How Dyana Valentine Said YES, Twice!

This week I am the Guest Poet on the beautiful poetry site: Bentlily. Please do go over and have a look.

But, before you do, I’d like to tell you a quick story about how Vancouver poet and entrepreneur Samantha Reynolds found out about me and Demand Poetry.

I received an email from her about a month or so ago. In the e-mail she said: 

Dear Elizabeth… The indomitable Dyana Valentine suggested I connect with you (she called you her favourite poet).”

Have you ever met someone who is totally and completely brave? Who says  “YES” to things on impulse and lands dead-on right?

That’s who Dyana Valentine is. 

She was the FIRST stranger to buy a Demand Poem from me via my website and Paypal. She didn’t know me. And certainly didn’t have a certificate of guarantee that the poem she would receive from me would satisfy her soul.

But Dyana didn’t hestitate. She invested in me. She laughed with me, and egged me on. She said “Let’s go girl!!” and she must have enjoyed the result, as she has told others about me.

I admit, I have always been a little bit cynical about the concept of “Life Coaching.” But I am not at all cynical about mentors, leaders, and people who inspire us to move forward. These women and men succeed because they are not adverse to risk. They are brave.  They move their minds, bodies and spirits apace.

Investing time and money with a mover pays back, and forward.

So, this is just my way of saying thanks to Dyana Valentine, for her YES, which is a muse of bright impulse and leadership.

And to Tara Gentile too, whose conversation with Dyana connected us in the first place. Thanks for her mindful and fearless dive into the creative world.

Life moves with them. … Read on…How Dyana Valentine Said YES, Twice!

How I Built My Website, By Accident

A February Goal, Met

But I’ve never considered myself a web designer. I’m not, right?

So when I started thinking about “building” my home page, I got really nervous.

What the hell do I know??

As part of my ongoing affair with the illustrious creative action guru, Tara Gentile, back in December, I set a goal of having my own website up and running by February.

I have owned the domain for literally years, but have done nothing with it, other than to build my blog “Letters from a Small State (previously “Letters from London, and Elsewhere”) on the subdomain: It’s a good blog and it’s changed a good bit over time with new themes, occasional videos, and many design updates.

So I guess I am not a newbie… but.

The Work of Intentional Unintention

So in January, I started emailing designers to ask them for estimates on the cost of building my website… I mean, I don’t think of myself as a designer and what the hell do I know about CSS and such?

In the meanwhile, I took some advice from Tara and chose a theme in Wordpress (my current web editor) that was highly customizable and seemed easy to work with. (Thanks, Sayontan Sinta for Suffusion!)

Designers gave me estimates and I couldn’t get myself to commit to the cash… more procrastination!

Meanwhile, I filled my procrastination time with what appeared to be unintentional futzing… playing with my domain, adding widgets, using the beloved Picasa to create a header, writing an “About Page” and even adding a “Buy Now” Paypal button so friends and strangers can own their own Demand Poetry and decorate their life with more beautiful writing.

The result of my goal setting and my “unintentional futzing” was a completed website! One day, in February, I realized that despite my very busy schedule — and my attempts to stop myself with procrastination, fears, the certainty that I CAN’T DO IT — I had put together a home website.

Whoa. I mean, literally one day I was sitting at my computer looking at the site and I thought “Dude, look what I just did.” It was like waking up from a dream. Only when I look back I see the action is the real life, and the noisy voices trying to distract me are more like the dream.


I haven’t fully moved in yet. I’ll continue to use Tara, Problogger, and other website greats to build on.

I want to add a FAQ, beef up my Demand Poetry page, and add an online portfolio, along with a photo gallery. So for now, this is more like a quirky crash pad with IKEA furniture than my dream cottage on the hill. But it is home.

I haven’t ruled out hiring a designer to reorganize and repaint the entire spread, but I am thrilled that I, seemingly magically, completed a job I thought I couldn’t do! … Read on…How I Built My Website, By Accident