Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

I’ve written often about hope in this blog. As you know, I believe it’s nearly impossible to sustain a life in the arts without it. And hope is certainly what continues to get us through the aftermath of 2020. Interestingly, it is my relationship to hope that has undergone the most change for me in the past year and led to what I hope is the most growth.

My ever-practical husband often says to me, “Now, don’t get your hopes up.” He might be referring to a raise he might receive or a trip we might be able to take…


Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

I got my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week. I was both excited and nervous, which is exactly how I feel about the concept of life going “back to normal.” For a year now, I’ve complained bitterly about pandemic-imposed isolation, boredom, separation, and loss. I’ve longed for the things I miss, like eating in restaurants, listening to live music, or going to a party. I’ve learned to tolerate–but have never gotten used to–the feeling of one day bleeding into the next. I’ve grown to love and hate my own company. …


Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

I heard mention the other day of the concept of “becoming a hollow bone.” I did a bit of internet research and found that Frank Fools Crow, a revered Lakota Holy Man, said in his work as a healer, he became like a hollow bone in order to be a source for all creation to flow through him and serve others. I’m not an expert on nor do I have lived experience with this practice or tradition, so I will say no more, but I will tell you why that image gave me hope.

We Americans are rugged individualists. We…


Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

The historian in me thinks it’s important to mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. The writer in me would rather not. Maybe it’s insecurity — there are far better writers than me sharing their thoughts right now. Maybe it’s sensitivity — I’ve just started to bounce back from a really hard year and I don’t want to revisit the pain. Maybe it’s my forward-thinking nature which would rather focus on what’s to come.

One of the podcasts I follow has been doing short retrospectives on how we all reacted to the start of the pandemic, and I have to…


Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

I was conducting a virtual school visit with a fifth-grade class the other day, talking about my children’s books about World War II, each of which are inspired by real people I interviewed. I’d already explained to the kids I wasn’t alive during the war, so I was surprised when one boy asked, “Did you witness anything you’ve written about?” The word “witness” struck me, but since we were almost out of time, I went with the quick and obvious answer, “No, I didn’t witness the events because I wasn’t born yet. …


Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

It seemed to me many of my friends were feeling more down than usual the past couple of weeks. Blame it on the weather or the fact that Mercury was in retrograde or the ever-present worries about the pandemic. One of my friends apologized for “complaining,” saying that since I write novels about World War II, I’d probably remind her we have it better than people did then and tell her to count her blessings. But that’s not what I was thinking at all.

Hardship is never easy, and these have been really tough times for so many of us…


Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

This week marks the seventh anniversary of this blog. Someone asked me how I had maintained the stamina for such an endeavor and how I came up with new ideas every week. I told her it all comes down to passion and permission.

In 2014, friends had been urging me to start a blog for years, but since so many writers had blogs I didn’t want to attempt one until I felt I had something unique to say. …


Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

The first thought that comes to mind when I see a woman’s stiletto shoe is “Oh, hell no.” This modern form of torture device might be sleek and beautiful, but it puts undue stress on the foot causing sometimes permanent damage to bones and nerves, not to mention blisters, swelling, and pain in the Achilles tendon. That’s to say nothing of the increased risk of twisted, sprained, or even broken ankles.

When I see these shoes, I see an industry that has worked for centuries to create fashion that holds women back. Wobbly high heels leave women unbalanced. They have…


Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

A friend shared this quote with me: “Inspiration helps to limit your infinite choices.” It’s by designer Marc Jacobs, whom she said was commenting on the various directions a designer could take each season and how they should choose. She said his conclusion was any direction could be great, but it’s the one that inspires you that you should follow.

I recently did an abundance mindset exercise produced by coach Christine Kane in which she mentioned a scarcity behavior called “obsess.” Prior to her exercise, I thought the word obsess typically referred to one thing or maybe one person one…


Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

I’m taking a Spanish class right now. I’ve been meaning to do so for ages. I studied Spanish for five years in junior high and high school but — like most people who only studied in school — I never did get fluent in the language or comfortable with my skills.

Our teacher has been encouraging us to turn off the translator in our minds and just listen. Listen to the context of a sentence or conversation, listen for what we do know. If we don’t recognize a word, rather than saying it in English, in Spanish she tells us…

Teresa Funke

The world needs an army of creative thinkers, and you’re one. Ignite your inner artist/“Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life” www.burstsofbrilliance.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store