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Big Things

Keva Wolfe Collection (1)“Big things are coming. I feel it in these old bones.”

Like a toothless old-timer, predicting the weather I’m sooth-saying from the comfort of my office. Rain beats down on my metal roof. It’s been a productive week, the first in months. And this is barely March. Truth is, I’ve felt overwhelmed since the beginning of the new year. I won’t bore you with client trials and internet snafus, but suffice to say that the “easy” component of this grand scheme to Make a Living As a Writer is troubled, not easy.

And the hard parts?

Well, magic still trembles in the promise of creativity. I feel closer to the creative vibe, finding the paths I’ve hacked through the underbrush to discover. Creation, drafting, flashing and even presenting gets me as jiggy as the male hooded mergansers in my pond. I want to bobble my head with glee and thrust wingtips skyward, making awkward sounds in the declaration that I am alive and I write!

Revision is like cleaning up a pudding accident in the kitchen when you know the landlord wants to inspect. Yet, flash fiction has helped me sort out scenes or find a way into gaps. It’s coming along and I can’t hasten the pace unless a benevolent stranger pulls off of HWY 95 one night and funds my creative writing. Maybe. It could happen. In the meantime I’llΒ  earn what I can.

Back to what I feel erupting in my bones. Maybe it’s spring. Maybe I’m insane. Maybe I love to create and connect with others on that level.

Wrangling Words is growing in Sandpoint. A mother of an 11-year old writer called to ask if her daughter could attend. Yes. It’s an inclusive springboard to get our writing community connected and energized. 11 or 101, if you feel the vibe, connect with others who do, too. Already I’ve met a fantasy writer, a paranormal author, a memoirist and several poets.

The poets have sucked me into Open Night Mic. I don’t mind. Few people know that I used to perform — dramatic interpretations. In my career I’ve presented many workshops and presentations. I was always complimented for being “a good speaker.” I never really studied speaking, but I was an avid performer. It’s been years and I’m discovering I love reading my work.

Again, it’s the connecting.

Go Idaho has had me busy finding and writing stories in North Idaho. It’s amazing, for lack of a less cliche word, to meet amazing people, transcribe their stories and find the beating-heart of each story to tell in a magazine. This week, Lost Horse Press published in Go Idaho. That’s an important connection. I’m learning so much about how book publishing works from the publisher. She also had one of her MFA poets stay with me for a week and that’s how I ended up at Open Mic Night.

I thrive when creative connections light up like constellations taking form in the night sky.

At the last Open Mic Night, I dared to read the shorts I’ve been creating over at Sacha’s Writespiration posts. Since then several people in town have stopped to talk to me about those stories. They loved hearing about local history in stories and wondered if I’d write more. Sure! That led me to an invitation to several local groups on FB where I’m connecting with local historians. The photo in this post is from one such group. It’s the aftermath of the 1910 fires, the setting and era for these stories.

Let me tell you, there’s inspiration all around you!

Look in your back yard, your community, online. Unbelievable, what is out there, and here you are — a writer! Sources never cease. Creativity doesn’t diminish because more people are writing or expressing it; creativity grows among creatives. We’re like mushrooms sharing spores of ideas. Look among our own Rough Writers, here. Each participates in other challenges. Some, like Sacha Black, offer their own. Ruchira Khanna has a Wednesday photo challenge; Irene Waters has socio-memoir challenge of Times Past; Roger Shipp has launched Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Writer.

And next weekend, this happens in Missoula: BinderCon LA.It never would have been possible if I didn’t go last year. If others didn’t believe in what I hold a vision for in my writer’s heart. We create and we support one another.

Dare to think big. Overcome your doubt with it; find a way to make your goals happen. Create. Write. Big things are coming.



  1. This is so awesome! You’re making such amazing connections. πŸ™‚ I love that you’ve read your short stories at open mic night. Overcome our doubts… Find a way… I’m trying. <3 Thanks! And congrats on so, so much here!

    • Charli Mills says:

      It wouldn’t be possible without what we’ve started here. It wouldn’t be possible if you hadn’t inspired me to think of the anthology as a teaching tool. <3 I'm shy and socially awkward, so when I feel like I've actually made connections I get a little giddy. πŸ™‚ The doubts are there like shadows. So I decided to embrace that feeling of possibility.

  2. Susan Budig says:

    Charli, did I read too quickly? Are you heading up the Missoula BinderCon? Regardless, you are on fire!

    • Charli Mills says:

      Yes, but with the extraordinary support of Out of the Binders and the Montana Team of Binders who have all been amazing. It’s been such a struggle, and this was like the first week this year that everything started to fall into place.

  3. A. E. Robson says:

    Be proud of who you are, what you are doing and every accomplishment that is part of you. You inspire so many with your writing and involvement. A gentle force encouraging as you go.

    • Charli Mills says:

      Thanks, Ann! I hope to inspire others because I know how difficult it can be. This week felt like a break and I could see the connections. As the dog mushers say, panic forward. But it feels good to enjoy the ride for the moment. πŸ™‚

  4. Annecdotist says:

    Exciting times, Charli! Lovely how you’re so fired up. Is it Spring?

    • Charli Mills says:

      This is likely the result of watching eight male mergansers in full mating regalia on my pond. How can it not feel like something big is happening when spring arrives in such a display despite the mud and gray skies? It feels like spring. πŸ™‚

  5. Sacha Black says:

    You read them out? That’s amazing so pleased you had such a great response – I’m not surprised. I adore Jen πŸ’–

    • Charli Mills says:

      I did! I read each one and it was really a great experience. I also had this sensation of like “channeling” Jen. It was cool! Thanks!

  6. Elliott says:

    Yes. Everything we write is brilliant. Whether its on a napkin or merely recorded when spoken. Does an artist charge u to look at his painting. No. He just leaves it on a wall. Yes i had time to think of a comment. Words are as free as fiction in a public library.. Stories are right in front of us they already happened. Im just creatively stealing what you said Charli, reiterating, agreeing…. its good to connect to ourselves. When we connect with someone else something out of left field Bam! Mushroom clouds.. a string of unseen Christmas bulbs. Im going to b a fool and just splatter it on the concrete, throw it all away. If someone wants to read, well thats genius in itself.

    • Charli Mills says:

      Mushroom clouds and Christmas bulbs, the spores and lights of creativity! Alas, I wish we valued artists enough to provide room and board and space to create, though. It’s important to make creativity available as a medium to all, yet to also allow creators a chance to earn a living, too if that’s what they have to contribute to society. I’m hoping to find a happy balance between paid words and words I freely plaster with others just to build castles in the sky for the love of dreaming them up!

  7. Rachel says:

    This is an inspirational post! Congrats. πŸ™‚

  8. dianawenzel says:

    Indeed, “magic still trembles in the promise of creativity.” And, feeling closer to your vibe… priceless. I started writing again this week after a very long hiatus. May your mojo rub off on me as you continue to get your major groove on.

  9. wildchild47 says:

    For as distracted or upside sideways as the start of the year has been for you Charli – I have to say, I admire your ability to still find ground that seems solid – all these opportunities and new possibilities – and that is amazing! And you are so correct – when we begin to doubt that what we have to say, or do, or offer the world is “insufficient or purposeless” – well no. Creativity does inspire and continue the cycle and circles of expansion – not contraction. So – well said and pointed out – and keep believing and dreaming and writing! You are an inspiration πŸ™‚

  10. rogershipp says:

    Thanks for the great shout out about The Purposeful Practitioner. It has been doing great. I am enjoying being on both sides(even if just a little bit) of a writing community.

    • Charli Mills says:

      That’s great, Roger! I’ve discovered the joys of being on both sides, too. πŸ™‚ And it’s fun to connect with all our communities and broaden the creativity circles.

  11. TanGental says:

    Go Charli! So pleased for you. I bet it was fantastic.

  12. Congratulations Charli. Well done on reading your work out loud to an audience. I did the same last night at Toastmasters where I read one of my own stories published in an anthology being launched next week. The difference though between you and I was that I didn’t own my work of fiction. I told the title but I did not say who the author was. That critical monkey on my shoulder looms large. Luckily it went well and a few people asked me where they could buy it as they wanted the rest of the story and a few asked for the author’s name.
    Thanks for mentioning Times Past. I think that you have been inspirational for all of us. Looking in your own backyard is certainly a good place to start looking for creative connections. Yours seem to be growing daily.

    • Charli Mills says:

      My backyard is starting to feel like a chicken ranch! That’s a good thing — I like chickens and delight in watching each one. It’s flourishing. Good for you to read at Toastmasters! I hope the response encourages you to do more readings, and claim your work! Last year when I went to BinderCon in LA, one of the speakers, who used to play women’s basketball, told us we needed to have “swagger.” She described swagger as having an authentic drive and sense of self. I really love what you are doing with Times Past because it’s full of stories that also give insights.

  13. Connection – it’s what you do beautifully! You have a gift for inspiring and encouraging others who come in contact with you.

  14. Norah says:

    Your excitement is palpable, Charli. It jumps off the page at me. I wish you much success. If only we didn’t need that funding and could just do the things we love, how wonderful life would be. You are making a wonderful contribution to the lives of so many others (including mine) you deserve the reward of abundance.

    • Charli Mills says:

      It is an exciting time, and for you, too! You’ve been hard at it creating your teacher resources and website. Ah, if only we didn’t need the funding! Thank you for your kind words and I could say them back to you, too. Cheers to future big things for us both! πŸ™‚

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