What Happened During Rush Hour or The Creative Repair Kit…

Thus begins the journey once again ❤

Charlottes Row Blog

I have been like a crazy woman in rush hour traffic!  You know the one who pounds her head on the steering wheel and mumbles to herself about how she isn’t getting anywhere with her life.  The one who says “What’s the use” and the guy over in the car next her wonders if she’s trying to tell him something.  She is wildly gesticulating and ranting on, the guy looks at her smiles and waves. She smiles then she stops for a moment and hears a call from within, and no it’s not the radio, it is a voice telling her that she can still get her life on track, time has not run out! It is time to get back into the lane that’s moving and listen carefully and you won’t end up having everything crash down around you. She had been too busy paying attention, but not really…

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Dear Me, Thanks for Your Patience…


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I have been busy working on my shared creative project The Poppy Cove Mystery series that I write under the shared pen name of Barbara Jean Coast with my co-author Heather Shkuratoff, and had to make some choices about what I was going to do with all of these other things that I was working on.  To be honest with you the questions that I wanted to explore through this blog were still burning a hole in my brain.  All through writing and creating our series, touring the Okanagan Regional Library system this summer and teaching writing workshops those questions have kept nagging at me.  The desire to create never seems to stop calling to me. I want to understand that desire and to keep exploring these ideas.

At this point in time my muse is  always talking to me  and I am ready once again to converse with it each and every day. I want to find out about other people’s creativity and what brought them to where they are on their journey.  I hope that I can count on you to share your thoughts and ideas with me about what inspires you and your process. I am going to be looking back at some of my past blog posts and sharing them again to refresh the ideas that I am so passionate about. It is amazing to me how we can lose our passion along the way and then find it is waiting patiently for us to come back.  May your heart and mind be open to the call of your muse.

Your muse speaks when you are ready to listen.

Your muse speaks when you are ready to listen.

The Creative Life For Me…


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My friends, I have been very busy with the creative life as part of the Barbara Jean  Coast writing team with my best pal Heather.  Now that Death of a Beauty Queen is out there for your reading pleasure, and we are beginning to work on book #3 in our Poppy Cove Mystery Series it’s time for me to answer to some other creative muses that are calling.  In fact I am planning on delving into my creative writing resources and seeing what I can do with some things that I had put aside.  Time to add all the spices into the creative plot!  I want to share that journey with you! It is wonderful to have the inspiration from writing with someone else and then going into your own projects with an added energy and passion.  Make the time to listen to all your muses even if it is a short time each day.


Thank-you friends and I shall be in touch soon with more creative thoughts!

The Ghosts of Creative Pasts

Welcome to Poppy Cove

Hi there, guys and dolls!  Today, Andrea and Heather are taking over the blog.  Seems like spring and Easter have given them pause to think about rebirth and resurrection, not only in the symbolic and religious senses, but also of their own lives and projects that have been alive but dormant.  Settle on in and see what I mean.

Andrea’s always been a writer, ever since she could hold a pencil and making up stories since she could babble.  She’s written poetry, articles, short stories — some that have seen the light of day and some that have not yet.  And novels — works in progress that have been sleeping — three major ones in particular that are lying and waiting for her to pick them up and breathe life into them again.

Heather loves telling her stories on the page as well, but also with fabric, shape and color. …

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Oh Muse where did you go? Remembering the wonders of life…


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The Muse never leaves, it waits while you deal with other things, until you are ready to get back onto  the road called creative life.  I am seeking new ideas, and thoughts of inspiration for my muse to ponder.  I am often overwhelmed and tend to back off when things get hectic.  I promise to get back to work on what the purpose was of this artistic and creative endeavor.  I need to just get back into the passion of living a beautiful life and seeing the world through the eyes of wonder that were given me.  Looking forward to going down that road with you all once again and thanks for minding the traffic while I was gone. Have a beautiful and wondrous week my friends!

Lost and Found : The Road To Self Discovery


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I had to go back and read and think for awhile and it came into to my mind that I didn’t really know why I was doing any of this! I mean writing, sharing my thoughts and ideas with others or for that matter even figuring myself out.  The corners of my life were not so clear anymore, in fact they were getting down right sharp and pointed, I wasn’t liking where things were headed.  Then it came to me once again that the road to self discovery is never easy and it is often a road that we are scared to take.  We may even find ourselves pulling over several times and wanting to stay in one spot.  Well that’s not what I want to do anymore. No more curling up in the fetal position, no more reacting  to what others are doing or not doing.

I am fortunate that I have so many angels in my life that inspire me everyday, and when I  call upon them, their work and spirit comes to me.  There is Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson,  Susan G. Wooldridge, Debbie Ford and many more that are a source of great comfort and understanding for me when I feel lost on the road.  My map was crinkled up and I got so frustrated, then these guiding figures came to mind, I straightened out that map and got my  compass out once again.

Back on the road again and I know that it is only a matter of time before the words, images and rhythms are flowing once again.  I am creating in order to know who I really am, reaching out to others expressing my unique heart, soul and mind.  Take some time this week friends and do the same for yourself.  Take a look at the map in your heart and see if it is guiding  you in the right direction on your ROAD TO SELF DISCOVERY.  Remember, you are never alone!  Do, feel, express, and be whatever you need to be.









The Creative Influences In My Life: The Turning Point


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Cover of "The Artist's Way: A Course in D...

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 Creativity flourishes in an atmosphere of safety and acceptance.”

Julia Cameron -The Artist’s Way 1998

     Thus began my journey to recovering my creativity.  Julia Cameron has become one of the most influential people in my life. Her ground breaking program the Artist’s Way brought me back to my senses.  I had gone through many years of feeling as though I was falling through the cracks. I was too concerned about gaining approval, the struggle to succeed and of course it had to be a struggle.  To reach this pinnacle of so-called perfection, having it all, only to find that I was sliding down a slippery slope and ultimately not feeling any sense of fulfillment.

     After my initial discovery of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.  Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway and Marianne Williamson  A Return to Love a friend and I  discovered the Artist’s Way which was a turning point in both my emotional and creative life.  I was ready to fully come into my own, to hear the inner voice that had been there underneath all the surface chatter.  We have a record in our heads, the messages that we keep playing over and over again through out our day that tend to cloud our judgement, our feelings about ourselves and our decisions.  What Julia’s writing and course ultimately helped me to do is get below that surface  chatter where all of those ideas come from.  Reaching within our souls we create a path of creativity that is life altering.

     I am still using one of the most important tools that Julia introduced to me Morning Pages-– three pages of longhand writing, strictly a stream of consciousness.  As stated in the book, “There is no wrong way of doing morning pages”.    So each morning one drops into the Well below the surface and clears the path.  I needed to realize that it was safe to be me and to express myself in all the ways that I wanted to.  Thank-you Julia Cameron!

     Over the coming weeks I will be sharing with you all of the influences that have played a part in my creative life and how it has shaped my journey for the better.  Here’s to all of us making creative discoveries and sharing them with each other.

                  The purpose of art is not a rarefied, intellectual distillate-it is life, intensified, brilliant life.

Alain Arias-Misson

My New Adventures…


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To bravely go where no explorer has gone before into the brain of a half-wit creative like myself.  I get caught up in the jumble of all of my ideas and I am looking at what creating and creativity can do for myself and others.  I have plans to share more with you all as  I merrily go along in my life.  I am working out some new ideas and I will be inviting all of you creative people, artists, writers, photographers,  poets, designers and the like to join me on my blog as guests! I want to get your answers to the questions I have just finished asking myself.  If you are interested in being part of my blog please feel free to contact me through this blog.  I am looking at posting a guest interview along with creative work once a month.  I am also going to take the time to write about some of my creative inspirations, the people that really have me thinking and figuring things out.  Until next time :”BE BOLD, BE BRAVE, BE AMAZING” — Simon de Pury

The Final Question or Is It? : What Do You Really Want To Make?


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This my friends was a challenging question to answer without sounding pretentious or simplistic.  So here it goes, I would like to make a world where people are not afraid to express themselves through their creativity and they are on purpose in their lives, living their truth.

I know this sounds simplistic, but you know I really believe we can do it if we just get over ourselves and free ourselves from the fear of being who we are meant to be! I want to inspire, experiment, create and experience all that we are here for.  Let’s get started on those projects that will evoke all the emotions that we want to explore, be daring and brave, go on I know you can.  You can do it quietly and alone or you can invite a group of people to help you create your dreams.  As Ms. Valerie Frizzle in the The Magic School Bus  series often exclaims Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” 

Each and every single one of us are “Makers” , so ask yourself, what is it that you really want to make? With each project there may be a different answer, but at least we are out there being true to ourselves and dancing to our own music.   Now go get messy! Don’t forget to have  fun whatever the journey you are embarking on!   Experiment, Inspire, Create, Experience….