Creativity in the midst of COVID-19

Now, in the middle of a pandemic, is the perfect time to do a creativity check. Sure, it might seem like the last thing you want to do, but it will be good for your soul to get those thoughts out of your head and onto paper. If you must, start out small, perhaps commit to 15 minutes of writing today. I know some people have broken out new journals to chronicle their thoughts during this unusual time. For me, that’s a little too daunting and exerting too much pressure on myself. Instead I have tried to write down some key thoughts in my regular journal (combination prayer journal and daily inspiration). Write down your observations, those things that are so common right now, like the empty shelves in the grocery stores & the price of gasoline. What are your fears & hopes? How is your family doing? What’s it like being at home, either alone or with your kids? Do you have elderly family members? What are the extra precautions you are taking? If you were around during 9/11, can you make any comparisons, maybe some of the shared emotions? What is this world event doing to your faith – making it stronger or creating more questions?
We have had a week or so of unsettledness and stress eating, and now it is time to take a step of faith.


Time to get renewed!

We have a great crew of writers & photographers heading to Bunker Hill on the scenic Jacks Fork River for MSTA’s annual Creative Retreat Oct. 5-7. This is hands-down my favorite event of the year. We get the opportunity to enjoy God’s beautiful creation as the leaves turn colors, while renewing our minds & souls. There is something refreshing about spending a weekend with a bunch of creative people. We are thrilled to welcome YA author Brian Katcher and professional photographer Bill Helvey.


Keep learning

At last, the ShowMe Writers Masterclass is upon us. Chuck Sambuchino (Writer’s Digest) is the keynoter this weekend and a whole slate of talented people will be at the University of Missouri to share their insights. I am excited to learn more about writing screenplays. For me, these kinds of events are important. My creative juices get pumped. Even if I pick up just one new technique, or make connections with only one more person, I consider it a win. Life is spinning by so quickly we can’t just sit on the sidelines. We need to keep learning.

Catching up

After a wonderful time visiting old Fargo classmates and relaxing at the lakes in Minnesota, I am ready to get back into the real world. First, I want to share words from a Minnesota construction zone – I think they sum up the politeness of Minnesota – “Merge, take turns.” It was so refreshing to be up north again!

I am preparing to teach journalism this semester at the University of Missouri – the same institution where I earned my undergraduate degree. Talk about full circle! I just unearthed one of my first assignments for the very same class. I last taught journalism when we lived in Illinois and I am really looking forward to this opportunity.

I realize I never posted a blog interview from Ane Mulligan:

Dugout Dick

Idaho hospitality Inspiration often comes along when least expected. On a bike ride across Idaho, we crossed a bridge and came upon Dick and his rooms for rent in the mountain. I asked if I could take his photo, and he said, for a dollar. It was a good exchange, in my mind.