Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Words of Wisdom on Rejection

From one of my favorite poets, Kim Addonizio, as posted by a wonderful Nigerian author, (oh, the tangled webs we weave).  See here

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Meaning First, Obligations Second

Grading, class prep, and assorted service tasks to do. Yet, I am writing first, and doing some work on my new edited book (author invitations, structuring foundational chapters, looking for new authors, ect).


When you start with the work that makes your life feel meaningful, you tend to feel less resentful about the more mundane, ho hum, or even odious tasks. Also, service tasks tend to take as long as we give to them, so doing them when I have limited time makes me push through them more quickly.

Consider the implications of this for your work today.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

New Flash Nonfiction

Here is one of my new flash nonfiction pieces. It is, I believe, still a draft. I am doing a good deal of this kind of writing, and am working through its relationship to autoethnography, and prose poetry. Over the years, I have done very similar writing; small twists and turns have shifted the genre in which the piece is situated. Hmm..I think I have an article idea here. Now, time for a magic paragraph and to look for a journal.
Ok, here it is.

Six Secrets of Disasters
Secret number 1
I am terrified of airplane take offs. It is when I become most religious.
Secret number 2
During that one minute of terror, when I imagine dropping out of the sky, and can almost feel the shrieks of my fellow passengers as we clutch each other’s arms, bracing for finality, as metal careens through faces, winds prying the skin off our jaws,  I think of my dogs. Usually, one on any given takeoff. For many years, it was Slick, miserable bastard soul mate that he was.
Secret number 3
I fear the implications of secret number 2 are why she divorced me. If I thought of my wife during such moments, well.
Secret number 4
Years ago, before she became disabled, I would listen to the audios of crashes. I listened, maybe fifty times, to a cockpit recording of the Japanese airplane that crashed into Mt. Fuli. The pilots lost control of vertical stabilizers, which means they no longer were able to control the plane, and had no chance of recovery.  They knew this, I am sure, which made their efforts all the more tragic. The recording in Japanese, so I could only understand what transcended language-the accelerating panic and dread in their voices. Moments before the garbled sound of impact, an English-language warning system implored the hopeless pilots- “pull up...pull up..pull up..”
Secret number 5
If I received a similar warning, it must have been in a language I do not understand.
Secret number 6
Now that I live alone, I fill four water bowls to their brim every morning,  and each time I leave the house. If I were to die on the street or am killed, the dogs would be able to survive for perhaps a week. Somebody is bound to come looking by that point.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Article Writing Workshop (online)

Dear followers,
Here is a first draft of the marketing materials for the workshop I am going to conduct this summer through the wonderful Taos institute (we confirmed it just this morning, yay!) . We will probably make some changes to some of the language here, but this gives you an idea of what I will be doing. Please note- for the $300 fee, you also get two free coaching sessions. So, this is a pretty good deal (if I do say so myself!). The last workshop filled up pretty fast, so if your interested, I would sign up ASAP. Here is the website and registration link!

Title: Mastering the Academic Article
Facilitated by Rich Furman

Dates: July 18th- August 12, 2016 (with some orientation work the previous week)

This four-week, online workshop teaches scholars the tools they need to successfully write and publish scholarly articles. It adopts a strengths-based, developmental approach that deconstructs evidence-based strategies unknown to most scholars. Conducted by an internationally known writing coach, therapist and professor, participants develop the capacity to more effectively craft articles through extensive video lectures, writing exercises, online discussions and weekly calls with learning partners. All participants will receive two coaching sessions with the facilitator as part of the workshops.

Learning Objectives

This workshop helps participants master skills and knowledge in several areas:
  1. Writing productivity and understanding the psychosocial barriers to writing
  2. Idea generation
  3. Creating effective article architecture/structure
  4. The “modes” of academic writing
  5. Developing skills in writing the “common” sections of articles
  6. Learn to evaluate and select journals for maximum success.
  7. Developing effective techniques to managing the peer review process.
  1. Master methods of writing productivity
  2. Make significant progress on on an article, and hopefully submit it during the summer!
  3. Develop tools for breaking through personal blocks and barriers that hinder writing. productivity and scholarly success.
  4. Develop several “magic paragraphs” that will become new articles.
  5. Develop life-long and regular practices for successful article writing.
Live Group Calls:
  1. Each week for the 4 weeks everyone will participate in a group conference call.
  2. Calls will be held on Tuesdays of each week for 1.5 hours.
  3. The time for the calls is 12 noon NY time/ Eastern US Time – please see the WorldClock website to convert to your own time zone.
How to register: Coming soon.
If you need assistance, email

Registration Fee: (US dollars)
$300 (register by July 1, 2016)
Late registration fee (after July 1) add $100

Make YOU your summer project!

Aw summer. When a young scholar's fancy turns to passing out on the coach!

Seriously, those of you on the semester system, luck ducks (although, come September I will be living large, still on break!) are about to enter the magical days of summer break. Even those of us who teach during the summer enjoy the differences between the academic year and summer(e.g. no meetings, committees, ect).

Of course, a lot of you save summer for writing. I won't even get into the perils and pitfalls of only writing  (or, in fact, PLANNING, as it often does not happen!) during the summer- the ultimate binge writing! I have explored that a enough in the past.

However, what I do want you to think about is seeing summers as a time of self-reflection and skill development.  See yourself as your summer project. Try to envision summers as a time to work on the barriers and blocks that have stopped you from fully enjoying and thriving in your careers. Hopefully, if you have been reading this blog for a while, you have learned to identify many of these practical and socioemotional barriers.  If not, check it out!!

Regardless of how you do it, work on them! Reading. Self help. Mentors. Therapist. Friends. Doggie love. Coach. Pick goals. Try methods.

This life is too wonderful, says I, to not work out the kinks.

If you want to talk about your options, email me. First chat, always free :). Even use me if you have no intention of call two ;)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Exercise: Your Fantasy Book

Every scholar (well, most perhaps) has a fantasy book that they really want to write. It is a book that they have "in them"- one that has occupied a good deal of your attention.

What is this book? What does it mean to you? Is now the time to begin it? What would you need to do or change to make it happen? How might it it into your career?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Challenge: Reach Out, Support

A received a call this morning from a colleague who just reached out to a friend who is struggling with her writing. They had coffee, and talked about writing, productivity, life. When my colleague and her friend said goodbye, her friend cried and admitted "sometimes it feels like nobody cares, and I am all alone. Thank you!"

Nuff' said.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

How many coaches to change a light bulb?

How many coaches does it take to change a light bulb? One, but the light bulb has to want to change.

Ok, a tired joke that has been applied to every helping profession. But its so true. However, its also not true. Its easy to use this as a rationale for failing with clients and not taking ownership for your own limitations.

It is a helper's job to help clients move thought various stages of the readiness to change; there are models and methods to help with this. It is a balance, clients must accept responsibility to engage in the process, and helpers must be willing to critically reflect upon on their own processes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Exercise: Pick a Spot, Freewrite

For this exercise, I want you to pick a spot in an article on which you are working. Once you have that spot, write there without thinking. Do not stop for ten minutes. Pay attention to the chatter in your head. What is it telling you? How does this chatter get in your way? Feel free to write me your "results."

Friday, April 1, 2016

Listening and caring

Sometimes, I really don't know what I am doing that people find helpful. Listen and care. Trust my gut. Why can't that just be the norm?  In an ideal world, I would not be paid for that, it would be the norm, and people would expect, demand more. Sigh