Monday, May 31, 2010

Flower Pots

Neighbors walking by enjoyed our colorful flowers today as we planted patio containers. Lawrence of Arabia even stopped by to water. :-) And the finished product ~ ta-dah!

Mosquito Season

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Embarrassment of Riches

As I type my handwritten Festival of Faith and Writing notes into the computer, I am reminded:
  • first, how much I learned, not only about writing, but about thinking and life; and
  • second, no wonder I came home so tired!
Action items and philosophical gems are side by side in my notes ~ like a Festival gift basket containing ruby-handled scissors, solid gold pen, French chocolates and wine (these last for inspiration and digestion). These are notes I'll savor often and remember the privilege of learning from and being changed by such fine teachers.

Another embarrassment of riches item is the blessing of having my parents, sister and brother-in-law, and nephew and his wife in our home for Mother's Day. Being together filled my heart with joy, much like the way our "dessert cup" overflowed. We had jointly agreed upon NO desserts other than a fruit salad. My secret surprise, however, would be a lemon and white chocolate mousse and strawberry parfait. Then I thought, what's Mother's Day without strawberries dipped in dark chocolate? So I prepared a lacy tray of those. Others had also concocted secret sweet surprises. Mom showed up with macadamia nut bars she'd baked. My sister showed up with hazelnut-chocolate candy she'd made. My niece showed up with an orange-chocolate torte. Truly an embarrassment of riches, not to mention embarrassing appetites!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Van Gogh Coloring Book

In several sessions at the Festival of Faith and Writing, speakers recommended copying the structure of a novel we like. This strikes me as a bit like buying a Van Gogh coloring book. Even learning that most stories follow similar structures and knowing each author will "color" the story uniquely, I find this advice lacking. Copying structure may be an effective starting point, but developing literary craft and style are critical to being an artist in my own right. The first takes hours of analysis; the second takes a lifetime of study and practice. On another level, the first is something I can do; the second reflects who I am. This will require more than simply coloring my Sunflowers blue instead of Van Gogh's gold and my Starry Night green instead of his blue.