The Iconic Skyclock

Written by Braiden on August 26, 2010

Skyclock for

Many people have asked how my talented Web designer, Chris Prouty, and his team at Studio 99 Creative came up with our Web site’s iconic Skyclock.

Now Chris and I have a standing appointment to talk on the phone every Friday at noon, so here’s what he had to say. I thought it might be interesting (not to mention downright inspiring!) for other creative types to see how he goes about his process. So here are Chris’s words of wisdom.

“When I design a logo or iconic element for a Web site, I try to find the one thing that is perfect. I try not to look at other designers’ stuff since I want to be myself and far ahead of the curve.

“When I designed the Skyclock originally, it didn’t contain the clouds. When we put the clouds in, it just brought everything together in one simple package.”

Chris has recently totally redesigned his Web site, so check it out for more inspiring and inspired ideas.

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Today’s the Day to Get Inspired!

Written by Braiden on August 19, 2010

I believe there are no coincidences, that everything happens for a reason and people are meant to come together at the correct time and in the proper places.

So earlier this week, I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Toni Reece of the Get Inspired Project. We chatted a few minutes before the interview to get to know each other better, and our personalities immediately clicked. . .two professional women reaching out to others and offering inspiration and hope along the way.

Her twist is that the Get Inspired Project is fast-approaching its one-year deadline. So I feel especially fortunate she chose me for Day 323 of the project.

Here’s the link to the resulting transcript and audio of the interview in which she picked up on these key words as far as inspiration in my life:

“Be aware. I think that that’s really important. Live in the moment. Don’t be thinking about the past or the future too much. Live in that moment and savor it, and then you can communicate your joy to others.”

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Five More Minutes With Called “a Wonderful Place”

Written by Braiden on August 19, 2010

I first met Tom Osborn, Pastor of Community Ministries at Eastside Christian Fellowship in Redmond, Washington, at Sosio’s Produce in the Pike Place Market, where he works alongside his brother, Mike. I’ve been shopping at Sosio’s for more than 20 years, ever since we first moved to Seattle. It is THE PLACE for heirloom tomatoes, freshly foraged mushrooms of all sorts, Oh My God peaches (not an actual variety, but what people say when they try a sample), and all manner of fruits and veggies.

When I found out about Pastor Tom’s other life, I quickly gave him my Five More Minutes With business card and suggested he visit the site. I was pleased and humbled by his e-mail response:

“The website looks great. I really enjoyed spending the last hour just poking around and reading the stories. At some point I will try and post some stories from my life.

“I have heard so many of these type of stories over my 30 years as a pastor and it is always such an important part of the grieving and closure process for people. In fact, at most of the funerals and memorial services I perform, I encourage people to continue to tell their stories and I remind them that it has been said that a person is never truly gone as long as someone remembers them.

“You are providing a wonderful place for all of us to share in the remembering of those we have loved.

“Thank you.”

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Sun and (In)spire

Written by Braiden on August 16, 2010

The Sun Peaking Behind the dramatic onion domes atop the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia

Although I am not a religious person, and the Five More Minutes With Web site is intended to be totally nondenominational, during our recent visit to St. Petersburg, Russia, I couldn’t help but be moved by and in awe of the iconic architecture offered up by the Russian Orthodox cathedrals that dot that fascinating city.

Here’s an interesting shot of the afternoon sun behind the dramatic onion domes atop the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. According to WikiPedia, “The name refers to the blood of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, who was assassinated on that site in 1881.”

I wanted to share the photo with you as a source of inspiration and beauty, something that leads our thoughts to lofty heights.

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Taking Inspiration from Life’s Simple Moments

Written by Braiden on August 12, 2010

Earlier today, while driving down a quiet residential street deep in thought, I focused in on the car in front of me.

The stickers on the bumper of the modest silver Mazda both delighted and inspired me.

In fact, I quickly realized they could almost have been my mantra for the day and well beyond.





Have you chosen to feel, really feel, today?

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Give Me Just Five Minutes: Writers’ Tips Continued

Written by Braiden on August 5, 2010

Something as simple as lighting a candle or listening to a particular piece of music can help a writer enter the state of writing “flow”

In my previous post, I described a timed exercise–writing about a topic for a specified period of time–which somehow causes the brain to react quickly and well. I also promised I’d share additional tricks writers use to get in “flow,” that elusive but wonderful feeling when the thoughts and words are flowing, almost as if from a higher intelligence or being.

So while some writers respond well to time constraints (think of reporters who can only write when they are on a deadline), some writers react well to visual or auditory cues.

For example, quite often before I start writing FMMW stories, I turn down the lights and ignite two OXO Candela Glow rechargeable lights (smokeless, fireless “candles”) and place them on either side of my writing desk. The candles’ warm, ivory-colored glow simultaneously sends me into a place of calm and inspires me to think deep thoughts.

Other writers may be inspired by music. If you’re one of those, here’s the link to a Frank Sinatra tune that goes particularly well with the Five More Minutes With zeitgeist: “Frank Sinatra – Five Minutes More 78 rpm 1946 factory sample”

Even scents can trigger memories. Sometimes when I buy Star-Gazer Lilies, their heavy, musky scent reminds me of funerals I’ve attended. That scent sends me into thoughts of those I have loved who are now departed.

So whatever trick(s) you use to enter the state of flow, I’ll hope you’ll use it/them today, be inspired to write a story for, then share it with our FMMW community.

How to Launch Your Young Adult

Written by Braiden on August 2, 2010

Brad E. Sachs, Ph.D., a friend of mine during my junior and senior high school years in suburban Philadelphia who has since become a valued aficionado of the Five More Minutes With concept and Web site, has just come out with his latest book entitled, “Emptying the Nest: Launching Your Young Adult Toward Success and Self-Reliance.”

Now Brad is the perfect person to write this tome. He’s a psychologist and author of the nationally recognized parenting books, “The Good Enough Child” and “The Good Enough Teen.”  He has appeared on over 300 radio and television shows, including 20/20, The Today Show and The Diane Rehm Show. He regularly contributes to Redbook, Parenting, Parents, Child, and American Baby, and is on the faculty of the Cape Cod Institute. The father of three young adult children, he and his wife live in Columbia, Maryland.

According to a book blurb that Brad sent to me, “Today’s young adults face a tough job market and a rapidly changing world, and are often struggling to achieve financial and emotional independence well into their 20s. Dr. Sachs, a recognized parenting expert, draws on his extensive clinical experience to show parents how to cultivate their young adults’ successes and self-reliance while simultaneously maintaining healthy family relationships.”

Here are some testimonials from other leading experts:

“Brad Sachs insightfully maps out the challenging terrain of contemporary parenthood. Practical and compassionate, this book provides parents with the necessary tools to finish the job right.” — Madeline Levine, author of  “The Price of Privilege”

“A ‘must-have’ for every parent seeking to foster not only self pride and independence for their adolescent/emerging adult, but for themselves as well.” — Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D., author of “10 Days to a Less Defiant Child”

“Brad Sachs has produced an excellent book that captures the obstacles, challenges, and joys of helping young adults achieve independence. . .a wonderful resource for parents and professionals alike.” — Robert Brooks, faculty, Harvard Medical School and coauthor of “Raising Resilient Children”

We wish Brad all the best with his latest tome, and urge you to purchase it if you have a young adult in your life. We know we’ll be picking up a copy so we can better relate to our own young-adult nephew and twin nieces.

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