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What The Novelist Knows About Finding Your Voice

Robin Rice

Every novelist starts with a blank page and, hopefully, an idea. Then, not twenty seconds into her writing, she is faced with a huge array of problems and privileges, not the least of which is finding her voice.

Who, exactly, will be speaking, the all-powerful narrator, a third party, or the character? Where are we in time? Is something happening now, in this moment, or has it already happened, either recently or thousands of years ago? How will you make 6-10 characters have unique voices – so much so that the reader does not have to read “he said” and “she said” in every other line? Which characters should come across as true and likeable? If essentially good, how are they yet flawed, as no one is perfect? If they are forthright but insincere, how will the reader know? You can’t just say so. That’s cheating.

 
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Personal Disruption: 6 Reasons It’s NOT Just Business Anymore

Robin Rice

Back in the day, you could say things were “just business” because business had a different set of rules from the rest of life. Back in the day, you could compartmentalize your work, home and social lives and expect them to stay separate. Back in the day you could “fake it till you make it” and no one would know. As we all know, those days are gone.

But how, exactly, are they gone? What has been disrupted so significantly that we will never be the same? We know how Uber changed our driving and Amazon changed our buying, but what about how we, personally, have been disrupted? And what about the disruptions yet to come?

Below are six reasons, for better or worse, our work lives are no longer “just” business and how they are creating a personal disruption that we all are adjusting to.

 
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How Awakening Is Like A 1,350 Acre Dude Ranch

Robin Rice

Listen To This Post Read By The Author HERE.

Say you’re looking for freedom. A wilder life. Something More. You glance at an ad: 1,350-acre dude ranch for sale.

It’s impossible and you know it. Even so, the idea just won’t go away. It’s like the ad has a neon sign flashing at you, making you dream, and just when you thought you were done with that kind of stuff.

Suddenly, you are there. Not dreaming – THERE. You see it all: You in your Stetson looking out over those wide-open spaces. A few hundred nicely grazing cattle. A dozen horses, all healthy, strong and well-trained. You have that bow-legged walk, the kind of swagger that’s so much a part of you, nobody can take it away. You taste the residue of dust in your mouth and laugh because it is so-damned-amazing here, even the dust tastes good.

 
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If You Don't Know Your Brain, You Don't Know Jack

Robin Rice

I’m a dreamer. Yes, the visionary kind, but also the nighttime kind.

For many years, I have been taught through what I have come to call my “dream teachers.” I have no idea who they are, where they come from, or why they started coming to me. I have a sense they may be two masters from the orient I've run into elsewhere, but I really can't be certain. All I know is that each time they visit, my life takes a leap.

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How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

Robin Rice

Last night over dinner with a friend, I realized that after years and years of working with myself and how I relate to the world, I still have a problem.

I still don’t work well under standard business practices, because I want to be real more than I want to be some else’s version of a “success.”  I don’t get a sense of belonging from most organized spiritual gatherings, church or otherwise, because I have my own truth and I follow it relentlessly. 

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Wabi Sabi: The Beauty of Imperfection

Robin Rice

Tucked away in the deepest heart of Japan, somewhere beyond city life, probably beyond country life, resting in a humble shack on a simple shelf in a nearly bare room, you can find a really powerful idea about beauty. This idea, this way of life, this way of being, goes against everything the contemporary American culture sells. It is so radical, it goes toe–to–toe with any notion that the way things are—even when they are falling apart—are not the way things ought to be.

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A Story Of First Love And What We Don't Know

Robin Rice

First Love.

You hear a lot about it. How you never forget. If I’m honest, I had a lot of “first loves,” and not a lot of love. What can I say? It was what you might call a rough adolescence.

As it turns out, though, one was different. I just didn’t know it. The story plays out like this:

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The Barn Dance

Robin Rice

There is a story as old as time, yet it happens every day, perhaps ever minute of every day. It's hard to know. Such stories don't lend themselves to numbers so well. They don't even lend themselves to telling so well, for how can a true story ever be fully told? It is like trying to catch a fruit fly between two fingers. Still, for the sake of all people with more courage than they know, I'll set my fingers a grasping...

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BUT… Who Are You?

Robin Rice

Recently, a new acquaintance in yoga class asked what I “do.” Since that can be a long and variable conversation, and since we were nearly out the door, I opted to limit my response to a “quick and dirty” half-elevator speech.

“I teach about being who you are,” I said. “Who you really, really are.”

She nodded, taking it in, and asked me for my web address. When I replied “BeWhoYouAre.com,” something in the repeat hit her hard.

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Not For Nothing, If…

Robin Rice

One of my friends is going through a difficult divorce and another looks like she is about to. Yet another friend is in bankruptcy while yet another feels like that’s going to be her only option. One friend just lost a son. One is helping a community still reeling from violence against several children.

As yet one more friend often says: “Oh Holy Hell.”

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How To Get Angry Without Losing Your Enlightenment

Robin Rice

Anger. It’s a bad thing, right? It’s low-brow for spiritual types. Better to “OMM” your way through, don’t you think?

No. I don’t think.

Anger is not primitive on the journey of enlightenment. Jesus overthrew the tables when he got angry at the moneychangers. Buddha might have been grieving for the world at large when he left his wife and child and the life of a prince, but my guess is he was also just a wee bit angry that his family shielded him from the true nature of the world for those less fortunate throughout his entire early life.

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That Night with Julie

Robin Rice

"You're Robin Rice?" the young, dark-haired woman asked me. We were in line, signing in for an open mike poetry reading at the local bookstore. I'm not exactly a household name, but as I am an author, some people know of my work. Given my own "off" mood, I was prepared to put on a polite smile. One look into this young woman's deeply troubled face and I knew this was not the tack to take. You don't have to be psychic to know what that kind of face means. You only have to have been there yourself. This woman-child was on the edge of her own life, and looming toward a jump.

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Living By Magic

Robin Rice

Wilhelm is my Austrian friend. Tall and stout, with a heavy accent and infectious smile, he is one of those people who really know how to enjoy the good things in life. From a rowdy round of soccer (football, as he calls it) to those very expensive restaurants that serve tiny meals on beautiful plates, he is both my good friend and private fashion police. “Robin,” he said while celebrating a special occasion with an especially fine wine, “you're in the amazing business.”

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To Love Your Life

Robin Rice

#1: You Must Be On A Path

It can be any path, the form doesn’t matter.

Take Gerry. This past summer I took a group to Ireland to explore the sacred sites and we stayed at a B&B near Dublin for convenience.  The owner, Gerry, was hysterically funny—especially when he was True Irish Drunk (which is to say far more lucid than I would be with that much beer, but still swaying on his feet).  He would repeat this mantra sober or drunk: “Every day’s a school day.” And, wow, the way he said it… total enthusiasm.

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Life is Not A Dance-Though I Hope You Do

Robin Rice

 I know, I know, you've heard life is a dance. Now I'm saying it isn't?  (click to tweet)

And JUST when you were getting the whole "two steps forward, one step back" thing? 

The shaman in me understands your confusion. At the shamanic level, which is to say the level of our soul story being played out in human time, life is a dance--hopefully a beautiful, profound and compelling one. Our stories are a series of ups and downs, back and fourths, right and lefts that we can only hope is going somewhere. 

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