Category Archives: writing

Laura Probert and the April 2017 art prompts

Laura Probert kindly accepted to help me out with a month of art inspiration for my online art journaling group.

Laura Probert
Laura Probert

She is a great writer and has written for many online publications like Huffington Post and Elephant Journal. She is passionate about healing and uses writing and art, among other things, as tools to dive deeply inside and heal the wounds we carry.

This from her website:

“WAKE UP
“Without awareness there is no choice.”

John F. Barnes

Awareness is the key to healing.

I’ve spent my 21 year career as a student, healer and an athlete learning the tools, tips and tricks that will help you wake up and develop a practice of awareness. 

Healing is about peeling off the layers of mental, emotional and physical injury and trauma that cover up your soul and keep you from living the best, healthiest, most joyful life you can live.

 Awareness can help you heal physical pain and injury, relationships, business ventures, exercise goals…basically anything you want to change in your life.

I’ll teach you what I know about this powerful door to healing and the many paths to it. Everything that happens to us happens through our awareness…it’s a matter of being awake to the stuff of life. I’ll show you how body awareness connects you with your inner healer and gives you choices about your health and life.”

I like the idea that Laura offers tools for self healing and not trying to heal “you.” Ultimately, we are the only ones who can heal ourselves.

More from her website:

“BE BRAVE
“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”
Brene Brown

My journey has been about stepping into my power, claiming my self-worth and finding and expressing my unique voice. Being brave has been necessary and facing and moving through my fears has been a powerful process.

Dealing with the things that are keeping you stuck or holding you back from your desires helps you heal. I’ll show you how to integrate mind, body and soul in a way that gives you new techniques to deal with fear. 

Being brave is about feeling. You have to be awake to feel. Feeling is healing. It takes guts to feel. I’ll help you feel what you need to feel to heal. I’ll hold a space for you to do the work of feeling and healing you need to do to make a change.”

“DO WHAT YOU LOVE


“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Howard Thurman”

When you connect with what you love, you move toward healing. When you heal, you are able to connect more with what you love.

More of my favorite quotes:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Mary Oliver

“When you are serious, determined, positive and on-purpose, magical shit happens.”
Torrie Pattillo”

Some info about Laura:

Laura’s healing programs, classes, workshops and books will help you redefine healing and take your journey to the next level. She’s able to combine the tools she’s learned for healing with the tools she’s learned for creative flow to create programs that are powerful, unique and integrated. She’s helping to move the knowledge of mind body connection from idea to action and teaches it in an immediately applicable way.

When she’s not igniting transformation in her clients you’ll find her writing, hanging with her kids, dogs or a horse, hiking in the woods, practicing her axe kick, or taste testing dark chocolate. Find her on Facebook at Warrior Love or via her WEBSITE.

I would have to say that Laura Probert is a cool person to know and she GETS RESULTS  because she’s not afraid to dive deep. That is very inspiring to me.

If you didn’t sign up for the free 2017 art journal prompts you can do so HERE.

Lots of love,

Maria

Romance novels are not trash-y

Romance novels, either you love them or you hate them or you feel indifferent.

I have written twenty-three romance novels and I’m proud of it,  I have also written several novellas and been part of romance anthologies, and I have won a national award.

Christmas Blessing by Maria Greene
Romance novel

It’s damned hard work to write a 300-500 page manuscript. Ask any writer of any genre.

Today I got triggered by reading an email from a well-known online entrepreneur who sent out her list of favorite books in 2016. She freely admitted that she read tons of TRASHY romance novels. The word came up four times in her email and that is really offensive in my opinion. No one ever says trashy mysteries or trashy westerns. She did not use that word for any of the other books she mentioned.  She sent this newsletter out to maybe 50k subscribers, perpetuating the literary “racist” view of romances.

If they are such trash, stop reading them! By the way, it’s the most popular and lucrative genre of all fiction.

Another point was that she would not buy them new but buy them used and then trade them back in. An author does not get any royalties from that. I know it’s very common practice, and I have bought used books myself, but I try to buy new as much as I can.

A book genre is a genre is a genre and they are written in a certain way. That is how the reader expects them to be (especially the ending) when they read them.  That does not make them trashy.

If she alluded to sex there is plenty of mainstream fiction with sex that is not romantic in the least.  Romances focus on the feelings rather than the graphics.

There are books that are badly written in every genre, but any savvy reader would not buy from those authors. Any savvy reader buys books from authors she likes and whose writing she admires.

So, anyone who reads this, please stop using the term trashy romance novels. There are some excellent books out there, and the writers worked VERY hard at making them so.

Stepping off the soapbox….

I’m not writing much at the moment. I’m mostly focusing on art, but I’ll always be a writer! My last romance was published in 2005.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. I have a year-long FREE art journaling journey coming up in 2017.  if you want to follow along, please register HERE.

 

The muse is a fickle b*itch.

The muse never was very trustworthy in my opinion.  None of them. No wonder they are mythical (as if we can trust anything the ancients dreamed up, archetypes or not.)  Some might argue they exist on another plane of energy, but for the most part they are not for hire.

In the past I paid homage to the Literary Muse, and she would strike inconsistently and then crack the whip until you stayed up all night to write and your fingers bled.  Then she  would be suspiciously absent for loooong periods of time.  But no matter what, I wrote.

Nowadays if she shows up I give her a token eye roll and say I AM not for hire any longer, so there.  Go find another victim.

However,  sometimes I think I have to pay homage to my art muse who is more often than not totally absent, day or night.

DSCN2149
the bored uppity muse b*itch

I also have to pay a price for her to show up.

*I have to dance naked at midnight in my backyard first Sunday of the month and sing off-tune songs until my neighbor calls the police.

* I have to offer up my first child as a sacrifice. It’s lucky I don’t have any kids, but then again, my muse gives me the cold shoulder because of this.

*I have to eat raw kale for breakfast every morning (not a problem since I often put that in my green smoothie, na-na-na-nana.

*I have to spend $$$$$$$ on all the latest art tools and pay homage to all of the art teachers out there who offer torturous lengthy courses that make you feel like crap if you don’t finish all the assignments. And you never do.

*The muse always reminds me that I’m never “deep” enough in my art. In fact, I skim the surface of drek and I’m too happy about it. 🙂

So, what do you do when the muse is absent? Tell her to never show up because you don’t need her sorry ass.

You go in to your studio every day even if your body sends out the “fight or flight” signal.

You wrangle that art journal that can never lie quite flat and slam your fist into the page just to show who is the boss.

The unseen barrier of resistance that the evil studio fairies wove while you slept last night is thick over the empty pages. Is that a spiderweb over there in the corner?  And who glued the pages together?

Ah yes, I did.

You look over the paints and with a sigh you decide, “what the heck, I might as well slap on some purple and green paint down and go from there.”

Every brush stroke is a pain. The paint decides to spurt out in a great big glob or even leak from the bottom.  So you smear that sh*t all over the page.  Now that page looks like a Rothko painting… Maybe you could sell it as such on eBay, you think for $$$$.  Con-woman thoughts aside, why did Rothko always paint the same thing??

His muse must have been nuts or she avoided him altogether with the excuse that she doesn’t do horizontal lines.

Anyway, you sit with your Rothko art journal page and decide it’s not interesting enough so you start doodling in pink neon color or slap some brightly colored washi tape down. Much better already. Things are still similar to slogging through mud, but you persist.

And then suddenly you see a face in the mess on the paper, and find joy in adding some features.

DSCN2151
fickle muse

After that some more doodling commences and all is well.  In the end, you created a piece of art and all is good. All in the face of the muse who tried to actually distract you with everything else except art.  (Yes, I totally blame the muse.)

Art without the muse becomes an exploration to see what you’re made of. Either you give in to the resistance and go clean the kitchen, or you slog through the barrier and find what is on the other side.

It’s the only way to approach art and get something done.  (For me anyway.) Otherwise, I suspect the kitchen would be spotless and the studio full of dust.

Do you have balls enough to push through?

Only by doing will you find out.  Make it a habit and give the muse the boot if she dares to show up (late.)  You don’t need her because you already had the commitment down.

DSCN2150
No muse here.

You don’t need the muse because you have your own voice and inner wisdom. That is enough!

Lots of daring and determination to ya!

xo

Maria

P.S. if you want to spend some hard earned cash on art, please visit my etsy shop HERE.

Resistance sucks donkey balls!

Hello gorgeous,

Resistance sucks donkey balls! (I got that expression from a friend in NZ haha.)

donkey
Resistance sucks donkey balls

Have you noticed how you don’t feel any resistance when you go out partying or watching TV shows? But as soon as you decide to do something that you really WANT to do, something worthwhile, resistance sets in. You might be one of the lucky few who sails through without a blemish, but then you’re probably a saint.

I’m an artist and I suffer from resistance every day. When I was a full-time writer I suffered from resistance too, but I had an ironclad discipline that pulled me through. With art however, you usually don’t have a chapter outline to follow, and a word processing program that  keeps you within the parameters of the page. Writing itself can be a resistance, BUT if you show up at the computer and start with one sentence, things might start flowing.  No promise though, and that’s where discipline comes in.

It is sort of a military word, isn’t it?  It worked wonders in my writing career.

Discipline and art don’t get along well.  The only discipline I can tie myself to is to move my body and sit down at my art table or stand by the easel.  After that, the wild donkey comes along and everything flows or the blank page syndrome sets in with a vengeance. That opens the door to the inner Critic (who sounds like someone I knew.)   He says: get depressed now and go find something in the fridge, or better yet, the freezer….

critic
Mr. Critic on a rant

My Mr. Critic is very sneaky, comes in on soft-soled shoes and doesn’t exactly critique my art, but fans the flames of frustration until I feel disgusted with the project. I never hear the words “you are no good” or “your art sucks,” no, we are way beyond that point. My Critic knows that if he says that, I’ll laugh in his face because I trust my art. So, subtler methods are often used to get me to fold.

But, I have learned to push on. That’s the only thing you can do. Don’t give up, don’t get up and go to the freezer, and don’t pay any attention to the feelings of frustration or doubt trying to railroad you. Welcome them! By Mr. Critic showing up in such stealthy fashion and throwing a curve ball only means you’re really onto something good.  When you’ve got it going and the passion is burning, Mr. Critic will sneak in with curve balls or frustration tantrums. It is a test of sorts, a test to see if you’re ready for the next level of awesomeness.

When things turn to sh*t you might be on the threshold to something truly great. It could be a new level of expertise or a new way of unexpected expression.  Go with it, and kick Mr. Critic to the curb!

If you want to grow, face the Critic and move on.  Never stop creating, whatever your passion. Nothing can stop you then. There is only one simple remedy.

Show up every day…. Stay with it until it moves forward.

xo

Maria

P.S. There is still time to join my current art e-course, Art Journaling Journey.  You can read more about it HERE.

Discover your inner fire.

Discover your inner fire.  It’s not that hard, but we tend to live in the lies we tell ourselves.  We all have Ph.Ds. in excuses, like family and other things we have to attend to in this 3D-existence.  But there is always time if we make it.  We also tend to not listen to the inner urges, labeling them as woo-woo or generally uncomfortable or ridiculous, like dreams at night.  Ninety percent of all the women I meet live for and through their families, but what about THEM?  What is their own outlet of happiness?  Nothing wrong with being focused on family, but not to a point where that’s all there is.

I feel kind of blah today, not very fired up, but I know what makes me happy.  Every day I sit down to listen within and every time I find my true north.  Then it’s all about will to make stuff happen in accordance to my inner direction.

How do you tame your will?  You don’t.  Will is like a cat, contrary at best, or outright belligerent at worst. Cats know how to be motivated, especially at meal times, lol.  Cats are also super lazy and they don’t give a sh*t.  Sometimes I wish I was more like them because they truly act from supreme indifference and detachment.  That doesn’t mean they have no feelings, but everything is on their terms.  You know immediately about your transgression  when you take a wrong step, like taking them to the vet.

So basically, you have a cat in your head.

There is a way to tame cats, sort of.  You have to coax them along with something alluring, like tuna treats.  When you love something, it has a kind of golden allure.  Your passion is like that; that thing you keep putting off.   Throw some treats at it!

Once you allow yourself (with some coaxing) to attend to that passion, you feel great.  That feeling is the tuna treat.  Basically, the more you allow yourself to experience that special feeling, the easier it gets to choose to be a participant, not a sideline observer.

Step away from the sideline.  When you don’t feel like it, apply some discipline (which is also an acquired skill) to push yourself forward.  One whiff of that tuna will get your right in the mood to pursue.  I know it works for me.

For me the tuna is the joy of creativity.  Writing this fires me up, and seeing a pile of painting brushes in my studio gives me an inner smile.  If you don’t know what yours is, do some digging for gold inside that murky mine of yours.  “I can’t find it,” you say??  Frigging BS.  Don’t be lazy, dig deeper.

Just accept that there is a special path waiting for you; the one only you can find.  Don’t you want to go on adventure?  Don’t you want to find out?  Live your life as an adventurer, not like a predictable hamster running on its wheel.  I have to say I prefer cats to hamsters.

Don’t you want to have your tombstone say you lived with passion, that you inspired others?

The habits can get so ingrained it can be hard to break out of them, and most people don’t even try.  I speak to YOU who wants to find out, who knows there is no other way to live.

That the same ole, same ole is not good enough.

My inspiration today: take positive action, no matter how much the resistance says no.  Engage will and discipline and get into your life.  You won’t look back because you know it’s true.

I’m doing the action right beside you, so let’s go!

Because life happens NOW!

xo

Maria

fireinthebelly2

Google images captainkyso.com

P.S.  My e-course Visionary Art Journaling offers many exercises to go within to discover your inner truth.  We will be working with art and the six senses.  It’s a self paced e-course.  The link is HERE.

If you’d like to receive my newsletter, sign up HERE.

Write That Novel Now! ecourse is live.

The ecourse Write That Novel Now! I’ve been working hard to put together is now live.  Click on the book cover in the sidebar, or go HERE.  I’m really excited about this development and I’m happy to share it to help struggling or novice writers to get a handle on the writing craft.   It is time to share my knowledge with the world.  For many years I thought there had to be a way to share this knowledge without just putting out another ebook on Amazon, but I didn’t know what to do.

My ecourse contains an ebook, but there is so much more, and I’m available for support in the dedicated Facebook group that I created for the students.

You know when something feels right, and creating the ecourse felt right all the way.  It hasn’t always been easy, and as with any writing, there are many not-so-fun parts and challenges to overcome to get it done.  For me it was the technical side, and that is an ongoing and sometimes painful learning curve.  I have banged my forehead against the edge of my desk a number of times, but there was no backing out of the project.  And, miraculously, it all came together in the end.   The bruises have now faded…  ;-P

I learned a lot of technical stuff and I’m grateful for that.  I know it will come in handy later when I create more courses.  Online classes is a great way to share with others, and for that I thank God.  I didn’t think I would ever thank anyone  for technology.  We truly live in a global village and the opportunities are endless.

If you know of any struggling writers, please share this blog with them.  I can truly help and they can learn quickly!

Anyone can come along for the ride!   Maybe you are the next New York Times bestseller author!  It’s never to late to try something new.