What I’ve been reading – ‘Art & Soul, Reloaded’ by Pam Grout

13852888945_9eea9f3779_h

image – Matt https://www.flickr.com/photos/berger787/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ no changes

Yes, yes, I’ve only just begun working through the projects – but I actually finished reading the book itself a little while ago.  And I think it says something, that I had such a good time with it that I decided to actually put it to work and do the weekly projects.  Right?  How often does a book actually inspire you to action, including ones that are designed specifically for that purpose?

I have a print copy of the book (and it’s a lovely object, well-designed.)  It’s structured on a weekly basis for a full  year.  Each chapter has an essay linked to the main project assigned for the week.  Then there’s the ‘Zumba for the Soul’ section per week, three more random activities/tasks/suggestions.  And an inspirational quote/biographical tidbit to sign off.

I think – and Ms. Grout herself notes – that it would be easy to read the book purely as inspiration, to feel good and get lit up with enthusiasm and then…  move on and forget about it.  That would be a shame, though.  I forget who I’m quoting when I invoke the law of precession – Buckminster Fuller?  Things happen, when you take action.  Things you couldn’t have predicted.  Many more than you would have expected, all flowing from your original act like a fountainhead.

But it was pretty probably Goethe who said something about action having ‘genius, power and magic in it’, and how therefore actually getting off your arse and doin’ it – whatever magic act of creativity you  have in mind – was probably the best thing.

The results you get in life – good, bad, indifferent, astounding – depend on how much you engage.  Engage 10%, get 10% results – i.e. results that you’ve actually brought into being as a result of your interaction.  Engage 90%, get 90% results.  If you don’t engage – get out there, interact, create, ask, try – then you’re not getting results at all.  You’re just a null object, having no effect on reality whatsoever.  You’re a bit of flotsam, along for the ride.  You might as well not exist.

Lemme quote Taylor Parkes: ‘Activity is king’.

What would happen if you engaged 100%?  I’d like to find out, personally.

This book is terrific. But the results if you follow its prescription, if you treat it less like a pretty recipe book, and more like the actual contents of your food cupboards that you’re gonna cook and eat – could be truly astonishing.

Advertisements

it’s just a joke, bitch

wolf slave

Ehhh… you see… right…

It’s this Pam Grout ‘Art & Soul, Reloaded’ ongoing project I’m doing!  No, it’s not specifically a part of the tasks set on a weekly basis, but…  Well.  Daily creativity, right?  And I thought… the thing that I thought, was, ‘Well!  It’d totally be in the spirit of the challenge, to produce a new bookcover for one of my titles, on a daily or weekly basis, right?”

Now.  My talents are not in the visual realm, as is abundantly obvious.  That don’t hurt!  That’s in the spirit of the book, too.  Well, so what?  ‘I’ll just bang out a cover, never mind if it’s an eyesore, have fun, make something new, fantastic!’  

That’s what I thought.  So that’s what I did.  And I totally thought that a white circle on a black background, plus some minimalist lettering, would be hugely damn amusing.  A moon, right?  Satellites.  Wolves. Running with the pack, howling at the moon, all the clichés.  It would be sort of terrible.  But funny.  Humorously, good-naturedly in the spirit of the thing.  But…

Hey, I’m not saying it’s, er, Michelangelo or something.  (Or a renowned book-cover designer, names of whom I am clearly unfamiliar with.)  But…

Eh.  I sort of like it.

 

Me and Pam: Week Two

Wow, here we are, week two already!  This is the second week’s project as I work my way through Pam Grout’s outstanding ‘Art and Soul, Reloaded’ creativity handbook.  And this week’s assignment is… Write An Invocation To The Muses.

Ooh.  I think this might be my favourite, already.

Okaaaay, here we gooooooooo…

8497787673_52869b54e1_h

– image – Prairie Kittin https://www.flickr.com/photos/prairiekittin/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/ not altered

To Any Goddesses, Little Devils, Discarnate Genii, Guardian Angels, Nosey Human Beings, Creative Spirits and Complete Chumps who might be Listening –

Let me write something that’s true.  True, for me.  That’s enough.  You don’t need to fancy it up any more than that.

You can prod me in the head if I’m pretending to a sophistication I don’t possess, or using my creation as a soapbox and tool, a weapon for personal grudges.  Or if you want to send me a truly divine turn of phrase, I’m not gonna turn it down.

But other than that…  if I mean it, if it’s real, we’re cool.  You don’t gotta do much, here.

That was pretty easy.  You just gotta mean it, man.

Me and Pam: Week One, Day Seven

Oh!  You want more ideas?  What you think this is, an idea-shop?

Yeah, yeah it is.  You want fries with that?

5826072_149ebf0bf2_o

a) Grab your crafting box, get out the beads.  If you don’t got no beads, break apart the necklaces you don’t like.  Voila!  Beads!  Make earrings, decorate t-shirts… make creepy little beaded voodoo dollies.  Do a little voodoo on your ex-boyfriend.  Not too evil.

b) Find something broken in your home.  Either throw it out, mend it, or use it to make something else. ETA: don’t break something just in order to have something to use!  Unless, you know… you wanna.

c) Go through your pile of to-be-thrown-out newspapers and magazines, make a collage.  Make a my-life-in-five-years collage.  Include a Tesla!

Ha, think I’ve got the hang of this…  oh no, that was the last one of the week!

 

image – ~Dominic Tootell https://www.flickr.com/photos/dominictootell/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ not altered.

Me and Pam: Week One, Day Six

Catching up – gasp – definitely catching up!  Three ideas for ya?  Easy-peasy!

 

a) A little research: identify one real-life historical famous person in your locale, and one fictional one.  Write a story on how they meet up in an alternative universe.

b) Dig out an unused Christmas or birthday present – and repurpose it in an unusual way.

c) Draw a plug wiring diagram from memory.  Then compare it to a real one off the internet.  Did the electrical trade lose a bright spark when you opted for another vocation?  (Was it the act of a merciful Field of Potentiality?)

Here comes the finish line!  Comin’ atcha!

Me and Pam: Week One, Day Three

OK, three random ideas required for the third day of this crazy project. And frankly, the old noggin is running dry. But here goes nuthin’. The point is the doing, right?

1319764190_1e25d03575_b

a) Take an old band t-shirt, cut it up and take a Barbie. Dress her in it – even if you’re just knotting together a makeshift muumuu.

b) Take a clip from an old public domain b&w film – maybe Sherlock, maybe Triumph of the Will – and give it a completely incongruous voiceover.  How about Hyacinth Bouquet?

c) Come up with a convincing argument for why the least enthusiastic cook in your family/social circle ought to make you dinner tonight.  hint hint hint. 

 

image – tim https://www.flickr.com/photos/frumbert/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ not modified

 

 

Me and Pam: Week One, Day Two

Woohoo, Day Two!  Only twenty-four hours late!

Well.  As discussed, the task for this week is social media monitoring, using some of that time creatively instead – and three zany ideas a day.  Yep?  Buckle up, bitches.

2801497518_76da2c1775_o

a) Pretend you’re a car salesman.  Pick out the runtiest, tattiest motor on the lot – and write a personalized sales pitch for it.  Focus on and highlight everything about it that makes it the bargain of the week, a marvellous find for any motor-vehicular connoisseur.  Sell the chuffin’ heck out of that dilapidated old vehicle!

b) Cook with an ingredient you’ve never bought before.  And, if you’re brave, eat the results!

c) Spend five minutes brainstorming a ghost-story – then, instead of writing it down, record it and upload it somewhere.  There are plenty of sites available for such uploads – give us all a few chills!

 

image – Terry Bain https://www.flickr.com/photos/axis/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

me and Pam: a New Year project, Week One, Day One

8989167715_f1e1390dfa_k

image – Inga Vitola https://www.flickr.com/photos/360around/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I got Pam Grout’s new book, ‘Art and Soul, Reloaded‘ for Christmas.  Lucky me!  And since it’s structured in the form of weekly projects, I figure I will make a serious stab at them, and at finishing them by next New Year.  Gotta try, right?

The first week’s project, as advised by Ms. Grout, is simply to log amount of time spent on social media for the week.  Then to cut it in half, and spend the freed-up time on creative pursuits instead.  And in addition, to come up with three new ideas a day.  No matter how ridiculous!

Well, we’re already halfway through the week.  So I’ll come up with my best estimate of the time I waste daily – say two hours.  And, yes, make an effort to cut it down.

And today’s three ideas?

i) write a Gothic novel summary with a clown as the hero

ii) decorate a mug to celebrate a national holiday that doesn’t exist

iii) build a ladybug house.

 

Random Quest – 08/12/2017

image – Jan (Arny) Messersmith https://www.flickr.com/photos/boogieswithfish/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/, not modified

The inaugural post in an occasional series!  (I was going to call it Random Element, and then I thought no, let’s honour the fantabulous sf short story by John Wyndham.  Excellent, recommended, go forth and read it!)

image – Holly https://www.flickr.com/photos/strangefrontier/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ not modified

In this series, I’ll take a random element – words out of a random word generator online, out of a casually grabbed book, a snatch of conversation on the radio – and interpret them.  Or possibly interpret the results of inputting these few random terms into the searchbox of a website – Twitter or Youtube or any one of a number of others.  Interpret, in the sense of give meaning to them, a nudge from the Universe, a voice in the (tinfoil-hatted) head, a prod between the shoulderblades.

image – John Keogh https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvk/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/, not modified

Hey, it’s every bit as valid as friggin’ astrology, ‘kay?  And it keeps me amused, out of trouble and off the streets.  Where’s the bad?

Today’s random quest – soup, ant, knee.  And knitting.  I always want to add ‘knitting’.

 

“The universe that constantly spins out new galaxies wants to shine through you, to speak through you, to expand through you.”—A tweet I tweeted out this morning Elizabeth Gilbert tells a funny story in her book, Big Magic. She was working as a cook on a ranch in Wyoming. She was drinking beer one night […]

via Get your boom box on the right frequency and call in miracles — Pam Grout

Yeah, that’s pretty cool.