Welcome to the Friday Five – my weekly tradition of listing four thoughts or lessons from my week, and one fun picture.

This has been a low energy week for me (sometimes hibernation sound like such a good idea!), and it’s been a good time to practice reminding myself that I’m still a worthy, lovable person, even when I feel too tired to do anything that I consider interesting. I’ve also been taking massive notes on the movie Pan’s Labyrinth (which, incidentally, they’re turning into a stage show!), so we’ll see what comes of that!

1. Figure out what you’re attracted to – it says loads about you and your life. I don’t mean this only in the romantic sense, though it would still apply. When I realized how deeply moved I was by a dark fantasy film (see above), I dug deeper. I didn’t expect to find, embedded in the movie, two brother-sister relationships in which the sister loves and fights for her brother at great sacrifice. I looked at the book I’m writing and found a similar theme and relationship. I didn’t realize how important this concept was to me, or how much my own close relationship with my own brother is affecting how I see movies and write stories (and apparently, how I blog as well). If you can dissect something that you love and figure out what those special elements are, you’ll learn a ton.

2. Be compassionate and kind to everyone—you don’t know who’s watching you. This is a tough one. I’ve found myself dodging particular people I find socially awkward, not wanting to let my precious time be sucked into a conversation that I’m not stimulated by. And yet, there’s a good chance that these people talking to me out of admiration for some things they’ve seen me do—I may be some degree of a hero in their eyes…and the last thing I want to do is be the hero with her nose in the air who can’t be bothered with the annoying underlings. I haven’t turned the corner on this lesson, but I’m, er, painfully aware of it.

3. It’s better to speak clearly and have more people understand you, than to be so intellectual that only a few folks get it.  I walk several intellectual/creative circles throughout my week and it is ridiculously easy (and tempting) to lapse into quoting famous authors and their methods and using terminology that alienates all but the most studious. Geeking out is fine, when it’s time for that, but it’s important to me that what I say isn’t just designed for some high-brow class of people who “get it.” The best communication is clear to everyone without being dumbed down. Try to communicate complicated emotions or concepts in a way that a child can understand them—now that takes skill.

4. Just because you don’t understand your instructions at the start doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the exercise. OMG, if you were anything like me as a teen, you wouldn’t follow a request, especially one from your parents, until you understood the merits of the action. This stubbornness has carried into my adult life. If someone wiser than me suggests something and I’ve no idea why they’re telling me to try it, I am trying my best to believe it will be good for me and relax a little on the doubting questions. Who know…maybe I’ll learn something new!

 5. Since I’ve been talking about my brother this week, here’s a pic of me and Elliot from several years ago. He’s a big guy (as you can see) and four years younger than me. I think this was taken the summer after my college graduation, so we’d be 21 and 17.






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