Fifty years ago, on July 16, 1969, we all witnessed the first moon landing. Those of us who were alive probably remember exactly where we were at the time. I remember being in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the International Teen Camp. All the campers were gathered in the large wooden-floored gymnasium with a small television suspended in the corner of the room. We were told that we were about to witness a true milestone in history.

While I was excited and proud to be an American among all those campers from around the world, I was also rebellious and not much of a science buff. I sat on the floor pretending to watch, but vividly remember believing that the cute boy next to me was much more exciting than someone landing on the moon so many miles away. Looking back, I realize how immature I must have been, and how today I'd be in awe if such a thing were happening.

What amazing times we're living in!

Creatively Yours,

  • Write about your best summer-camp or work experience as a teenager or young adult.
  • Write a story about building a sandcastle.
  • Recall a perfect summer meal, and write about it.
  • Describe your writing rituals.
  • If you were alive in 1969, write about where you were during the moon landing.
"What I Learned from My Father" (blog). Thrive Global. June 10, 2019.
"Meaningful Moments" (essay). Changes in Life. June 2019.
"How to Be Unafraid of the Gloomy Places (blog). Psychology Today. June 5, 2019.
"Finding Your Aha Moments (blog). Psychology Today . June 23, 2019.
"Telepathic Messages" (poem). Poets Unlimited . June 27, 2019.
" Moving Away and Letting Go" (essay). Change Your Thoughts. Change Your Life." J une 2019.

Sip. Write. Create.
Margerum Wine Tasting Room
Santa Barbara, CA
July 18, 2019
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
To register: Click here
Autumn Light by Pico Iyer (memoir)

Pico Iyer is one of my favorite writers, and he never ceases to amaze me with his candor and eloquent writing style. This book is a meditation on his trip to Japan following his father-in-law's passing. His words cause the reader to stop and meditate and ponder on his wisdom and many astute observations.

Iyer offers keen observations about the cultural highlights of his visit, discussing love, life, death, and much more. Pico-san, as his in-laws have come to call him, is a warm and welcomed visitor to this once-foreign land where he met his beloved wife.

He reminds us how sadness and grieving often lasts longer than our mere pleasures. As he deftly says, "Autumn poses the question we all have to live with: How to hold on to the things we love even though we know that we and they are dying. How to see the world as it is, yet find light within that truth" (p. 14). When it comes to death, he shares the wisdom of the Dalai Lama, who says, "Remember: Only body gone. Spirit still there. Only cover gone" (p. 188).

A poignant book that is not easy to put down.

These pencils were introduced to me by my recently deceased friend, Thom, the son of John Steinbeck. In 2010, they were revived to make people more interested in wooden pencils. They're made in Japan from the wood of trees from California and Oregon. The core of the pencil is made up of graphite, which is a nontoxic mineral.

This Blackwing box of 24 pencils pays tribute to John Steinbeck, and under Thom's guidance, Blackwing re-created what would have been John Steinbeck's ideal pencil. Thom was convinced his father would have wanted the pencil and eraser to be all black.

John believed in the benefits of rituals. Before putting graphite to paper, he'd sharpen 24 pencils and place them point up in the first of two identical wood boxes. Each pencil lasted long enough to dull its point on his pad, usually four or five lines before he put it in the second box, point down. After all the points were dull, John resharpened them and restarted the process. "Some days he used more than 100 pencils," Thom said.
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