Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links May 15

Dancing the Dance – in Life and in Writing

New leaves. Blue skies. A moment of springtime hope renewed.

New leaves. Blue skies. A moment of springtime hope renewed.

When artists talk about “flow,” they mean that slightly euphoric state in which the act of creation seems to happen without effort. The rest of the world falls away, and the barrier between artist and art dissolves. Ease, serendipity, and synchronicity collide in a perfect storm of inspiration that bears the touch of the muse and even an element of magic. Flow transforms work from a heavy trudge into an airy dance. Everything you do feels at once delightfully improvised and beautifully choreographed.  Things click. The stars align.

When your writing feels more like a battle than a ballet, you may find it difficult to believe that this kind of harmonious productivity exists; but it does. I promise. One way that I restore my belief in this kind of creative bliss is to practice noticing when similar moments of harmony and alignment occur in my everyday life:

  • When a parking spot opens up just as I’m pulling into the lot
  • When the Petco coupon arrives in the mail just as I’m heading out to buy kitty kibbles
  • When the chicken, potatoes, and zucchini that I’m cooking for dinner are all done at exactly the same time
  • When a client pushes a meeting out, rescuing me from what was going to be a crazy-busy day
  • When I find the exact item I was looking for at the flea market (like today’s treasure – a beautiful, early 1900s library filing cabinet made of tiger maple)

They are small things, no doubt, but they are nonetheless examples of how the universe sometimes conspires to make my day a little easier. Each one of these moments renews my faith in the possibility of stumbling into a state of “flow” – both in life, and also in my creative work. Though it may not happen as frequently as I’d like, it’s nice to know the potential is always there.

_jamie sig


 What I’m Reading:

The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski and my elder kitty, Bella.

The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski and my elder kitty, Bella.

Today, a favorite from my picture book collection – The Whisper (Amazon affiliate link), written and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. I first came across Zagarenski’s artwork in a small boutique somewhere along the coast of Maine. I fell instantly in love with her work, which is at once whimsical and mystical. I bought a collection of cards, each one seeming to be telling an entire story in a single image. (I still have the cards; I’ve never been able to part with them.)

I have several other books illustrated by Zagarenski including a couple poetry collections and the beautiful Sleep Like a Tiger, but I wanted to share The Whisper because it holds special relevance for storytellers. In the book, a teacher loans a magical book to a little girl who loves stories. The little girl takes the book home only to discover that the words have fallen out of the book and the pages are filled only with beautiful pictures, but no stories. But, then she hears a whisper,

“Dear little girl, don’t be disappointed.

You can imagine the words.

You can imagine the stories.

Start with a few simple words and imagine from there.

Remember: beginnings, middles and ends of stories can always be changed and imagined differently. There are never any rules, rights, or wrongs in imagining – imagining just is.”

The rest of the book features beautiful, double-page spreads of Zagarenski’s gorgeous artwork and the opening lines of possible stories. The first one is called Blue Bear’s Visit and begins, “Blue Bear arrives on the first day of spring. He promised …”  And then the reader is left to fill in the rest of the story.

This is a perfect book for any emerging storyteller – young or old. You can’t help but be inspired by the imagery and cast of characters who roam the beautiful landscapes in Zagarenski’s visions. Just gorgeous.

··• )o( •··

My Favorite Blog Reads for the Week:

CRAFT

PUBLISHING & MARKETING

INSPIRATION

THE WRITING LIFE

··• )o( •··

Sundry Links and Articles:

Speaking of art that might inspire stories, I wanted to also share a recent series of charming pieces by Jamie Ridler. I’ve been following Jamie for years on social media, and we’ve talked once or twice via Skype. She does wonderful work around building a creative life, and I just fell in love with this latest collection of pieces called Wonderfill Forest. (Even the name is fabulous!)

A piece from Jamie Ridler's "Wonderfill Forest" series

A piece from Jamie Ridler’s “Wonderfill Forest” series

Aren’t they so evocative? I feel like there’s such an undercurrent of mystery and magic at play in these images.

··• )o( •··

Finally, a quote for the week:

pin flow

Here’s to Sunday afternoons, art that inspired stories, and the possibility of finding artistic flow when you least expect it. 
.
Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.
.

8 thoughts on “Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links May 15

  1. Pingback: Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links May 15 — Live to Write – Write to Live | Waverley

    • I sometimes use that same phrase, Lisa. 🙂
      Guess it doesn’t really matter what you call it, as long as you feel it!

      Thanks for coming by. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. Reblogged this on Mister Journalism: "Reading, Sharing, Discussing, Learning" and commented:
    “When artists talk about “flow,” they mean that slightly euphoric state in which the act of creation seems to happen without effort. The rest of the world falls away, and the barrier between artist and art dissolves. Ease, serendipity, and synchronicity collide in a perfect storm of inspiration that bears the touch of the muse and even an element of magic. Flow transforms work from a heavy trudge into an airy dance. Everything you do feels at once delightfully improvised and beautifully choreographed. Things click. The stars align.” – Jamie Lee Wallace

  3. The thing about making a point to notice when the universe conspires in your favor is that you realize it happens quite often! I don’t know why the negative and less-harmonious events seem to take up so much of my awareness at times. I’m trying to reverse that! Thanks for a post that taps into a lot of little things.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s