Tag: muse

Story Worlds: Places I’ve Been, Part 2

Story Worlds: Places I’ve Been, Part 2

What settings have inspired you? What stories do you associate with them? Which stories will you never forget? Earlier, I shared how authors thrust us into their story worlds, by mixing words together in such a way that we’re living and breathing alongside the characters. I’ve discussed where story ideas come...Read More
Get out that Club

Get out that Club

A pastor once said that when he’s stuck on writing his sermon, he cleans out his garage. Yup, that’s it. That’s the cure for his writer’s block. I can totally relate! When I’m stuck on what to do next in my own writing, I start organizing piles, files, and boxes....Read More
Accidental Art & Inventions: Popsicles, Post-it Notes, & Parisian filmmaking

Accidental Art & Inventions: Popsicles, Post-it Notes, & Parisian filmmaking

What happens when cooked wheat sits too long? Or when the movie camera jams? When you run out of ice cream cups or baker’s chocolate for your recipe? When your science experiment turns out the opposite of what you expected? Or when your cleaning product becomes obsolete? Sometimes these mistakes...Read More
The starving artist is not so hungry

The starving artist is not so hungry

[caption id="attachment_752" align="alignleft" width="231"] Via picksnoz on Visual Hunt[/caption] How long could you live in a sterile environment devoid of color, surrounded by stark whites or drab grays? What if your only food was rice, cream of wheat, fish, oatmeal, or bananas (without the peel)? Could any of us survive...Read More
Are you Celebrating or Lamenting?

Are you Celebrating or Lamenting?

Did you ever read a book and wish you’d written it? Have you walked through a gallery and wished you had a better eye and camera for your own photography exploits? Have you found yourself envying the singer with the beautiful voice or the musician with such mastery of his...Read More
Revision: When is it good enough? Finished or abandoned?

Revision: When is it good enough? Finished or abandoned?

How do you know when you’re done revising a poem, essay, or novel? Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” He obviously wasn’t completely satisfied with the final product. French poet Paul Valery concurred by saying, “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” Such is the case...Read More
Barbara Britton: Perfume Pics, Coloring Pencils, and Records: An Author’s Unconventional Tool Box

Barbara Britton: Perfume Pics, Coloring Pencils, and Records: An Author’s Unconventional Tool Box

Have you wondered what it would be like living in Biblical Old Testament times? So has author Barbara Britton. In fact, she digs into O.T. history to create story worlds from 1000s of years ago. Her wanderings start with map-making and music. Last year I read the first book from...Read More
The Compulsion to Tell A Story: The Dog Ate My Glasses

The Compulsion to Tell A Story: The Dog Ate My Glasses

My husband Tim tells the story of when he was in 4th grade playing baseball with the neighbors. He had brand new glasses and was afraid of breaking them. He set them in a “safe place” in the grass nearby. A dog was snooping around. After he got up to...Read More
Risk-taking & Art, Part 3: The Hot Air Balloon Quilt

Risk-taking & Art, Part 3: The Hot Air Balloon Quilt

How do you handle Art that doesn’t measure up? Recently I attended a play that was well done but the backdrop was nothing but a poorly drawn tree standing in a poorly painted field. It filled the entire stage. It did nothing for the production. Fortunately, the actors were good...Read More
Risk-taking & Art: Not everyone thinks your baby is beautiful

Risk-taking & Art: Not everyone thinks your baby is beautiful

The baby who is beautiful to you might not be beautiful to everyone else. You take a risk when you share your art with others. It’s wearing your heart on your sleeve. It’s like putting your baby on display. It’s not safe. How much are you willing to risk to...Read More
My Pitiful Venture into Interior Design

My Pitiful Venture into Interior Design

I call my decorating style eclectic. That’s mainly because I can never decide which route to take. My daughters, who have very good taste, probably laugh at me behind my back. Not in a mean way. Just something like, “Mom and her crazy decorating ideas. It just never goes well...Read More
Artist Laura Fesser, Part 1: Inspired by Polymer, Playable Guitars, & Portraits

Artist Laura Fesser, Part 1: Inspired by Polymer, Playable Guitars, & Portraits

Laura Fesser wears two creative hats: artist and teacher. Her lively artwork brightens our community at the local hospital, library, and gallery, as well as numerous homes. Laura teaches elementary art at Heritage Christian School where I started the secondary art program years earlier. Later, she taught my four children,...Read More
Ode to Broken Crayons: Some do’s and don’ts

Ode to Broken Crayons: Some do’s and don’ts

We’ve all been there with a huge sigh, staring at a pile of old crayons. Ready to throw them out. Or staring in disbelief as our child peels the paper right off brand new crayons! How dare he! And if he snaps a crayon in half, oh my! Call in...Read More
Let it Go to Let it Grow

Let it Go to Let it Grow

“What a great job you’re doing on that tower!” I said to my three-year-old son, my enthusiasm rivaling a rock concert crowd. CRASH! In an instant, he sent blocks flying across the room. Not for fun, but in a rage. What was his message to me? Hmm. He wasn’t able...Read More
Backyard Art Fairs & Tie Dye Parties

Backyard Art Fairs & Tie Dye Parties

Tie dye, anyone? When my kids were little, we had the neighbors over for tie dye parties. In the backyard, we dunked T-shirts, pillow cases, and socks into big buckets of dye. My husband Tim monitored the garden hose as we rinsed the colors out. The alley flowed with turquoise,...Read More
Alison Sherwood, Part 1: Memory Maker, Memory Finder, & Memory Keeper

Alison Sherwood, Part 1: Memory Maker, Memory Finder, & Memory Keeper

Need inspiration? Need ideas for a party or craft? Look no further. This woman is overflowing with them! Non-stop. Alison Sherwood is a journalist turned stay-at-home-mom to three kids (Corban, 6, Mara, 4, and Haddon, 3). For nine years, she was a writer, videographer, blogger, and digital jack-of-all-trades for the...Read More
Process vs. Product: the Sizzle or the Steak?

Process vs. Product: the Sizzle or the Steak?

We all love shortcuts. From dishwashers to washing machines, from cars to planes, from texting to email, from Google to apps for anything you can imagine, the modern world is all about convenience and finding the easiest and fastest way to do something. But that’s not how creativity usually works....Read More
Say YES to MESS & Mayhem – the Joy is in the Journey – right?

Say YES to MESS & Mayhem – the Joy is in the Journey – right?

Is the joy really in the journey? [caption id="attachment_408" align="aligncenter" width="759"] Photo credit: cogdogblog on VisualHunt / CC BY[/caption] What price are you willing to pay for letting creativity flow? In other words, what messes are you willing to put up with? This is an ode to my mother. I...Read More
Author Liz Tolsma: Story Worlds steeped in WWII history

Author Liz Tolsma: Story Worlds steeped in WWII history

Unlike my friend Cathy, I cannot read and cook at the same time without drastic consequences. Spaghetti boiling over. Overcooked Chicken Divan. Burned biscuits. Have you ever been so engrossed in a novel that you forgot you were reading? Or didn’t hear the oven timer? And your smoke alarm went...Read More
We Need Fairy Tale Dragons

We Need Fairy Tale Dragons

We need Fairy Tale Dragons. [caption id="attachment_365" align="aligncenter" width="650"] CC BY-SA 3.0[/caption] We need the bad guys, the villains. Jack’s Giant. Cinderella’s and Snow White’s evil step-mothers. The Troll who bullied the Three Billy Goats Gruff. The witch in Hansel and Gretel. The Big Bad Wolf. Not to mention Captain...Read More
Why was Einstein so brilliant?

Why was Einstein so brilliant?

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Albert Einstein? The theory of relativity? The atomic bomb? An image of a wild-haired genius? How about fairy tales? Seriously. He was a huge fan. Here’s what he said . . . ************************** "If you want your children...Read More
The Ruby Slippers

The Ruby Slippers

“Today the ruby slippers went on auction,” I wrote to my college-aged daughter in November, 2011. “They’re expected to be sold for 2 or 3 million dollars!” [caption id="attachment_334" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Photo credit: twm1340 on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA[/caption] Audrey and I share a love of old movies, including The...Read More
In the schoolyard: R.I.P. Here lies imagination

In the schoolyard: R.I.P. Here lies imagination

“My legs have hiccups.” That’s how my daughter described muscle twitches at age three. “There a melted rainbow on that truck.” That’s her four-year-old description of a colorful array of fuzzy, blended images. “It’s the same sky over Milwaukee as in Michigan. God just spreads it over us all like...Read More
Creativity is not just for Artists

Creativity is not just for Artists

    Brad and Joyce, my in-laws, would never call themselves artists, but they are two of the most creative people I know. Give Joyce the high school play title along with yards of fabric and accessories, and she’ll whip out a bevy of fantastic stage-ready costumes that will leave...Read More
Chickens at the State Fair

Chickens at the State Fair

Every summer at the State Fair, you can bet I’ll visit the chickens. They compel me. Their antics make me laugh. And they amaze me with their variety. From the Belgian Bearded d’Uccle Bantam to the Golden Laced Wyandotte, no two chickens are alike. I marvel at splotches of color,...Read More