Tagged: writing

Being Creative

I’m taking the rest of the day to work on my book proposal. My brother Ryan recently shared with me an interesting video of the English actor John Cleese talking about how to unlock your creative juices. It’s about 5 minutes too long in my opinion but the core content is quite good. In a nutshell he claims that creativity is not a talent, rather it’s a way of operating. He focuses on five factors to help us be creative.

  1. Space – You have to create some space for yourself away from your everyday demands.  That means sealing yourself off.  You must make a quiet space for yourself where you will be undisturbed.
  2. Time – It’s not enough to create space.  You have to create your space for yourself for a specific period of time.  Keep in mind that it’s much easier to do
    rivial things that are urgent, than it is to do important things that are not urgent – like thinking.  And, it’s also easier to do little things that we know we creativity2_3936297_lrgcan do rather than starting big things that we are not so sure about.  Your mind will start thinking about all of the other things that you could be doing instead of working on your project. He says to just sit there for a little bit recognizing the potential interruptions but just letting them come and go. Your mind will eventually calm Continue reading

Week 10 Update

Before I get started today, just a note to let you know that I have added some ad banners on the blog. Yep, there’s one just above where you’re reading now and another one over on the menu to the right. All proceeds go to help support the Anthony&Me project. If you see an ad that interests you, I encourage you to click on it as each click results in micro-revenue for the project. Thank you for your support!!

Anthony and me at Starbucks this morning

Anthony and I met up this morning for our bi-weekly meeting. First we went over to a doctor’s visit that he had. It seems that his blood pressure is getting more stable although it is still considerably higher than what the doctor would like.

We then headed across the street to the Whole Foods for lunch. We circled the hot and cold food bars surveying the various offerings until we both honed in on our prey. I made Continue reading

Week 8 Update

It seems I got behind on my blog updates, but last week I met up with Anthony for our regular biweekly meeting. He was in pretty good spirits-in fact he told me he had encountered a bit of luck. Apparently a few days earlier he had found $205 (two $100 bills and a five) on the street. “I’ve never found anything like that,” he told me. Anthony used the money to pay for a hotel room for the weekend so that he could get warm and shower.

poboyshopWe walked over to the New Orleans Po’ Boy shop on 19th Street to grab some lunch and catch up on our progress. I went with the Cajun barbecue which I somewhat regretted later – after I saw they had a muffaletta sandwich. Oh well….Anthony didn’t Continue reading

Week 6 Update

Anthony strolls down Connecticut Avenue chatting with a city worker. (photo: Reed Sandridge)

It’s freezing outside. Literally! It’s only 18 degrees Celsius right now and with the wind-chill it feels like 2 degrees! The high is only supposed to get to 27 today. I am so thankful for the roof over my head.

I met with Anthony yesterday. We had lunch and went over our progress. I urged him to go to a shelter last night, but he refused. He’s stubborn as hell when it comes to the topic of shelters. “They’re no good,” he always says. You’d think his tolerance for shelters would increase as the temperatures outside decrease, but it doesn’t.

Progress with his housing are a bit stalled right now. We have reached out to Georgetown Continue reading

Rain: Good for Reed, Bad for Anthony

Photo: John Tlumacki
Photo: John Tlumacki

Yesterday was a good day for me. Despite a sluggish start, I managed to get three pages written. Although I feel I’m allowed to give myself some credit when I have good days like today, I’m also a realist and recognize that perhaps the nonstop drizzle that coated us yesterday might have contributed to my discipline. Nobody wants to sit at your computer and write when it’s beautiful and sunny outside!

There is something about the rain and the cold that seems to just fuel your pen. Perhaps that is why Ireland has produced so many damn good writers – or then again maybe it’s just the Jameson. Who knows…but it gets me in my writing mode – the Jameson that is.

Now for the depressing part. As I sit here in front of my fireplace with a blanket over my legs and a warm cup of English Breakfast tea soothing my throat I’m jolted by the thought of Anthony. Not only is he probably cold and wet, he’s certainly not selling many papers in this drizzle. It’s actually worse than a full on shower. At least then you have an umbrella and you can go on your merry way. No, yesterday was that miserable cold spitting that is just enough to allow you to run out without an umbrella but not enough to get your head out from dry sanctuary of your coat collar so that you can see more than just the sidewalk in front of you. If Anthony was out there – we’d probably have walked right by him.


Getting my Grove Back!

My workspace today.

Good morning! It is a good morning because it feels awesome to be back on track, dedicating time to my book. It helps compensate for how stupid I felt last night that I had never heard of the film version of Les Miserables before the Golden Globes.

Writing is like any other journey I have embarked on. You have to have conviction, make time for it and stick to your schedule. When I did my Year of Giving, there were plenty of days that I didn’t feel like going out and finding a $10 recipient – but I did it.

I’m also kind of excited about a gift I got from my dad. I’ve been intrigued with voice recognition software and he got me Dragon Dictate which allows you to control your computer, create documents, send emails, search the web, etc. all by voice commands. For as much time as I spend on my computer I thought this might make me more efficient. I will keep you posted on that.

Anthony is doing well too. I saw him again on Friday. He was excited that the weather was forecasted to be fairly warm these days – that makes a big difference in his happiness. Still nobody who is following the blog has stopped by to say hello to him. Don’t forget visit Anthony weekday mornings at the corner of 19th and M and pick up a copy of the Street Sense!

Can’t find Anthony

I have done no writing this week. With holiday soirees, last minute shopping and end of year work boiling over – I have had to scrap all writing this week. And on top of all this, I can’t find Anthnony.

I’ve been calling his cell phone but he doesn’t answer. On Tuesday and Wednesday his phone rang but he didn’t pick up. Then yesterday it just went straight to a message where it said, “The cellular subscriber you are trying to reach is not available.” I just called his number again. Same thing.

I’m going to head down to his corner and see if I can find him. It’s cold out there…hopefully he is ok.


Week 2 Update – Slow Start

If it’s good enough for Biden and Obama…then it’s good enough for Anthony and Reed! Ray’s Hell Burger, Arlington, VA. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

I met Anthony at his corner on Tuesday morning. His bright yellow Street Sense vest makes him easy to spot. His face was tired and almost melancholy. He spotted me and the edges of his mouth perked up as we shook hands.I asked him how he had been feeling and he said he felt OK. In spite of this, I felt he was a little down though. I probed a little deeper and he shrugged it off and changed the subject. “How is the writing coming? You meet your goals?” he asked.

We decided to go get some lunch first and then discuss our progress. I’d promised Anthony that I would take him to Ray’s Hell Burger over in Rosslyn – a place that I normally would say has the best burger I’ve ever had. But this time was a disappointment. It fell short – the quality seems to have slipped there. On top of that I was feeling guilty taking him to a burger place when I know that he needs to eat healthier given his recent visit to the hospital.

Anthony ordered the Soul Burger – a six ounce all beef patty topped with bacon, swiss Continue reading