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
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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 backwards! (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.

Laurie Buchanan

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

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

© Laurie Buchanan 2013

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
Find me on Facebook

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?

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

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 ambience. 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’s 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?

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

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