Pecking away

I like to watch for birds on my morning walks. The particular bird that I notice on any given day often has a direct message for me.

For the last week, red-tailed hawks whirled over my head. These sharp-eyed raptors fly high above the fray, and use keen powers of discernment to locate their prey. Hawks are hunters, but they only dive down when the right thing comes along.

I had been spending a lot of time ‘diving down’ to grab things that weren't necessarily for me. The Internet is full of shiny objects that one might want to go for. But which blog to follow, which mini-literary contest to enter, which agent to pursue? Now I can hone my own powers of discernment. Thank you, red tail hawks!

This morning, I heard the distinct rat-tat-tat of a woodpecker on a telephone pole. He drilled down through the hard wood to get the tasty morsels hidden inside. Grubs and whatnot.

In my current writing project, I need to drill down farther into the material to expose the truly juicy parts. Yay, woodpecker!

In my personal life, a friend is dealing with very painful family issues, the result of ancient emotions that had never been dealt with. We often develop very hard defenses to cope with our wounds. The good stuff -- the bundle of soft, elusive feelings that make us who we are, and lead us toward our fullest experience of humanity -- is often buried below a thick wall that we created to stay safe. To protect ourselves from further wounding. To feel in control.

Everyone is wounded. If we are not wounded, we are not living.

Let's face it, without a strong beak like a woodpecker, it's gonna be painful to break through the woody exterior that has protected us for so long. Still, there is always time to peck away at that old, hard wood, and find the jewels below.


You think about something, and the universe responds...

I am continually in awe of serendipity, how things show up just when you need them.

But I am also asking you to help out. Please follow this new blog in my name.

This morning on one of the zillion blogs I follow, Chinook Update, I saw: Win A Free Chat with an Agent. I had to check it out.

Mark McVeigh reps both authors and illustrators, and his is positively oozing with industry insights. Very juicy.

I'm an author whose day job is as an designer/illustrator. I often dream of the perfect project that combines the sensibility of a novel with the cool visuals I imagine as I write. But just this morning I envisioned the illustration for the first page of my WIP (work in progress), and wondered if I need to stay on course and write the same, or differently - given that there will be ART?

If you follow his blog, and 10 people do this, I will get a 10-minute Skype call with him. And I have many questions...

Please follow! and let me know.


Three minute journey

Check it out. I loooove this animated journey into deep identity.

Head Garden from Lilli Carré on Vimeo.

Oh, and I am entering this agent's literary contest.

There are way too darn many cool things to do online that sort-of-involve-writing.


Review: "Olive Kitterage" by Elizabeth Strout

This novel unfolds through 13 portraits of people living in a small town on the coast of Maine. A large, brutally honest, no-nonsense retired math teacher, Olive sees her fellow townspeople mainly as nincompoops, ninnies, and dopes, and blames others for nearly all of her life's discomforts.

Widowed at 74, Olive slowly awakens to herself. Through her losses and disappointments, she begins to notice both the emptiness and the beauty of her days.When she finds tentative love in the arms of a man she would have barely tolerated previously, my heart flooded with joy.

How had I come to care about her so much? Terrific writing, full of nuanced, perfectly chosen details. Rich in surprises, suffering and smiles, this book deserved the Pulitzer prize. (As a slow writer, I was gratified to find credits for the stories go back to 1992).

What was the joy about? At any age, each of us carries the possibility of growing up. Any of us can discover a deeper way of experiencing ourselves, our relations and our world. So let's not wait.