Basic Principles of Creativity

It’s interesting to me, finally making time to learn “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. As I said yesterday, I’ve been in a slump. I want to be more productive creatively, and I have identified areas I need to change.

Ms. Cameron sets out to list the ten basic principles on page three of the Introduction! Talk about knocking your socks off right in the beginning! While talking about Spiritual Electricity, Ms. Cameron lists these principles: (these are directly from the book, not my words).

  1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.
  2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creativity force infusing all of life— including ourselves.
  3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity within us and our lives.
  4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
  5. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.
  6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and counter to our true nature.
  7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction.
  8. As we open our creative channel to exploring our creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
  9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
  10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

(Back to my ideas, words, and musings.)

I’m greatly enthused by reading these principles. Of course creativity is part of the natural order. Have you ever met a kid that doesn’t pretend to do/be something? They create worlds they are part of, they learn and grow in those creative endeavors. We shouldn’t discourage them. But we do. Everyone eventually is expected to fit in and comply.

The arts are where we can keep that alive. Kids need somewhere to be themselves, who they are meant to be. Music, acting, and art are where they can be. The more they learn, the more they can create. My friends at McGuigan Arts Academy do that very thing, here in Omaha, Nebraska. These folks are helping to water the creative seeds in all the student’s minds. Kids that are all talented and need to be encouraged what to do with it. It’s an amazing thing to see and experience. If you can make it possible for your children to experience classes in the arts, creativity, and growth, please make that possible. I was lucky and had piano lessons. My teacher lived across the street, and she wanted me to play classical music. I was more interested in Rock and Roll music. I quit after 8th grade.

Cameron suggests reading these principles every day. Eventually, we’ll be able to see our progress. Things we notice we didn’t notice before. I’ll take note of what changes in my outlook, the things I notice. I think this is pretty cool. And as for now? The Babe and I have some appointments today, and to navigate whatever Mother Nature left us last night while our family in South Dakota got about another foot of snow. Be safe out there, and we’ll see you tomorrow. Be Safe!

The Ugly Seasonal Sweater Soiree

This weekend, at the McGuigan Arts Academy, is the production of The Ugly Seasonal Sweater Soiree, performed by the students at the Academy. We saw the kids before at a comedy show they did and wanted to come back for more. Turns out, it was a wise choice. No surprise there.

It’s been a tough year, and the Babe and I are having a hard time getting into the spirit of the season. We knew we would enjoy the kids, and they delivered in spades! How lucky Omaha is, to have this organization who cares so deeply about Omaha, and giving back. This family, three brothers, known for their love of all things Beatles, thanks to their dad. The riches in their lives were in how they were taught to be Dad’s, men, team mates, and, well, family. How well the lads paid attention.

Now, some of their children, and other’s from the community, get to explore their imaginations, their undiscovered passions, and try out any of the performing arts they desire. What a great opportunity they have. I’m so excited to hear about all they do, and am in awe at what comes out of them in song, dance, comedy, art, and performing. How wonderful it is to see them grow and bloom into what they might become.

When you really think about it, some of the Christmas carols are a little far fetched. The students poked fun at Santa, his method of entering all the houses in the world in one night, the horror at seeing Mommy kissing Santa Claus (and asking for money for therapy), a delightful rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” and surprisingly, the Wings song, “Wonderful Christmastime.” All are wonderful.

In high school, my school, Archbishop Ryan, did a major Broadway play each year. I was surprised when I learned they school hired a Broadway actor/director, James Lonigro (a/k/a/ Geronimo Lonigro), to direct the high school kids every year in their major fundraiser. West Side Story, Funny Girl, and Hello Dolly were three while I attended school that were outstanding. The fourth, “Teahouse of the August Moon,” was directed by local Normal Filbert. What great experiences for high school kids.

My part in all of this? I was a very shy girl, who could have never spoken lines in front of a crowd, much less memorized them. I painted scenery. It was built by the stage crew, and I volunteered to paint it. It’s all I could handle at that stage and age in life. If you have a shy youngster who hasn’t quite found themselves, the McGuigan Arts Academy could introduce them to another aspect of life – and make a difference in their lives. Check them out at Rave On Productions. You’ll be happy you did.

Enjoy your weekend, and your final preparations for Christmas. It’ll be here before you know it. See you tomorrow.

Saturday Morning

You know, I think if cartoons were still on Saturday mornings, I may watch some. As it is, we watch some sort of kid-shows. Jack Hanna has a good program, and I cannot believe I am watching it. The thing of it is, like every other American family, we watched the “Wonderful World of Disney,” every Sunday evening. I loved it. I didn’t like their stories that were adult narrated, and about animals or whatever. I loved the cartoons. Those were always my favorite.

In those days, it took a lot of hard work to produce a cartoon. Each frame had to be drawn, then photographed. Then, it was run through like a movie, so there was motion. Lots of work, and it fascinated me. Dad was a good artist. I have his “learn to draw cartoons” books from about the 40s or 50s. Maybe we’ll dig those out and learn something from them. He wanted to be a cartoonist. Back in those days, parents didn’t support “dreams” because “dreams don’t put food on the table or pay the bills.”

The same held true in the 60s and 70s, when hippies were finding themselves all over the place in the USA and artists were plenty. In Omaha’s Old Market, the first shops were art galleries. The hippies showed their works; don’t know if they ever sold any or not, and some businesses moved from shop to shop, depending on their success at sales. Eventually clothing shops, restaurants, and novelty shops took over, and it morphed into the tourist attraction it is today.

The Arts have been the last thing on the list grownups have wanted their kids to do. Same with acting, musicians, and writers. The preferences would be movie star, big name musical act, and a novelist who wrote many books. You could be a reporter or journalist, back then, they had credibility and respect. I’m happy with my blog, kid books, and novels. I believe they will do someone some good. Let them know they’re not alone. That helped me when I finally figured out I was different than everyone else, and so were some of the people I confided in.

One reason I support the Arts in our community is if kids are exposed to the Arts, they have a much larger world to learn in. Art and Music, and Welding, and Acting, all merge together and present growth opportunities. Welding is not only used in art, but also car repair and building. The possibilities are endless! Kudos to teachers who recognize the possibilities that exist in our kids; and thanks to those teachers who help kids find their passions. That is what life is all about.

I’ve spent most of the day on the couch except for when I tried to take a nap. This RSV is nothing to fool with. Today, I was able to secure something for the terrible cough that goes with this. I found out it can be four weeks before we feel better. Gosh, in four weeks, the holidays will be over. Christmas won’t wait, so I need to at least get our tree up to enjoy. Hopefully, tomorrow or Sunday.

I hope you and yours are all well, and I hope it stays that way. Get your vaccinations, and wash your hands. It’s that time of year again. Take care of each other, and see you tomorrow.

Spring-y Saturday

Today is the first day of Spring. Ah, yes, I believe we will make it now. Grandson Gavin is attending his first outdoor baseball practice today. I hope and pray we are able to attend his games this year. COVID has taken a lot from us. But, grass is greening up, allergies beginning, we know it’s Spring in Nebraska. During those spring days we can experience lots of weather changes. You can go from 60 degrees and calm to a real snow-dumping blizzard in 24 hours. Some of the bigger ones happen in April, and even in May. It never lasts very long, though. You won’t hear me complain, though. It’ll pass.

Gavin and his Dad, TJ. Two of my favorite guys! Outdoor Baseball Practice Begins TODAY!

One thing I’ve learned in my years on the planet, is things will always get better; and things could always be worse. Is it a glass half empty philosophy? No, I prefer to think it’s realistic. Just as spring always follows winter in nature, in our human lives take us from bad situations, to healing, even to gaining precious insights of all we’ve endured. New life replaces death. Growth expands a life, a soul, a mind. Gratitude and Attitude are everything.

My header photo today is a quilt I made, and the beautiful flower statue was a gift from my kids, Frankie, Nick, and Becky. It was from the times they were all still at home, the boys were working after school, and they pooled their resources and bought a series of these sculptures for me. I will treasure them forever. They pointed out to me they had human fingerprints on the petals; the Italian artist who created these was very precise. He made molds to hold the porcelain, and they bear his fingerprints. What a neat thing!

The Carpodimonte method goes back to the 1700 in Naples, Italy. They’re beautiful. I smile when I think of those kids spending their hard-earned money on me like that. They bought them from QVC, and were so proud. Good Times!

Life has so many passages for us to navigate. We are not meant to stay in one spot. Early death happens when people are too afraid to embrace the next stage of life. You cannot remain rooted in your past, it’s not a place to remain living. Memories are great, but your spirit is a living organism, it introduces every new spring to your soul. Your soul is where you discover new things and grow! Choose Springtime. Choose Creativity. Choose Life!

I love reading to little kids. I get all into the character’s voices, and sometimes the Grandkid’s look at me while I do the voices. They love it! I do too! I dream of having a book launch and be able to read to children. I’ll have get some people with toddlers and little ones. It would be so fun for me! And for them! I am thinking of having a pen name for my Kid-Lit, “Grandma Kathy.” What do you all think? I can add a page to the website for her, and one for “Jewell Publishing LLC.” Comments, please!

Many thanks to my friend, Billy McGuigan, the King of “Stuff We’ve Never Done Before.” I’m going to build my brand(s) all on one website. Just because no one’s ever done it, doesn’t mean it won’t work! Right, Billy? Your encouragement and Kate Whitecotton’s is so encouraging. I appreciate it so much! Folks, don’t forget about Billy’s new solo album, “Together.” The stories are rich. They’re real. They’re about love, moving on, uniting as a family in tough times, and all the stuff dreams are made of. They’re about living in a pandemic. The creativity soars. It’s a cure for COVID blues. Also, check out McGuigan Arts Academy. There are opportunities galore for your kids during school breaks and vacations. All COVID-safe, Socially Distanced.

Thanks for reading today. Get outside. Get some fresh air. Get moving. Shake up your routine today. Do something new. Listen to some good music along the way. Call an old friend. Call an elder in your family. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. The world will smile back at you. See you tomorrow, my friends.

Wednesday ‘s Hot Stuff!

It’s a warm 9 degrees at the Home Office in Gretna, NE this morning. This is weather for comfort food, but it’s also time you can see live music tonight at the Ozone Lounge, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. My friend Jimmy Weber will perform, along with a list of friends set to join him for a tune or two. His new album, “Black and Blue Heart,” has been out for a couple weeks. I review it here, and I’ve listened to it a lot. Go for a night out. You’ll be glad you did. I hope we get there, depends on how soon the Babe finishes up at the VFW. Jimmy, hope to see you later! (It will be on Facebook Live, if you can’t make it).

And by the weekend, it’ll be even warmer. Check out Rave On Productions. They are presenting “Hedwick and the Angry Inch.” It is an underground rock musical – one of the most popular of all time. The music is something to hear the McGuigan clan deal with in their usual fine fashion. Can’t wait to go see it! The Waiting Room in Benson! We’re going Saturday night, when it’s supposed to be near 32 degrees! How’s that for a perfect night? Get your tickets for this ten performance offering. Check out all his other fun stuff, too; the McGuigan Arts Academy, music lessons, and all the happenings at Countryside Village.

Folks, you’ll feel better getting out and doing something normal for a change. Socially distanced is still required, with masks in Omaha. Small sacrifice for getting out after being snow/cold-bound. See you out at both events, I hope!

I need to get back to sorting the rest of our tax information. And set up the easier system for THIS year. I guess when filing stuff was my job; I kept up with it. I have the nasty habit of tossing everything into a computer paper box and sorting through it. I’m better than that. This is the year I do something about it. Promise to myself, and you are my witnesses!

Yesterday, I played hooky. I got a haircut. Then went to the Post. The progress on their remodeling project is awesome! The Babe is managing the project. He is such an excellent leader. Seriously, if you want anything done, Dan will do it, he’s the man. So proud of him. We had a fun day, really. Today, it’s back to reality.

What will help with the wintertime blues, the COVID blues, the frigid weather blues, and general cabin fever? Going to do something for enjoyment. I felt great going somewhere alone yesterday. Usually the Babe or Mom is along. I should do that more often. Here’s to hoping you have some alone time. I plan to hope you do, too. Thank you for reading and see you tomorrow!