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Creativity Anniversary

6 Jul

While I, the Muse, have been around forever, my 4 Chicks only recently celebrated their one-year blog milestone. In honor of this, their paper anniversary, I inspired the Chicks to put pen to paper and retrace their shared journey. Because like one’s marital anniversary, it is well worth remembering and commemorating when and how you first decided in earnest to pursue your creative passions. And those with whom you choose to share it are your creative soul mates for life.


Week 12: The End of the Walk

16 Apr

Well, they took 12 months instead of 12 weeks to finish The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and that’s how long they took to finish Walking in This World, too. For the past year, the 4 Chicks have walked and talked their way through this second book together. To celebrate this completion, and in the spirit of Cameron’s many excellent creative exercises in her books, I inspired the 4 Chicks to hold a “Letting Go” fire ceremony, burning their fears, frustrations and other negative feelings that might otherwise block their future creative paths, as well as a whimsical “Dream Planting” activity, articulating their top three creative dreams for the future and giving them fertile ground in which to grow.

If I, the Muse, inspire you as well–be it writing, illustration, music, drama or any other artistic endeavor–consider bringing together three fellow sojourners and continue further down your own creative path today.


Chicks Chat About Authenticity – Week 11

4 Apr


In the end, an artist’s life is grounded in integrity and the willingness to witness our version of truth. There are no set markets that assure us of safe passage.  This week focuses on personal responsibility for our creative caliber and direction.

– Julia Cameron

Chicks Chat About Camaraderie – Week 10

31 Jan

Despite our Lone Ranger mythology, the artist’s life is not lived in isolation.  This week focuses your attention on the caliber of your friendships and creative collaborations.  Loyalty and longevity, integrity and ingenuity, grace and generosity – all of these attributes are necessary traits for healthy creative exchange.

Chicks Chat About Resilience – Week 9

23 Dec

There is a Chinese proverb that goes something like this: Fall down seven times, stand up eight. That ancient writer might have gained that wisdom from me, the Muse. The Chicks are in the process of learning it now. In any endeavor, whether you fear and fail is not as important as whether you try and try again. I am beckoning you. Keep seeking me, and the worry, fear and self-doubt you feel will not be roadblocks but signposts along the way.

Join the 4 Chicks as they chat about Julia Cameron’s Walking in this World: The Practical Art of CreativityChapter 9: Discovering a Sense of Resiliency.

Happy Holidays to you and here’s to a creative 2012!

.                             .                            .

Apricot Glazed Cornish Game Hens with Italian Sausage-Rice Pilaf


  • 4 Cornish game hens (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced orange zest
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons toasted almond slivers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups apricot jam
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat and add the sausage. Cook until the fat is rendered, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the orange zest and sweat for about 30 seconds. Add the rice and cook stirring continuously for 3 minutes. Add the raisins, almonds, parsley, thyme, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and place it in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove the rice from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Place the rice on a sheet pan or a platter to cool.

Combine the apricot jam, orange juice, COINTREAU and remaining zest in a small mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Place the glaze in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Allow glaze to cook until reduced by half. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes.

Season the hens with the remaining salt and pepper on the insides and out. Stuff each hen cavity with about 3/4 cup of the cooled rice and place in a roasting pan. Use a pastry brush to spread the glaze on the hens and place them in the oven.

Roast the game hens for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and spread another layer of glaze over the hens. Return the hens to the oven and roast for an additional 15 minutes. Remove the hens from the oven, spread the glaze over the hens, and return to the oven.

Continue to cook for 30 more minutes, or until an instant read-thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 160 degrees F, and inserted into the rice registers 140 degrees F.

Serve the hens with any extra rice pilaf.

Discernment Week 8 – Walking In This World by Julia Cameron

23 Nov

Discovering a Sense of Discernment

This week poses a challenge: Are we actually able to got the distance? To answer in the affirmative, we must learn to keep certain demons at bay, most notably success, “the unseen enemy”. The readings and tasks of this week aim at naming and declawing the creative monsters that lurk at higher altitudes. Anger is a frequent companion of this week’s explorations. As we unmask our villains, we often feel a sense of betrayal and grief. This is replaced by a sense of safety as we name our true supporters more

Momentum – Week 7 Walking in this World by Julia Cameron

21 Oct

Creativity thrives on small, do-able actions.  This week dismantles procrastination as a major creative block.  The readings and tasks aim at a sense of personal accountability and accomplishment.  The key to a creative life is sustained, consistent, positive action.  This is possible for all of us.

Boundaries – Week 6

10 Sep

The 4 Chicks Chat about Julia Cameron’s Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity – Chapter 6: Discovering a Sense of Boundaries.

The place where you create your art is sacred soil.  It is neither time nor space but an internal place.   Guarding that soil means not only minding what comes in but also what goes out.  Your soil can get sapped or even contaminated if you do not create boundaries.  Join the Chicks for a discussion about protecting your sacred soil.

What did the 4 Chicks do this summer?

8 Sep

Personal Territory

19 Jul

The 4 Chicks Chat about Julia Cameron’s Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity – Chapter 5: Discovering a Sense of Personal Territory

Recently, my dear Chicks set out to create more boundaries.  That might sound counter-intuitive.  After all, creativity is about going to new places, drawing outside the lines, right?  Yes, but these boundaries are the ones artists must put in place to ensure their energies are not sapped, misdirected or squandered.  If you want golden eggs, you must protect the goose who lays them.

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