Follow daily progress on a 30 day personal challenge to stretch out of my comfort zone and cultivate creative passion into a sustainable life.  

DAY 8 Tipping Point

Dead Man's Hand, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

Dead Man's Hand, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

Woke up.  Recorded voice work.  Got to work on blog.  

Understood blog is encumbering progress.  

Improvement:  Cut voice work recording down.  Cut article work down.  Cut overall blog time down.  

Schedule time better.  Take out unnecessary. Back to old schedule, with time constraints.  Keep up with schedule. Increase business work heavily.  Find more time for music.  Find time to relax and listen to music/ do art/ listen to podcasts or read.  Make more time for Short story writing.  Do pull ups.  Enjoy this time.        

Voice Work


The Land of Counterpane by Robert Louis Stevenson

I picked another old favorite and short voice work recording for today.  It’s making a huge difference spending less time on voice work in the morning.  I may not be cut out for this type of work seeing how much time it takes, how halted my flow is and how frustrated I get.  It’s maddening to misread a line five times or say something wrong twenty times in a row.  

The Land of Counterpane is a poem my Mom read to me when I was little.  I like the concept of a kid in a confined space with an unlimited world spread before him.  Anything that can transport your mind to another place when you’re sick is heaven.  My Dad was laid up for months as a kid and I can imagine him the same way.  The imagination is a powerful tool.  

It also makes me think of Robert Louis Stevenson Park in Sonoma California which is somewhere I love.  Within a seven minute walk, you take a small divergent path to the right and up you go to the top of a trail no one else seems to traverse.  Mountains peel out before you and you are on a summit overlooking earthly beauty.  Hawks soar at eye level and it's that rarified atmosphere between land and space.  The park's between my Dad near Sonoma and my sister in San Francisco but we always had to get somewhere and he was never keen on stopping.  One trip, on the last day visiting him, driving the three hours to my sister in San Francisco I fell asleep.  It was one of those rides I wished would last forever so I would never have to go back to Boston.  The van pulled to a slow crunching stop and as I woke up I saw he had pulled over at Robert Louis Stevenson Park.  

Hidden Island, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

Hidden Island, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

Cliff's Notes

Interview with Sean Penn by Alex Bilmes 16 February 2015

I don’t know at what point that click happened where I said “This a serious guy, I love this guy.”  About four years ago I used to live above the theater my Mom works at, had nothing to do but try to figure out what to do and bide some time.  I started watching all these old movies, black and whites, classics, celebrated films.  I’d go online and look for lists of the best films of all time then start going through them.  After that I’d start to find actors I’d like and I’d trace as much of their career front to back as I could find for free.  

You fall in love with certain people.  That’s what star power and connection is, it’s a ness that gets into you or that you feel is in you and that inspires more of that from you.  I wasted a good amount of time watching movies that didn’t inspire and I also witnessed astounding beauty, art and humanity that impacted my life.  Actors are often intense people and what’s interesting following someone’s career like that, is you’re also following their life.  You take Paul Newman from when he was a young man and the roles he played and how he played them and do a little back story and get to know who he was off screen.  Obviously there’s a continuity.  Then you watch him go on and the films he’s in and eventually he’s to a point where he’s picking the films and that’s a major shift in the journey of an actor and a person.   Pretty soon this great looking young guy is a great looking old guy and you’ve watched his life and his career unfold in a matter of weeks.  You look up their wives to see how attractive they were, you know their key points and you see the correlation in the roles, you see where it brought them.  You can’t say you get to know someone but you get a feel for them.  

I forget sometimes how impacted I am by humanity and art.  Moving back to Boston the light of integrity I had for choosing films dimmed and it’s a quick slide from good to awful.  You get an amazon or a netflix account and in the habit of picking from the limited preselected libraries because it’s easy and because it’s time consuming work to go online and wade through masses of normality to find films that reflect deeper interests.  I watch almost strictly documentaries now in an attempt to avoid this situation.  Penn’s a reminder to watch great film and to feed some of the vital parts inside that grow from experiencing humanity.  If not all the time, once in a while take a break from learning with the head and learn with the heart.   

I read an Esquire interview on Penn years ago and found it inspiring.  I flipped the pages and read an article on supermodel humanitarian, Petra Nemcova.  Her approach to life felt completely different then Penn's.  It seemed they were traveling in the same direction and where she was moving with the current, Sean fought for the inches.  I found value in both.    

Sean Penn by Alex Bilmes      

    Old Sean Penn Esquire Article             Petra Nemcova Article    

The Last Walk, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

The Last Walk, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd


☛  Music

Haven't had the time to do much music.  Did it anyway.  The push for the song I wrote came from a few different places, one's worth mentioning now.  Musician Glenn Cambell, known for playing alongside guys like Johnny Cash, recently passed away.  He knew it was coming and he knew he only had so much time. Shortly before he left, he wrote a song called I'm Not Gonna Miss You. The concept was simple, he'd never have the pain of losing his wife, because he was going first. The most original and raw concept for a song I'd heard in years.  

Watch Gelnn's song here:  I'm Not Gonna Miss You, Glenn Cambell

The thing about creativity is it comes out.  Without trying, without shaping it into something.  It comes out and reminds you who you are on the inside, deeper then you could think up.  Those moments are important.  If you can acknowledge them, you can understand what your core aspects are.  


☛  Nature Sightings

Secret Woods, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

Secret Woods, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

If I could give you anything from today it would be the smell of the rain, fog and leaves when I walked outside.  The smell like having your head inside the trunk of a Christmas tree, when biking through the woods.  And the fresh and pure smell of the ocean as you get down close on the rocks.  

Most of my life around the ocean, it smells good, it smells like the ocean but you wouldn’t say it’s a clean smell necessarily.  This is a clean, pure, fresh smell.  Not fishy, not eggy or like sulfur. Fresh. 

Hopping off my bike a red squirrel is yelling at me and I walk over and call him out.  “What are you doin' up there?  I see you.  Cool it out.”  He stops and looks embarrassed, almost surprised that he’s visible.  

Fog everywhere.  Through the woods, between the trees, approaching the ocean, over the rocks and all you see is white.  It clears a little as I explore the seaweed and light in different pools. From the ocean to the trees looking up, you have blue green, brown red, pink, black, burnt tan, white grey, green, red, and white to sky.  

After a while I got out to the farthest rock I can and lay down against the seaweed with the rising tide and waves.  An island is in and out of view as the fog moves.  I’m there for a while when I hear noise.  A couple guys are looking down off the rocks.  I must have scared them white.  They thought I was a dead man.  

Sea Moss, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

Sea Moss, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

Sea Arms, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

Sea Arms, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd


☛  Poetry


Cast off deep against the waves and ease down 

Under the clear and swirling blue green water

Seaweed slides against the 

Sky churning above

Rolling out


The small ones are moving fast to each other

And the darkness of the unknown

A deep ledge creeps

Flash of silver to catch the eye

Not too big


To call up bigger visions


Infinite unknown

Prehistoric jaws

Bones of the leviathan 

Flesh clinging till it’s loosed by water 

Time and hunger

Sunk to the bottom

Under the sand turning fossil

For later worlds to find and ponder 

The terse teeth 

Size of hands

Back of the neck


The skin breaks


Before the bones crack

And the biggest 


Like an underwater airplane

To fit your family tree

Eats only the tiniest 

Red creatures

So small

Like liquid

And would your fear

Still strike up under your stomach 

In your deepest


Like jolting Lightening

From the other side

If this giant appeared beside you

In all it’s beautiful monstrous glory

In the depths

Of a deep 

Dark ocean

Beneath the Waves, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

Beneath the Waves, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

☛  What Did I Do Today

-Morning Ritual

-Record Voicework


-Music - Write full song


-Time Photographing

-Odds and Ends

-Photo Editing

-Read Article

-Write on article

-Read Book


Outlier, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd

Outlier, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd