Thursday, October 28, 2021

Understanding the Symbolic Halo in Paintings and How It Relates to Creativity

I'd mentioned a band of energy around my skull and a friend asked for a fuller explanation. This explanation comes from my years of experiencing my energy body and what I did to effect changes to it. I was born with this awareness. I didn't know until my early twenties that others didn't share this experience.


When you see Christian paintings with halos, the halos are symbolic of a band of energy that goes around the crown of the skull.

Think of the spine as a 220 volt current, and the body 110. In the arms and legs you have a strong lines of current. Same for chest and back.

The restrictions in the flow of energy in the body are a reflection of and embodiments of the patterns of thought on the mental landscape.

The muscles tend to hold those restrictions, so when I did the bellows breathing, the muscles in my arm would spasm as that restricted flow opened up.

Took a year of doing bellows breath 3 to 4 hours a day to open the various restrictions in energy flow around my body.

Depression is restrictions in the energy flow in the body that don't manifest as pain. When you are sick with the flu and have aches and pains, those are restrictions in the energy flow, but the restriction that cause depression don't manifest as physical pain.

When you had that experience of muscles of your back in spasms (when I touched your back to transfer energy), that extra current released some restriction and tension in those muscles. Now when you get to the head, there is a really tight band of energy that runs around the skull. It's supper strong, super intense, and very difficult to change the flow. When I did bellows breathing and managed to open that band slightly, the released force would throw me out a bed into a wall.

When I experience that flow now, it feels like a tight, metallic band.

Many years ago while in therapy I was doing five 12 step groups a week. Since there was a lot of quiet time, I would visualize a current of energy going from my spiritual eye back to the medulla and then back to the spiritual eye.

I basically did this for an hour a night, for six months. As time when on, I could feel the flow of energy.

Then one of those bands rolled on one side of my head. That's when I started to go into high moods of creativity, connecting to info in the universe, not in my mind.

11 weeks later the other side rolled, and my states of intense creativity and connection to a deeper understanding coming in from outside my mind continued.

11 weeks later, the tight bands of energy around my face opened up.

This was all accompanied by my getting my brain re circuited, a very odd and strange process. Think skull being drilled and ants walking on skull. But when those new circuits opened, I could stay in a high mood as I taught.

The work I'm doing now is to again open that band around my crown.


My friend asked me about how this relates to her experience of Satori, an expansion of consciousness and feeling connected to the wider universe.

Yes you can experience Satori, and hold on to the experience, and experience it again, but at some point you return to the mind, the energy body that is an expression of the mind, and the body. And if the energy flow is restricted, that's what you return to.

When I was young, I thought deep meditation would make me great at relationships, but I was terrible. I was raised in a dysfunction environment and that was the mind and body I returned to when I wasn't meditating. The lessons I learned growing up where embedded in my mind. I needed therapy to start unlearning those lessons.


Bill Johnson is the author of a writing workbook, A Story is a Promise, available on Amazon and Smashwords. The ideas in the book came from his spiritual experiences.

Friday, October 22, 2021

CONTRACTS, COPYRIGHTS AND TAXES, OH MY! – What writers need to know about business

You pitched the book proposal–now the agent or publisher wants the manuscript. But what’s all this about contracts, copyright, invoices, and quarterlies? If it’s on the Internet, I can use it, right? Am I a business or a hobby? Should I incorporate? Why do I need social media, a website, and public speaking engagements when I only crave solitude and time to write? And why do I want a brand if I don’t punch cows?

Successful writers have split personalities. The creative side crafts great works. The other side takes care of business. Learn how to take care of business so you can continue to write the good stuff.

This is an intermediate/advanced level course for writers who have some publishing credits and are looking to prepare themselves to take their writing from being a hobby to being a business. Attendees will gain practical information about creating a writing life, selling their work and treating writing as a business.

Attendees will leave with a thorough handout. This meeting will take place online on November 2nd from 7:00 to 8:30.

About David Paul Williams

Years of freelance magazine writing lead to writing a book, Fly Fishing For Western Smallmouth (Stackpole Books 2014) which lead to more magazine writing, media presentations and teaching at writers conferences around the West. David is Department Editor of Flyfishing & Tying Journal, former Editor-In-Chief of Flyfisher, In The Field Editor of Washington-Oregon Game & Fish and Business Topics Editor of ArrowTrade.

When not writing or teaching, he is a practicing lawyer in Bellevue, Washington. He lives with the love of his life, a novelist and short story writer who inspired him to write.

How to Join

Click here to register for the meeting:

Support your chapter

Our meetings are free and online throughout the crisis, but we can still use your help! If you can, donate here online. Every little bit helps keep your community strong.

To learn more about Willamette Writers, visit

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Fearless Marketing, with William Kenower

Presented by Willamette Writers Vancouver Chapter Via Zoom

Mon, Oct 18 · 6:30 PM PDT

Most writers’ love of storytelling does not easily translate to marketing those stories once they are published. Unfortunately, authors are increasingly responsible for their own marketing, a task most writers find boring, irritating, depressing, and often fruitless. In this presentation, William Kenower turns marketing on its head so that authors can take the skills and passion they have for writing and learn how to apply them to marketing. This is not a how-to-market presentation. Instead, it is a how-to-enjoy-marketing presentation. Once you enjoy it, once you stop being afraid of it, you’ll learn how to market your book the same way you learned how to write it.

How to join

Click the registration link below, enter your name and email address, and you will receive the meeting link immediately. You will also be able to add the meeting to your calendar.

Register in advance for the October 18 Vancouver Chapter meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Willamette Writers chapter meetings are free for members to attend, and we ask for a $5 donation from guests:

For information on how to become a Willamette Writers member, click here:

About the presenter

William Kenower is the author of “Everyone Has What It Takes: A Writer’s Guide to the End of Self-Doubt,” “Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence, and Write Within Yourself: An Author’s Companion,” and the Editor-in-Chief of Author magazine, and host of the podcast Author2Author. In addition to his books, he’s been published in The New York Times, Writer’s Digest, Edible Seattle, Parent Map, and has been a featured blogger for the Huffington Post.

Friday, October 8, 2021

A Reading by Judith Barrington Livestreamed on the Ledding Library YouTube Channel

A Reading by Judith Barrington

Livestreamed on the Ledding Library YouTube Channel

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 6:30 PM (PDT)

The Milwaukie Poetry Series Committee and the Ledding Library of Milwaukie are delighted to continue the 15th season of the Mlwaukie Poetry Series with a reading by Judith Barrington.

Her reading will livestream on October 13, 2021 on the Ledding Library YouTube Channel. You can register for this event with Tom Hogan at It will then be available for viewing on demand on the Ledding Library YouTube Channel and on DVD through the library.

Judith Barrington’s sixth collection of poetry, Long Love: New & Selected Poems, 1985 - 20178 came out in 2018 from Salmon Poetry. She is also the author of The Conversation (2015), whose title poem was the winner of the Gregory O’Donoghue International poetry award, and three previous collections of poems, as well as two chapbooks. Her Lifesaving: A Memoir was the winner of the Lambda Book Award and finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir.

Among her other awards are: The Robin Becker Chapbook Prize, The Andres Berger Award, The Dulwich Festival International Poetry Competition, an American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Expression Award, and, from Literary Arts, The Stuart H. Holbrook Award for outstanding contributions to Oregon’s literary life (with Ruth Gundle).

Judith co-founded The Flight of the Mind Writing Workshops, which for seventeen years brought together outstanding teachers and women writers from all over the US at a residential summer event on the McKenzie River in Oregon. She is also one of the founders of Soapstone, a nonprofit organization working to support women writers.

Judith was, for several years, on the faculty of the low residency MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. She has taught at numerous universities and writing workshops across the USA, and has led classes for The Poetry School in London and the Almassera in Spain. Born in Brighton, England, she lived in Spain for three years and has now lived in Oregon for 45 years, where she where she has added disability activism to the many other causes she has been committed to over her life.

For information or questions about the reading and to join the group list, please contact the Series Coordinator Tom Hogan at 503.819.8367 or

Friday, September 10, 2021

Query Letters That Work, with Curtis C. Chen

Query Letters That Work, with Curtis C. Chen

September 20 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Presented by Vancouver Willamette Writers. All are welcome.

So you’ve written a novel. Great! Now let’s talk about how to sell it. Query letters are still the best way to get an agent (and there’s a specific format that agents expect to see), but the skills used to write a query will also help you with other aspects of book marketing and promotion, no matter how you publish. Curtis will discuss how to feature the important parts of the story without telling the whole story.

How to join
Click the registration link below, enter your name and email address, and you will receive the meeting link immediately. You will also be able to add the meeting to your calendar.

Register in advance for the September 20 Vancouver Chapter meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Willamette Writers chapter meetings are free for members to attend, and we ask for a $5 donation from guests:

For information on how to become a Willamette Writers member, click here:

About the presenter
Once a Silicon Valley software engineer, Curtis C. Chen (陳致宇) now writes stories and runs puzzle games near Portland, Oregon. He’s the author of the Kangaroo series of funny science fiction spy thrillers and has written for the Realm originals Ninth Step Murders, Machina, and Echo Park 2060 (forthcoming). Curtis’ short fiction has appeared in Playboy Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, Oregon Reads Aloud, and elsewhere. His homebrew cat feeding robot was displayed in the “Worlds Beyond Here” exhibit at Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum. Visit him online:

Kathleen Colvin
Vancouver Chapter Chair
Pronouns: she/her and they is always okay
Willamette Writers
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This post was generated by Bill Johnson, author of A Story is a Promise, a writing workbook,

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Outsider As Character Type - Review of The Outsiders

The outsider is an enduring character type in fiction, TV series, and movies.

There are many reasons for this.

When an outsider arrives in a new environment, he or she upsets the current status quo. This naturally generates dramatic questions. What will be the outcome of this upset? Will the outsider replace a current leader? Change the direction of a group?

Another form of this character type is someone within a group who changes.

An example of this is S. E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders.

The POV character is Ponyboy. He's a Greaser. Wears his hair long, carries a switch blade, and fights in rumbles with his gang against others, mainly SOCs, pronounced SOSHes.

He's also a high school freshman who gets straight As.

His family is a brother named Soda who has already dropped out of high school, and an older brother, Darry, who at 20 works two jobs to support his brothers after the death of their parents. Darry also yells at Ponyboy a great deal out of concern that his conformity to being a Greaser might lead him to become a hoodlum. Dally, a wild man and member of the gang, has crossed that line, robbing gas stations and committing other crimes.

Johnny is another young member of the gang and his actions drive the story. Before the story begins, Johnny had been stomped by a group of Socs, well-off kids who drive fancy cars and appear to want for nothing.

The Socs and Greasers are tribal enemies who fight whenever their paths cross.

Johnny enjoys sunsets. He's a sensitive soul but has been born into this Greaser tribe.

At a fair, Johnny and Ponyboy end up spending some time with Cherry, a cheerleader, and another Soc girl, because their dates came to the fair drunk. The girls are impressed by Johnny's love of sunsets, and Cherry has a way of making Ponyboy understand that she has a depth of understanding about life he'd never suspected. She also conveys that just being a Soc does not guarantee an easy life, which is a revelation to Ponyboy.

When a fight with Darry sends Ponyboy out of the house, he and Johnny are cornered by Cherry's angry boyfriend and a few others near a fountain. One of the Socs says he's going to kill Ponyboy by holding his head under water. Johnny stabs and kills the Soc and he and Ponyboy are now on the lam with the aid of Dally.

They have to cut their long Greaser hair to hide out in an abandoned church in a nearby small town.

A fire erupts in the abandoned church. Ponyboy and Johnny rush into the burning building to rescue some trapped young boys.

Ponyboy rescues several boys and gets out, but Johnny is seriously wounded. Pony and Johnny are now celebrated as heroes.

It comes out that Cherry and another Soc are willing to testify that Johnny was just protecting Ponyboy. They are going against their tribe. Pony again must confront the idea that all Socs have an ideal life with no concerns.

The novel ends with Pony reunited with his brothers, but with a deepened understanding of life. He now appears ready to want the better life that Darry wants for him.

The Outsiders provides a wonderful example of the drama that can be created by a built in conflict between tribes and the conflict when a tribal member challenges the status quo.

Changes in the status quo of a family, clan, or tribe fuels many novels. It embeds conflict into the fabric of a story's world.

Hinton's The Outsiders is a novel that has spoken to different generations of young people trying to find their place in the world.


For more essays about the craft of writing, visit my website at

To find A Story is a Promise on Amazon, use this link,

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Welcome to Information about the Willamette Writers 2021 Online Conference

At Willamette Writers, we are passionate about the community, craft, and career of all writers.

This year's conference will be completely online via Zoom! That means you get a front row seat for all of our keynotes, workshops, panels, and events!

We’re making it even easier for you to pitch to your selected agents without having to worry about missing out on workshop programming, by offering pitching and critiques July 29th and 30th, and our workshops and panels on July 31st and August 1st.

Our keynote speakers will be New York Times best-selling Young Adult and Sci-Fi author, Daniel José Older, and PEN/Bellwether Prize winner for socially engaged fiction and Portland-born author, Heidi W. Durrow.

Conference registration gains you access to sign up for Master Classes: 6 hour focused classes led by a curated group of revered authors! 

Registering for our conference will also enable you to pitch your ideas to a stellar lineup of agents who want to hear from you! Our Advanced Manuscript Critiques will enable you to submit your work in progress ahead of the conference, and meet with your chosen industry professional at the conference for an in-depth critique of your manuscript.

We thank you for being part of our community, and can’t wait for you to join us this summer! 

Find out more at


Conference Registration:


Early bird until May 31 $249

June 1 onward $299

(become a member)


Early bird until May 31 $324

 June 1 onward $374

Additional opportunities:

Master Classes: Members $199, Guests $274

Pitches: $25

Advanced Manuscript Critiques: $75

 Register here: