double dog dare you

March 31, 2010

Oh Creative One! Mr. Hrabe was one of my high school English/Social Studies teachers. He told me once that I would probably never be nothing more than a mediocre student. I was too young and dumb to say, “How dare you! How dare you, even if your intent is to tell me to not worry so much, how dare you word it that way.”

Brave Creative One, go on, dare those mediocre duds of your past. Go on. I know you are much, much more than they ever suspected. I’ve got your back.



March 30, 2010

Oh Creative One, it’s snowing here on one of the last days in March. Wet, large flakes that melt upon arrival to earth. My daughter has a cold that makes her sluggish and thick in the head. She cuddles up with me as I make vegan lemon bars, vegan chocolate cake, vegan chocolate chip cookies…I’ve got book club visiting tonight and my son has life-threatening allergies to milk and egg. I don’t let people bring new food into our house because his allergies are that severe.

Creative Creative One! Stumped? Hitting a wall with your piece? If I can make a taste-y vegan lemon bar, you can surely get around the problem that’s got you puzzled.


March 30, 2010

Oh Creative One! My house is thankfully quiet after the busiest of days yesterday. Suffice to say that we’ve now got a faulty major appliance in the middle of our kitchen floor. There is a saying that each child you have holds a lesson that you need to learn. Just now, with my daughter, that lesson is that I need to slow down, that many of my time limits are self-imposed, that taking time to watch the concentric circles in a puddle after splashing through is of utmost importance. With this in mind, I’m letting the kids sleep in today. We’ll arrive at school in our own time. We will get there, but on our terms today.

Growing Creative One, I offer a similar thought about your work. Consider that each piece has a lesson for you to learn. It might that you learn to be angry without being destructive or that you learn to be tender with the sorest part of your soul. Maybe it is as simple as enjoying just the right shade of red for all its beauty and gifts.


March 26, 2010

Oh Creative One! A quote for your weekend endeavors.

Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

Kind Creative One, the quote applies to you and your work as well. Be kind to yourself. I’m so relieved that you are fighting for your creative life.

little drummer boy

March 25, 2010

Oh Creative One! When Alicia Keys sings, I am a sucker. I think, “Yes! I am from New York!” even though I’m from Minnesota. I think, “Yes! I can do anything!” though at my age “anything” comes with a novel’s length of footnotes.  I believe I am on the verge of something more exciting than brushing my teeth and checking on the kids before bedtime. But, the most interesting person to watch during her televised concert was the drummer. He was a cool cat and kept everyone in line and was in it for the music and the music alone. He does not have fame. The crowds don’t cheer for him. He was just there for the music and probably a bit of a paycheck…

Heart-thumping Creative One, I only care that you do what you love when you can.

Also, an apology. I noticed a few typos in yesterday’s submission. I can only claim to have been writing whilst chasing the wee-un during lunch. I never claimed to be an infallible multi-tasker.

Oh Creative One! My daughter ate lunch at what was originally an annoyingly slow pace. At first, I wanted her to finish! Quickly! I cut off large bites for her. I urged her onwards. I nearly pulled out my hair trying when she only ate small bites, slowly, commenting on all the little details. Then, I remembered I had to waste 90 minutes before my son’s performance at school. I realized that we had nothing to do except stay warm and dry and watch the rain. We had a lovely time together. She nibbled through her lunch while workmen unloaded a lorrie of wood, the mailman delivered letters and bills and the rain made rivulets and puddles in the mud just outside our window.

Slow Creative One, resist the urge to create at the speed of the internet, your television, the speed dial on your phone. Take your time. Enjoy working slowly on the small bits and the details, especially if they give you pleasure. This time is yours alone.

Sing a new song…

March 23, 2010

Oh Creative One! Two cars honked so frantically that I thought we were about to be the subject of a deadly accident when my daughter dropped her prized possession, her objet d’amor, her cherished blankie, in the intersection today. They knew that a lost and soiled beloved would lead to a horrendous day. After retrieving her “Fifi” she made up a new song, “Fifi is good. Fifi is good. Fifi is mine and is good, good, good.”

Beloved Creative One, there’s nothing wrong with owning exactly what gives you comfort on your creative journeys. Bring it along and hum a new song as you set about your way.


March 22, 2010

Oh Creative One! I went to a snoozie little party this weekend. The food was good and I really like the hostess. There were a few interesting people, but I was cornered into supporting conversation with a woman whose guffaw consisted of a grim smile and another American transplanted in Glasgow who talked and talked and talked. They made jokes about people who “lived in Spam Valley” – where I live unbeknownst to them. They shook their bracelets and drank their wine and made mental notes as to who lived where and wore what and sent her kids to what school. It was fine, but I was never asked about myself. I decided not to correct the talker when she said, “When should we get together? Nevermind, you don’t work, you’re flexible. I ‘ll call when I can.” I decided to be the first one to leave.

Sleepy Creative One. You know that I’ve been bolstering your reserve, telling you to take risks for your art. Yet, I want to remind you that it’s okay to hold back from people that talk too much or can’t break a smile in the name of meeting someone new. There’s no need to shock the natives from their tired little competitions. You’ve got sleep to catch up on and creations to make.

I’m an Add-er

March 19, 2010

Oh Creative One! In my writing classes I was taught, as early as high school, that one should err on the side of taking stuff away. Slash and burn left the best pieces. It proved difficult when my first drafts were always shorter, spindlier, bonier than the rest. Cutting left virtually nothing on the page and certainly not a poem either.

Self-sufficient Creative One. Imagine my joy when I found out that I’m not a slash and burn writer. I’m an add-er. My drafts are rarely finished til I’ve gone over and over and over them – adding as I go more than subtracting. You are exactly the artist that you are. Only use guidelines in your process of discovery rather than the laws of your art. So glad you’re here! See you Monday!

blank page

March 18, 2010

Oh Creative One! To be honest, I’m not staring at a blank page. But, I’ve been writing terribly these past few days. I mean, really, super stinky writing. There was a time when this would happen that I would freak out, shut down and have an existential crisis. Really.

Questionably Creative One, you’ve had a bump on the road before and you’ve always come back. The words, the colors, the joy in ink on a page. It comes back. Keep Calm and Carry On.