The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas Crush

I’m feeling a bit slowed down by the holidays.  Taking off for the East coast on Thursday means getting all my ducks quacking in a row before then.  Very little writing is getting done in the house these past couple of weeks, but that’s a self-correcting situation.  I’m taking a look at the books, and screenplays, and television pitches on the table, and have to give my subconscious major credit for keeping it all straight.  We should chuckle at ourselves for the way we lambaste ourselves for lack of perceived perfection. 

The most important thing I can do right now is to remain centered and prepared.  To remember that all creativity originates in a calm, secret place within us, and that my daily meditations allow me to contact that place, and feel the chaotic creative energy that gives birth to the writing.  Without that energy, all there is is words, and scenes, and stick-figure characters.  Only that divine spark brings them to life.

This is one of the reasons I’m experimenting with a more formalized class.  Having a few people say they are interested in exploring their mind-body link is one thing.  Getting the critical mass of interest necessary to support a class is something else.   Tomorrow, Sunday, is the next class for those of you in Los Angeles. The time is 2:30, and the place is the International Arts Academy at 20628 E. Arrow Highway #3, Covina, Ca 91724. The first class is free, and subsequent classes are whatever YOU earn per hour.  So don’t let money stop you!

If you can’t make it, please try, at least three times in the coming week, to just sit quietly and listen to your own heartbeat for twenty minutes.  If you can already do this, you can try a more advanced version by splitting attention between your breathing and your heartbeat.  Just spend a bit of time appreciating the beauty of the life-flow within you. 

If you’re really ambitious, go for a walk in nature.  Walk slowly enough to feel your heartbeat, and also strive to concentrate on the process of exhalation, allowing the body to create exhalations with compression, and inhalations with relaxation.  This kind of careful attention will force you to quiet your mind, to really feel your body.  After ten or fifteen minutes, you will probably find that your senses seem sharper: hearing more distinct, vision clearer.  You may notice things about your environment you haven’t noticed for a while.  That clarity is precisely what you will need to isolate and remember the kind of telling details that make your stories memorable.

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