Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Morning Pages: Tool or Crutch?

A while back I read someone's post where they commented about the morning pages and referred to them as a crutch. I no longer recall the context and honestly it doesn't matter for this post - what stuck with me was my reaction to that term.

I was immediately upset and wanted to say they are tools, not crutches. And it did not take more than five seconds for me to realize that's silly. Crutches are tools, too.

What's the job of a crutch? It is to keep someone upright when they otherwise might hurt themselves staying that way or not be able to stay that way at all. To protect an injury or a limb that never grew straight, or to support someone when their own limb cannot do the job. Why on earth do I read "crutch" as a negative term, when in fact crutches are very valuable to the mobility (and probably sanity!) of people who need them? Certainly using crutches incessantly when you don't (or no longer) need them is probably bad for the body and might let things atrophy that could be saved - but when they are needed, using crutches is a valuable and positive action.

That said, I still don't think the MP's as Cameron presents them are crutches. (On the other hand, perhaps for some people they are and work better that way.) Because she suggests you keep doing them forever, whereas most crutches are used for injuries and are set aside once the healing is complete (or to the point where the crutches aren't needed any more, at least). That may be how some use morning pages, but it isn't how they're presented, whether one agrees with that or not. Of course, some people must always use crutches, but I don't see even blocked creativity as a permanent injury - the Artist's Way is short-term and might be likened to a crutch, but surely the morning pages aren't.

All of which is likely totally irrelevant to the original point of the post I read. But it was triggered by it. It's been percolating in the back of my brain but was never important enough to write up. (I'm still not sure it is, but hey, I have nothing else to do tonight that hasn't already been done. Pfeh.)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Scattering of notes

Since I'm supposed to reduce my reading (and I've already used up my allotted "cheat time" for reading blogs and email), I figure I'll post some of the thoughts rattling around in my brain, since she sure didn't say we could not write.

First off: I really don't like this. In order to keep to the time I limited myself to, I was racing through blogs/journals - but until I did that this evening, I felt very disconnected and cut off from my friends and support network. Neither is good. I ran a tiny bit over time today, but less than 10 minutes, and I think I can avoid that the rest of the week (Sunday is actually a very busy posting day, I've found - end of the weekend stuff). Now to see if I'm right. If not, in the future, I'll just cut myself off at 30 minutes and pick it up the next day, even if I will fall slightly behind that way.

I went out to the Gorge for my Artist's Date today. I meant to check out a hotel/resort/whatever that allows day use, and which sounded like it might be a great spot to do a sort of one-person "poetry retreat" with a chance to walk the grounds, sit inside and write, a restaurant on-site, etc. I left immediately. Just driving around the grounds, they were ugly, dreary, and uninspiring. So I went on to the outlet mall where I picked up some pears and a whisk of a type I have been looking for for a year and failing to find (and which I really regretted not having when doing some of the baking recently). The springy sort, you know? That bounce up and down? I'm not sure it's really a whisk versus something else, but it's bleeding useful, is what it is.

Then I continued up to Multnomah Falls. It was rainy and foggy and unscenic today and I would never have set out to see the Gorge or Falls in this weather if I hadn't promised myself the trip as an AD. And I did not stay long because it was cold cold cold. But it was beautiful and wild and roaring - there's been a lot of rain recently, tonight and tomorrow is another flood warning - and it was just incredible to see and hear even if I did not stay for very long.

Then I came home and I was a little tired so I figured I would nap for an hour or two. Four hours later I got up. Some of that was sleeping and some was just vegging, staring at the light from the skylight in the master bath and feeling depressed and like I had nothing to do. I found myself wondering, what effect would a week without reading have on someone who was very prone to depression, if that were their coping and/or socialization mechanism? And then I realized that if I pushed it toward feeling bad, of course I would.

So I got up and did some stuff I'd planned to with regards to re-doing the computer room. I found out my intended piece of furniture won't work - good news is I found it out with a measuring tape, before carrying the beast (which we already own) up the stairs or anything. My DH will appreciate not having to bring it up only to find out it won't work, too, I'm sure.

Went and did grocery shopping. Wonder of wonders, they had Vanilla Coke (which I love, and which is just about unfindable at my local stores now - they still carry the diet, but not the regular). Bigger wonder of wonders, they had roasted lemon pepper chicken. Now, finding lemon chicken and eating it - that was the favorite childhood food I was going to try for last week (since the blueberry muffins were sort of by accident), but I didn't want to make it and no one had it. And here it was, so I got it!

I knew it wouldn't be like Mom's, and it wasn't. But it was very similar and good. (Mom's had/has more lemon to it - enough so that the juice, drained off, could be thinned a bit with water and drizzled over rice as a sort of citrussy-chickeny sauce, rather than thickening it for gravy. It is delicious! I should get the recipe except I hate to cook meat, seeing it raw spoils my appetite. I don't have a problem knowing I am eating an animal, it just looks gross before you cook it.)

And, this week's Unconscious Mutterings:

  1. Long distance:: Phone
  2. Meant to be:: Is that what life's meant to be (song line)
  3. Here:: There
  4. Endless:: Neil Gaiman
  5. Resentment:: No Reading
  6. Insipid:: Thoughts
  7. Bunny:: Rabbit
  8. Slogan:: Marketing
  9. Naked:: Eek!
  10. Sarcasm:: Grrr
No idea where "Grrr" came from. I blanked and so it may just have been my general twitchy mood. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

AW: Week four planning

I will not do week four as total reading deprivation. Yes, I know she says we should, especially if we don't want to. However, her snide tone and cutting-down comments aside, my job requires me to read and write every workday. I like my job, so getting fired from it or on report or yelled at would not be a good thing. And I just reread the chapter four injunction not to read and her tone (quite as snide as she accuses the defensive readers of being, to my eyes - and yes, I am a defensive reader) makes me want to slap her. Or just quit, rather than follow the guidance of an insufferable ***** who likes to be snide and rude and put-down-y in her tone.

Yes, some of this is resistance to the reading thing. Except...I'd resigned myself to that back here, and was planning to keep to that regime or even less time on the 'net. So I'd say most of this is reaction to how she presents it. I wonder how much resistance she CREATES to the no-reading through her manner? Probably quite a bit. I don't want to work with her AT ALL right now.

Nonetheless, I signed up and I will hopefully stop being so irate once I've got some distance from having read her words (guess I should have not-re-read that section to start the week, since I knew what it would tell me anyway!) and have survived the limited reading I'm imposing on myself this week.

In addition to the decisions I made before, I am going to try to limit my IM time to the time allotted for web-browsing also, and I'm going to try to use less than my limit for that (but the stated limit stands).

Honestly, and simply, I could give up the 'net for the week. My job would not suffer. But since it is my primary contact for all my friends, and in many cases my only contact, as well as being a primary contact for my parents, I'm not willing to give it up to that degree. Or even to have to explain to all my friends/family where I've gone.

That said, tomorrow I've got plans; I have tentative plans for next Saturday; I intend to keep busy and, except for touch-base stuff, largely away from reading. I don't intend to use the radio except for traffic reports, or the TV at all (which is no change from the everyday), or to read the news, or anything like that. Which is a huge changefrom how I normally live my life, so perhaps it will be enough to make a difference, even if Ms. Cameron has made it eminently clear that she would disapprove of me utterly.

If not - I can live with that, I guess.

AW Week Three checkin

I did the morning pages each day this week, sometimes with resistance, sometimes not. I don't remember much of what went into them but I do remember that sometimes I had ideas for dealing with things that helped me through that particular day. I also remember writing out long lists of memories - not the details, just the key phrase - a couple mornings, because they were just coming to me.

I kind of did and kind of did not do an artist's date. I did not plan one out, set aside time, etc. But, I made the blueberry muffins, I did the photo walk, I wandered a thrift store and then again later I went through Rite-Aid which I normally wouldn't count except I was browsing the sale/$1/cheap items and had a blast (and got four journals for $1 each, plus a little $2.50 holder for tealight candles that I really like). So...I kind of did, but not by planning it.

Synchronicities - lots of little ones this week, and one big one: a friend I have not seen in over a decade, since not long after high school, emailed me. She turned out to be in the area and working maybe 5 minutes' drive from where I work, so Tuesday evening we got together and hung out - just talking and having a great time. (It's not all that unlikely that we would be nearby: we went to high school together in the same general metro area that we're both now living in. But that we'd be that nearby...that was cool.)

I've been writing little snatches of poetry. Getting the urge to try an altered book, although what I'd want or do with one beyond making it I'm not sure. Maybe making it would be the whole point, anyway.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Progress! Two steps forward. Or at least one and a half.

No step back yet but I suspect it will come - I'll settle for progress. Over the weekend I sat down for a half hour - I think it was Sunday - and wrote poetry. Tonight I had ideas on the way home and sketched them out in my notebook. That took only a few minutes. I need to set aside a certain amount of time for writing. I need first to figure out the right amount of time (roughly, I can always refine it) and time to do it, to minimize the tendency to avoid. I think I'll need to deny myself the computer until I've done it if I can (or just set a time to get away from the computer). Not just yet, but soon, I'll sort this out. I want to savor the fact I'm doing it at all, first.

More photographs today. I managed to stop in Tualatin and get pictures of the building that may soon be gone. Only from one angle. Two more are not very interesting and the fourth cannot be easily shot unless I wanted to stand in traffic (rush-hour traffic on a busy street): no sidewalk there, and very little verge of the road. I took a pass on that and photographed it from the one side I could. No idea if those photos came out. I need to find that out. But if they did not, I do not have time to reattempt until at least Thursday. I don't know what the schedule is on the builing: in the parking lot on one of the sides I did not photograph, was various heavy equipment stuff, which had apparently been used to dig up the parking lot. No idea if that is a related project or not....

It is a beautiful old building, brick, perhaps not as well-cared-for as it could be but still lovely. I hope someone buys it. I would hate to know it was destroyed. And I really hope my photos come out. The entire area that used to be so fascinating and beautiful has become more and more cookie-cutter suburban. I see nothing wrong with suburbia personally but I am so sorry to see it edging out so much character of place as in this case.

Then I went to Haggen foods to do my grocery shopping - a store I almost never stop at because it is not directly on my normal route home - and I had a blast. They had a brand of chips I love but nowhere else I shop seems to carry any more, so I got those, as well as some other stuff I might not have. Including some wonderful pumpkin bread (which uses pumpkin-pie spices but isn't very pumpkinny - fine by me, whether that's a word or not, it's the spices I love). Total impulse buy, but I'm in heaven.

I realized as I was shopping that what I loved as a child is deceptive. On that list of foods is a sub-set I don't love any more and a sub-set I can't have, and a lot of the ones that I love and can have, I should have at least somewhat in moderation. Or I do already have them at least somewhat regularly, so that they are not out-of-the-ordinary.

Shrimp, say. I got them this holiday season, remembering treats of my childhood. And frankly, they were boring. Not bad, just boring. Hazelnuts? Thanks, I'm allergic to them. I can remember the nutty taste, I loved them. I don't love them enough to have my mouth (or worse, my throat, though I never was that unlucky) swell up. It just seems highly unwise. German chocolate cake? I still love chocolate, but that cake is too rich for me and upsets my stomach, and is overwhelming taste-wise. I'll settle for plainer brownies or ice cream, now. Asparagus? I detest it now. Lima beans? I can eat them...if I must.

There are things I loved then and still do. Peaches - I eat them a lot. Pears - I like the juice more, so I drink pear juice now. Blueberry muffins, I think everyone who read my earlier post knows I still like those. :) Some other things. But just going off what I loved as a child doesn't work by itself.

I want lemon chicken. I will probably have to make it if I want it, though, and that's more cooking than I want to do.

Tomorrow I meet up with a friend I have not seen in nearly a decade, and we hang out, catch up, and have dinner (we work within a few minutes' drive of each other, as it turns out). I am looking forward to that, and to seeing what else this week brings!

Sunday, January 22, 2006


I've started taking photographs again, as I said, something I've not done in almost a month in any serious way until this past week. I think the holiday photos, while fun, burned me out a bit. And of course they were mostly not very serious/artsy so they also moved me away from that to more casual snapshots. I love those too, but - sometimes it's nice to play around.

For example, the shot below. One morning when I got to work, it was just sunrise and the trees (and parking-lot lights) were silhouetted against a neighboring building that is cream and made a very striking canvas. It was gorgeous, so I took a couple shots. Then I ran the best one through Photoshop Elements. When auto-levels removed all the golden/orange hues of sunrise, I cried foul and undid it. Then I put it back and really looked at it...and decided I liked the result even better than my original intention. It lacks the warmth, yes, but I think the shadow works better and is more striking without those warm colors.

Odd moments of humor. Or moments of odd humor.

Partway through this past week, I started copying the basic principles into my morning pages each morning - because it didn't seem as if I paid attention while doing my daily reading of the dratted things otherwise!

I quickly came to have a pattern. I would finish the last principle: "...we move toward our divinity." And the very next line in my MPs would read, "Mmmm, Divinity!" I was alternately deeply amused and somewhat mortified that, once the joke had popped into my head, it stuck. For days. (Although sticking is fairly appropriate for that candy, I suppose.)

Growing up, my mother made fudge and divinity each Christmas. I liked the fudge more, but I liked the divinity also. The divinity, however, was somewhat her despair. It was always just for the family, never right. Never light and fluffy enough. But I liked it and I reassured her it was great. Then once, she either made it right or (I think) actually bought some divinity.

I hated it. It wasn't "right" - it wasn't divinity - it was all fluffy and had no substance! Go figure...I don't remember mom's reaction. Perhaps it was validating, to have me react that way. Perhaps it was aggravating or amusing. Given how random and fussy I was about food then (I still am, but in different ways), perhaps it was just life.

But I sincerely hope I can one day again read the basic principles without adding "Mmm, divinity" at the end. Particularly considering I haven't had divinity of any sort in years and don't even really want to. (The fudge, now.... I'll need to "settle" for the brownies instead, though. I'll manage somehow, I'm sure....)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Synchronicity with berries in.

Giggling now. Earlier in the week, I bought the blueberry muffin mix, as well as banana muffin mix and brownie mix. All are fat-free, thus I can have them without guilt as I try to keep my cholesterol under control. (Fat's fine, if it is the right kind of fat. None is fine, too, as long as I get some somewhere in my diet.) This morning I made them, because I was in the mood, and it heavily evoked my childhood. In part because off all the elements going at once, the domestic-ness of it. In part because blueberry muffins were one of my favorite childhood treats - and mom made them from a mix (though not this mix, the taste was very similar).

I hadn't read the exercises yet. Does that count as having done exercise 3? *laughing* Maybe it was somewhere in the back of my mind, but it seems impressive if so - the last time I tried to do AW, I did make it past this chapter, but that was maybe a decade ago.

The blueberry muffins are still delicious. Last week's lemon bars, after the "I made it!" glee wore off,weren't. And they're not as good for me as the muffins. So I think the muffins win, thus far.

I want poppyseed muffins sometime, too. But the only mix I can find is almond poppyseed. Can't have those: allergies. I wonder what happens if I put poppyseeds in angel food cake mix? The cake mix can be made to muffins, I know that....

The Artist's Way: Check-in for Week 2

1. Morning pages.

Morning pages were...done every day this week, but nonetheless something of a saga, to my annoyance. On Tuesday morning (first work day), I once again got up at 7 and had to race into work and do the MP's at work, where I was interrupted repeatedly. The alarm goes off at 6. It gets snoozed a lot. The DH and I spoke and he tried not to snooze it quite so quickly in the future (I don't even REGISTER it before it's gone - or at least I don't remember hearing it when I do wake!). And I got out the travel alarm and set it for 6:05, right next to me. He can't reach that easily, I have to snooze it.

Wednesday I got up on time, started the MPs, and got a work call in the middle of the third page. (I'm on call for work this week.) Sigh. So I had to work on that. Then I came back and filled the rest of the third page with grumbles about bad timing. Thursday I got up at 6:20 and the power went out at 6:25 (and stayed out: a car into a pole had taken out a large feeder line and basically almost our whole city was out of power - not that we knew it then), so I had to take the morning pages into work again. This time I tried doing them in a seating area that is in our building but not in our office. It was more public than I liked but placed so people weren't walking behind me, and I had no interruptions, as I'd expected. The people walking through were distracting, but not as distracting as someone tryingto have a conversation about work with me is!

Fortunately the other days have been less eventful than that.

2. Artist Date

My official Artist's Date was going to Powell's. I won't do that as an AD again: it is something I do regularly enough that I fell into my usual habits and I don't think it worked that well. It was decent! It was enjoyable. But it didn't really seem like a proper date if that makes sense. On the other hand, I wasn't planning for this morning's activity to be an AD but it kind of turned into one. This morning I started the laundry, baked blueberry muffins (from a mix), and started the dishwasher. And when the dryer was running, the dishwasher churning, the whole kitchen smelled of fresh-baked blueberry muffins, and I closed the just-turned-off oven to a wave of hot air that washed over my upper body and face.... It was glorious. Like being a little kid again on a weekend morning or afternoon, as my mother did the household chores and I simply enjoyed the results. I felt like someone was caring for me again - and if it's partly me, all the better. (I wasn't planning this morning and did not know how it would touch me - so I think there was more than just me involved in caring for me just then, even if only to give me the impetus to do this.)

After the five-minute delay while they were in the muffin pan, I transfered the paper-cupped muffins to plates to cool (I don't have a wire rack to let the air flow around - I may have to get one, I kinda like baked goods). And then I ate two of them before theycould cool, still hot and clinging strongly to the paper, the blueberries like molten sweet, not hot enough to burn but hotter than the muffin around them. It was glorious! And it was at almost noon and I ruined my appetite for lunch too - that is very like my childhood. I will have lunch later. I am so very contented right now.

2. Other issues.

I didn't get all the exercises done. Most, but not all. I didn't return to any of the things I like but haven't done recently. To be fair, a lot of my list of "things I like" I had done recently. And some of the ones I hadn't require getting out of the house - not so much an option until Monday again. But I'd found three that fit the bill. I did none of them.

I did not pick up my poetry again. But I'm not too worried about that. It will come. The well needs to fill first - and I have done poetry more than most things, so it may be a bit more time. I have done more creative stuff, though! A couple or three weeks before AW started, I bought the materials to make a snow jar (because getting a snow-globe can be done,but it's expensive to get the globe and base - jars are cheaper). I wanted to see if I liked the process enough to try a globe. Then I never tried. Until this week! This week I made the jar. I didn't like it. The jar is okay. I don't enjoy the process. And finding appropriate figures is a pain, too. It's not just challenging, though. It's boring and messy and a nuisance. I'll buy snow globes in the future, when I want them. :)

I've also started my photography up more again. I'm a hobbyist photographer and that's exactly the sort I want to see - shooting what touches me, what I find pretty or interesting, sharing it and hoping others also find interest. I have not yet looked through the photographs I took but I did take them. Many were snatched "on the run" due to being on call. I am hoping to do a more thoughtful, slow photography session this week, walking around somewhere - probably in Tualatin where a historic building I love the look of is apparently on the list to potentially be demolished. :( I want photos of it if that happens, and I've never gotten good ones because I've never gone and walked around.

I'm trying another project involving decorative painting and some other stuff, but I don't know yet how it's going to work out. I do know that, unlike the snow jar, I have been having fun with this project. So no matter what I think of the result it has been worth something...and I think, I hope, the result may be good also.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Hah! This morning, looking at the gel pens I already had out and in use, I did not feel like using any of them for the morning pages. And so I grabbed another because it looked fun. Electric bubblegum pink is such an interesting shade on a pen. (My name, not theirs: I don't see any sign of color names on these pens.) I had a great deal of fun. Although the MP's are not meant to be shared, I share a snippet of mine - I have tried to get the color as true as I could to how it looks on the page. It's still not quite right, though, the color is brighter and pinker in reality. I figured the section babbling about the color would be the best to share - quite innocuous, after all, I'm babbling about it here anyway.

The pen didn't quite last to the end of page 3, though. The others have seemed to have more staying power so far, but we'll see. It's still a good deal if some of them only make it that far and I really like having the wide variety of colors.

I also used a red-pink glitter pen to write out the Basic Principles. I did this because if I am to read them regularly, I want to rephrase a couple (for religious preferences); doing it on the fly is distracting. I also did it for the "pretty" factor and not having to keep track of that page. But...having done it, I thought I'd mention it here for the unintended effect - I read them much more closely and deeply than I do when simply "reading" them. The act of "writing" them made me think that much more about what I was putting down, and focussed me on the wording rather than the general sentiment. If you learn more by doing or writing, or if you're curious, perhaps this would be something to try doing - simply copying them. Gel pen and color both optional, of course. They are fun, though!

Monday, January 16, 2006


Today has been really good so far. I got up and lit candles in the computer room, so that it smelled like sugar ("toffee" candles but they mostly smell sweet, not like toffee or anything) and then later like pine ("mistletoe" scent from Yankee, picked up at Christmastime). I played around online. I did the exercises. And then I walked away from the computer and books to bake lemon bars (out of a box: I am not a real enthusiastic cook unless it's made quite easy for me, and somewhat not then). While things were actually baking, I was paying bills for the week and then writing thank-you notes to people. I still need to write actual letters to a couple other folks, but the thank-you notes were done and I'm pleased with myself.

I'm also pleased with my new gel pens. I did give in and buy the ones that were on sale (it was a good price, now hopefully they all last until I can use them - 100 gel pens, what was I thinking?). But oh, I'm so glad I did even if it was impulsive and perhaps silly. They're gorgeous! At least the two I have tried so far are. Among the colors is a lovely black that when the light hits it right looks just like a normal black ballpoint, or perhaps a bit broader stroke - but at another angle it glitters like there was mica all through it. I'm thrilled with it! And a green that does similar except it's such a bright green that even when it's not glittering it looks quite vivid and unusual. I am so so happy. I love happy bright colors. I love pretty papers to write on. I'd allowed myself to fall out of the habit of correspondence, but I don't enjoy the papers/cards half as much if they're just sitting there. They need to be used! (The pens were never such a problem - I was using them for journalling even when not writing letters. But the paper..it deserves to be used.)

I also found this site, which is a list of things to do when you can't think of things to do. Some of them struck me as potentially being very good candidates for Artist's Dates, so I thought I'd share the link! And I've gone to Flickr and been looking at photographs of hot air balloons, which I love watching as they take off. (I'm not at all sure I'd want to be in one - I feel no temptation, only dread, at that idea - but to watch them from the ground? Oh, glorious!)

Now I take a break, maybe go for a walk (I'm still trying to decide), and play some games online while my lemon bars cool. And then, perhaps, I may do up the principles and so on and my affirmations in glittery colors on pretty stationary. Because it sounds neat.

Week two, thus far.

Just to prove I can still exist in the present moment and not skipping ahead to week four.... Heh. Seriously, I've gotten a lot of the exercises done. This is good since the odds of my having a free moment to think this week are low; I will be on call for work starting tomorrow. I guess this week, and especially this coming weekend I'll find out how hard it is to handle this while on call!

My Artist's Date is done, because really, even in-house ADs are hard while on call (as I must be interruptible at all times - not so cool with the ADs!). I went to Powell's (a local bookstore; I went to Beaverton, not downtown, for those who know them) and browsed around. Then I came home, checked what the library had, and went back and got three books. Two on creativity, one novel by an author whose work I'd liked before. (I have a partly-used gift card that I used to get these, so it didn't cost me any of my own money except for the gas, which made it a bigger treat.) I also did a lot of photography on the drive there and back, just playing around with the camera. Most of it was while the car was moving so it may not be the best. I want to try and get out for a photography walk; if that doesn't happen today, it won't happen for at least a week.

Listing twenty unique things I enjoy doing was hard. My mind kept blanking, like, "there's supposed to be more?" Of course I thought of a couple more as soon as I hit #20. I have done many of them recently, but others I haven't, and at least one I only did recently because of pure coincidence! I really like hanging out with my friends in person, and yet most of them are now in other states. But one of them decided to do a road trip up the west coast and while she was here, on Saturday, we hung out for a couple hours. It was great! And another friend and I will get together not this coming week but the week after, hopefully (still sorting out plans). So I think the universe was already reminding me of this one, which I might not have thought of without Saturday's visit, it's been so bloody long.

I used to like to write letters, too, and only in the past month or two have I gotten back into the habit of snail-mail correspondence. To be fair, blogging/journalling is a partial substitute for that. But only a partial one.

I've picked out three that I haven't done for a while, all of which I can do at home while on call, and stated I'll do two of the three this week. I'll pick which two depending on the mood I'm in.

And on my ten tiny changes list, I was surprised to have one pop up - "Have a weekend retreat by myself, and no 'net". It was the last three words that shocked me. I'm highly attached to my internet because it's how I access everyone, and yet here I am saying I wish it would go away! But what would people think if I vanished for two whole days? What would I think?

Maybe I should try it. Maybe I should try it as part of week four, when I'm supposed to be cutting my reading anyway.... It's a slightly scary thought, but exhilerating. Of course, where I'd go I'm not sure - inherent in this thought is not wanting to be at home for it, too many things-to-be-done and distractions here. But I have some ideas, there are a couple possibilities that are within a reasonable driving distance. Hmmm.

Edited to add: Hmmm indeed. Not as easy as I thought. The place I was most strongly thinking of - which would be in many ways ideal - to get to it requires traction devices (by law) until April. Granted I have chains, but I do not want to go where I may need them. Though I may just try that one after chains won't be needed. The rates are reasonable and include food, and the location's ideal.

It's too early in the year to camp out, so meanwhile, my second choice is a little more spendy than I'd like. I may not be able to do this just yet, though I'm still hunting alternatives. (I could do a retreat weekend where I came home to sleep, provided I found somewhere close enough for driving. I'd rather stay overnight Saturday, but that would be an alternative if cost is an issue.)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Planning for Week 4.

I think I've figured out a good balance between the goal of the reading ban in week four and the needs of my own life. I'm posting it here now both so I don't weasel more room later, and to get a reality-check in case I'm being too lenient on myself. Because, let's be honest, I do live in other people's writing - a lot - way too much. This week is targeted at people like me. So, here are my thoughts - what do you think, am I weaseling or striking a balance?

First, I will start the reading ban Sunday morning and continue it until I get up the following Sunday morning.

Things I may read during the ban:
  1. Anything required for work, based on the priorities of the tasks my boss gives me. Long-term reading items (like "learn this info by summer") may not be read this week, but if it needs to be read this week, it gets read.
  2. Letters from friends.
  3. I may spend a half-hour a day, no more, reading email, blogs and journals, and online comics that I normally read. External links may be bookmarked for after the week but not followed (this is not the week to start exploring new blogs!). Honestly, at this level of reading, I will have to skip or fall behind on some blogs, but not many.
  4. I may spend four hours total throughout the week playing on mushes (which involves reading, but also writing and creativity). That is, actually playing and writing my character as part of what I do, so there's a creative element.
  5. I'll probably still be on IM, since that's more conversation than reading, but I probably won't be on it as much. Still deciding on this.
  6. Obviously, I may read the AW exercises - but I should read chapter 4 the Saturday before and Chapter 5 the Sunday after the ban.

Things I explicitly may not read:

  1. Books, unless somehow mandatory for work (very unlikely), or the bits of the AW that I need to read.
  2. Magazines and newspapers, online or physical (again, unless for work, which isn't likely).
  3. Random browsing of the web / exploration of sites / online stories / etc.

Other things I'm banning are most online games. There is very little reading in World of Warcraft, but it's still an incredible time-sink and unlike mushing there is no real creative component, in my experience. (I also won't be watching TV, but since I almost never watch TV, that's not really impressive.) I'm also going to try not to use the radio in the car except when listening for the afternoon traffic reports on my way home from work. (The radio in the car is a great way to turn my brain off, I've found if the radio is off I do a lot more thinking. So.)

I may choose to take a day or two (maybe Tuesday and Wednesday) and even skip the 'net on those days, but if I do I'm going to "gift" their half-hour to the next day just to keep up. Yipe.

Yes, that's more than she said we had to give up, but I'm keeping a bit of reading so it seems fair to me - plus it's in the same spirit. Besides, I don't think World of Warcraft-type games were even on the radar when she wrote this book! :)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings

Unconscious Mutterings Week 154.

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Paralyzed:: Voice
  2. Bossy:: Bitch
  3. Worth:: Self
  4. Breathing:: Catch
  5. Uneventful:: Joy
  6. Return:: Gifts
  7. Splint:: Finger
  8. Notice:: Attention
  9. Hero:: Heroine
  10. Vulnerable:: Safe

On holding back....

I read this post at Creative Pilgrimage, where Marilyn links in turn to this post by Kara.

And oh yes, this resonates. I am not sure of all the whys and wherefores but I know that when I was growing up there were times people turned away from me or seemed to and I didn't know why - and it was deeply unnerving. There still are and it still is. Online is easier and so few of my friendships are face-to-face these days.

Does that play into my work? Maybe. I write poetry and I don't put it out there - what if someone hates it and hates me for it? What if they (as that college teacher did) LIKE it, but turn it into something abhorrent to me and tell me? What if they tell me IN FRONT OF others and those others come to think I'm bad? That was the deepest horror to me of what he did - it was in front of all my classmates in that class, and when I tried to protest it wasn't my point, I was told to shut up and let him go on basically. That I had no right to want to state my point and try to 'steer' my work that way.

I realize that once I let a work go out where others can read it, it may be read in ways I didn't intend. Even read as I intend, it might offend someone. That being the case - and DOUBLY so since I do want to write about some controversial topics - I am scared to give too much voice to my voice, to risk sending these things out into the world where someone might dislike them. Might dislike me. Might even be someone I know....

AW: Checkin

I originally titled this "brief notes" but as they were not very brief when I was done, it seemed best to change it.

On the check-in...I did daily pages each day. One day I did them right before bed. They didn't really do much for me that day, I just filled them in and went to bed. I will try to avoid doing that again. (Then again, I was already trying to avoid doing it, so obviously I'm not doing so well.) The other days I did them either right after getting up, or sometime during the morning at work (about 50/50). I meant to avoid the morning-at-work after the first, but it didn't work that well (pardon the pun). So far I have not been interrupted as much the other times, but if it becomes an issue, I'll just take the journal and go to a lounge that is part of the building's common area, not part of our office, and do them there. People generally only try to track you within the office.

The Artist Date I took last Saturday felt like a flop. I think it was plagued by a "should" - Brokeback Mountain had won all these awards and I was horribly curious. But that curiosity was a "should" in disguise - I "should" like it because "everyone" does. On the plus side, I ditched the should and walked out. I'm not sure how much of that is not liking it (I didn't dislike it, so much as lack any real strong liking/interest - the scenery was gorgeous, and I liked watching the sheep in the first part?) and how much is just that I DID NOT want to see where I knew the plot was going. I simply did not want to watch it. At all. (I did not know about the ending, although I do now - that would have upset me even more - but where the plot had to go after the one guy was married was sufficient that I did NOT want to watch it go there.)

But at the same time, I went to the dollar store that same day, NOT for an AD but to look for something I wanted for a project (and didn't find), and I had a BLAST. I came home and watched portions of the Lion King II and had a blast at that. So I kind of did have a good AD as well, just not the planned one. Maybe there's a lesson in that - I'm not good at being spontaneous and maybe I need to learn to be a little better at it. Preferably without being out quite as much as walking out on even a matinee movie costs these days, of course.

I have already seen a couple people say they need to push more, they're not pushing hard enough. I wonder if that's not true for me also. I'm not seeing much progress - activity, yes, but not progress - on my part. At the same time I know that pushing myself usually leads to criticizing myself hard when I don't do well enough - don't spend the time I said I would, don't whatever. And then I am frustrated and guilty which is not a good recipe. I need to find some way to lure myself into trying more art/writing/crafts/something, though. The trick is in the luring, rather than pushing. I'll have to think on that one. Maybe I should just push myself, except that I know that at the first sign of failure I'll start a circle that just makes it harder to do, and really, I'm not perfect, so sooner or later that would happen. Probably not useful. :)

I read the whole chapter through. I did blurts and affirmations, but they didn't really turn up much - the tricks she uses to draw the blurts out just didn't get them for me. I had more luck finding negative spots by just nattering on generally and sometimes they'd wander out. I did part or all of each exercize except the walk, but I'll be honest, I did most of them briefly and sketchily. I didn't bother cartooning my monster but I did write it up (well, you saw!), and I didn't do a walk unless you count going through the mall before I even read the exercise, which seems to be stretching it. (I leave for work when it's dark and get back when it's dark, this time of year. It's been raining all week. I love the rain, but after a 20-minute walk in it I'd be very thoroughly soaked - not real good in the middle of the workday, plus the area around work is quite traffic-busy.)

And now on to chapter two. And I may need gel pens soon. I haven't used mine this frequently in a while and I'm running them out of ink and finding some dry ones (ack!). I have a good set of six right now and some more after, but doing morning pages will run them out of ink in a week or two at the most. I'll get more when I'm down to 2-3 working ones, I think. I can use normal pens if I have to - I have plenty of those - I just like glittery/metallic things that are brightly colored!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Image: Dusk.

Dusk. The sky is filled with clouds, slate-blue, rolling into darkened grey shadows at the far horizon. The trees are a mix of withdrawn evergreens, fading into darkness already, and the barren grasping branches of the deciduous trees, reaching for the sky and the rain even in the sleep of winter. Rain. Water. Fat droplets tumbling down and splashing against your face, cheeks, lips. The wind whipping up, pulling hair back and wild, flying tangles as if the whole world will carry you away--

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I knew these were coming...negative influences.

Among my most negative influences are people who should have been aiding me, teachers primarily. Some of them probably thought they were aiding me but that doesn't help any. For example, part of my tendency to keep my own poetry to myself can be traced to an English teacher I had in high school. I very shyly shared with her a few of my poems, stressing that I was just sharing them to read and did not want them printed (as I knew she edited some stuff for the school and I did not want her to confuse them with submissions, although I had not followed submission procedure).

She printed them, of course. I had wanted her opinions/feedback so that I could strengthen the poems; I knew they weren't perfect and needed revision, even then. But I wanted more input than mine. She gave me no feedback other than that they were great, and she printed them in the school journal (under my name, but still, without my permission). And because she was a teacher and you did not want to make teachers angry as they controlled your grade (and she was a very subjective grader, at times), I did not dare to speak out.

I'm amazed I signed up for workshops in college, with that start. Also sorry, since that is where I had the workshop/class with the man who managed to take my poetry away for some years. I had written a poem on the admittedly difficult subject of date rape, and it was indirect. He read it and decided it was about incest (one of his main bugaboo themes, sigh). I was mortified, especially since he was sitting there in front of my classmates and fellow college students talking about 'the author' writing about incest experiences. I said that wasn't what I had intended, but instead of helping me to revise that impression out of the poem, he told me that my opinion didn't matter, it was what the reader could take away. (Well, yes, but I wanted to remove what let the reader get THAT impression!) He did manage to give me enough info that I figured out how to rework it.

I had to turn in a portfolio for a grade. I did not want to give the man any more of my poetry to mess with me, but I had to. So I started writing very surrealist stuff which he loved (and I did not; I thought it was absolute drivel; but I knew he would like it).

Did you know if you do that intensely for a couple weeks, you can forget how to tap your own voice, especially if it's more work than spewing surreal drivel? Especially if you're afraid to tap your voice because of how it's been heard in the past?

I did eventually begin writing poetry in my own voice again, but I have never again written at the prolific level I achieved in college before that event. Some of that is available time...but far from all of it, I know.

Revealing the future.

We normally get day planners, at work. The company supplies them each year. This year the office manager sent a note that apparently we weren't getting them, but perhaps we could buy our own and expense them. It sounded like a statement, really, but I think now that she was actually making a statement. The planners showed up - only a couple weeks before the end of 2005, but so what? They were in time.

I'd picked up, not a day planner at her advice, but a page-a-day (actually, not quite - the weekends are a single page each) calendar because in truth, all I use the day planner for most of the time is to cross off days. And so now I had this calendar I did not need and certainly I could not expense it; briefly, I was annoyed with the matter, and then I reminded myself to look positive. The day planner was small and boring; the page-a-day calendar had lovely pictures of Ireland on it.

I am so glad I took that attitude. Each day now I go in and pull off the previous day (or days, for weekends/holidays) wit a sense of curiosity and adventure, to see what the picture will be and whether I will like it. Yesterday was a very cute baby goat. Today was a dramatic picture of a storm, to go with the wild windstorm we had last night (and which continued, in much milder form, today).

I like it. I like this feeling that I am not crossing off days as I get through them, but revealing the future as I step into it. Not merely counting time, but seeking the blessings a new day might bring. Such a small change of format - such a large change of thought!

A bit of inspiration, in the form of a poem....

A poem by Gary Lemons, or part of one. This is taken from "The Girl with Tender Paws", 1:

I have set in the distance
And watched your spirit
Burning what you feed it in the night,
Have come down from
Remote perceptions and licked
The trees and ground on the dark perimeter,
Slept in the heart of every animal
Whose days surround you,
And waited for anyone I am
To step forward toward this light.

I believe in one thing--
That every day
Our breath becomes tomorrow's wind.

I know the stones have a deep skin
Stretched around a fragile heart,
That love comes into being
When what we believe
Enough to die for
Lets us live.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Keeping on, and boy I'm not doing MPs that way again.

This morning I was scattered and I stopped to write that post, but then hurried to work (illogical as I knew I'd have to stay late, but then, sometimes I'm illogical). I had not written my morning pages but figured I would write them in the parking lot before going in. Then I remembered I had a frozen item with me for lunch (which I didn't need, because the all-day-meeting keeping me late supplied lunch, but we hadn't been told to expect it), so I went in. I did the MPs at my desk and no one was very curious or tried to read them but I got interrupted way too much. If I do them at work again, I will take them out to the car and sit there and do them. Even though there were not too many people about it just did not work very well.

On the other hand, I have done the MPs every day so far, and always in the morning if not always right away (today was the worst as far as that goes). I think I got off on the wrong foot massively today by the way I woke up. I'd meant to get up with the alarm at 6 or just after the first snooze (6:10) and write MPs, then leisurely go into my day. Instead my DH snoozed the alarm quickly and I do not remember even hearing it (I probably did but not wake up far enough to remember). I got up at 6:30 all flustered and aflutter because it was "later" than I intended, and I ran around like a chicken without a head. At least I eventually gathered myself and did pretty well on the day, in spite of the whiny and scatter-brained beginning.

I still need to do most of this week's exercises. And a bunch of other things. Tonight I'm going to try to do a few more. I love to resist "memory" exercises, mine is so bad I feel awful about it, but at least two of my negative influences are really very easy to remember and there is one of them I am quite sure I've never worked through, so I should be able to work with these exercises, right? (In general, I am less hard on myself and more hard on myself as-presented-to-others I think. I'm not going to try to write more on that until I've done the exercises, and maybe not then, but I know it.)

I almost took down this morning's post because I thought it would upset people or look bad on me. Then I left it, because honestly, I do find both statements still frustrating and unfair; the one from the work-related book about the MPs is actually an ad hominem attack and I do think insulting people is a bit of a poor motivator skill. There were lots of good motivating points made, but that wasn't one.

Resistance, round one.

I've hit my first round of resistance, although it's not to anything I have to do yet. If you don't want to read about stuff happening ahead or my snarling quite a bit about our illustrious author, skip this. Seriously: this is venting, below this paragraph, not so much about content as about tone of saying things.

First, morning pages. There's another AW, for using it at work. I picked it up at the library to see the differences. I think they look very similar on first glance but I'm not going to try to parallel; the book will go back. But, it does introduce morning pages and (slightly renamed) artist dates. I was flipping thru the morning pages and saw the bit where Julia says "I only teach adults" in response to the statement one can't get up earlier. You know, considering that if one's life is full enough (NOT the case in mine) of non-negotiable items, the ONLY thing one can strip is sleep, which is bad for the health, I find that statement insulting and offensive. As if one is childish to want to take care of health (and/or not to want to wake a spouse up so you can do your pages). Honestly, her attitude toward things upsets me more than the process by far. I'm so glad I've never taken a workshop with her, and I won't.

The other thing that fried me was something that's in the future for us. I was reminded by someone else's post that there's a week (number four, specifically) where we give up reading. Which is simply not going to be possible for me. I'll have to make compromises and simply give up most. I'm not sure yet what I'll do about the fact that most of my interaction with friends is online. I may bend there. I must bend it for work. And again she insulted by saying that, at this point, someone always protests they MUST read for work and can't stop reading for a week. And she just reminds them they could always get out of reading for a week for procrastination, in college.

College is a whole different thing. And maybe lots of people can get out of reading for a week for work. I read and write code, design documents, and other things, on a daily basis - that IS my job, and I'm expected to respond in a timely fashion to these things. It's no problem to me to adapt the "week without reading" to say that the work reading, done while in the office during work hours, is a clear exception. What fries me is simply her attitude that anyone can bend their life this way and if you say otherwise you're just fooling yourself.

The tone, the attitude, fries me faster than anything else. Maybe that's another reason people sometimes resist her techniques - at least in print, she often presents it as though you have to be a moron not to do X, and even if you had no reason to resist X before, that's insulting and annoying.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Artist Dates

So, besides the morning pages, the other basic tool is the Artist Date. That's lovely but sometimes it's hard to think of what to do. I know some people are already taking dates - I tried, as you can see from my earlier post - and I've seen some lovely examples. I thought I'd post some of my ideas for dates and then if anyone would like to comment with more ideas, that would be great - I can always use more ideas for these. :) Possibilities I've thought of or heard of (some cost money, some don't):

  • Go to a mall. Browse the things being sold, people-watch, or both, depending on your taste.
  • See a new movie or an old favorite - either in the theater (matinee prices aren't too bad) or at home. Some libraries, like ours, have movies that you can check out for free.
  • Read something you find inspirational or fun. Poetry. How-to books. Fiction. Feel-good tales. Whatever works. Or, browse an art book.
  • Browse a web site - intently, intensely - that you have wanted to look at or are curious about, but haven't made the time for it.
  • If you lie photographs, try the Explore feature on Flickr. You can press the "the last 7 days" link (below the lower right-hand corner of the picture) to get more images. They try to find interesting photos and I enjoy looking at them - plus, it changes since there are always new photos being added.
  • Go to a library or bookstore and browse. Let your curiosity lead you through books you wouldn't normally look at - or through books you would love to look at, but can't afford to own.
  • Treat yourself to a couple hours of relaxation at home - maybe a hot bath, with a book, without a book, staring off into space, daydreaming - whatever pleases you. Candles? Incense? If you want them, add them.
  • Take yourself out on a lunch or dinner date to a restaurant you like, or one you're curious about.
  • Take a walk. If you like to take photographs, take a camera with you; if not, just look for interesting things. (If it's cold, consider taking the walk somewhere indoors.)
  • Visit an art museum, gallery, other sort of museum, local landmark or attraction....
  • Speaking of landmarks and attractions, be a tourist in your own city! Pick up a few of the free flyers in a local hotel lobby (not all have them, but some do), or check online at Yahoo or Citysearch or another site for what the 'attractions' are. Pick based on interest, affordability, being nearby, whatever - and then go play tourist. I find many of us never make time for the 'sights' in our own city, only in other cities when we travel.
  • Immerse yourself in music. Recorded, live - whatever works.

First attempted artist's date

Sometimes these are really easy to come up with. Sometimes, they're a pain. And sometimes you come up with one and it just doesn't work that way. Yesterday, I planned to go see Brokeback Mountain (which I've been curious about, just because of all the hype) at the movie theater, after I went to the mall for an eye exam. I stopped at a dollar store on the way to the eye exam and was tempted but didn't get anything, wandered the mall before the exam (and didn't find what I was looking for, but this morning I don't mind muc, so that's okay), got the exam dealt with, and went to the movie.

And didn't like it at all. I just did not like the two main characters much and didn't care about them. I knew somewhat where the plot would go at about the one-hour mark and I just didn't want to watch that particular path, either. So I left. So much for an AD out of that. :P The dollar store and mall browsing were more fun.

I went to the library which is actually a great place to wander - I love books (maybe too much, but that's part of a separate post I want to write later). Came home and rewatched parts of The Lion King II. I don't care if I'm supposed to be a grown-up, I like that movie. I like the music from it, enough that I own the soundtrack. That was really nice.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings....

Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Better off:: dead
  2. Girls:: boys
  3. Uniform:: skirt
  4. Classified:: ads
  5. Hard:: soft
  6. Kitty:: cat!
  7. Team:: A-Team/BA Baracus
  8. Massive:: Granite
  9. Depressed:: (insert friend's name here, which I won't post)
  10. Award:: Trophy

Friday, January 06, 2006

Artist's Way: Morning Pages.

Ah, the morning pages. Probably the most-resisted tool in the Artist's Way, and when not openly resisted, the one most often failed at. (Whether that's their inconvenience/difficulty or covert resistance, who cares?)

I've tried the AW before and the MPs were part of my flop on it (though I don't think all). I do think they're beneficial. I also think they're hard and whether they're beneficial ENOUGH depends on what you have to give up to do them, what you get out of them, etc.

Here are my thoughts on them:

Morning is a good time, because you're not wholly awake yet and your censor is blurred. It's also a great time 'cause it organizes your thoughts for the day. It's a lousy time for lots of other reasons, especially for night owls; I'm sure you can list reasons, even if you aren't directly affected by them.

So, I personally will do them in the morning if I can. If not, I won't beat myself up - I will try to do them later. I'll try to defuse the censor and just write them, somehow. I did that today and it seemed to work okay. Morning doesn't work? Make them late-afternoon pages, sitting-on-the-bus pages, waiting-room-pages, lunch-break pages, evening pages.

Three pages long-hand is hard. It's not just the volume of thoughts (after all, anything goes; I once had a day where I spent most of a page saying it was boring and wondering how much more drivel I had to write before I hit the bottom of that last page!), it's the wear and tear on the hand/wrist. If you have problems with soreness there, DITCH the writing. Don't injure yourself. If it bugs you without injuring you, consider ditching it anyway. Extra blocks you don't need. There are alternatives such as typing it up (or even using a speech-to-text if you have that).

You can do it but it takes too long? Or you just can't stand -that- -much-? Try writing a set time - as long as you commit to keep the pen (keyboard, whatever) moving/going. Or try writing fewer pages. You can always add more once you get used to it.

Get bored? Feels bland? Jazz your journal up - or your print. I love writing with colored, metallic, sparkly gel pens, for example. Just to be using 'em.

Don't like writing it? Don't think well in print, which some people don't? (Though how many are in the blogosphere, I wonder? - but there's a difference between 'letting thoughts flow' and 'composing a reasoned post' plus there are lots of art-blogs with relatively little text, so probably there are quite a few.) Why not take a voice recorder (tape or digital) and talk at it for a set period of time? Get a mic on your computer, do the same thing? (Heck, you could talk to a recorder during a commute...as long as you're alone in the car. MPs are really not meant to be shared with anyone else, certainly not at the time they're done anyway.)

Don't like words? What if you commit to a certain amount of drawing/sketching/quick-painting of thoughts on your mind? Or just mood paintings? Not what she intended, probably not a full brain dump, but so what? You can always add words if there's something you want to say, without being bound by them.

Can't stand them -at all-? Then don't do them.

Do I think they're valuable? Yes. That's why I'm attempting them again. But if they cause you abandon the AW, they're not at all useful. Nothing you simply stop doing or won't start is going to help, period. And it may be that if you forced yourself to it, it wouldn't help enough to be worth the cost.

Maybe one of the tricks I've thought of (some of which I've used) will work for you. Maybe not. Maybe you don't need them. I'm SURE this post is incoherent. But I hope it's helpful to someone. If not, I hope that at least I'm amusing when I'm incoherent. :)

Thursday, January 05, 2006


I am reminded of all the reasons I abandoned this blog. Part of it was lack of inspiration and that I should work on, yes. But a lot of it was the interface. LiveJournal's so easy compared to this. I concede defeat on getting a blogroll into the template. I had to hand-edit the links so I just suggested the links at Kat's Paws to find more people doing AW. Argh.

I'm not feeling very creative right now. I feel like throwing a screaming hissy-fit at the software I am using. I should have set up another LJ except I don't want this on LJ for some reason (separation? or maybe just the likelihood that I'd get my logins confused, whereas here I really can't).

I'm sure I'll like this interface better when I've gotten used to it. I disliked LJ at first too. But the template thing...well. I don't think this page is ever gonna look much better because I really dislike editing the code and fussing with it. Especially when it doesn't work. At least I got the template's stupid empty link list that I did not want off the page....

Sorry for the venting. I'm sure it won't be the last but hopefully most of it will at least be somehow related to creativity or something, rather than the blog tools. Sigh.

Artist's Way: Basic Principles

  1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.
  2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life - including ourselves.
  3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator's creativity within us and our lives.
  4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
  5. Creativity is God's gift back to us. Using our Creativity is our gift back to God.
  6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.
  7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction.
  8. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
  9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
  10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

I'm starting on the Artist's Way, along with Kat at Kat's Paws, this month. I wanted the basic principles here where I could link the post, to remind me of them.