Years ago, I had a tiny black dog with a few black spots and enormous ears.

Every once in a while, she’d stop dead in her tracks, raise her ears like antennae, and stare into the distance.

“She’s getting messages from the mothership,” my husband would say.


Writing can be like taking messages from the mothership.


You might be folding towels or even mid-conversation with your spouse, when a line runs through your head.

If you’re smart, you duck away with a pen and some paper and you write it down.

I once heard the writer and teacher, Sean Murphy, say you write these things down because it sends a message to your mind that you are listening.

It’s one way to keep the channel open.

Here’s what else I’ve discovered:


If you write down one line, another usually follows.


Sometimes you find a poem or the beginning of a new essay, sometimes a new a section of a book in progress.


You accept these gems as gifts and say thank you to whatever source you believe in.


And while these gifts arrive unannounced and unexpected, you can create the conditions for them to appear more often.

More down time, less busyness.

More quiet, less screen time. 

As the days grow shorter and busy work gives way to the holidays, what better time to raise your antennae?

What better time to catch those glimmers as they come to consciousness?

Tuck a tiny notebook into your purse or pocket, and when you get a moment, write them down.

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