I like you

August 31, 2010

Oh Creative One! I was on the playground this morning waiting with parents and their children for school to begin. The sun is out in Scotland, which is quite rare. Conversation was pleasant enough. But, where were you? I’m not saying I don’t value the daily chat, but it is so much more interesting and fun when you come out to play too.

Adored Creative One, I don’t think there are enough people that stick up for you unless you have found acclaim or made money with your art. BAH! BAH! I’m here to stick up for you. I like you. Please come out to play.

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pretend and proceed

August 30, 2010

Oh Creative One! Last night, my email went ping! For a moment, I hoped. I hoped it was an email from some editor thinking that some story of mine was worthy of publication in some journal or book or quarterly. I had an energy for a moment that I did not previously have. I knew exactly what I would send of to a slew of editors next. Sigh and alas, it was just a note from some catalog from whose mailing list I can’t seem to permanently remove my name.

Lovely Creative One, pretend you have been acknowledged by someone you don’t know. Pretend they adore your work. Pretend and proceed with that little spark in your belly. I have no problems living the lie if it gives you a bit of confidence to continue your work…

Consider the Blueberry

August 26, 2010

Oh Creative One. Last night I read, “Blueberries for Sal,” to my daughter before bedtime. Every time I say the word blueberry aloud to my daughter, I think of the wee bush my friend Tracy grew in her garden in Seattle. I also think of the bushes I dodged through playing tag with my sisters in Colorado waiting for adults to finish all that talking they did. I think of how they explode in my mouth and how I described that pop to my son when he was about 16 months old and ate his first blueberry from Tracy’s garden. I think of the blueberry jam I can get at the small grocer’s in the village up the road. All these images and sensations and more for just a word as simple as “blueberry.”

Distinctive Creative One, I’m sure your personal meaning for the word “blueberry” has a depth that is quite different than mine. Though we share the dictionary definition, we also have our personal definitions. Consider the vast and variant definitions that your audience will bring to your work. For example, perhaps seeing yellow will call to mind a viewer’s favorite and yellow childhood blanket you will never know about as the viewer admires the yellow shoe you’ve painted. Respect that your audience contributes to the creative act you have so bravely embarked upon.

Oh Creative One, my son’s instinct, when things don’t go his way, is to fall apart. I mean really fall apart. The large world rains down upon his small, well-meaning soul and is certainly out to destroy anything he set out to do. Often, I have to brush off his him off, tell him that it will all work out, point out the humor in the situation like that of a lego house-submarine-helicopter falling to bits upon the installation of a swimming pool, and remind him that it is time to have some fun.

Forgetful Creative One, I sometimes want to fall apart too. Even if you are one of those creatives that gets outside acknowledgment for your work, when it falls to bits before your eyes, I know you want to give up, pack it in, maybe even cry in a dark corner somewhere. This post is a reminder to dust yourself off, remember that it has always worked out in the end, and that it is time to have some fun. If you’ve found 5 minutes to do the thing you love, then you have found a luxury that most do not have. Keep up the good work.

Give it a rest, already!

August 24, 2010

Oh Creative One, my daughter is at a crossroads. When she naps, her beautifully chirping self is awake til 10pm! When she doesn’t, she is in a worse than foul mood. Destruction and terror reign. So. We are implementing “rest-time.” A siesta. An hour without input or output required so that later, she may color before dinner without a breakdown over her broken crayons or smudged paper.

Torn-assunder Creative One! Value your rests. Take a siesta. Find a way to quiet your productive self – either resting within your work or finding a spot away from it all.

Get Lost!

August 23, 2010

Oh Creative One, Matt had our kids and I had my lazies yesterday. I did and I rarely do. I just laid around and gestated and read “Home” by Marilynne Robinson. I read and read and cuddled the littles and kissed my husband and nibbled a few eats here and there and read some more. I read thu the morning and the afternoon and the dinner hour. I read thru the kids’ bedtime and on into the evening. I read until just before midnight when I finished. I really needed to slip into someplace different and oh! My! Such a book, such a book…

Working Creative One, allow yourself to dive into another artist’s work sometime this week. Splash! In you go! Stare at a painting, sculpture, poem, a quilt, whatever your art is… dive in and get lost. Notice the details. Relish the whole. See if there is a place for your journey amongst such wonders. Only come up for breath or nourishment when absolutely necessary. Upon surfacing from the other side, take notes. Have you found a new avenue for your own work? Is your creative self calmer? Or agitated and ready for more? Perhaps you have simply reacquainted yourself with the wider creative clan to which you belong? Whatever it may be, do enjoy. Welcome home.

oatmeal

August 20, 2010

Oh Creative One! In my early gestating state, I find that I create very little. I get started laying type or writing a story but quickly find that I’m off staring into space and thankful I’m not hurling in a toilet. But, this morning, I actually managed to make something. I made breakfast. I made oatmeal! My son’s favorite! But, in my nausea-induced fog, I scorched about half the batch on the bottom of the pan. What a drag. No worries though, there was plenty that wasn’t burned and perfectly yummy for eating.

Hungry Creative One. My tendency is to be a bit doomy-gloomy when I find that my book actually kinda stinks or that a story has ended up nowhere near the grand dream I had for it. But, like scorched oatmeal, if I’m not impulsive, there are always yummy salvageable bits.

She ain’t no cook.

August 19, 2010

Oh Creative One! I’ve got so many weird aches and pains with this pregnancy. Currently, my right knee has sharp pain when I bear weight on it. It feels like something is just tweaked funnily, but I can’t seem to untweak it to a pain-free state. My mother recommended ice and I finally listened to her. She is right. It is feeling loads better. My mother is not affectionate or emotional. She does not like to shop and she is a questionable cook at best. She is however, an amazing woman whose home remedies work. She can clean stains out of anything. Her garden is simple and beautiful and she takes a pure unwavering joy in her family.

Faulted Creative One. In the famous lyrics of Billy Joel. I love you just the way you are. Keep this in mind as you create today.

Homeward Bound

August 18, 2010

Oh Creative One! I am gearing up for a round of rejections. I sent a story out out to a few places and my novel off to an agent’s. I know the NO is coming.

Brave Creative One. Firstly, bravo for trying again. Secondly, and most importantly, remember a no simply means that your work has not found its home just yet. Once completed, you become custodian of your work, its guardian. You must find the right home for it – be it your desk drawer, a gallery, a friend’s wall, or publication in a journal. Sometimes finding home can be a long journey and that’s alright. I’m sure your work will thank you for hanging in there for the long haul.

Don’t Mock Your Tutu

August 17, 2010

Oh Creative One! We are back from the Isle of Barra. Wild, remote, and the water is warmer than the California Coast’s! Who knew? Before we went on vacation, my daughter was mortally afraid of tulle. She has 3 tutus given to her by her grandmother and she has NEVER worn a single one. Since the Isle of Barra, when not wearing a wetsuit, she wears a tutu over her clothing. Every day. Every. Day. I suppose it is the only time in her life when ordinary requests like, “May I have a drink of water?” will be taken seriously whilst wearing questionable outfits. Sigh. In her defense, she has also started preschool and feels so good doing all these new “big kid things” that it shows. Old friends comment on her confident self singing songs, twirling on the playground, saying hello to new children.

Missed and Adored Creative One! Consider one of your most successful creative days. One of those days when it just felt so very good to make and do. I’m not necessarily thinking of high productivity or strokes of utter brilliance – though those moments could be included if you just felt plain old good whilst making and doing. Remember all the details that surrounded that moment. Remember things like: What did you have for lunch? To whom did you speak? Whatever did you wear? Revisit those details. Tuna Sandwich? Try to eat one. Every day. Every. day. For a week. Explore those seemingly silly details. See if they hold an avenue to that place of creativity as my daughter’s tutu.