Books that inspire and community challenges that urge creative action!
It seems the writing pace may have slowed for some of us, or the focus has changed, (I know mine does constantly!).
There is nothing predictable about living in the age of covid!
We are one week into school holidays here and a spread of lock downs began at the same time. Living in the country means fewer restrictions, however, my plans to catch up with family and friends on the coast are on hold, so the effects are far reaching as we all continue to adapt and navigate our way.
Fortunately, I have plenty of creative projects to help balance my disappointment. I have been making the most of my studio spaces, sewing and bookbinding, as well as enjoying slow time, pots of tea, writing and good reads.
Books are always a source of joy and inspiration for me. I have just finished reading two great stories that scream creative writing prompts!
100 REMARKABLE FEATS OF XANDER MAZE by Clayton Zane Comber
I do love a list, even more with a touching story behind it. This story has the feel of real life about it, the kind of thing you can imagine happened. So what are we waiting for?
THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT by Clare Pooley
This one is perhaps a little closer to the bone…
The story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love.
Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren't really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes--in a plain, green journal--the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café.
I listened to the audio version of this story in one day! What an incredible idea and a thought provoking read.
How authentic are you? How satisfied are you? What are your truths? Will you write them down and leave them somewhere or start your own travelling journal, or keep them for yourself?
BLACK & WHITE...
I am part of some incredible online bookbinding communities and participate in regular challenges that help me stretch my creative limits, leading me into tempting and unexpected territories!
In June, the #areyoubookenough theme was black & white. My mind map took me in the direction of opposed forces, so I made a textured black book, wrote a poem in white and sewed in some opposites.
The exciting part is that this journal is one of the first in a series of themed #vesselsofcreativeconnection that I will soon be sending out into the wilderness for others to respond to with a contribution.
I love making books, but I love it even more when they are filled up with the musings of life, be it writing, drawing or whatever takes your fancy. Responding to themes is an easy way of collaborating, often with fruitful and fulfilling results, not to mention banishing great distances and bringing people together!
How will you interpret black & white?
50 WORD NOVEL
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Feast of Words at Coonabarabran High, so the theme is TIN or ALUMINIUM FOIL.
It took me a little while to find inspiration but I stuck with it and found what felt right. I do love interpretations of a theme; you are only 50 words away!
What will it be…tin cans, tinny sounds or a cat on a hot tin roof?
possibility, word releasing, marginal thoughts & toilet philosophy...
As usual, I have been reading and listening to some wonderfully inspiring books. I am a soft touch for stories written in verse, so I borrowed a handful in excited anticipation! I’ve read a few books by David Levithan, and love how cleverly he captures the emotions of the moment.
This month’s prompts have been collected from one book:
The realm of possibility
Let’s start with this wonderful title.
What does it evoke for you?
‘We are so used to releasing words’
How are we doing this? Releasing them from what?
Write about how you release words.
…thoughts in the margins…marginal thoughts…
My thoughts stretch in every which direction and don’t hesitate wandering into the margins!
What thoughts have you found or written in the margins?
Follow the formula:
Graffiti/toilet wall philosophy
What is the most interesting piece of life advice you have seen or written, outside or on a toilet wall?
This totally colourful book is a creation in itself!
For anyone with a curious mind and who loves exploring, it is a treasure trove. Even better - it has list making activities. My creative dabbling always has me honing in on the senses and wondering about things. This book helps (re)connect your creativity and senses through daily practice activities and observations. Chances are you may be doing these things already without really thinking about it. Try out these questions from the first chapter and why not check out her inspiring website.
Get into the zone…
what are your favourite sensations?
Make a list.
Describe what this image evokes for you.
Chose a book off your shelf that you have not read yet.
Let the pages fall open randomly and write down the first sentence you see.
Go to page 5 – write down the first sentence you see.
Go to your birthday page - write down the first sentence you see.
Find the page of your age - write down the first sentence you see.
Go to the last page - write down the first sentence you see.
Apologies for being WAY behind schedule this month!
I’ve been road tripping, one year late I finally celebrated my 50th and 51st and it was fabulous!
The last week of March was a whirl, then I was off, which means we have less time for the writing ideas that have been swirling in my head, never mind, write as and when you will.
I listened to The Midnight Library by Matt Haig on the drive home and LOVED it! The big question(s)…if I had made that choice, where would my life be today? We’ve all played the ‘what if’ game, imagine some of them here, what do some of your infinite life paths look like?
Cycling… my treat was a 4 day self-guided cycling tour along the East Gippsland rail trails in Victoria. It was certainly challenging though I loved it. The trail, in nature, peaceful motion, movement and freedom. Do you have a cycling story, poem, thoughts?
I recently came across this quote above by CONFUCIUS. Find a Confucius quote that resonates with you and share it with us. Check out The Temple of Literature in Vietnamhttp://vanmieu.gov.vn/en/
BIRTHDAYS… we have one every year, whether you love them or loathe them, we all experience them differently. Share a birthday story here.
Here are your prompts for this lovely month of February.
An ode to me. Last month you wrote a letter of intentions. This month is all about praise and glorification dedicated to none other than yourself.
We are often hard on ourselves and good at finding our faults. What about all the unacknowledged amazingness? It’s time to break patterns and give praise where it is due! Check out the link for ideas on how to write an ode.
Direction. I have a penchant for maps and compass roses, I wonder where I am and ponder where I am going and how intrinsically intertwined everything is. After listening to The Natural Navigator by Tristan Gooley, I knew it to be a subject worth exploring!
How is your sense of direction? Do you always know where you are? Have you ever been lost? How do you orientate yourself or find your bearings? How do you navigate your way through life?
Inexhaustible. As a creative being, I often find myself coming back to the same themes. Strangely enough, the ideas keep coming and my curiosity or fascination with certain topics just keeps growing! If anything, I am overwhelmed by inspiration! It is inexhaustible! Do you feel the same or is something else inexhaustible for you?
Romance. Yep, it’s that time of year again. Let your inner gush loose, be as sappy, soppy and tragic as you like and tell us, what is romance?
The best way to continue my tarot journey and familiarise myself with the cards and their meanings, is to use them regularly.
I am in some amazing groups, follow some wonderful blogs and dip my nose in inspiring books often. All of these continually feed my fascination with universal symbolism, poetic and intuitive living, as well as my general wonder-lust!
This is the beginning of a monthly tarot card, nothing like a little universal energy to reflect upon and guide us along. I am still learning, warming up and trusting my intuition, so feel free to add your thoughts or interpretation and read or take what feels right for you.
I use The Hermetic Tarot by Godfrey Dowson.
He is looking ahead, his chariot pulled by winged fairies, adorned with pentacles, above him a butterfly-winged angelic head.
Master of thought, ideas and design, the King of Swords is controlled but determined, trusted to be fair in judgement and decisions, he will use his power and authority if necessary, ruling with his sword and slaying with his sickle. The suit of swords represent air which governs mental clarity, thought processes and intellect.
The Court cards can represent aspects of yourself, though often represent someone you know (perhaps a star sign of that element), they may also represent a situation. The King is a mature man of great strength, someone you may look to for advice and guidance. He is firm in his truth, drawing logical conclusions and could be a researcher, lawyer, teacher, in communications or the military.
I listen, learn, observe and take in all aspects of a situation. A good time to make changes and set new goals.
Use your head, find a strategy, plan ahead, make changes without becoming too emotional.
Symbolism : butterfly wings - transformation, pentacles - magical talismans, protection and guidance.
We did great writing it all out in 2020. I am so grateful you came to join me. If you are anything like me, you may have some catching up to do, so thankfully we can re-visit any of the units and prompts any time we like! You can do them in any order, pick out what appeals to you or do the same one over and over!
I love it most when we share, encourage and interact. It creates a magical and inspiring sense of connection that is exactly what we all need these days, so don’t hesitate, be brave and put it out there, this is a safe space and please always feel free to ask questions, if I can’t answer them, I’m sure one of us can.
For 2021, I’m freshening up the format and will now post four prompts at the beginning of each month, one for each week, as a document which can be found in the menu. This allows time to ponder, meditate and write or journal at a pace that suits you best. I will also throw in a sprinkle of tarot guidance, book/film inspiration and the occasional playlist when the feeling grabs me!
Thank you for being here and I look forward to sharing creatively with you all again.
Write a letter to yourself. This letter will be full of your intentions for 2021, manifesting dreams and desires for today, tomorrow and beyond. Seal it, make a wish and send it out to the universe. Keep your letter in a special place for later.
Second skin. Use this as a title or theme for your weekly writing. Make it free or give it structure. Let it flow.
Poetic cloth. Describe this. Tell a story, write a poem or a song to sing…
Research a historical figure that you admire or who incites curiosity. Try to make it someone you don’t know much about. Takes notes or make a list of interesting bits, find a picture of them and then, introduce them to us.
Check it twice!
Last minute Christmas list making!
Share your wish list with us...make it naughty & nice, wacky & wild, mindful, fun and creative.
Alchemy, terms & conditions and tragic indulgences
Research and reflection required as you delve into alchemy.
Follow the link for some background info. When you are ready, share your everyday magic with us.
Considering we are agreeing to these and blindly signing our souls away on a regular basis, I thought I'd share this clever book by Robert Glancy with you.
I read it a few years back, follow the link to read my review, definitely worth a read.
What are your Terms & Conditions, fantasy or reality?
Come on, we all have them...don't be shy!
Make a little (or long) list of all your
I'm talking the cringey things your friends bag you for, be it sappy romance novels, The Brady Bunch Variety Show or cat videos...note them down and share them with us!
formula fun & mindful walking...
Formulas are fun and make writing easy. So we’ll keep it simple and play around with some I found in Image and Write...Poetry
By Karin K. Hess
Line #1: Write three ing words Examining, studying, testing,
Line #2: I am I am searching for a cure
Line #3: Write three adjectives Tired, tense, drained
Line #4: I feel I feel so close...
CAPTURING THE MOMENT
This formula freezes an instant and examines various aspects of it.
Line #1: Adverb or Adjective Asleep
Line #2: I was I was dreaming
Line #3: Verb or Adjective Content
Line #4: I am I am not alone
Line #5: Verb or Adjective Comforted
Line #6:I will I will try again
Line #7: Verb or Adjective Refreshed
Line #8: Now Now I can.
Line #1: What if
Line #2: I might (leave a space between lines 2 & 3)
Line #3: What if
Line #4: I could
Line #5: What if
Line #6: I would (leave a space between lines 6 & 7)
Line #7: Ask a question
Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
- THICH NHAT HANH
Walking is a technique of solitude, a way into reverie. The walker is not a sleepwalker but a daydreamer. - DEIRDRE HEDDON
If you seek creative ideas go walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. - RAYMOND INMON
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
- Friedrich Nietzsche
Last week we went on pilgrimage within ourselves, this week, let’s go for a little wander. Contemplate these words while walking somewhere lovely, then let your words wander on the page…
For me, it seems there is not much difference between wondering and wandering. It has always helped me find inspiration. Creative dabbling is good for the soul, I couldn't imagine life without it and often surprise myself by what I come up with.