If you’re facing trouble, relationship conflicts, struggles and pain that could deepen your character, let me ask you a simple question: Are you backing down from trouble? Are you afraid to show trouble who you really are? Have you, somehow, bought into the lie that creating a beautiful life would be easy? That you would never be opposed? That conflict would never involve hard work to reach for creative solutions?

A friend of mine recently shared Hello Trouble, a great Gerber knife video with me and as you go into this weekend… (more…)

Your Elusive Creative Genius – Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling Eat, Pray, Love that came out a few years ago has some remarkable things to say about creativity, genius, writing and the creative life. Though I wasn’t a big fan of the book and all the accompanying merchandising that came with the movie, I do appreciate her honest search for integrating her creative and spiritual life. Read more…

Never Underestimate the Power of Your Presence

Neverunderstimatethepowerofyourpresence Never Underestimate the Power of Your Presence

This past weekend, I was reminded in a very vivid way to never underestimate the power of my presence. If you are prone (like me) to underestimate the power of your presence, I hope this story offers you an encouraging reminder. You’ve heard it said that ‘99% of life is just showing up’ and ‘people don’t care what you know until they know you care.’

Especially when you see a man go into labor.

Well, sort of.  Krista, the kids and I had just returned home on Sunday from a summer family reunion. We were only home for an hour when one of my best friend’s sons came to the door and said, “Mr. O’Connor, my dad is lying on the bathroom floor.” Read on…

Have You Ever Dreamed of Writing A Book?

book Have You Ever Dreamed of Writing A Book?

If you’ve ever dreamed of writing a book, I have good news for you. Help is on the way! For years, I’ve met with many people who shared with me their dreams of writing their first book. If could be fiction. Non-fiction. A screenplay. A spiritual memoir or family history. Muchas ideas. Many dreams.

I’ve sat down with a lot of aspiring writers for a cup of coffee who have asked me, “How do I write my first book? Where do I begin? Should I self-publish or go for a traditional publisher? How do I write a book proposal?” Before you know, two to three hours have flown by as I’ve shared my best ideas. What has worked for me as well as my struggles and failures. All in the shared hope that my friends would go for it and pursue their dream of writing their first book. Along the way, I kept telling myself, “I could help more people if I just gather all this information together,” which is exactly what I’ve finally done. I’m excited to announce I’ve developed a very practical one-hour class called “Writing Your First Book.” I’ve packed about three hours of practical information into this helpful class designed to help you achieve your dream of writing your first book. Read on…

Top 10 Art, Life & Faith Blog Posts for Feb. 2013

Here are the Top 10 Art, Life & Faith blog posts for February, 2013. As I meet with artists and art leaders from across the country, I see a growing intentionality among artists to cultivate their spiritual growth and the creative gifts God has given them. As artists pursue the beauty, truth and goodness of God, the natural outflow influences their creative and imaginative gifts. I’ve seen an enthusiastic response of artists spending more time on Art, Life, & Faith watching the artist interview videos, reading and posting comments. Last month, the average time spent on the site was 21 minutes per visitor…the highest ever. Most important though, is helping you cultivate a deeper relationship with God and how to pursue excellence in your given craft…all to the glory of God. Read on…

artlifefaithtop10blogpostsfebruary2013 Top 10 Art, Life & Faith Blog Posts for Feb. 2013

Joey Passes Out, Hits Head on Curb, Doesn’t Die

If I’ve been a bit radar silent here on Art, Life & Faith for the past week or so, I have a really good doctor’s note. You’ve just read the Cliffs Notes version of my past week: Joey Passes Out, Hits Head on Curb, Doesn’t Die. Has all the makings of a bestselling book, doesn’t it? After two and a half days in South Coast Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach, I have a whopper of a story for you. It all started with that wee little flu bug that’s going around… Read on…

joeypassesouthitheadoncurbdoesntdie e1358195515651 Joey Passes Out, Hits Head on Curb, Doesnt Die

Top 10 Art, Life & Faith Posts for 2012

Thank you for your support and encouragement on Art, Life & Faith in 2012. I want to share with you the Top 10 posts for 2012 read by you and the rest of my friends. This past year, I saw more visitors and new subscribers to Art, Life & Faith than ever before. In writing about God, creativity, faith, the arts and the daily challenges of life, I hope you were inspired and encouraged to live a life of deeper meaning, creativity and purpose. Here’s a peek at the 2012 Art, Life & Faith posts that you and others enjoyed the most. Read on…Top10Artlifefaithpostsfor2012 Top 10 Art, Life & Faith Posts for 2012

 

Thomas Merton: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing

[T]homas Merton is my favorite spiritual writer. This now-dead Trappist monk and brilliant writer who lived a quiet and creative life of prayer at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, is one of the keenest theological minds of the 20th century. His thoughts and theology on creativity, the writing life, the restorative work of the Trinity and the kingdom of God on earth are elegant, weighty musings.

merton 1 Thomas Merton: Thoughts on Creativity & WritingThe best way I can describe reading Merton is this: Imagine Thomas Merton holding your head in a bucket under water for a few minutes. Suddenly, he pulls you up for air—a moment of brilliant clarity! You take a deep breath and then, he plunges you back down again! You don’t speed-read Merton. He has many thought-provoking thoughts on creativity and the writing life that I’d like to share with you today. I hope you find them as encouraging and insightful as I do. Read on…

A Wedding and A Funeral

I hope you’re having a great summer! Now it’s my family’s turn! I’ll be on vacation and off the grid for the next eight days. I wanted to leave you with one of the most popular posts that I wrote last year. It struck a nerve with many people who read it. I’d love your thoughts too. It’s about Kelly my niece, her wedding and some things I learned after attending a wedding and a funeral. Here’s a happy little ending…Kelly and Nick have been married for almost a year now…and they’re now expecting a little baby! If you know someone attending a summer wedding…or funeral…I hope you’ll be inspired to pass it on. I think there’s little reminders in here for everyone.


[L]ast Saturday, I went to my niece’s
wedding. It was an event our family has eagerly been waiting for all summer long. Kelly Dale, the bride, was gorgeous and Nick Giuni, the groom (a San Clemente City Lifeguard) looked smashing! The next Monday, though, I attended a funeral. A wedding and a funeral in three days…that’s a whole lot of emotion! Each gathering was filled with beautiful moments, but for different reasons. Allow me to explain…Kelly Parker 228x300 A Wedding and A Funeral

Introducing Sound of A Spine: Poetry & Performance of Nick Macedo

[I] am so pleased to announce a new video poetry ebook called Sound of A Spine: Poetry & Performance of Nick Macedo published by The Grove Center for the Arts & Media. Nick Macedo is an incredible twenty-five year old slam poet (one of Hollywood’s best) with an incredible grasp for ideas, language, symbol and the spoken word. When I saw Nick perform just over a year ago, I said to myself, “This guy’s phenomenal…I have to meet him.” At the time, I didn’t know how we’d work together, but I knew God had put us together for a special reason.

Now, it’s my pleasure for me to introduce you to Nick’s videos, written poems and performance photos.  If you’re looking for a really cool ebook gift idea or if you have a love for poetry, Sound of A Spine is a wonderful ebook experience optimized for the iPad, Kindle & Nook. Below, I recently interviewed Nick about his poetry and life as an artist. In the introduction to Sound of A Spine, I also tell the story of how Nick and I first met. If you’re open to the artistry and serendipity of God, you never know who you’re going to meet…read on…