I’ve Got a Secret

Something exciting is happening in my world.
I’m not going to share it with you.
Just yet.
But I will.
Soon!

IMG_8664

The reason for this excitement was a catalyst for reaching out to other writers — published women authors — with a request. Without exception, this network of friends stepped up to the plate and embraced my request with yes, Yes, YES! Their glowing support has me bursting at the seams.

Like fizz in champagne, do you have something — secret or otherwise — that has you bubbling with excitement?

Psssst, if you’re one of the authors who’s stepped up to the plate, mum’s the word…

© Laurie Buchanan

Find me on Twitter @TuesWithLaurie
Find me on Facebook

Carriage House Journal

You may remember our recent relocation from Crystal Lake, Illinois to Boise, Idaho. Upon arrival we enjoyed a three month lease — a stepping stone to find a home to purchase, or lease long-term. Last week we had the move-out inspection at the previous address because…

…we long-term leased the carriage house of one of the mansions in the Warm Springs Avenue Historic District. It perfectly suits our needs! We even donated our yard maintenance equipment because everything — and I do mean everything — is meticulously cared for.

Office View

My writing space is phenomenal! In addition to nonfiction work, this gorgeous view has triggered a spurt of fiction writing. My work in progress is titled Carriage House Journal — a series of short stories told in first person through the eyes of a mail carrier.

Office Windows

If you wrote a fiction story in first person, who would the main character be?

© Laurie Buchanan

Find me on Twitter @TuesWithLaurie
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Tickling Words

When I wear my writing hat I play with words. Saying them out loud or seeing them on a page often conjures something different from the intended meaning—at least in my mind:

  • Monkey—mon key—key to a Jamaican man’s heart
  • Herring—her ring—oftentimes worn to ward off would-be suitors, as in “red herring”
  • Portion—poor shun—an ineffectual attempt to to ignore someone
  • Keyboard—key bored—a writer who’s not “in the zone”
  • Solar powered—soular powered—a person who’s plugged into Source Energy
  • Petulant—pet you lent—short-term loan of your companion animal

Communication is the currency of life so it’s important to get it right (or write, as the case may be). And in this fast-paced world where it’s hard to gain and retain people’s attention, concision is vital.

Just in case you never noticed…

DAMMIT I’M MAD  is  DAMMIT I’M MAD  spelled backward! (I saw you check to confirm).

Are you an attentive communicator?

It takes a creative mind and a steady-handed plume to wordsmith a book. Please join me in pre-ordering your September-release copy of FIRST-DEGREE FUDGE: A FUDGE SHOP MYSTERY authored by my friend and mentor, Christine DeSmet.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Not just for Writers — Criticism versus Critique

When I spoke at the Writers’ Institute at UW-Madison, one of my topics was why critiquing is necessary. My presentation included defining the difference between criticism and critique:

I represented CRITICISM with scissor blades facing the recipient — putting a person on the defensive. We typically react (knee-jerk) to this style of communication, viewing it as an attack. Criticism is problem-oriented, negative, and critical.

I represented CRITIQUE with scissor handles facing the recipient — putting the person at ease. We typically respond (thought-filled) to this style of communication, viewing it as a gift. Critique is solution-oriented, positive, and helpful.

When you provide feedback (at home, work, or in a writing situation), is your message respectful, honest, useful, clear, and specific?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Six Word Stories

The delicate task of selection and arrangement of words on a page—writing—is as vital to a wordsmith as breathing.

Much like a surgeon’s unwavering use of a scalpel, writers carefully trim their work to achieve effectiveness through concision—the hallmark of good writing.

Perhaps the most famous example of brevity is the heartbreaking six word story attributed to Ernest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

In creating an assignment for my Life Harmony students—write your memoir in six words—I first had to craft my own. For those of you don’t know me well, I ran away from home when I was a sophomore in high school. My six word memoir:
“Left home walking, learned to soar.”

I took this photo titled “Untethered” in September of 2011 while driving across a small portion of the Mojave Desert. Click on photo to enlarge.

What is your six word memoir?

Laurie Buchanan

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

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence

The Key of Sea – A Music Playlist to Write By

I’m often asked about the details of my preferred writing environment — the setting, the ambiance. I’m a bare bones writer who enjoys solitude and appreciates nothing more on my desk than a laptop and a tea light — my six-hour “contract” to show up, stay put, and write.

To avoid diversion, I turn off my cell phone and limit my writing screen to two ingredients: a white page and a black background.

My desk is situated by a window that overlooks a well-seasoned, rugged oak tree in our front yard. When there are noise distractions outside, I put on headphones, turn the volume low, and listen to instrumental music.

For me, the essential element for music to write by is that it must transport me to the ocean:

  • I want to hear the seagulls screeching overhead and waves crashing on the shore.
  • I want to taste the salt in the air and dig my toes in the sand.
  • I want to squint from the brilliant shimmer of sun glancing off the waves.
  • I want the sea breeze to ruffle my hair as it carries the briny smell of seaweed.
Encinitas, CA

With this in mind, I created The Key of Sea — a music playlist to write by. Even though I’ve listed specific tracks below, all of the recordings on each album are transportive. Bon voyage!

Nova Scotia

Album – Ocean Dreams

Artist – Dean Evenson

Track – Lightly Salted

Whale Point, Eleuthera Island — Bahamas

Album – Earth Spring

Artists – Frank Smith & Kat Epple

Track – The Open Sea

Bellingham Bay, WA

Album – Ocean Waves

Artist – Deuter

Track – Théoule-Sur-Mer

Coronado Island

Album – The Property of Water

Artist – Paul Adams

Track – The Serene Dance of Thunder

Footsie on the Beach

Album – Simply Beautiful

Artist – Nadama

Track – Whale Song

Aberdeen, Scotland

Where do you want your music to transport you?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Harvesting Water, Harnessing Heat

During the week I was in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico it became clear that due to sheer lack, hygiene, and safety issues, two of the most basic needs—drinkable water and heat—are of tremendous concern.

With service above self as their motto, the local Rotary Club go to the people in dire need — not to gave a hand out, but a hand up — a fishing pole instead of a fish — educating people as they go.


The local Rotary Club has amazingly provided:

Water Cisterns
587 Cisterns built in 19 Communities
Benefiting 4000+ family members (+ other school & kinder children)
Cost per cistern – US $700

Ecological Stoves
Constructed 1,400 in 29 Communities
Benefiting 5,000 + family members
Cost per stove – US $48
For more information specific to the phenomenal benefits of the small economical stoves, please follow this link: StoveTeam International

To find out how your financial support can help to change lives, please contact:

John Doherty
jd98lv@hotmail.com
Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende
Guanajuato, Mexico

Have you ever had to walk miles to reach drinkable water?
Did you know that smoke from open cooking fires kills twice as many people as malaria?

Laurie Buchanan

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

Discovering the Seven Selves     Life Harmony     Facebook

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

CASA—Center for the Adolescents of San Miguel de Allende

On Oct 31 I was privileged to speak at the First Annual Wellness and Spirituality Expo in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico—a benefit to raise funds and awareness toward the fight to stop violence against women and children.

This life-changing event was sponsored by Sibyl English of SIBYL Magazine and SIBELLA Poetry Magazine.

CASA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for Mexico’s most vulnerable communities through a wide brushstroke of educational programs. From childhood development to employment and other areas, including domestic violence prevention and support.

To learn more about how your financial support can help to change lives, simply follow this LINK.

Have you ever been paralyzed with fear—afraid for your life?

Laurie Buchanan

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

Discovering the Seven Selves     Life Harmony     Facebook

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved 

Day of the Dead

Saludos—greetings—from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where preparations are excitedly underway for Dia de los Muertos—Day of the Dead—in which the many of the local people remember and honor their deceased loved ones.

Though it may sound somber or macabre, it’s not!

The view from my room in the hacienda where I’m staying

Between Oct 31 and Nov 2 it’s a festivo—festive holiday—with eye-popping, colores vivos—vivid colors—everywhere to welcome departed loved ones, believing that their espíritu—spirits—return to earth for a single day each year to spend time with familia—family.

Day of the Dead is celebrado—celebrated—differently all over the world. In Mexico many of the cemetery lápidas—headstones—have elaborate decorations because it’s thought that the spirits stop there first on their way home. The casas—homes—have intricately decorated ofrendas—altars—to welcome departed loved ones.

Stairwell in hacienda – my room’s at the top

It’s believed that the spirits of bebés y niños—babies and children—arrive at midnight on Oct 31 to spend a full day with their families then leave, and the spirits of adultos—adults—arrive the following day.

Bedroom Ceiling in Hacienda by Laurie Buchanan

¿Alguna vez se celebra el día de los muertos
Have you ever celebrated Day of the Dead?

Escuchar con el corazónlisten with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

“Lo que no va a cambiar, está eligiendo.”
Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

Discovering the Seven Selves     Life Harmony     Facebook

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved

Wait Loss

Different from weight loss (the shedding of pounds), wait loss (the shedding of patience) is less attractive on any figure.

I try not to do battle with time; clearly, it’s a losing proposition. Yet recently I found myself sitting in a waiting room swarming with other people who—like me—were becoming impatient. Fast!

Breathe yourself through this Laurie

  • Inhale to the count of four.
  • Hold to the count of seven.
  • Exhale to the count of eight.
  • Repeat until your name is called.
  • You can do this.

Time—yours, mine, and ours—is irreplaceable. None of us knows how much of it we have left. Not to be squandered, every moment of this precious commodity should be enjoyed to the fullest.

Are you gaining or losing wait?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

Discovering the Seven Selves     Life Harmony     Facebook

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved