from-the-compost-header

Compost: Talking About Writing

fountain pen calligraphyThis month I’m teaching my writing class called Writing as a Spiritual Practice, which was the first writing class I ever taught, almost fifteen years ago. I loved and still love doing this class, and the participants seem to love it too.

I have noticed over time that the folks who attend Writing as a Spiritual Practice often come because of the word “spiritual” in the title. They are wonderful people. We have a great time exploring topics like “absurdity and the forbidden” and “sensory details – it’s a daffodil, not a flower.” We write our guts out. And then we play with them. (Not literally, of course.)

A few years ago I noticed that some people are put off by the word “spiritual” so didn’t come to these classes. I’ve always believed that all of us are “spiritual”—that is, we have a spirit—even when we don’t think of ourselves that way. But many people see the word “spiritual” and think someone is going to shove a religion or an occult belief down their throats. Yet these “non-spiritual” people have great stories, heart-felt ideals, and just as much poetry inside as anyone else. Also like anyone else, they often had trouble liberating those poetic voices inside them.

So I changed the title of the class to Finding Your Voice. No one seemed to be turned off by the word voice, and all sorts of people started coming to this class. They came because many of us have writing voices that are muted, stilted, confused, or strangled by expectations. Finding Your Voice and Writing as a Spiritual Practice are exactly the same—they’re about freeing those voices so that your message, whatever it is, can get out. After all, what good is your wisdom, beauty, or brilliance if you keep it locked up inside?

Nowadays I offer this class under both titles, changing the title to suit the audience. I’ve found the “spiritual” attendees are often quite noisy, happily sharing funny stories that make everyone guffaw; and the “non-spiritual” attendees often share the most ethereal poetic visions of connection and belonging.

Voice, Spirit, Whatever. It doesn’t matter what you call it. I think it’s exactly the same thing.

Haiku Friday: Drive

zen gardenHere’s my haiku for today, on the topic of “Drive”:

when it is morning

each to-do wants to be first

put your car in Drive

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Serial: Reasons to be a Ghostwriter: Reason #3

ghostHere’s another excerpt from my ebook “Ten Good Reasons to be a Ghost”:

Reason #3: Your mind and your heart will be stretched, and your tolerance and compassion will grow. In order to write as someone else, you must understand them on a deep level. You will learn how others think—even others radically different than you. Like actors, ghostwriters play many roles, just on the page instead of the stage. Unlike an actor, a ghostwriter is not constrained by their gender, age, race or culture. I am a middle-aged white American woman from the West Coast. But as a ghostwriter, I’ve been an African-American man from New York, a Japanese-American woman, an Iranian immigrant, a self-described redneck from Oklahoma, a Cambodian refugee, among many others. And oh yes, some middle-aged white American women. I’ve been any age from 20 to 90. I’ve been a doctor, an accountant, an entrepreneur, a cop, a scientist, a shaman, a gardener. And so on.

And guess what I discovered? We’re all human, and we have more similarities than differences. When you have participated in someone’s dream, hatred is impossible.

Shameless Promotion: If you’re interested in becoming a ghost, check out my online course Learn to Ghost (LINK – www.LearnToGhost.com).

Ghostwriting for a Dog: My Pet Girl

Alex_leaves_Alex Terrgi here. If you follow my posts on this blog, you may know that I have my own Pet Girl. She is my human’s granddaughter and she is eight years old. Eight is the perfect age for humans, you know. Although she’s going to be nine soon, and then nine will be the perfect age for humans.

My Pet Girl and I went to the dog park the other day. (We took my human grown-up with us because someone had to drive the car.) My Pet Girl threw the ball for me and ran around the edge of the park with me and called “C’mon Alex!” when I got distracted by a good smell.

Then she shooed a crabby German Shepherd away from me cuz his human told my Pet Girl that he only liked dogs as big as him and bit everyone else. And do you know what my Pet Girl said? She said, “Then why do you bring your dog here?” Good question!

My Pet Girl is smart and brave and I love her. You’d love her too if you knew her. But she can’t be your Pet Girl. She’s already taken.

Haiku Friday: Random

haiku pic 2Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of “Random”:

marks of the writer:

random ink blobs on your shirts

keying in your sleep

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Serial: Reasons to be a Ghostwriter: Reason #2

ghostHere’s another excerpt from my ebook “Ten Good Reasons to be a Ghost”:

Reason #2: You will learn many new things. Most writers are curious people. They are interested in many things and many different kinds of people. I now know what it was like to fight in the Korean War; how to cure a nasty digestive condition; how to telepathically communicate with a horse; how to start a food business; how to make a good compost pile; the history behind a hundred-year-old house; how to listen to people with Alzheimer’s; why not to use male enhancement products; and a history of sauerkraut making. Just to name a few.

Shameless Promotion: If you’re interested in becoming a ghost, check out my online course Learn to Ghost (LINK – www.LearnToGhost.com).

Compost: My Three ‘Me’s

kim-pearson-logo1.pngI have a new website! It’s actually 3+ websites in one, as now there are three official ‘MEs. First there’s the so-called “umbrella site” (that’s computer geek speak, I’m told) which is www.kimpearson.me and contains all the information anyone would want to know about me and what I do (or at least what I’m willing to share) and where you can navigate to all three MEs.

The first Me is the Ghostwriter me (which you can also access by www.primary-sources.com), which tells you all about how I do my job of ghostwriting, and how I might be able to help you write your own book by ghosting it for you, and give you ghostly tips and tell you ghostly secrets. Then there’s the Teacher Me (which can be also accessed at www.LearnToGhost.com), where I now offer three versions of new and improved features of my program Learn to Ghost, teaching other writers how to be ghostwriters. Last but definitely not least is the Author Me (also accessible by www.KimPearsonAuthor.com), which showcases my own books with links to buy them should you want, gives hints about what I’m writing now, and soon there will be some videos of me reading my writing and telling you my stories.

Naturally my blog From the Compost is accessible through any of these four urls, or even a url of its very own, www.FromTheCompost.com.

But don’t be confused over all these urls. Just remember www.kimpearson.me and there I’ll be.

I hope you like my new website. I am grateful to two people who helped me put it all together—my Virtual Author’s Assistant Janica Smith, www.janicasmith.com, and web designer Terri Orlowski, www.beyondtheoffice.net.

Haiku Friday: Baseball

haiku pic 3Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of “Baseball”:

baseball teaches us

strike out or hit a home run

step up to the plate

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Serial: Reasons to be a Ghostwriter: Reason #1

ghostI’ve been a ghostwriter for over fifteen years now, and I still love my job. Other writers ask me about ghostwriting, often with an undertone of sympathy, as if ghostwriting was a last resort. When I tell them I love ghostwriting, I don’t think they really believe me. But although there are downsides to ghostwriting, as there are to anything, there are plenty of upsides. I wrote a short ebook titled “Ten Good Reasons to Be a Ghost.” Here’s an excerpt detailing one of those reasons.

Reason #1: You can make money doing what you love—writing. Full disclosure: I’m not getting filthy rich. But I am making a comfortable living, and I am hundreds of times happier than I used to be while making twice as much working for corporate America. There were a few lean years in the beginning, but I’m still here, over fifteen years and about 40 ghostwritten books later. Very few writers can claim that they support themselves completely by writing. I am one of the lucky few who can.

There are many people who long to write a book, but lack the skill or the time to do so—but that doesn’t mean they lack the money to pay you to do it for them. It takes time, skill, and effort to write a book, and you can charge accordingly.

Shameless Promotion: If you’re interested in becoming a ghost, check out my online course Learn to Ghost (LINK – www.LearnToGhost.com).

Ghostwriting for a Dog: Facilitation

Alex_leaves_Nov2011Instead of taking me to the dog park on Sunday afternoons, for the next 4 Sundays (starting next Sunday October 5th) my human will be leaving me alone in our house with just The Cat for company. (And if you knew The Cat, you would know her company is no consolation.)

My human says this is just because she is “facilitating” a class called (http://womanspiritcenter.com/WomanSpirit_Center.com/Writing_as_a_Spiritual_Practice.html)

Trying to make me feel better about being left alone with The Cat, she said one writing exercise she’ll try is to ask her students to “write about yourself in the voice of your pet – your dog, cat, bird, hamster, or goldfish. What don’t they understand about you? What do they know that no one else does? Let them tell some of your secrets.”

Well, maybe that will be good for the other humans in the class, but I don’t see what good it will do me – my human already writes about herself in my voice. (She doesn’t write about herself in the voice of The Cat, though. I think that’s because she’s afraid of what The Cat would say. The Cat can be really nasty.)

And I don’t see why she needs to “facilitate”, whatever that means. Sounds like one of those fancy human words that really just mean “talk a lot.”

But all it means to me is that I won’t be going to the dog park that Sunday.