The Time Has Come…to Celebrate 7 Years!

the time has come, the Walrus said,
(Time Peace, May 2010)

to talk of many things
(Everyone Has a Story, October 2016)

Of shoes
(Lady Poet, March 2015)

and ships
(Uncharted Territory, June 2015)

and sealing wax
(Fate Sealed, October 2014)

of cabbages
(An Eastern Meditation, August 2012)

and kings
(Spirit Woods, May 2011)

and why the sea is boiling hot
(Blessed Places, May 2013)

and whether pigs have wings
(In which Alice falls and we wonder, December 2014)

THANK YOU FOR following along on the adventure that is Random Acts of Writing, and the meandering “many things” we’ve talked about. I feel very blessed to have had such a supportive and creative community in which to share my musings for the past seven years, and look forward to more good things to come!


PHOTO ©2016, Jen Payne, Walrus and Carpenter display at House on the Rock, Spring Green, WI. Text from “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” a narrative poem by Lewis Carroll that appeared in his book Through the Looking-Glass.

Resistance is NOT Futile

I woke up this morning with a feeling of dread. Despite the abundance of good work, the anticipation of my new book, the arrival of a dear friend for a weekend visit, I knew there was something else lurking. The same dark anomaly that has been lurking for years now—yes, years, think about it.

When I woke up this morning, I knew that at some point in my day, at least once, whether intentional or not, I would be subjected to the reality of Donald Trump. Headlines yelling at me from my news sources, in my social media newsfeed, from the display in the checkout line—the enormity of what is happening is so loud and terrifying, I’ve developed a screaming whine in my ears that will not go away.

And that’s the scariest part—this is not going away. Not. Going. Away.

So the question is, what do we do with this? You can’t hide from it. Or run away. Ignore it. You have to face it. Do something about it. Cry. March. Scream.

And then go eat a gallon of ice cream. Or shoot yourself. Or something in the middle.

I showed up at the computer this morning determined to disconnect from social media for good, to train myself not to read the headlines anymore, to effectively stick my head in the sand and figure out how to breathe through my ass for the next four years.

But then this article caught my eye. And I read it. And I think you should too.

It’s called “How to Stay Outraged Without Losing Your Mind” by Mirah Curzer, a lawyer, feminist, and photographer. In it, she gives the following tips for being a strong resistor while maintaining your sanity:

1. Don’t Get Used to Trump — Get Away from Him
2. Focus Your Energy on One or Two Issues
3. Make Activism Fun
4. Take Care of the Basics

Please read these “Self-Care Lessons for the Resistance,” and then let’s roll up our sleeves, grab our lightsabers and get to work, shall we? I’ll courageously stay at the front lines with you…or go eat a hot fudge sundae, if that’s what is necessary for the cause.

Text ©2017, Jen Payne. IMAGE: by Hayley Gilmore,

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? (please read)

Hi and thank you for following RANDOM ACTS OF WRITING!

I’ve been a proud and enthusiastic participant in the Wordpress blogging community since 2010. Back then, “blogging” was still a buzzword. It was a fairly new way for us to communicate our thoughts and ideas to the world, and we were all excited to join in — write! create! comment! share!

It seems different now, almost seven years later. Folks don’t comment as much, we’re not interacting as often. Do you find that yourself?

I wonder sometimes if the newfangled interface of the Wordpress platform is at fault. We don’t seem to SEE each other as much – remember the days of Freshly Pressed?

Maybe it’s just the number of social media platforms we’re all managing. We now blog, Facebook, tweet, pin, instagram, link in, and tumble on our desktops, lapstops, ipads, iphones and mobile devices. Wordpress reports that we, its bloggers, produce 69.5 million new posts each month! And that’s just here, in this blog space.

But what are we saying? Are we communicating with each other or just at each other? Are we talking about important things? Doing GOOD work on behalf of our craft, our community, our culture? Are we supporting each other’s efforts to do the same?

Let’s face it – communicating with each other, doing good work, supporting each other – they’re more important NOW than ever before.

I encourage you to come back, join in the conversation. Share your thoughts and ideas on your own blog, in the comment field below, in the comment fields of other blogs.

(If not on Wordpress, then keep in touch with RANDOM ACTS OF WRITING on Facebook.)

Let’s start talking!



©2016, Jen Payne. For more, read “How Much Data is Created on the Internet Each Day?”.

SIX things you didn’t know about Random Acts

Today is the SIX year anniversary of Random Acts of Writing + Art! That’s SIX years of essays, poems, photographs and artwork. SIX years of this online conversation between you and me, sharing our interests here in this rich, diverse, and creative space. How cool is all of that?

In celebration, I thought I would offer up SIX things you might not know about Random Acts. Ready?


Random Acts of Writing is followed by more than 900 people around the world, including my high school English teacher who reminded me, early on, that it was important to keep my writing universal so more people could understand and appreciate it.


Alice in Wonderland makes frequent stops at this blog, as do Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, and my Dad. But it was Gene Kelly who starred in the opening number back in 2010.


Random Acts of Writing is a fifth generation creative effort that has its roots in the 1980s zine culture. The Latest News was its first incarnation, which I published from 1989 – 1996. It was included in the book Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture by Stephen Duncombe.


It turns out, I am an internet research geek. Many of the posts you read on Random Acts of Writing are infused with details from Google Books, Wiki Art, the Library of Congress, Wikipedia, Bible Hub, and Quote Investigator. I recently spent four totally nerdy hours on Google Patents and had to stop because my mouse hand cramped up.


The intention of Random Acts of Writing has shape-shifted over the years, but its most-talked-about topics include creativity, books, nature, spirituality, and poetry. All of that writing – close to 1,000 posts – led to the publication of LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness in 2014, and is currently feeding my next book, Evidence of Flossing and Mechanisms of Man, due out in 2017.


In total, there have been more than 11,000 visits to Random Acts of Writing and 60,333 distinct views since 2010. According to Wordpress, most folks prefer to read it on Sunday at 12:00pm. Perhaps over coffee and donuts? Actually, in a past life, I made donuts for a living, but that’s a story best told some other day.

Today is a day to celebrate! And to say thank you…for all of your support over the past SIX years — for your Comments, your Likes, and your Thumbs Up. It has been a blessing to share this journey and this ongoing conversation with you.

With Love,

High Five to Random Acts!

Today is the FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Random Acts of Writing [+art]! To celebrate, I thought I’d offer up FIVE random facts… ONE Since its start in 2010, Random Acts of Writing has published 811 posts, been viewed over 55,000 times by people in 40 countries, and is read by more than 800 WordPress and Facebook followers… Continue reading High Five to Random Acts!