Open Notes

500 Words Newsletter: The Beginning of 2022

The Beginning of 2022


It has been raining in solid gray sheets of water for days here in Southern California, a rare event. Since I moved here, some 30 years ago, I’ve always viewed rain as a special signifier. So I’m assuming this abundance of rain means that 2022 will be a good year.


Thanks to all who gave me notes on my Surrender novel. It’s so helpful to have all of your perspectives. One of the most fascinating things about reading and writing is that the same words on the page (or screen) will move people in different ways. I have a few character names to change, because readers called up associations that distracted them from the story, some terms to clarify, because who wants to confuse anybody? – and many scenes to make clearer. I’ll be working on the book throughout January, closing in on a publication date in late March or early April. Podcast Working Group

One of my projects for 2022 is to launch a creative Working Group of actors, podcast producers, activists, and podcast hosts. The idea is to get ten people together to work on their ideas for podcasts in hands-on group sessions over Zoom. In every session, we’ll be doing creative exercises and brainstorming, having small group discussions, and looking for active ways to bring your podcast into the world, or improve one you already have.

I’ve learned a lot about how to do this in my past seven years of teaching online for USC. (I teach a how-to-make media course for architecture and design students.) Also, my wife Tabby has been running a successful Divine Feminine Writers Group, and I’ve watched her, and the group, thrive.

I have two slots filled already and I’m seeking more people. If this sparks your curiosity, or you think it’s right for someone in your circle, have a lookThe mix of the group is important, because the group will focus on getting ideas to cross-pollinate among all of us. Accordingly, I’m inviting actors who may have a one-act play they’d like to develop into a podcast, and activists who have been wanting to anchor a new show, and hosts who are getting ready to work on their next project. Check it out.

500 Words

Some of you remember that I recorded a few podcast episodes about living a creative life. It was called 500 Words. (A few of you were interviewed for it!) I plan to bring 500 Words back in the coming months, with a new focus. Creative work doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There is always a creative community supporting the creator. For 500 Words, I will be interviewing creative people about how their community supports them and also people who have built communities for artists. Still incubating, and subject to change.

Surprise Projects

There will be at least one surprise project coming next year. The scripts are written … and I’m working on casting. Stay tuned.

I hope everyone has a prosperous and wonderful 2022. If you want to visualize how to do that, here’s a meditation exercise from my wife Tabby, to help with developing a theme word for the year.

Looking ahead,


Not Tracking

Here at 500 Words you won’t be tracked. I’m not tracking opens, clicks, or forwards. I’m not analyzing your IP address location. It’s just you and me, reading and writing. I’m trying to create a small part of the Internet that is focused on people and dialog, not marketing data collection.

Visit the archive of all 500 Words posts and podcasts.