Category Archives: Liminality

Brain Voyage!


Let’s say you’re between writing projects or you are clueless as to what your next one will be. Rather than roll yourself into a beach ball of bewilderment, here’s what you do: do something else.

Learn to make scones. Experiment with watercolors. Try a new type of yoga (goats optional). Throw your first pot. Pick up golf (miniature golf, for starters) or ax throwing. Read a classic you’ve somehow missed. Hike a trail. Rearrange a room. Adopt a ferret. Plant veggies. Climb your family tree. Visit a new city. Play!

In other words, devote yourself to something unrelated to your writing.

As you reorient your mind from writing mode to [FILL IN THE BLANK] mode, you give your brain a break. With time, tender new green leafy ideas will emerge while you’re cruising in your kayak or knitting another mitten.

Giving yourself permission to go on a mental vacation may sound like a coy way to slack off. But it’s not. It’s really not—IF you do it with intention. Block the time on your calendar for your mental-pause, cerebral siesta, noggin’ nap, rejuvacation or whatever you want to call it. Then, decide what you’d like to do and choose a backup activity in case your first plan goes wonky. Call it “unravel insurance.”

Oh! And be sure to keep a journal handy in case any new ideas sprout while you’re out!

Enjoy, my little strawberry parfaits! And send me a postcard (or a message), won’t you?

Change your mind and the rest will follow. ~ Songwriters: Gerald Edward Levert / Denzil Delano Foster / Thomas Mcelroy

Where’s Your Scary?



The road is longclouds

With many a winding turn

That leads us to who knows where

Who knows where

Do these lyrics remind you of your journey toward publication?

How about words like wandering, wilderness, what-if-it-never-materializes, wondering what’s next?

I hear you.

More important, I feel you.

This journey is tough. At least it is for me. And it’s so much longer than I ever imagined it would be.

You too?

Lately, I’ve recognized one of the things that is making it feel even longer–I’ve tripped into a rut.




Now my journey is as dry as winter elbows.

Know what’s missing?


For me, Scary equates to doing something new, putting myself out there for an unpredictable payback and feeling my heart stampede.

Now I’m on the hunt for the right kind of Scary.

You too?

These ideas to inject an element of Scary back into our Writing Life–

  • Enroll in a writing course
  • Apply to an MFA program or another form of formal education
  • Register for a workshop, retreat or conference
  • Send three chapters to a willing beta reader
  • Enter a contest
  • Read at an open mic

I’m going for it. Look out Scary. Here I come.

You comin’?

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. ~ Helen Keller

Lyrics by Bob Russell and Bobby Scott

leaving the land of liminality


Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Liminality, as I understand it, is that betwixty/betweenish space in life. A waiting room. Life’s belly button. An incubator. But it’s more than that. I see liminality as a place of active, intent anticipation intended to transform and prepare us for what’s to come. Wow. Pretty deep, huh?

Soon I will be leaving my preparing place to bounce into a new phase in my publishing pursuits– querying agents and editors. Up to this point, I’ve been writing/revising/researching/daydreaming in a liminal space that exists between the time I decided to become serious about writing and the stage to come when others will see my work and choose to love it or leave it. This long season of liminality has been challenging (to put it politely), but I believe say I am a better person for it (and sheesh, let’s hope a better writer!)

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Thanks to my stint in the Land of Liminality, these words mean much more than mere words to me:

Oh, sure. I know the minute I hit “send” on the first query I submit, I will slip into a new level of liminality, but now I feel more prepared for the transition. And between you and me, I believe the outcome will be worth the wait.

The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms. ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh