Thursday, June 16, 2011

what i learned today...color outside the lines

As a child, one of my favorite activities was coloring. I loved new crayons (the smell of a new box STILL thrills me) and, well, there was no such thing as too many coloring books!

Sometimes I used as many colors on a page as possible; sometimes I opted for several shades of just one color (back then I had yet to learn about ‘monochromatic’); sometimes I outlined everything on the page, sometimes I did not.  However I filled up the page, staying inside the lines was a Prime DIrective (for non-Trekkers/trekkies: the Prime Directive was the one absolute, no exceptions law while exploring the universe).  For some reason, as kids, we equated skill and talent with how well one stayed in the lines.

Today as a writer and an artist, I often mentally bump up against some imagined 'Prime Directive.'  When some radically new (to me) idea pops into my head, my first thought is likely to be “is-that-allowed” or “that’s-not-the-way-its-done-no-one-does-it-that-way.”  It is a stretch for me both mentally and emotionally to allow myself the creative space to “color outside the lines,” or try new ideas, experiment with new combinations.  What I realized today is that, as an artist and writer, it is not only OK to “color outside the lines,” it is expected! Yee-haa!!'

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

what i learned today...creative flow

Sometimes I have a hard time honoring my own creative  process. Sometimes I want to just write the thought floating around in my head.  Sometimes I want to just paint backgrounds. Sometime I want to just draw or just write story beginnings or just knit shapes and textures, or just stitch. 
More often than not, I forget to go with the flow and I get all worked up over needing to finish or follow through with just one project. I tell myself that I need to be more disciplined, more responsible (i.e. mature) more professional. But the truth is that I don’t paint, draw, stitch or write to be mature and responsible. I paint, draw, stitch and write to play and create and explore!  
I am way, way more productive when I honor my own process. I may paint 20 backgrounds, draw all kinds of designs, stitch all kinds of embellishments, knit all kinds of shapes, write all kinds of snippets not finishing any one project for weeks.  Then one day, I walk into the studio and just know that it is time is now, and I will finish 10 projects or put together several stories in just a day or two. 

What I learned today is the way the Divine Creator creates through me.  And together we have all kinds of fun!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

what i learned today...

It rained sometime during the night.  I remember coming to and realizing that lights outside were flashing.  I went to the front door to investigate and discovered that there was a light rain falling; the street was wet and reflecting the light from the neighbor’s lamppost.  Though there was no thunder, there was a LOT of lightening. Returning to my bed I felt snug and grateful for the much needed rain.  

When I woke this morning, the sky was a clear cloudless blue, the air clean, fresh and cool.  I settled down for a lazy Saturday morning coffee time, reflecting yet again on the direction and purpose of my writing life, such as it is.  And today I learned that it doesn’t matter.  

If I go back to the roots of what drives me to write down what is rolling around in my head, it is just that I just HAVE to write. It is pretty simple.  If I don’t write, I am not me.  When I think about putting my writing away forever, I get depressed, despondent, lethargic, LOST.  I am a writer. I write. I honestly have no idea why.  But unlike my art (where the joy is in the doing and I have no emotional stake in getting it “out there” and seen by others), I write in the belief and hope that I will be READ.  

When I write, I am communicating with someone - an unknown someone - but someone just the same. And that drive, that motivation to write and keep writing comes from so deep within me, that it must come from without - that part of my energy self that is connected to the grand, great universal energy: God.  And with that realization, comes acceptance.  I write because I write.  

Suddenly all the books on the subject that are littering my coffee table seem useless.  I was searching really, for answers - what to write, why write, what next… but I learned this morning that the answers are not found in the books.  The answers are only found if I write.  Not read. Write.  So I write. And when I am stumped, blocked, confused, frustrated, happy, sad, blessed-out or pissed off, I write.  I don’t know what God, the Almighty Creator of the Universe has in mind to do with all this writing, but here it is.  And it is “out there” for all to see. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


i am so loving how GREEN everything is.  yes it is hot, very hot for june, but it is not blowing snow and ice, so i am a seriously happy camper!  last night i was outside just as it was getting dark, watering the flower boxes and then i saw it - a tiny flash. was that a firefly? i have been watching for them.  i looked intently into the darkest places in the yard, and there was another tiny blink! as it got darker, more tiny flashes! fireflies everywhere!  summer has officially arrived when the fireflies appear.  and i am a "summer" person - i prefer hot and sweaty to cold and icy.  there just seems to be so much more time and energy for living and doing creatively when the days are long and warm and dressing involves only one layer and flip-flops.  in my heart i am dancing in the dew kissed grass laughing and rejoicing in joyful celebration of summer and the arrival of fireflies!