Artist’s Date: Take 2

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

Recovering Post NaNo

I have been lazy since Dec. 1, I started typing on my NaNo project. I decided to give my hands a break on writing and finish knitting up a Christmas present. Strangely enough two of my other knitting projects have gone AWOL. At least I found the scarf. But here is to taking a break and getting back to work in the new year.
Cheers, james

The Hidden

I hear the pen callin’
The paper silently weeps,
Their author is missin’

But the knitting needles gloat,
The hand that writes has been hidden,
Transformed into the hand that knits.

Siren sings of the pattern that if discovered will end the strife between pen and needle, ending paper’s anguish.
I search and search and neither pen nor needle or paper’s plight can help me figure the hidden pattern of life.

(Never realized my knitting needles were petty and jealous)

Writing Break to Knitting

I have a tiny little confession to make: I haven’t been writing this month on my works in process. I’ve been knitting and reading, lots of reading. I can’t seem to pull my stories out of a blue funk. Owl is stuck, actually I am stuck on how to move the story forward. I need two of my characters to get out of their sickbeds but I need them to be there to train the youngest member. I have sent one team member out and he is running but I haven’t a clue as to what he is running from or running to. Emilsa is battling my skittishness on writing about certain topics i.e. rape, sexual slavery, nasty, nasty stuff. That is where the story is taking me. I just don’t know if I have the stomach to write it.

So to let matters rest and meld, I have picked up my knitting needles. Currently I am working on a small for lack of a better term worry rag. It will be as big I need it to be. It started out life as a ball of yarn for nephew’s blanket. However lovely aunt that I am, I didn’t buy enough yarn and they don’t sell that color anymore. I am slowly learning when you buy yarn and you think you have enough, buy extra cause you’ll need it.¬† And should you find yourself with excess then it might come in handy¬† for another project. And you could trade it for other yarn or stuff if you find a willing partner.

However I did find my nook needles and my nook keyboard two wholly different nooks there. One is a knitting crochet hook with a string attachment. The other is my Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader keyboard. Love this little keyboard, perfect size and works with both my Nook HD+ (Thank you Mom) and the Toshiba Encore Mini ( Thank You Hubby). Tonight I am writing on the Toshiba to see if they would play nice together. The answer is mostly, there seems to be a short delay between my typing and the words appearing on the screen. Sokay, it doesn’t seem to bother my typing. I must say it sure beats typing on my phone. Boy, have I rambled on tonight, not exactly the post I was thinking I would write but an accurate mindset for me right now. Cheers on this raining Friday night, james

Falling rain

Here in Eastern North Carolina we are seeing some nice fall weather with enough of a rain drizzle to cozy up with a nice mug of hot earl grey and a good book. Although in a writer’s case a fresh sheet of paper, a sweet writing pen or a new document on the computer. I do have a slight confession to make, this type of weather makes me want to pick up my knitting too.

Many a cherished memory began with a day like today. It meant chicken and rice or if I was with MeMa and Pappy gizards and rice were on the menu for supper. It meant time spent on the front porch watching it rain with Pappy while he smoked. Hours curled on the couch listening to Grandaddy or Grandma talk about their lives growing up. I was so very blessed to have two wonderful caring sets of grandparents that made sure I knew I was well loved. Days like this meant Dad didn’t work outside and we would go places, the movies, the laundrymat, the bookstore, where ever we wanted or needed to go.

So on a perfectly lovely deary evening what do you yearn to do? Sip tea or coffee while you read, write that next page or start a new story, knit something warm and cozy, or sit quietly and listen to the world. Here’s to you and your own cherished memories and the places they can take you. Cheers, james