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Archive for the ‘Changing your life’ Category

My book-in-process, Needle in the Bone , explores the against-all-odds stories of a Holocaust survivor, Lou Frydman, and a Polish resistance fighter, Jarek Piekalkewicz, who each started their lived in Poland and ended up being fast friends in Kansas. Based on extensive interviews, historical research and my own reflections on impossible questions about human nature and history, this book unfolds the astonishing survival stories of each man, and how each summoned the courage and vision to create a new life in a new land. Check out my blog on various discoveries I’m making along the way.

Photo: Jarek Piekalkewicz in his old Polish unit of the British army uniform.

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Our own Diane Silver has embarked upon a brave and essential project: searching for goodness through a year-long blog mapping her search in addition to interviews with all the usual and unusual suspects, from evangelical Christians to Sufi leaders to hate group researchers to community activists to artists and poets and to people from many other walks of life. Please visit her blog, which she subtitles “365 days to answer an impossible question.”

Recent posts include an extensive interview on why we’re alive, the role of poetry in goodness and praise for all things sacred with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, posts on travel and goodness, radical kindness and pitfalls of righteousness. Visit to add your own thoughts and questions, and remember, it’s all good!

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I am reading a wonderful book, The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.  It might just as easily be titled “Choosing Yourself”.  

The book is about Resistance (his caps, not mine), which manifests itself as procrastination, unhappiness, fear, fundamentalism, and more.  The author describes it perfectly.  I saw myself in almost every page.  The second part of the book is about turning from amateur to professional, which is his way of overcoming Resistance.  And the third part is about the allies we have in the war.

I generally object to using a war metaphor.  I believe that we give energy to what we focus on, and I don’t want to give any energy to war in the world.  This metaphor works for me in this book, however.  Resistance is a seductive enemy, one I’ve dealt with all my life.  I welcome ways to help me out of its clutches.

The book is very short, and at first I gulped it down.  Now I’m going slowly, rereading and thinking.

I started reading it on Wednesday night, and I’ve worked on my novel each day since then.  That’s only three days, but it’s a good start.

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The all-purpose shoe

All my life I’ve been searching for the all-purpose shoe.  I have hard to fit feet, and I’ve been quite impoverished at times, and the result is that I have wanted a pair of shoes I could wear to a formal dance AND to a picnic.  (This explains why I got married in a pair of brown lace-up oxfords.)

This year I wrote my third unpublished novel, using NaNoWriMo as the kick in the pants to do it.  I really didn’t want to write a girl book, but it appears that I did.  But what did I want to write?  The all-purpose novel! A brilliantly written oeuvre that would appeal to all readers.

Similarly, I’ve been casting about this year for a slightly different work life from the instructional development/technical writing/web development work I’ve been doing for the last twelve years.  Recently it came to me that I do NOT want to find the all-purpose work.  It’s fine if I do a variety of different things, write in all sorts of ways, and possibly buy a pair of shoes for one single event.

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