#InternetGeek Tuesday: #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 5 WRITE

Happy #InternetGeek Tuesday!

WRITE is #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 5. During the WordPress Press Publish Conference in Portland two weeks ago, I participated in a “Blog to Book” panel discussion with Automattic conference organizer Andrea Middleton and my fellow authors and bloggers Cecilia Gunther, Christine Lee, Jerry Mahoney, and Mary Laura Philpott. After the discussion, I had several conversations with people about how I used blogging to write and publish my books “Love’s Troubadours” (novel), “That Which Awakens Me” (creative memoir), and “Digital Sisterhood” (technology memoir).

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Here are 8 tips I shared during my post panel conversations to inspire bloggers to WRITE their blogs with the intention of creating content for books they plan to publish.

1) Write your blog posts freely and fully with your authentic voice and passion.

2) Write your blog posts without censure.

3) Create or use a daily (Creative Every Day) or monthly challenge (Art Every Day Month and National Novel Writing in November and National Poetry Month in April) to establish a regular blogging practice and generate content you for your book. I used National Poetry Month in 2008 and 2009 to prepare content for my creative memoir. Currently, I am using National Poetry Month to prepare content for my e-book series.

4) Launch a blogging series to create content for your books. I’m currently writing a blogging series about being 50. I plan to use the content for my e-book series.

5) If you have been blogging for 5 or 10 years, select your favorite blog posts during the time period and prepare and publish an anniversary blog book or e-book.

6) Make a podcast series featuring your thoughts for book content. Select key points or the core messages from the podcast series and include them as your book content.

7) Record video blogs, pick out the most relevant points, and prepare content for the book.

8) For Flickr, Instagram, and Pinterest Users: Use your photos on these social media channels for inspiration to write a short update that can be used later as book content.

Photo Credit: Marcia Johnston

Poetry Month Day #6 – “Interconnected” poem

Happy Day #6 of National Poetry Month!

Today’s poem “Interconnected” is inspired by English Zen philosopher Alan Watts: https://youtu.be/mXmz605GAnc. My best friend Kenny Dust introduced me to Watts during my birthday trip to London in December. I recently watched a video featuring Watts discussion of the real you. His words followed me into my morning run, kept me company as I ate lunch, and moved through my day and into this poem below with grace and ease.

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“Interconnected”

My running shoes hit the pavement.
A morning cool breeze kissed my face
The fragrance of Spring flowers tickled my noise.
I giggled and giggled some more as I walked through Malcolm X/Meridian Hill Park
Taking in all of the beauty 
People walking
Kids playing 
And realizing we are all INTERCONNECTED

Copyright 2015 by Madelyn C. Leeke. All rights reserved.

#YogaMonday: #Yogaat50 Lesson 5 ONENESS

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Happy #YogaMonday!

ONENESS is #Yogaat50 Lesson 5. Through practicing yoga, I have learned firsthand that I am connected to everyone and everything in the universe. Having this awareness of oneness reminds me to honor everyone and everything as I would myself. On days when I choose to ignore this awareness, I’m grateful my yoga practice brings me back to the truth of my being. That usually happens when I sit in child’s pose and give myself Reiki.

What has yoga taught you about yourself?

Poetry Month Day #5 – “Resurrection” Poem

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Happy Easter and Happy Day #5 of National Poetry Month!

Today’s poem is entitled “Resurrection.” It was inspired by the Easter Sunday service I attended this morning at my church, Unity of Washington, DC. Reverend Sylvia E. Sumter, Senior Minister at Unity, shared a powrful message about “The Unconquerable Spirit.” The Unity choir rocked the house with a soulful series of songs. The Unity congregation was filled with love, light, peace, and positivity. The experience filled me with an abundance of gratitude that poured itself into creative expression … my “Resurrection” poem.

Resurrection

Every morning I rise from my bed is a ressurrection.
An opportunity to choose how I will live my life.
I can choose to see it as a blessing to start again

or

I can follow the stories I tell myself that are NOT true and walk straight into my mind of judgment.
Judgment of self.
Judgment of others.

Today, I made a ressurection commitment to wholeness.
It begins when I rise each day and do the work of understanding, forgiving, and releasing the untrue stories and judgment.
It is a path I’m taking.
One that I’ve avoided for many years for fear of life getting messy, but there’s no place hide at 50.
So I have surrendered.

Guess what I found on the other side of surrender?
The makings of an unconquerable spirit.

Copyright 2015 by Madelyn C. Leeke. All rights reserved.

Poetry Month Day #4: “Nonjudgment” Poem

Happy Day #4 of National Poetry Month!

This morning, I participated in Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra’s Manifesting True Success meditation which focused on the practice of nonjudgment. It inspired today’s poem.

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Nonjudgment 

My heart and spirit long to be free.
How can they be liberated when I judge myself?

My nonjudgment opens the door to judging others.
When I judge others, I judge myself.
I wound what is most precious.

I want to stop, but don’t know how.
So I breathe and sit still.
I sit still and breathe.
Wisdom whispers.
Surrender.
Forgive.
Choose compassion.

Photo Credit: ChopraMeditation.com

Poetry Month Day #3 Poem – “Flourish”

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Happy Day #3 of National Poetry Month!

Today’s poem is entitled “Flourish.” It is dedicated to my dearest sistalove friend Evette Chambers, a native Washingtonian, wife, mother, natural hair entrepreneur, co-founder of City Kinks, and a holistic health enthusiast.

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Today, while Evette took great care of my locs, we chatted about living positively, being grateful, dreaming BIG, believing in ourselves and our dreams, owning our beauty and brilliance, making time to connect and have fun with our circles of supportive people, and taking great care of our bodies, minds, and spirits each and every day. Our conversation was filled with the essential ingredients of a recipe for a flourishing life.

Flourish

From the core of my being
I choose to dream and live fully and freely
I believe I deserve this life
I own it
I do what is required to manifest it with grace and gratitude
It’s all mine
Every moment of every day of every year

Copyright 2015 by Madelyn C. Leeke. All rights reserved.

#FierceLiving Friday: #FierceLivingat50 Lesson 4 BELIEVE

Happy #FierceLiving Friday!

#FierceLivingat50 Lesson 4 is BELIEVE. I was reminded of the power of belief in oneself during photojournalist and travel blogger Erick Prince-Heaggans’ talk on “Around the World in 80 Posts” at the Press Publish Conference in Portland, Oregon last weekend.
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Erick shared how he transformed his passion for photography, service to others, storytelling, writing, and travel into a fulfilling career and life. As he spoke, I thought, “wow he’s got a strong belief in himself and his dreams.” To learn more about him, visit MinorityNomad.com.
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One of the most important gifts I have given myself is a series of affirmations: I BELIEVE in myself. I BELIEVE all things are possible in my life. I BELIEVE I deserve the best. Affirming these three statements helps me strengthen my belief in myself, dream big, push past and overcome my limitations, and manifest my dreams.

What do you believe about yourself?

How do you strengthen your beliefs?

Poetry Month Day #2 Poem – “Breathe” – From #FierceLivingat50 Series

Photo Credit: http://thehealthylivinglounge.com
Photo Credit: http://thehealthylivinglounge.com

Greetings,

Welcome to Day #2 of National Poetry Month. Today’s Poem-A-Day is yoga-inspired.

Breathe

Breathe woman breathe

Fully

Completely  

Let all of yourself out

Without censure

Speak your truth

Allow it to be heard

Embrace all of YOU from the inside out

Celebrate your strengths and weaknesses  

Revel in your vulnerabilities  

Play, laugh, and enjoy pleasure

Be grateful for your humanity

Breathe in your divinity

Exhale it out with beauty and humility  

Ase

Copyright 2015 by Madelyn C. Leeke. All rights reserved.

#CreativityThursday: #Creativityat50 Lesson 4 PRACTICE

Happy #CreativityThursday!

#Creativityat50 Lesson 4 is PRACTICE. One thing I know for sure after living and working as a creative professional for 20+ years is that my creative expression deepens, expands, and improves the more I practice it.

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While I was at the WordPress Press Publish Conference in Portland, Oregon last weekend, I attended two great photography sessions led by Joe Boydston and Sheri Bigelow, members of the Automattic team. During their sessions, I learned several smartphone photography tips including getting close up to an image and low on the ground to take photos, framing a photo, and turning photos into black and white for a different look. Their tips were easy and simple to follow That’s why I started practicing them right after their sessions. Check out my practice photo (based on framing tip) I took while looking out of my hotel room.
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Did you attend the Press Publish photography sessions? What did you learn?

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Here’s a photo from my Monday afternoon walk on 16th Street, NW in Washington, DC. I used the get low tip to take it.

Do you like to take photos with your smartphone? What kind of photos do you take? Any special tips for taking photos?

Happy National Poetry Month: I’m joining the April Poem-A-Day Challenge

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Happy National Poetry Month!

While I was at the WordPress Press Publish Conference in Portland, Oregon, I had a great conversation about writing poetry with the “Naughty Poetess,” author of the Naughty Poetess blog. I shared how much I missed writing poetry. On the flight home to DC on Sunday morning, I decided to participate in the April Poem-A-Day Challenge. I participated in 2008 and 2009. Both experiences helped me blog and publish my second book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetical Memoir of Self-Discovery.

This year, I have chosen Fierce Living at 50 as my theme for the April Poem-A-Day Challenge. I will be using some of my poems in my new e-book series and artwork that will be available on my Etsy shop this summer, Here is the first poem, “Unmasked.”

Unmasked

Buried wounds began to rise to the surface.
I tried to run and hide, but there was no safe haven.
So I stood in the tsunami of my pain.
My legs tired.
I sat still and allowed it all to come undone.
45
46
47
48
49
Five years of looking inside, looking outside, looking above, and looking below.
Peeling back the layers of my mask … the person who I thought I was and making peace with who I have become.
Arriving at 50 unmasked with acceptance, compassion, forgiveness and love…knowing and giving thanks that the journey continues.

Copyright 2015 by Madelyn C. Leeke. All rights reserved.