22, 2015.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: Prompt #1310 Perfectionism and Suicide.

Inspiration for the Week

Be willing to walk away from things that feel wrong. Know that you have the ability to be a light in the darkness, and don’t allow the darkness to dim YOU in any way.

Life can be good and joyful and light-filled and wonderful. You get to choose EVERY DAY where you put your energy….every single day. -Brave Girls Club

Monthly Practice toward Inner Peace

I’ve finished the monthly practice of forgiveness. What I learned this month is that if I recognize my part in the issue and do the work to forgive myself, forgiveness of others seems to happen almost effortlessly. This was a really great month for me.

Next month my practice is compassion. The inspiration for this month comes from this quote: “Peace of mind comes from not wanting to change others.” – Gerald G. Jampolsky This month will be a real challenge for me!

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.
yes yoou can
yes you can by Robyn Weinrib

BeTheAdventure_jenevang_web
BeTheAdventure_jenevang_web by JREpics

Frostbitten
Frostbitten by zeniale

assistance
assistance by Bob May

Moonstorm
Moonstorm by marc-andré tragé

Detail page #LifeBook2015 #goldfoiling
Detail page #LifeBook2015 #goldfoiling by Frieda Oxenham

Frida-dare to be yourself
Frida-dare to be yourself by Stephanie Dodson

König der Löwen
König der Löwen by Bernd Schumann

dating
dating by Bob May

Feb 19, 2015 - morning sunrise, 02
Feb 19, 2015 – morning sunrise, 02 by Ed Yourdon

I hope you enjoyed this! Leave a comment and tell me how your life was this week.

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This is Real Life #6

February 22nd, 2015
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My Instagram Post of the Week

Instagram post of the week

Reading

I finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Socerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling this week. It’s the only Harry Potter book I’ve ever read. In March, I’ll borrow the second book in the series.

I also finished Inamorata by Megan Chance last week. The ending was foreshadowed, but well done. I enjoyed the book, even though it’s not something I would normally pick.

I started Airspace by David Hales, which is a thriller inspired by 9/11. I couldn’t get into it right now since my mindset this year is PEACE, so I’ll hold it for later. Or not.

The next book I picked randomly was The Ajax Protocol by Alex Lukeman. I haven’t started it yet. Also a thriller. We’ll see how that goes.

The Song of the Week

Gotta love Adele, so let’s have another, shall we?

Watching

I finished watching How I Met Your Mother this week and am prepping for the new season of House of Cards by watching the first two seasons over again. Such a great show!

Good Things that Happened this Week

  • I got good news from the Arizona Department of Revenue on a recent audit. I don’t owe nearly what I thought I did.
  • I finished writing my speech for the 2015 International Speech Contest just in the nick of time – club contests are this week. It has really been a struggle this year!

Round and About

Is Self-Compassion More Important than Self-Esteem?

More links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for February 22.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: Prompt #1305 Word of the Week – Regale.

Inspiration for the Week

Keep looking for goodness, beauty and truth. It is worth the effort.

While life is sometimes dull and gray and even downright miserable in patches, there is always even more beauty and truth than darkness and ugliness.

May you find other beautiful souls who are seeking just like you are.

If you cannot find what you are seeking today, may you go out and create it.

You are more than capable and you will effect more lives that you could ever know . . . especially your own.

Keep looking. It is there, and you will find it. -Brave Girls Club

Monthly Practice toward Inner Peace

Just when I thought I was running out of things to work on, a whole new batch popped up! I had a good week challenging those thoughts.

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.
Winter's First Frost
Winter’s First Frost by Photography Lately

Collab w/ Manu Duf
Collab w/ Manu Duf by Zach Collins

Enlightenment

Enlightenment by Lee Acaster

lotus
lotus by Aimee

"Explore. Dream. Discover"
“Explore. Dream. Discover” by Adi Dekel

@gelliarts #gelliarts #gelliplate  more pieces can be seen on my blog (see profile)
@gelliarts #gelliarts #gelliplate by Frieda Oxenham

Heartbeat of creation
Heartbeat of creation by Danny O’Connor

serenity DLP 6
serenity DLP 6 by Silke Rieger

together again
together again by Reggie C

•Paradise• ???????? #paradise #beach #isle #cloud #nature #sky #blue #sea
•Paradise• by vincenzo turchiarulo

Out of Place
Out of Place by Jordan

I hope you enjoyed this! Leave a comment and tell me how your life was this week.

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This is Real Life #5

February 15th, 2015
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On the Menu

The Mexican Lasagna was good, as always. Lots of leftovers in the freezer. Awesome! This weekend I’m going to try Pineapple Glazed Chicken Thighs. Looks simple and delicious.

Reading

I’m almost done reading Inamorata by Megan Chance. It’s a blend of historical fiction, paranormal fiction, romance, and thriller. It’s not my usual read, but I’ve been enjoying reading it on my lunch break. I hit 90% yesterday, and knew I had to bring it home for the long weekend. Can’t wait to see how the intertwined story lines resolve.

I finished Against the Odds by Mara Jacobs. I was surprised by the ending, which is exactly how a mystery should end. The protagonist, Anna Dawson, is a compelling character, and there is the beginning of a romantic entanglement that will create conflict in the future books in this series.  I recommend it!

The Song of the Week

For all my romantic friends on Valentine’s Day, here’s Perry Como:

And my personal favorite love song by Johnny Mathis:

Watching


Good Things that Happened this Week

  • Had a great time at open studio night at Artspiration Studio on Friday. Last month I didn’t take enough to work on, and I crashed before 10:30. Last night, I actually had more than I could do, and I made it to 11:15 before my brain was done. (Thank you, Coca-cola!) I got a lot of work done in my Angels altered book, and I made ATCs for a swap. I’ll get back one a month for the rest of the year. How cool will that be to get happy mail every month?
  • Had a lot of fun doing Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock for Toastmasters. Now working on my International Speech Contest speech.

Round and About

The Daily Muse: Zoe Keller, Illustrator and Designer
How to Free Yourself from Bitterness by Forgiving Others
The Best National Park Photos of 2014
How Art Heals the Wounds of War
I used to think that EVERYONE was good…a story about the Grace Card and forgiveness

More links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for 2/8/15.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: Prompt #1296 How to Get Someone to Do Something.

Inspiration for the Week

What if there wasn’t a good pile or a bad pile? What if we all just gave each other a lifetime grace card…                        -Melody, The Brave Girls Club

Monthly Practice toward Inner Peace

Still going well. I had a couple of moments this week where I found myself judging someone else. I grabbed my journal and worked it through.

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.
Lucky
Lucky by Bernd Schumann

Documented Life Project - Wee 5
Documented Life Project – Wee 5 by Jo

Started the background! Sumi ink and Chinese paints on rice paper #lianquanzhen #chinesepainting #bamboobrush #diditellyouiloveart
Started the background! Sumi ink and Chinese paints on rice paper #lianquanzhen #chinesepainting #bamboobrush #diditellyouiloveart by LorraineBell1

keep on the run
keep on the run by Bob May

Yellow Loving Butterfly
Yellow Loving Butterfly by Henry Brosius

Endgame
Endgame by Lee Acaster

Follow Me
Follow Me by marc-andré tragé

PASSION
PASSION by fan de yan

Ocean Pyramid
Ocean Pyramid by Jordan

2 Gentlemen
2 Gentlemen by kon-mei23

Hand Painted Rocks
Hand Painted Rocks by Regina Lord

a Valentine
a Valentine by anka zhuravleva

I hope you enjoyed this! Leave a comment and tell me how your life was this week.

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This is Real Life #4

February 7th, 2015
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On the Menu

The fish in the crockpot didn’t work out that well. I think if you only made 2 to 4 fillets it would work. My dogs did enjoy it, however. I’ll try again with less fish.

This weekend, I’m making one of my old standards, Mexican Lasagna. Always yummy!

My Instagram Post of the Week

Instagram post of the week

Reading

Really enjoying Against the Odds by Mara Jacobs – a couple nights this week I couldn’t put it down!

I’m about halfway through Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and it’s starting to get really good.

The Song of the Week

And because one video with Johnny Depp isn’t enough:

Watching


Good Things that Happened this Week

  • I won best Table Topics at Toastmasters this week for talking about House of Cards. I can’t wait until the next season starts. Almost there!
  • Had fun taking kids to Dairy Queen this week for earning great grades at school.
  • Excellent curry dinner with my mom and dad.
  • Our clinical director is going to start working on gratitude with the kids. I told him about my gratitude wall idea, and he’s going to do it! Fun!

Round and About

9 monkey phrases and their meanings
10 Ways to Make Your Day Better Through Play (and Improve Your Health)
Picturing Dragons

More links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for 2/8/14.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: Prompt #1289 The Shadow Side of our Strengths.

Inspiration for the Week

There is no peace in the world until you find peace within yourself in this moment. -Byron Katie

Monthly Practice toward Inner Peace

I am really enjoying digging into some old issues to find places to exercise forgiveness. I’m loving this month so far!

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.
Untitled
Untitled by Luan Carvalho

here we go
here we go by Neija Zeugme

work in progress
work in progress by Ines Seidel

toils and snares
toils and snares by Bob May

Day 58: Twinkle in the Eye
Day 58: Twinkle in the Eye by Frank Busch

What will you create today? #monoprinting #printmaking #gelliprinting
What will you create today? #monoprinting #printmaking #gelliprinting by Roben-Marie Smith

watercolor
watercolor by Sherry Thrash

Well it ain't Monet but I learned a lot! #lianquanzhen #chinesepainting #ricepaper #bamboobrush #artroomorlando
Well it ain’t Monet but I learned a lot! #lianquanzhen #chinesepainting #ricepaper #bamboobrush #artroomorlando by LorraineBell1

Today's hand carved stamp on a torn paper collage.
Today’s hand carved stamp on a torn paper collage. by studio318

New Wallpapers

Snow Fall from National Geographic
Trunk Show from National Geographic
Route 66

I hope you enjoyed this! Leave a comment and tell me how your life was this week.

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February Monthly Practice: Forgiveness

February 3rd, 2015
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2015WordandPractices

“Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions.” ― Gerald G. Jampolsky

This month, I will continue doing The Work every day, but digging deeper. I’m going to go into the past, and try to let go of some of the grievances where my practice of forgiveness is still incomplete. I’m very excited about this month!

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This is Real Life #3

February 1st, 2015
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On the Menu

Still working on the fish in the crock pot. I was very lazy last week and never made it to the store. Finally, I have the ingredients, so it’s a good bet I’ll actually do it this weekend.

My Instagram Post of the Week

Instagram post of the week

Image by Mark Chadwick on Flickr

Reading

I finished Razing Reality (my lunch break book) and started Inamorata by Megan Chance. It’s set in Venice and, while it seems to be about creative genius, it’s got a paranormal edge to it. I’m enjoying it so far.

I got a lot read in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell this week. This is a period fantasy set in England. It’s a slow moving, character driven book so far. I’m enjoying it.

The Song of the Week

Watching




Good Things that Happened this Week

  • Lovely deep massage on Monday – really helped my shoulder.
  • Lots of wonderful guests at both my Toastmasters clubs this week, and some became new members.
  • Beautiful soft rain all day long on Friday – this happens so infrequently here that it’s beautiful to have it.

Round and About

Filling the Well
The 85 Most Disruptive Ideas in Our History
The Daily Muse: Kerry Vander Meer, Mixed Media Artist and Printmaker
5 Artists Who Are Redefining the Book as a Medium
Your Dog May Understand More Than You Realize

More links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for 1/25/15.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: Prompt #1285 First Line of the Week – Milo James Fowler.

Inspiration for the Week

It hurts to fight what is. And doesn’t it feel more honest to open your arms wide to it? This is the end of war. -Byron Katie

Monthly Practice toward Inner Peace

I finished reading Loving What Is by Byron Katie. This is my third time reading through this book, and I saw things in it this time that I completely missed on my previous two reads. I love how as you grow, you open up to new levels of understanding. In February, my monthly practice will be forgiveness. I chose this to follow acceptance, as I will be using Katie’s program called The Work to do my practice of forgiveness. It promises to be a month of deep introspection and freedom.

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.
The Documented Life Project - Week 3
The Documented Life Project – Week 3 by Maryline.MD

Homage to Cartographers
Homage to Cartographers by Angie Naron

IMG_1535
IMG_1535 by Deepeningblue

THE DOCUMENTED LIVE PROJECT 2015- Week 4 - Writing
THE DOCUMENTED LIVE PROJECT 2015- Week 4 – Writing by fan de yan

An ApPEARance of Lightning
An ApPEARance of Lightning by Sandra Strait

Lifebook week 4 art journal page- dream catcher
Lifebook week 4 art journal page- dream catcher by Tracy Scott

collaborative elevation
collaborative elevation by Bob May

Another Day, Another Bouquet
Another Day, Another Bouquet by Debbie Smith

rocket-cats
rocket-cats by Claudia MB

New Wallpapers

Under the Waves from National Geographic

I hope you enjoyed this! How was your life this week?

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This is Real Life #2

January 24th, 2015
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On the Menu

The Tangerine Beef I made last week was delicious, fast and easy. Highly recommended. This week I’m going to be trying a Citrus Fish recipe that is done in the slow cooker. It’s not a web recipe, and I have no idea where I got it. If it’s good, I’ll share it.

My Instagram Post of the Week

Instagram post of the week

Reading

Still working through The Confident Creative by Cat Bennett and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Also reading Against the Odds by Mara Jacobs and The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk MD. Still struggling to figure out work arounds for all the bugs in my new Kindle HD.

The Song of the Week

Watching



Good Things that Happened this Week

  • I had a day off on Monday. I took a nap at 10:30 am, and then again at 3:00 pm. It was wonderful!
  • I’m having a lot of fun getting canvases ready just in case I decide to do an art fair. If not, I’ll have birthday and Christmas gifts ready to go.
  • The pain from the dental work finally subsided – yay!
  • Saw the third Hobbit movie today with my parents. Can’t believe we waited so long. I needed a dragon fix! I cried when Fili, Kili, and Thorin died. And I cried when Tauriel cried.

Round and About

Gritify Your Life
How to Make Your Own Egg Replacers for Vegan Baking
Why Happiness Is the Wrong Pursuit

More links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for 1/18/15.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: Prompt #1273 Magical Contagion.

Inspiration for the Week

Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness. ~Chuang Tzu

Monthly Practice toward Inner Peace

I’m still working through Loving What Is by Byron Katie and doing The Work. It has really made a difference in how I handle stupid little annoyances. I’m definitely feeling more peace in my life.

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.
Falling
Falling by Lee Acaster

Free 1
Free 1 by Bernd Schumann

Reward
Reward by Bernd Schumann

cats-in-boardroom
cats-in-boardroom by Claudia MB

New Wallpapers

On the Bayou from National Geographic
Fox Found at National Geographic

I hope you enjoyed this! If you decide to join the collective, let me know by leaving a comment so that I can return the favor.

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This is Real Life

January 18th, 2015
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On the Menu

The Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Pork Chop with Cider Gravy, Sauteed Apples and Onions from Rachel Ray were FABULOUS. And even though I make fun of cooking shows that use multiple ovens so that the meal can be fixed within a 30 minute show, I can’t make fun of this recipe. I made it myself in less than 30 minutes with just two stove top burners. It was easy and tasted fresh and wonderful.

This weekend I’m going to try Spicy Tangerine Beef by Guy Fieri. I won’t have to make any modifications, either!

My Instagram Post of the Week

Instagram post of the week
I’ve been working on the altered atlas for years, but the cover remained old and ugly. I spent two days glazing and wiping  it back around the stenciled molding paste. Then I rubbed the molding paste with Viva Decor Inka Gold beeswax metallic finish. I love the result!

Reading

Getting off to a slow start with Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell by Susanna Clark. I like it, but I’m hoping it starts to move faster.

Also doing the Art Journal Emporium Book Club with Tangie Baxter. This month we’re reading through The Confident Creative: Drawing to Free the Hand and the Mind by Cat Bennett.

The Song of the Week

And because one Herb Alpert song is not enough, here’s another.

Watching

Oneironaut from Erica Kobren on Vimeo.

Good Things that Happened this Week

  • My dentist was able to squeeze me in immediately when one of my crowns broke. He’s awesome!
  • Fun Toastmasters meeting on Tuesday – had a long-lost member show up. So glad to see him!
  • Gave a speech on Wednesday about One Little Word – a lot of folks chose words for themselves while I was talking. Cool!
  • I am making plans to try doing an art fair. A friend at work is pushing me along on this, which is great. I need pushing!

Round and About

Check out the links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for 1/11/15.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: Prompt #1270 Word of the Week – Propitious.

Inspiration for the Week

“It has been said over and over again throughout history that the most important thing we can ever attain is peace of mind. Peace is really what our whole soul craves and strives for… it is the place where we can find clarity, where our wisdom resides and a place of inner peace is really what is intended for all of us. Finding Peace is really another one of those daily and hourly disciplines that we have to constantly be aware of and intentional about. Peace is not one of those things that is easy to find in this loud and crazy world. We get to choose so much about our lives, and especially about ourselves… we are not powerless. We can choose to go where the peace is.” — Melody Ross

Monthly Practice toward Inner Peace

I had several really challenging opportunities to do The Work and practice acceptance. It was really awesome!

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.
« elle »
« elle » by linda vachon

DSC_0011_edited-1
DSC_0011_edited-1 by Chris Aiton

DSC0279
DSC0279 by marc-andré tragé

Ascension
Ascension by Lee Acaster

I hope you enjoyed this! If you decide to share your real life this week, let me know by leaving a comment so that I can return the favor.

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Monkey Business

January 13th, 2015
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cowboy

A story from my journal, more or less true. I don’t remember this, so my “memories” of this event are from what my family has told me. My family tends toward exaggeration, so I will not vouch for any of this.

My cousin, K, and I were dressed in cowboy outfits. (There is a picture somewhere documenting this part as fact, but I couldn’t find it.) We were standing out front of our grandparents’ house. As cars drove by, we pointed and counted, “1 dirty ape, 2 dirty apes, 3 dirty apes,” etc. This was quite a scandal, as the house was in a private community for professors at a small educational establishment.

I also remember that the guns that came with the outfits were cap guns, and the smell of the caps after they’d been “fired” fascinated me. We may have been too enthusiastic with the cap guns, as I don’t remember ever having caps again.

To be honest, I don’t know if the cowboy outfits and the dirty apes incident happened at the same time. I may have mashed a couple of things that happened near each other into one memory, but that’s neither here nor there.

This incredibly messy story does have a point. I am so grateful to have a mother who will tell me about all the embarrassing things I did when I was a kid. It reminds me that somewhere, deep inside, there lives a funny, uninhibited child who doesn’t care about rules or propriety. She is the source of my creativity, and it’s a joy to get reacquainted with her.

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The Weekly Update (previously known as The Scattered Life Collective)

January 10th, 2015
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Announcement: Cynthia has decided to stop hosting The Scattered Life Collective, so these posts will no longer link back to her site. I am trying to think up something clever to call them instead. I will be continuing my weekly updates, though, as I found them extremely beneficial in finally breaking through the writer’s block I had for over a year.

On the Menu

I’m trying out Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Pork Chop with Cider Gravy, Sauteed Apples and Onions from Rachel Ray.

My Instagram Post of the Week

Instagram Post of the Week
This is the first face I’ve ever drawn. I did it along with Jeannette House’s 21 Secrets course. This is the “public” face. It opens to show the reality of my feelings. I really enjoyed doing this, and even though the eyebrows and nose are wrong, I really like it.

Reading

I started After the Fire by J.L. Murray and am really enjoying it. It’s a fantasy set when the ancient gods still walk the earth.

The Song of the Week


And because one Carole King song is never enough, here’s a live performance of “Natural Woman.”

Watching

Good Things that Happened this Week

  • Enjoyed a wonderful meeting at Think Tank Toastmasters. I haven’t been to a meeting in 2 weeks, so it was nice to be back!
  • The cold snap seems to be over, and we are heading back into beautiful weather here in Phoenix.
  • Had a lovely, relaxing massage Monday night.
  • Won best evaluator at Toastmasters on Tuesday night. Fun meeting, interesting speeches, and great table topics!
  • Won the award for Excellence at Toastmasters on Wednesday night.
  • Fixed chili for my folks tonight and scored a ton of crafty stuff they picked up from a friend.
  • Had a great time at the open studio night at Artspirations Studio with Tangie Baxter and 6 or so other creative women. Lots of fun!

Round and About

Spicy Avocado Hummus
30 Famous Women on Overcoming Their Insecurities
The Suggestion of Happiness

More links at The Writing Reader Carnival of Creativity for January 4, 2015.

My favorite prompt of the week at The Writing Reader: Prompt #1260 Mirrors.

Inspiration for the Week

When I argue with reality, I lose – but only 100 percent of the time. -Byron Katie

Monthly Practice toward Inner Peace

I’m enjoying reading Loving What Is again. I had a much more peaceful week in my mind. I did some work during the week on my scariest thoughts, and I slept better!

My Favorites on Flickr this Week

Click through on these to learn more about the artists.

Bird Brain
Bird Brain by Michelle Mathey

Untitled-1 copy
Untitled-1 copy by sreenivasa ram makinidi

My second fav journal page of 2015 - In the Moment
My second fav journal page of 2015 – In the Moment by jenny

« portrait »
« portrait » by linda vachon

11-19-14 BeachSeries 1
11-19-14 BeachSeries 1 by jprater28209

New Wallpapers

Foggy Morning

I hope you enjoyed this! If you decide to join the collective, let me know by leaving a comment so that I can return the favor.

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Liz Andra Shaw

Journey into the Creative Mind of a Writing Reader