Author: jane staw

One Lamp

One Lamp

Below is a lovely Guest Post, from Cookie Murphy-Petee, who lives in Eagle, Colorado. The Guest Post Slot welcomes submissions from readers. Watching an episode of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” with Itzak Perlman playing the ballad “Someone to Watch Over Me,” I looked […]

One Small Moment

One Small Moment

Walking to vote this morning, I was ruminating about the tensions of this mid-term election cycle, feeling gloomy about the anger and hate blanketing this country. As I neared my polling location, I looked up and saw three homeless men standing on the corner. Oh yuck,I […]

One Small Person

One Small Person

  My grandson Lucien, and his mother, Amelia, had dinner with Stephen and me last night. Adorable three-year-old Lucien filled the evening with delectable moments, as together the four of us laughed and played, acted silly and serious, danced and raced around the house. I […]

First Level of Trust Needed to Write

First Level of Trust Needed to Write

Have you ever gotten an idea for a story or an essay and dismissed it immediately? Too complicated, too ordinary, uninspired, already been done are some of the condemnations my clients toss at their ideas. “But how do you know without even starting?” I ask. […]

A Perfect Example of Small

A Perfect Example of Small

Near the beginning of my walk at the Berkeley Marina today a stand of fennel caught my eye, lovely with its combination of textures and hues: the sturdy, celery-colored stalks, the bright green of the feathery leaves, and the sunny yellow of the blooms. All […]

The Effectiveness of Small

The Effectiveness of Small

I think I’ve just proved the value of practicing small–in an inadvertent experiment, with one subject only. Over the past few months, I’ve reverted to my former instinctual negative thinking. I gave a talk in Sacramento last Thursday, and when I realized the next morning, […]

Small Saves Me Again

Small Saves Me Again

When I opened my eyes, my head was still spinning and my stomach felt sour. I had tossed and turned all night from roiling dreams. What kind of promise could a day born in this state offer? But I didn’t suffer for long. I knew […]

Finding an Ideal Reader

Finding an Ideal Reader

Although I’ve led hundreds of writing workshops, I’ve never joined a writing group. The reason: I don’t care what six, or eight, or ten other writers think of what I’ve written. Over the years, I’ve learned that each writer in a workshop will find at […]

Small Gets Even Better

Small Gets Even Better

Lately I’ve discovered a new power of seeing small: it can make good things even better. Although I still practice seeing small whenever I catch myself worrying or feeling anxious, I need to invoke small much less than several years ago.  This realization, plus several talks I’ve […]

Against Perfectionism

Against Perfectionism

  Many of the writers I work with fuss with their current story, poem, or essay forever, before moving on to the next story, poem, or essay they want to write.  “I just want to read through one more time,” more than a few of […]