The Sky

Photo by Jason Blackeye on UnsplashWhat do you see when you look up? We are all shaped by our experiences, our creativity, our insight, and well, even our vision. This summer, we’re asking “What’s Your Thing?”, so I thought this would be a fun post to share, based on the idea that we all see and appreciate things in our own way.

One Sky is a collaborative project with almost 90 artists who were asked to look up at the sky at precisely 12:00pm EST on August 13, 2017, and then “draw” what they see. The artists came from all over the world, so weather, time zones and even whether it was day or night, came into play. They used their own artistic styles and contributed their view to the project.

Some of the sky views were beautiful–cloudless, blue, sunshine-filled. Others were overcast, dramatic, and eventful. You can see all of the sky interpretations by clicking on this link.

But it makes for an interesting idea. If the kids are feeling bored one day, have them look up at the sky and draw what they see, and then compare. It could be a great discussion piece about clouds, about how everyone sees things differently, and even about colour. Give it a try!

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Dream Big!

We offer young writers programs at the library from time to time, and the one thing we hear quite often is how a young person wants to be a writer when they grow up. It’s wonderful…the excitement a young person gets from reading books turns into a desire to write stories for other people to enjoy.

I came across this fun post on the CBC Kids website that offers up a great list of things a young writer can do to turn that dream into a reality some day. Take a few minutes to read through….especially if you have someone at home that could use some encouragement!

Feeling Less Than Creative?

Starting this week, we’re taking registrations for our “Find Your Creative Self” program–a six-week session meant to help adults who are feeling less that creative. We meet for two hours a week and work through things that might be holding you back, as well as doing a variety of creative activities, and a few bits of homework to keep you inspired throughout the week.

Using the books THE ARTIST’S WAY by Julia Cameron, BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert, and many other great creativity tomes, we’ll delve into the root of that dry spell. This isn’t like our adult craft nights—instead, it’s more like a therapy session, but we promise, it’ll be a LOT of fun, too!

Registration is a must, and this program will fill up fast. Call us to register at 257-2702, or drop by the library to sign up. It’s going to be a very educational spring!

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.

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!