If you’re reading this…

If you’re reading this, then you follow my blog Random Acts of Writing — either by email, or from Facebook, or within the blogging community at WordPress.

According to WordPress there are about 1,500 of you who might, at any moment, read something I’ve written or see something I’ve seen. How cool is that?

Of course, some of us remember the old days of WordPress, when we seemed a little more connected than we do now. But that was before the shorthand days of Facebook, the cryptic moments of Twitter, and the no-words-necessary glances at Instagram and Tik-Tok.

We weren’t memes back then, we were writers and poets, philosophers and considerers, photographers and artists, sharing ourselves with the world. And the world shared back. Not just with a thumbs-up or heart emojis, but with questions and conversations. Some so real, we’d find ways to meet in person to keep talking. Imagine!

One of my dearest friends today is someone I met right here, in the comment field of this very blog. Seriously! Here we are, seven years ago, meeting in-person for the first time. >>>

Some of you have been following Random Acts of Writing from its very beginning — 10 years ago this month! Some of you have joined us along the way, and some of you are brand new to this hodge-podge of writing, photography, art, and musings I call my blog.

No matter your history here, I’d like to say Welcome and Thank You and Please Keep in Touch. Because if you’re reading this, you’re curious and inquisitive and maybe of like mind to start a cool and lasting conversation. I’d like that.

Discover the Magic of Nature: Just in Time for the Holidays!


Offered as an antidote to the fast pace of our lives and the toll it takes on our minds and spirits, the book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness is a clarion call to get up and get out — to look up from our work, our distractions, our routines — and to find our way back to the simple pleasure of being in Nature.

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“LOOK UP! asks us to pause for a time, look around us and breathe in all the magic in our world. This is a book to keep close by and re-read again and again.”

– Margaret Iacobellis, Poet/Writer

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Written by Connecticut writer Jen Payne, LOOK UP! includes 75 essays and poems, 100 original, color photos of the woods and shoreline of New England, and quotations of philosophers, poets, naturalists, and treasured writers. CLICK HERE to learn more about LOOK UP! or order from our Etsy shop now!

A perfect gift for friends, family,
and those who love to be outdoors!


For local orders, please contact us directly to save on shipping costs.

Incoming Message from the Universe: Just Get a Room

The Apple website serves as the start-up page on my browser, and last week it hosted a tribute to Steve Jobs on the one-year anniversary of his death. In voice-over, Steve spoke:

“There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love, ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’”

For just about two days, that noteworthy quote greeted me every time I went online. I say “just about” because the voice-over was accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma’s rendition of Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in G Major for Cello. Love the quote, totally respect Steve Jobs, and Yo-Yo rocks, but I could not take hearing “dum da dah da dah dah dum da dah da dah dah” one. more. time.

And then I got to thinking…surely there is a better way to greet the internet every day than the uber-present Apple, which gets far-and-away enough product placement as it is. So I switched over to a meditation site that posts inspiring quotes and images everyday. Some food for thought—soul food, perhaps?

Yesterday’s post read as follows:

Use the talent existence has given you 
because when using it, 
your being is nourished, 
it dances, it sings, it is happy,
it is in tune with existence. 
These are the signs. — Dharma

That message was still making its way through my grey matter when I met with a writer-friend for lunch yesterday. What would we do, we asked each other, if we could not do this work we do — she her book-writing, me my book-designing. “I would write more,” I told her. “I need to write more.”

“What stops you?” she asked, and I gave her my well-trod litany of explanations: the business, deadlines, household chores. I have been here before — the left-brain reasonings falling like flimsy excuses at the feet of the right. It is the red-blue stalemate of my daily existence: that which I must do and that which I love.

When I arrived home, an email from Poets & Writers Magazine was waiting in my inbox. I noticed it right away from its subject line:

How to Balance Your Writing with Everything Else

Online, a Freshly Pressed blog caught my attention as well. In it, poet John Davis talked about finding one’s way to regular Writing in Real Life.

“Just because life demands greater attention to things of necessity doesn’t mean that I should completely cast aside any and all writing endeavors. And neither should you.”

It was no accident, I realized then, that I just happened to drop a copy of Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones into my purse on Saturday; that I just happened to have time to read it while waiting for a friend; that I just happened to open to a page that read:

“If you want a room to write in, just get a room.”

No accident at all.

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©2012, Jen Payne

And so it comes…

We were heading into the big one — you know, NEW YEAR’S EVE. As big and as full of anticipation as Valentine’s Day. For some.

For others, it’s a Holiday, filled with the expectation of traditions: great food, champagne, horns and hats, midnight, Dick Clark.

And for others, it’s a time to reflect quietly — hoping to honor the passing of time, to meditate on changes we might like to make, to celebrate with good friends and loved ones.

So there we were, the three of us — Anticipation, Expectation and Hope — planning to spend the eve before the new year, together. At my house.

Anticipation wanted to party like a rock star. As the illustrious Prince would say: “Dance, Music, Sex, Romance!”

Expectation had planned a full-course, sit-down dinner with champagne cocktails and a João Gilberto CD to set the mood.

Hope arrived with runes and tarot cards, sweet hand-made gifts, and sparklers to welcome in the new year while gazing at the midnight sky.

As you might imagine, there was a sprinkle of anxiety mixed in with all that eclectic fanfare. Would Anticipation get to dance? Would Expectation get the dinner party she imagined? Would Hope spend the night with dear friends or get caught up in cacophony?

And then, before you knew it, New Year’s Eve arrived.

Anticipation helped set the table for dinner while wearing a sparkly outfit and drinking champagne.

Expectation surprised her with a pile of dance CDs, then bounced herself silly until two in the morning.

Hope filled the room with her good nature, then gathered us outside under the stars to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

And so it comes…no matter Anticipation, Expectation, or Hope. It just comes.

• • •

“And so it comes…” ©2012, Jen Payne, Branford, CT

Image: Cronus, the ruling Titan, represents chronology, movement through linear time.