Lint Picking

Okay, so this makes me want to pick, but not exactly at the lint on my sweater. Quite frankly, this picture has nothing to do with creativity….although it could be said this fellow had some; he was confident enough to show his inward personality on the outside…in public… covered in fur.

Enough said. Happy Friday!

This week’s chapter in Julia Cameron’s Right to Write is about lint picking. This is the undo criticism we may receive as we create. The key is, to remain open enough to receive constructive criticism, and yet know when people are being motivated by a mean spirit.

I’ve endured many criticisms or lint pickers in my life. None more than when it comes to my art. As I said in my last post, I’m a children’s author among other stuff. I write senseless material that doesn’t fit into an adult mold.

Because these lint pickers didn’t understand or know me well enough, I was told not to write so dark, or so silly. When someone said, “but that doesn’t happen in real life” (picture heroic unicorns rescuing a soldier cornered by a giant), it destroyed me. It took me a long time to weed through the hurt to find my source of joy.

I had allowed someone’s opinion of my art, to steal years from me. I didn’t create. I balled it up on the inside and allowed them to pick at my soul. I then helped by picking away even further, once the hole was big enough. It took me a long time to venture back from that pain. I guess that is why I have such an affinity for those that create. I understand where it comes from.

I still don’t take criticism well when it comes to my art. I am much like a child on the inside that loves everything about what I just created. I realize I’m probably never going to achieve greatness that way…then again, isn’t that a characteristic of those that succeed?

Time will tell. In the meantime, there are folks like the guy in the photo above that give us plenty of motivation to create.  Viva fur man!

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First Time Finger Painter

A tribute to budding artists out there! Nothing is more special than seeing a wee one discover creativity. This is truly a beautiful post.

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Lucky Seven Award

Not sure there is a pic for the award. It seemed fitting to have one…

It’s always an honor when a fellow blogger recognizes you as someone with a unique voice. Life has been a little bit on the crazy side and I have been working on this post for awhile…I apologize for the lapse.

Yasniger has awarded me the Lucky Seven Award and I’m sincerely grateful. I have not been doing this very long, but I am making some wonderful friends as I go. Each award always pays it forward, and this one is no exception.

The nominated writer does the following:

• Go to Page 77 of your manuscript
• Go to line 7
• Copy next 7 lines, sentences or paragraphs into your post
• Give the award to 7 more writers

I am primarily write for Children. My imagination is a little too weird for adults. Every attempt I have made to fit my quirkiness into a grown up box has failed, or caused me heartache. I also write dark poetry. Since I didn’t have anything polished enough to share, I thought I’d post one of my poems 🙂

Undone

Inspiration

Perspiration

Meditation

Mutilation

Timeless entry

Kentucky sun

Sweating lips

Eating hips

Tomorrow is done.

For a time,

My eyes see the hell

Which one is it?

The door to tell

One blue

One red

One light and one shed

I am the light.

Pepper sprayed right,

It scatters.

© Jeni Bonenfant, 2012

Here are the seven I have chosen to recognize as phenomenal bloggers. I hope that you find their sites as delightful as I do:

Writing the Block – Here you can find beautiful raw prose in many forms. Very gifted author 🙂

Adele Konyndyk – A freelance writer who has a blog that is comfortable enough for a coffee shop; a place to unwind and to relax.

Wanton Creation – This is a blog that is creative and is focused on things they love. I have enjoyed reading book reviews and a failed attempt at the NaPoWriMo  – God bless you…I’ve never had the courage to attempt it.

Heaven for Earth – This is a deep blog. I truly enjoy the thought-provoking posts and the sensitivity of heart.

Modern Art and Poetry – Author Tim Ruane is fun. He experiments and finds beauty in the ordinary.

As a reference, there is a blog I love and adore. It’s a compilation of authors who reside in New Hampshire. They are very talented…and for those of you who love to write, it is worth your while to check them out! Live to Write and Write to Live

This last person doesn’t accept awards, but I wanted to acknowledge his creativity. Truly wonderful blog…check out Five Reflections

To those that I listed above, forgive me for the lack of notification. I am a working mom who is slowly losing what mind I have. This is all a slow work in progress…and I will eventually let you know – unless you get to me first 🙂

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Drama Mama

Drama. We all have it. We all live in it – one way or the other. It can suck the life out of you and it will suck the life out of your creativity.

Today’s Right to Write by Julia Cameron’s topic is about keeping the drama where it belongs….in your art, not your heart. It’s easy to be caught up in the mess of life. Whether it’s ours or someone else’s it can screw with your mind. It will drag you down, sap your time, and completely eat at your happiness and creativity.

I’ve been reading another book this week that speaks directly to this. Take time to get away from the drama…all your stress and excuses… and just enjoy life. All of us can do that, but those of us that are artists, who thrive on exercising our creativity, can truly benefit from this. When we learn to relax and keep the drama where it belongs – on the page/canvas etc – life can become a joy again. I never want to create when I’m feeling grumbly inside. I typically enjoy pity parties when I get to that point, and creativity backs off like I’ve got the plague. Can you blame him/her?

It’s tough to walk away when we feel like we have to fix everything. I am learning that I can’t control the Universe. Someone else does that job. Mine is to be happy in my life, doing what I love to do. The problems of today will eventually work themselves out, and a month or two from now, I won’t even remember what it was I was anguishing over.

Do yourself a favor and find something to enjoy. If you aren’t sure what that is anymore….make a list of the things you love, and pick one to accomplish when you are feeling blue. You can also create 🙂 I know it always cheers me up!

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Journaling or Something Like That

Well, as you may have noticed, I’m behind. Life just ran over me this past week, and I ended up needing a break (So much was going on). I have missed blogging, I have missed reading…. I have missed unwinding through writing.

Over the weekend I was to continue Julia Cameron’s Right to Write chapter on the Writing Life. Today is the day I got to it 🙂 and what a moment of truth. She talks about the writing life and how our art can be an outlet for pain, or happiness. It can be a place of comfort or exhilaration. Many of us, I’m sure, have had diaries or journals through our lifetime and can attest to the way they make us feel. A journal can be in any form. If it comes from your heart, it is effective.

Since I’ve not been able to write I felt as though I was separated from a loved one. I thought about it day and night, longing to steal a moment, but that moment never came. The guilt set in and I’ve not been happy since. Sitting here, typing away my heart is smiling. It has been instant lift to my spirit and I feel connected to myself again.

There is something to be said about art. I’ve used it to vent, to spill my secrets, or to just get energy on paper. It’s such a tender and personal process. We long to have a life filled with successful art/writing, yet we can easily neglect ourselves in the most intimate way…by ignoring our creativity. What a way to defeat the purpose!

I can’t promise that I will never run away from my art again, but I sure will be more aware of my behavior. It’s time to be good to ourselves. Take 15 mins and write or do what you do best…get it all out…connect with you…

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The Book Thief…My New Fave

Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief  

I have been commuting by train to work, and I have had more than my share of time to read. Most days, I fall asleep while reading. Not a good thing to do when you wake and don’t know where you are 🙂 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a book I would recommend. It is my new fave. This is one of those gems that is the bad girl of books (if you’re not sure what that means, read my post on Creatively Bad Behavior). I am convinced the author has my mind. He is very descriptive and quirky with his words. I immediately get sucked in with the style. The storyline is cryptic and pulls the reader further in. It does not follow a particular pattern of hooking a reader, and I like that. At first I flipped through the book because of confusion, and as I kept reading, it still wasn’t answered – funny twist. I finally have a sense of it now…

I’ve not finished the book yet, but it is about a girl who steals books and the reason is unclear other than the fact that she wants to learn how to read. I will say that death plays a main character and I love his personality. It all takes place in Nazi Germany and the suspense builds as you get further and further into the book. The young girl struggles after losing her mother and her brother, while living in a foster home. She finds her new parents harsh and endearing (one is what the other isn’t) and she makes friends with German boys. The family honors a promise and the suspense climbs from there. They are safekeeping a jewish man in the heart of Germany.

While my review is incomplete, the purpose of this post was to pay tribute to a storyteller that has a way with words; he is very poetic. If I could plagiarize in order to demonstrate his ability to write, I completely would. Instead, I will just encourage you to pick up the book and read it. That’s all 🙂

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Creatively Bad Behavior

Working through Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write has had me do too much thinking. This week is about letting it all hang out. It’s about not following the rules and writing badly. I like to think of it as trash talking because trashy just seems to be a sexier vernacular when talking about how badly we can bomb as artists.

So how many of you have created something you love only to have it trashed by someone else? That’s not so sexy, it’s hurtful and rude. Creating bad art or bad writing takes talent and typically calls for critics. It doesn’t follow rules and it is created from the song carried out in one’s head. We see or hear the tune, and transmit on paper. There is no rhyme or reason to it or for it, it just is.

Books that are written perfectly are boring. Books that play with words and make our heads connect with images and outlandish ideas are fantastic. Art in any form, when it takes on the dimension of being the bad girl, becomes alluring. Both men and women love a little mystery when pursuing the opposite sex. It’s the untold story that keeps us moving toward someone that we know will destroy us. It’s the nature of humans to want to touch something they know is bad for them. Art should be the same way. We should unveil a portion of naughtiness and lure our readers; create wild images or sounds that overload the senses. Then, and only then have we achieved greatness. Who cares about those that don’t approve of our coloring outside the lines. Art is not about following rules. It’s about learning to live without boundaries and to trust ourselves enough to create something outlandish. Only then will be feel fulfilled.

I thought I would include the exercise Julia lists in the book for those of you that would like to participate. I have changed it up so it is applicable to all forms. Enjoy yourself this week and try to be bad!

Exercise:

Look through tabloid sites or magazines. Find stories that interest you and look to be inspired. Pick 5 or so stories that you are drawn to and look for the common theme. Are they completely ridiculous or are they sad? How crazy are they on a scale of 1-10?

Pick up your art of choice and create. Just get it out. Let your emotions guide you and enjoy the ride. See what transpires and don’t allow the censor in your head to speak. Put duct tape over its mouth, and tie the bastard up for an hour or so as you finish your business. It will be worth it 🙂

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