by anacaria

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Anacaria PortraitWelcome. Please come in.

My new book, An Invitation to An Extraordinary Life: A Guide to Discovering, Organizing, and Manifesting the Things that Really Matter to You, is now available.

It offers a process to help us discover our life purpose and then build a structure to support the manifestation of that purpose in the world. It also includes information about Befriending those internal Dragons who terrorize and annoy us, and steps for Creating Sacred Space in which to live and work. For a little taste of each of the chapters, or to order, click here.

On this site, you will also find Organizing Services to help you live a more organized, simplified, self-directed life; and a gallery of Visionary Art for a little space travel with the Ancient Heart and Mind.

You will also find writings on a variety of topics, including recipes, remedies and humor for healthy living, graceful aging and happiness.

So make yourself comfortable, and browse around. From the offerings here, I hope you will find something to inform you, support you, inspire you, or amuse you  .  .  .  and a little practical magic to help you transform your life.



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Some years ago, in a writers’ workshop, I received one of those little gems that subtly but profoundly changes your life. The class instructor quoted British writer Margery Allingham, author of, among others, the Albert Campion mysteries.

When asked by an interviewer how she wrote, she replied (as was quoted to me):

 “I write the first draft to get the meaning. I write the second draft to put in everything that I left out. I write the third draft to take out everything that doesn’t belong, and the fourth draft to make it sound like I just thought of it.”

So simple, so logical, so whimsical, so useful. Using this formula, I know exactly where I am at any given moment. It’s like having a GPS to help me find my location on the road.

Now when I sit down to write a first draft, after sending my inner critic Griselda out for herbal tea or Prozac, I proceed to write for meaning only. Ideas go down in stream of consciousness order, sentences are incomplete, participles dangle and infinitives split. “Just the meaning,” I chant as I scatter my thoughts across the page. Then, when I feel I have enough, I begin the second draft filling in the spaces with absolutely everything that comes to mind that might be useful. No judgements, no distinctions — and definitely no Griselda.

Now I’m ready for the third draft. I summon my internal editor, Sophie, to help analyze what I have written and to make it clean and sharp. Together, we rearrange sentences and move paragraphs, ruthlessly cut and trim, argue over modifiers, and debate the merits of including a particular phrase. If we discover that page three needs expansion, I make a note to return to it when I am in first or second draft mode again. (If Griselda has returned and is making a pest of herself, I send her out for croissants.)

I may write several first, second and third drafts of any given piece, but I always know where I am and I don’t get caught in the illusion that I’m chasing a wild goose or will never be finished. Then, when I sit down to polish and add humor and delight, it is with a sense of freedom and satisfaction.

The Four Draft Formula gives me structure and boundaries, which provide me with a secure environment in which to create. And the combination of creative intelligence and the sweet humor of the heart helps me to have a nice day.



The Freedom of Limitations

February 21, 2013

As we enter the 21st century, riding high on the edge of the Information Age, we find ourselves in an era of unlimited possibilities. We have access to more information than at any other time in history. We receive daily communications from all over the world, many of them contradictory. We receive offers on radio, […]

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Courting the Muse: Part I – Focused Time

March 9, 2012

   “One reason I don’t suffer writer’s block is that I don’t wait on the muse. I summon it at need.” Piers Anthony If we were to invite a colleague or other esteemed person to be an honored guest in our home or workplace, there are some things we would probably do; tidy up the place, make […]

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Discipline as Discipleship

February 6, 2012

 “Self-discipline and contentment are useful.” The Dalai Lama When we hear the word discipline, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that someone is going make us do something we don’t want to do. Self-discipline often means that we are going to try to make ourselves do something that we don’t want to do. […]

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Happiness is available . . .

December 4, 2010

“Happiness is available. Help yourself.” Thich Nhat Hanh

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Survival of the Responsive!

August 13, 2010

I recently came across this Charles Darwin quote: “It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” And it occurred to me that the way for us to move forward in these challenging times is to be open and receptive to new ways of doing […]

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Quick and Easy Chicken Soup

August 13, 2010

As our grandmothers knew, chicken soup has great healing properties. When we are tired or unwell, however, we are sometimes unable to do much in the way of preparing food for ourselves. This recipe is easy, simple and nourishing. Most of the ingredients can be kept on hand in the pantry, fridge and freezer so that we […]

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Ginger Tea

August 13, 2010

Slice a some fresh ginger into a pot or cup. Pour boiling water over it Let it steep 3 to 5 minutes. Add fresh lemon juice and honey to taste. Drink and enjoy. Aids digestion and warms the body and soul.

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July 28, 2010

Sometimes all it takes is a change in attitude to deliver us from difficulties. Some years ago, I found myself in an internal conflict over a situation with one of my  clients. Although I cannot remember what it was about, at that time it was of such importance that it was holding my attention and […]

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Rx: For General Malaise

March 13, 2010

Sometimes there are days when we simply don’t feel well. When we are restless, tired, depressed. When we are suffering from undefined, random discontent. Here are lists of some of my remedies. Different approaches work at different times. When I am in a funk, I look them over and choose, not what I think I need, […]

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