Favorite Five Friday: Quotes about Creativity

As the magic of autumn begins sending its creative sparks through the air, I can think of no better time to share some of my favorite quotes about creativity.

Favorite Five Friday Quotes about Creativity

What are your favorite quotes or ideas about creativity? Leave your comment in the comment box. I’d love to hear from you! Happy Friday everybody!

Positively Counteracting the Ninnies in Washington

This morning I was so filled with disgust about the toddlers running our government that I was ready to write a rant like no other. But then I stopped before I even got started, deciding that my writing tantrum would be akin to their childish behavior. And there’s nothing more absurd than grown, thinking people carrying on like two-year olds when they don’t get their way.

I also decided that I didn’t want to waste another ounce of my precious energy on all this negativity. So off went CNN. Away went every browser blasting headlines about the shutdown. And up went my blog.

Hello awesome peeps!

I decided the best way to counteract these ninnies in Washington is to surround myself with positive, creative, motivated people like YOU.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m mad as hell like everybody else, and feel our elected officials are an embarrassment to our nation right now, but I can see beyond these self-absorbed nitwits to our extraordinary country, which is brimming with smart, caring, talented and creative people.

So what do you think? Instead of giving our so-called “leaders” any more of our attention as they puff and spout and lay on the floor kicking their arms and legs, what do you say we tune them out and DWELL IN POSITIVITY? As in… Continue reading

Inspiration in a Time Capsule

The other day my friend Sarah sent me a fun link about a lost time capsule recently found in Aspen by the crew of National Geographic Channel’s Diggers. The capsule was from the 1983 Aspen International Design Conference and it contained a bit of tech history–Steve Jobs’ mouse from his first LISA computer, along with an eight-track recording of The Moody Blues, a Sears Roebuck catalog, the June 1983 issue of Vogue, a Rubik’s Cube and a six-pack of beer.

Photo of time capsule from the 1983 Aspen International Design Conference

Credit National Geographic Channel

When I read the story, I chuckled out loud and thought, Only in Aspen, as a wave of nostalgia washed over me about the town my husband, Jeffrey Aaronson, and I called home for so many years.

It also reminded me just how much I love time capsules.

In fact, every New Year’s Eve I put my family through the same exercise—creating a written time capsule in which we list all our favorite things and most interesting moments from the year, along with epic world and national events. We often include photos and a few mementos that capture the spirit of our year. Then, so we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we unceremoniously bury it in the junk drawer.

I have to admit, I’ve already unearthed a couple time capsules from five or six years ago, and even in that short time, they already feel historic and full of whimsy. The best part is that I know I never would have remembered some of the things we documented, had we not written them down at the time.

Drawing of the Pearl Chase HouseTime capsules come in all forms—some of the most interesting ones are unintended, arriving out of necessity or happenstance. Being lovers of old houses, Jeffrey and I have bought and sold and renovated several historic Victorians, a Craftsman and even a barn. During those renovations we’ve almost always found interesting items stuffed in the walls—things like newspapers from the 1880s, used as insulation, or historic tools or tidbits buried beneath the foundation. Each time those discoveries  have made us stop and linger, thinking about previous owners and bygone eras.

In some ways being a writer is like creating small time capsules for others to discover, and hopefully enjoy and reflect upon.  Continue reading

I Cannot Tell a Lie and Other Modern Day BS

My mom often said, “If you always tell the truth you’ll never have to worry about your memory.” Or was that Mark Twain? I can’t remember.

That’s because I am fast becoming a big fat liar with a mud-clogged memory.

Photo of the flu vaccineHere’s a perfect example…yesterday my husband and I went to Rite Aid to get flu shots. In order to receive our vaccinations we each had to fill out a two-page form. It was standard stuff like name, address, birthdate, email, allergies, yadda, yadda.

My defenses suddenly went up at the sight of this questionnaire though. Why does Rite Aid need to know my birthday and phone number and where I live? So without thinking too hard, I wrote in mostly fake information—a long ago disconnected fax number for my phone number, a PO Box with the wrong zip code, a fake birthday. My husband did the same, as he always does with stuff like this. The difference is that he’s memorized all his fake info. I wing it every time.

This time I got caught. Continue reading

Happy 95th Birthday Nelson Mandela!

Photo of Nelson MandelaThere are no candles bright enough to match the light you have added to our world.

Thank you for dedicating your life to others and transforming muddy caverns of darkness into bright fountains of hope and understanding.

Thank you for demonstrating that anything is possible when one has enough courage and perseverance.

Thank you for proving that humanity will always do the right thing—eventually—if reminded that there is room for everyone in this world.

Thank you for exemplifying compassion, courage, integrity and fortitude, and demonstrating that one person can make a difference.

Most of all, thank you for showing us that there is always hope.

Photo of Nelson Mandela for President South Africa 1994

On Mandela Day, the day we celebrate you, it is a privilege to give back to my community in your honor.

I encourage others to take part in this celebration too, by doing 67 minutes of community service for the 67 years Nelson Mandela spent fighting for the rights of humanity.

If you need a few ideas on ways to make a difference, click here to see 67 ideas.

Nelson Mandela Day Poster

 Happy Birthday, Madiba! We salute you.

Love and Cookies-The Winning Entry

Congratulations to Laura Bergerson for her winning entry in the Mother’s Day 7-word mini-essay contest. Here’s what she wrote about her fabulous mom, Charlotte Eckart:

Mom: source of love, hugs, and cookies!

Portrait of Laura Bergerson and Charlotte Eckart

Aren’t they adorable?

Thanks to everyone who entered and shared their thoughts about their mothers. Your essays were all terrific, making it extremely difficult to choose a winner. Somehow the cookies said it all.

Share Your Seven-Word Essay about Your Mom

Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful, hard-working mamas of the world! In honor of this special day, I’m hosting a seven-word essay contest. What seven words best describe your mom?  Leave your “mini essay” in the comment box below and share what is/was unique about your mother. Humor is welcome! The winner will have his or her essay posted on my blog along with a photo of you and your mom.

Photo of Mom Green, Becky and Olivia

Here’s mine: Loving, supportive character with fabulous funny bone.

 

For the Love of Art, Help Us Decide!

You may have noticed my blog has been quiet lately. It’s not because I’ve been sipping Mai Tais on a tropical beach, reveling in a lack of Wi-Fi (although I must admit, that sounds divine). It’s because I’ve been working hard getting ready to launch an exciting new website in which we’ll be selling small, affordable fine art photography prints of Jeffrey Aaronson’s work.

Our goal is to share some of Jeffrey’s (aka-hubby’s) favorite moments created over the years while traveling around the world on assignments for many of the world’s greatest magazines. By offering these images on a small scale, first-time collectors as well as those without cavernous pockets or massive wall space, will have an opportunity to enjoy a little beauty in their lives without breaking the bank. We hope this approach not only makes acquiring art easy and fun, but also non-intimidating.

But here’s our problem: Jeffrey and I can’t decide which image we should use to launch the site. That’s where you come in, my fabulous readers! I’ve gotten to know many of you over this past year and a half of blogging and appreciate your thoughtful opinions. Take a peek at the three images below and tell us which photograph you think people would be most interested in owning as a small print (we’re talking 8×10 for about $50).

A) Monks walking past a Richard Gere billboard in Bangkok, Thailand.

Photo of monks in front of a Richard Gere American Gigolo Poster in Bangkok

B) A farmer tending his rice paddies in Sichuan, China.

Rice paddies in Sichuan, China

C) Giant champagne bottle in Champagne, France.

Photo of a giant champagne bottle being carried in Champagne, FranceLeave your vote in the comment box, and hopefully in the next week or so you will see which image ends up kicking off the launch of our new endeavor. And of course, many details will follow…including the name of our site!

Thanks for sharing your two cents with us! Your opinion means a lot.

Book Review: Roots by Alex Haley

Photo of the cover of RootsIt may seem unusual to write a book review about a novel written well over thirty years ago, but I do so in hopes of inspiring you to pick up this powerhouse tome once again.

Roots: The Saga of an American Family has climbed to the tippy-top of my all-time favorite books.

For those of you who watched Roots, the blockbuster television mini-series in 1977, but never read the novel, you will be dazzled by the written version, and reminded why you were so mesmerized by Alex Haley’s epic story in the first place. You will also appreciate why it topped The New York Times Best Sellers list for twenty-two weeks, and why Haley was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for it.

Why did I pick up this book after so many years? Simple. I was inspired by fellow blogger, Debra Eve, who wrote a compelling profile about Alex Haley on her blog, Late Bloomers. Click here to read her piece and see why I immediately headed to my Kindle to download this 700-page masterpiece.

For starters, Continue reading

A Bundle of Sticks Can’t Be Broken

It’s my birthday week, and the simple act of adding another candle to my cake always stirs a reflective and celebratory cocktail of emotions for me.  While many people loathe adding another candle to the top of their cake, I say, “Bring it on!” After all, celebrating another year aways beats the alternative, as far as I’m concerned.

Last year I shared my favorite music with you on my birthday and reflected on the impact it has on one’s life (click here if you missed it and care to take a peek).

This year I thought I’d share one of my favorite gifts, which I think you might appreciate as much as I do. It’s one I received a couple years ago from my dear friend, Kimberly Reeder-Riechel.

Photo of a Bundle of Sticks Can't Be Broken

This seemingly delicate, yet nearly indestructible bird’s nest, sits in my office in a place of honor near my computer, and it knocks my socks off every time I look at it–especially when accompanied by Kimberly’s hand-written note: “A bundle of sticks can’t be broken.”

This gift reminds me not only of how much I appreciate Kimberly’s friendship and all the strong qualities that make up my fabulous friend, but it also reminds me that no matter how challenging life gets, I will always feel loved and supported by the many caring, talented and diverse “sticks” in my bundle of life.

This proverb, while simple, is a great reminder that as humans we are infinitely more powerful when we band together to support one another than when we try to navigate through life as individual “twigs.” After all, it’s a snap to break a single twig in half, but nearly impossible to break a sturdy bundle. Just try it and see what I mean.

Somehow this notion seems especially poignant this year as I delve into a particularly fiery social issue (click here to read more) and also push once again to finish my book in the midst of all life’s daily pulls. Knowing that my “sticks” are there to support me gives me a sense of calm and strength, and even patience.

This proverb also makes me think of others around me like my friends who are still trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy and those who are dealing with debilitating illnesses. It also makes me think of those who have lost parents recently or who are struggling to handle parenting issues of their own, all the while trying keep their humor and sanity. And of course, it makes me think of my writing and artist friends who continually try to keep the creative fires burning, who put themselves out there, who yearn to start or complete projects which have simultaneously inspired and tortured their creative souls.

I share my bundle of sticks with all of you to remind you that you are not alone, that we are all in this great big crazy world together; and to remind you that anything is possible with hard work and the support of those who care.

I also share my bundle of sticks to encourage you to be kind to yourself if you feel the need to ask for support. Asking for advice or help once in a while does not make you weak, but rather wise and strong. It shows that you are passionate about what you are doing and have the guts to reach out to make it happen.

The beauty of each of our bundles is that it continually grows and changes, getting stronger with each year and each new person who enters into our lives. I didn’t know my friend Kimberly when I was in third grade nor even college. In fact, I only met Kimberly a handful of years ago, when our daughters went to preschool together. I never could have imagined that such an important friendship could have develop in such a short time.

The same holds true with many of my writing and blogging friends. I may have only gotten to know some of you over the past year or so, but your words and personalities have added nothing but dazzling, colorful sticks to my ever-growing bundle.

On this day that I celebrate another candle, more importantly, I celebrate you, dear peeps, all the beautiful “sticks” in my life (you know who you are). Thank you for making my bundle impossibly strong and abundantly memorable and meaningful.