Ideas For Nurturing Emerging Writers

The other day I was approached by a mom of a pre-teen who had, on her own time, written a short story.  The mom asked me to read it over (with her daughter’s permission) to see what I thought.  Here was my first thought – what an amazing mom to take this step!  To all the adults out there who notice the talents of our young ones and bring them to the light – great job!!

My second thought, without even reading the story, was this girl is totally a writer.  The fact that she wrote this on her own time shows that she has an affinity for writing and that, in some way, this is her gift that will serve her purpose.  Maybe she’ll become a full-time writer, maybe she’ll use her writing to heal herself or others, maybe her writing will allow her to be a perceptive, sensitive individual in whatever vocation she chooses, in her relationships, in the way she views the world, and in the way she leaves her mark in it.  Whatever way the gift takes shape, it’s there; our children are truly evidence of this phenomenon.

My third and fourth and fifth thoughts all collided as ideas started taking shape on how I could respond to this opportunity to mentor a young writer.  I generated a list of fun ways for any emerging writer to explore this gift.  If you have ideas to add to this list, I’d appreciate it if you did in a comment below!

  • Start a journal – this could be a book of observations, daily record of the details of the day, a feelings log, clippings of newspaper or magazine articles with personal responses, doodles, gratitudes, story ideas, character sketches, favourite quotes etc
  • Keep an eye out for writing contests – public libraries or local writers groups hold them year-round for all ages.  The non-profit I work with, Pandora’s Collective, has 3 poetry contests a year that are open internationally.  *As the supportive adult, please focus on the act of writing and sharing one’s words rather than the prizes involved.  I know, this is obvious, but even adult writers need to remind ourselves of this and I just want to gently mention it here.
  • Start or join a book club.  Good writers read…a lot!  A book club is a great way to foster friendships that value the same activities.
  • Start or join a writers group.  All it takes is a kitchen table, more than one person, and some helpful prompts to get writing.  You can look online for writing prompts for all ages (try google) or ask me.  I’d love to help!  I do this once a month with a group of adults and it’s a blast!
  • Attend book launches, particularly in the preferred genre.  Usually the author does a reading, and answers the audience’s questions.
  • Play word games during family night.  Anyone have any favourites?

Do you know a child with an interest in writing or something other than?  How are you fostering this interest?  Please share your thoughts – we would all benefit!


My Illustrious (Non) Career On Ed McMahon’s Star Search

Ok, people.   Show of hands.  Who here remembers the talent show, Star Search, that ran on television from 1983-1995?  Hosted by Ed McMahon, it showcased talent in several entertainment categories; contestants competed in each category and went on to semi-finals and finals.  This was one of my favourite shows growing up and my absolute favourite categories were…female vocalist, teen vocalist and junior vocalist.

I, myself, was a junior vocalist.  Well, sort of.  Ok, not really.  Well, here’s the story.

I so desperately wanted to compete as a junior vocalist.  I was 6 years old, loved to sing, and practiced every song I ever knew all the time.  I sang songs I learned in school during music class, practiced Hindi ghazals that were played constantly at home, and of course, I wouldn’t be a child of the ’80s if I didn’t belt out Dionne Warwick’s That’s What Friends Are For every once in awhile.  My brother and I actually had a two piece band that we fashioned from a Fisher-Price drum set, and performed for audiences, real and imagined.  It was serious business for us.  And for me, it was necessary to rehearse to fulfill my dream of competing on Star Search.

The first band I ever belonged to: the height of my singing career!

I had it all worked out.  I was going to sing Roger Miller’s Walking in the Sunshine (you HAVE to watch this youtube video…and imagine me as a 6 year old singing and dancing to this!!)  I had all the lyrics down, I knew how many steps to walk (hands swinging) in one direction and when I was going to stop, sway on the spot for a certain number of beats and then walk in the other direction.  I figured there should be a lot of walking in this song.

So, then I asked my parents if they could “take me” to Star Search.  And what did they say?  They said SURE!!  Yes, they would take me and and yes, I could be on Star Search that very Friday!! 

Looking back, and especially now as a parent, I can see that this agreement was probably made as a way of getting me to let them get back to whatever important adult business I had interrupted – simply a way of saying, “go away!”

This type of news had to be shared!  And share I did. I told all the neighbourhood kids, my classmates, my teacher (she was quite impressed!) and anyone who would listen.

And that’s pretty much where the story ends.  Friday came and went.  There was no Star Search except what we watched on T.V.  I don’t think this really scarred me unless it did so terribly that I have blocked out the aftermath.  So, after all that build up I can’t even tell you my reaction when I realized I wasn’t going to be on Star Search.  Maybe I just never realized it…maybe I am still waiting for my big break 🙂

I went on to sing in school choirs, vocal jazz clubs and always had “voice lessons” on my list of someday.

Singing is now just a part of my life reserved for the home – I sing with my kids all the time (we are all enthralled with Charlotte Diamond).  And actually, I’m more interested in writing lyrics than in performing.  Music is a part of me and my family (my dad plays instruments by ear, my brother can do that and read music, I play the saxophone and the piano and my mom was a Bollywood singer…much like I am a hip hop/ Bollywood dancer).  Music was a big part of my upbringing and I can see that being passed down to my kids.  Though I never went on to be a performer, I certainly get a lot of joy from music in my life to this day.

What about YOU?  What was your serious business as a 6 year old?  Is it part of your life now in some way?  Spend some time with this in your journal.  It’s a very important concept – the things we were drawn to as children – and one I encourage workshop participants and coaching clients to devote time to.  I’ll log this in Writing Prompts as well.

My Daughter Is Developing An Attitude…

…of gratitude!  Which means that after almost 4.5 years of drumming the phrase “You should be thankful” and encouraging her to say “thank you” to every living creature (including her bathwater after she’s bathed) something seems to be sticking!  Every so often she will get this pensive look on her face and then say, “I’m thankful that God made that tree.”  Or “I’m thankful that I have boots for when it rains AND shoes for when it doesn’t.”  She tries to teach her brother our Thanks For Making Me Clean song which he screams through as he hates bath-time coming to an end.

The other day I dared to grumble and complain about something in her presence and she very firmly reminded me, “Mommy, you should be thankful…”

Point taken.

She and her father have come up with a daily ritual.  They each take turns telling the other what they are grateful for.  They each get to select how many gratitudes to name.  (She’s big on numbers right now, her favourite being 1600.  Thankfully, they cap the gratitudes at 6 to allow life to go on).  This is what she said this morning:

  1.  I’m thankful for my family.
  2. I’m thankful for my heart.
  3. I’m thankful for my food.
  4. I’m thankful for my clothes.
  5. I’m thankful for my camera.
  6. I’m thankful I have a baby brother.

I beamed when #5 made the list!  Do you see that?  Our creative interests and passions start YOUNG!!  And if you’ve seen my daughter in action, you know that she takes her picture-snapping very seriously.  Ask your child or someone else’s child what they’re thankful for and see if ballet slippers, art teacher, the colour yellow or a song makes the list.

Inaya reveling in the role of photographer!

On a related note, being thankful for a situation and settling for a situation are two different things in my world.  When my daughter complains about not having something or not being allowed/able to do something, my automatic response is “You should be thankful that you have what you do, or that you are allowed to _______.”  My next thought is, “Gee, I hope I’m not teaching her that she should quietly accept a situation the way it is and not strive for what she truly wants.”  There is a difference.  Hopefully I can model this difference for her so that she can absorb it by osmosis.  Being more involved in the social change movements that tug at my heart, exposing her to people/organizations who work hard to better the lives of others…those are a couple of things I can aim for over our journey together.

Does this difference exist in your world?   I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts.

You should know by now that having the capacity to share my thoughts with you through this blog is one of my deepest gratitudes.  Tomorrow I will post my next giveaway in honour of being thankful – stay tuned!         

Try-This Tuesday: Quick! Grab A…

…crayon, pencil, pen, charcoal stick…anything you have at your fingertips right now!  Some sort of medium would be great too – a receipt?  Grocery list pad?  A piece of paper from your printer?

Inaya's early drawing days!

And now, remember that Draw A Stickman website I showed you a little while back?  That was a popular post; some of you are obviously drawn to a little fun with cartooning!  This time, let’s do it the old-fashioned way by actually drawing the stickmanGasp!  Don’t be alarmed – I won’t make you show this to anyone, unless you want to!

Some of you may already be tuning out of this post, eager to sketch out a 4-scene cartoon that has popped into your head out of nowhere.  Go for it!

If you want a little more help, I’ll give you a little story broken up into 4 scenes; you can draw a little picture for each scene.

Scene 1:  I was walking down the street on a beautiful sunny day.

Scene 2:  When I got to the end of the street, I saw a _(adjective)____  __(noun)_____.  Eg. huge turtle

Scene 3:  This made me feel  ________ and I started to ___________.

Scene 4:  When I got back home, I ______________.

Hey, I didn’t promise a masterpiece of a story, I just wanted to give you a little something to work with if you were stuck.  The point is to imagine a character doing something and then engaging in the activity a little longer by taking the next step so that your thoughts become tangible.  It would be just as well if you drew the person, gave him/her a name, threw on some clothes and maybe jotted down a couple personality traits or quirky details about this character.  It doesn’t have to take more than 5 minutes to be a little creative! 

Have fun with it!  


Who Do You Be Starts As Early As ABC

OK, everybody, look UP!  Do you see her?  My new butterfly designed by Hyedie from happy D designs!  Isn’t she gorgeous?!  And so much more bold and glamorous than the pixelated version I had up before.  I just learned that word, pixelated.  There are SO MANY more words for me to learn related to computers, blogging, and all that other stuff.  I’m starting to integrate some of it into my regular vocabulary which is a good sign that maybe my brain still is a little plastic and can stretch to accommodate this new information.  The other day I said to my husband, “There are so many awesome tools out there in the blogosphere that can help with platform building!”  (Like this one from Rachel Harrie.)  He looked at me, proudly, and said, “Blogosphere!  I like that!”  When I told him I didn’t make that up, the blogosphere is where blogs…live…he had this incredulous look on his face.  So, maybe I’m a little more integrated into the world of blogs than I give myself credit for.  Still, there is much to learn, my friends.

Anyway, you can get a full look at my butterfly over on my facebook page.  There will be more changes to come here at Let ME Out…stay tuned!

Every morning I turn my phone on and click on everything with a red star beside it.  News from the outside.  And from way the heck over in Dushanbe, Tajikistan I received an email from my cousin, Tasneem, who also partly resides in the blogosphere.  Her blog would be of interest to those of you who enjoy travel, learning about other cultures and parenting in other countries.  In her email this morning, she sent a link to an article called The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Child by freelance writer and life coach Diana Reyers.  I encourage you to take a few minutes to read this article and remember that awesome question:  Who Do You Be?

Diana makes the excellent point that many of us are conditioned and groomed into adulthood by being praised for WHAT we are good at, not necessarily WHO we are as…say it with me…human BEings.  She suggests that we end up in work situations that are geared toward our skills set and not necessarily our passions.  And the things we are good at might not necessarily be motivating or leave us feeling fulfilled.  Take a second to think about that.  Does it make sense to you?

I am always at a loss when I have to come up with a bio or even a Twitter profile.  What engages me about other people’s bios is the quirky little things they so confidently acknowledge about themselves.  In this article, Diana talks about the idiosyncrasies that make her her, and what ran through my mind was it took me forever to realize how much I love wool socks.  When it finally struck me that this would be a cool thing to write on my Twitter profile, I did so with gusto!  And oddly, I have received some private messages from tweeps (another word I learned this past summer) about how much they love wool socks, too.  Nobody comments on the “titles” I give myself, but they are drawn to what makes me ME.

Read the article again and think about your children, or the kiddos you may know through friends and family.  It made me think about the things for which I praise Inaya.

Inaya on her 4th birthday, being her goofy, girly self!

If you haven’t had the chance to read the article in its entirety, here’s the last paragraph that had light bulbs flashing all over the place for me:

“As parents, if we are brave enough to move our egos aside and ask our child the right questions, we will inspire her to be herself rather than what we think she should become. By encouraging her to understand what feeds her soul, she will easily find her way. This is the ultimate accomplishment for a parent; choosing to inspire your child to find authentic happiness simply by guiding her to self understanding. This then leads her to knowing “who” she is and, ultimately, what she is meant to “do.” This is the greatest gift you can give your child — that little plant of self-understanding.”


Coming Across Hidden (i.e. Filed Away) Treasures!

So, this is what happens when I file things away.

In the fall of 2008, I attended a one-day workshop called Writing Fiction For Kids.  It was my first classroom setting around writing since first year college when I allowed myself to take Creative Writing 1100 “just for fun.”  *hint:  If you think something is fun, you should do it more often!  It may actually lead to something!

Lois Peterson, who is a local published author of fabulous young adult fiction, was the instructor.  In addition to pearls and gems about actually writing, she gave us a great organizational tool to house our story ideas.  She suggested taking an index card file box and a stash of index cards (you know, like some people use to record and store recipes) and alphabetize story ideas that we jot down on these index cards when inspiration strikes.  When you sit down to write, you leaf through the outlines you have started and choose one to work on.

The part of me that loves things to be stored in their place jumped at the chance to visit Staples to buy these supplies.  Over the next few months, I filed away a story idea about fairies, another about a horse named Chestnut, a sad little number about a girl named Paige and a quirky piece called Masala Chai.

This past Saturday morning while my youngest slept and my oldest was at the pool with my husband, I pried myself away from the computer and chose to spend my time writing fiction.  (I have discovered lately that the computer is actually a vice for me…it completely sucks me in and takes away time from my creative writing).  I got out my box of forgotten barely-written treasures and plunked myself on the couch.  I became reacquainted with the little stories I had started years ago, and then stopped when I came to something of which I didn’t have the foggiest recollection.

What is this? I thought.

Behind the card bearing the title “Images” were 8 magazine cut outs that I had kept for my vision board.  A vision board that I had not yet made.  (Check out this cool blog post from Christine Kane all about vision boards!)  As I pulled out and read each image (not surprisingly 7 out of 8 of them were word-based), I gasped at their relevance to my life at this point.   No, really, I’m not being dramatic – I actually gasped out loud at each of them.  It was awesome.

Here’s what I found:

“Get your daily allowance of ‘ME’ time.”  (Hello!)

“Put beauty back on your to do list.” (I hear ya!)

“Achieve balance in your life.” (Yup, this has been huge on my mind!)

“Take care of you.”  (Uh huh.)

“Get healthy.” (This sentence, like the one above, was clipped – it was probably part of a sentence like ‘Get healthy recipe ideas inside’…or something, but the first two words resonated with me…still do!)

And then, check this out.  This is from Nikki Giovanni, a poet and a mother among many other things, and I absolutely love it – maybe even more today than I did when I clipped it.

“Today I am 64 years old.  I still look good.  I appreciate and enjoy my age.  While I have always liked my career, I have way more fun with it now.  I’ve got nothing to prove, and I don’t care what the critics say.  When I finish writing a book, I don’t push myself to start the next one; I enjoy having just written one.

A lot of people resist transition and therefore never allow themselves to enjoy who they are.  Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once you do, you can learn about the new world you’re in and take advantage of it.  You still bring to bear all your prior experience, but you’re riding on another level.  It’s completely liberating.  Now, everything I do, I do because I want to.  And I believe the best is yet to come.” 

OK, WHAT?!  This has been hiding in a recipe card box for the last 3 years?  Not anymore!!  I pinned it on to a 20”X16” canvas using these cute push pins that I bought 2 years ago that were still unopened in a box in my desk drawer.  I also pinned on the other messages, the only pictorial image I had which is a pair of beautiful shiny metallic pumps AND the following quote by Stanley Kunitz:

“When you look back on a lifetime and think of what has been given to the world by your presence, your fugitive presence, inevitably you think of your art, whatever it may be, as the gift you have made to the world in acknowledgement of the gift you have been given, which is the life itself….That work is not an expression of the desire for praise or recognition, or prizes, but the deepest manifestation of your gratitude for the gift of life.”

Amen to that.  I think if I read that quote to myself every day, I would always remember why I sit down to write in the first place.  I strongly believe that the gifts we are given are indeed just that – something we are born with that must be used in order to be acknowledged.  As I’ve said before, a gift unused is such a shame!

Now I can finally say that my vision board has been started.  Do I believe it’s going to magically make me do all of the things I pinned on there?  No.  But it sure is hard to ignore these words that obviously mean enough to me to make me cut them out and tuck away for safe-keeping!  (especially now that they are literally in my face every day).  And do I think that by cutting out that gorgeous pair of shoes I expect them to be delivered to my door by an anonymous and generous sender?  Well…stranger things have happened!

Do you have a vision board?  Favourite quotes that you have placed strategically around you?  I’d love to hear your favourite sayings or learn about what inspires you if you’d like to leave a comment below.

If I Could Have A T-Shirt Printed, It Would Say…

…WHO do you BE?  Have you ever heard this question before?  I bet you have…it just sounds a little different.

About 10 years ago, I went with a friend to a dream interpretation workshop.  Dreams have always been interesting to me – I’m still not entirely sure whether they are just rapid neuronal firings or prophecies/messages from the “beyond.”  In any case, somehow I ended up at this workshop.  I’m not lying when I tell you that I don’t remember a single word about dreams or their interpretation.


This is what I remember:                                                    


The speaker said “I can’t wait for the day that we stop asking each other ‘What do you do?’ and start asking each other ‘WHO do you BE?’.  After all, we are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS.”

I thought that was cute.  I don’t think I totally got it at the time but it was cute and it STUCK.  I mean, I am pretty sure that I remember that phrase WORD FOR WORD while I remember nothing else of the workshop.

So, who do YOU be?  Or:  WHO ARE YOU?  Are you going to tell me your name?  Who you are related to?  What you do for a living?  When I asked myself that question a few years ago, I had to peel away all those layers to remember who I truly am.  I had to shed the daughter layer, the wife layer, the friend layer; I had to find my way out from under the mother layer.  And then pulsing under the speech therapist layer was who I was looking for: the writer, the musician, the philanthropist, the social rights activist, the spiritual being.  Me.

Some people spend their days honouring their true self, all day long, and make a living at it.  Some people enjoy “side jobs” in their areas of interest.  Others indulge in their hobbies every so often.  And there are a whole lot of people who are unsure how to fit their MEs into their lives.  All of the people I’ve mentioned above know who their ME is.  The other side of the coin always exists, and THAT IS OK!

One reader alluded to herself as being so “far behind” because she didn’t know who she was.  Well, guess what?  Reading this blog, reading other self-development work, asking yourself “Who am I?” – that’s a huge step forward in remembering the answer. Don’t be afraid to sit with this question in silence.  You just might hear an answer.  And if you don’t hear it right away, at least you’ve got the ball rolling.

But whatever you do, DON’T spend your time thinking that there are just a chosen few who get to live their lives to their fullest potential, or that only certain people have the abilities to be their truest selves.  That’s your inner critic talking.  Tell it to get lost.  Do you remember The Old Man Who Lives In My Head?  I have to tell him to get lost, too, when he tries to feed me garbage like that.

Have fun talking to yourself and acknowledge yourself for being exactly where you are meant to be on your journey!

Can You Draw A Stickman?!?! All You Need Is A Computer And Two Minutes!

I absolutely have to share this with you, dear Readers!  My sister-in-law, Zahida, posted this on Facebook a little while ago and today, as I found myself procrastinating (no!) I thought, hmmmm, let’s see what this is all about.  I’m so glad I did!  It was really fun and made me feel like a kid for a couple minutes!

I may just do it again…

Draw A Stickman  is an interactive website where YOU are the artist of a prompted story.  No prior experience necessary!  It’s such a quick little creative treat for your inner child – how could you not add it to your Friday?

By the way, the internet is a great tool for people like me who want to draw more than a stickman but really don’t know how!  I like having steps broken down for me when I’m trying to figure out how exactly to make a ladybug look like a ladybug.  There are several interactive websites that help you do things like that.  My answer to most of my questions?  GOOGLE IT!  

Do any of you have particular websites you enjoy referring to for creative outlet?  Drawing sites?  Writing prompts?  Share them in a comment below – we’d all appreciate it!

Try-This Tuesday: When Did You Last…??

The following task is one of my favourites from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  I’m suggesting it for today’s Tuesday Task because it is a sure-fire way to:

a) remember the little things you enjoy and

b)get a good gauge for how long it’s been since you’ve enjoyed them.

Grab a sheet of paper and number it down the left hand side from 1-20.  Beside each number write something that you enjoy doing, even if it’s something you haven’t done in awhile.  After you have listed your 20 items, go back to the first one and ask yourself, “When was the last time I did this?” and then write down a specific year or date that you remember last doing this.

I did this task in January 2009.  A couple of the activities I’d listed that day I hadn’t engaged in in 9 or 10 years (going to the beach by myself which I talk about here, and attending poetry readings).  It was nice to see that there were some things I had done in my recent past that were meaningful to me (reading, baking for friends, dreaming about the future, researching on the ‘net).  That was actually very important for me – to see that I was still connected to some of my hobbies.  It wasn’t all dim!

Have fun with this one and don’t be discouraged if your list is full of activities you haven’t done in years!

This is a great starting point for goals you can set for yourself.  For example, that poetry reading…it did take me another year to get to a reading but by the following year (January 2011) I actually read my work at one!  Sometimes when you write things down, you don’t realize what kinds of events you are setting in motion!

And don’t forget to smile about the things you are currently doing for yourself when you get to them.  I know it’s not easy to juggle it all and to manage the few minutes of reading or sewing that you get.  Enjoy every minute of it!

If you’d like to share some of the items on your list, feel free to post a comment!

Inner Artist? Creative Self? A Bunch Of Mumbo-Jumbo??

I used to hear phrases like “inner artist” and “your creative Self” and think they were just gimmicks to promote some sort of airy-fairy workshop in which people sat around and envisioned themselves floating like butterflies in a grassy meadow dotted with buttercups.  I pictured an otherwise bored and under-stimulated group of people sitting around a strangely garbed “guru” who spouted nonsense about limitless potential and cosmic bliss.  At some point in the workshop everyone would be encouraged to dance to the rhythm of their bodies, or grab some sort of clay or paint or crayon and make a mess.  And then, THEN, the guru would clap her jewelled hands to gather some sort of collective attention and suggest a group hug.  Of course, this would be followed by placing mats on the floor for a short re-connection with the earth…or a nap…

WAIT!!  I think I just described my typical day in Kindergarten!  I think I’m on to something here!  I DID go to “inner artist, your creative self” type workshops…only it was called Kindergarten and I loved it!

I loved my classmates, I especially loved my huggy-lovey-dovey teacher who made me feel like I could do ANYTHING in the world!  My friends and I flitted about the carpet area, arms (wings) flapping wildly and then we dropped to the floor when we heard the song call out a colour we were wearing.

I had so much fun playing with play-doh and dress-up clothes and I did enjoy quiet times on my mat, too.  I used to grab a book from the wooden bookshelf and settle down on my tummy and stare at the pictures.  My favourite was when the music teacher would come with her guitar and the whole room would vibrate with song.

Really cool stuff. 

(By the way, I’ve been in a Kindergarten classroom recently and they don’t do these things much anymore; Kindergarten is really academic now.  What I’ve described is probably seen in daycare/preschool  settings – y’know, for really little kids).

So then what happened?  Well, YOU know what happened. 

It happened to you, too! 

That little kid, that *gasp* inner artist, got stuffed deep inside this grown up exterior!  And I don’t know about YOUR *gasp* creative Self but mine gets MAD, RESENTFUL and FRUSTRATED when I ignore it.  I actually forgot it existed at some point along the way and couldn’t understand why I started feeling so trapped, bored and totally uninspired.

Everything went from colour to black and white, from fun to routine and I didn’t know how to get out of the box I was trapped in…until I started feeling that crazy urge to write.  So I started writing again in my journal, and jotting down bits of story ideas and character sketches that kept popping into my head.

HERE’S THE KEY:  I didn’t start feeling those urges or hearing those ideas until I spent a little time in QUIET!

For me, that meant the times I was breast-feeding my daughter.  I was forced to sit still.

And then I found myself buying oil pastels and I found an old (and mostly empty) doodle book I used to sketch in.  I used to like doing that, going to the beach by myself and stare out at the water and just doodle.  I always thought I must have looked like I totally knew what I was doing, which I didn’t and still don’t.  Oddly enough, though, I just think it’s fun to make marks on paper.  But I stopped doing that.

Not a good idea. 

The inner artist is a force to be reckoned with.  Ignore it at your own peril!  I KNOW when I have not let my creative self play for awhile; in fact, my whole family knows.  They don’t like it when I am annoyed, impatient and resentful any more than I enjoy feeling that way.

Appeasing my creative Self takes minutes a day.

For everyone, the release is different:  What do you think is fun?  If time or space were not issues, what would you do that was purely magical fun?  Can you think of 5 things?  Write them down in your journal or task binder if you can.  Is it totally unreasonable to fit a few minutes of one such activity into your day?  If finding the time is an issue, and you would like to figure out how to solve the elusive time puzzle, send me an email.  You can still enter to win the free coaching package (11 days left!).  See rules at the bottom of this post!