Category Archives: Resources

The Question IS The Answer

Asking

We each have secrets, stories we rarely share. Those things can prompt us to tears, or elicit smiles, upon a sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch. Some we hide because the pain is more than we can deal with comfortably, or because the pleasure is too precious to allow others.

These experiences, the answers to the questions why we are ourselves, are rich fodder for creativity. Sometimes we bury things under thick blankets of forgetfulness in our minds. If we dare to exhume the flesh and bones entombed, sometimes stories, paintings, essays, memoirs, tragedies, comedies, romantic novels can result. What are our secrets, but mysteries and thrillers that deserve a telling?

Did we act out once too often and alienate our best friend? Did we move to a new town, and never get over the home we left behind? Did we think about dying, or try our hand at suicide? Did we fall in love and learn our darling was not the person we adored? Did we want to travel, only to be stuck in our morning commute? Did the job we thought would solve all our problems become a nightmare with no escape? Did someone leave us desolate and alone? What about the dream that was better than we imagined? Who was that person we glimpsed, then met years later and became lovers? How is it we all have cell phones and are always connected, but we have lost touch with ourselves?

That was just brainstorming. What if? Why? When? How? Who? What? Where? Those are simple, but questions are best friends with creativity. Watch a toddler who is trying to understand the world. Questions are continuously on his or her tongue. Parents often wish they could shut down the constant curiosity, but we need to find it in our creative lives. We need to discover engrossing questions and create whatever may be our answer.

The question is the seed, germ, reason for bringing imagination to life. Maybe we are at work, and we wonder why things are always done a certain way, a change, a solution, could positively impact, maybe revolutionize our company. The most significant way to innovate, build resolutions, is the use of creativity after examining problems through extraordinary questions.

As a prompt: Take one of the mentioned questions or create your own and give life to your answer in whatever media you wish.

Thank you for sharing your day here on Haphazard Creative. I hope you will either click the button to follow the site or come here again soon. If you have comments or criticism, feel free to share in the comment section. As always, keep creating, and make your day the best you can. God Bless You!

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Making Time to Free Imagination

Creativity Thrives

Our lives are so busy, and we invite our cell phones, computers, tablets, Kindles, AIs and other technological wonders to notify and alert us of everything happening whether essential or just noise. We hardly leave our screens. It is a bit disconcerting to go to a restaurant where people are dining together and see them rather than engaged in conversation, sitting across from one another busily tapping on their cell phones.

We need to distance ourselves from devices for some bit of time each day. I am not anti-technology. I have ridden the wave as an early adopter since 1991. However, there is a need for us to have time to think and imagine with clarity. Everyone is creative, but not everyone allows time to find the expression of their creativity.

An excellent way to engage in some noggin time is to take walks. This is not about walking from the desk to the water fountain or break room, or the bathroom. Leisurely walks outdoors or even indoors without the interruption of devices give the brain space to make novel connections.

Some of our great creatives, the Transcendentalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, walked to generate ideas. Henry became a surveyor to support himself and continuously observed the natural world around him. He was not as successful in his writing and lecturing, as was Emerson, while alive, but he is now considered one of the linchpins of the Transcendental movement. Henry often wrote about what he had seen during the day on his walks far afield of his home. He also sketched. If you have not read Emerson and Thoreau, they are highly recommended.

We may think we have no time to break out and away from tech, but the rewards are great. We can explore plot lines, observe the symmetries of nature and turn them into works of art, we can generate ideas for essays, anything creative can be born in times when we give our brains free rein to create imaginative ideas.

If we have children, we can take them along. Let them run ahead or fall behind safely and carry on their delight with its giggles and exclamations. Then gather them close and walk together playing a game of silence, maybe see how long they can maintain quiet. Spending time like this with kids inoculates them with a love of movement and freedom that will fare them well later in life.

Time is something the creative person needs to set aside for thought. Maybe writing it into a schedule or on an electronic calendar will give a proper reminder. This is time to fill the well so when one tries to bring up a bucketful of ideas the supply has not dwindled to nothing.

As a prompt: Take some time to walk or to sit and imagine without the constant distraction of technology. This enables visits to universes of creativity that cannot be reached in the busyness of every day.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I hope they encourage or inspire you. Please, click the follow button, or come again as you can. Your comments and criticisms are always welcome. God bless and keep you always. May you find all you need to create the worlds and life you wish.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

A note of explanation: The ideas, writings, and photos found here are my creations. I do not use photo stock. My interests and views are wide-ranging, but I communicate as myself.

 

An Old Favorite – Updated

When I was a kid, before microwaves, in a household that pinched pennies until Mr. Lincoln wished he had never entered my mother’s clutches, the above was a regular item on the limited menu.

Fast forward to this future, and you have me, who despises cooking and turning on an oven in scorching temperatures.

I have adapted the dish to something microwave friendly. The ingredients are:

Place a number consistent with your appetite on a microwave-safe plate. If desired you may make slits across the weiners to keep them from bulging in the heat.

Add:

You may use any brands you like, these are those I had on hand. Distribute ketchup over weiners in the desired amount and thickness.

Lastly, add:

I am a cheese fiend, and this is my favorite binge. Place cheese slices over wieners and bed of ketchup.

Place plate with preparations in the microwave, heat for a minute twenty seconds, or until you decide the meal is done.

Serve with your choice of chips (if you like) and beverage.

I do not usually share cooking ideas, so if you like this, drop me a line.

Have a blessed day and stay safe.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Changes Spark Creation

Design Your Space

I wanted to make a standing desk because I rarely sit down, that is how I lost sixty pounds, but that is another tale. I thought about putting cement blocks under the legs of the table I was using, but I thought that would look terribly unappealing. Though I have few visitors, my sense of style would have been insulted.

There were plastic file holders and other assorted important junk on this bar-like extension of counter space, I moved all of it. I cleaned the surfaces and moved the technological equipment and various desk accouterments here. There are spotlights just over this space, and the area is much brighter than where I had worked on the table.

My willingness to explore creative endeavors has increased dramatically. I have programs of which I never took advantage nor learned to use correctly; now I have begun expanding my repertoire and horizons.

I encourage you to optimize your workspace. Proper lighting is essential, it will lift your spirits and make your work much more comfortable. I did not spend anything to make the changes which I made. I merely expended some cognitive resources and some time. You can do likewise.

We often think our creativity is unaffected by outside influences, but the evidence shows that the environment can positively increase productivity.

I hope you will consider this advice, as always, take what you can use and discard the rest.

Your visits to my website are genuinely appreciated. If you have thoughts to share, please leave a comment. May all you do be blessed and may you ever be safe.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Are you brave?

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It takes courage to create, to engage the creative genius. One must overcome the demons of perfectionism, procrastination, and often, years of obscurity. The critics, the naysayers, the haters, they arrive in time to dampen desire.

Every work of towering imagination is a culmination of years of toil. Even when one appears to be living out an ordinary existence, work is being done to create a masterpiece. It may seem sudden, but success is not a momentary accomplishment. A lifetime of choices, effort, mistakes, and failures comes together in a triumph that may outlive its maker.

Are you brave?

Do you have what it takes to get up when the silence is deafening and try again? Can you make the sketch, layer the oils, when your heart is broken? Will you write when all the world has failed to appreciate your words? Can you pull the camera out of the bag and take the shot when all you have are neglected prints? Can you put new ingredients together once more after so often getting an unpalatable taste? Will you sing your song when you are afraid no one will applaud? Could you play your instrument when every other time you missed a crucial note?

Will you keep trying when your hope has fled, and you feel you are failing all alone?

You must! You must have the hope, will, desire, courage to keep making an effort when the effort is all you have; when defeat is sour on your tongue, and the fading light is dying. Only then, only when you have seen the death of all you believe you might do and you keep creating, just when you defeat the rejection, conquer the fear, and do it because you must, because creating is your life, only then will it happen. You will know yourself tenacious enough to capture the prize and build your dream.

Believe, love, be a blessing in the world because this broken world needs the blessing! Celebrate your gifts, your talents, your abilities, and accomplishments, even if you must celebrate alone. You are a magnificent human being capable of greatness. Should you be ignored, do not worry, your time will come. The creativity that resides within you will find a way of expression in the world that gives you meaning and aids others in their journeys.

Never, don’t you ever, give up!

© Jo Ann Joyce Anita Jordan

My Diamond Idea

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Most natural diamonds are formed at high temperature and pressure at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers (87 to 118 mi) in the Earth’s mantle. Carbon-containing minerals provide the carbon source, and the growth occurs over periods from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years (25% to 75% of the age of the Earth). – Definition collected from Wikipedia by Google Search.

So, basically, it takes impossibility and forever to make a diamond. We, humans, are the same, we are products of deep time, and intricate chemical and genetic process. None of us can be recognized to reach perfection. Of course, my definition of human genesis includes God, and the fulfillment of Jesus Christ, but there is a purpose in my approaching this post in this way.

I am going to delve a bit into my personal situation here, but there is some reason for that, as well. The ideas I present have long taken up a portion of my mental real estate. Over the years an outline has formed in my mind, but I was obliged to care for my Mom, who suffered Parkinson’s Disease, dementia, and a host of other illnesses for twenty years. Now the inkling there may finally be an opportunity haunts me.

There is a mental health crisis in our nation and substantially throughout the world. I am one of the ill, with a severe case of Schizo-Affective Disorder. As often happens among those of us with mental conditions, I recently confronted my care team with discontinuing medication, I was told in no uncertain terms, “You cannot function without your medication.” Not the answer I ardently desired, but the expected one. I have lived this disease since 1981, and I tend to think I may have been a part of it even earlier. I want a miracle, it is very highly unlikely that will occur.

In treatment, on medication, I am incredibly functional. The complex idea that presents is: What if I were, with the aid of professionals, able to help others become more stable and find purpose? Some of the skills I use can be taught. I have systems and arrangements that allow me to do things as needed. These are not anything healthcare practitioners taught me.

I have learned over time to remain occupied, busying my mind always. Some of my pastimes entail minimal investment in materials. Stress, depression, paranoia, delusions, all fade when the brain is kept busy. Reading, journaling, creative writing, poetry, and art can so involve the imagination that it leaves off some of its self-destructive and harmful patterns. These are forms of self-therapy that may be taught and can help stabilize a personality. The thing I can offer is an inroad to these methods from the perspective of one encompassed by the active disease. When you live with it, you approach problems differently than one who merely learned about the conditions.

There are underserved populations for whom an open clinic could assist. Diagnosis, treatment, medications, instructions, and coping skills wrapped in creativity could be of life-changing help. Alas, I have no funds to attempt this, but I am convinced there is work to be done with which I could be of assistance, though I have no degree. I would also be pleased to have a viable income stream again.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

No rejects here

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I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:14

We may not be what others call beautiful or handsome. We may not have an immense intellect or shining talent. We may not excel in physical endeavors. Yet, each of us is a miracle created intentionally and given purpose by God. He knows us by name and treasures us as most beloved children.

There is meaning to each of our lives because even our flaws were fashioned by the Lord. Some of those teach us strength, and some educate others in tenderness.

Whoever we become, it is because God endowed us with the creative resources, gifts, talents, abilities, and ambition to reach a measure of success. We are not randomly placed on Earth. The Good Shepard leads us, guiding us from places of shadow into spaces filled with light.

When we feel we have lost our way or the world has turned coldly against us, we must call to mind the facts that we are cherished and loved by Him to whom all things belong. He set life in motion, how much more will He protect us from destruction and dissipation.

We strive for the best because the Best made us. Jesus enables us to be more than we imagine and fills us with dreams that convey us to heights of greatness, which without Him we would never achieve.

 

Sit down here near me
The table we will fill with
Creative delights
Then we will see this world more
Clearly, imagining joy
Divinely given without
Applying any restraints.

Sometimes, I am disappointed with myself when I craft something I believe to be essential and no one attributes any worth to it, like the entry I posted yesterday. However, it is not mine to decide what someone else enjoys or finds edifying. I must only do the work. I am given what I am, and that is enough because I am not junk. I am a person of meaning, not of myself, but because God says so.

I am grateful:

  1.   God created me in His image, breathing life and creativity into me, such that I may please Him.
  2.   I am going to get my replacement contact today.
  3.   I am up early.
  4.   Continual reading educates me.
  5.   I have resources for becoming a better writer with processes that improve my ability to convey meaning.
  6.   No matter what my status in the world, God loves me.
  7.   There is nowhere I can go, nothing I can do, which will separate me from the Lord.

As a prompt, create something that gives insight into your view of your meaning.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. I hope you will follow or find your way back. God Bless and Keep You!

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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