inspiration writing

Speedy Writing Assignment

During the last meeting of our local writers group, we did a speedy writing assignment. This happens when group members run out of things to share. We didn’t have any sort of assignment prepared in advance, so we took the first line of a book one of our members had with her and used that as a writing prompt. The book was The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe and the first line was: “The…

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ideas inspiration thought fodder

A Manifesto for the Sensible Center

The Mini-Manifesto from Gapingvoid Manifestos seem to have been co-opted by the unhinged or extremists, but they are merely public statements of policy aims, beliefs or views. As such, a manifesto is a good way to succinctly state what guides you or your group. In 2006, I wrote a couple of manifestos for my very first blog, Filter & Splice, after reading a challenge from Hugh MacLeod of Gapingvoid to write a manifesto of 500…

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art design inspiration reading

Reading: The Secret Lives of Color

Dear gosh and dear golly! I’ve changed my blog theme (appearance) again! The last one wasn’t up long, only since the end of April 2018, but I wasn’t in love with it. I was really in love with my last theme (the one with the pink & green leaves at the top and the black background), but it was no longer being updated, so I was forced to find something new. I searched high and…

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A Tale of Two Books

I like books. Must be the understatement of the year. I come by my appreciation for printed books honestly. My mom is a reader, both my grandmas were readers, and one of them had a habit of giving me books as gifts. I have passed my fondness for books onto my children. All of them enjoy visiting bookstores and when we were in Portland visiting my brother years and years ago, our favorite place, the…

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Being a Creator in a World of Too Much Stuff

While I was at the Twin Cities Book Festival, I picked up a few books at the used book sale. “The Plenitude: Creativity, Innovation, and Making Stuff” by Rich Gold was one of those books. It’s a slim volume, so it only took a couple of days to read. It expressed in written form a number of ideas I’ve had about being a creator in a world of too much stuff. Rich Gold was an…

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inspiration observations

Lessons from a Wedding

  Last Saturday, September 10, 2016, our daughter Olivia married a kind, sweet young man named Eric. Because his name is Eric and my hubby’s name is Erik, I’ve taken to saying “Olivia’s Eric” and “My Erik” in order to distinguish between the two. We are absolutely delighted to have Olivia’s Eric join the family.     Olivia and Eric’s wedding was a lovely affair that took place on a beautiful farm in central Minnesota…

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Most Enlightening Book I’ve Read in 5 Years

I read. A lot. In looking back through the books I’ve read in the past 5 years (yes, I keep a list), I see that I’ve read a number of very good ones. So, when I say a book is the most enlightening one I’ve read in 5 years, that’s saying something. “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America” by Colin Woodard has completely changed how I see the…

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art inspiration observations

A Dog of Incredible Cuteness

I wanted to write a serious blog post tonight, but I spent so much time mowing lawn today that I don’t have the brain power for it. Instead, I only have energy for posting photos of my incredibly cute dog. (I could say I’m not biased in my opinion of him, but I would be lying.)         Don’t dogs make great internet subjects? No worries about violating their privacy or offending them…

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art inspiration

Leaves at Como

I am avoiding doing dishes by writing a blog post. Don’t feel sorry for me. I haven’t done dishes in days, so I’m just using that as an excuse to write a blog post, although I really need no excuses to avoid the dishes or to write blog posts. I could also be folding laundry right now. Instead, I’d like to show you some pictures of leaves I took at the Como Park Conservatory just…

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art design inspiration reading writing

Thoughts on “Putting Work in Its Place”

I follow Austin Kleon‘s email newsletter, through which he shares various internet pieces related to creativity. In the latest edition of the newsletter, there was a link to an article I found to be especially thoughtful. It contains excellent advice I wish I’d had when I was in high school or college. The article is called “Putting Work in Its Place” by Kate Kiefer Lee. In it she discusses how we don’t necessarily have to…

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My Beautiful New 2016 Day Book

It’s that time of year again … time to buy a new calendar/day book for the upcoming year. I’ve been keeping a day book for years and years now, probably since the 1990s, when my sister-in-law bought me my first one. At the time, I was journaling long-hand in notebooks, trying to follow the suggestion in “The Artist’s Way” about writing three pages per day. The long-hand requirement drove me crazy because I didn’t always…

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