Each Wednesday (or thereabouts) I’ve been recording a Curiosity Journal to recap the previous week using these tag words: reading, playing, learning, reacting and writing.Care to join me?
I’m reading Curious? and Blink and Think and What Your Childhood Memories Say about You.Four very different books. There’s too much in them to summarize in this limited space, so I’ll write about each of them later.
LearningNobody tells beginners that when you have good taste, and you’re creating art, you’ll create a lot of work that falls short of what you want it to be.Glass: “It’s only by creating a volume of work that you’re actually going to catch up and close that gap and the work you’re creating is going to be as good as your ambitions.”I’d better get busy.
When I was little, I loved to dress up as animals, especially a cat, dog, or pony. Mom would humor me by making ears and a tail for each animal. She’d cut the ears from felt and attach them to headbands, then use yarn or some old black material to stitch up something tail-like that satisfied me.I’d don the ears and safety pin the tail to a leotard, then proceed to crawl on all fours throughout the house, meowing or barking or whinnying until my knees were red and my voice was hoarse.One day, I was a parrot. I assume that Mom glued together some kind of tail by plucking feathers from an old feather duster; I don’t remember if she made a beak. What I do remember is sitting on the kitchen counter, perched near the sink, feeling the sun shining on my left cheek. Mom stood next to me, working, busily chopping vegetables for dinner or stirring together a casserole. I stuffed my hands up in my armpits to form wings and squawked “Polly want a cracker!” maybe 20 times. Each time, even though she was busy with meal preparations, Mom would stop what she was doing, break a saltine cracker apart, and pop bits of it in my mouth. My mouth was dry—the saliva soaked into cracker after cracker. Yet, I continued, because I had figured out a way to have my mom poke crackers in my mouth again and again, even though I was far too old to be fed.
Someone asked me just today, “So, what projects are you working on? Are you writing a book?”People ask me this a lot. It’s a natural question, since I’m an author. If I were meeting me for lunch, that would be one of the questions I’d ask.I’m sorry to report to you, just as I did to her, that I am not writing a book right now.I’d like to be writing a book right now, but I’m not.For now, I’m going to begin enjoying summer, because I am finally free from teaching and grading. I’m going to let my creativity meander, and as I read and think and pray, I do hope that a book idea will emerge.So I may not be writing a book, but I will be writing, because that Ira Glass video (see “Learning”) urges me to produce more. A lot more.
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Notebook and splash images by Ann Kroeker. All rights reserved. You may “pin” in a way that links back to this post.
Megan Willome says
Ira Glass & “This American Life” have had such a profound impact on me, both professionally and, well, therapeutically.
And my dear friend, we are so different. Yet that makes it fun. Praying rejuvenation for you this summer.
I need to go in and listen to the archives. They must broadcast that show on a day/hour when I’m never able to listen.
So…I take it you hate summer? Maybe if you lived someplace where summers weren’t so brutal you would come to appreciate them?
Thank you for your prayers!!
YES! I will be linking up, Ann, as soon as I get a post ready.
Oh, goody! I was at a meeting this morning to wrap up the school year, turn in grades, etc., and then went to lunch with the friend who asked about books. I came home and had three long phone conversations, so I was late getting it published.
Glad you stopped by!
Tiffany Stuart says
Thanks, Ann. I needed the reminder to keep working/creating.
And I love reading the words of other writers like you.
I’m enjoying summer so far. We’ve been on two hikes already, which is a great start. We are trying to be intentional because it’s easy to sleep in and let the days and weeks buzz by. Gotta make those memories. My son leaves for college in August. And Hannah isn’t getting any younger. She’ll be a sophomore in high school. Goodness, where did my life go?
Sandra Heska King says
You are just so. much. fun! 🙂
Lynn Hopper says
The “animal” moment I remember was you crouching crossways in the grocery cart seat, growling at other shoppers!
Hilarious! I believe it–I really *was* the animal du jour!
Thanks for feeding me crackers. And making all those ears and tails. Thanks for humoring me and affirming my imagination.
Lynn Hopper says
Also the Ira Glass video reminded me of something James Alexander Thom said once, that he got so many rejection slips, he began to think he was gettiing unsolicited rejections: publishers heard he was sending things out and wanted to tell him not to send anything to them!
That is such a funny story for hopeful authors sending out their work!
I love that you’re an author, and that I’ve had lunch with you, and that your creativity began when you were young and your mother never squashed it. Thanks for sharing that memory here. I’m bringing saltines the next time we’re together!
Me, too. I love that we’ve been part of each other’s lives now, and I won’t squawk for the crackers. I will gladly eat them with you, though. We can sip tea. It’ll be all sophisticated.
I first listened to that particular quote from Ira Glass last year. It gave me permission to begin entertaining the idea that I am a writer. My work doesn’t look the way I want it to yet, but someday it will! Thanks for reminding me to write, write, write!
I have quoted him three times this week to encourage some beginning artists. I’d heard it before, too, but forgot about it until now. I hope that the reminder gets all of us creating more and more art, so we can close that gap and be more satisfied with our work.
Simply Darlene says
Oh, your mamma comes here and reads your words. What a blessing. Mine doesn’t even have internet. GaSp! She also would have tossed me a box of crackers and told me to feed myself… whatever works, right?
I hope you still don’t growl at shoppers. It would be a hard fit to squeeze into the kiddy part of the shopping cart but I can imagine it… mostly because I’m weird like that. Anyway, this was fun. Thanks for sharing your curiousities.
I suppose I still growl at shoppers who cut me off in the aisles! 🙂
No, I’m pretty patient in the stores these days.
I love that you visit. And make me laugh!