anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Posts Tagged ‘inspiration

Words for Winter Solstice

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A reminder to acknowledge the dark, and celebrate the light. Bring kindness into these dark days.

Kindness with no expectations, kindness given to someone else simply for wanting to put good into the world. Kindness to bring warmth to the coldest and darkest of moments. Kindness to keep us open, accepting. Because when we give kindness to others, we feel it in return.

One kind word to the postmaster who is dealing with the line of ten people, all trying to ship unruly boxes.

One kind word to the cashier working overtime.

One kind word to a friend who needs it.

One kind word to a stranger, because it could be the only one they receive today.

One kind word to a family member.

One kind word to yourself.

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Written by Anna Brones

December 21, 2017 at 09:18

A Pro Bono Lawyer, Who’s Entirely Mobile

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This week I was excited to publish a story about Melanie Gleason, an amazing woman who is running a 100% pro bono legal service out of her Smartcar. I profiled her work, particularly work with farmworkers, in a story on Civil Eats.

Gleason doesn’t charge for her services, and she isn’t tied to an office; that makes her work – which she calls Attorney on the Move – pretty revolutionary, and ensures that she is allowed to bring legal services to people in rural communities who might not otherwise have the access. If you have ever doubted that one person can make a difference, Melanie is sure to change that.

Inspired by her work? You can support Gleason and her services on her crowdfunding page.

Read the full story on Civil Eats.

Photo: Melanie Gleason/Michael Fagans

Written by Anna Brones

February 12, 2016 at 07:33

Posted in Portfolio

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The Ten Commandments That Block Creativity

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Path in Brittany by Anna Brones

My mother sent me a photo of a typewritten piece of paper this week. It’s a list, titled The Ten Commandments That Block Creativity. Actually it’s written in all caps, since whoever wrote it down thought it was very important.

I assumed she sent it as a push towards creative inspiration as I plugged through deadlines. Deadlines which I am procrastinating on right now by writing this. Mothers are good like that.

The list is credited to Stanley Krippner, and I don’t know where he published the original, but I did see it made an appearance in the 1973 book Child Development and Learning.

In his commandments, Krippner was writing specifically on children, and the cultural norms at play that hamper their creativity from an early age. But I think that as adults, particularly in a creative field, we can find truth in these.

The full list of the commandments goes into detail on each one of them, but I think that they stand for themselves.

The Ten Commandments That Block Creativity

by Stanley Krippner, PhD

1. Everything Thou Doest Must Be Useful

2. Everything that Thou Doest Must Be Successful.

3. Everything Thou Doest Must Be Perfect.

4. Everyone Thou Knowest Must Like Thee.

5. Thou Shalt Not Prefer Solitude to Togetherness

6. Remember Concentrated Attention and Keep it Holy.

7. Thou Shalt Not Diverge From Culturally-Imposed Sex Norms.

8. Thou Shalt Not Express Excessive Emotional Feeling.

9. Thou Shalt Not Be Ambiguous.

10. Thou Shalt Not Rock The Cultural Boat.

So here’s to rocking cultural boats, learning to not be perfect and reminding ourselves that not all we do has to be a success.

Written by Anna Brones

April 14, 2015 at 16:32

Why We Write

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House in Vals, Switzerland photo by Anna Brones

“One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore.”

-Anne Lamott, Bird By Bird

I finally picked up a copy of Bird By Bird this week, a book that has been on my reading list for far too long. It’s exactly what I needed. A reminder of why I love to write, and a reminder of what it takes to be a writer: just.keep.writing.

And exploring of course.

Written by Anna Brones

March 20, 2015 at 19:06

Posted in Quotes

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I Don’t Believe in New Year’s Resolutions, But I Believe in This Daily One

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Beach glass by Anna Brones

Resolutions.

This time of year the “R” word abounds, always filled with aspiration and yet an impending sense of guilt. Few people keep their resolutions, and most of the time by the end of January, those good intentions have melted away, like the snowbanks by the side of the road, that once shone in pristine white and that have inevitably turned to a wet, grayish mush.

But the reason that resolutions can be so hard to keep is that we put so much pressure on them. Our expectations are high. This is the year I will change! This is the year I will be better!

Those are admirable desires, but when one day out of the year is the day slated for the beginning of all of your enormous life changes, it’s easy to crumble under pressure.

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Written by Anna Brones

January 5, 2015 at 09:37

1,000 Miles: Month 6

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“What’s in like to run in Paris?” friends sometimes ask.

Paris is one of those places that has a certain reputation. It has an identity that’s known around the world. But like with anything, there’s an identity that we see from the outside and the one we see from the inside.

When you live in a place you come to know that inner identity. You live the everyday things that no one ever talks about outside of that place, and that’s particularly true when it comes to Paris. Because who would be silly enough to criticize Paris?

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Written by Anna Brones

July 4, 2014 at 16:47

1,000 Miles: Month 5

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Hills and altitude.

If I had to sum up the fifth month of 1,000 Miles, that would be it. Hills and altitude. There were a lot of both of them.

During the last month I was home in the US, so running meant taking on the hills in Forest Park in Portland (a reunion run for the 1,000 Miles trio), a thigh-burn inducing uphill climb by my parents’ house in Washington, and making my best attempt at emulating a mountain goat on trails around Telluride, Colorado.

Realization: I have much more training to do before I become a mountain goat.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 4, 2014 at 15:09