The Basic Tools

Of Julia Cameron’s way to recover our creativity are these:

The Morning Pages – These are about three handwritten pages about your thoughts as you wake up. I’m not sure what to think about these. I’ll try my best. Usually, the early hours see me drinking coffee with the Babe, and checking Facebook. We also watch Good Morning America. I see I need to add a notepad and plan on writing three pages of musings, sort of brain-dump to get to the good stuff.

Cameron mentions all the petty stuff, the whiny stuff, etc., are what’s keeping us from creating. We need to get the junk out of our minds, to make way for the creativity we are itching to get it out – onto the page, the canvas, the staff (music), and out of our minds.

As we’re getting out our thoughts, our doodles, or whatever we need to, there is the chance our critic/censor will discourage us. After all, we’re not any good. If we were, we would have done it long ago. We would have published, printed, whatever, long before now.

Our censor, wherever the dialogue grew from, can derail our creativity. After a steady diet of negativity, of course it’s easy to give up. But we don’t have to. C’mon! Let’s tell ourselves the truth. Be honest; we need to remember; the Censor is trying to undermine our creativity. Don’t listen to the negativity, concentrate on the good. We need to listen to the Artist Brain, not the Censor Brain.

And The Artist Date – A very special time, often just yourself, where you spend a couple hours with your artist self. I have some ideas of how to spend/how I have spent what I would consider Artist Dates. The first was with McGuigan Arts Academy, at the presentation of “The Ugly Holiday Sweater Soriee. These young creatives, who wrote their own scripts, and perform them, and do a fantastic job at it.

My ideas for Artist Dates right now are:

Spend some time with the leaders at McGuigan Arts Academy and get their insight on creativity. I’m a great fan of their work, I think the discussion could be really eye-opening.

Spend time with Julia McGuigan, who has her own shop where she sells her works. I’d love to get her input on creativity for her art. She’s very good.

Spend time with Jeffrey Koterba, who was an award-winning cartoonist for our local newspaper. He is fantastic. We met in person at the McGuigan Arts Academy performance of the Ugly Christmas Sweaters he saw over my shoulder. I was watching his video on how he crafted his cartoon on Patreon. I’d like to talk to Jeff about his career as an editorial cartoonist. And so many other things. He’s written a book. He grew up in the same neighborhood I did (close enough) as a kid. There will be much to talk about.

Liz Boutin is an artist from the Bellevue area in Nebraska. Her husband was in the Air Force; she was a Red Cross Volunteer in Germany. It was the hospital where terribly injured soldiers came from Iraq. Liz has PTSD. She uses her art to help ease her PTSD. She’s an incredible woman. I count her as a friend.

Taylor Frye Ullom is a friend and the founder of Guitars for Vets in Nebraska. She leads the organization who offers lessons to Veterans with PTSD. I’ve met many of the students, and am happy to see what good Taylor does with this organization. We could spend a long time talking about a lot of things.

There are many other people, places, and things I want to use as an Artist’s Date. It will be fun. And I should get a lot of ideas on creativity. I haven’t yet explored all the possibilities of an Artist’s Date, but I’m totally open to the possibility of putting myself out there and visit with people who are actual artists. Writers, painters, cartoonists, artists, the Omaha-area is full of them. I’m excited about 2023. Come along with us, we’ll have an adventure in 2023. There are many more folks I know casually who will be great resources for future references. Thank you for your help.

Thank you, loyal followers, and new fans. Let’s all stretch our wings and fly this year. We’ll all have each other to hold ourselves up. Happy 2023. Let’s get out there and create! See you tomorrow. #1023followers!

Day 2. Phoneless (sort of)

Today is Post # 668. It all makes sense now. Sometime during the night Monday, after post #666, my Google Pixel 3 xl phone stopped working. If I’d made the usual sacrifice to the gods of Apple, I would have been able to keep plodding along and life would still be normal. I have phone service now. You know, like in the olden times. A phone that takes calls. It’s not a party line, however. For those of you who don’t know what that is, phone service was expensive for most people. A party line used one line that may connect everyone on a street or down a county road. You could eavesdrop on your neighbor’s calls, and many folks did. I believe my family had one at one time, but I don’t recall much about it. We were not allowed to touch the phone at all until we were probably 12 years old. Then, just brief calls. No one in the neighborhood called. We just showed up at each other’s houses, and asked if someone could play. Imagine that!

My mom hates the telephone. She claims she always has. I don’t recall her using it very much while I was growing up. I left home in 1970 to get married, and I don’t recall her hating it then. The hatred must have some with the invention of telemarketing. Since she refuses any Caller ID of a simple solution like that, she is still vulnerable to masses of spammers. When she’s had a series of them on any given day and you happen to phone her to see how she is, she yells into the phone, “HELLO!” It makes me want to hang up. Now I simply say, “I was calling to see how you are,” or “Sorry to bother you. You must be busy.”

So yesterday was quite an ordeal. The people at Verizon had a flock of white haired people in there. We talked with a kid, who said they don’t have any phones in stock, we’d probably get a better price at Best Buy. And we should take the phone to the repair shop up the street and see if they can fix it. We went to Best Buy. The sales person had never worked in the phone department, so we decided to forget Best Buy. We went to the repair shop, and they said they’d get a new battery for $60, and when it comes in, it the phone charges, they will be able to transfer the data for me. Cool. Battery isn’t expected in until the weekend. Doggone it!

Trip #2 to the Verizon store saw us wait amongst another crowd of white haired folks. We fit right in. We got the written estimates for what new phones would cost. We didn’t have time to stay, the Babe had an appointment for a Lung Scan. He gets one every year (at our cost) in a program his kids asked him to be in since their Mom and Aunt Sharon both had lung cancer and died within six months of each other. The Babe used to be a heavy smoker. I’m so glad he quit just before we met, I could not have tolerated a three pack a day habit in my partner. Not at all. After we ate, we went to the Best Buy store in West Omaha. They had a very knowledgable young woman that we purchased our new phones from. As I mentioned yesterday, BB charges $99 to transfer data from your old phone to your new phone. I did it at home, by myself, in about 15 minutes. The Verizon store is just as bad, they require you make an appointment to have data transferred. What??? Wow. Disappointing.

So last evening, I got the Babe’s phone all set up, email and contacts, photos transferred. Success! He’s a happy camper. However, since I couldn’t remember my old Apple ID or change my phone #, Apple blocked me. I gave up. And just concentrated on the series we’re watching, Heartland. It’s on Netflix, and a 13 season family story. It’s about a family, Grandfather and two granddaughters, their mother died in an accident with one of the daughters and a trailered horse. The mother, divorced from the father, was gifted with horses. She could read the animal, and make changes to their behavior. The daughter has the same abilities.

Grandpa deals with the girls’ Father, and there are all types of story lines that cross each other. I’m enjoying the writing, it’s quite good. And it is stress-less. Nice. Relaxing. We’re only on Season 3, but we’re enjoying the break from news, violence, and sad stories. Don’t get me wrong, parts of this are sad, but the beauty of the location and the horses make up for it. Canada is truly beautiful.

So, this morning, I had coffee, and when the Babe got ready for his day. I called the help line at Apple. I have to say, I’m shocked at how good their service was. Curtis in Mississippi is my new BFF! We have a plan for when my Apple ID is unlocked, when and how that should take place, and he will walk me through any data transfer once the ID is unlocked. Hopefully the battery will work on my Google Pixel and the data can transfer. Then I get to be a cool kid with a working iPhone, with apps and contacts and texts and my word games. Woohoo! Everyone needs a Curtis to start their day! I look forward to working with him to get this phone as smart as it needs to be. And I’ll set frequent back ups so I’m not caught in a frenzy again.

So, as I go about the rest of this day partially reconnected to the modern world, I’m grateful. Even with all the problems technology brings, I’m still grateful for it. I love when it is used for the good or the people; when crooks steal your credit or debit card numbers, I am not happy and wish people weren’t like that. (Walmart, I may never get groceries from you again, since my # was compromised).

Have a great day! I will. Meeting later with people from the Post about the car show. Countdown & checklist about to be created. Keep your cool, enjoy your communications, don’t take what’s not yours, and be grateful. Find something, whatever it is. Oh! And don’t forget to get in your 71 squats (However you need to modify them) and your 22 wall/doorway pushups. I’m off to do mine now. See you tomorrow!