Personal Success

Do You See the Monster?

photo by Creativebloq

N is for Negative Space*

In third grade, my art teacher instructed us to never have too much white paper in our art. “Fill the white space!” Ah, Mrs. Raims.  She was great. She gave sound art advice. If you have a small figure on a large canvas of white, it ought to be small for a reason.  It ought to be making a statement. 

Negative space, however, is not all bad.

“Negative space is, quite simply, the space that surrounds an object in a image. Just as important as that object itself, negative space helps to define the boundaries of positive space and brings balance to a composition.”

Jul 26, 2017  (Creativebloq)


The logo on the cup is for an adult-targeted alcohol and gourmet ice cream shop! (Creativebloq)

I embrace this philosophy of negative space. In a literal, every day sense, I love having lots of negative space in my house.

It leaves room for possibility.


*part of my alphabiography series

Health, motivation, Personal Success

You Be You


It’s cliche – “Just be yourself.”

Most of us don’t really know what that means, or we believe that “being ourselves” isn’t good enough for xyz.

But if you focus on just being the best you that you can be, you’ll find that you naturally are more innovative, creative, original. Because you’re not expending any energy to fit a mold or be like someone else.

So, think outside the box. But look within.



Madonna, at the height of her career, would famously reject promotional photos with “Ew! Groi!” When asked what that meant, she answered, “Get Rid of It.”

To GROI is oddly empowering.

The only things I have ever collected are books. I have many, many books. They overcrowd my large bookcase and two closets in my house.

Yesterday, I decided to start the groi process with my prized collection. I am keeping my Sherman Alexie and Natalie Goldberg books. I’m sentimental about each since they were the writers who gave me the first sparks to write. Listening to Alexie in A Clean, Well-Lighted Place in San Francisco, I thought, Wow, stories about struggle, poverty and education CAN BE interesting! And I used to write for hours in a coffee/doughnut shop on 9th and Irving, taking Natalie’s advice to heart.

As I place books in my “Bookman’s pile,” I console myself with the thought that the public library is just blocks away. I can always check them out again later. Also, Bookman’s will give me store credit for the books they accept and if I choose to do so (and I do), they will donate the rest to a prison for inmates to read.

Already, the increased space on my bookshelf and closets bring a sense of calm, peace and freedom. I also found a gift card to See’s Candies a former student of mine gave me two years ago. I was using it as a bookmark.