Sep 262014

Playing with Your Gray  Matter #2

In our last posting, we explained how to stimulate your brain to create new ideas and associations that are lying under the surface of your consciousness.

Here’s a link to our former discussion.

Suppose you are developing a project and/or book and you’ve drafted a mind map starting with the topic’s name as the central kernel. You’ve drawn branches and associations, added colors, cartoons and symbols. Right?

But to turn your idea cluster into prose, you don’t stop there. Each one of the little pods, symbols or tentacles in your mind map will be the basis for yet another illustration.

Say your mind map topic is about “landscaping.” Through your clustering and sketching new ideas on the map, that topic blossoms into many other subtopics. Each subtopic can be a new map. So for instance a landscaping subtopic might be “tree.”  This in turn can be the kernel of another mind map, under which you grow associations for deciduous or non-deciduous, flowering or not, height or color or position in your garden.

You may go on to create another map about shrubbery or night blooming flowers, each with its own subdivisions and branches of thought and content.

At some point with all of this drafting and cartooning, you get a gut feeling. You have created several clusters that illustrate all the content you’ve unearthed from your thoughts. Your insides say, “I’m done.”

No, this is not a scientific measurement; it’s an intuitive one. You know when you know.
There is no right way to do this. Only your way.

You stand back and peruse all of your illustrations. With your intuition and your wisdom, you make decisions about what comes first in your text. If you’ve been detailed enough and created enough content on the mind maps, your prose can flow.

Write quickly, write badly and write a lot.  Editing comes later; that’s when the left side of your brain goes to work and not before.

Here are some great books on mind mapping:

  • The Mind Map Book by Tony Buzan
  • Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Lusser Rico

Have fun and write your book.

 Posted by at 8:29 pm
Sep 112014

We’ve talked about research and brainstorming, basic steps for starting your book. Seems like we put those backwards, didn’t we? We’re going back again one more step. Hold on.
Before brainstorming with your colleagues or friends, discover the delight of brainstorming with yourself with only blank paper and colored pens or pencils.
Tony Buzan, a British psychologist and educator, developed the idea of diagramming our thoughts the way the brain creates them, that is, radially. Start with the core idea and let it explode and blossom on paper. For examples of expressive mindmaps, go to or


Buzan says: “A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which …harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance.”

Sounds pretty heavy? Actually, it can be quite simple. Think of doodling on paper and letting your mind make all the associations it wants. Start in the center of the page with an image of the topic, using color(s). Or maybe just a word. I can’t draw even a crooked line so I use words and labels as my symbols.

Print key words or images that describe your idea, each symbol sitting on its own line. Most important – the lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The lines become thinner as they radiate out from the center.

Each image, symbol, label, or cartoon you add  stimulates the three pounds of whoopee cushion between your ears. Your brain is meanwhile  creating relationships visually and kinetically as you draw connections. In a relaxed way, you unearth ideas and associations that are lurking below your conscious level.

Give it a try. Have fun. Don’t judge yourself. Then proceed to brainstorming with others if you wish. And then do your research. That’s a good order for writing your book.

Alert: if you search online the word “mind mapping,” you will find many software companies that want to sell you their programs. Really, you can do this by yourself. But do visit these sites to see how they illustrate the process.

NEXT POSTING: Now that I have a mind map, how do I proceed to write?

 Posted by at 9:50 pm
Sep 012014

Madam Brevetti Will Tell Your Future

                September 7, 2 PM to 5 PM, Fort Mason, San Francisco

Ghostwriter and book coach Francine Brevetti will help you chart the future of the book you want to write or are writing. Enjoy a 15-minute consultation with her on how to start and proceed with your manuscript – for the measly entrance fee of $20 at the Awakened Living Expo.

At the Awakened Living Expo you will have the opportunity to meet 15 spiritual and holistic practitioners for “mini sessions” and also connect with a community of people dedicated to awakening spiritual consciousness on our planet!

For only $20, you will also receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win gift certificates for FULL SESSIONS with our practitioners.


Sally Faubion, Numerologist:

Carsten Spencer, Energy Alignment Practitioner:

Emanuel, Sound Healer:

Dr. Kirsten Hill, Chiropractor:

Lenora Swan, Oneness Blessing Giver:

Francine Brevetti, Ghostwriter and Book Coach: That’s me!

Leslie Ye-Murata, Reiki Infused Jewelry Designer:

Odessa Perez, Theta Healing and Energy Work:

Sahina Grinczer, Soul Coach and Emotional Clearing Counselor:

Alison Williams, Reiki Practitioner:


Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd
Building C, Room C260
San Francisco, CA 94123

The Awakened Living Expo is a fundraiser for Awakened Living,, a community led by TJ Woodward, spiritual counselor, life coach, interfaith minister, registered addiction specialist intern.; 415.410.4800

Francine Brevetti also offers a free consultation at a time convenient to you. You learn How to start and proceed on the book you have envisioned for so long

 Posted by at 1:48 am