photo credit: edudemic.com
As I approach the one year anniversary of the creation of my blog, A Fork in the Road, I’m noticing that blogging has been a big topic of conversation among my inner circle of friends. A few women, writers and non-writers, have all expressed an interest in starting blogs of their own. They’re not all sure they should, mind you. After all, it’s a bit of a commitment. One mentioned that she doesn’t think she can expose her innermost thoughts; she’d be too vulnerable. Another is wondering why she should give herself another thing to do every week – and on a deadline, to boot. Still another can’t see the benefit of devoting time to something if it’s not going to bring in any additional income.
So all of this made me wonder, why do I write my blog? Continue reading
Years ago, when I was a decorative painter, a client called me for help with a unique challenge. She and her husband had built an extension on their home to accommodate their growing family, which meant creating a solid wall in their oldest child’s bedroom where her only window used to be. Wanting to make it up to the 7 year-old who loved gazing out at the backyard trees and garden, they wondered if something could be done to make her space feel less confining. We talked about faux finishes, new furniture, and even new bedding and window treatments. But none of that addressed the real issue, which was how to bring the outside inside for the little girl who lived there. That’s when it hit me… Continue reading
Whether you’re an artist, a homemaker or an accountant, in order to live a creatively charged life you have to find inspiration. Connecting with your creative self ultimately fuels every aspect of your life and brings a renewed appreciation for the world around you – its beauty, its opportunities, its energy… How, exactly, can you spark and harness that inspiration? The following list offers a few ideas.
The alarm goes off, again, at the crack of a weekday morning’s dawn. You wake up and methodically move to the bathroom, then to the closet, then to the kitchen…. Clean the same dishes. Wipe the same counter. Feed the same kids. Drive the same route to work… Maybe even shoot for the usual parking space in the parking lot. After hanging the same coat on the same hook, you arrange your personal items in their designated spots like you do every morning and put your coffee, the same decaf latte you order every day, in the same place on your desk. And so on… and so on…
When it comes to creativity, an artist’s focus is critical to his/her ability to produce good work. When I’m “on,” when I’m enmeshed in the creative process ideas, formation and execution exist symbiotically. It’s easy to become totally absorbed in the creative flow when this happens, and hours can go by before I even realize the time. Occasionally, though, I also have bouts of frustration as I try to access my inner muse and she wants to be anywhere but here. Those of us who are fortunate enough to practice our craft for a living face a particular challenge… to create, which is a delicate process, on demand in a world whose conditions often seem to conspire against that process. How can we find and don our creative skins each day? For many artists, including me, one way is with a ritual.
For me, Christmas isn’t just a day. It’s a month-long holiday, during which I feel like an awe-struck child. I savor every sign that the season is here – special treats lining the shelves of my local Italian deli, colorful lights that transform nighttime into a sparkling wonderland, carolers, the smell of pine and freshly cut trees strapped to the roofs of cars. Each day after Thanksgiving, my daughter and I “keep Christmas,” as Dickens says, in our own way, from little things like a glass of eggnog to larger things like our annual pilgrimage to Rockefeller Center and the surrounding city. The very first time I hear “White Christmas” (not just any version, mind you, it has to be Bing Crosby’s) I smile, knowing the season has truly arrived. It’s never been about the presents, you see. It’s always been about the undeniable mood that Christmas brings, one of hope, charity, sentimentality and a return to innocence. A grown woman with a child of my own, I’ve spent lots of Christmases this way, so the fact that I wasn’t “feeling it” this year wasn’t just disappointing… It was downright disturbing.