Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Words still glomm together in my mouth
like lumps of peanut butter.
I speak to people and wonder if they notice, too.
Can one be socially lame, but robustly well?
Because I am so alive, so well 
since the surgery.

Maybe these word troubles are writer's block,
part of my recovery from troubles;
an awakening to the idea that life is short.
that more than publishing stories,
I want to love.
to make it count wherever I am.

I still want to write, but my words are hiding.
I'm taking an art class.
And oh, what a class!
It's UCSD extension course llustrating Books For Children
with renowned book designer Joy Chu.
And it's amazing.

Maybe I'll find a back door to writing this way,
through visual storytelling.
Or not.

Maybe I'll just enjoy it -
watering a different part of my brain.
creating art.
(happy sigh)

And how does the rest of this garden grow?
How is that sacred dirt of every day?
We have a lot of dirt lately.
Lots of squiggly worms that I don't take pictures of -
like scowly faces, and kids throwing fits,
messy hair,

piled-up laundry,
crumbs under the table.

But how can I not be thankful?
Even for the wormy parts.
There is less to show from this garden now.
but more to feel.
more to soak in and wiggle around.

more family days.
paint and shaving cream.

 a new outlook for Pip!

Sugar Snack turning five!

Not much of a gardener in reality,
still I will tend this sacred dirt,
I will water my back doors to writing, 
and see what wriggles.
what grows.

What are the back doors in your creative life?

What are your cover crops?

When you get stuck, discouraged or allover uninspired,
what do you plant?

How do you water your creative self?

Cooking class? Archery lessons? Trapeze?
Balloon animals? Book club?

My friends,
I thank you for your friendship and patience. 
for the many ways you make this world beautiful.
through your actions and special talents.
for your unique words and work.
for the nurture of your families and friends.
for the many creative ways you give of yourself to the world.

May your garden grow and grow
and grow,
with lots of good dirt
and wiggles. 

Another bonus from my new class? Library finds!

Here are some of my latest faves:

Mr. Wuffles!
Sea of Dreams
Journey, by Aaron Becker (Won a well-deserved Caldecott Honor this year!)
Mr. Wuffles, by David Weisner (Another Caldecott Honor winner)
Sea of Dreams, by Dennis Nolan
Flora's Very Windy Day
Harry & Hopper
Missing Mommy: A Book About Bereavement
Flora's Very Windy Day, by Jeanne Birdsall, illustrated by Matt Phelan
Harry & Hopper, by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Freya Blackwood
Missing Mommy, by Rebecca Cobb 
On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein
Nelson Mandela

Martin de Porres: The Rose in the Desert On a Beam of Light, A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
Nelson Mandela, by Kadir Nelson
Bon Appetit!, the delicious life of Julia Child, by Jessie Hartland
Martin de Porres, the Rose in the Desert, by Gary Schmidt, illustrated by David Diaz


Vijaya said...

Drawing is a great way to open the door into writing. I am not so talented, but even my poor scribblings get the words flowing.

Dawn Simon said...

Immersing myself in life feeds my writing. Time with family, talks with friends, enjoying books, taking walks, travel--all of it. My biggest issue might be giving myself permission to step back and be guilt-free about not being productive in a given period. It's wonderful that you have more than one creative outlet leading to storytelling.

Faith E. Hough said...

Thanks for the lovely post--I always leave here inspired. :)
The art class looks like so much fun! I love seeing your sketches.

Julia Kelly said...

Writing is is healing and your sketches are wonderful!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

How exciting that you're taking an art class. You already have so much artistic talent! I usually express myself with words but took a watercolor class once (and stained glass another time) and it was so freeing to let creation flow in other more tactile ways.
Wishing you messy, happy days, because they can be grand.
Oh, and I was at the SCBWI conference last summer and heard David Wiesner talk of creating Mr. Wuffles. It was a highlight!

Amy Baskin said...

Hi Faith! Sometimes when I feel stuck, playing with my kids and/or taking long walks helps. Sometimes, there are things in my life that just can't wait, so the writing has to. But sometimes, life doesn't feel as bright and colorful if I'm in a rut and not creating. One time, I played a fun game with my daughter, who also likes to write. We gave ourselves a prompt and told ourselves we'd write a 5 minute story using the prompt. This was our prompt: a squirrel and a skunk have a misunderstanding. That was it. We had an incredibly fun 5 minutes that turned into much longer. Then we read and acted them out loud. Creating together can be just the jumpstart I need. Good luck!


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