Category: Writing and the Spirit

Become Perfect

Somebody asked a master painter how to paint a perfect painting. He answered, “To paint a perfect painting, first become perfect, then paint.” So, I translated, to write a perfect story, become perfect then write. I labored over this advice,

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Number One is Patience

Master Jeong taught: “Number one is patience, number two is patience, number three is patience.” Deadlines help some of us. They make us get up and work. They offer us the vision of some respite from the pressure once we

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Do It Like Olga

Olga Savitsky taught me (by example, as most important lessons are taught) why David was a man after God’s own heart.” I used to believe David got that reputation because of his creative side, that God’s heart was reflected in

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Do It Right

Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a treatise on attitude. When I first read the book, I was home in San Diego for Christmas break, from my graduate studies at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

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Get Real

I’ll turn this thought over to a couple fellows brighter than I’ll ever be. SØren Kierkegaard wrote, “A person with originality comes along, and consequently does not say: one must take the world as it is, but: whatever the world

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Begin With the Spirit

When I moved back to my hometown of San Diego from Chico, California, I left behind a tenured professorship. My kids lived with me and cost plenty. So I started teaching all around. One semester, I was teaching 9 classes

What Would Jesus Do?

Jesus would tell a story. When my son Cody was 14 and more troubled than I can write about and keep from feeling my heart break all over again, I gave him a Bible. I had only recently begun attending

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Demons?

Edward Hirsch’s book The Demon and the Angel is devoted to enlightening us, often through the insights of master writers. about the spirit that moves us. Hirsch reports that Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his Journals, “Blessed is the day

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Angels?

An anecdote about the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke tells of his being invited by his friend the psychologist Karl Jung to undertake psychotherapy. Rilke declines the offer, saying “I’m afraid if my demons go, my angels will go with

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Inspiration or Imagination

William Blake believed every word he wrote came from God. I’m not so blessed as that. Most of my words come from my imagination. I’m not convinced distinguishing between imagination and inspiration is critical to our stories or our lives,

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