Friday, December 10, 2010

The Heart of Things

In my last post of 2009, I wrote about a much-loved heart ornament that mysteriously broke apart. My sister Pam has given me a deluxe replacement (see photo to left)—probably to get me in the mood to put up the Christmas tree. When we changed to an artificial one, I was thrilled to have a tree that looked realistic. The only problem is that each one of the 10 zillion branches has to be inserted individually into the trunk. It’s a lot more fun shopping for the ornaments that’s for sure.
Speaking of shopping, the annual Holly Jolly Sale is being held tomorrow in the Toronto area. Mary Ambrose, Sharon Ginsberg, Carmi Cimicata, Karen Arts and Marissa Decepida-Wong are all participating, so I’m sure you’ll find some unique gifts for those special people on your list.

Check Marissa’s blog for details.
Although I won’t be at Holly Jolly this year, there’s still time to order my book for Christmas.

Creating from the Inside Out: Motivational Strategies for Artists and Writers is 177 pages: 6.5 x 6.5" and coil bound. It’s filled with inspiring quotations, mini essays on the creative process, over 75 black-and-white digital collages. It also comes with a Thank You CD of 10 collage sheets to use in your art.

The cost is $25.00 CAD plus postage and you can use PayPal to pay online.
To order: email me at

P.S. Because I am starting to run low on copies of Creating from the Inside Out, I will probably start offering my book as a digital download when they run out. If you’re interested in being notified when I do this, just let me know.

To read reviews of my book in recent issues of Somerset Memories and RubberStampMadness—and to see some sample pages—click here.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Checking In

One good thing about blogging regularly is that you not only feel like you’re keeping in touch with your friends, you also find it’s easier to come up with topics to write about. You simply launch your word boat into the online flow and rev up your motor. But when you leave it for a while as I have been doing, you tend to ponder too much about the possibilities – especially when there are so many interesting topics to write about …like the difference between butterflies and moths, or why some people put up their Christmas lights the day after Halloween.
When I was teaching creative writing I would give my students a sheet of words and ask them to pick one out randomly, and then write about it for ten minutes to focus their mind(s). As I recall I got the idea from one of Roger Von Oech’s books and it always worked like a charm.
My brother Robin and I used to play a lot of writing games too. My favorite was where we would each write a paragraph and then swap, but we could only read the last sentence and then had to carry on from there before we traded again. Robin has been a much more prolific writer than I will ever be because he jumps right into things and is disciplined as well. You can check out Robin’s poems, plays and fiction on his website, and catch a brief video of him talking about his work.