Now and Then

When looking over your year, be sure to give yourself credit for any accomplishment. 2021 may have been much more fraught with difficulty than the average year.

Going into 2022, if you set goals, be gentle with yourself. Have a baseline with a fallback plan. You may want to set ambitious goals, but only with alternates.

If your schedule increases with less free time, do not overfill your leisure with personal projects. Rest and recreation are crucial to well-being.

Do you have research to do? Try to include this requirement within your reading goal. Take notes to leverage in creative work. Wherever you are, take pictures that may lead to innovative developments. Try to make your life a multi-use platform.

Find ways to share your endeavors with a broader audience. The world is a smaller place than in the past, but sometimes there seems to be distance between us. Any way you can find for real-world personal exchange, do it. We still need face-to-face contact. Of course, take necessary health precautions, and if video conferencing seems better, you call the shots.

Be open to new things and new methods and tools to do familiar tasks. There are so many ways to bridge the problem gaps. If need be, ask others online how they solved a similar conundrum.

Share your expertise when you can. Learning from one another is still an excellent way to overcome the fear of failure and unwillingness to jump into taxing possibilities.

If it appeals to you, keep a gratitude journal. This tends to make you more aware of your blessings. You may especially find it suitable to trace the hopes and dreams coming true for you.

Ah, I hope your new year brings you closer to your cherished position, currently only a dream.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I have not fully decided, but a new Creativity Project seems to appeal to me. Stay informed, check back for updates and planned details.

Ready, Go Create

Sometimes creating is hard. Life intervenes, or feelings get in the way. When you find yourself unable to practice your art, here is some encouragement:

  1. Pick up a book, turn to a random page, read the first entire paragraph, create a work inspired by the whole, or just a word. You do not have to relate your creation to the meaning of the paragraph at all.
  2. Think of a place you would like to go, Google it or use Wikipedia. Do some searching; when you find something that intrigues you, create whatever you are inspired to do.
  3. Go somewhere nearby and see it with new eyes, like a stranger. Take your impressions and create from that starter.
  4. Create an ad for an item, band, show, or movie you love. Probably change the names involved.
  5. Give your pet, or one you had, an adventure backstory. If you are a visual artist, create from there.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I hope those give you some ideas. All the best to you always.

Indirection

©Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

He drew me, a bug,
Thinking myself to squash, hush,
He discovered me
Not as he believed, understood,
Full of energy and love.

*********************************

Scared to be
In proximity
Because we
Once meant
Each to the other
Meaningful worlds
Beyond reality.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Prompt

What signifies relationship and forgiveness to you? Create writing or art to portray your view.

Out of the Way

Nothing assures the imagination will show itself, but we are all creative and can manufacture situations to bring dreams to life.

One way is to face the page in actuality or on-screen and stay with it until words or art come. Another is to dive in; create as one goes, letting go of the obligation to be great in the roughness of the draft. One can clean up the mistakes and omissions later.

No one, nothing, is perfect this side of heaven. There are flaws in people and things – inanimate and living. Everyone has to deal with who they are, but change is doable. Work is not permanent, everything has a season. Sometimes the appropriate season fails to come, but this is no reason to give up.

If one only creates for the temporary pleasure of applause, little is apt to be accomplished. Seeing each moment as practice one moves close to concrete meaning. The creative act is where one experiments attempting to beget work that measures up to the triumphs of the past. Best practice is to keep the self as the competition rather than others.

If work is not displayed for public digestion it can marinate in the recesses of imagination being allowed to be edited in time for consumption by others. One must continue the work only an individual may do. Each person’s vision is important as an antidote to the fracturing of the world. Production is a valid truth, creation has meaning, dreams must be nourished. Life requires each perception of what is and is not precious. Keep going, never give up.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Simple Reviews – Books

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – by Claire North, has 417 pages. Harry keeps living and dying, and the end of the world is coming sooner. Finding the problem becomes a needful thing. Five Stars.

The Miniaturist – by Jessie Burton, is 419 pages. I initially checked this book out from the library when it was new. I finally got around to reading it on Kindle. The story follows a household headed by a shipping magnate. Many strange and interesting incidences occur. Five Stars.

Heaven and Hell – by Bart D. Ehrman, has 346 pages. Not what I was looking for, but the research is relatively solid. The statements at the end of the book tainted the thing for me. Still, it is well-written and information-packed, so I give it Five Stars.

The Witching Hour – by Anne Rice is a hefty tome at 1043 pages. I am a big fan of Vampire Chronicles, but I have avoided the Mayfair Witches for years. I finally read them. Anne’s style with detail and character development is top tier, and the story is enthralling. Five Stars, but yeah, it should have more.

Piranesi – by Susanna Clarke, is 243 pages. This book I read in June, and recently it has won significant accolades. I read this author years ago, and she always delights. The story is between magical realism and puzzling horror. Five stars or you could give it all the gold ones in the package.

Reviews are strictly my opinion. Your experience may vary. Reading is an art, like writing, that illuminates the soul—approach books with care. What is within can be like a tsunami to your notions and your life.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan