Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


Integrity and the Color of Yellow

The word of the day at the Daily Post is “yellow”. The first thing to pop into my head when I saw this word was “cowardice”. A discussion on the reason why the color yellow has an association with cowardice is best left for another day. Truth be told, there are so many reasons, I have concluded that no one really knows for sure.

I think the reason the word “yellow” makes me think of “cowardice” is because I have been lately dwelling on my own personal integrity as a writer. For me, to have integrity means that you are true to yourself and are living a whole, undivided commitment to that truth. (A definition of “truth” is also a discussion that is best left for another day.). I don’t think I’ve been doing that and the reason is that I have been “yellow”, that I have been a coward.

I have been afraid of what my readers will think of me if I express what I believe is the truth. I am afraid that I am going to be “unfriended” or “voted off the island “. I am afraid of the fury that comes to one who expresses the contrary opinion. That is the world we live in now. No one can have a civilized difference of agreement.

One must be a special kind of brave to be an expressive person in this world.

Ljg 2017


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Power and Anger: AW Check-In #3

penI can’t say that my experience with chapter 3 was any better than my experience with chapter 2. This week dealt with reclaiming power, whatever that means. There is a lot of discussion in this chapter about anger, guilt, shame, and other emotions. The author says that this week I should be feeling these strong emotions. She is correct. I’ve been in a pretty bad mood this week; however, I don’t think it has anything to do with writing. It has everything to do with dealing with life and reality this week.

The author writes that anger is the fuel for action and thus to regaining my sense of personal power. She writes that instead of using anger in destructive ways, I should channel it into action. I assume she means anger fuels the action that empowers my creativity. (It is hard to follow her train of thought here). Since I do not want my writing to be laden with a lot of anger and negativity, I’m going to just pitch that whole notion away. A wise person told me, just last night, that true power comes from not trying to control people and situations, but instead from controlling our reactions to them. This takes anger right out of the equation regarding my creativity.

In answer to the weekly questions, I wrote morning pages every day except a couple of times they were not quite three pages. My artist date was going hat shopping, but I also engaged in some little mini dates with myself involving music-making and dance.

Of course, I completely ignored her task list and engaged in my own. I continued organizing both my computer and physical writing notebooks and reviewed some old writing projects that I had abandoned. I zeroed in on what I have labeled a “pre-draft” of a novel I wrote five years ago for NanoWrimo. I asked a couple of writing buddies to read the first chapter and let me know if the opening grabbed them. I created a bullet list of tasks in my notebook which includes re-reading the entire pre-draft and making notes of both substantial and minor changes. I may keep working with this piece, rewriting it completely, or I may only need a few minor changes and a little more fleshing out, or I may abandon it once again. The main thing is that I am writing and moving forward.

You might be wondering by now that if I so dislike this program then why am I continuing to engage in it. That is because I committed to it and I’m going to see it through.  I doubt that I will ever do The Artist’s Way again, but at least I can say that I did it once.

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The Mad Hatter Goes on a Date

This weekend, partly because it was cold and partly because I was having a bad hair day, I wore a hat to a tea and then to church. I donned a black wide-brimmed hat I had purchased on a whim last year but never had the nerve to wear. To my surprise I received a number of compliments. Curiously, many were from people at church who had hardly ever spoken to me in the past. I have to admit that my steps gained some confidence and I stood a bit straighter as a result.

The next day as I was working in my journal on the theme of regaining a sense of personal power (chapter three in the Artist’s Way) my writing sequed to a stream-of-consciousness discussion of hats.

What?  Well, it did not take long for me to see the symbolic connection between hats and power. I wear a hat like a queen wears a crown, perhaps?  Hmm.

So, I took my inner artist, who is need of a little confidence-boosting, on a date yesterday and we went hat shopping. No, I’m was not the Dowager Countess shopping for a tiara — just an ordinary creative looking for a really cool red fedora.


Ljg (c). 2017


The Artist’s Way Week 2 Check-In: Just Do It


I have reached the point in reading the book where, in my past attempts at it, I was tempted to slam shut the cover or pitch it across the room. It is not because of what the author writes, it is how she writes. Chapter 2 is titled “Recovering a Sense of Identity,” and opens with this: “This week addresses self-definition as a major component of creative recovery. You may find yourself drawing new boundaries and staking out new territories as your personal needs, desires, and interests announce themselves. The essays and tools are aimed at moving you into your personal identity, a self-defined you.” (Cameron, 41)

The problem is that it doesn’t– or at least I’m not seeing this in the text. Oh, there is useful, insightful material on writers’ block, “poison playmates, ” “crazymakers,” and other hindrances to the creative process, but if these issues serve to help us self-identify as creatives, then the author did not do a good job in bringing her arguments back to support her thesis. If I were my high school English teacher, this chapter would have gone back to the author with red comments and a request to rewrite it.

But this post is not a book review. It is a review of my progress in developing a healthy identity as a creative person. So to that end, this past week I created my own task list. This week I simply did what writers do. I engaged in activities that made me write, prepare to write or edit what I did write.

I dug back into my files and pulled out storylines and character profiles I had started and then abandoned. I set up both computer and physical project notebooks for my research and development. I also wrote several short blog posts this week.

Yes, I did stick to the program inasmuch as I did my morning pages every day, went on an artist date (see the post on setting up my creative corner) and by reviewing and writing out creative affirmations.

I can give the author some credit: since I started the program a couple of weeks ago I have seen some movement and breakup of creative blockages,. However, I wonder if this has as much to do with my own work and commitment to my creative recovery. We’ll see.  In the meantime, I’m just going to do it!

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As If I Didn’t Have Enough to Do…..


As if I didn’t have enough to do with the full-time day job, other commitments outside of the day job, and my creative endeavors, I got a bug to learn how to play the strumstick after seeing the video below.   A strumstick is a type of zither, similar to a dulcimer.   It looks (and sounds) like a wonderful way to relax and de-stress.    I ordered it yesterday.  It should come tomorrow.     Check out the video to see how it is played and what it sounds like.  Can you tell I’m excited?


ljg (C) 2017



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In the Eye of the Beholder….

It’s strange how friends can have such different ideas of beauty.  My aesthetic is a little on the edge but still in keeping with classical rules of composition and color theory.   Yet, one day a very close friend told me that he didn’t like my artwork, that it was too “weird” for him.

Yeah, it hurt.


“Shield”, digital construction in Illustrator and Photoshop

LJGloyd (c) 2015, 2017






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The Artist’s Way, Week One Check-in: Warrior Woman

[Note: my program week goes from Monday to Monday but my schedule may require that weekly tasks, dates, and postings overlap. For example, I did my second week artist’s date before I posted this first week chec-in.]

Week 1 Check-in:

I was able to start my week with an Artist’s Date, write morning pages every day, and do a couple of the prescribed tasks.  Now it’s time for the….(dramatic drumroll)… “The Check-in”, a summary of the take-aways of this week’s lesson.

The title of the first week’s chapter is “Recovering a Sense of Safety.”

Okay, so the first question that came to mind as I read the chapter was “what is ‘safe’?” and second, “safe from what?”.

The answer is that “safe” is my ability to make external creative expressions without being “attacked.” Creativity cannot thrive when it is threatened. What is the nature of the threats and attacks?  Who is threatening and attacking me? Easy: my own negative core beliefs about myself.  It is my self-loathing and lack of esteem as a Creative, those negative perceptions of myself as being unworthy of calling myself a writer or artist.

Whenever an attack comes, one needs weapons to fight back. Weapons are provided in the tasks given in the chapter. I selected two: rewriting any negative statements made in my morning pages into positive affirmations. For example, one negative comment I made: “My writing is simplistic and naive.” I rewrote it: ‘My writing is clear, uncomplicated, and straightforward.”

Another task was to create a “Hall of Fame” where I identify and contain my “monsters” and “champions”. I am not going into great detail here, but let me just say that anyone, no matter how close, who has not supported my endeavors, who smirked or yawned as I attempted to show or explain my work are my “monsters”. (You don’t have to like my work, but I do insist that you respect it, me, and my process.). Conversely, my champions are the ones who encourage my work. (Again, you don’t have to like what I do, but just wish me God’s Speed on my journey).

I started this program with my Artist’s Date, which I describe a couple of posts ago. Listening to those ancient drums shake the room stirred up something in me as well. They were like war drums calling me to war — a war to protect my creative spirit.

Into battle, I go.

Coming up next week: Recovering a Sense of Identity.  (I posted on my second week Artist’s Date yesterday).

ljgloyd (c) 2017   Image: Female Samurai warrior riding into battle.




A Tour of my Creative Corner

Chapter 2 of The Artist Way deals with recovering a sense of identity and the drawing and reinforcing of boundaries around that identity. I think this was put into action in my second artist date.

My date last night consisted of spending a few hours tidying up and re-organizing the corner of my bedroom that serves as my office/studio.   Recently, I have been writing and blogging in my living room or spreading out a canvas in front of the television and making art there. In this second week of the program, I already sense that I was not giving my writer/artist identity enough respect, and by re-organizing my “creative corner “I am re-dedicating and sanctifying it as place to my writing and art.   I will return to creating in this space with as little distraction as possible.   Below, through the images, I’d like to take you on a little tour of that space.

Before I do that, I would like to note one curious thing.  I noticed that the books on the shelves are a weird, eclectic mix of topics:  Poetry, art techniques, writing, feminine spirituality, energy medicine, holistic health and Chinese medicine, and on the very bottom shelf behind my journaling supplies are books from my childhood and youth.  And to confuse things even more, there are some odd books on household management, belly dance, drumming, and geography thrown into the mix.  The books and their ordering reflect those areas that inform my identity as a creative person, with the bottom shelf the foundation in my childhood of many influential interests.  If this bookcase was an art installation piece I would entitle it “Self Portrait in a Three-D Literary Experience.”

Without further delay, here is my creative corner:

The Writing Chair

The Writing Chair

Japanese print split curtain to hide plastic bins

Japanese print split curtain to hide plastic bins in the corner



Mixed media supplies within easy reach

Journals and journaling supplies

Journals and journaling supplies

ljg (c) 2017


Starting The Artist’s Way, Again

homegirl cafe angelas green potionI was gliding across the blogo-vlogosphere this weekend and I noticed a large number of Creatives are engaging in The Artist’s Way program and posting their reflections and insights on their social media platforms.   (For those readers not familiar with the book/program, please click here for a quick explanation.)

I have attempted to do the program several times,  but I always got bogged down by the author’s meandering and unfocused writing style and would eventually give up the reading.   However, the tools the author insists that Creatives follow in overcoming their expressive blocks and reclaiming the inner Artist have been amazingly useful.   One tool consists of writing “morning pages”, three pages of long hand writing done every morning upon waking.  Even if one is not a writer, this journaling activity helps the Creative break up and move through blockages.     Another tool is the Artist’s Date, a regular activity to stimulate and refresh the creative output.

I was so inspired by what others have been doing with the program that I decided to give it another go.  I went on an Artist’s Date this weekend (see the previous post) and this morning I did Morning Pages writing.    I will try to do the readings and I intend to post my Check-ins each week here.

I don’t have the courage and lack of vulnerability to vlog about my experience, so I will stick to writing about them here.  However, I will enjoy other Creatives’ vlogs, such as this one by Burgess  Taylor.