Who wants to join me for Na No Wri Mo Month?

Okay, all you closet writers, who wants to join me for National Novel Writing Month in November?

Na No Wri Mo is a fun-filled month of frantic writing if you are anything like me. Why is frantic? Glad you asked, it is because you agree to write 50,000 words in 30 days. For me and my wring process that’s a lot! There are many organized and informal writing events or opportunities that go on with Na No Wri Mo to help us along

I have participated twice in Na No Wri Mo, once formally in 2015. I went to the designated meeting spots (one was a Husky 24 hr. Restaurant) in Calgary where I met with a dozen or so crazy writers and we waited until exactly 12:00:01 am on November 1st before we started writing. It was a lot of fun, to be with a plethora of young enthusiastic writers.

I also participated in a second Na No Wri Mo in 2016, which saw me chained to my own computer. Which was just as successful. But not nearly as fun!

I’d love to have a group of us form an informal writing support group. I don’t know what this could look like. But I’d love to hear from you if this interests you! Drop me a line at neil@shindao.com

All in my head!

This past weekend, was a clean up things so that I could free my mind to write deal. Historically, I have a hard time writing when I have any kind of list of things to do. The todo list seems to be an oppressive weight on my writing ability. So I spent, friday night and Saturday morning clearing up my todo list so that I was enegertically free to write.

It worked, I wrote and wrote and wrote. The real issue was that I wrote from my head and not my heart. When I sat back and reread all that I wrote Sunday after noon. I couldn’t belive the “CRAP” I had written. Yes, it moved my story along. But it don’t take my heart with it! So I did something I have never done before. I simply deleted all the work I did since Saturday noon. Sewlected the text in my word document and deleted it!

I kept no evidence of what I wrote, no copy, no print out. Nothing!!! It felt rather liberating to do this.

The cool part was as soon as I deleted what I had written. The real story began to flow into me.. I gained clarity on what I truly knew that needed to be written!

So not all was lost! 🙂

Alchemy of the Heart: Shavon Sun Cloud

An excerpt for a novel I am working on!


This was the very moment in time I had been waiting for all my life. I could feel my heart racing with excitement. I had spent six gruelling months saving up for this very instant. I had stayed six months longer at a job I detested, in a town I hated, in an apartment I loathed, with people I couldn’t wait to leave behind, so that I could be standing here at this very moment. I breathed in a huge, deep breath. To say that I was miserable before this instant would have been the biggest understatement of the century.

Now, here I was, a few minutes away from taking the most significant step in my entire freakin’ life. I could taste and smell the excitement in the air. The last five days with Master trainer Mike Realms had been entirely awe-inspiring, completely life-changing  and worth every single sacrifice I had experienced. These past five days and nights had been genuinely magical and had transformed my life completely. Truth be told, these last five days were freaking awesome! I was a changed man. I was a new man. It was like I was about to be born again. I had focus, vision and a real purpose for my life. I was on fire. I was going to take on the world. I was freakin’ ready. “Come on world! I am ready for you!” I joyfully thought to myself as I waited my turn in line.

I was awash with positive vibes. I was literally bouncing up and down on the spot, like a child waiting his turn to go to the bathroom. My body was tingling with nervous energy. Three more people to go and then it would be my turn.

Mike Realms always ended his big five-day life purpose events with a fire walk. The moment I discovered this I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I needed to do this work.  I felt deep within my soul that once I completed the walk, I would be utterly unstoppable. It was my time, and I knew it!

I looked around. Two more people to go. I was so excited and nervous at the same time that I could taste bile in my mouth. “Damn this is going to be good!” raced through my head. The noise and the chaos was raising my excitement to a feverish pitch. I was a starving rat at a buffet.

One of the always smiling fire walk assistants came over and stood before me, bellowing at me, “Ground yourself and stay focused!” I grinned. He bellowed again, “Ground yourself like we showed you.” I fought down my excitement as I closed my eyes and began to imagine that my feet were gigantic roots that extended deep into the ground. From there I continued to believe that those roots stretched out for hundreds of feet in all directions. I breathed in and breathed out. My frantic heart rate began to slow down., The tingling sensation in my body began to evaporate, and an overwhelming sense of peace and inner knowing enveloped my whole being. It was like I was now wrapped in a giant marshmallow of love and protection.

I didn’t know how long I had been grounding for but it was long enough for the person in front of me to go and complete their walk. Somehow I managed to hear, “Okay mate, it’s your turn – go!“ I felt a tap on my shoulder indicating for me to move forward.

I stepped out onto the sizzling hot coals. It was like I was walking on a warm tile floor and not the nearly 1000°F hot fiery embers that I was actually walking on. With each new step, I could feel the excitement in my body returning. Here I was, walking on fire. I was amazed. “I am actually doing a fire walk!” My mind began racing with the thoughts, “This is crazy! I am actually walking on flipping freaking hot embers!”  I could taste victory; I only had  fifteen more feet to go. “I am the man! I am on fire! I chuckled at the irony of my thought.

I heard my name, “Devin!” I looked in the direction of the voice that called, “Over here!” I turned and saw that my new retreat friend, Ali, had his camera out. I turned slightly, waved and smiled.

The pain was instant and intense . . .

I awoke the next day in the hospital to the discovery that I had second degree burns to twenty-five percent of not one, but both of my feet. The doctor told me, “You’ll need to stay off your feet for a couple weeks but other than that, you should have no long-term damage to your feet. You are very fortunate!”

Happy International Skinny Dip day

July 11, 2020 is International Skinny Dip Day.

The American Association for Nude Recreation has officially designated the second Saturday in July as International Skinny Dip Day. This year it falls on July 11th.

Skinny-dipping, a tradition as old as mankind and frequently shown in art and movies, celebrates the joy of plunging into water without the hindrance of clothing. To celebrate this rite of summer, the association declared July 11th as the day when everyone can free themselves of clothes and inhibitions by taking a dip au natural in their backyard pool, a secluded spot on a river or lake, at a sanctioned nude beach or at one of the association’s 200 clubs and resorts throughout the U.S., Canada and internationally.

In addition to events taking place at AANR clubs and resorts in the U.S. International Skinny Dip Day will be observed in Greece, France, the U.K., Thailand, Spain, St. Martin, Mexico and Canada.

#InternationsSkinnyDipDay #AANR

Author, Coach

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