Monday, November 12, 2012

There and Back, again.

Long neglected, this blog has been on the back burner. I  had not even marked it on the bookmarks of my new computer. This is only somewhat excused by the fact that I have been deep in the process of completing my MFA in Creative Writing. On November 1st, I handed in my thesis in its semi-final form. Now, I wait for the defense and comments back from my readers/advisors before I do the last revisions and turn it in for binding. I feel as though I have woken up from a long dream, and the world has continued to swirl and change about me. It may take a little while for me to get back up to speed! But, more regular blog entries, and other fun things are on the agenda.
I have been working on a website for my classes and tarot readings, with the assistance of great friends and talented website designers and builders. Right now, the barebones version is up, but it will continue to grow as we work on it.  is my new address, check it out and let me know what you think!

Meanwhile, we are in the midst of our first snow here in the upper midwest. The perfect weather to hunker down and read (or write) a good book, and enjoy a cup of tea. Make mine Irish Breakfast with a splash of milk or almond milk, and I will grab a book off of the "to be read" shelf.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


In a recent class that I gave on making portable shrines, I made this new one for myself. It is a shrine about my own creative process. I am working toward a routine/schedule/habit of working creatively each day. This sounds like it should be so easy, after all, who wouldn't want to play with creative expression on a daily basis? But I find it so easy to have excuses why other things need to happen first; errands, house cleaning, tending to the needs of others. Creative work (and I use the term work on purpose, to help me see that this is what I want to be doing) seems so self indulgent and not to be placed in a position of priority.
I am gently retraining my thoughts to hold my creative work as a priority and of equal value to washing dishes or other chores that tug at my thoughts. I am learning to place the creative work earlier in the daily schedule so that I don't come to it tired and having spent my energy elsewhere. I am also learning that a daily creative habit, while it feels good, does not ensure great work. But, with more writing, or image making, or whatever, there is more likelihood of the work getting better and better, and this is more than worth the effort. Practice, while not making anything perfect, can make it good.
And I can live with that. There is always time for the dishes etc. afterwards.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Morag the Wonder dog

We love her, even when she eats our socks, even when she wakes up and needs - to - go - out - right - now!
She is a yellow lab that we got through a rescue group, and she has moved into our house and our hearts. I love how she wakes up every morning ready for a new day with the kind of enthusiasm I normally reserve for special occasions. She loves unreservedly, and with all of her amazing tongue.  And she is happiest snuggled in between all of us, touching as many of her human family as possible.
It's a dog's life, and I forgot how good that can be.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dreaming My Business

I worked on this collage based on the Chariot card in the Tarot. It was exciting and eye opening to look for images and colors and shapes that said 'forward progress' to me as well as balance and harmonious use of both assertive and receptive energies. I really love the collage I ended up with, although I don't think it is quite finished yet. Now it hangs on the wall near my desk, inspiring me and nudging me forward as I dream my way into my new business. I am working my way through several books about business planning and envisioning, using both traditional methods and newer, visionary methods to create a business plan and model that reflects my passions, interests and background. I am doing this with a few other people who are also designing their own business plans and visions. It is hard work, it is scary, it is enthralling and invigorating. I am learning so much about myself, and about what is can happen when we open ourselves up to possibility.
I thank my fellow travelers on this amazing journey, and hope that we all find ourselves at the end of it in the future we had dreamed for ourselves, or even better!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reading, reading, writing

While school is out of session, I am filling my free hours with as much reading as I possibly can. It is wonderful to have so many books sitting on my shelves, just waiting for me to reach out and open them up. I am reading fairly indiscriminately, picking up whatever comes to hand that attracts my attention. I finished: Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman, Great House by Nicole Krauss, Jack's Black Book by Jack Santos, Divining Women by Kaye Gibbons, Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott, The World Beneath by Cate Kennedy, The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg, The Listener by Bo Huston, not to mention many nonfiction titles related to the classes I am teaching. I am currently working my way through Freedom by Jonathon Franzen. It feels great to tear through a few of the volumes that have been stacking up on my shelves. Next week though, it is back to school and reading for class, at least through June!
Are you finding time to read? What is worth seeking out? What have you read recently that has proved memorable?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

New Classes for the spring and summer

May and June 2011 Classes at Sacred Paths

Intermediate Tarot
This class is a further exploration into ways to interact with the rich symbolism of the Tarot. We’ll look at more reading spreads (including how to design your own spreads), as well as path working, using tarot cards in spell work and other ways to play with your deck. Familiarity with the meaning of the cards is recommended to get the most out of this class.

Six weeks        Thursday May 12th – June 16th                       7-9:30 pm
$120 or $20 per session                    
  taught by Nell Morningstar

Envisioning and Designing Your Dream Business
Have you always dreamed of starting your own business? Do you have a small business that needs redirection or clarity of purpose? Does writing a business plan seem overwhelming and uninteresting? Over the summer, meeting every other week, we’ll use creative and imaginative approaches to develop, map out and write our individual business plans. Using visual techniques, intuition and strategic planning tools, we’ll address how to turn passion and enthusiasm into actual business opportunities. Don’t miss this chance to embrace your most creative self and prepare for the entrepreneurial leap that can transform your dream into reality.

Alternating Saturdays:  June 4th, 18th, July 2nd, 16th, 30th and August 13th      1-4 pm.
$120 or $20 per session                     
taught by Nell Morningstar

The Ritual of Writing, Writing as Ritual
This workshop will explore how a writer creates their entry into the writing habit and life, finding a place that allows words to flow easily and the writer to access their creative center as well as dismissing their internal critic and the accompanying doubts and blocks.
We will also examine the idea of writing as a sacred action, looking at how to embrace this in our own writing practice. Open to all genres, beginning and more experienced writers interested in investigating their relationship to their writing. Bring notebook and pen to use during the workshop.

Saturday June 25th                               1-4 pm
 taught by Nell Morningstar

Making Portable Shrines
Using mixed media, we’ll fashion small portable shrines that can go anywhere with you. Bring any specific images or items you might wish to include in your shrine, and come have fun creating!

Sunday June 12th                                 1-4 pm
taught by Nell Morningstar

All classes held at Sacred Paths Center, 777 Raymond Avenue, St. Paul, 55114

preregistration required, call 651-644-3727.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Still Writing

I am still writing, working away at the novel I began in the novel class that I am now finishing up. 100 plus pages, and I am just beginning to feel like I might know where it is all going! But then, this is the kind of writing that I really enjoy, hold on to your seats and lets go for a wild ride kind of writing. When I know too much at the beginning, I am not likely to finish. It is too boring, heading toward and ending that I already know, that is too expected. With unknown elements still at work, I have something to look forward to each time I sit down to eek words out onto the paper. I like to be surprised, I like to be amused, I like to find myself in a new place (literally and metaphorically) and most of all, I like to see, hear, read, experience new things that are outside what I have already had the pleasure of enjoying. So, onward and upward, looking into a spring full of words and filled pages, and possibly some writing sessions out of doors eventually.