More or Less

 

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On this last weekend of 2017, the Minnesota meteorologists on the news are telling me to look forward to 90 continuous hours of subzero weather. Too cold to go out, I have this glorious weekend of “unplanned time” ahead of me.

I plan on using this indoor time for creativity.

Writer, Brenda Ueland,  in her classic book,  If You Want to Write, said, “…So you see, imagination needs moodling —long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling, and puttering.”

The words moodling, dawdling, puttering  all make me happy.  They are fun words. Words that we are not encouraged to really think about doing today.

“Idling! How dare you be idle!  There are groceries to buy, floors to mop, clothes to wash!”

For imagination to strike or allow to surface, puttering is a necessary technique.

I know time is not wasted when I dawdle.  When I start going through my piles, drawers, boxes. I know I will find things I had forgotten about. And I know I will strike gold.  Ideas, stories, and words will start appearing.  New connections will be made.

And I will wonder, “Why haven’t I done this more?”

But that answer is way too easy.  Busyness is a product of our culture.

Perhaps in 2018, I will declare more days to puttering without having an excuse like the weather.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

 

 

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This time of year is a frenzy. And this year, in particular, I feel I have way more to do then I will ever be able to manage.

Slowly, I am learning to simplify and to rethink things and to remember that I am in charge of my own time.

This picture reminds me of taking time. I took this photo many years ago of my husband and son on the shores of Lake Superior one crisp January day. I captured that moment of peace and solitude which today seems so distant in my unending tasks of things I think I “should” do.

I can feel the intensity all around me these days right before Christmas. I yearn to be on the shore of Lake Superior and find that slowness that isn’t always present in my daily life.

I know it is in my power to change that. Although I can’t be at the North Shore right now, I can slow my pace. I can take a long walk with my dog, catch a glimpse of the silvery moon and watch the birds hover above the river. Everything I need to slow down is right in front of me.

To quote a poem by Robert Frost:

Dust of Snow

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

 

And I can take it all in with a deep breath.

A photo is worth a thousand words but so is a feeling.

 

We have only this moment, sparkling
like a star in our hand
—and melting like a
snowflake.
—Francis Bacon

Appreciation for Inspiration and Good Old Words of Advice

Inspiration is a gemstone It’s dynamite. It is power and possibility.
And it is there for all of us.

Where to find it? It can be sneaky.

The good news is that inspiration abounds! I am always on the lookout.

One way I become inspired is by others. I appreciate the people sharing both their advice and encouragement. They have helped me along my own creative path. People who know that generating the positive and to promote the possible is what it’s all about. Inspiring others has a domino effect. It’s all about positive energy. And I am all for that.
Attention goes where energy flows.

Inspiration given by others may be just what you need to get that poem started or that book finally finished.

So here are a few people worth checking out:

Pam Grout is author of several books including Esquared and the newly released Art & Soul Reloaded. Her blog is all about possibilities and accentuating the positive. Read it when you are and are NOT down in the dumps.
Bane of Your Resistance Rosanne’s blog covers topics like writers resistance and brain science. Her book, Around the Writer’s Block is worth a read.
Hope C. Clark’s Funds for Writers newsletter is another positive resource for advice and lists markets looking for your writing. The newsletter has been on Writer’s Digest list of 101 Best Websites for Writers since 2000.
Author, Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite children’s authors. She can tell a good story to an adult as well as a child. Follow her warm and fresh posts on facebook.
There are many others I haven’t mentioned and my list will continue to grow. But for now I hope you will check them out when you need some inspiration or a new perspective.

 

 

 

Robin Dyson is a Minnesota published writer. She teaches writing in her community and enjoys flash fiction, memoir and poetry. Currently she is working on a memoir about her sisters. She enjoys everything quirky. Her new book, Mrs. Claus, came out just in time for the holidays on Amazon.

Words Matter

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It’s the holidays and I look forward to giving and receiving cards from family and friends.

Cards can be expensive too so I appreciate each one. Some are so beautiful and I know I will keep them.  Others are very simple but it is still special to me because I was on someone’s card list.

Some people think that writing out cards is just an added job they have to do during the holidays. A requirement of the season to make SANTA happy or your mother. But writing out a card to someone can be so much more.

I have a writing friend who has a ritual of writing cards to family and friends and those who have touched her life no matter how briefly. She takes time during the whole year not just during the holidays, to put down her thoughts and sends them off in the mail regularly. It makes her feel good and it always makes the recipient happy.

On his 30th birthday I gave my son a card with a copy of a birthday letter I wrote to him when he was 12.  He was surprised and touched by this.  It mattered.

After the holidays many cards will be thrown away. The real purpose is that connection you make with another person.  That brief, quiet moment in time.

So send that simple Hallmark card to someone you love.  Put just one thought in it about how much he/she means to you. They will appreciate it.

It’s the thought that counts.

But so do the words.