good advice for creative types from Marge Piercy

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ~ Ray Bradbury

“Young Woman Writing” by Pierre Bonnard (1908)

I have always believed writing chooses you, rather than the other way around.

You are either compelled to write, or not.

No sane person would willingly choose the loneliness, rejection, crippling self doubt and relative poverty that are part and parcel of the writing life. The rewards must come from the creative act itself, from having made sense out of chaos if even for a fleeting moment.

Given that you absolutely cannot help yourself — that you must write to feel alive  — you simply go about setting down one word after another after another every single day, while battling your inner demons and that pesky inner editor.

Continue reading

Indie Artist Spotlight: Debbie Ritter of Uneek Doll Designs

artistdebbie (2)
Debbie in her Cullman, Alabama, sunroom studio.

I think it was Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference who first tipped me off to Debbie Ritter’s wonderful handmade character dolls at Uneek Doll Designs.

I was delighted to see so many of my favorite authors and poets (Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, the Brontë sisters, Emily Dickinson, Laura Ingalls Wilder, James Joyce) in miniature form, and impressed by the quality of workmanship, attention to detail, and amazing quantity and variety of figures available (600+ items currently listed at Etsy).

oscar wilde (2)
Oscar Wilde
emilyd (3)
Emily Dickinson
charlottebronte (3)
Charlotte Bronte

Debbie is an artist after my own heart. In addition to creating lots of writers, she also features the characters in their stories (Scarlett O’Hara, Anna Karenina, Anne Shirley, Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Darcy!). And just as fabulous as her literary dolls are her artists, musicians, singers, historical figures, movie stars and TV personalities (love the Three Stooges, Lucille Ball, Willie Nelson, Aunt Bea, Captain Kangaroo, The Marx Brothers, the Royal Family!).

will and kate
William and Kate
marx brothers (2)
Marx Brothers
mayberry (2)
Andy, Aunt Bea and Barney Fife

Continue reading

thought for the week

 
What better thing is there than to be part of a process that brings such delight to so many? People of all ages and temperaments love reading, love crawling under the covers, turning on the bedside light, and opening to the place where they left off. Think of it:  grandmothers in their nighties, handsome young men wearing tortoiseshell glasses, teenage girls with fluorescent-colored braces, couples who break a rich silence to read passages aloud to each other, convicts who can at least escape in this way — all these people find solace and joy in the pages of a book. Also priests, Bookies, Photographers, Engineers, Cowgirls, Astronauts, Drycleaner clerks. Somebody from everywhere loves reading. And it’s writers who give them the gift of this deeply felt pleasure.”

                            Elizabeth Berg, Escaping into the Open