Archive for the 'Creativity' Category

Tales of Spinning and Spinning Tales

Am I spinning too fast?  I’m spinning, there is no question… every waking moment seems to be filled with some activity, or crisis aversion, or preparation to avoid future crisis.  I am the preparer of sustenance, nagger of homework, social and sporting chauffeur, labourer of laundry, shepherd of hygiene, soother of booboos, purveyor of discipline, finder of lost things, unclogger/unplugger/untangler/unwhateverer… Apparently what I am not these days is a reader of books and writer of blogs.  There has been no time.

I need that time.

This thinking is, of course, exasperated by the fact that November looms, and with it the two Nano challenges…

First, NaBloPoMo… National Blog Posting Month…. A post a day for thirty days.  I have tried this for the last few Novembers, and some years actually managed to pull it off.  Can’t say the content was top notch, but it was there.

The other is NaNoWriMo… National Novel Writing Month… A 50,000 word novel in 30 days… I have tried this twice, and failed dismally both times.  Each year I think I’ll have a larger plan for my characters before November 1st, and each year I enter with no clue where the story eventually goes, and invariably where it goes is down the tubes.  This year, however, a character from a kid’s (unpublished and rarely submitted) story I wrote when my own children were little has been popping into my head advising me that his tale is much much bigger than I originally told it.  Dare I go down the road again?  And how do I do all this with all the life spinning going on?

Perhaps I will spin myself silly.

So my dear blog friends, what do you think of these crazy notions.  Am I just so punchy from tiredness that I am actually considering these?  And would any of you jump into these spinny games with me?

Protected: How Not To Make Bunny Ears

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Delight

My grandmother knew what a painful life had taught her:  success or failure, the truth of a life really has little to do with its quality.  The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight.  The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.
—  Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

I have been picking away a bit at my ragged copy of The Artist’s Way, though admittedly somewhat half-heartedly.  Some days I do morning pages, and have found them quite useful.  And I think about the exercises, though never commit them to paper.  And while an “artist date” is a lovely concept, I must say, “me time” is in rare supply most days, so my solitary “creative date” time has never actually happened yet.

I ventured into this journey to recover my creativity really more as a journey to find direction.  I want so much more than survival.  I want a joyful life (for truly there is much in this life to rejoice about even in trying times).  It is my continuing attempt to open my mind to where exactly I want that direction to be.  But when I came to the above quote, I immediately grabbed a pen and underlined the statement “The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight.” and I rarely actually write in my books.  Because I think what she says here is very very true.

So I want to take notice of what delights me.  I want to be feel gratitude for all of the wonderful things in the world around me.  I want to take notice of the teacup that feels perfect in the hand… of how raindrops on the flowers reflect the re-emerging sunlight… of how the heart sings when one’s children laugh together… of what actually makes me stop and let my soul sigh with peace.

My new plan (and to be honest, I think I’m stealing this plan from something I saw a long time agon on What Would Jane Austen Do but in a quick search could not find it) is to present “Things That Don’t Suck” once a week for the next little while.  Maybe make a “Things That Don’t Suck Thursday” (like Wordless Wednesday but maybe with words) to share a particular delight noticed that week.

Because I want to pay attention.  And in taking notice of these things I want to celebrate the good things in life.  I hope you will join me and share your delights as well.

Bagpipes Before Breakfast

What does it mean when you start hearing bagpipes before you’ve even had your morning coffee?  It means you must be in the heart of Charlottetown on parade day.

Today is a holiday in town.  A day off to watch a parade which celebrates a horse race.  It’s a rather home-spun type of event, where a typical float is the back of a flat bed truck adorned with balloons and crape paper as participants dance, wave, and smile as the music blares.  It is a part of local culture and tradition, and we go each year.  My favorite part are the large helium balloons.  My least favorite are the bagpipes warming up before breakfast.

With the parade ending at lunch, the girls and I had the afternoon to fill, and true to my Canada Day notion of spending time together in a coffee shop, we made a plan to take our notebooks and spend a while at a local spot we have never been, sipping a beverage, and jotting down thoughts, dreams, stories, and other great works.  And blog posts too.

The children got their first fancy hot chocolate.  When I suggested a topping of whipped cream they initially thought I was joking, but soon were on board.  They were both impressed and amused by the beverage.  We sipped on the drinks and talked for a while before pulling out our notebooks.  Rainbow worked on her gratitude journal and drew for a while, Dolittle jotted notes and lists.  I blogged by hand (to be transcribed later).  There is something to be said for this long-hand thing.  I can see how the environment and the method is condusive to creativity.  I can also see how longer creative works may require solitude or the company of the less inquisitive.  But it was lovely — we three, journalling together.

Sometimes bagpipes before breakfast is actually just a quirky way to start a rather wonderful day.

Protected: Update on Life

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Getting Wrecked

Lauri over at Lauri’s Reflections recently posted about a site called “I wreck this journal.” I admit, I too am guilty of buying prettying notebooks hoping to be inspired, only to struggle with writing less than perfectly in them. I also admit I struggle writing in ugly notebooks, but that really isn’t the point at the moment.

I have decided to make a wrecked journal one of my summer projects. To that end, today I took myself to the Dollar Store and got myself a hard covered notebook. I also began the process of just creating random “wrecks” in the hopes of unleashing some creative energy.
The first is inspired by a conversation I had with Mrs. Goodwitch.. just a random comment she made… but, in fact, I am still pondering its implications in my life. It is essentially a page of scribbles and doodles as I pondered the phrase.

The second, on a suggestion from the site, was a creation of crayon and tea as I pondered other things.


The girls are enjoying creating their own “wrecks” as well, so I think it will be a fine little project for us to embark on together.

And, I’m a little ashamed to admit, I’m finding the puffed out book… with cover that no longer closes properly, and pages all rippled and less than perfect… oddly satisfying.

Bathtime Yo

If you put your almost-seven-year old in the bathtub with a light-up rubber duck and some bubbles, make sure you pee first because it’s going to be 3 long hours before you get bathroom time again…

Besides contemplating the great mysteries of bubbles (as apparently there are many), and expressing the desire to be a fish, Rainbow also used bath time to excercise her creativity in an impromptu beatbox tune that went something like this…

I’m a daredevil duck Yo (ptptptptpt)

Daredevil duck Yo (ptptptptpt)

Call Me Yo (ptptptptpt)

Cuz I’m Daredevil Duck Yo (ptptptpt)

Call me…

Call me over…

I’m Daredevil Duck Yo (ptptptpt)

Party all the time…

Give me a call Yo…

I’m a cool DJ Yo (ptptptptpt)

(etc.)


I get that there might be some cultural influence for the beatbox thing with Blake on American Idol… but where does someone who watches the likes of Curious George and can spend hours contemplating bubbles pick up phrases like “party all the time…; give me a call, yo…”?

I think we may have to keep a closer eye on the grade one crowd here in the ‘hood. I’m just saying…


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