Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day Musings...

Snow is as Snow does...
I needn't have worried about missing the big snow over Christmas - it's come back around again!  And while 'business as usual' will re-commence as soon as it seems practical and safe, for now we're tucked into a wintery wonderland.  The dog, as always, reminds us to live in the here and now, and take a romp around the yard!

So this year's intent to do more writing is cruising along.  Third blog within a week, a few more pages filled in the new journal.  I was finally unpacking some boxes of books recently - cookbooks! Many I love to read almost as novels and many are 'food for thought' in more than one form. Tucked inside one of the boxes, I found a smaller box of letters and cards received from friends dating back almost 20 years.  Some from Atlanta friends after I had moved to Chicago, and then those again and more from Chicago friends after I moved to DC.  

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed letter writing and even the fact that I WROTE as much as these replies seem to indicate.  So if you recognize yourself as having corresponded with me over the past nearly 20 years, you may expect a little piece of mail in the future.  I'm adding letter writing to the new writing intention, and these first will be warm-ups, to be sure.  Funny, I almost feel like the first letter has to be a re-introduction to the whole idea of letter writing!  

So between romps in the back yard with the dog, and forays into other good snow day activities (cleaning, but not too much.  organizing, but not too much.  cooking/eating, but not too much...), I'll continue my letter writing.  And I'm not sure if I'll get many replies, but I think I enjoy the act of the writing almost as much as receiving an envelope with my name written in a familiar hand.  And I'm kind of excited about collecting stationary again!  And I've even got some stamps around here somewhere...

Other fun finds on a snowy day...

A friend on facebook has started a routine of posting 'who' she has her morning bevvie and sometimes brekkie with, as in naming the artist who made the cup and/or bowl/plate, etc.  I've joined in and it's fun seeing the extended 'family' of pots we all enjoy.  We've also taken to posting links to the artists we mention, as another way to spread the love.  

This morning, I actually dug into my housemate's collection and had my morning cuppa out of a Jeff Martin piece that I really like.  When I went in search of his website, I found his blog, and also found that he (like more than one potter I know of recently) seems to have moved more to painting.  While searching through his archives for any images of his potterly type work, I found this wonderful list of his personal approach to happiness and success as an artist.  Since it was printed on his blog for everyone to see, I'm hoping he won't mind my grateful reprint. He's preaching to the choir with me, but I really like reading and hearing other perspectives on what are essentially similar or same beliefs, and as he says, it needs repeating daily.  And sometimes it's nice to hear something you already know or believe from a voice outside your own head as a reminder to actively think about it and act on it (#2 I need reminding of daily!). Take a look and see how many you might also do, or how many you might think about adopting. 

From Jeff Martin's blog about a year ago:

1. Get up happy. Say some affirmations. Get rid of the negative chatter in your head-that voice that says things like, “I’m not coming up with any good ideas. I’ll never make this deadline. I’ll never be good enough to do this job.” Instead, train that voice to say something positive. Reprogram yourself. “I am illustrating books that people love. I am happy with my art. My career is going great. I am a successful artist…” This might sound too simple, and you’ve probably heard it before from the self –help gurus. Have you ever actually tried it….consistently over a few months?

2. Exercise and stay healthy. This is not an option. When you feel healthy, you are more open and ideas come more quickly.

3. Sit quietly each day, do yoga, or meditate. Get calm and peaceful so that when the ideas come, you actually realize they are there. Worry, anger, fear, and other emotions actually block the ability to grasp those sparks of imagination.

4. Create a place and time to be at work. This is important if you are working at home. Your mind needs to understand, “I am now at work. I will now be creative.” So sharpen your pencils, put on music, sit before your drawing table and begin.

5. Don’t talk too much about your ideas; this depletes some of the magic. On a subconscious level, your wonderful idea has become a real thing in the world. It’s not real, and it won’t be, until you do it. So, instead of sharing your magnificent thoughts, go make the work happen.

6. Take time outs doing something you love. Go to a museum. Sit by a lake. Walk through the woods. You must replenish yourself. Fill the well. Don’t view this as goofing off…this time is very important.

7. Don’t be a workaholic. This is difficult, because you won’t know it, until it’s too late. Your friends and family will know it before you will. ONLY YOU CAN CONTROL THIS. Be the work police and set your own boundaries. Make a contract with yourself. “I do not wok on Tuesday and Sunday. I go on vacation without my work. I have lunch with a friend on Friday every week. I only work from 9am to 2pm.“ Put up a sign. Remind yourself that you are free to set your own schedule. Work as late or as little or as early as you want, but make sure you’re enjoying the pace.

And don't forget to play in the snow! (that one's from me & Gable)


  1. This is an awesome post Lori. thanks. I'm so glad you are unpacking cookbooks because collecting and looking through them is such a passion of yours. As a matter of fact I think I've got a couple stored away with your name on them... Love the affirmations too!

  2. Thanks K - I've got a letter with your name on it! I'm also looking forward to re-reading some of those books. There are still one or two vintage cookbooks I got from you back when that I still need to spend more time with. Yay for snow days! Oh, and sorry if I wrote my name in your cookbooks - that's a bad habit. ;)