Mind Power: Words shape experiences

Before the pandemic, I drove to the Atlanta area. In Alpharetta, Georgia, which is part of Metro Atlanta, I attended a writers’ workshop at the public library. At the library, I saw the sculpture pictured here–a lion emerging from the pages of a book–and I photographed it. It captures an idea I had expressed when I wrote the following performance piece, “Your Words.” The piece is a “poem,” of sorts. I have posted it below:

Your Words

Words are powerful

Your words are powerful–because they create and shape

Reality.

What you say matters.

It matters to you.

And it matters to people around you, the ones who inhabit your experience.

Thoughts you create are emitted, as words, from the factory of your mind.

They filter through your mouth, your pen, your device

Into the Manifest.

Consider this:

What are you releasing into the world?

Smoke and ash? Are your words like smoldering trash?

Or do you speak fragrance and flow? Like honey and gardenias and gentle flakes of snow?

Know this:

What you release is what you increase.

Look around you.

Where are you in life?

Are you covered with soot? Buried beneath a heap of cold, gray rubble-trouble?

Or are you dancing a top a golden sea-swell of glittering angel dust?

If you don’t like where you are, change your words.

Call your Highest and best into being.

You create your own environment, within and without.

What comes out spells what you’re all about.

“Your Words” by Tina Murray / copyright Tina Murray, Ph. D. 2014. First performed (read aloud) by the author at the Co-Creators Coffeehouse Open Mic, Center for Spiritual Living, Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday, 04/04/2014. Photo credit: Tina Murray, Ph. D.

Women Win the Vote: One hundred years of creative empowerment

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The creative process can flourish best when opportunity presents itself. One hundred years ago today, women in the United States of America received a tremendous new opportunity: the right to vote in US elections. This hard-won freedom meant women would have a vital role in forming the future of the nation. It meant, also, that women could make new choices in their own lives.

My mother, Zena, was born into the first generation of women who experienced empowerment. In her own way, she was a pioneer. The story goes that, after attending business college, she was the first female “draftsman” hired by the Alabama Power Company. I have posted a photograph of her at her job. A beautiful young woman, she is seated at her drawing table, hard at work.

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Mother has passed on now.  She left us fifteen years ago.  I miss her more than I can say.  I am pleased, however, to share her accomplishment with you on my blog. 

She was not a celebrity, but some of the people who gave women the right to vote were celebrated in their own time. They, and the lesser knowns, deserve our thanks. Thanks to those now-deceased elected officials who made the change possible. They were creative thinkers, as were the tireless suffragettes.

A special thanks to President Trump for pardoning Susan B. Anthony today.


Tina Murray, Ph. D.
Editor and writer

Courage Garden

IMG_0037In this time of reflection, when you are often on your own, a little courage can go a long way. In the spirit of optimism, I have posted a poem I wrote three years ago. At that time, I was enduring a loss of vision, in more ways than one. Since then, I have regained both my eyesight and my wheels, but I am once again stuck in place because of the pandemic. You may be stuck, too, and worried. Faith will see you through. I hope my poem will help you travel to a lovelier place in higher consciousness. You may find your creativity there, too.

Courage Garden

I pray a courage garden

Tending makes it grow

i water and weed daily

Daily I must sow

When time comes to harvest

I gather in my crop

Thankful that I tilled and toiled

In prayer and did not stop

”Courage Garden” by Tina Murray, © Tina Murray, Ph. D., 2017

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Designer Masks: Adversity inspires creativity

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To mask or not to mask? That, to paraphrase Shakespeare, is the Covid-19 question. Some people want to wear masks. Some do not. Of those who do wear masks, many opt for a simple face covering. However, some people are rising to the occasion by creating unique and artistic face masks, which also aspire to a protective function. These creatives are allowing adversity to inspire their efforts. One such artist comes to mind because she made a mask for me.

When the Covid-19 pandemic first occurred, I had never worn a face mask in public. I did not even know where to purchase a mask. When I told a friend of mine, Elva Bertram, that I did not have a mask, she graciously offered to have one made and shipped to me.

At Elva’s request, her friend, KATE BECK, a talented textile artist and fashion designer from New Orleans (https://www.katebeckneworleans.com; https://www.alquimiestudio.com), made me a lovely cloth mask. (My favorite color is blue.) Kate sent it to me, and I was delighted to receive it. I am grateful to both Elva and Kate for their thoughtfulness. I have posted a photo of my own Kate Beck mask. You can find her work on Facebook, also, at Kate Beck New Orleans.

I am not surprised that the call for masks worldwide has inspired the artistic imagination. As a former art educator, I know mask-making is an activity that students enjoy in the classroom. It helps them to express themselves in unique ways. It helps them learn art history, too.

Different cultures, down through time, have used masks for religious, ceremonial, and healing purposes. Today our use of masks to ward off illness might easily conjure beliefs shared by shamans of old. Although our modern masks are mainly inspired fashion and lifestyle statements, their spiritual connections run deep.

Inspiration comes when it comes and how it comes. Its origins are mysterious, but it can be triggered. In his REPUBLIC, Plato suggested the idea that necessity is “…the mother of invention.” To my mind, “invention” is just another word for “creativity.”

During the first few months or 2020, masks have become a part of daily life in America, if only temporarily. Approve of them or not, they can be fun and profitable for artists to imagine and create. When worn, they become forms of self-expression.

My thanks to Kate and Elva—

Tina Murray, Ph. D.
Editor and writer

Jaden Terrell: The Spirit of Ink

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Still in lockdown? Need to exercise your creative muscles?  If you are going batty from inactivity or feel as if you are suffering from artistic atrophy, I would like to offer a suggestion. You should join author Jaden Terrell’s Facebook group for writers, “The Spirt of Ink.” (https://www.facebook.com/spiritofink)

“The Spirit of Ink” is a public group. Any member of Facebook is welcome to join. By participating in the individual and group activities online, you will give your Inner Writer a good workout.

For example, you may respond to writing prompts. You may try your hand at writing stories and poems. You may listen to online talks and interactive teaching sessions, along with other members. What’s more, you may pick up helpful hints about the writing biz. Even if you have never written a word in your life—but have wanted to—you can experiment with writing and learn from a master.

Jaden Terrell (https://www.jadenterrell.com) is the pen name of my dynamic friend, Beth Terrell. Beth is a highly accomplished, award-winning author, editor, and educator. In other words, she knows her way around, when it comes to crafting fun and interesting activities for bored or blocked writers.

You will find her impressive biography on her web site (see above). Her bio is posted, also, on the Sisters-in-Crime Nashville site. (https://www.sistersincrimemiddletennessee.org).

She has worked with other significant groups, as well, including The Mystery Writers of America and Killer Nashville. (https//killernashville.org).

Even if you decide you don’t want to be a writer, be sure to check out her books on her website. You will find some exciting mysteries there. Remember, reading is just the other side of writing. Reading a good mystery story can keep you as occupied as writing one! Either way, you will be exercising your imagination while staying safely at home.

Tina Murray, Ph. D.

Editor

Writing the Covid-19 Lockdown

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The Covid-19 quarantine is upon us. Here in the USA, the lockdown is in its fifth month. Many people–not sick but forced to stay home–are looking for new ways to explore and express their creativity. Some just need a way to release their feelings. Writers, particularly, have enough free time to write, some for the first time in their lives. While I have great sympathy for people affected by the illness, I have been able to use the down time creatively.

Continue reading

Music City Romance Writers: Ami McConnell, Guest Speaker

 

 

 

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I am pleased that I, at last, was able to attend a monthly meeting of the Music City Romance Writers. MCRW is a local chapter of the Romance Writers of America, the national organization to which I belong. Everyone was so welcoming!

I picked the perfect day to attend. The guest speaker was publishing pro Ami McConnell (www.amimcconnell.com). She knows everything about editing and publishing. I learned a lot. 🙂

Ami’s current project is a writers’ conference, Writer Fest Nashville (writerfestnashville.com). The conference includes track for authors, songwriters, and screenwriters. If you are a writer, whether aspiring or published, you owe it to yourself to check out this exciting, new conference.

I am a writer. I write novels. My name is Tina Murray.

Www.Tinamurrayauthor.com

Www.amazon.com/author/tinamurray

 

 

CD-Launch Party: Perfectly You

 

Recently, I had the great pleasure of attending Laurie O’Shea’s launch party for her new music CD, Perfectly You.  Laurie is an accomplished singer-songwriter and musician. I thoroughly enjoyed her inspiring concert, which featured cuts from her new album. She is, indeed, a budding celebrity.

The event itself was well-attended, a testament to Laurie’s popularity. The venue for the launch was Unity of Music City in Nashville, TN.  Prior to the show, guests devoured yummy treats, while chatting and networking with one another.  After the concert—and a standing ovation—fans lined up to buy signed copies of Perfectly You. If you would like to preview and purchase a copy, please visit amazon.com or cdbaby.com.  I highly recommend it.

 

Back on the Road in 2019

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The Factory, Franklin, TN

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Now that I have regained my eyesight and obtained a new driver license, I can drive again! This is very exciting for me. At last, I am able to post here on my blog, Celebrity Road Trips.

This weekend, I attended the Tennessee Antiquarian Book Fair at The Factory, a popular venue in Franklin, Tennessee., where I happily wandered amongst the booksellers’ stalls.

I am fascinated by old books. Like works of art, they are artifacts from other times, long lost. A significant book can take on a mythical status, especially signed first editions.

Years ago, when I was an aspiring author, I attended writers’ conferences and book signings often. That is when I began to collect signed books.

For example, I now own books signed by Al Franken, Sue Grafton, and Norman Mailer, among other celebrity authors. Who knows? Perhaps, someday, these books may become the valued treasures of other bibliophiles. Do you like old books, too?

i saw some wonderful things on display. Here I have posted photos of books I admired, but did purchase, at the rare-books-show.

My latest novel: A BIG FAN OF YOURS

I am pleased to announce the release of my latest novel, A BIG FAN OF YOURS, by ArcheBooks Publishing (www.archebooks.com). A BIG FAN OF YOURS is my third novel. It is Volume 3  of my Starlight on the Gulf Series. Volume 1, A CHANCE TO SAY YES, and Volume 2,  A WILD DREAM OF LOVE, are available, as well. All three novels may be found at http://www.amazon.com/author/tinamurray or may be purchased from any other favorite bookseller. Please visit my website at http://www.tinamurrayauthor.com.  Facebook.com/tmurrayuthor; Twitter.com/tmurraythor. Reviews welcome.ABFOY-Cover