"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." — Laurie Buchanan

The Art of Sowing Seeds

In the driveway area, we noticed a small evergreen growing smack-dab along the fence line. Wind must have carried the seedling to the fertile soil and now it’s thriving. Not healthy for the fence as it continues to grow, we’ll relocate the sapling in the spring to a spot that has plenty of elbow room.

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Intentional — like Johnny Appleseed — or not, each of us sows seeds along life’s journey.

What’s sprouting in your wake?

© Laurie Buchanan

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WIP Tag!

“You’re it!” Marian Beaman said as she tagged me in the 2014 Work in Progress (WIP) Blog Tour, offering authors the chance to share a small, but tasty morsel of their Works in Progress. “It’s really simple,” she continued, “there’s just three rules:”

1. Link back to the post of the person who tagged you (in my case, Marian Beaman).

2. Write a blurb about — and type the first sentence of — your next book’s first three chapters.

3. Tag four other writers to do the same.

Blurb
Typically, my writing is in the non-fiction arena, but one of the books I’m currently working on is Creative Quill, a work of fiction in the mystery/thriller genre. Intended as a series, the setting is a writer’s retreat where each month four different authors arrive and stay in individual rustic cabins to work on their manuscripts. In the first book, one of the guests is a psychopath posing as an author. Why? You’ll just have to wait and see…

Chapter 1:
Like a brilliant, multi-faceted gem nestled snugly on the ragged hemline of the northern Pacific coastline, Creative Quill—a wooded retreat for writers—sits zen-like overlooking Bellingham Bay in Fairhaven, Washington, holding space to unleash possibility.

Chapter 2:
Arriving at the baggage claim with time to spare, McPherson’s piercing green eyes drank in the details of his surroundings, a habit he’d picked up on the force; a habit that had kept him alive.

Chapter 3:
Having parked in the area reserved for handicap pickup, Mick didn’t have to jockey for position as he deftly pulled curbside, both side panels of the van silently slid open for the waiting guests, one of whom was in a wheelchair.

“Life is about showing up, so is writing. That’s why I sit at my desk every day and dance my fingers across the keyboard.” — Laurie Buchanan

Now it’s my turn to tag four writers for the 2014 WIP Tour. Please check their websites, you’ll be glad you did!

Julia Munroe Martin lives in southern coastal Maine and loves to get hands-on with a camera. When she’s not out taking drop-dead gorgeous photographs, you’ll find her at her dining room table, where she’s happiest and most comfortable with her family — including black Lab Abby — or when writing or researching her next story.

Christine DeSmet (my writing mentor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) writes mouthwatering mysteries featuring fudge or fowl (two different series). She mixes in fun, little-known facts, recipes about fudge, a bit about Belgians and the culture of Wisconsin and the Door County Peninsula.

Melissa Crytzer Fry steps outside her front door smack-dab into southern Arizona’s breathtaking Sonoran Desert, often with camera in hand. A full-time freelance writer and novelist, she was a 2014 semi-finalist in the William Faulkner William Wisdom Writing Competition for her novel, The Quickness of Life.

Dorothy Sander orchestrates Aging Abundantly where she brings the wisdom of women together in one place, offering insight, support and a helping hand to people wherever they are in their journey. Her focus is on transformation and metamorphosis at midlife and beyond. Her most recent work is, Finding Hope: Inspiration for the Midlife Journey.

And though none of these authors are under any obligation to play tag, I sure hope they will because it’ll be fun to sneak a taste of what they’re cookin’ up next!

Book or otherwise, what’s your current Work in Progress?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Got Moxie?

Our walk to the dog park takes us past a place where people can safely leave their bikes. Clearly, one of the bicyclists marches to the beat of a different drummer. In other words, they’ve got moxie!

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Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Moxie: noun
Force of character, determination, courage or nerve, savvy, know-how.
Example: “She showed a lot of moxie in questioning the policy.”

We’ve all got it — moxie — yet often hide it under a bushel basket.

When was the last time you showed your moxie?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Mary Poppins-esque

My friend, Canadian artist Terrill Welch, periodically gifts her readers with step-by-step photos of a painting being born. So revealing, those posts are among my favorites.

With that in mind, I’m sharing with you the behind the scenes “magic” of what took place to capture a photo of me — Mary Poppins style — for an up-and-coming event.

Using the camera in my iPhone 5S, Len was the photographer. As you know, we have loads of fun together. Sometimes we even get carried away; in my case (almost) literally:

Select a location site

 

Insert prop into the scene

 

Wait (and wait and wait and wait!) for photographer to get ready

 

Catch a gust of wind

 

Erase prop — Voilà!

 

Coming to a night sky near you

 

When was the last time you got carried away?

 

© Laurie Buchanan

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If I Eat Rice

Zen Koans are short questions, riddles, or dialogue designed to help us find the truth. A catalyst to awaken awareness that’s hidden behind the mind, Koans aren’t logical questions with rational answers, so oftentimes they’re left unanswered. Below is an example:

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Photo taken at the Idaho Botanical Gardens — a short bicycle ride from our home in Boise

The student Doken was told to go on a long journey to another monastery. He was extremely upset because he felt the trip would interrupt his studies, so he said to his friend, the advanced student Sogen, “Please ask permission to come with me on this trip. There are so many things I don’t know, but if you come along we can discuss them and I can learn as we travel.”

“All right,” said Sogen. “But let me ask you a question. If you’re hungry, what satisfaction is it to you if I eat rice?”

Is anyone eating rice for you?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Whatever Is Worth Doing…

“In truth, whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.” — Lord Chesterfield

That quote is the first thing that popped into my mind when I happened upon this mud-encrusted truck. Covered from top to bottom, bumper to bumper, no square inch was left uncovered. Clearly the driver poured his or her heart into the task as they enjoyed an off-road adventure!

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Big or small, commonplace or unusual, each new day presents us with the opportunity to do things: sing a lullaby, fix a squeaky door, write a book, wash windows, run for public office, pull weeds, save a life, bake bread, volunteer at the soup kitchen, grocery shop, or pump gas.

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What was the last task you poured your heart into?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Getting Cheeky

In our neck of the woods the squirrels are hurrying and scurrying in fat-cheeked ernest as they gather, stock, and store in preparation for winter. These industrious little fellows click, chatter, and scold as we walk by, warning each other with staccato-like tail flicks of potential danger — “Duck and cover, there’s humans and dogs!”

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Considered to be in the “autumn” of my life, I recently enjoyed my 57th birthday. Unlike squirrels, as a dyed-in-the-wool minimalist I have not amassed a collection of things. I have, however, accumulated great memories—with many more to come!

Do you stockpile anything?

© Laurie Buchanan

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