Monday, March 21, 2011

A Creative Thinking Blue Print For the 21st Century

How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head, Under My Skin And Changed The Way I Think About Thinking, A Creative Thinking Blue Print For the 21st Century
By Sandy Sims


In my book “How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head Under My Skin and Changed The Way I Think About Thinking,” I discussed the fact that I had a crisis in my early thirties, followed by an urgent need for help. I desperately needed a new way to look at life. I even rolled up my car windows while on the freeway screaming for help. Little did I recognize that very act had set into motion a future cascade of events. This included a psychiatrist, not just to see but to date-the immersion course so to speak, appeared in virtually no time at all.

She saw that I was a candidate for the self-empowerment model, one she was investigating herself. The ideas were not new, but they also were not mainstream. They were rooted in Eastern philosophy which was beginning to emerge here in the 60’s and 70’s under the umbrella of the New Age and Human Potential Movement.
Part of the issue for all people willing to engage in the fundamental pattern of developing a new belief system is that it is easy to be pumped up in a seminar, with the afterglow lasting at least a few days, a few weeks or more. However, moving from an idea to a belief can be an arduous journey, and there is plenty of conflicting information along the way to trip us up. For example, when competing parties are after the same goal there will be winners and losers. But are losers in the short term losers, or winners in training? Confusion abounds around what is actually a true intuitive hit, and what is bleeding through as simply a strong desire. All of this takes practice and work to sort it out.

That is why a gradual bite by bite method of exploration, starting with small successful manifestations, followed by more adventuresome ones, produces the best results. It is a way of examining the exact nature of our desires and what seems to be supported versus what appears to fail. Frequently, for example, the object of our desire is really masking a fear. We want a particular house, car, etc because we want to project success. Underneath the desire, however, may be a fear that without this goodie we might be projecting failure to the world around us. Which is stronger, the desire or the fear? We can, for example, use muscle testing to help discern whether a feeling is an intuitive hit or simply a strong desire.

My book was an accounting of this kind of a journey: one in which I could review my past, from this new vantage point. I could see the beginning desire and I could see the outcome. I noticed the time frames required. Once I began to connect these dots, the more confident I became. Moving forward I was still hesitant, but had more confidence, and such has been the journey.

In the process I wondered about the mechanics at play. What were the forces? How did they operate? Of course it is not necessary to know this. Most of us don’t understand how our modern car operates. We get in, turn on the key and take off. Secondly, there are the endless skeptical observations claiming quackery due to lack of evidence. Yet absence of proof is not proof of absence. We know all about electricity, but we don’t know exactly what it is.

The best explanation I have found emerges from the Seth Material by Jane Roberts. Here Seth discusses “Frameworks.” We exist in one framework. Our thoughts with intent summon legions of energetic patterns from another framework to finally emerge in this framework.

I also observed that my new ideas seemed to come from somewhere, either as answers to my questions, or as novelties, simply and graciously dumped into my lap. There seemed to exist a two way street of communication with this collective unconscious, as if we have invisible partners. Rather than simply ascribing these events to some divine being whom I was lucky enough to please, I liked the idea of having buddies, friends so to speak, who could see a larger landscape, moving through life with me, doing their best to assist my journey. They respond to my requests and also send me unsolicited ideas. I have no proof that this is the way it is, but it seems and feels possible, and that is good enough for me until a better story comes along.

Aside from intuitive urges, or the revelatory “Aha” experience the communication process between myself and my invisible partners seems to utilize positive as well as negative synchronicities, or as Jung has called them, meaningful coincidences. I feel we receive these every day. They are often so subtle, that we are oblivious to them. The classic example is the phone call you receive from a friend whereby just as you answer you say, “Oh, I was just thinking about calling you.” The important issue at this precise juncture is to recognize that there is a piece of information to harvest and to search for it. The call might be to mention an event. It is up to you to recognize that if you attend that process will put you in touch with a person, idea or sign which will steer you in a certain direction. If you fail to act, your invisible partners will simply have to try something else.

Like it or not, technology is increasing at warp speed. This is inevitably resulting in many profound changes, the apparent loss of decision making time being at the head of the list. Less contemplative time, coupled with instant technological communication, means more dependence on new tools.

Learning how to discern between intuition and strong desires, how to recognize synchronicities and use them, and how to consciously manifest are all tools being given to us to navigate the new landscape. I refer to the adaption to these processes and tools as creative thinking for the 21st Century.

After reflecting on the nature of this particular journey as revealed in my book, I collaborated with Dr. Kerry Monick, MD, the psychiatrist whom was so instrumental in my process, to create a simple guidebook. The idea was to replicate the same thinking patterns I had undergone with some additional structures to help one assess their own journey and what is possible going forward. If there is at least one useful point then the guidebook has done its job.

Sandy Sims Bio –

Sandy Sims was raised and educated in the South. After serving as Naval Officer and finishing graduate business school, he followed a dream to live in Honolulu where he built one of Hawaii's most successful advertising agencies.

The crisis of personal health and business setbacks opened the way to larger spiritual dimensions including a long association with the Caddy family, founders of the Findhorn Spiritual Community in Scotland His book,”How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head, Under My Skin And Changed The Way I Think About Thinking, A Creative Thinking Blue Print For the 21st Century,” is a memoir of his journey culminating in a 20 year project with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

He has collaborated with Psychiatrist, Kerry Monick MD, and authored Creative Thinking For The 21st Century, An Experiential Guidebook. Accepting the science that our intention does indeed affect the material world, it addresses what to be thinking about, how to shape these thoughts, and what might be the best way to avoid unintended consequences.

When not traveling, Sandy resides in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where you can find him writing, playing tennis, poking around with his camera and embracing a new culture.

For more information about Sandy Sims and How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head, Under My Skin And Changed The Way I Think About Thinking, A Creative Thinking Blue Print For the 21st Century, visit and visit this page to get the Amazon links

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Literary Endeavors: Review: Jen Knox's To Begin Again

Literary Endeavors: Review: Jen Knox's To Begin Again: "Knox's To Begin Again sizzles and crackles with the stuff of life. I've been guilty of gravitating to mostly popular novels. A great numb..."

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Calling all serious authors! Tonight'S, MARCH 15TH broadcast will give you an opportunity to query ATTMP, live on-air. Each author will be given 5 minutes to present the books concept or query the editors. This includes reading a small excerpt from your work. Rules: *Your book must be complete and ready to submit *You must have visited ATTMP's web-site and read their contract and submission terms All authors works heard on air will be considered for publication as the published authors cast their votes for the top 3. At the end of the broadcast, voting will begin and 3 lucky authors will gain priority review status from the publishers, Phil and Debra Harris. The lucky winners will be announced on our April Fools Special airing March 31st @ 7PM CST Be sure to go to and read the terms and conditions prior to calling into the show. Between calls Phil and Debra Harris will take part in question and answer sessions


A common propensity among novice writers is to perform what I call a “data dump” when wanting to inform the reader of setting, location, time and date, character appearances, dress, emotional makeup, and the like. Oftentimes it gets to the point of being stifling, taking the reader out of the forward motion of the story, which stops dead while the dump takes place. Here is an example of a scene loaded with data dump.


December fifteenth, Detroit, six o’clock in the evening. The day was bitter cold. The sun was setting in the clouded sky, filled with seagulls, squawking and vying for tidbits as John stood next to the Detroit River throwing scraps of bread in the air. He had on a corduroy jacket, black slacks and pair of running shoes. He loved to jog, and did so almost daily. John, at twenty-five years of age, was well over six feet tall, slim but muscular, had a bronze complexion and deep blue eyes with thick, coal black hair. He worked at the casino and was glad to be finally done for the day. It was Friday night, and time to party soon. His life was so boring during the week, but his friends were taking him out for his birthday celebration tonight, so he was smiling with anticipation. His wife of three years had just divorced him a month ago, and he needed some R & R. It had been difficult for him to get over his loss. He had caught her red handed in an affair. The memories of that event, and the caustic, castigating divorce proceedings, were painfully vivid in his tortured head. Lately he had been so sullen and depressed his friends had insisted he put that behind him for at least this night and go out for a good time.

His smile had all but disappeared, thinking thoughts off loss and better days. Suddenly his best friend, Albert, a five foot six, thirty-year old, not very well educated but still smart, chunky two hundred pound, pale skinned fellow with thinning hair and squinty gray eyes, dressed in a sheepskin coat, wool pants and ear muffs, walked up from behind and said, “Hey, bro – you ready to get your party animal on?”


Now, as the reader, we are certainly well informed. We know the day, time, location, all that, we know exactly what John and Albert look like, what they are wearing, and also have some background information on John, with some insight into his emotional state. The problem is, this type of writing is extremely pedestrian, lacking in immediacy and intimacy, with very little motion in the story.

How much story has happened in those two paragraphs? Almost zilch. John stands by the river, reflecting and feeding the seagulls, and his friend walks up to greet him. That’s it.  To this author/editor and writing coach, it’s just plain lazy writing. In addition, the majority of the information is delivered through omniscient POV, rather than the more intimate and immediate third or first person POV’s, so the effect is quite dry. Now let’s look at this following rewrite. I will use third person POV, and give you most of the same information as above, but I will give it to you as the story line moves along.


Dang, it’s cold, John thought as he adjusted the collar of his jacket up tight around his neck. He pulled another wad of bread off the loaf he held and flung it into the air. He smiled as he watched seagulls squawk and fight for food bits in the air above the Detroit River. He smiled wider as he thought about tonight. Going to be fun. And god knows I need a break. After what I’ve been through, the divorce and all. He looked down at his well-worn running shoes. Don’t even feel like jogging today. So not like me.

The Hart Plaza clock bell struck six times. John tossed a chunk of bread at the birds and braced against another frosty gust of wind. Sun’s almost gone, he noticed, as he turned around to see a sliver of faded golden rays peeking through a thin, lateral opening between the thick blanket of clouds and the city’s skyline. His chin fell to his chest with a weighted sigh. Marcia, Marcia … how could you have done that? What did that guy have I didn’t? What we had, the love, the marriage, the plans for a family, it was so real, so …

John felt a tap on his shoulder.

“Hey, bro … ready to get your party animal on?” Albert said as John spun around.

“God, man, you scared the crap out of me,” John said, then chuckled and regarded his best friend. “Sweet coat. New? Looks like sheepskin.”

“Mind if I throw some bread at the birds?” Albert said, and proceeded to do so. “Yeah, just got it a couple weeks ago, winter comin’ and all. Man – those gulls get nasty with each other, eh?” Albert squinted at John and sighed. Hey, dude, I can see it in your face. Your normally bright blue, woman-slayer eyes are like, glazed over and dull, man. You need a couple strong ones. You been like, I dunno, some kind of Doctor Doom here lately.”

John shrugged and shivered, kicked at the pavement, his eyes downcast, his mood as gloomy as his friend’s prying eyes were gray.

Albert tossed another chunk of bread. “So – you’re off at the casino for the weekend, right? No work ‘til Monday?”

“Right.” John looked at Albert’s pale, but cheery round face, then noticed his head. “Albert – as freezing as it is, and with as little hair as you’ve got left, don’t you think a nice warm hat would be better than those pathetic little earmuffs?”

“Well, least I got me a warm coat, not some flimsy corduroy jacket. Just cuz you got a full head o’ black hair don’t mean you shouldn’t have no hat on, neither, pal.” Albert gave John a playful punch in the ribs. They both laughed and started walking after Albert pointed and said, “C’mon – car’s over this way. Time to tie one on—all the gang’s waitin’ over at the Shamrock. Can’t let the birthday boy go home alone tonight.”

As they neared the vehicle, Albert stopped them both, looked at his friend. “So what’s it now—quarter of a century old?”

“Yes, I’m getting old. But I’ll always be five years younger than you,” John made a wide-eyed expression for emphasis, “old man.” He could see a pang of jealousy flash across his pal’s face as Albert looked him over, obviously searching for a come back. He envies my flat tummy and svelte frame. I envy him his happy-go-lucky attitude. Much rather be overweight and carefree than thin and tortured inside.

Albert looked up into John’s eyes. “Yeah, you may always be younger than me, but I ain’t never gonna be over six feet tall, neither.” They laughed together at the reverse-meaning irony of Albert’s statement as they got in the car.


Did I get all the information in the second passage as in the first? Not quite, but pretty darn close. In fact, if this were a real manuscript I would have left out even more. Save it for later, give bits and pieces as the story unfolds, and let the reader’s imagination fill in the blanks. It makes for a more engaging, interesting read, all the details coming within the forward motion of the story. Much better than being told all there is to know in one great big data dump, hmm?

Marvin D Wilson, multi-published author and editor with All Things That Matter Press, using the pen name “Professor Old Silly,” posts writing tutorials on his blog each Tuesday. The above tutorial is a re-post from the archives of his blog at: