Reading List

Wild Lands (Book 2 of Savage Lands) by Stacey Marie Brown, 297 pages, Five Stars.

The Art of Prompt by Camerson Monhagan, uncertain page count, 2500 prompts, Five Stars.

The above are my final reads in March.

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April 2021 – 12 Books

Shaman by Kim Stanley Robinson, 460 pages, Five Stars; I have read several books by this author, and all are wonderful.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins, 390 pages, Five Stars; I like stories about books, libraries, and strange things.

Darke by Rick Gekoski, 321 pages, Four Stars, deals with grief and isolation and is well done, a bit dark and depressing.

Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore, 376 pages, Five Stars, you should read this; it is a romp.

A Witch In Time by Constance Sayers, 449 pages, Five Stars, is a story that invites deep thought.

The Secret Life of Books by Tom Mole, 239 pages, Five Stars, explores how books mean more than just what they say.

Tears of Amber by Sofia Segovia, Kindle First Read, 487 pages, Five Stars; is a story of how a family survives a war.

D (A Tale of Two Worlds) by Michel Faber, 304 pages, Five Stars, a story of what might happen if someone made a letter of the alphabet disappear.

Unexpected by Jozua van Otterloo, 100 pages, Four Stars, an inspirational book, I would give Three Stars because it has many errors and I copy edit. However, the stories and references are very appropriate.

The Abundance by Annie Dillard, 288 pages, Five Stars, everything I have read by her is grand.

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, 298 pages, Five Stars, is another story about grief, how we blame ourselves and involve others in attempted resolution. Booker Prize Winner

Ilium by Dan Simmons, 752 pages, Ten Stars, I mean, Five Stars, I love this author. I read Drood, Flashback, Black Hills, and I will read others. I think he is not as well recognized as he should be. His Horror is bone-chilling, his Syfy is riveting, his writing is literary and superb.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

It Is Better…

I will put a little different spin on this, but the quote is: “It is better to burn out than to fade away.”

My thoughts run like this, if we belong to Jesus, we are candles burning that point toward the Savior. Often we suffer depression, grief, mental anguish, physical pain, existential loss, all the things that occur when living in the world.

Even though we are God’s children, we live here like everyone. Christ in His wisdom put us here to exemplify the depths of His love. He has not abandoned us. Within us burns God’s love; the Holy Spirit lives in us.

We may come to places too terrible to bear, pain that overwhelms us, desertion by those we love. Even so, we can abide in the hope given in Christ Jesus that we have an eternity that will outshine any difficult circumstance we encounter here. Life on Earth is only a beginning, and the promise of Heaven will exceed all our hopes and dreams.

Those who do not have the hope of eternity with Jesus will fade away. As with all that death touches, these will turn to dust.

But, the living, hope, there is an opportunity to assure eternal destinations. It is not God’s desire that any should perish. Jesus came that all might have life and it more abundantly. He took our sins to the cross and died in our stead. Jesus arose in victory. If we believe in Christ and ask Him to take charge of us, He will, and we will not see the second death but will spend forever with the Lord and His saints.

It is only a small thing that we endure, for we often receive miracles. Oh, what wonder to know Jesus. Burn bright, be a light.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Making It Happen

When writing or art comes straight through the Muse (Creativity), it is easy to create, but it becomes a more complicated process when the inspiration dries up. One has to reach deeper, think harder, be more persistent, and attempt coaxing imagination out to play.

This state is not ideal. There is not a full-blown block, but work becomes a challenge.

Writers may find helpful short forms like haiku or tanka. Different locations may inspire many. Meeting and socializing with a variety of people can inspire unique perspectives. All creatives could benefit from novel experiences that inform creation. Craft books are often useful. Reading, video, and music can enchant and educate us, bringing fresh material to mind.

For those who engage in daily practice, continuing is essential. As in all things, one’s mastery benefits from not giving up.

Habits of calm and quiet can also induce states conducive to the breaking of creativity into consciousness. To slow down, invoke peace, still the racing of body and mind facilitates copious production.

Taking leave from the busyness of screens makes room for thoughts unbiased by advertisement, frantic activity, and media to surface. Constant immersion in the digital world can sometimes drain away originality.

Conversation with family, friends, and others may also add filler to the well. Long walks with rapt attention to surroundings can awaken capacities often drown in routine.

Always remember, love and creativity, though perhaps muted, are present. Do not quit. Capture hope, ideas, joy, for those are available and plentiful when actively pursued.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Prompt: Pick something from the article above and immediately add it to your practice.

Salad by Richard – © Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Gratitude:
Visiting Richard, conversation, food, moments.
Coming home allows less tension and stressful feelings.
Not physically disciplining the Wookie for destroying my cushion.
My command center.
Talking to Alex and Reba.

I appreciate your spending time here at Haphazard Creative. I hope you found things enjoyable and informative. Your comments, likes, shares, and suggestions are of immense help with this year-long endeavor. If you wish, you will find three methods in the sidebar to choose from for following the site. Alternatively, you may come back at your leisure.

All materials are © Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Crafting Yourself

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

When I worked in sales, the expression “Fake It Until You Make It” became popular in our meetings. It was not meant to be dishonest or ingenuine but encouraged believing yourself capable and successful, even before you reached your goals.

Laying aside doubt and fear to be your better self is a worthy preoccupation. Confidence predicates the success a person can achieve. No one but you knows you are falling apart if you portray yourself as being capable and engaged.

The more practiced an attitude, the faster it becomes a characteristic of personality. Such integration is an excellent tool for mending what ails the self.

Creatives often have issues with assertiveness and self-esteem. At times deep depression dogs many who endeavor in the arts and literature. Stepping into a purposefully created articulate and grounded persona may help usher one into a zone where assurance and competence are more effortless in interactions.

Success and living comfortably are within everyone’s providence. Assuming and projecting a balanced, friendly, knowledgeable self is vital. It is a lifelong challenge to be your own cheerleader. You have nothing but negativity and failure to lose and a rewarding life to gain. We create consistently, and we owe ourselves the effort to make who we are a masterpiece.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Prompt: Is there something you would like to do better or change about yourself? Consider how you might do this and create a plan with guidance from your imagination.

Thankfulness:
I can get a handle on my upset when I am alone.
Patterns are fun.
Love is available.
Hurt does not last forever.
Creation is a portion of life.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. The work here is © Jo Ann J. A. Jordan. Please do not use it without permission. If you would like to follow the site, three methods are available in the sidebar. Likes, shares, comments, and suggestions are always welcome.

May you find your happy place within the space you occupy and who you are.

Hey, Hey, GoodBye – Welcome Hello

2020 is almost over. It is a year most of us are glad to transition from into a new year. Many of us have suffered extreme losses. The coronavirus put a pall over much of our normality. Death and loss have become daily companions.

There are reasons to hope that 2021 will bring more healthful and prosperous times. There are vaccines for the virus which will become available for many in the coming months. As there are more travel and commerce, the economy should recover.

As we advance, new and better habits will improve lives. Writing every day gives an outlet for dreams, goals, and practices. Journaling develops voice and facility with language. Creation in the visual arts can teach patience and process.

Calm and quiet help deal with chaos and discomfort. Reading is an excellent learning tool and enjoyable entertainment. Seeing characters deal with adversity can facilitate hope.

On a personal note: I am beginning a new journal and closing the book on 2020. There have been bad and good, but I am spending this evening with Richard, who is very dear. We became close during this year of extremes.

I hope all of you celebrate this thing called life because it, today, are what is given to us. Find someone or something you love and give yourself to it. Being happy is a right, and love is a reason.

Ring out 2020, bring on 2021. May the coming days be a blessing for all of us.

I think I will be carrying on my Creativity Project for another year. Do you have a 365?

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. I hope you will follow or return. If you have comments, encouragement, or inspiration to share, all are welcome.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan