The Heart of Story


The heart of things is the story. How you tell it, the reason why. Often enough, it may be to give yourself an alibi. Because in the middle you lie, naked, unprotected, with only your story to save you from pain. You let the reader in, but you control the attention, just allowing what you will. You hide behind illusions, inside phrases, wrapping revelations in ribbons and bunting, so they never know you keep yourself outside, a stranger, though each reader befriends you with an open heart.

I was taught story was another word for lie. How apt that can be. I write only a few stories, though I could spin more. They come too close to my center, I can feel them suck the marrow from my bones, and I fear their ability to consume. I think that may be why the novel lies unfinished at Chapter 22. I am invested in it, but what happens if it sells, or if it refuses to find a home, or released, flops?

When we work creatively, we imbue every part, crossroads, and branch with ourselves. There is no work without the creativity we contain. We may try to leave ourselves out of a story, poem, novel, song, painting, drawing, sculpture, movie, photograph, but we are there. Many, if we gain a following, will recognize our work even without a visible designation. We are embodied in all we do.

As a prompt, I do not recommend you hide, but I would like to suggest that you step outside from yourself and create something without your fingerprints all over it, something your tears have not washed pure enough for consumption. This will not be easy because we are creators with deep blood ties to everything we make, but I hope you will try. You will learn something about the power within you and how dominant a force it is.

I mentioned in my last posting that I had been given a concept. When you see it, you may laugh, because I have about ten hours work in it, maybe more. My relationship with Art is complicated. There have been times when I worked often and became fluent, but I tend to let it go because of the time involved. My perfectionism gets wrapped up in every line, every stroke of shading, I work and overwork.

#1 2018-01-31 Via the Cross

Do you ever play, creatively? As I have mentioned, I just invent haiku to fill time. If you are not using this little form and you are a writer, I recommend you begin. I hear you, not a poet. You are not required to be. This is like scales for pianists. You warm up. The simple three line, 5-7-5 syllable pattern, will give you focus. You can do something random, or you can think of a situation your character is facing, or flaw you need to illustrate. Working in words one way; can lead to a breakthrough in other ways.

Rare thoughts in the mind
Of our great creator, God,
We are each precious.

The flames are licking
Destruction beckons, but no,
Our crossing is safe.

If love still exists,
Then why must many spend dark
Days; haunted, alone.

Do not pick that rose
It is not best meant that you
Capture that black heart.

What happens when we
Step away, join another
Game, all new to us?

When beset too much about with worldly distress, to do challenging work we must, unclog our minds. We must send things, that vampire-like, suck us dry of our good intentions and better motives, into the distance. It is hoped we can keep them out of our mental landscape forever, but that seldom happens. We may not belong to the world, but we live within its troposphere and so must make do with the winds of change we encounter.

We have all hoped at times to reignite our fire, passion, for creative endeavors from which we have grown to feel estranged. Things that no longer seem to promote joy within us. There exist ways to do this. One is to store the equipment, all the things involved with the art away for a set amount of time. I recommend no more than a week, two at the most. Then brainstorm some projects for your unveil day. This will give you something immediate to concentrate on when you take your equipment out. Another is to keep your supplies handy where you do work but go somewhere outside of your typical day’s round. If you can, visit a museum, garden, amusement park, downtown space, traverse country roads. Feed your imagination, fill yourself with sights and experiences that renew your love. Come back and illustrate the feelings you have purchased with your excursion, the emotions, then the things. Lastly, and you will in all likelihood balk, set aside three days to a week that you do not consume any television and instead read, listen to music, take walks, and pick up your tools and create without the distraction. If you can also give up social media the cleanse will be more complete.

I am grateful, today:

  1.   I will most likely be able to wash clothes, dishes, and myself after this evening.
  2.   God placed a great deal of creativity within me.
  3.    I took a short nap because I felt unwell, and got up feeling much better.
  4.    There are so many great books in the world.
  5.    I have this site.
  6.    Life though sometimes hard, is a glorious thing.
  7.    Though we may never meet, by words, we are connected.

I hope what I do here inspires or encourages you. Sometimes more than anything we need someone to tell us it is okay to be who we are. We do not have to melt ourselves into some mold. Yes, we creatives may be different. Our souls may be more tender, our hearts more easily broken, but that is okay. Creatives take the rough and tumble world and turn it into an environment where we can comfortably live. Some are architects, designers, transportation engineers, chefs, carpenters, clothiers, musicians, novelists, poets, prose writers, film-makers, actors, typesetters, editors, set builders, teachers, pastors, politicians, almost anyone. Creativity requires a willingness and commitment to the good of ourselves and others in the world. How one approaches each task, that openness to finding the solution that works with the least negative consequence, that is the essence of creative work. With creativity, we experience aspects of love that are deep-rooted, not so much in romance, but in the living, breathing, being of our lives. I hope you are experiencing the benefits of creativity, if not put that quality of yourself into action now.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative, I hope you will either come back or click the follow button, so you get updates when there are postings. Run well when you race, but remember some races involve diversions which are as important as the finish. I hope you will stay safe, healthy, prosperous, happy, and as much as is possible trouble free. Life is a gift, do not live like a mole, never seeing the world, blinded in the dark.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Pictures, Poems, Reasons


He is still out there
Looking, hoping, for someone,
Not noticing me,
Because I fade fragile frost
In hidden places unseen.



Did you ever think
The briars and brambles were made
To suit God’s purpose
That the rabbits, small mammals,
Would have places fit to hide
Them from cruel predators?
We, then, most precious, placed,
Protected, safely abide
In the shadow of the cross
Where Christ’s blood, a sacrifice,
Was shed to set us all free
From sin’s great iniquity.

Sunday, January 28, 2018


Wakening Song

Robed in glory,
Blazing like constant lightning,
The Savior descends,
Knees bow, tongues confess Him, Lord.

His neverending story
Grows bolder with each telling,
There is no other like Him,
He sovereign reigns, merciful,
Forever loving, grace is
In His strong arms, encircling
Protection from raging storms,
We flee peril, find safety,
In the presence of our Lord.

Robed in glory,
Blazing like constant lightning,
The Savior descends,
Knees bow, tongues confess Him, Lord.

Monday, January 29, 2018


I play with poetry. It is a native language, one I sometimes try to ignore, but for me, it is an impossibility. The poem comes as a visitor unannounced, who can and will break in and set up camp in my mind if I do not make welcome its intrusion.

Does your work ever take over, demand notice, become the only thought in your mind? What is that like? Are you glad, or do you slam the door, hoping to escape?

Sometimes those sudden pushy thoughts have unexpected gifts to give us. They bring with them paradigm shifts, breakthroughs, works of invention we did not see, had failed to acknowledge. This adds richness, insight, to our work that directly affects our audience because it arrives a base level, deep, and invades the far reaches of the mind, heart, soul, and spirit. They are unprepared, as were we.

Having some talent in art sometimes I want to create with pencil, pen, paint, but rarely will I. I am ashamed that the ability is not well-defined. Oh, once I was passably good, but practice is required, and I did not, preferring to write, where I am at home. Recently, I have a concept which is demanding execution. I am opposed to the work. It will never be as glorious as the description my mind has given me of what I am to do. So, I procrastinate, and I may push it away, it will cost me should I refuse.

Have you ever been called out of your comfort zone, to some sphere of creativity where you feel like an abandoned orphan left in the dark of night in a city where crime is rampant, and beasts roam the streets? This happens, and if you answer the adventure, sometimes surprise overwhelms you because out of nowhere you achieve greatness your awareness had not revealed you had in your possession.

Life, in truth, and creativity, in particular, is not set in stone. It is more like a clay vessel emerging from a block where the turning wheel and the artist’s hands make of it what is wanted. At any moment the form may be reset, destroyed, and the process began again. Out of a lump can come something transcendently beautiful or something purely utilitarian. The busied hands shape, but ultimately the mind in charge chooses what will be. Where our hearts are homed makes the difference in what will become.


Waiting here alone
In motion, emotion turns
Wherever it will,
Direction sudden arrives
Climate becomes a freedom
Unknown, unexplored, random,
Creativity explodes.


I am most grateful:

  1.    I was taught the value of language very young.
  2.    I have tools to explore my creative impulses.
  3.    The roast I cooked is quite delicious.
  4.    There is music.
  5.    I have some friends who are priceless.
  6.    There is a whole world out there to visit.
  7.    Things are.


As a prompt, if there is another aspect of creation intruding on your peace of mind, clamoring for your attention, heed the call and attempt to use the inspiration to broaden your repertoire of work. You might find there is something outside your field of expectation in which you are adept. Never fail to feed the fire that fuels you.

I have so much more today, there are things I have written recently that I would like to share, but I fear to inundate you with too much of my enthusiasm for my faith. Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative, I hope something here captured your attention and made you ponder. If you wish to, click the follow button, or come back at your leisure.

This world is borrowed, we must be aware and have a care, for some are unkind and unleash harm. May you create beauty and find prosperity in all your ways.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan


Be Awake


This morning with the quiet before the break of dawn, the day begins. We are wrapped in anticipation of what is and what will be. Jesus lingers at the threshold of every moment asking us to rise into love’s infinity. There is nothing able to stand obstinately against our pursuit of joy when we depend on the Lord to go before us.

We are each gifted with the unique ability to bring beauty, peace, and love into being through our creativity. We should put this faculty to work as often as is possible. Creation can be a form of active prayer and practice that lifts us, and those who interact with our works, into refreshing and comfortable spheres of reality filled with love and intriguing mystery that encourages us to become more alive.

Every moment gifts us with the choice of peace, positivity, kindness, understanding, generosity, gratitude, and love. If we are mired in profound negativity, a moment can change the mindset into one of rejoicing. We are able to choose the emotions we will express, the people we will be in the world, moment to moment.

Always endeavor to choose love and life will be yours more abundantly. Reach for the wonder. Notice the light reflecting off the waves, how it shimmers brighter than any gems craved by the hearts of humankind. Listen to the whisper of the trees as they pass their knowledge of earth’s years to the whirling wind. Watch the eyes of a crow sparkle as it finds a shiny bit of trash. Look at the people surrounding you, see the miraculous beauty of each and every one. Remember, these things did not just come into being, they were placed by the Creator to fulfill His purposes and add a pleasant touch to this particular day as you walk your way in the world.

For today, I am grateful:

  1.   I am not forgotten, some people care for me.
  2.   I am able to write and express my thoughts.
  3.   Good things happen when they are most needed.
  4.   I had pleasant dreams.
  5.   The dogs were groomed this week.
  6.   I am having a lot of fun taking pictures at church.
  7.   Even though the computer is acting crazy, I am able to use it.

As a prompt, create something that lifts your spirits and will in all probability help someone else. You can be a positive influence if you so desire.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. I hope you found something worth your while here and that you will press the follow button or come back soon. Remember, you are precious, and much loved. Be aware, careful, and safe out there.

Jo Ann

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Creative Restart



I had turned the computer off an hour ago. I try to break my big screen time off early because I tend to be very obsessed with computers. They are my favorite creative tool. There was a time I begged for a machine when they first began to be prevalent. I was told I was too stupid to have a computer. So, in 1991, I bought my own. My creative life, as I expected, has never been the same.

I had always made books, now I could typeset a magazine, which I did. I blogged from very early in the craze. I max machines out with my demands. I am trying to ease my use.

Today, I have written a few things. Facebook has ignored them. I find social media can be the enemy of creativity. When there are no reactions, often I feel my work cheapened.


Hole in Reality’s Pocket

You did not ask me
To be your forever, nor
Did I urge you to
Be my yesterday, sometimes
Things fall to pieces while we
Try to hold the whole world in
The tattered ruins of pockets
Made fragile by grubby hands.
Days run away, and we let
Them go, never noticing
We lose a little romance
With every passing minute.
Then one day we wake up
To find our bed empty of
One who set our heart afire
And we pray God brings our joy
Back to us, knowing it is gone
Like a choice meal once enjoyed
But never savored again.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Saturday, January 20, 2018


There are holes, a sieve,
Where everything washes out,
I am left, empty.


When life is too hard
Take paper, a pen, write it
Back to rights again.


You know you are procrastinating when you are trancing from thing to thing without satisfaction and the nudge keeps biting you.


The last is my novel. I need to finish it. I find other things to occupy me. The book is emotionally taxing because it deals with things that are hard to verbalize. I avoid it, but I cannot ignore it. It nudges me, takes up mental space like nothing else. I will read to fill the void, but it still screams that I am ignoring what is important.

As a prompt, think of something creative you are avoiding by filling your time with other things which are not as valuable or precious. Write about the creation, then write about ways you can steer yourself to this important project. You may have to give up something less, but if you do not, you will never accomplish your more. I know it is hard, the novel started in November 2013 during NaNoWriMo. I failed at that. I wrote a few pages in 2017, after finding my way around my lost spot. I know what is next, I just hate to sit long enough to capture the words.

I am grateful:

  1.   I now know what is wrong with the outflow of water in the house.
  2.   My copyediting went well and paid a little.
  3.   I have some magnificent tech.
  4.   The power did not go out due to the ice.
  5.   I still enjoy writing with fine pens.
  6.   Hope is still here, the dogs get groomed Monday.
  7.   My contacts are working reasonably well.


It is funny, I feel as if I could write forever tonight, but I need to get to bed if I am to go to church in the morning, which I would like to do.

I want to remind you that you are an extraordinary creative entity. You have the power to move the world and foster change that will reverberate throughout the ages. Trust in your creativity, use your talents, gifts, and abilities, be an inspiration. Life is sometimes hard and what you create could give someone hope to stay the course when they are near abandoning something that could edify humankind.

I appreciate your visit to Haphazard Creative. I hope I have not run anyone away with my faith posts. Faith and creativity go together for me. I see what we create as an outpouring of spirit. If you would like to follow, please click the button, if not, please come back often.

You are dear to me, and I hope you remain in safety and prosperity at all times.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

We live in interesting times

#1 2018-01-14 Ava Baptism Cropped

My times are in your hands. – Psalm 31:15

We live in difficult times. All around us the world seems to have gone insane. This is the time for us, as the people of God, to step out of our complacency and the shadows concealing our faith. We must let the light of Jesus Christ shine through us. We are challenged by our Lord to speak and work against injustice and hate. Our mission is to reach out bringing change, not with anger and strife, but with generosity, consideration, kindness, meekness, and agape love.

Ours is not to fight and cause a scene, ours is to bring stability and peace to situations and moments where our actions and words must be Christlike to be effective.

We are ambassadors of Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit to bring renewal to a lost and dying world through the Gospel’s revelation of the Lord. We are to be the living Gospel through words and deeds that cause the lost to turn from error and find the love of God. To foster a resurrection of the people who are in need, we must be wise through the study of the Word and attune our hearts to tenderness and love with the help of the Father. This is a time in which we can make an impact through Christ’s love.

Monday, January 15, 2018


Prayer of Acknowledgement

Dear Lord, remind us
Even in our trials, troubles,
We live in a dream,
Compared to others whose loss
We can scarcely comprehend;
A child taken too early,
A home completely destroyed,
An accident with high cost,
Let our hearts fill with such love
That we find strength to comfort
A world in need of Your touch
Let us be Your hands to soothe
And give us Your words of life
That all may know You, Jesus.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Clinging to The ONE

Sometimes, and then again,
There is Jesus. He is
My HOPE when all is working 
Against me. When my despair
Is deep, He is my LIGHT.
When I am bright atomic anger,
He is there, a refreshing STREAM.
Jesus is the MUSIC leading
My heart to sing new songs.
When I am rejected, resented,
Shunned, He is my dearest FRIEND.
When the world falls apart
Jesus is the FORCE holding
My life, body, soul, spirit, together.
There is no other who can bring
COMFORT when I am at wit’s end.
Almighty God, He anoints me.
Though I am shattered,
I will praise Him still.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


I hope your week has gone well. I encourage you to nurture your creativity and use it to share love with a world so badly in need of encouragement, assistance, understanding, and belief. You are a channel of goodness flowing into needy places if you so choose, and you should make that choice because love is what we are all here to share. The interesting in our times should not consist of the difficulties, crimes, anger, abuse, torment, instead, the love, discoveries, creations, remedies, constructions, technologies, and benefits of such a prosperous age should be the interest.

The creativity that each person possesses should be put to use in improving life for themselves and all others. This gift of God can be harnessed for positive change. No matter your medium, cooking, knitting, beading, music, photography, lettering, art, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, memoir, prose, clothing design, home decorating, jewelry making, oh, man, this could go all night, you are responsible for using your gifts, talents, and abilities for humanity’s good. Be about it, I say.

I am grateful:

  1.   Every day is not as awful as this one was.
  2.   I have food, clothes, shoes, books, dogs, computers, and I know how to use them.
  3.   Possibilities are plentiful.
  4.   I have a few people who will talk me down when I am ready to break.
  5.   I love my new church.
  6.   I was given the opportunity to take photos at church Sunday.
  7.   I still have my dog, Hope.


Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. There is a follow button if you wish to use it, if not come back soon. I hope your week lightens your heart and nourishes your creative mind. Please be careful out there. The world can be treacherous.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan