Mandy Barberree is a freelance writer, educator, and artist based in Portland, Oregon.
“My advice would be to write about what you are most passionate about and what comes natural for you to write about. The readers will come as long as you are persistent and passionate. If you try and force yourself to write about topics you are not passionate about, the reader will see right through your words and you will lose your credibility and readership.”
“Don’t say it was delightful; make us say delightful when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers Please will you do the job for me.”
― C.S. Lewis
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison (HBO)
A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens
He makes a lot of good points in this. Well worth the time to read it through.
I was going to make a few of my dog friend’s cookies. I went so far as to look up the recipe, take an inventory of ingredients, and draw up a shopping list, but it just didn’t happen. Instead, I killed a few hours watching back-to-back clips of stand-up comedy on the internet.
I traced a photo of a friend, intending to try to transform her image into a cartoon super hero. Yet when the tracing was done, I simply put it aside and wrote a piece that never really succeeded in taking form. I’ve looked at three half-finished tulip batiks for weeks now, lonely and long-dry on their rack.
However, I did sidetrack a Sunday I’d normally cram with chores to play a game of chess, with a friend whose time is even more precious than my own. We sat in his back yard basking in the fall sunshine, tossing the remnants of a tennis ball for his hound, and catching up with one another.
I also volunteered a few hours at a space I’ve been itching to give more time to for over a year. I felt like I made a difference, and I laughed a lot.
And I called my mother. She’s going through a time right now that would reduce me to a puddle of useless self-pity, but I was somehow able to make her laugh, more than once.
So, if one joyfully lost chess game, a few hours of supposedly mundane tasks, and some chuckles with my mom are all I accomplished this week, I feel that mere contemplation of those other tasks was the most productive way I could have lived it.
As the days darken, and my full time job begins to bury me in routine, I’m increasingly hell-bent on gearing up my motivation. I therefore aspire to use this blog in order to nurture my enthusiasm in the face of many chilly nights to come.
My plan is simple - write more words and take more photos. Active creativity is the goal – no matter how small.
Tonight, I take inspiration from this year’s Seattle Brick Con convention where I just spent a few days helping a friend run his vendor table. It was nice to be furnished with a badge that made me look like a pro-builder, but in truth, I’m a fraud. I rarely touch the stuff. I tell myself it’s because Lego’s brightly colored collections are too pricy, but that reason stop being valid after the 10th grade. In the past years, due to my friend Dan’s generosity, I’ve landed some sweet sets. So, no more excuses.
The creative energy I witnessed at this weekend’s Lego nerd fest gave me the builder bug (as it always does when I find myself at one of these events). It was fun to spend just a little time messing around with this colorful scene after a workday spent in a grey office, and a rainy ride home.
I have this and others I’ve made, all up on etsy…. check it out.