Receiving Everything Most Loved

April was a writing month for me. I pushed myself. Pushing was the right thing to do, because now I am exactly where I wish to be, deep into my book draft.

Today I am changing my creative routine, receiving rather than giving. It’s a reward for all the creative work, and it’s one of the things I love most. I’m having a reading weekend, beginning today.

Julia Cameron would say I am replenishing my creative well. Yes, I am and with great pleasure.

My book list contains one mystery novel and three non-fiction. The non-fiction include one on energy work, one on creativity, and one a melding of memoir and creative writing. Here is my list:

Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear. This is a murder mystery set in 1930’s London, and the detective is Maisie Dobbs. She searches and solves with both heart and head.

The Answer Is Energy by Jarrad Hewett. Everything is energy, including thought, belief, and emotion. Jarrad’s work helped me to heal fibromyalgia.

Keep Going by Austin Kleon. This is Austin’s new book. Yayyyyyyy!

Tomorrow I’m adding one more book to the weekend reading pile. The staff are saving it for me at the local bookstore–Where The Past Begins: Memory And Imagination by Amy Tan. I read her previous book on writing, The Opposite Of Fate: Memories Of A Writing Life, and completely enjoyed it. There is fourteen years between these books, so I am curious to see what Amy has to say now.

I haven’t decided if I will read through one book before moving on to the next, or if I will hop back and forth. The choice is mine, whatever I feel like in the moment.

A stack of books. Hot milky coffee. Background music by George Winston and Joe Hisaishi. My comfy studio couch. Four days of receiving something I love most–good writing.

_____________________

In this post:

Jacqueline Winspear http://jacquelinewinspear.com/

Jarrad Hewett https://jarradhewett.com/

Austin Kleon https://austinkleon.com/

Amy Tan http://www.amytan.net/

Creative Balance

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Alice and the Cheshire Cat –John Tenniel

Usually I come to my blog posts with ideas in mind.  I sit down at my studio work table, pull out pen and loose leaf paper, and begin writing.

Not today.

So, I start where I am.  I have my glass of water with a lemon slice floating in it.  I have my coffee with cream, in the white mug with Alice and the Cheshire Cat decorating the outside.  I love Alice and the Cat.  They let their imaginations run, and nothing tips either of them away from being grounded in who they know they are.   And I covet the Cat’s ability to fade away, leaving only his very toothy smile floating in the air.

My two strings of Christmas lights are on.  Does not matter that this is June and half the year away from Christmas.  Seeing them gives me joy, especially on grey days like today.  It may be officially Summer, but there is a sky full of clouds out there.  Someone forgot to shift the weather dials to ‘summer’ and ‘sun’.

My pen with the sky blue ink is in hand.  A thin stack of paper rests in front of me.  This is paper rescued from the bottom of high school lockers last June.  Unused paper abandoned by its teenage owners at the end of the school year.  Retrieved to be used for my first drafts, which are handwritten, messy, and exactly what I love.  Paper happy that its worth has been recognized.

Just now, I realize why I am empty of ideas.  I spent my week creating two workshop proposals and a coaching proposal.  I am written out.  My creative heart and mind have run full speed for five days.  It is time to rest.

Time to let my weekend be a weekend in the original sense of the word.  There is no 24/7 for me.  I am 5/2.

Five days of building and sending out my creations into the world.  Two days of my creative self receiving in.

Reading.  Reading some more.  Doing crossword puzzles.  Colouring in my colouring books (I have several).  Talking and playing with family and friends.  Walking.  Cooking and savouring the meals I and others have created.  Sitting on the front deck, listening to the birds and the wind.  Watching the clouds pass overhead.  Breathing in the green smell of the next-door neighbour’s newly cut grass.

This is balance in my life.  Giving.  Receiving.

Come Monday, my creative well will be full again.  Ideas and Inspiration will whisper to me, ‘Let’s try this, and this.  Let’s play!’

_______________________

In this post:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel, first published in 1865.  You can find images of all his illustrations for this book at http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/

 

Come And Play

 

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The Joy Diary Sept. 26 2015

It’s grey cloud outside.  We’ve had rain for two days.  A good thing.  We need it.  The land is too dry for mid-May and we have a summer yet to move through, and wells we rely on.

I’ve been busy all week, creating, writing, making plans.  Playing with possibilities.  Daydreaming.  Enjoying all of this.  Everything in full colour.

And now this morning, here I sit noticing how I feel like the colour of the grey clouds outside.  I can blame it on the weather.  I know that sunny days boost my energy and my mood.  Sunny day equals sunny Cat.  This is not a sunny day.

I know what is going on.

It’s not the rainy weather.

The full-on creating has drained my well.  I’m running into a drought.

I have a well of creativity within me that I use.  All week I have been creating, playing with my possibilities, pulling water from my well.  Good.  It is meant to be used.  All good.

What I forgot to do was refill my well after pulling from it.  Yes, too busy being busy.

My creativity is a balance.  I imagine and write and draw, using the ideas, inspiration, words, and images that flow from my well.  Then I need to replace what has been used.

How do I do this?

I play, with no agenda and no goals.  No expectations or rules.  I become the child I was—really, the child I still am.

I bring out my felt pens and colouring books, my Spirograph set, my crossword puzzles.  I wander my way through the million images in one of my art books.  I plug in my iPod, choose my soundtrack of the day, and dance around the living room.

I pull out the deck of cards and crib board, and lose (a regular occurrence) to my husband.  Then I challenge him to Scrabble, and win (also a regular occurrence).

I phone one of my friends and we talk forever.

I drive to town, and wander through the library, the bookstore, and the toy store.  I get a mocha (grande, decaf, to go) from my favourite café, then park by the lake.  Car windows open.  Sip mocha.  Savour that marriage of chocolate and coffee in my mouth, feel the heat as it moves down my throat.  Watch the water and the sky.  Hear the red-wing blackbirds, the ducks, geese, gulls.  See the goslings, fuzzy balls in their baby feathers, following their parents around the edge of the water to where the new grass tastes best.

This.  All of this fills my well again.  Play and pleasure running through my senses, through my body and heart and mind.  Choosing to reach into the things that I love.  Leaving the watch and the clocks behind.  Moving back into balance.

Hearing my own voice calling me.  Come and play.