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Writing the Rainbow

If you were to disregard all of the file folders, books, and scribbled sticky notes, one of the first things you'd notice about my office is my fondness for the movie, The Wizard of Oz.

Along the walls and bookshelves are postcards of Dorothy and The Wicked Witch, a stuffed Scarecrow, and a Cowardly Lion hand puppet. There's also an 18-inch rainbow on my desk. It's really a candleholder, a simple black ornamental bridge with small glass votives of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. To me it is a symbol of hope and inspiration, a reminder of how color became my muse.

Like many writers, there was a time when my words did not flow, flow, flow onto the paper, a time when I would have welcomed a pair of ruby slippers just so I could click myself three times out of the Writers Block Woods and into the Creative Light.

One day I walked into a metaphysical shop in Rhode Island and found my muse. There, along one large, sunny window were over 100 square glass bottles, each containing two different-colored layers of liquid, mesmerizing me with their gem-like brilliance.

This was my introduction to Aura-Soma, a holistic therapy which uses the healing energies of colors, plants, and crystals. Instinctively, I reached for "Gabriel," the blue-over-violet bottle. The consultant explained that by applying the oily contents to my throat and temple, my communication abilities would be greatly improved. Hopeful for a writer's miracle in a bottle, I brought "Gabriel" home and after only a few applications, I found myself enjoying what I can only describe as a creative high.

After my Aura-Soma enlightenment, I couldn't get enough color. I wanted to breathe it, drink it, eat it, wear it. I became an unabashed color junkie, studying and researching color, presenting color workshops, writing color meditations, and developing my own color therapy sprays and bath oils to sell at holistic and metaphysical fairs. Eventually, I earned my certification as a professional color therapist so that I could one day open my own color healing practice.

The more I worked (and played!) with color, the more I wondered how it might benefit my writing.

Since color is absorbed through the eyes and the skin, I deduced that I could achieve the same emotional benefits from holding and writing with a colored pen, just as I would by breathing color or wearing a particular color of clothing. I experimented with this concept until my Write-by-Color method was born (now called Rainbow Writing) and I began offering workshops to adults and children.

In Rainbow Writing, we use different colored inks because their vibrations help us feel or be the color.

Let's say the Rainbow Writing exercise is about blue, the color of communication, self-expression, integrity, and peace. I would ask my students to pick up a blue pen or pencil and hold it in their left hand.

"Focus on the color for a few minutes," I'd say. "Imagine you can see your hand being completely absorbed by the blue vibrations. Watch the color grow and grow until your entire body is completely surrounded in blue. Enjoy that feeling for a moment or so, then begin writing about your blue character, incident or whatever."

When I think of colored pens, I like to pretend they are magic wands for scribes to release their demons or manifest their writing dreams. But my Rainbow Writing technique is more involved than just writing with color. It's about becoming more color conscious of our world. And once we understand the excessive and deficient qualities associated with each color, we can write stories with more interesting, more believable characters who practically leap off the page.

One of my favorite examples of a red personality is the aptly named Scarlett O'Hara, the fiery heroine from Gone With The Wind. Talk about attention-getters!

Scarlett was stubborn and temperamental, a pampered woman-child who expected everything good the world had to offer. And nothing could stop Scarlett from achieving her goals, not death and destruction nor the scorn and wagging tongues of the local gentry. If she had to steal her sister's beau, murder a Yankee or toil in the fields, so be it. Scarlett was the ultimate survivor. If she had had a personal mantra, it would have been "It's all about me—and don't you forget it!"

In my Rainbow Writing workshop, we put on our colored glasses, hold colored gemstones, smell color-related essential oils, wrap ourselves in colored scarves.

We also listen to color-related music and learn color breathing techniques before we even put colored pen to paper. And then we prepare to write with my "Color Countdown." In that relaxing alpha mind state, the color affirmations help us feel more confident and focused so that we may "awaken" to produce more colorful and passionate writing.

Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet. These seven colors are powerful tools for writers.

So if a writer has lost their muse somewhere along the yellow brick road without a pair of ruby slippers to find it, they might look to the rainbow for inspiration!




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