Hatching Free Range Ideas

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

If you’re still here. . . and looking for new stuff. . .

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Go here instead. That’s where I am these days.


And I miss you!


Finding my way and falling in holes

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2015 at 3:36 pm

I have been interested in a LOT of things over my life. I continue to be. Those interests make my put my hands on lots of things. And when I like them, I dive in . . . and learn. . . and try. . . and fail. . . and learn. . . and grow. I tell people that I keep my standards low so that I can be pleased with the final products. Today, I realize that it’s not about the products. It’s about the process of learning. If I get tied up in perfect products, the focus shifts. Okay, duh.

There’s a tension in me about sharing my learning journey with you. I struggle with how much to tell you. If you know that I’m truly human, will you think less of me? Or will you admire me for the courage to share my vulnerability?

Ah, well. I can always take this page down.

It looks from my website that I’ve been doing this nearly for forever, right? While I’ve been doing a whole lot of these things for several decades, some of my work is pretty new and some of it is only a decade old, which for me is pretty new. I haven’t shared any part of my reinvention journey. But, I’m going to start here. I just listened to one of Bill Baren’s free teleseminars, in which he enrolls the audience in an onsite workshop (2.5 days) for a small (read, tiny) donation to a charity he supports. It was so easy to sign up. The fee was so small that it was out of pocket almost. So I signed up. It’s in San Jose, so it’s not going to be that cheap, in that I need to fly out (right after my first conference of the year) and I need to stay at the conference hotel. I figure it will total about $700 if I use points.

Here are the notes that I took from the teleseminar, as the evidence that got me to sign up for the longer experience. Bill left me with more questions than anything else. I’m hoping that the workshop in March begins to help me answer them. And, I wonder if I’ll actually go.

Many questions

Sketchnoting 101 is open for registration!!!!

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2014 at 12:49 pm

All you have to do is click the logo below and follow the registration link.

cool geni logo large

Or click this link: http://coolgeni.com/

Can’t wait to see you there!!!!!!

Here’s a short sketcnote video on what you will learn in the upcoming workshop

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Save The Date!!!!! Sketchnoting workshop coming to Austin October 18, 2014

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Sketchnoting workshop coming to Austin
Really and truly. We’re getting another Sketchnoting workshop together. Sketchnoting is the process of recording ideas using images and words.

This is an early announcement to my inner circle. There are a limited number of seats available so I wanted you to have the early notice. The workshop will be held at the Norris Conference Center on October 18th. Registration opens on September 2.

Why do you want to Sketchnote?

1. Sketchnoting allows you to see in new ways

Sketchnoting is innovation – finding new meaning and new learning in listening and drawing. When you Sketchnote, you bypass your internal verbal editor to stretch beyond what is familiar. Ideas have room to play and connect to new ideas.

2. Sketchnotes create strong memories

Images engage deeper memories. Sketchnotes allow you to recall not only what you heard and learned but what you felt, where you were, who you talked to, lots that you didn’t physically record.

3. Sketchnotes are fun

You don’t have to be an artist to get real value out of sketchnoting. Sketchnotes are about communication, not fine art. Draw the same box house you drew as a child. Will someone mistake it for an airplane? Or a cow? I think not.

4. Other people will think you’re really cool.

And you are. Sketchnoting is beginning to enter the mainstream but you still have time to be one of the cool kids.

5. You’ll get better and better and cooler and cooler as you build your skills and your visual vocabulary.

If you want to see what Sketchnotes can become,you can see some great examples from some very accomplished sketchnoters.  http://sketchnotearmy.com/. This can be you!

The workshop

The workshop includes all of the great things you’ve come to expect from our Sketchnoting workshops. This workshop’s emphasis is on building your own personal visual vocabulary using simple images. As you build your vocabulary, your images and your visual thinking skills will become clearer and faster.
In addition to building your visual vocabulary, you’ll learn how to:
  • listen and think in order to come up with images
  • create and use text as a design element
  • draw simple faces and figures that register emotion
  • make it all attractive

You’ll get professional quality materials (a $30 value!!!) that include:

  • A great portable sketchbook that you can take with you
  • A black, fine (.1) felt tip pen for detailed notation
  • A color highlighter for adding shadows and emphasis
  • A smooth writing roller ball (the work horse of my own sketchnote stable)

 Stay tuned. Remember, registration begins September 2.

Lesson 2, Warm up exercises, part 1

In Sketchnoting, Uncategorized on May 24, 2014 at 3:32 pm

We’re going to warm up.

Exercise 1, The pacewalking man

When you are beginning to sketchnote, you’ll be tempted to sketch as rapidly as you possibly can. You’ll worry you’ll miss something important. Don’t. Draw as you would breathe normally, not too quickly, not too slowly. Let’s get a feel for how much time that might be. Find a clock  with a second hand. You’ll do this part for 15 seconds.

Start now by just moving your pen in easy, slow circles and squiggles on a page in your sketchbook for 15 seconds. Let your hand and your pen fl o-o-o-o-o-w across the page. Breathe.

This will both loosen up your hand and give you a feel for how long 15 seconds really is. Remember, we’re aiming for a civilized walking pace. Not strolling in New Orleans or late for a meeting in Manhattan.  Maybe like you’re meeting a friend for a drink at The Driskill and you have an interesting story you’re looking forward to telling.

Okay, move your pen.

How did that feel?

These next two exercises will allow you to use your body wisdom, the wisdom of your fine motor skills.

Stand up and shake out your body. Really shake it. Roll your head around. Now shake out your hands. Be loose.

Exercise 2, Stir Circles

We’ll start with sitr circles.

Hold hand above your sketchbook page and make a circle about 1/3 the width of your sketchbook page, as if you were stirring a small cup of tea. Now put your pen down and draw that circle, keeping that same stirring motion.

Now put your pen down and draw a row of three circles across the page, keeping that stirring motion.

Draw two more rows below. Fill the page. You’ll have three rows of three circles each. We’re going to come back to these in the next lesson so you can either create a new page of circles just for practice or move on to a fresh page.

Exercise 3, Throw lines

throw linesStart again on a new page.

1. Make two dots, one on the left hand side of your page and one on the far right hand side. They should represent two points of a straight line.
2. Now place your pen on the left hand dot and look at the right hand dot. Don’t look at your pen; look where you are going. There’s a great quote that says something like, “You don’t need to look behind you. 3. That’s not where you’re going.” Who said that?
4. Throw the line, just like you would throw a ball, keeping your eye on your destination. Use your whole arm. It knows what to do.

?   How are those lines?

1. Now make a dot at the top of your page and a dot at the bottom. Make them close to vertical. Do the same thing.
2. Place your pen on the top dot, focus your eye on the destination dot and let gravity work to pull the line.

You can do this at any scale. Now you can easily draw tables in your sketchbook,on a flip chart, on a white board.

Now let’s put both of these skills together.

Exercise 4, Facial expressions

Use your throw lines to draw a 4 x 4 grid. Leave a little room on your page at the top of your grid and a little room on the left hand margin. You are going to use these. If you like, you may draw a 5 x 5 grid to make sure that you save the space.

Fill the 4 x 4 grid with stir circles.

Add the following information to the left hand margin and the top of your grid. Like this:

experssion grid

All of the human face happens on the lower half of the head.

The key components of expression, remember we’re all about capturing essence, are the brows, the eyes and the mouth. Let’s do a bit of practice. This is an adaptation of a great demonstration that Austin Kleon does when he talks about simple expressions.

  1. Draw four rows of circles with four circles in each row. Leave a bit of space below each row.
  2. On the first row, add only straight brows. Two straight lines.
  3. On the second row, add two diagonal brows, slanting down in the middle.
  4. On the third row, add two diagonal brows, slanting down on the outside.
  5. On the fourth row, add two arcs for brows. You choose, up arcs or down arcs.
  6. Now add the eyes below the brows. Put in simple eyes. Dots.
  7. Now noses. Put in several different noses. Noses point the face, so they show the direction that the face is looking. Point your noses in different directions.
  8. Now on the mouth line, on the first column, add a straight mouth all the way down the column.
  9. For the second column, make the mouth frowny. These can be either close lipped frowns or open mouth anger if you like.
  10. On the third column make the mouth smiley. Same deal open or closed.
  11. For the fourth column, make the mouth jagged. Same deal again, open or closed.

Let’s see how much information you can capture with a few simple lines.

Show your journal page to someone else.  See if they can label the expressions for each face.

Swap back. Read the labels. See if you agree or if you’d add a different label.

See what simple but eloquent expressions you created using only brows and the mouth?

Portable tents for the great indoors

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm

ImageI just returned from a very long airplane transit. The total transit time was 30 hours one way. The last leg was at Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C., where I had a 5 and a half hour layover. I don’t sleep very well on airplanes, that is in an economy seat.. . . I don’t know about you. . . actually I probably do. You don’t either. So when I arrived in D.C., I was weary to the point of overload. I had been around 200+ people in small confined spaces, at that time for over 20 hours without a break.

Lucky for me, I had packed a sari to use as a blanket. It was silk, so it was lightweight, warm and long enough to cover all of me at one time, as opposed to those airline blankets where you have to choose, feet or shoulders.

I also had a roll aboard with me, with an extended handle. I found a at a quiet gate with a set of four seats  in a row without arms to separate them. They were lightly padded with an emphasis on lightly as most airport seats are.

I laid down across the seats and pulled the suitcase close to me with the handle raised. I draped the sari over the handle and put my head beneath that part of the tent. Then I covered the rest of my body with the rest of the sari. I disappeared under it for three hours. Although I only slept for about 1/2 that time, the visual break was amazingly calming. And, lest I forget for those of you who worry about what others think (and still can worry after essentially being awake for over 33 hours), at one point the sari fell off of my legs. As I scrabbled blindly for an edge to restore the complete cocoon, someone walking by reached down and covered me back up.

I am committed to recreating that experience every time I travel, making myself a private space where I don’t have to react or control my facial expressions or continue to interact with others even in a limited but conscious way. Occupying shared space demands that kind of attention. Removing yourself for a moment relieves it.

Today, I found this.

Frankly, it’s not as good as my end arrangement but the portability of it is intriguing. Private space in our increasingly crowded world.


In Uncategorized on August 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Last week a friend of mine and I talked about another friend. She later felt that she had engaged in gossip, which of course, pulled me into the question, “Did I engage in gossip?”

Here’s what I came up with. I shared a personal experience about an interaction between me and that friend. It seems to me that if you are sharing your own stories, that’s not gossip, it’s personal perspective. It’s when you share the stories of other people that it becomes something else.

What do you think? Are stories of personal experience gossip? What is gossip anyway? I don’t mean what is the definition that you find in text books and business books and on the web. What does the word mean to you? Is it always negative?

Creating an engaged workforce, please

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2013 at 4:09 pm

With all the continued hype over 20+ years about creating an engaged workforce, you would think we would be there by now, wouldn’t you? But how do we each transcend leader ego, the knowing better that magically arrives along with a title?

Grassroots doesn’t work. There isn’t a way for the workforce, who wants it, to do it for themselves unless they leave and become leaders in their own right. And maybe ego gets in all of our way.

This podcast from the author of the book Flat Army, seems to suggest some great, concrete ways to create engagement. But the light bulb has to want to change.

You gotta see these photos

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm

You gotta see these photos

These are creepy. Think about it. One day you are fine, walking, driving, living on the normal flat plane. Then all of a sudden, there’s nothing where before there was normal life. Photo no. 8 seems creepiest, I guess ’cause it’s sort of personal.