Radmacher's blog

Inspire. Empower. Connect.  Motivate. Encourage. Uplift. Provoke.  Heart-felt writing. That's what you'll find here from me, Mary anne em radmacher.  Occasionally I provide something worth laughing about.  RSS in lower right hand corner - delivers it to your inbox.

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Thoughts On Writing Spaces

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Mary Anne Radmacher updated her status.


"How do you set up a writing area that is effective?


The answer to that is a different as the person asking it. I can tell you about my process and you can find the things that are resonant for you. First, from my formal consulting days: your IMMEDIATE WORK ARC is that semi circle right in front of you. If you hold your elbows to your rib cages and reach them in a half circle, that area should be clear of everything except your writing tools. Keyboard, pen and paper, recording device. the SECONDARY WORK ARC is the semi circle you create by extending your arms and drawing an imaginary half circle. Within this easy reach should be the other tools you require for your writing. Favorite pens. Timer. Notepapers. In mine is my timer, my hourglass, some inspiring icons, a calculator and my "stick to it" writing system papers.


This arc applies whether you are working on your sofa, at a coffee shop, or an established station in your home or office. If you find yourself working ON TOP of piles or in between stacks of other projects, those things become the entity on your shoulder that Virgina Wolfe writes about. They are screaming for your attention and even if you do not tend them they are completing for your focus.


Chaos can swirl around. Piles can be ceiling high...just NOT in these two work arcs. Just like Charles Schultz found he created the best cartoons in his dependable working environment, which he kept the same for years, so do I find greater output when I maintain these physical structures.


I hope this experience relates in some way to your writing experience.

Seattle Pacific University

Posted on June 5, 2014 at 9:10 PM

When the sirens went off we were always startled,

we wee ones,  just first, second and third graders  in

our wing of the old school (it was old even then, decades ago).

I knew I didn’t fully grasp the nature of what we called a drill.

The only context for air raid exercises was the can of insecticide

my parents kept under the kitchen sink.  Raid.  
Raid - sprayed in the air and I could watch the bugs fall.  

Twitch.  Argue.  Flail toward something other than their end.

And then, they were dead.

This is what I related to air raid drills.

In such a event, I felt  silly going on a table or lining the

puke green oil painted walls, dirty brown molding and olive

green lockers with our backs.  How would our arms locked

over our bent heads protect us from inhaling that dreadful spray?

It seemed futile, to me then and ever so much more now.

What protects a child from an air raid?

Perhaps parents weep as they ask the same question

about the campus shooting in Seattle. Today. Minutes ago.

Like my childhood,  these students have drills. Their drills

address a more modern menace than an “A” bomb.  Random,

angry gun propelled violence.  There are drills that keep those

students more calm than they might otherwise have been - but

it is only the unique heroism of a few individuals that saved

lives today.  No hiding under a table or putting one’s arms

over their bent head could have shielded them from the raid

of this bullet on their life.  Only quick thinking bravery stayed

the trigger finger of today’s assassin.  I would like less of them,

less  assassins, less angry gun news and more heroes.  Alive.

Alive heroes able to save cats from trees, dogs from wells, and

not to worry about their fellow students and having to protect

their lives.   I confess this wish comes to my lips as a whimper.

I will be angry about the extraordinary availability of guns tomorrow.

Today I’m weeping for the losses at Seattle Pacific University.


ONE More Thing

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Perhaps you have said it recently,  "I can't handle one more thing."

Your days are already full to bursting of delightful opportunities, accepted obligations and tasks that don't really ring a bell but need to be done. And yet, there is always an invitation to "one more thing."

It's ironic and ever true - the busier I am, the busier I get. My best ideas knock on my door when I perceive I have the least amount of time for them. I've learned to take a strategic deep breath, open the door, and invite the idea in to sit awhile. Have a cuppa something.  Then I learn if the idea is just passing through or if it is here to stay.

I've been "quote bombing" for years. Quietly.  Without fanfare. Word-leaves.  Left behind in random or unexpected (but always legal, i.e. not windshields) spots.  With a sweet little prayer/hope that just the right person who needs that particular set of words will find them. At just the right time.  Now I begin work on a book honoring the role of words in our lives, BY THEIR WORDS.  And the Quote Bombing project becomes more important to me than ever.

I've begun a community on facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/quotebombing   ; There I will provide downloads of uplifting quotes. My own and as I gather important words from others, I will share them, as well.  In this community we will share our stealth with pictures. And, if there are stories of discovery or delight to tell, we will tell and share. 

Join me?  Quote bombs are one of the few kinds of bombs I wholeheartedly endorse.

love, mary anne

Many Roles, A Single Day

Posted on February 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM

As I prepare for a 17 day book tour for SHE A Celebration of Greatness In Every Woman...I ponder how complex it is to get ready to

leave home for 2-1/2 weeks.  Then I remember some of my dearest friends who "left" their home never to return - thanks to the Grim

Reaper.  They were not madly preparing, fussing, doing, sorting, and in general rushing around. No, they were just living, leaning into another         

day and then they stepped  into The Great Mystery without any notice whatsoever.  There's some kind of lesson in this for me. Clear as a puddle muddied by spring rain. 

As I anticipate sharing this fresh work with hundreds of people on the road, I know this for sure.  The most important things I can do as I prepare to leave have nothing to do with the book tour, or finishing projects, or creating one more fresh surprise for the upcoming Bundle.  They are an extra kiss for my husband, an unexpected hug, a litany of appreciations for all my friends do for me.  Dog scratches.  Throwing dog toys and taking the time to say, "Who's a good dog?  YOU'RE a good dog. " Such questions and subsequent answers are the truly important ones.

Note to self.  Remember What Matters.

Find Balance

Posted on October 19, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Balance occurs in the whole not within the parts. Searching for balance in the specifics of the little bits  yields little return. At low tide, with long mud flats,  it is hard to imagine a river lapping the edges of the banks. Yet in a moon cycle there is evidence of the balance - the ebb and flow -of the tide waters.


There is imbalance in a moment. That moment of seeming asymmetry, taken as an important  part of the greater view, becomes part of a account of balance.


Close the ledger book.  Look up and be present to the experience in front of you. When you have time for a backward glance you will be surprised at the equilibrium written into to that ledger of your heart.


Parity occurs in the big picture, not the small parts.


mary anne radmacher

Tears Are Punctuation Marks In A Writing Life

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Index cards remain in the drawer. The outline is folded in a file.

The "to do" list with writing projects at the top is unopened.

Today I write with my feet and my punctuation marks are tears.

The ellipses are my long exhale... Today I embrace that I write second because I live, first.

First life, then the poetry.


Posted on September 26, 2013 at 1:05 PM

I woke with a start. Was Webster, the rat terrier, sitting on my chest?  No.  No dog there.

Ohhhhhh.  THAT is sitting there.  The LIST in the day.   The "GETCHER GOIN' GOING!!!" list.

So my first note to self this morning was, "Breathe." 

100%, 100% of the Time is Overrated.

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 12:10 AM

Grief Takes Up a Lot of Heart Real Estate

Posted on September 20, 2013 at 12:05 AM

Yes, I grasped when the doctor assessed, "Your brother has the fastest growing cancer that we have identified to date."  I understand the word  fast.  And fastest.  I am familiar with cancer around the edges of it.  To take those cognitive grasps and turn them into experiences has been a roller coaster ride. 

Yesterday I tool a ride on Seattle's largest Ferris Wheel.  It motors you out over the  Puget Sound.  It gives the sense of being suspended with nothing really to hold to.  My riding companion and I laughed with the attendant seated us and said, "Here's the red button you push if you want to get out."  One platform.  A whole huge rotation.  WHERE you gonna go if you want to get out?  I laughed a little too long.  It was the tip off to my friend. "Eleanor Roosevelt suggests that you should do one thing every day that scares you.  Today - this is my one thing."

But, that wasn't entirely true.  That my brother is thousands of miles away from me facing the journey to death's door.  And I'm not there. When I tell the un-re-framed truth, that scares me.  He falls.  He is still alone a lot.  He burned up his microwave.  These things don't unsettle me. Disturb me. Concern me.  They scare me.  They scare me for him.  That it won't be the cancer that "gets him" but some unfortunate accident.  That he could unintentionally bring harm to another.  I was there for two weeks.  He's proud of that.  He tells people in his 12-step group that I saw him when he "looked good and could do stuff."  He is  glad I can't see him now.

I have faced dire circumstances myself.  And it surprises me that I find  courage and bravery more accessible on my own behalf. It's harder to access, reach and hold on behalf of my brother.    So much, pretty much, 97% of "what I can do" has already been done.  Now 100% of my job is to love him, call him and be available to the professional  team that is in place to care for him. 

This is the way of process.  Ease and confidence and certainty visit on a pendulum swing.  And when the pendulum swings it swings to discomfort, being scare and uncertainty. 

My brother faces his own mortality with a television-style clock ticking in the upper corner of his daily view.  And I face my profound awe at circumstances that are completely out of my control.  I get to connect to that which I do govern: the clarity, the love, the support, the sharing of the journey.  Doing what I can.  Where I can.  And yesterday I did that in four rotations  of a giant Ferris Wheel to remind me that even the things that scare me have a landing point.  There is a red button.  There is a platform.  And there is often a travel companion who will laugh and tell stories when they see the beads of sweat starting to form on your  upper lip.   

So my brother's friend helped him dressed.  As he answered my call he told he'd already fallen once today, but he was okay.  And he was getting ready to get a ride to his 12-step program.  Which dependly reminds him that he lives as all of us live, one moment, one day at a time. So as I consider the real estate that grief is taking up in my daily life... it comes down to love, friends and a ferris wheel. One day at a time.

(Addendum)  And then...in the midst...I committed to opening Susan Piver's email from the Open Heart Mediation project.  And I let her guide me in a meditation.  One day at a time - leaning forward into this day with grace.  I remembered my ease.  It's always with me...sometimes I forget to look.  xo

mary anne radmacher

Perfectly Imperfect. "Perfect."

Posted on September 13, 2013 at 7:30 PM

"Why aren't YOUR books featured on your web site?" asked the incredulous financial advisor, Luna Jaffe. 

I laughed. 

"You have all these other books that you recommend, but not one of yours.  Don't you have a lot of books?"

"Yes. Almost a dozen." 

Ah.  There are so many things I say about not promoting my work.  Selling my books.  Telling people, "Really -

you should buy this book - you'd love it."  But it's all bluster and bosh.  So, I set aside all those "reasons" why I haven't been

at my computer, rebuilding my web site. And I did it.  And now.  I just have to laugh.  Books.  Oh, indeed. BOOKS.  I don't

know how I did it.  And right now I can't figure out how to UNdo it.  BOOKS ARE ON EVERY PAGE OF MY WEB SITE.

I'm going to attribute this phenomenon to the power of Luna Jaffe's suggestion.

So in the spirit of acting on sound advice - let me tell you this about my books.  I only write what I know I would want to read.

And if I don't live it, I don't write it.  I'm honored to be an author and I'm proud of everything I've written.  If you done own

most of my books - consider adding to your library!  And every one of them makes an excellent and thoughtful gift...

There!  Luna Jaffe*.  There's MY BOOKS! 

* LunaJaffe.com   "Wild Money - A Creative Journey to Financial Wisdom"