Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Garden Nursery

This little flower bucket hangs by the front door. I change the silk flowers seasonally. The other day, I noticed someone else had taken possession of it.

Can you find the three babies snuggled in there?
These are house finches. Mom is rather drab, but dad has a colorful red neck. They get mighty nervous when we head out to the front porch. It is a special blessing to have babies on the place.

Sorry I've dropped off the planet for the last week or so. We moved Nathan's graduation up a few weeks to the third weekend in May. Once we made that decision, we had to get in high gear to get senior portraits created (boy, am I out of practice!) get invitations done, addressed and mailed. All while maintaining our standard crazy baseball, work, and church schedule. Being the vain gardener gal that I am, I also felt like I *had* to get some plants and seeds in the ground so they'd look good for the shindig after the ceremony. Had, I tell ya, had to.

Thanks to those who've checked up on me. I appreciate your caring!

Thursday, April 9, 2009



It happened again.

Someone put two of my fanfic stories on their Favorite Stories list. These are short pieces I posted three or four years ago on http://www.fanfiction.net/. And, it's not the first time I've gotten this sort of notification.

Do you know what a pleasure it is? To know that some person out there found my little scraps of fiction interesting and entertaining enough to say they are on her 'here, read this one list?'



A little warm glow bringing a smile.

At the moment, I'm caught in the seasonal whirl that is baseball at our house, my son's last season as a high school player. We are over our heads with plans for graduation and his summer activities. There are two significant situations in my life causing me to feel as if I'm wearing my skin inside out, with all the raw nerves exposed. Creatively, I've spent some time with stained glass and with fabric as well as with my hands in the dirt, gardening. But, I haven't put thoughts to paper in fiction form for a while. Just the other day, I was seriously second guessing my desires to make a career from my pen. Maybe, I thought, I just don't have what it takes.

But, today, someone thought enough of my stories to put them on her Favorites list.

That's gotta be worth something.


Get your Spring Theme Challenge entries to me ASAP! I'm looking forward to seeing your work and affirming your creative gifts!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Artist's Daybook


During the month of April, I'm working on a new habit.

Every morning I'm starting off by free writing for twenty minutes. If you've read Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" you've heard her call these the morning pages. She recommends writing three pages by hand before you do anything else. This exercise is useful for clearing out the junk in your head and heart. There is no rhyme or reason, just dump words on the page without worrying about spelling, grammar, or coherence. If you can't think of anything to write, that's where you start....write I can't think of anything to write over and over. Pretty soon your brain gets bored and kicks in something more interesting.

Another author I'm reading calls this writing her Artist's Daybook. For her, the process is about cleaning out random weirdness from her brain, but also asking God to help her use her talents and gifts in the best way possible. She calls the process a 'purge and merge.' Purging herself of the garbage and merging with the Creator before she begins to create. The more she purges, the more she can merge and finds her daybook filled with ideas.

Whichever term is used, the essential process is the same. Clean out your worries, fears, random ideas, and odd thoughts before the creative process begins.

In long ago days, I sketched ideas before photographing a family's portrait or a wedding. Sketching helped me sort out my ideas, as did writing out descriptions of what I wanted to accomplish. Those sessions were always more productive than the ones where I went in cold. Artistically, I was satisfied on a deeper level.

All this month, I'm committing to writing every morning in my artist's daybook. Yes, for me, it will be a typed file on my computer. Each day's entry is labeled with the date. I may never go back and read them. Certainly, NO ONE else will. (That's important. Write as though no one else will ever read your words...then make sure to keep your journal where your privacy will be respected.)

Because I've done short bursts of this in the past, I know ideas for short stories, novels, non-fiction, events, businesses, and other things will come out of the mulch pile the morning pages create. I need that rich level of creativity in my life. In April, I'm writing every morning in hopes creativity will bloom. Just like April showers bring May flowers....

Have you ever done this? How has journaling in any way helped your creative process?