Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Why I Write Poetry When I’m Not Very Good at It…..

Why do I write poetry when I’m not very good at it?   Primarily, I create poems as a prose-writing exercise.  By writing  poetry I practice being precise in my word choices in order to create vivid images in as few words as possible– striking and colorful nouns, lively and intense verbs, fewer adjectives and adverbs.     I create poems to improve the lyrical flow of my prose-writing.

So that’s one reason.

I discovered a second reason I write poetry:  it is therapeutic.  I certainly do not set out to write poems about my inner well-being (or lack thereof on certain days).  While engaging in the April NaPoWriMo Challenge (writing a poem a day for 30 days),  I found that some of the poems I wrote “took over” and out came some of my issues.  So obvious this was to me that I am now researching the use of poetry for emotional healing and resolution.   Poetry writing could become a daily meditative practice and inner work.  I’ll see where that leads me.

Here are a couple of media resources I came across that you may find of interest:

A podcast episode of Poetry Spoken Here devoted to Poetry Therapy

And these Tedx Talks on the same subject:

It has been a long April so I am off to rest now.

ljg 2019


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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


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More Reasons to Write Every Day

I came across this TedX video about the benefits of a daily writing practice.  Since life recently threw me a curve ball, I have fallen out the of that practice.  This video has motivated me to pick it up again and make it a part of my daily spiritual routine– just like prayer, meditation and yoga.   If you are a writer — or even if you are not– I encourage you to take a few minutes and listen to this writer’s entire presentation.  She really provides some practical advice for developing a daily writing routine.

 


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The Daily Examen

Candles in the Dark

I am quite ashamed of myself. I made an agreement with myself that I would become involved with a daily self-assessment practice. My plan was to take a few minutes each day to write in my journal an inventory of my behaviors, both good and bad. If I had been unkind that day or morally failed to step up to the plate in some situation, I would note that in my journal so that I could own it, make an amend if necessary, and in general try to improve myself.

In addition to confessing faults, I would also note those things for which I have gratitude.

I have a roof over my head, food on my plate, clothes on my back, and an income. I live in a place where I am relatively safe, there are people who care for me, and in some small way I am making an impact in the world. I am more fortunate than 99% of the rest of the world.

Yet I consistently fail to state that gratitude for what has been provided to me.

That selfish, self-absorbed, center-of-the-universe attitude — well, I own it. It is mine. And I need to excise it from my life.

One way that I will deal with this is to get back on track with writing a daily examen. Let this be the first entry:

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity.

Ljg


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Flipping the Switch

As I have stated many times in the past, I think it is vital to a writer’s life that she or he write every day.

Just as doing a cardio workout or a strength-building regimen on a daily basis would keep a person physically healthy, writing every day keeps a writer’s skills toned and in shape.

Writing for a few minutes every day also helps the writer gain insight. That insight can be on anything from the writer’s personal life to the broader world where solutions to social and political problems may find their way into a finished essay.

Sometimes the insight comes slowly. Fragments of thought become words, words develop into plots, characters come to life and stories are born..

Sometimes just putting the first word on the paper will flip a switch and light will suddenly illuminate the imagination.

That being said, once again I give my admonition to write on a regular basis and write often.

 

ljg

Enlighten


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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.

Later….

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The Natural Process of Handwriting

homegirl cafe angelas green potionAs you can tell from my recent posts, I am big into handwriting notes and plans.   Mind you, when it comes to actually composing an essay or story, I still use a computer (as I am now) for expediency, but when it comes to the organizing, researching, or processing ideas and emotional content into words, I must use pen and paper.

Why is that?  I am not an expert on brain function, but I have enough experience to realize that I retain more when I write.   When I am in a lecture setting, I take copious notes by hand.  However, I rarely keep those notes.  The act of writing forces my brain to remember what I hear.  I see students in the classroom pull out their laptops to take notes.   From what I have heard, their retention of the material is far less than the retention of a student who handwrites notes.

Similarly, I think the physicality of writing by hand parlays itself into the inspiration and development of ideas.  By nature we are tactile creatures.  Paper feels real.  Digital bytes on a screen are not real. Writing by hand takes more effort than typing; therefore, it is more intentional.   I think that conscious, intentional, sensory experience in the creative process draws forth ideas and helps to flesh them out.

This might not be the case for everyone.  I know writers whose ideas come so fast and furiously that they NEED a computer to get it all down.  Hey, whatever works.  If that is your nature, embrace it.   I find creating on the computer to be a bit constraining while on a piece of paper and I can cross out, draw lines to new ideas, engage thought-mapping in a graphic way that I can not accomplish with a computer keyboard.   This is my nature, and I embrace it.

For me, I need my Moleskine and Papermate felt tip.

ljg (c) 2016

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/natural/

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Sidelined

image

Just when I decided to try a 21 day creative romp, I have been sidelined by a brief illness. I will be fine in a couple of days, but in the meantime I have been contemplating how I order my daily routine which includes writing and arting.

I may be a bit obsessive about organizing my life with journals because I have a number of them. Each one is devoted to a different interest.

Starting at the top left is The Tree of Life journal, a commonplace book of articles on wellness and holistic health issues.

The Raven Book is dedicated to my spiritual journey. How did this journal become focused on spiritual issues? ” Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” Luke 12:24

The blue journal is called the Hokusai Journal, named as such for its cover image with the artist’s famous image of a tsunami in front of Mt. Fuji. This is my writing journal, a place to experiment with words.

The passport-sized traveler’s journal on the bottom left is my Bujo, which is short for “bullet journal”. This is my day planner which is small enough to put in my bag.

Finally the open book is my art journal. It is a large paper Moleskine. This one I call The Book of Ladies because of the theme of the collages contained in it.

Having different books for various purposes helps me to achieve my creative and personal goals.


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Waiting for My Mojo to Come Back

I haven’t posted anything here for about three weeks.  In fact, I haven’t done any creative writing for even longer.     I have a half-written story just hanging there waiting for a conclusion.  It will never be finished at this point, I fear.

I tried doing some written journaling to see if I could get my writing mojo back.  That has dwindled.   My fear is that my creative self has become like a cold bowl of soup — no steam and a bland savor.

I tried some arting and photography.  That’s not working either.    I even tried one of those self-help art books that offer suggestions like drawing your dirty beach towel draped over a chair or painting a picture of your sleeping cat.

Nothing inspires me anymore.

However, lately I have been almost obsessed with physical journals and planners.  I put together a new day planner which I will junk in a few weeks to set up another one for 2016.  Besides that,  I have been spending huge amounts of time disassembling a four-year journal and commonplace book I just finished and redacting it into thematic sections and adding visual elements.

What is that all about?

I think I have an idea.  Perhaps focusing on placing creative elements into a book form is a way of containing and controlling expressions that I may fear to let out to the world with the hope that these elements will morph into something I can let go to the world.    Perhaps it is the physicality of the paper and the ink and the act of coloring, cutting, and gluing that make the act of creation a more real thing to me than just sitting at a computer monitor dealing with the ethereality of bytes and pixels.

Maybe I just need to walk away from it all for a while.  Or maybe I need to plunge into it more to thoroughly explore the explosive elements that think they need to be contained in a hard cover book.

When I get my creative mojo back, I’ll let you know.

A page from the current art journal

A page from the current art journal

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/an-odd-trio/

An Odd Trio