Showing posts from March, 2011

Ultimate in Creativity

Nanilin and All Her Girls and Boys
Motherhood is the ultimate when it comes to creating.  The miracle of cell division into a human being is mind-boggling!  It seemed fit to end our month long look at creativity with a post on mothering.
Today, we celebrate the birthday of my oldest daughter.  She has the sole distinction of being the one through which I became known as Momma, or Ma, or Moooommmm, depending on the mood of the child speaking.
It is difficult for me to grasp that she is a thirty-something adult with two children of her own.  Often when I think of her, I picture in my mind the little girl with a pixie cut trying to grapple with little sisters.  I have to remind myself that some of my friends are the same age as she is.  How did that happen?
Being a mother calls a woman into creativity whether she realizes it or not.  (Let me state that the term "mother" is about both those who give birth and those who take a child into their heart and home through adoption.)What …

Collaboration: Creativity and Then Some!

One of the most productive forms of creativity is project collaboration.  Working with another artist, writer, actor, etc. enhances the creative efforts of a project. Lori and I  (2000)
In the past, I have collaborated with some amazing and gifted artists. Lori Gundlah, a dear friend and concert pianist, accompanied me on piano as I read my poetry.  I also collaborated with Trish Harms, a dance educator.  We did tag team workshops in a middle school where I taught a poetry lesson within the subject matter, then she came into the class to teach some form of movement. An example would be in math class, I taught the students to make diamante poems.  Trish taught them to make shapes with their bodies.
Trish and I (2000)
Project collaboration can be fruitful, but it can also be problematic.  These tips are good to keep in mind. Keep it small.  Project collaboration with too many people gets confusing.Be willing to compromise.  Divas and drama queens need not apply for collaborations.Don't b…

Challenging Creativity

Image by Auntie P via Flickr
The Dreaded Blank Page
I am pleased to welcome guest blogger, Amy Souza to Words from the Heart.  Amy is a freelance writer and editor in Arlington, Virginia. She founded SPARK in 2008. The project began with 20 participants—10 artists and 10 writers—and February 2011 marked the completion of its eleventh round. In total, 279 people have taken part, many of them multiple times, resulting in (at last count) 738 new works of art, writing, music, and video. Learn more about the project at
Think Inside the Box by Amy Souza
Have you ever felt fear when faced with the blank page? You want to write, but can’t decide where to start. Or you get deep into a story or poem but something’s not working and you’re not sure what to do next. Setting a few limits might help.
We like to dream of complete creative freedom to make anything we want and great swaths of time devoted to nothing but our art. But I’m a big believer in parameters. Working with zero b…

Light vs. Dark

Today, I have the great pleasure of introducing guest blogger, Eliza Fayle who believes all women over forty are fun, intelligent, sexy, and real.  (A concept it took me almost fifty years to realize!) Through Silver & Grace, as a magazine editor, jewelry designer, and intuitive mentor, she guides women as they shine the light on all four of these qualities. You can find her at and while there, be sure to join the Silver & Grace Community by signing up for the newsletter. I highly recommend visiting and joining the Silver & Grace community.

I am really not keen on winter. Not keen at all. This is particularly challenging, because in my section of Canada, the snow and cold can move in the beginning of November and not leave until the end of March. That is five whole months! Blech.
However, I love the concept of winter.
I am a firm believer that without darkness there is no light. I love stories that demonstrate this concept, and my favourite comes from a bril…


Une Surprise
By Timoléon Lobrichon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
No discussion about creativity would be complete without a look at surprises.  Think about it.  In order to surprise someone, a person must creatively produce a facade that keeps the other person from knowing the truth until the facade is dropped.
People who are gullible, seem to be the best surprise recipients.  They never suspect anything. As a young girl, I was such a person.  I never suspected that when my friend and fellow Girl Scout, Laura asked me to come over to her house to play, that she had organized a surprise birthday party.  All the neighborhood kids where there.  I actually cried, because I couldn't believe that anyone would do such a nice thing for me. 
I am still friends with Laura.  We don't see each other that often, but we keep in touch with letters and emails.  Her kindness left a lasting impression on me; one that has had positive after affects. Whenever I do something for someone else…

Creatively Saving Mother Earth

Image by jondoig via Flickr

Cheyenne Grandmother Margaret Behan Gives a Blessing
Mother Earth is in big trouble and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the implications. We are killing the very Life that sustains us.
The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers has been coming together each year, since 2002, to collectively and creatively bring awareness to the problems that we all face and to offer ideas that bring healing and change. This group of elder women from around the world, will meet this year in Anchorage to call on the Creator for "Healing the Spirit from the Light within."  These amazing women are no strangers to the creative powers.

Creativity helps solve problems.  Our over consumption of electricity is killing our planet.  The link here (Virtual Lantern) offers an idea the Grandmothers have suggested to creatively get people aware of the electricity we waste. 

On this site, people around the world can create a virtual lantern as …

Women, Creativity, and Writing

Kath and I on top of Mt. Greylock
This post is written by a special guest, Kath Fearing, my friend and fellow writer/poet.
Many women write better, more creatively, more cleverly than I do, but I’ve come to realize that that is not the point. The point is that I write – not to be the same as someone else, but because it allows me to be the individual I am, and it fulfills me in a way that nothing else does. Simply put, writing makes me feel whole, creative, and so alive. Writing what’s in my heart is like opening a door – closed tight through a long, cold, tiresome winter – and letting in the sweet fresh air of spring.
In my stories for children, I write about flawed characters; aren’t we all flawed in some way? However, my characters find out who they are at the end of my stories. In addition, they become comfortable with, and accepting of, who they are, or who they have become. It is my hope for my readers to understand and accept who they are, and to accept those around them for who t…

Planting Seeds of Inspiration

Image via Wikipedia
Creativity blossoms when the seeds of inspiration are brought to fruition.

Who goes around planting seeds of inspiration?  We all do.  

Parents and teachers plant seeds of inspiration each day with simple statements like, "What a great writer you are!" and "Wow, this is a lovely picture. Can I hang it up?"  Friends inspire us by being there through thick and thin.  Strangers inspire us when their lives cross ours in unexpected ways. For example, witnessing a young woman helping an older woman who appeared to be homeless inspired a story I wrote several years ago.

Whatever we say or do can inspire others.  Just as there is great diversity in plant seeds, so too is there diversity in the seeds of inspiration we sow; this is the reason why it is so important to be mindful of our words and actions.  A child that is constantly told negative things, grows up believing these things to be true unless others are able to plant seeds of hope and trust.  Then, …