Category Archives: Resources

How to avoid suicide this week (Repeat)

Sunday – The Christian day of worship, not a good choice for deserting this plane of existence. Since time immemorial many believe suicides are consigned to hell. The consensus on that is it is a place of infernal fire and cruel everlasting punishment. It is also purportedly populated by Satan, devils, demons and other vile characters. Should you need some help imagining what those tormentors are like, catch a few episodes of Supernatural and see the trouble they cause Sam and Dean. Maybe if you weigh it out, you will find you sooner not leave an unpleasant life only to go somewhere worse.

Monday – Always a fun day when all the crap you left in the hope of enjoying a good weekend announces itself by punching you in the face and crunching allover your toes. It may appear a prime day for an exit, but fortunately, or no, you are so busy trying to catch up, doing damage control, and attempting to get ahead, that there is no time to escape. After the struggle, kick back, laugh at the battle, take advantage of the peace, and let the day slip into history.

Tuesday – Not a standout day as the week goes, but it has a few highlights. It is when the packages you ordered before the weekend usually arrive, and the day new book releases hit the stores, so you probably ought to choose a different day. You would not want to miss that book that taught you how to do more than merely exist nor the newest, latest, greatest thing you wanted because it can change your whole world. So take your tome and gadget, find a place you can forget the rest, and lose yourself in possibilities.

Wednesday – You have reached midweek, hump day, the weekend is in sight. Why leave when you anticipate relaxation ahead? Did I hear you release a deep sighing, “yeah, right?” I know, but there are cultural myths we all have to buy to lubricate the machine of society, so just go with it. Order a pizza or grill a steak or if you are on subsistence, cook up a pot of Ramen. Have a drink, not saying it has to be alcoholic though you might gather it is implied. Stream a comedy, or play your favorite album or three, find a someone and consider something momentous together. Wednesday is not a good day to desert the followers who will forget you in a week. You have to be here to fuel the engine.

Thursday – Nothing outstanding usually happens on Thursday, (except Thanksgiving, and if you can dredge up some gratitude, it might help you find some sliver of meaning to get you through, but I would not bet on it if you are buried in the barrel of monkeys on your back). Why would you want such an ignominious death day, we all want to go out in blazing glory, uh, yeah, please do not burn the house down, fire hurts. Go for a drive, or a bike ride, or walk the dog, put the cat in a box, call someone who may be as lonely as you, well, maybe not, but try to cheer both of you up. Belay, this is not the day to die.

Friday – Congratulations, you have gained the eve of the weekend. Time to party! Take yourself out to a restaurant where the screeching is limited and let someone else prepare, serve, and clean up after your meal; after your appetite is appeased go somewhere and watch people. Observe that there are others who are making their way through life, facing some of the same obstacles as yours, and each one is still in the game. Go home and do something creative. Bring a vision of your own into the world by writing, with photos, doing art, singing, laying out your outfit for tomorrow, or anything that comes to mind to entertain you. While you are at it, you might even forget you wish to die, after all, it is a sad scene.

Saturday – Wow! Day seven, you have survived! Give yourself a gold star, okay, silver if you prefer. Forget about the bottle of pills you fantasize about, that cold metal loaded gun, quit gauging whether the extension cord will hold your weight long enough to strangle you, or if you can stand the pain of carving yourself up, and all the other myriad ways you have devised to rob posterity of your presence. It is Saturday! There are sports on television, I guess, I watch such little tv, that I am not positive, but I think so. Someone put up a new video on YouTube which is must see. There are articles everyone will discuss Monday, in the paper, or maybe nowadays you have to watch the news to get the scoop, take CNN or Fox, matters not to me; watch the latest movie at the box office. Lose yourself in media and let the notion of self-destruction fade out of your moments. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Postscript – I wrote this in my “dump notebook,” which is where I put things I never intend to use. I thought about how this might help someone or open someone’s perspective. I solicited opinions with a teaser posting on Facebook, and some few responded that I should post. There were no adverse reactions, so you found this here.

I struggle with suicide, daily. Most times I am safe, it is just a thought. Others, I plan. Talking to someone, even though they have no idea they are pushing the possibility away, often helps reframe the situation and leads to choosing life. Life is a treasure, if we end it prematurely by our hand, we have deserted all the possibilities we have to excel and succeed. We have lost confidence in ourselves, others, love, and we have laid aside our courage and chosen to quit. We are winners, every one of us is precious. We would not be alive without we have a purpose, and it is not to kill ourselves.

If you are struggling with suicidal ideation, talk to someone, let someone know, give yourself and the universe the gift of getting help, you are not hopeless, and you are not alone. People love you, even people you have no idea care. Do not leave a void on the planet because you went without reason. If you die, you will cause such a magnitude of suffering you cannot imagine. Your family, your friends, every person you know will feel guilt, sadness, grief because you are gone. They will be unable to forgive themselves for not knowing your pain, not stopping the ending of your life.

Please, I know it hurts, I see the futility, the profound hopelessness, and uselessness, all those negative feelings that can assail a heart that no longer knows a reason to go on. The truth is you belong; you are loved, you have so much to share with the world. You are needed here. You can survive. You may have to change; change can be useful. You fell many times before you walked and you could call that failure, but you got up and tried again. One day you took off walking, and you never looked back. There are future successes ahead of you. The truth is no day is a good day to die. Keep going, you can achieve greatness, and it is your responsibility to do all you can. You got this. Never Give Up.

Should you need to talk anonymously, call the hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Do what you must to make yourself safe and keep doing it until you are free.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Everything adds Creativity

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These things may date me, but I am not ashamed to have survived to the age of 54. There were times it was doubtful I would make it, and now there are days when the scythe comes very near.

Some early influences in my life were Crayola Crayons, the Sears Catalog, Instamatic Cameras, and writing by hand. You may wonder how these relate to creativity. I shall explain.

Becoming adept enough with my coloring and creative skills that I graduated to the 64 Box of Crayolas was a significant accomplishment. Money was tight, and the magic box was an expense my parents did not consider lightly. When I opened that box, it was as if the whole world opened up for me. I had names for colors beyond red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, black, and white. This has impacted my sense of color ever since. Of course, I am aware there are billions of colors and am blessed with the ability to see color beyond the normal range, but I still group them based on those 64 which I learned early, I think about age four or five. I classify all colors in families. This helps tremendously when I edit photographs, and on those rare occasions, I attempt to create art. My edgy sense of fashion color blending is often based on the crayon colors as well.

Liquid assets were scarce in my household growing up. At the time department store catalogs were sent out freely to those the stores hoped to beguile into purchasing their wares. My mother sometimes ordered my clothing from the Sears Catalog. Mom was never one who understood buying things in various places and putting them together as outfits. She would guide me through the catalog, and we would choose five to seven pieces grouped on a page which worked in a mix and match. I might, if the weather held for Dad to work, have two such ensembles per season along with a few jeans and shirts I picked independently. This enforced wardrobe gave me a background on combining separates. The crayons and catalogs gave me a basis by which to become adept at creating my own fashion statement. I rarely purchase all the pieces I use to create a look in one place. I pull things together according to my fickle mood. The lines, the color choices can be traced to childhood.

For those who are photographers, and are we not all these days, the art has changed dramatically since I began with a tiny Instamatic Film Camera. It almost seems I have been taking pictures forever, but I must have started around age five or six. The Polaroid with the sticky black and white film that you had to count exposure time, yeah, I remember that. Early on I learned to set and choose my shot with extreme care because the film was a luxury. Every picture had to count. I could not instantly see my capture. Getting the envelope back with the prints was always a highly anticipated occasion. It was fascinating because there might be fantastic shots or I might wish I had not wasted hard earned money on the photos. Even now, I typically take fewer pictures than most photographers with whom I am acquainted. I also rely on editing less than many. Somehow I am stuck in the mentality that it is essential to capture the photo the first time and best to do it nearly flawlessly. I fall short, but I try.

Writing by hand is something many of us are moving away from these days. I still enjoy putting pen to paper and doing my lines in near calligraphic cursive. I made my first books by hand, with writing and drawing of my own creation. Sadly these are lost. I have practiced writing obsessively almost all my life. I do not think I could long survive without getting my thoughts in a semi-permanent form. Ink on the page is a miraculous marvel to me. I collect pens, paper, notebooks, journals, was I not surrounded by these things I would fade into oblivion. I love technology. I have ridden its waves since 1991. However, something about print seems less ethereal and more concrete. I have tablets and e-readers, but books, they still hold my heart in a way a file cannot. I shall continue to write. Much of this and the previous entry were done in a cheap composition notebook with a rollerball pen. I call this particular book, my dump notebook. I am intimidated by my expensive journals, maybe one day I will be good enough to use them. Somehow, I doubt that occurrence.

Our lives, our roots, our experiences are a part of every creation we bring forth. Live your life thoroughly, so your creative repertoire continually evolves. As a prompt, take some time to examine early influences you are still using in your work and your life. These might be things, people, quotes, places, anything really. Honor these with a creative work.

Gratitude can lift the spirit on a cold Winter day. I am grateful that I spent this day mostly in joy. I do not invite the trouble of events of which I have no control into my life and am thankful for my peace and contentment. Try to find something for which you are grateful each day. It will help you deal with the disappointments which inevitably come.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. I hope something enlightened or entertained you while you were here. You may click the follow button, or come back soon.

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Be safe, be true, share whatever you can, and live life like it means the world because it does.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Creative campfire

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Often we creatives think we should work alone. We grew up learning about original thinkers who worked in relative isolation. There is another side to this story.

Scientists realized creativity developed before or with language when primitive humans began to gather in collectives that shared their experiences, often around a fire. This even started before learning how to start fires. These people would find naturally caused blazes, carry a spark, as in a burning branch, and create a fire to cook from, after learning cooked food was better by happening on animals which had been crisped. If you are interested in learning more about this, I recently read The Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson.

Also, after reading the biography, Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson, I gathered some other insights about creative genius. Leonardo often created work when in a studio setting with a variety of different artists. His notebooks appear to be individual works, but much of his painting was done in a group setting. Often, other artists worked on his pieces and on some he lay the framework for others to add color then occasionally added some of his own brushwork. The master left much of his work unfinished and never delivered some commissions.

Both these books are informative. Reading about the process of others is intriguing. Leonardo is one of the most celebrated and admired creatives of all time, and tracing creativity back to its beginnings is rewarding.

When hoping to take creative work to a higher level, critique groups, clubs, associations, workshops, and even online organizations can help a person improve. Sharing creations with a variety of people, if only an audience teaches how to gain interest in what is produced.

So find a place to create communally and share. It will improve creative skills immensely.

As a prompt, take a finished or current project, allow others to comment on it and see if it leads to ideas for improvement or further works.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Haphazard Creative. It is always my hope to inspire or encourage the creative journey. There is a follow button, or come back often. Be careful and remember smiles light lives.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

 

Lit Anew

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This day arose from
The dark negativity
Which tried to destroy
Whatever is left of me,
But I chose dawn’s rising light.

I stood up before,
I am standing once again;
I will not allow
Anything coming against
Me to break my heart’s resolve.

I come from a line
Of fighters and survivors,
We do not give up;
The naysayers may slow us
But like the rivers, we flow.

Anyone who loves,
Who wishes to rise higher,
May join the battle
To reclaim every day
From the forces of despair.

I will be a light,
If I only dimly shine
At least one may not
Stumble into the trouble
Loveless darkness often spreads.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

I never do well at challenges, but today starts the 2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, which happens to be the tenth one. You can find it at 2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge. I will see how I do, and you may join in.

Thank you so much for visiting Haphazard Creative. I hope you will either click the follow button or come again soon. Take care and be safe.

Grace be with you,
Jo Ann

The secret of sales

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The title may not sound like it involves creativity, but as I stated elsewhere, creativity is a part of all we do. Also, I am going to relate it to your creative products so please continue.

This is not from a book, though I read many books, this is out of my head and my experience, as is everything I post here.

If you have created something, you put your heart and soul into, make sure you value it. Look at it, touch it, get to know it, not just as the creator, but someone who appreciates it as something beautiful, something of worth. Fall in love with that thing, but not so much you cannot part with it if you are selling it.

Present it in the very best way possible, let your love for the object guide you, or if it is writing, do what you can to accent the text in ways that will make a person want it. With a textual description make it as inviting as if you were there talking to the buyer. If you are selling, your love and enthusiasm are what will invite someone to take it. They will want your experience, your feelings, your passion.

If you are selling person to person, it is also essential that you take time to make yourself most presentable, because as much as you are selling love for the object, you are making an impression as someone to score it from. The more they value you, the more they will be willing to pay.

Then there is the person to whom you are potentially selling, you must at that time make them the most important person in your world. You have to love them, not like romantically, just love that flows out positively.

If you are not personally involved with the object and the person it will come across that this is just another thing and they are just a stranger you have to talk to today.

I could go on with this, but this should prime your brain. Sales are not hard, you just have to involve your heart in the game.

For a prompt describe something you have created with enough love that someone would go out of their way to buy it from you.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit here. I certainly appreciate you reading. There is a follow button, or you may come back. Sorry, I have been a while getting up a post, sometimes life intervenes. Take care and be safe.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Creative block

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Creative block is sometimes experienced, and at these times, often hard to overcome. It can postpone productive work for long periods. There are ways to avoid it. These may not be clear in the midst of the experience, but perhaps some preparation will assist.

There are times when time is set aside for creation, and it gets postponed or interrupted by some of life’s happenings and emergencies. Other times procrastination sets in. These things arise inevitably. Such is the beginning of a habit that becomes ingrained. An hour is put off because of some urgent event, then a day, then a week, then months pass. This cycle must be stopped early. The voluntary action it begins with becomes a mental habit that is hard to defeat.

Whenever there is an urge to work creatively, it should be heeded as soon as is possible to arrange. If some time has passed and avoidance is an entrenched mental habit the only way to break out is to face the blank page, canvas, surface, media and stay with it until work begins. This takes patience and dedication because there will be resistance. The mind, the hands, the body will try to escape, the impulse to leave and do something other will be overwhelming, but to become a functioning creative again there must be a beginning, a will to bring something new into the world. At this point, the output may not be desirable, but with renewed practice, expertise will return.

It is the mind that creates the roadblocks after it is encouraged by poor time management and prioritization. Creative time must be guarded and planned just as appointments and events, though there should always be leeway for spontaneous creation. Sometimes it is a matter of not wanting to work because of discomfort with the product or simple resistance. When these problems present, getting busy despite the critical inner voice is necessary.

Block can be overcome, it can be disarmed and sent packing, but it takes an act of will and determination to go on without compromise. Nothing great is ever created without putting in the time with the tools. It is unavoidable.

Maybe this will help with the struggle. The monster is real, but it is usually of the creative’s making. What is in mind cannot be realized without hours of dedication to working.

As a prompt, look around the current environment and select an item, tell its story, either in truth or make up a tale. If an artist, tell the story in some medium.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. There is a follow button, or come back often. I know a bit about the beast under discussion. Should there be questions or thoughts, please leave a comment or fill out the contact form. Take care and be safe.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Poetic form – Acrostic

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Artwork created Friday, September 1, 2017

Most of us have done acrostic puzzles, but some may not realize it is also a poetic form. Often it is used to write about a person, event, or thing. The letters are written vertically down the page, each becoming the first letter of the respective line. Often the letters are capitalized at the beginning of each line. The lines are written out to create a poem.

The line: Do art now, will be the starter of this example.

Do Art Now!

Do you have any idea,
Original thought to lead you?

Are you stumbling in creative darkness?
Remember you have power in this place
That is unlimited by time or space.

Never underestimate your talents, gifts,
Over a lifetime you have employed them
With results, some might never imagine.

This could be continued, but an acrostic typically ends when one runs out of letters. Name acrostics are often done for special occasions, like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, promotions, and to celebrate relationships.

Give it a try. The form is actually rather simple to complete. The lines do not have to have enjambment, which is where one continues into the next, some might stand alone.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. There is a follow button which may be used to ensure posts are never missed, or there is the option of returning often. May inspiration and encouragement abound in all life’s moments. Stay safe and take care.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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