Force Your Art Tear your Mind

burned-outThe belief has been long held that you shouldn’t force art. This notion has extended so far into our psyches that Vice Chair at IBM Academy of Tech Susan Puglia has been quoted “You can’t force creativity, problem solving, and invention. It’s a process that starts from within you.”

In recent years there has been an outcrying against this idea. Chuck Wendig has been a propoent that art is, and must, be forced. He contends that inspiration should not be equated to a light bulb going off over your head, just as a single match does not make a bonfire. You mush throw it into the wilds and help it grow.

Are either of these opinions right?

Fear sets in with the notion “Should I force my art? Will it be any good?” Many of you may have turned to this post in the hopes that I can guide you over that terrifying blank screen. That post will come at a later date.

For now I would like to focus on letting go.

I am writing to a different artist, The perfectionist, in the hopes today that, even though your creative work will never be “finished”, you must let it find a life of its own.

pulling-hair-outArt is often equated to children. Forcing anyone, or anything, to be something it isn’t can be a hair pulling experience both for the one pushing and the one being pushed.

The potter may spend hours on a single corner. The painter endlessly dabbing on those finishing touches. The writer will rewrite the same sentence over and over again looking for the perfect word combination.

Each in the pursuit of artistic perfection. Some can even be plagued long into the night trying to get the threads all wrappd up on an artistic endeavor. It is those of you that I am talking to.

Many say that to solve this problem you must tuck your art into a drawer and then come back to it after an extended period of time. Ludwig van Beethoven offers some good adive in the direction this blog has taken. “Don’t just practice your art, but force your way into its secrets.”

The easiest way that I have found to get my child to tell me something is not to berate her until she breaks and hands over the goods. (Unless she’s in trouble, but that’s not really relevent here.) In order to get my daughter to trust me with her secrets I must let her be herself. As she plays with, either her friends or her toys/books, ideas pop into her head. She then has to run over to me and tell me exactly what she was thinking or feeling.

She does like to interrupt everything, but taking the time to listen I have collected quite a bit of knowledge about my daughter.

Equating this to art would be the potter walking around with his creation, or the painter letting others look. The writer would have to let someone else take a peek at what their writing. People will form their opinions and in response the art will have found a voice to work through. Your art will begin to show you things about itself. Things that you as the artist were blind to becasue you had become focused on detailed perfection.

Release your art to its life just as it has released you to go and continue living yours. The greatest gift you can give your art would be to give it siblings.

Thanks for reading,
F.B. Wood

cover1P.S. If you would like more words of inspiration try  Daily Woodchips of Wisdomby Frederick and Joy Wood.

Posted in Advice, Family | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Writing Changes

thomas-edison-55052Thomas Edison invented over a thousand light bulb designs before discovering the light bulb as we know it today. When asked about his failures he simply replied, “I haven’t failed. I just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

My journey over the last two and a half years has been an amazing one. Blogging on the internet has become an amazing outlet for a writer like myself. I enjoy sharing my thoughts and ideas with all of you. But it is your comments I cherish most. They are the interactions in a community that we create together.

My undergraduate degree is almost complete. My scholastic endeavors have gotten me over my fears of technology. They have instilled in me a new confidence in my writings. I have been challenged time and time again only to rise to new heights.

And now I have to face the biggest challenge of my college education……letting go.

1418174_10202419380191654_234476514_n This website was a direct result of my schooling. It was created as part of an independent study and I was given a grade on the first four months of its existence. (I got an A in case you were wondering) It yielded positive results. My site began to see traffic and my books ended in some of your homes. (Another thought I highly cherish.)From there I began to add more and more and more facets to this project.

But I didn’t know where to go from there. I thought if I just kept blogging my books would draw the readers they deserved. My entrepreneurship classes have now taught me otherwise.

Woodchip of Wisdom: Great rewards arise when contributing to the world in a capacity you love.

Find more encouragement in our enlightening coffee table book  Daily Woodchips of Wisdomby Frederick and Joy Wood.


Currently if you think of our site what comes to mind. It’s personal. It’s positive. It’s well written. Those are all good, but you need to be able to sum up you website’s purpose in a single catch phrase.  People like to keep things simple.

Like Edison, I can now say, from first hand expericne, that I know a few things you should not do with your website.

It was brought to my attention that the only way to achieve my goals is delination. My gut reaction was to gouge out eyes and cut off tongues. I’ve worked on this site for so long what am I going to do with all the posts?

The answer: Keep them.

In the Woods Publishing will now be a blog for writers/creatives by writer/creatives. We will be giving burgeoning writers advice on the process and offering an outlet for them to publish their works. The blogs will have a more narrow approach focusing on topics such as fleshing out character, looking for places to submit, and fiction cover letters.  Fantasticalites will continue to be published and so is Concert House Rocks.  Both will become bound volumes, available for purchase, in the future.

In the Woods Publishing looks forward to aiding the creative community with the written word.

wtfBut you may ask what about “Inside the Cube” and all those personal blogs about you guys?

Inside the Cube is now slated to become its own entity. There is a big market out there looking for advice on human relations within the work place. A site for coping with working adults by a working adult. We want to focus a new website geared specifically for this market. The beauty of it is that there will be cross promotion between the sites in order to sell the availble books from In the Woods Publishing.

As for the personal blogs you guys are just going to have to ask us in person about how are lives are going or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

As a working father attending school these changes will not happen over night. I have two years worth of blogs to re-file.

This will be the last of the posts of this personal caliber. Fear also washes over me at the idea of revamping the website, but

Change wouldn’t be change unless it terrified you to some extent. 

Phoebe and meThanks for the last two years.
I hope you continue reading through the next twenty and beyond,
F.B. Wood

Posted in Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

5 Ways My Second Pregnancy is Already Different Than My First

Angry MommyI’ve been told that no two pregnancies are the same. I believed it, but I had no idea what it meant until this time around. So, here are few differences I’ve noted:
  •  It took much longer to conceive. With my first go round we weren’t trying and at 6 weeks it was quite a surprise to get that BFP on the HPT. So, when I threw away the pill this time we expected it to go bang. We ended up trying for months. After waiting 6 years to come around to the idea of adding to our family someone somewhere decided we needed to wait longer. Even though I knew I was pregnant my first two blood tests came back negative. The third one resulted in a fight witht he nurse, but I guess number three was the charm!
  •  My symptoms are more severe. Nothing as intense as hyperemesis gravidarum, but I still had to dig back through my old pregnancy journal I kept with Phoebe. I had minimal morning sickness that went as quickly as it came. No other symptoms to speak of. Right now, there are days I have to fight back the urge to vomit while there is still food in my mouth. I have developed the nose of a blood hound. I find myself avoiding the break room at work at all costs. All I lust after is sleep. All I want to do is marry my bed and never leave. Don’t get me started on the horrendous mood swings that seem to come out of nowhere, horrifying my poor unsuspecting husband and daughter.


cover1Woodchip of Wisdom: Travelers are we. All on the path with different destinations.

Find more encouragement in our enlightening coffee table book  Daily Woodchips of Wisdomby Frederick and Joy Wood.


  •  My boobs are bigger than before. Like so big they visibly jiggle when I laugh, but they are killing me every second of the day. Not the perk I was expecting. I did the smart thing and invested in some comfy nursing bras early, but even if I so much as brush up against one accidentally I’m cringing. My husband has also taken to sulking sometimes.
  • Family/Coworker reactions have been different. With my last baby my family wasn’t exactly over the moon (I was 23 and still in college), but my coworkers were ecstatic (which helped get me through the pregnancy blahs). This time around my boss and co-workers aren’t exactly thrilled since I will be needing to take maternity leave and my family is stoked this time, but are on the other side of the country. Being so far away from folks, it makes it difficult to share any kind of excitement about the pregnancy.
  • My maternity care/birth plan will have to be different. I had an amazing Midwife and water birth with my first baby. Upon moving to Nevada two years ago, finding a free standing birth center operated by Midwives was on the top of my Google search – to no avail. Due to the restrictive permits and guidelines within the state there are no free standing birth centers in Nevada. There are Midwives here, but most are split on either hospital only or home birth only, severely limiting my options. I’m still mapping out my birth plan with the help of an awesome local Doula.
hot mamaEven though this pregnancy is, and will continue to be, different than my first, my hubby is still right there next to me and committed to being the best birth partner that he can be. Plus Phoebe is ready to help anyway she can.
Thanks for reading,
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Forget Batman! Let’s idolize Bruce

anti BatmanLet’s face it no one reading this post is going to dawn a cap and cowl and jump rooftop to rooftop fighting bad guys and protecting the innocent. It would be an amazing experience, but you would have to pursue a lifetime of training just to stay alive.

Many of us pursue a lifetime of bills just to stay alive. So, I say forget Batman. His is a mantle of justice and equality by any means necessary. It is not the cap and cowl that up holds this ideal, but the man that wears it.

So, let’s take a moment to examine Bruce Wayne. He spends his available time walking and talking amongst some of Gotham’s finer citizens. Many of them maintian the opinion that he is a spoiled spoon fed child living off of daddy and mommy’s old money.

Bruce maintains and perpeturates this opinion. Even though we know it isn’t true.  He is there for his friends when they call. He donates vast fortunres to chairties. He even maintains businesses, that only break even, just so people can have a job.

So, WHY?  Why let everyone think somethings true when it isn’t?


cover1Woodchip of Wisdom: Big thoughts lead to big reality. Bad thoughts lead to bad reality.

Find more encouragement in our enlightening coffee table book  Daily Woodchips of Wisdomby Frederick and Joy Wood.


Some would call this decption or maniputlation. Something that shouldn’t be practiced in mainstream society. So, why would this be a good thing. Bruce Wayne lies, by detail omission, to every person he meets.

An ancient chinese proverb says “It is a wise man that plays the fool.”

Bruce WayneSome people look in the mirror and see what others see and believe it. While others see what others see and use it as a mask. A shield to hide behind. You know how people will react to you in given situations. You can anticipate this to either make your life easier, guide people, or do what Bruce does, extract information.

Playing the fool doesn’t mean you act silly or blurt out ridiculous sentences. Playing the fool is an act full of questions that allows others to guide you to an answer.  Or in some cases the fool’s questions guide the other person to an answer. As the fool it is your part to show others what they don’t want to be or how they shouldn’t think.

We all want what we want. We even use other people to get them to achieve those actions for us. It is the over use of this common practice that gets so many of us into hot water. Without offering anything in return for the actions you are just needlessly using people.

Bruce Wayne’s sense of justice would never let him do this. There is always something better coming to the people that Bruce interacts with and he knows when enough is enough.

So, PHOOOEY to Batman. His actions serve no purpose in the real world. It is Bruce’s master use of suggestion that is a talent to be admired in this world. Knowing how to help people whether they realize they are being helped or not. It’s not manipulation if everyone benefits in the end with a smile.

tough thoughtIf we were to ask Bruce what is hardest about this his response would most likely be maintaining balance. You don’t want to let on too much, but you still want to make everything okay for everyone in the end.

Fools help people to realizations with backward means, but that doesn’t make their advice any less wise. 

Thanks for reading,

Posted in Advice, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adventures in Baby Growing

Infant Phoebe on the right.

Infant Phoebe on the right.

Seven years have passed since I found myself staring down at a solid blue plus sign. After the birth of my daughter in 2009, I suffered from a massive post-partum hemorrhage that no one saw coming. One moment we were celebrating and in the next I was goin into shock. Feeling fuzzy and listening to that distinctive ringing in my ears.

      Coming around to the idea of having another child has taken several years. I still have the a strange feeling about someone else’s blood as it courses through my body. Yet, the shock and pain from the transfusion are a foggy memory.
      I was ready to try again. And lots of trying it took. I thought, “I’m still young,” There were no troubles conceiving the first time around. (Other than we weren’t trying.) Why would this time be any different?

************************************************************************* BookCoverImage

Check out Smithing the Word By F.B. Wood featuring suspense, sci-fi, and stunning poetry.
Follow us on Twitter @Inthewoodspub or
Follow F.B. on Twitter @FrederickWoodII 

      “Endometriosis.” It was the doctor’s offical diagnosis for my cramps in 2012. For those of you unaware that, right there, was a strike against my fertility. Even for healthy couples it can take up to a year to conceive. This was new to me. I was still under the impression that if my husband even looked at me when I wasn’t on some form of contraceptive that I would find myself knocked up.
      Worry overtook me around the third month. I’m 29. That’s awfully close to 30. This is that dreaded time when a woman’s egg count can begin to significantly decline. Obsession could only began to describe the dilligence I took when tracking my ovulation, measuring my basal temperature, & downloading every fertility app I could find. Even my dear hubby made some changes in order to protect his swimmers at all costs i.e. less drinking, less bike riding, and no hot baths.
   wtf   Nothing was working.
      Research increased, diet changes occured, and I went so far as to learn uterine massage. Finally, I gave up trying to make the optimal conditions happen. I said, “Screw it,” and tossed all my charts, tracking measures, basal thermometers out the window where they littered the streets and were swept away by the wind. (Not literally, though.)
      Family was in town for spring break at the end of March. That was reason enough to take some time off. Come April, Aunt Flo missed her visit. I didn’t think much of it because I’m not a fairly regular person and the HPTs were all negative.
       The weeks marched on and still no flo. I called my doctor, she ordered blood tests, and recieved all negative results. Concerned that something had interupted my cycle my doctor put me on Progesterone. At the end of the 12 days, my cycle was supposed to return to normal. baby buggy
     No Aunt Flo with only one pill to go. Signs had begun to balloon up in front of me as to why nothing was happening. My body wouldn’t be ignored any longer. (Hello, sore boobs!). Something told me to take another test. Less than 30 seconds later I was looking at the bright blue positive appear in that little window. I got my first BFP in seven years. Two more tests were peed on just to make sure.
 joy     The doctor’s nurse wanted to argue over my 3 positives, “But you JUST had a blood test!” she protested. After two more rounds of blood tests, it was official. We were pregnant with baby #2.
If you would like us to continue making updates. Let us know with your comments.
Thanks for reading,
Joy Wood
Posted in Family | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concert House Rocks: An End They’ll Remember

big boomBy God they will remember me. First, for my work ethic/production and Second becasue I was the last person they were expecting an explosion  from. There were some worries with what was going to happen. When it was time to walk away from the Concert House I almost shit a brick.

He is “boss.”

He demands his authority and disregards your respect interpreting it as fear. A device he exploits long and hard for his own means.  But he’s been told by his superiors he’s supposed to be a nice guy.  So, he plasters on a fake smile and grits his teeth behind his lips.

There are somethings about the Concert House that are no different than any other work world.

The “boss” at the Concert House would spend the majority of the shows down in his office watching the various security camera screens. When he did surface during a show he had only words of criticism for anyone other than the supervisor.  If a fight were to break out he would stand idly by watching us as we dealt with the situation.

What privilegies we did have, i.e. shift drinks and hanging out after work, were taken away after a few months when he found out we were eating into his personal bonus by drinking the beer. Others would see it as a small price to pay for employee happiness.

************************************************************************** BookCoverImageLooking for a great book to relax with.  Be sure and check out Smithing the Word By F.B. Wood featuring suspense, sci-fi, and stunning poetry.       Follow us on Twitter @Inthewoodspub or Follow F.B. on Twitter @FrederickWoodII 


In the time that I worked there we only had two employee meetings and they only happened after major catastrophes, dropping a crowd surfer(future blog) and when the weapon showed up (future blog).

pissed bossInstead of trying to figure out how to be a better boss he continually blamed the crew. Even chastizing us openly in front of the other employees. So, the best way to get along with him was to fly under his radar, speaking little, and doing your best not to get caught screwing up.

Biting my tongue was difficult. There were plenty of times to be outraged, but if the boss wasn’t breathing down my neck then all I could do was shake my head at the poor slob who was getting the boss’s breath. The difficulty persisted after customers began to insult me, scream at me, kick me, punch me, and give death threats.

But after the engagment I wrote about in One vs the Many and I Lost I couldn’t hold my tongue anymore. I was not going to stand idly by after being openly assaulted, insulted, and threatened all in the same night without so much as an acknowledgement from the “boss”.

Locating a phone number for Human Resources proved more difficult than I thought.  After several fruitless hours scouring the internet the only thing I could find was the owner of the Concert House on LinkedIN.  So, being a member I sent him a message. In it I detailed, with dates, several instances that the promoter of this show had brought a violent element into the venue.  To include the most recent one where I got my ass kicked.

It took less than twenty four hours to hear a response, but it didn’t come from the bigwig. It didn’t even come from the “boss”. It came from my immediate supervisor who instructed me to call him through a text.  After a few pleasantries he informed me that he heard from the “boss” and he was told “prostitutes shouldn’t complain about being f*&^#*”.

All I had was silence for my supervisor. He asked me to come into talk about it with the “boss”. I said okay and then called Joy. She was quick to agree to my plan.

It’s funny that you can think a thought a thousand times, but when its time to deliver it comes out all weird.

The “boss” stood with TV dinner in hand when I walked through the door. He wanted to know why I hadn’t come to him directly with this problem. He said that he had always liked my work. He wanted to know why he had to have his ass chewed out by his boss? So, I told him that who he thinks he is and he who really is are two completely different people. All he had for me was a quizzical look.

I dropped my ear piece into his hand, quit on the spot, and thanked him for my time.

Did it make a difference? I don’t know. I don’t think it ever has, but at least I’m not sitting around seething with the need to tell off my old boss.  I did hear that now the “boss” holds weekly meetings before shows.

Cannon_FireLike I said, they will all remember as I shoot my cannons into the good quiet night.

So, does this mean that this is the end of the Concert House?  Certainly, not.  I maintained a very accurate journal. I have excerpts to share that needed the cases to close before I could write about them.  I still have to tell you about the best show I ever heard there. What it was like on to deal with an underage drunk who went to the hospital. All this and so much more.  Looking forward to blogging all about it.

The greatest gift is that you walk away with your head held high with no regrets. 

Thanks for reading,

Posted in Concert House | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Conquered Fear

frightened PhoebeI have been homeschooling Phoebe since she was a year old. At the age of six this commitment to her education has put her at the top of her kindergarten class, has her reading on a fourth grade level, and she has begun to write her own short stories with correct spelling.  Joy and I couldn’t be more proud with her success, but that is not what this post is about.

This post is about the fear she confronted when she competed  in the area Spelling Bee hosted by the Boys and Girls Club. She was invited after she won her school Spelling Bee for kindergaten.

We couldn’t wait to watch her show off her stuff.   Phoebe was so excited she couldn’t stop talking about what might happen.  We walked through the newly built Boys and Girls downtown location and immediately stood in line.

Phoebe had to register, but her waiting paid off when she got her shirt for participation. They even provided a light breakfast. Which we had to wolf down because by the time we were through the line the competition was beginning.

Phoebe located the classroom for the competition where sat fifteen little wooden chairs in a row at the front, and four lines of bigger chairs for the spectators.

There was a word list that was made available to us. After being asked to spell a few words Phoebe took the list, sat down in one of the little wooden chairs, and began to study.  I was amazed at her dedication.

Woodchip of Wisdom: All you can do is throw the woodchips into the air having them fall where they may. It is up to everyone else to pick them up and start a fire.

Find more encouragement in our enlightening coffee table book  Daily Woodchips of Wisdomby Frederick and Joy Wood.


After ten more minutes the judges entered. The show was about to begin. It started by having the rules read aloud. Then the names of all the children were read. A slight snafu occurred, to which Joy quickly rectified, when Phoebe’s name didn’t make it onto the list.

Her name was quickly penciled in.

Each of the fifteen children took their turn at spelling a word. Only four out of the first fourteen moved on for a chance at the top three spots. Phoebe watched as, one by one, more than half the field eliminated itself. Then it was her turn.

She stood up and faced the judge ready to speak. Her face became as long as she could make it as she turned beat red. Fighting tears is a hard thing to do at six.

We wanted to help her, but both Joy and I were stuck. We didn’t want anyone to accuse of us cheating, but we so desperately wanted to give her the hug she wanted. We encouraged the best we could from the sideline, but to no avail.

She had to face the judge and spell the word to him and only him. She had only ever spelled for us in the past.  She wouldn’t let herself turn around.  I was ready to move. I took a step, but the judge’s assistant was faster.

She got up from her chair, tenderly turned Phoebe around holding her hand, and pointed to the judge. “You just have to spell the word. Are you ready?” Phoebe nodded with tears in her eyes.  She was contantly trying to wipe them away with her fist.


With a shaking voice coated in tears she began to spell.

“B—-L—-U—-E.” The crowd, all thirty of us, errupted with applause.  Phoebe and the judge’s assistant both took their seats. We still couldn’t run to her as the kids were still vying for the three spots. So, her tears subsided, but didn’t disappear.

Fortunately, for her two out of the first four kids misspelled their words and Phoebe moved onto the finals without having to spell another word in the preliminaries.

Phoebe hugShe ran to us.  Joy sat down on the ground as Phoebe buried her face in Joy’s shoulder. Parents and judges alike congratulated Phoebe on her accomplishment. All she wanted to do was go home.  After a little tickling and a trip to look at the trophies Phoebe started to pull herself together.

The bee went in reverse order starting with high schoolers and moving backwards. Phoebe witnessed as kids older than her struggled for the top spot. There were quite a few wars between kids, but most ended in the C’s.  (The list of words being asked were in alphabetical order. There were some groups that didn’t get past the A’s before declaring a winner.)

Third place was quickly established in the kindergarten group, but Phoebe and her rival put on a show. There challenge pushed through the D’s, and into the F’s where Phoebe fell to her final word. Down.  She misheard the word “done”. Though she spelled it correctly it was still the wrong word. The winner won, coincidently, with the word “fun”.

Phoebe trophy

Phoebe accepted her second place trophy happily and when she was asked if it was fun. She said yes.

Fear is left behind when a challenge is met head on. Win or lose the second time around gets easier. 

Thanks for reading, and all of your online interactions.

Posted in Family, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments