On the surface it is a cute little joke. Further down is a kernel of truth we as writers should remember, stories are what help change the world. We give the world a lens to look at things differently.
So I am reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way. A spiritual path to reawkening one’s creative soul/spirit. This book has been around in one form or another since she started living this way in the late 1970s. She has two main calls to action that she advocates for: Morning Pages and the Artist Date.
Morning pages are stream of consciousness writing when you first wake up in the morning before the ego/censor part of your brain starts functioning. Ouch, I am not an early bird. And to start writing before I even make it out of bed to the bathroom. Yeah. I have had to modify the timing on morning pages and I am trying to get the kinks out.
The second and the meat and potatos of this post is the Artist Date. Basically it is taking your inner creative on an outing for a couple of hours. Some examples were going to see a movie alone, taking a walk, driving down an unfamilar road etc. She wants the “date” to last long enough that you are willing to open yourself up. Kinda like when you go to a kids birthday party and all the adults are standing around stiff as a board. Then something breaks the ice, a favorite childhood game, a song, and they get in the groove. They relax and have fun.
So my first date didn’t go as planned. I originally planned to grill out then make s’mores and watch the stars. Fun, easy way to dip my toes in. Except I couldn’t get my fire started. Over an hour I tried to get it going, I guess the charcoal was damp. I can count on one hand with fingers left over the number of times I couldn’t start a fire.
So I was like okay, let’s regroup and think about it. I settled on spending Saturday reading a book series I have been thinking about. Daniel Potter’s Freelance Familars series. He had the first three books on sale for $2.99 and I love a good bargin. I sorta read all three books in a day and half. They are a fun, witty, take on urban fantasy. Highly recommend them if you like urban fantasy. I’ll do a review of then in the next week or so.
My second date was last week and I spent the day hanging out with Mom. So Saturday night I found a gorgeous pattern for a knitted half pi shawl. I have been looking for an easy introduction into lacework and have a super squishy varigated ball of yarn for the project. Hobby Lobby’s Yarn Bee Rainbow Wrapsody in Teal of Fortune. Beautiful cotton and acrylic yarn, but super fine almost thread size.
So the pi shawl was designed by Ms. Elizabeth Zimmerman back in the 1950s or 1960s. And it is a complete circle that uses the theory of math and pi to make a perfect circle. They are huge, labor intensive, skill intensive, seriously gorgeous projects. I have niether the skills or the attention span for a whole pi shawl. But I think I can do a half pi.
My second date was to start a practice shawl with my regular cotton yarn that I have left over from various projects. I knitted for about three hours in the peace and quiet. Everybody else was in bed asleep except me. I had serious doubts about the pattern and Sunday I frogged (unraveled) the whole thing and started over. I had made a miscalculation on which row I was suposed to knit and which one to purl. This is exactly why I chose the bits and pieces of yarn over my project yarn to do a practice piece.
I’ll see you guys on Thursday and hopefully Saturday. Cheers nd happy hump day. james
The darkness of self doubt is when the warrior of hope and self belief shine brightest.
This works twofold, once as writers and as individuals. As a writer, we use our talents to step back and away so we can see both the forest and the trees.
“Honey I think this is it. What does Maps say?” He squinted in the twilight at the faded sign. “Wolfthorn Lane? Is that it?”
“Ahm it looks like there is a turn. But I don’t think that’s the right name. I thought it was Worthington Lane or maybe Worth Place?” She looked at Charlie in the backseat. “Sweetie hand Mommy her purse.”
Quietly he handed her the bag. The gravel lane was quickly approaching. Dread knotted his stomach, “Mommy I don’t feel so good.” Sweat dotted his forehead, a flush crawled his neck and face.
“Tom we should be about a quarter mile. This isn’t the road.”
“No. No. I’m pretty sure this is it.” Tires squalled as he pitched the turn. “See there is the house, up on the left just like Mr. Smythe said.”
A errie wail came from the backseat. Charlie was fish belly pale and slamming his foot against the seat. “No. Bad place. No. No. No.”
“Charlie, sweetie it’s ok.” She tried to comfort him. He screamed louder and jerked away. “Tom stop the car. Something is wrong with Charlie.”
Tom stomped the break, “Go. Go. Bad place. Bad. Go.” He looked at his wife, muttering under his breath. He threw the vehicle in reverse and backed up into the road.
So I have debated all week about my date. Thursday while doing my morning pages, it hit me. A fire and roasting marshmallows. Watching flames is always so relaxing to me and peaceful. So I decided to set it up for Friday night after Shawn gets home from work. Grilling usually takes about 2 hours between getting the fire right and cooking. So it will be just about perfect.
Except a girl can’t grill if she can’t get the stupid charcoal to light. So yep, Artist Date Take 1: Fail. Now to concoct Artist Date Take 2. I am not feeling so good about this date with myself. If I have subconsciously already sabotaged my first attempt. Especially when grilling is a normal activity for me. Heck you can wander the posts of this blog for multiple fire and or grilling posts. Okay back to the drawing board and hope I come up with something.
Artist Date Take 2. I’ll fill you in next week on what I came up with.