🤯 Guest post: Author Britt Skrabanek, on how to protect your creative mind

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A creative mind is a kind of mushy not often found in this world.

Not in a ‘this apple is too old to eat’ kind of way. More in a, ‘you can’t sit on a plate of flan or you’ll flatten it’ kind of way. It’s malleable in all the right ways, and when it’s healthy and strong, the best stuff comes shooting out of it.

Yeah, like sparklers.

Like a new pair of glasses or first-edition Chewbacca figure, it’s best to keep a creative mind protected 24-7 in the box it came in. But what fun is that? And what function? Just don’t sit on your glasses. Or lose Chewie’s crossbow.

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🦸‍♀️ Weekend Reads VII: Moms Rock

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God, moms.

No, that’s not a redundancy, although it kind of is. Moms do make the world go ‘round. You know I love moms. I feel like moms read this blog. Did you know when I started, I thought, I’m going to write a blog that dads and dudes will read and follow and love.

Yeah, right, a cohort said at the time.

It’s going to be women who read you, she was saying. Moms, mostly. They’ll identify with you and share your stuff with each other. They’ll share with their men, too, but mostly, the men won’t listen. They’ll wish their men were a bit like you.

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10 things grateful, plus adios #AtoZ! 🦚

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Man – I’m glad the #AtoZChallenge is over.

It’s fun. It’s just … extra. I love going to other blogs I’d not normally see. But the engagement is wonky, and I miss conversing with the regulars here. And visiting their blogs. And having time to post on social media and find your links there, too.

When you’re in the challenge, man, it feels like you’re kind of a narcissist.

Not to mention what it does to your non-blog life. I struggled to keep up, and sacrificed progress toward other deadlines. And sleep. Not snacks. I found time for snacks. But the rest of life was kind of a blur. Next time I do this, I’ll work ahead.

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#AtoZChallenge | Y is for yippee! 👩‍🎨

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Yippee!

AtoZ2019YWe’re almost to the end of the #AtoZChallenge. Actually, the rest of the world has finished. They’re in the clubhouse. I’m still putzing around out here. Makes me nostalgic for yesteryear, when a guy like me was able to finish a challenge like this on time.

It’s not apathy – I still have this yearning to write, every day.

It’s the time that lacks, the need to yield to life in other ways. I want to keep learning about writing, about words. I also want to learn to talk like an auctioneer. This is a true story. I ask my kids if they’d rather I spoke like an auctioneer or learned to yodel.

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#AtoZChallenge | W is for What Remains (#gratitudeandshit)

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These pockets of in-overbookedness don’t happen often.

AtoZ2019WRather than get a jumpstart on 53 things that needed jump-starting, I didn’t jump. And I sure as hell didn’t start. Not right away. A day brimming with a promise to put me ahead in everything where I was behind curtained sharply into a back-to-the-pillow nosedive.

The car got washed, the chicken, cooked (not grilled.)

And it’s 1:21 on Sunday morning, sleep time for another day of possibility, but I’m instead forging ahead to maybe close at least one gap – this A to Z Challenge. W, X, Y, and Z remain. One day remains in this weekend.

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#AtoZChallenge: V is for Virtually anything

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It’s going to be tough to claim victory in this one.

AtoZ2019VI’m days behind, trying in vain to catch up for the A to Z challenge. I wanted to write about vulnerability today, harkening back to some meditation fog observation I’d made about stepping in from the vestibule of life and really opening yourself up.

Me preaching the virtues of vulnerability would be like me spelling out the benefits of Valerian Root for menopausal symptoms.

I haven’t ventured out of the vortex of my comfort zone like that in ages. I’d be a villain to write that post. I wrote about valentine’s day once, the day after valentine’s day. This wasn’t long after Madison decided not to play for the Converse College Valkyries.

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#AtoZChallenge | R is for Ruining our lives, but also rules for divine timing and happier parenting (Weekend Reads VI)

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Two pervasive thoughts dominate my brain usually.

AtoZ2019RI don’t have time for all this! But also, I’ve been given 24 hours to figure out how to do it all – that’s a lot of time! (I also think about Michelle Gingras, Stonehenge, and Havarti cheese, but that’s for another post.)

What’s left in the middle is that time is time, there’s no time like the present, you can’t make new time, and it’s time to go. Also, I might not have time to finish this post until tonight, which is sorta like getting to the fair 10 minutes before it packs up and hits the road.

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#AtoZChallenge | P is for Patience (and how to procure it)

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People tell me I’m patient.

AtoZ2019PNot always. I’ve had to wait for the meat lovers pizza to come out at Cici’s. All with the pressure of other carnivores waiting in the wings. That’s a double whammy: Needing patience, and a plan to put pepperoni pizza in your pie hole before everyone else.

It began really when I started to coach soccer.

The kids were little. The challenge was big. When you coach 6-year-olds, you’re at a disadvantage. Instinctively, every dog, airplane or finger-picking opportunity threatens to upstage you and steal your players’ attention.

You either grow patience, or you retire to the other sideline.

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#AtoZChallenge: Weekend Reads V – L is for Low Self-Esteem, Life Sucks, and Electric Lit

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Boy howdy.

AtoZ2019LThe stars aligned with the big L on the forehead today, didn’t they? Today’s must-reads take on a couple of sticking points and problem areas. They’re good reads, though. I hope you get as much out of them as I did.

When I feel that self-esteem taking kidney punches on the ropes, I duck and cover and pray for the bell to end the round.

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#AtoZChallenge: J is for Journalist, a #GirlsRock Interview with Esther Robards-Forbes

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It’s cool when I run into someone in the biz.

AtoZ2019JNo, not showbiz. The newspaper biz. Usually, you can tell by the scuffed shirt cuffs and clothes bought in 1986. Used. Not in this case, though. Esther Robards-Forbes and I both worked for the Charlotte Observer back in the day.

She’s now in public relations at the University of Texas.

We had a conversation years ago that would have been one of the earliest #GirlsRock interviews. Instead, it sat in drafts, like those old archive rooms back in the newsroom. It was an awesome find for me.

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