The Prompter Room

For Friday, February 15, 2019:


Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles, and the water is clear?  Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?



The Prompter Room

For Friday, December 14, 2018:


The Tao Te Ching is partly in prose, partly in verse; but as we define poetry now, not by rhyme and meter but as a patterned intensity of language, the whole thing is poetry. I wanted to catch that poetry, its terse, strange beauty. Most translations have caught meanings in their net, but prosily, letting the beauty slip through. And in poetry, beauty is no ornament; it is the meaning. It is the truth.

Ursula K. Le Guin, A BOOK ABOUT THE WAY AND THE POWER OF THE WAY, on the legacy of Lao Tzu’s TAO TE CHING


The Prompter Room

For Friday, May 13, 2016:


“The world is ruled by letting things take [their] course.”

Lao Tzu

Today’s been one of those days already.  I don’t know if it’s because it’s Friday the 13th, or the rain, or because Mercury’s still in retrograde (I presume), but this has been a day of distractions and interruptions out the wazoo.  Since I don’t have any brainpower left to speak of, then, I had hoped to re-blog one of my earliest posts.  That didn’t work either, so I’ll just explain it some here and refer you to the original post if you can access the archives.

The post is called ‘Handy Work’ and I wrote it on May 11, 2015.  Old-timers have seen mention of it a few times over the past year, and I hope newcomers will find it useful. This exercise, which I created some years ago, loosens up the creative muscles by using your non-dominant hand.

This means getting away from the keyboard and putting pen/pencil to paper.  Now write something, but use your non-dominant hand.  It can be anything, even a grocery or to-do list, or you can copy something, or try a short poem or craft a paragraph for a work-in-progress.  If these options don’t appeal, just doodle.  Write down the ABCs, draw circles or various shapes.

The intent is to access the side of the brain you don’t use as often, so do this for 10-15 minutes.  The mere physicality of putting hand to paper – brush to canvas works, too – is beneficial.  Doing so with your non-dominant hand frees up the creativity even more.  A friend of mine once said that his always-active and -noisy brain quieted down enough with this exercise to actually give him some unexpected peace.  Others have found that using their non-dominant hand helped them to get over a spell of writers’ block.

If you’re having one of those days with your writing, then – even if you’re not – try using your other hand for a while.  No one else has to see it, so don’t worry what it looks like.  Some exercises actually can be fun, and this is one of them – and there’s nothing wrong with a giggle or two in the process!