‘I’m Your Muse': Consulting, Coaching, Editing, & Ghosting for Writers—Let’s Give Your Project Wings

Balen_Minerva_among_the_Muses_detail

“Yeah, I’m your muse. You look surprised. I’m you’re muse. You’re having trouble writing. I’m here to help.”

~ Bernadette Peters as the Muse in Woody Allen’s Alice

Have a writing project, book proposal, or manuscript you’ve been wrestling with or trying to get off the ground?

I can help. My consultation dance card is wide open right now for the first time in more than a year.

Email me about editing/coaching/ghosting/consulting on your project, we can discuss particulars and rates, and figure out the best next steps for you and your writing to take.

Let’s give your project wings!

godgrrl@gmail.com or incubatespirit@gmail.com

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The Sacred and the Grateful Dead: It’s (Not) Just a Box of Rain

Grateful Dead performing at Stanford University Frost Amphitheater in 1986. Photo by Susana Millman from the Grateful Dead Archive at UC Santa Cruz. Image used with the gracious permission of the photographer.

Grateful Dead performing at Stanford University Frost Amphitheater in 1986. Photo by Susana Millman from the Grateful Dead Archive at UC Santa Cruz. Image used with the gracious permission of the photographer.

The Grateful Dead’s music has, for half a century now, provided a virtual “third place” for fans that have discovered companionship amidst the blithe, earthy sounds, sometimes spiritually-bent lyrics, and a subculture where the prevailing ethos landed somewhere between “take it easy, man” and “let’s take care of each other.

When Deadheads gather en masse for the band’s live performances—the last of which is scheduled for Chicago’s Soldier Field on July 5, at the same venue and almost 20 years to the day from the last show the Dead played while their chieftain Jerry Garcia was still alive— what was virtual becomes a physical third place, a festival where community, identity, and bonds of kinship are forged.

A special series on religion and culture produced in collaboration with the Office of Religious Life at the University of Southern California

While the location changed from concert to concert, Deadheads found the same spiritual camaraderie and community in whatever parking lot, field, arena, or festival grounds they found themselves in as they followed the band across the country and in some cases around the world.

Inside the sound, swaying and dancing and spinning with abandon, many of the Dead’s fans discovered something more transcendent than a blissed-out, good time.

They found belonging. Home. If only for a few hours, days, until the tour ended or the ticket dough ran out.

For many Deadheads, the sonic pilgrimage began when someone placed the needle at the beginning of song 1, side 1 of the Dead’s seminal 1970 album American Beauty. 

Continue reading HERE 

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More Than This? Looking for Your Feedback

Hello everyone,

I’m crowdsourcing something very special that I hope to be able to tell you all about soon. To wit:

Would you please email me (godgrrl@gmail.com) and tell me what your reaction to this song is?

“More Than This” by Peter Gabriel

How does it make you feel? How do you relate? What’s it describing? What does it mean to you?

I’d be much obliged.

Grazie a tutti!

Below are the lyrics:

i woke up and the world outside was dark
all so quiet before the dawn
opened up the door and walked outside
the ground was cold

i walked until i couldn’t walk anymore
to a place i’d never been
there was something stirring in the air
in front of me, i could see

more than this
more than this
so much more than this
there is something else there
when all that you had has all gone
and more than this
i stand
feeling so connected
and i’m all there
right next to you

it started when i saw the ship go down
i saw them struggle in the sea
and suddenly the picture disappears
in front of me

now we’re busy making all our busy plans
on foundations built to last
but nothing fades as fast as the future
and nothing clings like the past, until we can see

more than this
more than this
so much more than this
there is something out there
more than this
it’s coming through
and more than this
i stand alone and so connected
and I’m all there
right next to you

oh then it’s alright
when with every day another bit falls away
oh but it’s still alright, alright, alright
and like words together we can make some sense

much more than this
way beyond imagination
much more than this
beyond the stars
with my head so full
so full of fractured pictures
and i’m all there
right next to you
so much more than this
there is something else there
when all that you had has all gone
and more than this
i’m alone
feeling so connected
and i’m all there right next to you

more than this
more than this
more than this

Categories: GODSTUFF | Leave a comment

Why Tony Campolo’s LGBTQ Reversal is Evangelicalism’s Tipping Point

Tony Campolo. Image via TonyCampolo.org.

Tony Campolo. Image via TonyCampolo.org.

That crashing sound you heard Monday morning was waves of change breaching the levees of the evangelical Christian world when one of its most venerable icons, the Rev. Tony Campolo, came out in favor of full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church.

While his name may not be as familiar outside the evangelical bubble as his contemporary, the Rev. Billy Graham, Campolo, 80, is undeniably a pillar of the evangelical world and has been for close to 60 years.

Both Campolo and Graham, 96, are best known and beloved first and foremost as preachers largely unencumbered by overt denominational or political biases. Like Graham, Campolo also has been a spiritual counselor to U.S. presidents and has played the role of public pastor in times of national sorrow and joy. (Since I first heard him deliver a version of it during chapel when I was a student at Wheaton College in 1989, I cannot recall a single Holy Week passing without hearing his classic “It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming!” homily at least once.)

Graham and Campolo, both Baptist by tradition and creed, have been among the leading voices of mainstream evangelicalism, and their influence spans several generations. Together they helped shape the direction and expansiveness of the church as it attempted to navigate H. Richard Niebhur’s Christ and Culture paradigms and be in the world but not of it in the midst of ever increasing pluralism.

So when Campolo posted a statement on his web site this week announcing that he had changed his mind about homosexuality and was “urging the church to be more welcoming” to LGBTQ people, it was a big deal.

A very big deal.

Continue reading HERE 

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To Let It God and So To Find A Way: U2, (A)Live with Grief and Grace

Photo illustration of U2 (from original images shot at the band's Vancouver concerts, May 14-15, 2015, by Cathleen Falsani. All rights reserved.

Photo illustration of U2 (from original images shot at the band’s Vancouver concerts, May 14-15, 2015, by Cathleen Falsani. All rights reserved.

“Comfort me.”

“COMFORT ME.”

“COMFORT ME! COMFORT ME!! COMFORT ME!!!”

Bono is standing at the edge of the stage that runs the length of The Forum arena in Inglewood, Calif., howling that word—comfort—at the top if his lungs before a crowd of 17,000.

The 55-year-old rock star is shouting—at God, to God—a prayer that has become an all-too familiar litany of the brokenhearted for the U2 family in recent months. Fewer than 24 hours earlier, in the wee hours of May 27, the band’s longtime tour manager and a fixture in the U2 community, Dennis Sheehan, died of an apparent heart attack in his Los Angeles hotel room.

Not just any band could take their fans by the hands and say, essentially, please walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death. We’re one, but we’re not the same; we get to carry each other …

But since its inception in 1976, the band formed by four teenage boys from Dublin’s hardscrabble north side has opened a vein, sharing their most vulnerable moments and struggles with anyone who would listen.

And sorrow has visited the U2 family far too often this season.

Continue reading HERE

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Photo Essay from Nepal: Bahini (Little Sisters)

Click on the photo below to view the photo essay “Bahini” from my recent sojourn in Nepal after the first of two massive earthquakes struck the tiny Himalayan nation, on my photography site Flaneur.Guru.

One of a dozen girls who live at the Chhahari home for children (many of whom are orphans) in Kathmandu, Nepal, tries on a pair of flower-shaped sunglasses (to go with her face mask) earlier this month. Photo by Cathleen Falsani for Religion Dispatches.

One of a dozen girls who live at the Chhahari home for children (many of whom are orphans) in Kathmandu, Nepal, tries on a pair of flower-shaped sunglasses (to go with her face mask) earlier this month. Photo by Cathleen Falsani for Religion Dispatches.

Categories: GODSTUFF | Leave a comment

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