Linda A. Firestone, Ph.D.

Seems like a million years

Haven't written anything on my newsletter page, nor have I posted new articles. This behavior is not the best for business. But then, I never professed to being the dynamic business woman I need to be. I am working on it.

I have several exciting interviews coming up and will be posting those articles I spoke about last month.
This was just a note to let people know that I am actually still around writing and creating chaos wherever I go. :)
Thanks for stopping by.

Always a Time to Learn

Without knowing it, most of the time I place myself in situations that require some form of learning. This should not be a surprise to me, as I enjoy learning. In fact, I recently received a catalogue of courses that are taught by world class professors on a variety of subjects. I intend on ordering a few courses. It is cheaper than going back to school which I would do in a heart beat if it weren't so expensive. I thought for a while earlier this year (I am still functioning on the academic year) that I would get a Masters in Public Media --the focus of which is work with non-profits etc--and Georgetown Un. had a wonderful program.

I had spoken to the contact person and was seriously thinking of enrolling until the cost was mentioned.
I can't remember whether it was $40,000 a year or for two. Regardless, I thought it was more than I could afford for an online program. That resolved the issue for me.

A digression... I recently began working with ABC Web Service. I am the copywriter for them. So, I am learning more about the details of computing, SEO, marketing and the like. Thus far, I am enjoying myself and I do enjoy the guys I work with. It is actually a relief to walk into a work environment that is focused yet at the same time still relaxed. And, for me the space is wonderful. It is a large open room that is filled with natural light. I thrive in spaces that have a good deal of natural light.

There are other projects in the works but they are not directly related to learning so those will be mentioned next month.

Thanks for stopping by.


Music Soothes My Soul

I was going to write about the lack of concern so many people demonstrate for the diversity of life on this planet. I can get on that soap boxÖBut, as I turned to this page, I decided why write about that! I want to focus on music. I love music. I love a variety of music. I grew up in house that shared music. My mom used to play classical music on the piano. She stopped and I think it has been a loss in her life. My dad loved to sing and we regularly listened to big band music and musical theatre. I actually went to the theatre as a very young child. I guess it should be no surprise that I followed that path for a while.

My tastes in music are eclectic. I can blissfully listen to Gregorian chants or John Legend. I enjoy going to concerts but what really excites me are the small musical venues. This Sat. I am going to see Troy Anderson play at a small club. I love this club. Blue Jean Blues. I canít even begin to say how excited I am about this.

My son plays the piano and composes. I am a big fan of my sonís music as well. He creates music from the depthís of his soul, you can feel it and when I see him play I can see the music rise up from deep within. I thought I was being so cool when I discovered the magic of Trombone Shorty. But, my son said, ďOh he is a really good performer.Ē So much for Mom trying to be cool with her son.

And so while I am greatly moved by excellent writing, a finely crafted film, visiting a museum or enjoying live dance, nothing quite touches me inside like music. Music has always been a way for me to move inside, to manifest an upset or celebrate the energy of living. I am grateful for the place music has had in my life.

Maybe those who donít care about the oceans warming, the animals dying, or the cruelty to children arenít listening to the right kind of music or any music at all.

SEO, White Hat Approaches, Facebook, Technology--OHHHH My Head ....

I have shifted positions again and am focusing my time on freelance work. It is a strange bit of business this writing for money. I am conflicted by it. By my never ending desire to write what I want to, and help other people with their writing needs. In order to stay abreast of the fast moving world of internet marketing, I went to a SFIMA conference recently.

There I met all sorts of folks involved in the world of business and internet marketing. Some are skeptical, some are brilliant, some, such as MOI, are trying to stay up on the changes. As the day progressed, I felt myself excited about the possibilities of social networking: the potential for connections are amazing. Yes, it is a different form of communicating, and more complex than one might think. There is more to twitter than your daughter's texts to her friends.

Understanding these new technologies requires open-mindedness. Being able to capitalize upon the potential of these markets is not simple, though there are people who can help. One of the things I learned years ago, while writing a column about women in business, is that people tend to try to manage everything themselves. You waste time and money with that approach as the end product is never really as good as it might be....

On other fronts, I have the opportunity to write a non-fiction story of someone. That is exciting as I love the change of pace and focus. Creativity comes to me in the ability to shape that which hasn't been shaped.

And, as I usually do, I must comment upon the passage of time. The passage of time is amazing to me on a daily basis. Work on my novel proceeds with stops and starts, children grow and graduate high school and college, parents grow elderly and pass etc. The flow of my life takes many twists and turns, as it does for everyone. I work to make sense of the twists and turns, and to move with the flow as gracefully as I can while still holding on to my essence.

Starts and Stops

I admit that writing is a significant part of my life. Indeed, it has shaped much of my life over the last 20 plus years. OMG! I am getting old. Nevertheless, I have always suffered from this start -stop - start- stop dynamic. It is actually tiring.

I just completed a series of 12 blogs for a website and my short story/​non-fiction film treatment is being shopped around. That is exciting. I am about to sign a contract to ghost write a book about a business man and his approach to life and business. Such deals are always very welcome.

My own writing gets bogged down by my insecurity and ability to get lost in research. My novel is an historical novel and I have been going in circles with the research about the historical references of the time. At some point in time, I catch myself in the endless cycle of research and realize that indeed it is just an avoidance of writing the next part of the book. It weighs heavily upon me everywhere I go. So, I am about to overcome the research part of my desires and go back to the creator of characters aspect of my being.

The historical realities of the time are complex with any number of topics to give me pause for new material for both fiction as well as non-fiction material. But, that will not get this particular project finished.

So I will overcome my start-stop pattern, restart my writing in earnest and finish this time!!!!!!! It is always easier when a deadline hovers over me....

Have a story that needs to be told? I can make it become a reality.

The Spur of Inspiration

What does it mean to be creative? There are many answers to this age old question but most of them depend upon your perspective. I sit day after day writing about the same subject. It is the first time in my life that my creative energies have been so one dimensional. It has grown to be a tedious task. My creativity comes from ability to make connections from a variety of sources. The more I can make these connections the more creative I can be. When, as it has been for the last several months, the days seem to drag on my mind begins to feel numb. I am longing to be spurred on by inspiration.

Change, as I have written before, brings intense moments of chaos and feelings of little to no control. Staying calm is crucial during these times as in truth they are a necessary part of the process. It is a creative process this change! It is an extraordinary process that is fraught with pitfalls, negative thinking, and negative judgments. Ah, the wonders of the creative process. Tolerance for the discomfort is demanded to move successfully through the chaos to that moment or series of moments when the pieces begin to fit together and the light at the end of the tunnel appears or the solution begins to materialize.

Thus, sitting at my desk desperately trying to break through this mind numbing sensation, the realization of a necessary change arrived. What may come is unknown-- though the uncertainty is more alluring than the mind numbing reality of my present. The spur of inspiration must come to me through those gloriously haphazard connections. Without a conducive environment for creativity, the making of random connections to bring life to an idea becomes impossible. Openness, courage, tolerance, and patience are needed to make a change and for my creative juices to begin flowing again. I look forward to being at the start of a new phase and bid the mind numbing creativity killing phase farewell.

Life on life's terms

We all have dreams and may even take action to make those dreams come true. But life has a funny way of creating chaos. Plans so carefully made and implemented, are thrown to the wind, as it were. Instead, a new plan must be created that is based upon other's realities.

For many years in graduate school, I studied the creative process. I even learned about my own creative process --that was enlightening. I learned the place that chaos has in moving us from one state of being to another. That is true whether I am writing a book or making plans. So, when life reminds me that stuff happens and I have to go with the flow, I am thrown up against what feels like chaos again.

I have also learned through other experiences that getting hysterical won't change the new reality. Acceptance and action move me forward. New decisions, made with a calm thought processes allow me the best way through the chaos. I sometimes laugh about having written a much acclaimed book on creativity for women which explores process etc., and still I can resist the process of change.

And, speaking of change, work on my novel has begun again in earnest. I admit that it is difficult to leave a work for a year or more and pick it up again with the hope of the same connection. I am finding the characters voices again. There may have been a change in voice but then it happened at a turning point in the novel, so perhaps it will work to my advantage.

Stay tuned...

This newsletter is a peak into my thinking process. Be that good or bad, I would not venture to say. I am glad you have stopped by.

Selected Works

Fiction: short stories
Web writing and Essay Collections
Varied topics
non-fiction general trade magazine Articles
The list of selected articles below reveals the range of topics covered by Linda A. Firestone
Creativity lies within each woman -- seek it out and it will be yours.