White Space

In our early writer’s group workshops, we talk a lot about “white space”. What exactly is white space? When you step back and look at a page, is it jam-packed with text? Are there any breaks at all on the page, through dialog or short paragraphs? If not, we have to work on fixing that.

White space is necessary for a number of reasons. It’s easier for readers to actually read pages that have white space. If not, they might not continue with a book. White space helps control the flow of a piece of writing, too. Imagine long, wordy paragraphs of description. Sometimes, that’s tough slogging when you’re reading. It also probably means you need more dialog or shorter thoughts when writing. Break it up, mix it up…it all makes for easier reading, and a better flow.

So…let me ask you. Do you have enough white space in your LIFE?

I came across a blog post recently that talked about this very question. White space in real life equates to time you have to think, to do things outside of your work and your obligations. It allows us to stop and see the beauty of things, to create, to imagine, and to be more than our schedule. Brilliant, isn’t it?

If you had to write down every item of your day into a list, and then label everything that was white space, would you have a thick, black day….or would you actually see some space in there? Maybe the act of just looking at it with squinty eyes might allow you to make some changes. Put a little coffee break in here. Schedule in a nap over there. Take a walk with the dog. Do some yoga.

Put some white space in your life. It might make a big difference in how you feel.

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Side Hustles

I do a lot of crafts here at the library. A lot. But they’re for work…even though they don’t always feel like work. The strange thing is, I don’t do a lot of crafts in my downtime, possibly because I get my fill at work.

Recently, however, I had the urge to do something at home, just for fun. Fun! There was absolutely no reason to do it, no theme, no “end” project…I just picked up my glue gun, got out the paper and crafted. Now, the little shadow box is sitting on a shelf in my work room. It makes me happy to look at it, not because it’s perfect or inspired or “worth” anything, but because I wanted to do it.

When I came across a post by Ann Friedman called “Not Every Hobby is a Side Hustle”, it really resonated with me. These days, we are almost conditioned to find something that we do outside our work lives that might be “worth” something other than just good feelings. She talks about making deviled eggs–the best, most creative deviled eggs ever–and only because it makes her happy. What a concept!

Making money from a project also takes the joy out of just creating in the first place. The moment you commit to selling something, it must become the best thing you can create. That puts pressure on us to be perfect, and with that goes the joy.

So stop and ask yourself, when was the last time you created something simply because you want to make it? And how did it make you feel? I had such a great day making my shadow box forest, and the time went by so quickly I couldn’t believe it. While I might not do it again for a while, the good feelings will stay with me for some time. You should try it!

(And hey, we have a monthly adult craft club. Why not join us to create just for fun! Give us a call to register….257-2702. We’re meeting on Monday!)

Minecraft: The Island

Get ready for it…Minecraft, the novel!  If you have young people at home, no doubt you’ve seen the pixel-heavy game Minecraft. While it stumps most adults as to why kids today would want to play a game that looks so “simple” compared to the graphic-heavy games of today. But they’ve taken to the challenges of building and creating in this world like no other game out there.  And now, there’s a novel.

MINECRAFT: THE ISLAND by Max Brooks, was released in mid-July, and follows the story of the hero who is stranded on Minecraft Island and must figure out a way to escape. No doubt this will be a popular series with its young fans. Only time will tell if it will move from one generation to the next!

Find Your Creative Self

Have you signed up for our creativity course yet? “Find Your Creative Self” begins July 4th and runs through August 8, Tuesday afternoons from 1-3pm.  This is a program for adults who are interested in regaining some lost creativity, figuring out what stopped you from creating in the first place, and maybe even finding that new creative endeavor.

This is not like our adult craft club where they come together to make fun things. This is deep, intensive, soul-searching work to discover creativity in all forms, much more like a therapy session than a program. But, it’ll be fun, too. Based on “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and many other creativity blog, podcasts and YouTube videos, this will be the best two hours you’ll spend all week….and it’s totally free.

Registration is on now, so make sure to sign up before this fill ups. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 257-2702.

Create That!

If you’re a creative person, you might have noticed we have a lot of great new books in the library that will give you a few ideas (and some patterns) to make that next ComicCon or event just a little more fun. If you sew, THE HERO’S CLOSET by Gillian Conahan has no shortage of great ideas for men, women, and children’s costumes that you can sew. She presents the ideas with great photos and (hopefully) straight forward patterns. Even if you don’t sew, some of the costumes are probably easily outsourced by a trip to your local thrift shop.

And if you want to get started on something for your littlest cutie, how about KNITTED ANIMAL NURSERY by Fiona Goble. The outfits are super adorable and will no doubt get a huge reaction from anyone who sees your baby in them. You don’t even need a holiday or event as an excuse for your baby to wear one!

We have these great new books and more available at the library. Stop in, check our new bin, or look at our library catalog for these and more. There’s something for everyone!

Beckwith Photo Contest Celebrating Canada 150

Beckwith Township Photo ContestOur local communities are celebrating Canada 150 in so many great ways! Beckwith Township is running a fun photo contest right now for all ages. Submit a photo in one of these categories for consideration:

  • Built Heritage
  • Natural Heritage
  • Historical Photos

I’m sure you could interpret these in so many different ways. Drop off the hard copy to the Beckwith Township Office, or email your digital photo to be entered. Good luck!