free the pen, a blog for writers

August 27, 2011

Interview with life coach Tim Levy

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 4:37 pm

Hi Everyone,

Today I want to share an interview I did with Tim Levy, author of The Life Summit. If you are trying to figure out the next step to take in your life or you simply want to follow your dreams-finally-read this interview and check out his book.

Tim Levy was born in Australia, and up until recently, he and his family have moved to the U.S. Tim’s passion is to help people follow their heart’s passions in order to live the lives they really want, instead of the lives they are told they should live.

I have heard him speak, and I must say, he has shifted my own thinking about my life’s passion. If you are feeling stuck or need a new way to think about your passions, you know, those dreams tucked in your heart, you must read, The Life Summit.

Tim Levy speaks all across the world. He offers workshops and speaking engagements. I strongly suggest checking into this creative, angelic and brilliant man. Enjoy the interview.

Note – this article was written from my notes – these answers are not direct quotes. They’re my interpretation of what Tim said.

  1. Your book, The Life Summit, speaks to following your dreams. Would you tell me more about this idea?

It’s an interesting idea: to follow your dreams. Most people have dreams inside them, but they spend their lives trying to find something that will make money instead. They go to college and work hard every day to take care of their families, but in reality they are miserable. And they spend their lives trying to be happy, wondering why they are so miserable!

It is because they haven’t followed their dreams. If they follow their dreams they will be happy, but most people don’t see dreams that way and believe following their dreams won’t lead to making money. But that’s not true. The right sides of their brains, the creative side, and the left side, the logical side, fight each other. If they followed their dreams, they could live the life they want. I am a living example that following your dreams can happen and give you a wonderful life. When the left side of the brain kicks at the right side, people give up their dreams. There needs to be a cooperative balance between the two. My happy customers are living proof that my strategy works.

2. What brought you to write this book?

I had no plans to write this book, but everyone was so curious about how I came to live a happy life and why my clients were happier, that they asked me to write it. So I did!

3.   I attended one of your talks and found it inspiring. How did you learn that motivational expressions were your passions?

I do not consider myself a motivational or inspirational speaker as such. My passion is to teach clarity. And I didn’t ask myself: how I was
going to do that. I just sat in meditation, calmed my mind and focused. The clarity I got came because I had a passion to perform a service to help other people get clear. Surrendering through meditation keeps me on task.

4.  What dreams of your own are you working on?

I’d like to be able to help more people at once. I enjoy working with clients one-on-one but time often doesn’t allow that. When you work on an individual basis you can watch the results more closely – which is very satisfying. In groups I can offer help to more people on a wider spectrum. That’s what I’m developing right now.

5.  Do you have another book in mind? 

I’m thinking of writing books for children so they can be taught the concepts of following their dreams at a young age. I don’t have a lot of time to write, but this is of interest to me.

Tim Levy is the author of The Life Summit, written in the name of a process of self-discovery. The Life Summit is intended to help people strive for a better life, a more perfect life, one that follows their heart’s dreams because that’s where a life’s passion resides. Check it out and order:

Hope you enjoyed my interview with Tim Levy.

Until next time keep the pen moving,


August 21, 2011

The Most Fascinating Use for Cinnamon

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 8:00 pm

Cinnamon has been used in cookies and cakes all around the world. Its range of uses, however, extends far beyond use in desserts.

Together, cinnamon and raw honey create a synergistic combination that, according to health journals, help prevent and decrease many health conditions, making it useful as both a preventive and curative spice. Put equal amounts of cinnamon and raw honey on yogurt, oatmeal or solely on a plate to be dipped into with a banana.

Cinnamon helps relieve gas. If your digestion gives you trouble, try cinnamon. Sprinkle a little in a cup of tea after your meal.

Put 1/4 teaspoon in a cup of  tea or in plain hot water with honey, ginger and parlsey for a soothing health aid in winter.

Got a smell in your house from old garbage or cooked fish? Get rid of the smell by boiling a tablespoon of cinnamon in hot water. Let the vapors fill the air.

Cinnamon remarkably lowers LDL so if you have a problem with cholesterol, start eating cinnamon daily.

All these tips are good ones but none of these is as fascinating as what cinnamon can do to a mattress. Got a musty smell in your mattress? Take equal amounts of cinnamon, borax and baking soda. Dump the ingredients into a small collander and tap the edges allowing the ingredients to mix and sprinkle over the mattress. Leave it for the day – go out – come home and vacuum well.

Cinnamon is an antimicrobial and antifungal. Who knew?

Until next time,


August 13, 2011

Who Was Mrs. Levin??

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 4:09 pm

Mrs. Levin was my third grade teacher. She was blonde, short and rotound. She had a soft voice and easy manner and the thing I liked about Mrs. Levin the most was that she left me alone. That comment might not seem unusual for a grade schooler but truly-she left me alone. Now I don’t mean that she didn’t care about me or that she didn’t check out her class in case someone needed help. No. Mrs. Levin left me alone with confidence that I wasn’t doing something she needed to correct me for. I felt trusted by Mrs. Levin.

My parents were strict and watched me every inch of the way no matter what I was doing in order to make sure I didn’t do this wrong or make a mistake with that. It nearly drove me crazy but at the age of seven the definition of what you are going through doesn’t dawn on you until you face its opposite. Mrs. Levin offered me that opposite. Here is the moment I realized it. I still remember it so clearly. I was standing in the back of the room at an easel, a paintbrush in my hand and apron strings too long for my skinny body tied twice around my waist. I had an enlightened moment because I felt free, calm and comfortable in my skin-a feeling I wasn’t used to for the first time ever.

I can see my paintbrush even now, at the age of 61, suspended in my arm in mid-air as I looked for Mrs. Levin wondering if I was going to be yelled at for something. She was standing in the front of the room speaking with a student. She wasn’t hovering over me instructing me with each breath. She didn’t exhibit worry or that curious eye waiting for me to do something for which she needed to yell out a sentence of corrections. I was allowed space to paint without the stress of worrying if I got paint on my hand or floor or shoe. I think that might have been the first time I felt myself take a breath.

Mrs. Levin was soft, kind, caring and she gave me room to feel who I was as a little girl. I think of her often in gratitude. And when I’m feeling oppressed by someone I think of Mrs. Levin — and breathe.


August 8, 2011

Three Tips on Writing Romance

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 3:52 pm


Writing romance is not as easy as it seems because writing romance is similar to describing why we love chocolate. So why is writing romance so challenging? I think writing romance is challenging because we not only have to portray the hopes, wishes and desires of the heart but we face the daunting task of resolving the struggles in the love of two people either falling in love or trying to stay in love. And don’t we each dread that our hearts might be broken if we can’t make things work out?

Readers of romance enjoy being teased to open their hearts hoping all the conflicts will be resolved and love will conquer all. But too often writers of romantic novels struggle to add every detail of a sexual encounter believing sex is the same as romance. This approach
often sucks the life out of the fantasy we want to feel as romantic, feel the operative word here. Writing erotica in which sexual and explicit details abound, is not romance. Romance is seductive, enticing, playful with an innocence of purity. It begs the heart to open with trust and willingness.

Give your characters a unique slant on what is romantic for them. This will round out and add to the power of the relationship between your characters. What leads to romance for one person might not be the same for another. For instance, finding a red rose on a doorstep after a difficult day might be romantic for one person but another may feel romantic when a spouse buys tickets to a play, is taken to a fancy
dinner by their busy husband. True romance, no matter what the content, opens the heart and fills it.

Here are three tips to strengthen romantic scenes:

  1. Create a mood: A good romantic scene opens the heart and makes the reader melt before anyone takes off clothing. When someone
    pays attention to what is important it is romantic because it inspires intimacy. Open the heart, make a connection so the reader will feel romantic too. Ever see a fountain with colorful lights lit against the night sky? Ever hear yourself saying: “How romantic!”?
  2. Stop the mind: When selecting words to describe romantic scenes, try stating romantic feelings through similes-but not too many
    of them. One or two will do the trick because a simile takes the reader out of the literal and drops him/her into a world where the senses take over. Romance is a full-body experience.
  3. Create a union: Readers want to know that love will change unhappiness to happiness and the ordinary to extraordinary. It is what
    drives us to create romance again and again.  Readers want to feel joined to something bigger than them. Loving unions offer hope when something bigger than the two people involved evolve from their connection.

Writers write best when they write what they know. What does romantic feel like for you? What makes your heart unlock? Write those feelings out in great detail. Then give them to your character.

Until next time keep the pen free and moving,


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