Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What the world needs now ...

... is love, sweet love.

Watch the video. Buy the song. Love each other. 
And appreciate the positive power and energy 
creativity unleashes when people put egos aside. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday Fun: Don't Act Your Age

Tom and I recently visited Crystal Bridges in Arkansas -- one of my all-time favorite museums. Fabulous collection, gorgeous grounds. In our wanderings, we found the children's area, so naturally I went in.

Among the other interactive goodies, I found a loom for making potholders. To encourage little artists, I started a potholder -- left it part way done, in hopes that would inspire someone else to either finish it or rip it out and start their own.

Funny thing was: I loved the few minutes with the kid's loom. So, when we got home, I bought one. And then I played:

I have to tell you: Making this potholder was one of the funnest* creative activities I've had in a long time. Instant gratification. And, for someone who spends way too much time with words, it was a real creative boost to play with color. And to make something -- complete! -- in just a few minutes.

It's like baking. You start with nothing but ingredients, and you put them together and voila! Cookies. It's magic.

Go make some magic this weekend. And don't act your age.

*Yep. Not a word. I can make words up. I's a writer.

Random P.S.: This would have been my dad's 98th birthday. May his memory be a blessing.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Fun: 26 Telltale Signs that You're a Writer

You know you're a writer when you read Jessica Lawlor's funny "26 Telltale Signs" post, and you're guilty of 24 of them. Oy. And enjoy!

Thanks to Mark B. for the link!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Creativity Tips: Vanity Fair, Time and Glass Houses

Have you ever made a mistake? Congrats! You're a human being.

Unfortunately, human beings in my field get publicly called on the carpet when our mistakes show up in print. For example, Vanity Fair delighted in pointing out the editing error in a recent Time Inc. ad for Motto.

Yeah, yeah. We all see it. There's an apostrophe in the subhead: "editor's" shouldn't be possessive. Damn. An ad with a typo. Did the world end? Did anyone die? I hope not.

Along those same lines, I doubt that anyone at Vanity Fair will roll over dead when I point out, without glee, that there's a different kind of typo in their snarky story:

In addition to Motto, the company has been experimenting with other new ventures, such as a collaboration with Kobe Bryant, entitled “Dear Basketball,” to be distributed on Sports Illustrated digital properties.

As I understand the rules of the road*, the collaboration isn't entitled to anything. It's titled. And yet the world rolls on.

I'm highlighting the Vanity Fair error to make a point -- not point a finger. We all make mistakes. The question is: Do we learn from them?

P.S. Thanks to Vanessa for this and a zillion other blog ideas!

*Writing about typos makes a writer twitch. I did double-check this rule in the AP Stylebook, in case you wondered. And I proofread this post about a million times and I'm still terrified you're going to find a typo.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Creativity Tips: Make Your Away Message Memorable

One of the best clients in the world is currently in a different part of the world on vacation. When I sent him an email yesterday, I received this delightful -- and useful -- automatic response:

The beach called. I answered. Have gone for a visit.

I'm out of the office on vacation through June 3. If you need to reach someone while I'm away, please connect with (deleted, for privacy's sake). 

I'll be recharged and back on Monday, June 6!

Isn't that wonderful? No longer than most of the standard auto-responses I receive, but it's creative and fun. And it's accurate -- he will come back recharged. 

So, two creativity lessons for the price of one: Don't settle for routine on your away messages. And go away. Vacate. Recharge. You'll be glad you did -- and so will we! (Rested people are nicer, don't you find?)

P.S. I will give credit where credit is due when my client is back in town. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Fun: #Readathon2016

What are you doing tomorrow? Here's a fun idea -- join your fellow readers in support of National Readathon Day! I'll be reading, appropriately enough, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend.

Here's to a great, reading-filled weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Creativity Tips: Track Your Time

In my line of work, I bill by the hour -- and I bill in quarter-hour segments. To do that accurately, I keep a precise running track of time spent on every project. Let's say: 7:55 - 8:35.

Oftentimes, after making a note of the start time, I get distracted. So, I write 7:55, but then I send an email to a friend or check Facebook. And when I actually get to work on the project, I glance at the clock again and see that it is now 8:05.

And I can't bill a client for those 10 minutes.

For me, time really is money. But the principle applies to all of us. Do you know how much time you redirect or squander during the day? Track it! For one day, pretend you're like me. (Ooooh. I just felt a disturbance in the Force. A huge collective shudder.)

Track your time. Then, consider if there's a more productive, or more creative, way to spend it.

FYI, if I were billing you for this post, you'd be paying for 30 minutes. (Writing it took about 10 minutes. It took another 15 minutes to find the silly Homer gif. This is what I'm talking about ...)