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May 12

Susan Shiney

10 Positivity Practices that Enhance my Creativity

Positivity practices are an integral part to my creative routine. They also help me to be in tune with what my goals are and how to focus my energy on the things I care about most. Not to mention, they make me a happier and healthier person which of course leads to doing more of the things I love.

Reading Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson totally rocked my world in terms of the way I viewed positivity and our brains. He discusses the way humans brains have evolved and that we are hardwired to focus on negativity, because that is what helped us survive a very dangerous world. He describes it as “Your brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.” His book describes the ways to train your brain not to be so worried about the predator in the bushes and remembering which berries are poisonous, that kind of vigilance doesn't serve us in the modern world. It just keeps us sad and paralyzed by anxiety.

Mar 31

Susan Shiney

Flash Fiction: Sailboat Swans

Caredwyn played with the threads of the worn beach quilt her mother made from her childhood t-shirts that she couldn't bear to donate or throw away. Her mother sat next to her staring out at the waves as if the sets were speaking to her in morse code telling her what to say to her recently divorced daughter. Crash. Smash. Whoosh. "Just listen," they advised.

Running her fingers over the Carebear's belly to her right, Caredwyn took a handful of sand and placed it on the quilt square sculpting the sand around the cartoon character. She looked at the horizon as tears trickled down her cheeks. The liquid spread as she smiled when she saw the line of sailboats racing to the harbor. "Remember what I used to say about sailboats?" she said and rubbed her face with her sleeve.

Feb 25

Susan Shiney

5 Tips for Writing while on Vacation

1. Schedule imaginative alone time.

I set up a routine and space for imagination time and I guard it. I tell my loved ones that I will be taking time for myself and don't offer what that space entails because funny enough not everyone will want to respect my imagination time needs. I do find it easier to set up the expectation well in advance. Or I might go on vacation alone and still need to schedule it with myself because days fill up so quickly or disappear so easily on the couch.