Monday, February 27, 2012

What happens when you add a couple more boys to the boys you already have?

...............the girls come out of the woodwork! Seriously, Friday, shortly after they all got off the bus for a sleepover, there were girls looking in the windows, hanging out on the sidewalk and another one in the back yard - OY!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I'll have a prescription for creativity ......

.....with a side order of madness, please!

     While I was having coffee and a "Stumble"   (, I came across this fascinating psychology article about the connection between creativity and madness. Have you ever heard that many of the most creative people also border on crazy? I have been working to unleash my creativity and thought maybe something in this article would inspire me. Shelly Carlson at Harvard has been testing her higher IQ students' creativity and comparing it to their ability to block out useless distractions such as sound and light. The reason is that too  much coming in can overload the mind and make your brain glitch! This blocking is called Latent Inhibition.
Van Gough
     The most interesting thing about it is that those with the weakest ability to block out distractions (or LI) are also the most creative and those low levels of blocking or low latent inhibition matches the levels of people with schizophrenia.

     Why do we care? Because they are working toward finding a way to control it.  She mentions that some artists drink or use other methods of taking something in  in order to set their creativity free. The downside is those methods can be harmful and addicting. So she's trying to come up with a non-addicting, side-effect free method of allowing your mind to let in more so you can free your creativity.

     Since most of us won't see this happen in our lifetime, those of us who love creativity but struggle to unleash it will just have to let loose and let the madness unfold.

photo source
photo source
photo source
Friday, February 24, 2012

Happiness for a lit-loving mom is....

....hearing your teenager beg you to read to him because he's been at it so long his eyes can't take it anymore!  One full hour of reading Peter and the Stargazers while he took notes for his assignment - Yay me! It's as if all the negative teenage stuff doesn't exist in that moment, for that one whole hour he was all mine again.

Do you read aloud to your kids? Teenagers included?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Quote of the Day

On why he can't stop talking ...........

I have a knack for alliteration - I'm a slave to it.
 - Shawn Spencer,  on Psyche-

Friday, February 17, 2012


We do a lot of reading in Anthropology and this week we are diving into Historical Archaeology with the book called In Small Things Forgotten. While the endless mundane details of this book were putting me to sleep, a little gem popped out at me. At the end of chapter one, the writer is describing how artifacts are not just limited to visibly material items, but also include things like fountains, hot air balloons and get this - WORDS.  What? How can words be artifacts? Is he saying that I could stack them on a shelf, come back and dust them, bequeath them, use them as kindling? If so I've got to get more shelves! 

The authors definition of words:

air masses shaped by the speech apparatus according to culturally acquired rules.
Hmmmm, okay, so if spoken air masses are an object, I go to thinking imaginatively. What could we do with these masses to make life more interesting?

That got me thinking about art class and our theme "rainbows" we are using in music. You know, good ol' word association words/make me think of rainbows/etc. I dare to put on my muse mask from last week and think creatively. What if, your words took a more visible form? Like when your breath freezes in winter? What if your words came out in colors, patterns, sheens? What if you said "Apple Pie" and your words came out light green sprinkled with cinnamon and smelling of pie? Now imagine an entire community - walking down the farmer's market seeing, and smelling words. What if they came out warm or cold. 

Thinking creatively yet? What do you see these air masses shaped by speech as?

Update on Feb 19:Just a sidenote to a fabulous author of an ARC I am reading right now (Operative) - I just now got to Chapter 5 so any similarities related to colors and abstract ideas is purely coincidence. (I love the way you think!)
Friday, February 10, 2012

SQEEEEE!!! Look what surprise came in the mail today...

It's the ARC for Kate Kaynak's Operative - book 5 in the Ganzfield series!  I am so excited - what a fantastic way to celebrate Valentine's week coming up with reading about Maddie and Trevor. I have missed them! 

With the semester in full swing, I'm going to have to do some serious time management to sneak it in. Hmmm, I can pencil in next Tues morning, next Thursday morning and during my long break between classes on Friday and DEFINATELY tonight........Can't wait!

If you have not read any of the series, you have GOT to grab a copy of Minder - you will not be able to wait for the second book. I promise. (click here to read my raving review of Minder)

 Thanks so much Kate for remembering me!
Thursday, February 9, 2012

The birth of a muse.......

     I love learning where authors get their inspiration. This week I was reading on From the TBR pile about how Susan Kaye Quinn was working on writing an amazing paragraph for a contest. And that paragraph  became the starter for Open Minds which I just started and am blown away by page nine.

     I know my inspiration is out there, just waiting to catch me off guard. Some day I'm going to write an amazing children's fantasy. I just need to crack that door to my imagination. Maybe I just needed someone to make me stand in front of that door. My art class instructor assigned us a mask making project. Not just to assemble cardboard and paint it but to explore its purpose and meaning. While I was painting and gluing, I couldn't help but create a personality for her and a back story. Here's a snippet from my presentation.

     the Fairy Queen of What-if-ia.

     She creates and spreads adventurous tales. Within the cloud of fairy dust spread by her magic pencil, she sprinkles the minds of children with wonder and speaks to the infantile-hearted with a whisper when she reveals the answers to their “What if’s”

     The reason I created her is because most of the surroundings in my life are symmetrical and I wanted to explore an asymmetrical shape. Also I wanted to represent my dream of writing fictional stories for children. I struggle with releasing my creative ideas and thought that a mask would protects my actual self from judgment and allow my creative side to flow.

Maybe she'll get me started on that first book..............

Who or what is your muse?
Saturday, February 4, 2012

How to take a trip...Lit-er-ally!

One of the benefits of being a college student is the requirement of Technology Education - I get to have professional instruction in everything tech - WAHOO!  Last class, our instructor brought out his finest tools for us to learn to use for our future students and all you lit-lovers out there are in for a treat.

How would you like to take a walk through your story?  Story happens in England it 1700? That's okay, you can walk through the modern day Google Earth and see many of the same streets and monuments in the story. Want to get the layout for Homer's Oddesy? Or maybe you want to shock and awe your kindergartner with your own story-time adventure. You can do all that on Google Lit Trips and more. Want to see older images of that area? Want to see what the lighting is at that time of day? Check it out!

Some of these trips are created by students using GoogleMaps. Some are created by adult lovers of literature who have even included study guides and activities, video clips and links to purchase a copy of the book. The setup instructions are very well written,easy to follow and best of all, FREE.