Monday, September 21, 2009

Memoir Monday ~ Back to School

For today's memior prompt, how about school memories?

Do you remember your first days of school?

Did your family have a ritual for first days?

Who was your favorite teacher?

What were your favorite subjects?

Happy remembering!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Creative Quote

I'm always thinking
about creating.
My future starts
when I wake up every morning...
Every day I find something
creative to do with my life.
Miles Davis

Monday, September 14, 2009

Memoir Monday ~ A Book Review

Instead of an assignment today, I'm doing a review of "My Life In France" by Julia Child and Alex Prud'Homme.

Why a book review? Because this is one of the best memoirs I've read recently. It was built and written from collections of letters, journal entries, and photographs saved by members of the family. Exactly the type of writing I'm urging you to do each Monday.

From what I understand, Julia Child's grand-nephew, Alex Prud'Homme would read aloud from the saved letters or he and Julia would sort through photos and Julia would tell stories sparked from those memories.

The writing is warm, witty, and engaging. For the writers among us, there are some terrific turns of phrase and lovely language. It is a look into the passionate pursuit of creativity. It's the story of someone who loved life abroad and truly came alive when she found her calling. You'll want to pack up and move to France, roast a duck, or at the very least, you'll be inspired to try something new and challenging. What ever the call, I hope you hear it clearly.

If you loved Meryl Streep's Julia Child in the movie, you'll enjoy 'hearing' Julia's true voice through her words and rememberances. This is a good read!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


the Pilot Guy and I a
re celebrating
years of marriage.

Chains do not hold a marriage together.
It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.
Simone Signoret
Marriage is not just spiritual communion; it is also remembering to take out the trash.
Joyce Brothers

Real giving is when we give to our spouses what's important to them,
whether we understand it, like it, agree with it, or not.
Michele Weiner-Davis

They do not love who do not show their love.
William Shakespeare
The Beauty of Love:
The question is asked, "Is there anything more beautiful in life than a young couple clasping hands and pure hearts in the path of marriage? Can there be anything more beautiful than young love?"
And the answer is given. "Yes, there is a more beautiful thing. It is the spectacle of an old man and an old woman finishing their journey together on that path. Their hands are gnarled, but still clasped; their faces are seamed, but still radiant; their hearts are physically bowed and tired, but still strong with love and devotion for one another.
Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love.
Old love."
Two persons who love each other are in a place more holy than the interior of a church.
William Lyon Phelps
There is nothing more lovely in life than the union of two people whose love for one another has grown through the years, from the small acorn of passion, into a great rooted tree.
Vita Sackville-West
Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.
Robert Browning

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Get Smart


Want to get smarter? Here's some tips I gleaned from a passionate discussion between homeschool moms over the summer. See if you agree or disagree.

1. Read. Pick up books and dive into subjects which fascinate you. Read, study, and ponder things you love...quilting, business marketing, gardening, calculus, photography, dog training, biographies, education, creativity(!) human development, Biblical truth, writing, foreign languages, quantum physics...whatever your passion...follow it. Read deeply in a subject and read widely across a number of subjects. Read authors you agree with and authors you don't agree with.

The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them. - Mark Twain

2. Process your thoughts. Write...journal, blog, or write papers only for yourself. Educated people in the days of Thomas Jefferson kept a book in which they wrote thoughts, notes from their daily reading, questions, observations, and ideas. They called it a commonplace book. Writing is a good way to think through a maze of thoughts. Remember, your writing doesn't have to be for anyone else but you. Talk to others. Listen. Think. Muse. Or as my horse-trainer mentor said, 'observe, remember, compare.'

Writing is thinking on paper.-William Zinsser

3. Experience. Get up and do something. Actually learning to rock climb, salsa dance, or how to hold a paint brush activates more brain cells than reading about it. Travel often. Experiencing new cultures (even within our great country) expands your knowledge base and gives insight.

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. ~Mark Twain

4. Ask questions. This is two actually, because you must really listen for answers. Too much of the time, we only half listen to each other's conversation because we are busy thinking about we are going to say. Today, listen carefully and completely to other people.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Albert Einstein

There is no such thing as a stupid question; only stupid mistakes made because you didn't ask the stupid question. Charles J. Lewis

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen. Ernest Hemingway

5. Quit doing stupid. The laugh out loud moment for me in the discussion came when someone suggested the best way to get smart was to quit doing stupid things. Like, for example, watching too much TV, playing video games, or spending too much time twittering. Obvious and oh, so true.

Men's natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them. ~Confucius, Analects

What do you think about these? What would you add to the list? How does getting smart affect your creativity?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Creative Fears

Lavendar blooms

In this month's 'MORE' magazine is a terrific article about Kathy Davis of Kathy Davis Designs. Her greeting cards, scrapbooking supplies, and line of home accessories are a thriving business. What you might not know is Kathy left teaching to pursue an artistic life during her thirties.

On being an artist...
"'I was not confident about my ability. I sat next to a boy who painted so beautifully." She (Kathy) taught English and science for six years and got married. She earned her master's degree and certification to teach art, but it wasn't enough. "I remember being in class one day thinking, I want to be sitting with them, not standing up here. I want to be creating.""

Her first venture into the National Stationery Show...
"All the old feelings of not being good enough came back: feeling like no one needs me, that there was too much competition..."

On finding focus...
"I had to ask myself, do I want to be a retailer or a designer?"

And finally....
'I'm a late bloomer, but I finally figured out that there is always going to be someone better than you, and, at that point, you just have to say, that's OK, I still have something to offer."

These quotes resonated with me. Let me know in the comments if any of them spoke to you.

I hope you'll grab a copy of "MORE" this month and read the article for yourself.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Creative Passion

Which one are you?

I just saw the 'Julia/Julie' movie starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Quite good, much better in my humble opinion than the book. (And I know everyone else saw this a while ago...we had a wedding at our house, remember?)

So which one are you?

Julia--who found a passion and pursued it with vigor?


Julie (at the beginning of the story) dead end job, little drive, not able to finish what she started....

Why did you identify with that one?