Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


Leave a comment

Wandering

I recently read Keri Smith’s book The Wander Society, another of countless books on how to jump start the creative process. The author promotes the practice of “wandering” through the world, both literally and figuratively, and learning to mindfully observe what is discovered.  The book’s description at the Amazon website describes “…the act of wandering, or unplanned exploring, as a way of life.” At Goodreads I gave the book only 3 stars simply because this is not an original notion. That criticism being made, I quickly realized that I have been negligent in this very form of creative self-care.

It has been raining quite regularly for many weeks, but this morning the clouds cleared and the sun broke through. So I grabbed my camera, hopped in my car and began to wander.  I ended up being entertained by a pair of white rabbits in a vegetable garden, joining a gathering of members of a bread baking guild as they made pizza in a wood-burning oven, roamed around the outside and inside of an old church, paused for a few minutes in a Zen meditation room, drove through a university, stopped at a library, and came home to a steaming bowl of home-made beef stew.

I visually documented my wandering.  Here are a few of my images:

ljgloyd (c) 2019


1 Comment

Paper and the Art of Seduction

I love stationery stores. Not today’s big box stores where you buy copier paper by the carton or paper towels and coffee cups by the hundreds.  No, I mean the type of stores that sell elegant linen stationery and fine fountain pens, ledger books, and sealing wax. There was a sensory experience in those old stationery stores that just did not translate to those big warehouse stores.  When I do come across an old-fashioned stationery store, I cannot help but slip inside.

In my youth, there was a stationery store nearby that also sold books. In fact, it was the only bookstore for miles around with hardbound books and paperbacks too, with classy books of poetry and philosophy, with not a bodice-ripper to be seen — except if you knew where to look for them.

Books. I remember delicately opening the pages of a newly acquired book, sticking my face in the binding and inhaling the aroma of glue and fabric.   You can’t do that with an e-reader.

E-readers do have their advantages. These days I can’t always read the fine print of a book, so that text enlargement function on the readers is useful.   I can download the latest publication of favorite authors the second they are released. And when I have the overwhelming need at 2 in the morning to have that book on water dowsing or quantum physics for right-brained people, I can get them with a single tap on the 1-Click button.

However, there is something about a physical book that entices me.   There is just something more intensely satisfying about running a slow hand over the soft, warm texture of paper– more gratifying than the cold touch of an e-reader’s slick surface of plastic.  It does not even come close.

Paper can be quite sensual in its own seductive way.

ljg (c) 2017

Paper


Leave a comment

Interior Cartography: A Woman in the Desert


“Interior Cartography: A Woman in a Desert”

I first read the book Women Who Run with the Wolves over twenty years ago.  I did not like it much back then.  I thought it was an epic mixing of metaphors, offering me no personal insight.    However, something has compelled me to read it again.  I guess a life time makes a difference since I am learning much from it now.

As a response to my reading of the first few chapters, I made this quick collage of some found images.   I may use it as a reference for a painting.  Maybe.

My interpretation of the image:  when one experiences the “dark night of the soul” and her inner world becomes parched and barren like a desert, the archetypal “Wild Woman” will emerge in that landscape to bring it back to life.

More to come……..

Save

Save

Save

Save


10 Comments

The Secret Life of Bees

There is only a small handful of books that I would call my absolute favorites, books that I have read several times because I enjoyed them so much.    One of those books in that group is The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd.

It is not a complicated story.  A motherless fourteen year old white girl named Lily runs away from her abusive father and takes refuge in the home of three African-American sisters.  The oldest sister, August, keeps bees and sells their honey under the label of The Black Madonna.   Lily learns the art of bee-keeping while healing from her deep psychic wounds.

One critical reviewer at Goodreads wrote that the novel is riddled with cliches.  Maybe.  But what keeps drawing me back to the story, the reason why I have worn out my hard copy and now have it on my e-reader, is that it glows with vibrant themes such as empowerment, personal strength, healing, the divine feminine, and most especially the survival of love in a hate-filled world.

My favorite line is when August says to Lily, “Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved.”

Save


2 Comments

LOTR: A Literary Masterpiece

It is my opinion that the greatest piece of writing in all of English literature, outside of the King James Bible, is J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Yes, I believe the three books of this series are even more finely crafted than any of the works by William Shakespeare.

That being said, I was going to give you a brief summary and my analysis, but if I had done so, it was have been a total snoozer and a complete waste of your time.  Instead, I offer my favorite documentary on the topic, one of the video appendices from the movie version’s DVD.    The first 23 minutes explores the creative genius of Tolkien and the crafting of his mythology.  It is a fascinating look at the making of a masterpiece.

 


3 Comments

A Little Advice on Writing and Reading about Writing

As I stated in my Sunday post, I have stopped working the creativity recovery program I had started two months ago.     I am sure this program and others like it work for a lot of people, but not for me.   I encourage those individuals to keep working at it.   As for me, I have another way.

The only thing that helps me to overcome a writing block is the physical act of writing.   I write something everyday.  Sometimes it is only in one of my journals.  Sometimes it is just posting silliness on my Facebook page.   Sometimes you get a blog post like this.

If you were to ask me my advice on writing, I would say:

1) Carry a journal and pen or an electronic device with a note-taking program with you AT ALL TIMES;
2) once a day in the journal or on the device, write one sentence that is an observation of something around you or in your life.  Just one sentence.  It can even be one word;
3) then try for a second sentence;
4) and then a third;
5) and keep writing sentences until no more come.
6) You will end up with at least one sentence a day.  Add them all up and you will have at least 365 sentences.   You will probably end up with a lot more.  It is exponential once you are on a roll.

Then, if you do feel the need of some wisdom from those more experienced (and who doesn’t?), study your favorite writers.  And if they have written books on writing, you have hit the jackpot.

Here is a list of my favorite books on writing.  I refer to them often.  Actually, most of the advice I give above are variations and paraphrases from some of these books.

Bird-by-Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life,  by Anne Lamott
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King
Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury
Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life, by Natalie Goldberg
Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words, by Susan Goldsmith Woolridge.

Now, get off-line and write.  🙂

ljg

Obligatory Disclaimer:  I did not receive any of these books from the publishers.  I bought ’em all and I like ’em all.  🙂

 

 

Save


1 Comment

“Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper”– A Book Review

juicy-pensIn response to the Daily Post’s prompt word, Juicy, I am posting a review I wrote for Amazon in 2008.  This book features Heather Blakey, creator of the writing resource, The Soul Food Cafe.

SARK’s Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper is an engaging and delightful read. When I first picked it up, I had a hard time putting it down until I had finished it.

As well as being visually appealing and infused with playful humor, this book bursts with practical and simple exercises for the writer in overcoming creative blockages. Particularly inspiring are the portraits of other writers who share their insights on the creative process. Finally, the lists of writing resources at the end are worth the price of the book alone.

Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper will easily become a valuable tool for any new or veteran writer. I highly recommend it”

Save

Save

Save


7 Comments

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

image

image

Mixed media supplies within easy reach

Journals and journaling supplies

Journals and journaling supplies

ljg (c) 2017