Creative Eclectic · Gifts · Grace · Hope · Lessons Learned · Prayers · Questions to Ponder · Seasons · The Journey

Until Now…

Where to begin? I love to write! Writing is my escape. I communicate best in words on paper. I’ve blogged for six years. I never seem to be at a loss for words. Until now…

My recent participation at a Christian Writers Conference opened up new doors of adventure… and challenge… and excitement. Until I came home…

Several times I’ve sat down to write. I’ve got nothin’. It’s as if writing has never been a passion or a gift. What is causing this block? Why am I suddenly dry? I long to take advantage of the information gathered at the conference and play off of the excitement of the other writers with whom I spent two days.

Today as I was editing photographs from yesterday’s shoot, it hit me. God kicked my writing up a notch and invited others into my writing world.

Blogging involves other people, but they are not present. I write and it goes out into the cyber world. After posting I never really know if anyone reads the words I’ve poured out on the page. Occasionally I get a comment, but it’s always encouraging words regarding the content of my piece. No one critiques my writing. There is a measure of safety. Until now…

My new writing adventure involves a small group of women gathering once a month for a “writers group.” It involves sending writing out a week ahead so each one can read my piece and critique it. Then we will gather and share our critiques. Today I’m wondering what I’ve gotten myself in to.

I’m a pretty transparent person; wearing my heart on my shirt sleeve. Why am I nervous about letting others read my writing and give feedback? I’m not writing a book. I don’t have a manuscript I’ve been working on. I have some blog entries. That’s it. Suddenly I feel like I’ve got to write something with more depth and a greater vision. I’ve always considered myself a fairly good writer. Until now…

How ironic that my first piece to submit to the group is about how insecure I feel as I embark on this new journey. Fear and trepidation are looming. That little voice in my head is saying to run and never look back. Pursue other passions. Leave the writing to those called to be real authors.

I have no idea where this new adventure will lead me. I’m determined to not let my insecurity and fear win. I’m hopeful that I will be stretched…and challenged…and encouraged. I’m excited to begin to fashion a vision greater than my blog and see it grow into something bigger that I could ever imagine; for I’ve never really had one. Until now…

Creative Eclectic · Fun · Gifts · Humor · My Happiness Project · Uncategorized

School Days…

We are about to begin our third week of the new school year. I’m about to begin the third week of my 26th year in education. It should be 27, but I took a year and worked for a non-profit.

I think back to my elementary school days. I LOVED school! I could not wait to get back in September. We would go for a few days and then have a weekend. I always hated that first weekend because I would rather have been in school instead of at our lake cabin. I know… our lake cabin! Hmmmm… school or a lake cabin? If only I could have that choice now!

This year I began the school year a bit tired and not as excited as usual. Feeling a bit bummed by this, I decided to take my camera to school the second day and photograph what elementary school is all about! It helped me evoke some strong memories of why I love school so much! It helped me get back to what is really important… kids! Oh, and crayons, felt pens, colored pencils, Number 2 pencils, books, glue… the list goes on!

So, here is a little photo journey of a day in an elementary school.

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20130915-151454.jpg20130915-151543.jpg 20130915-151513.jpgDo any of these photographs evoke memories for you?  What do you remember?  What was special about the start of elementary school?

pencil boxes… new crayons… colored notebook paper… pee-chee’s… “school shoes”… lunch box (I never had one – I always ate lunch at home – joy of living kitty corner from the school)… freshly taped name tag… spearmint paste… tempra paint… meeting new friends…reconnecting with the old… new school clothes… sleepless night before the first day… your first day of HW… new teacher… your desk…

I would love to hear about the memories you have from elementary school.  I hope you will share!

Today I’m reliving a few old memories to fuel my desire to create some new ones… even though I’m much older!  Sometimes things get old and mundane because we forget from whence we came!  My goal this week is to try to look at my school and my job through eyes of wonder and excitement that I had 40+ years ago!

A Month in Pictures · Creative Eclectic · Fun · Gifts · Quiet Pleasures · The Journey

My Passion Favorites…

This past year I attempted to post a picture a day for 365 days.  While I was not anywhere near successful, it was a fun adventure and one I might try again!  Photography has become a passion and creative outlet.  Here are a few of my favorites from my 365 Album.

560284_3418198688598_1149232254_n 205281_3574297070960_1966346817_n 301713_3623960792522_919024495_n 305570_3355601883717_1145168952_n 380251_3539127911753_2141968743_n 391265_3676754272326_498710360_n 422641_3958505555932_609159646_n 482957_3120916416727_385460550_n 523904_3726075305321_99307712_n 525070_3539123911653_1312240741_n 526809_3596848674736_894495379_n 534382_3532991478346_794261632_n 543665_3373453329992_384536080_n 551132_3459819009080_1712314475_n 559644_3450334291968_249229267_n 576371_3472321361631_795024529_n 579758_3467092270907_90942520_n IMG_0003May each of you pursue your passions in 2013.

Happy New Year!

Creative Eclectic

Allowing Yourself…

This weekend, amidst a very busy one at church, I carved out some time just for me.  I’ve begun a new journey using a book called Old Friend from Far Away,  by Natalie Goldberg.  I spent some time last evening writing and reflecting.  When I awoke this morning very early (on a day off I might add), I found myself agonizing over all of the things that I “must accomplish” in my day… “need to accomplish” in my day… and “would like” to accomplish in my day.  The “musts” were winning out and making falling back to sleep very difficult.  I finally gave in and got up!  Coffee in hand, I took my place of quiet in the kitchen, still too dark to see outside.  I grappled with where to start – quiet time or work stuff.  If I just got the work stuff out of the way, then I’d have more time later for the other fun stuff!  Noticing that my mood was very low and borderline needing a good cry, I decided to postpone the things I know I needed to do and took sometime to write and reflect.  I worked through an exercise of writing for ten minutes with the prompt “I am thinking of…”  Emotions poured out of my pen onto the page.  Ten minutes flew by.  Still feeling down and dreading the day and week ahead, I decided to write for another ten minutes on “I am looking at…”  By now the sky was lighter and I could see out onto my patio and surrounding property.  My mood continued to be very say.  The weather was gray and dreary and I was dreading the day.  I continued to write anything and everything that was flowing off of my pen, while a song about creation played nearby.

I noticed a theme of being drawn to seeing the red things in my yard – my beloved “barn”, star on my garage, and my car.  Those three things began to move me out of my gray mood.  I was prompted to write a poem about color and emotion, as well as sketch my barn!  Hmmmm… I don’t draw or write poetry!  I really wanted the sun to shine, but decided the splashes of red around would suffice for now.  My mood and energy level were changing and I was actually feeling like the day was not going to be a total loss!  Grabbing my camera, I headed out into the sloppy wet yard to investigate the new face of winter now that we’ve had warmer temperatures and a ton of rain!  It was invigorating!  I discovered melting ice, squirrel treats left half eaten, the neighbors’ chickens, and simple beauty amidst the cold, gray, dreary morning!

Upon returning to the warm house and needing to reheat my coffee, I realized that I can choose each day how to attack the “musts, needs, and wants.”  I can wallow in how much I need to get done and how dreary the weather seems to be, or I can structure my day to allow time for those things that re-energize me and allow my creative eclectic side to flourish, which is something I have never really taken time to do.  My quiet time with God and time spent nurturing my creative side will build a strong foundation for the day to get those other things done and possibly with a happier heart and more energy! They will also be a sweet ending to a crazy day.  Time to reflect and wind down.

In our busy lives, do we really allow ourselves to indulge in those things which bring us life and energy, or are we too busy with the things we must get done.  How much more productive and happy would we be if we took time to nurture our souls and our passions and our longings?  My perspective of wants and needs is changing from wanting and needing “things or stuff” to wanting and needing to allow myself to do that which feeds my body, mind and spirit.  It’s only taken my 48 years to figure this out and I have so much to learn!    The sun is out now, other colors are showing up, and my day seems much less daunting and sad… all because I allowed myself to take time for me.

Creative Eclectic

I’m not very….

I have spent the past 48 years telling myself and others that “I’m not very creative” and “I’m not artistic.”  What actually defines artistic or creative?  I have always thought about an artistic person as someone who paints or draws.  Creative is the one who makes cute crafty things.  I have been so busy convincing myself and others of my lack, that I have completely overlooked those things in my life which actually fit into the “artistic and creative” category!

I have a dear friend that I have always considered a very artistic and creative person.  She recently wrote a book (Refrain from the Identical) about her journey as a Creative Eclectic!  I am one chapter in and my world has been rocked.  Over the past several years, I have had an itching to write more.  I have been blogging off and on since 2008.  I began to see that I have a passion to create something with words, still not even entertaining the idea of being artistic or creative.  After purchasing a really nice camera to try my hand at photography, I noticed that I have shot a few pictures that could actually be considered to be shot with a creative eye!  I know… shocking to read because you remember that I’m not artistic or creative!

As I’ve begun to really ponder adventures in my life that have involved artistic ability and creativity, my eyes have been opened wide.  I have learned that I need to broaden my view of my creative side and accept the fact that I am a Creative Ecelectic, whether I want to be or not!  I’m also finding that those creative things are what I am really passionate about.  What are you passionate about and does it involve creativity?  Are you a Creative Eclectic? Check out the book and find out! 

Also available for Kindle!
Refrain from the Identical: Insight and Inspiration for Creative Eclectics
JoDee Luna (Paperback – Dec 13, 2011)