Tag Archives: how to be creative

folders

Two small things have made me happy recently. WordPress is adding snow flakes to the blog posts for the season again. It’s likely the only snow I will see, and the sight of them on the screen and across my words makes me smile. And I found file folders for the new book. I don’t know if you were a school supply freak like I was, but office supply stores are the way I’ve taken that delight into my adult life. For several years now, one can purchase file folders with really beautiful patterns or designs on them. And I do. And each book has its own set of folders. And I had a simple and lovely blue for this next book, but then I saw a more dramatic navy and teal background with new-grass-with-yellow-still-in-it green slight design of a flower and feather and bird, and that was it. It’s the next book’s folder.

I think I’m calling the next book: Our Bed is Green, from the Song of Solomon…..an Alice and Richard story. I need small things that please me as I grow older. I have this memory of reading about Sir Alec Guinness saying, we must gradually, gracefully grow into a less grand position. He was speaking of aging. When we’re young we’re the center of our drama, but drama doesn’t travel well in the forward motion that is life.

What do you think?

magpies

I’ve been given the ultimate artist’s date. I’m on a three month writing residency in Taos, New Mexico.  All around me is meadow, and yet town is just four or five blocks away. Clover and dandelions march right up to my small front porch. Some kind of wild berry is advancing toward the side window. Towering over me are cottonwoods and Dutch elms. Apple and wild plums are everywhere, and they’re blooming. Soft petals float through the air. Birds dart here and there like they own the place. Today I watched magpies (I think) build a nest. No loose sticks on the ground for them, but a deliberate pulling of twigs from trees all around. I just peeked at the nest. It’s magnificent. The road to my house is dirt. If I look west I see mountains, some peaks still covered with snow. If I go into town, I see gallery after gallery, shop after shop offering the best and finest of crafted things. The first day I arrived I sat outside in a chair and let the crystal clear air fill me up. It felt like cells were filling, too. I have to bring the outside world in. There is no television. No internet. Some of this is frightening. It’s so much easier to distract than it is to feel. An artist’s date is an hour a week you give yourself to fill back up, to feed that within you which creates. Already it’s occurred to me that I don’t take what I do…the writing….seriously enough. By that I don’t mean ego pounding on the chest. I mean more a nurturing and feeding of it. A respecting it. An asking what it needs. There are challenges in this all, the solitude, the inner critic, the making of a day when I am the day…..

Questions I ask….How do you nurture and feed yourself? Or better yet, a question I once read that stopped me in my tracks: what feeds your soul and makes you glad to be alive?

Earlier today as I sat in a chair, deep into the revisions of the novel, a hummingbird came to the window, making that special tweet they do, and hung suspended just long enough for me to look up and see…..that fed my soul…