Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Creativity Tips: Take a Deep Breath

Poetry month continues!

Here's a fascinating fact -- for a writer, anyway. (My idea of fascinating and yours may differ.) I don't have the poetry book by Mary Oliver with this poem, so I was looking at different versions online. Unfortunately, the punctuation varies. Is it a comma after Listen or a dash? Some say a period. Is there a comma after little or not? Where should the line break be? Or is there a line break at all?

It matters to a poet. I hope I've found the right version. If you know, let me know.

P.S. Speaking of fascinating, I've been taking yoga and exercise classes for years, and I still think breathing is the hardest exercise of all. (Savasana? Letting go? While still breathing? Oy.)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Creativity Tips: Make Your Own Path

New week. New path? 
Your choice. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday Fun: Test Your Reaction Time

So, truth be told, the first time I tried this test, I didn't score this well. But, it's my blog and I'm not posting a screenshot that says, "Yo. Get the old broad off the road."

And, since it's my blog, let me follow my typical path and make everything a competition. Go ahead. Beat my score.

Happy weekend! And thanks to Hedy for the link!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Creative Critic: It's National Pecan Day!

This may be the only blog post in the universe that mentions Forks Over Knives and Nonni's Turtle Pecan Biscotti in the same sentence.

Just guessing.

The lovely PR folks from Nonni's recently reached out to me and asked if I'd like to sample and critique the biscotti in honor of National Pecan Day.

Now, I'm pretty focused on healthy eating these days. I haven't gone the complete Forks Over Knives plant-based route, but I've given up meat and chicken and only rarely eat fish or dairy products. I've cut back on sweets. (Ugh.) So I figured I'd just take a bite of the biscotti and tell you what I thought.

It was a good idea. Only one problem. Nonni's Turtle Pecan Biscotti are scrumptious. And I say that as a baker with high standards for biscotti -- which are really mondel broit. I've made mondel broit. It's a process, and mine didn't taste nearly this good.

One bite turned into ...

And you're lucky Tom snapped the photo before I snapped up the rest of the biscotti. I recommend them. I will buy them. Totally delish. Happy National Pecan Day! Go nuts ...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Creative Inspiration: Eating Poetry

It's funny how worlds collide. My friend Mark B. sent me a link to this great interview with poet Mark Strand, and then my friend Linda R. posted this on Facebook.

The editor in me says the image needs to be updated: Strand died in 2014 at the age of 80. The writer in me says: Go. Eat some poetry.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Creative Query: What Makes You Light Up?

My friend Hedy recently observed that every time I talk about Kate and Mary, my whole face lights up. She's right. One mention of the girls, and I glow. That makes me wonder. Who -- or what -- makes you light up?

Years ago, at Yellowstone. 
Why do I ask? Why does it matter? Because when we light up, it's easier to see the amazing creative possibilities that surround us.

On their recent trip to Israel. 
From the waterfall to the Western Wall, it's a brilliant, beautiful world. Today's your day, peeps! Find what makes you shine.

P.S. Oy. How could anyone look at those faces and not light up? 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday Fun: ... or are you just glad to see me?

I want to meet the man
who can put this in his pocket. 

  1. If you don't understand the title of the post, you're young. I love you. Google, "Is that a banana in your pocket?"
  2. Someone wrote the name for this book. Someone designed this cover. Someone edited it. Someone proofread it. Why in god's name did no one along that creative route stop and say: "Huh?" 
  3. Ignore me. I'm a curmudgeon. 
  4. It's the weekend! Go outside at night. Wish on a lucky star. 
  5. Know this: They're all lucky stars. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Creativity Exercise: Give Yourself a Code Name

Happy birthday, Eva! 

Today is my baby sister's special day. Eva and I are lucky -- despite the fact that we shared a room until I left for college, we still like each other. Sure, we love each other. We're sisters. But we LIKE each other too. It's a gift.

As lifelong friends, we share memories and secrets. Among them, code names. Uh-huh. Super-secret-spy code names. I'm not telling you what they are -- that kind of confidential information is revealed only on a need-to-know basis.

However, I will help you come up with your own personal code name! If rules help you get going, consider these:

  • Choose your fellow spy. No sense in having a code name no one knows.
  • The name should be 4-6 characters long.
  • The name should have some relevance to your life. Or, your imaginary life. Whatever. 
  • Use both numbers and letters. 
  • Feeling fancy? Use special characters. Because you are a special character. Aren't we all? 
Yes. I still think of her as my "baby" sister.
Always have. Always will. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Creativity Tips: My Truth Ain't Your Truth

OK. Fine. For all of you* who pointed out that April isn't the loveliest month everywhere, you're right. It's not even a question of perception -- the April weather really has been rotten in a lot of areas this year.

So, in honor of your truth and National Poetry Month, here's a different take on April:

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Clearly not enjoying the spring of 1914.
*Yep, Amber and Bud, I'm talking to you. :-)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Creativity Tips: T.S. Eliot was wrong.

April is the loveliest month. 

Go for a walk with an open mind, an open heart and open eyes. The world is gorgeous in the spring. Look up from your phone, look up from your work. Look up. You don't want to miss it.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Friday Fun: Etch a Sketch Online

Do kids still clamor for an Etch a Sketch? They should. You should. And there's one online you can play with right now.

So why are you still here? Go play! Enjoy the weekend!

Yep. I did that all by myself.
Would you like to come up and see my etchings? ;-)