A Quote from Willie Wonka

It is safe to say that one of my favorite movies of all time is Charlie & the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder as the incomparable Willie Wonka.

Since he passed away a couple days ago, I thought it would be appropriate to share a quote from that movie today.

“We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.” – Willie Wonka

Kevin Welch at the Goddard Center

jenmomkevinwelchI just had an amazing weekend and I wanted to tell you about it.

My mom (that’s her on the right) went to a Kevin Welch concert at the Goddard Center in Ardmore, Oklahoma, on Friday. The concert was Kevin Welch, a country music singer and songwriter (that part will become important in a minute) and his son Dustin.

Kevin played his guitar. Dustin played two kinds of guitar and a banjo. They sang together and separately. Each sang backup for the other. They have a beautiful harmony. We had front row seats and didn’t miss a ting.

Remember the part about songwriting?

On Saturday, they had a songwriting workshop. Kevin said these workshops are normally 2-3 days. This one was fro 10:00 to 3:00 on Saturday. He said it was difficult to figure out what to include and what to leave out in such a short workshop.

It was pretty intense.

We talked about shapes, patterns, rhymes (or not rhymes) as they pertain to songs. We also talked about such things as a prechorus, chorus, and bridge. The use of metaphor and cinematic writing and so much more!

Several people brought their guitars. One man brought his mandola. He said it’s like a Chinese mandolin but with one extra string. We went around he table where participants played and sang what they were working on. Except me. I had two lines of a chorus that I didn’t know what to do with and I (currently) don’t play guitar. The woman beside me didn’t play either.

As the workshop was winding down, Kevin said we didn’t even touch on allegory or parables in songwriting. Honestly, I don’t know if my head could have handled much more. I was already on information overload and couldn’t even start processing everything until today. Thank goodness for taking notes!

It was a great workshop!

If you’re ever in Ardmore during business hours, be sure and go to the Goddard Center and check it out! I didn’t get to see near enough of it and can’t wait to go back!

New Endeavor

I’m trying something a little new.

I have signed up on Medium.com. I spent a day looking around after I signed up. As of right now, I have two stories on there.

The first is “Your Creativity Toolbox: The Idea Pocket” and “25 Ways to Find Time to Create.”

I am not abandoning the blog. Goodness, no! Especially not after I’m just restarting it.  I am doing this in conjunction with the blog.

I’ve received several recommendations for Medium. When the universe talks, I listen. I’ve been hit with clue sticks in the past and ignored them. Then I got hit by the whole clue tree. Yes, I’ve learned from that. So I’m on Medium. Feel free to check me out over there.

August Goals

I said “goals,” plural. redpenBut, let’s face it, there’s only one real goal I’m focused on for the rest of this month.

Finishing the first draft of my current project.

I’m writing a book about starting a bullet journal. I have a section on getting started and a section on the extra bells and whistles you can add to it. At this point, I think I’m about half through it.

I’m  going to include some examples of different styles. Some will be my own. Some will be used by permission of the people who did them. I will have a glossary and a resources section.

That’s August’s goal. For September, I will edit it and hopefully get it out by the end of the year.

First Impressions: Pilot Metropolitan Fine Nib

Orange Pilot Metropolitan fountain en\\pen with sample writing
Pilot Metropolitan Fine Nib
Private Reserve Orange Crush Ink

On Monday, I got pen mail. I ordered a Pilot Metropolitan Retro in orange from Amazon on Saturday and it arrived at my house around noon Monday. I also ordered some Private Reserve Ink in Orange Crush.

The pen came in a plastic case with a clear top. It included one black ink cartridge and a bladder ink converter.

Because I was short on time, I removevd the converter and put the ink cartridge in. It wrote smoothly from the beginning. There was no working with the pen to get the ink flowing. So far, I have tested it on a few types of paper, including a sketch pad, fountain-pen-friendly paper in an ARC notebook from Staples, and regular notebook paper. There is no bleed-through on any of these papers. There is some ghosting on the regular notebook paper, but nothing bad unless I press too hard.

The converter is very easy to fill. When it is attached to the pen, you insert the pen nib up to the neck into the bottle of ink, squeeze the metal plate on the bladder, and release. When the bladder resumes its original shape, the pen is full.

Features of the pen that I really like:pen and knock-knock joke

  • Fine nib.
  • Smooth writing.
  • No skips.
  • Ease of filling the converter.

There is one thing I don’t like much. There is a dramatic step from the nib to the neck. That’s where I normally hold a pen, so I am having to modify my grip if I’ going to use it for very long. Since I like how it writes (well enough to make this an everyday pen for me), I am willing to make that modification.

Would I buy this pen again? Yes. In fact, I might because I want it in red. This pen was $14.95 on Amazon.

Frequency and Looking Forward

Image used courtesy of The Public Speaking Project under a Creative Commons license.
Image used courtesy of The Public Speaking Project under a Creative Commons license.

Now that the ProBlogger Get Your Groove Back Challenge is done, I’m left thinking about frequency, topic coverage, and what’s next.

First, frequency. I know I cannot keep up a pace of posting on a daily basis. I would get bored with it and I would quit. It has happened before. I don’t want to do that again. Plus, I figure if I’m bored, you’re bored. That’s not a good combination any time. My current plan is to post a few times a week.

Right now, it’s Sunday evening. I’m going to go ahead and post this tonight, but in the future, posts will go live on Monday. I will also schedule things for Wednesday and Friday. We’ll see how that frequency works for a while. If it needs changing, I can certainly do that.

Next, topics. I still stand by what I’ve said before that this blog is about my path along the creative journey. It is. It will be. However, it will be a little more focused. It will include my main topic areas of writing, creativity in general, and planning/bullet journals. As I know you are aware, this will allow for a wide range of subtopics.

I’m planning on another fountain pen first impression soon. I’ll actually have the fountain pen in-hand tomorrow. It’s a Pilot Metropolitan Retro in orange. I got some Private Reserve Orange Crush ink to go with it. Stay tuned for that.

Now, what’s next? That’s a good question.

I’m working on a couple books. One is further along than the other. It will be an eBook, probably costing less than $2. I think this book has the potential to be very helpful and I want it to be affordable. The most helpful book in the world isn’t worth anything if you can’t afford it.

I am also planning some videos for my long-dormant YouTube channel. Anything that’s on there is …. old. That will change.

I’m making more use of my Instagram accounts as far as writing, the writing life, creativity, and planning go. Some of those posts may be lengthened and transported over here. (Yes, accounts. There’s my main one and my bullet journal/planning one.)

There’s more still percolating, but I think that just about covers it for now. Except for one thing.

What do you want to see here?

Let e know and I’ll do my best to cover it.

Creativity RoundUp

DSCN3878Some of you might know I’ve been participating in a blogging challenge hosted by ProBlogger. It has had me creating more content than usual, which is a good thing. I did get a bit behind, but I’ve still done a lot more in the past two weeks than I have in a long time here.

Other participants in the challenge posted on a wide variety of topics. The ones I tend to gravitate toward are about writing, photography, and creativity in general. No surprise there, right?

Here is a link-up of some of the creativity posts. I hope you like them.

5 Books That Will Spark Your Creativity – Two of my favorite books are on this list: Wired to Create and Big Magic. You’ll have to visit the post to see what else is there. I’m not going to ruin the surprise for you.

Why Am I Not More Creative? – I’ll just say some of the ideas and theories presented here are closely aligned with some of mine, including the idea that we are all creative.

How to Find Your Creative Side – Good tips, all. I particularly like the advice about experimenting. It can be fun and it works.

Why Being Bad Can Be Good for You – Have you ever thought that you don’t have to be good at everything? Being a beginner is good.

Book Review: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – We’ve already established above that this is one of my favorite books. She does a good review of it here.

Out of all of the posts about writing, creativity, photography, etc., it was difficult to narrow it down to just a few. I couldn’t exactly share of them with you. This post would be as long as a book. I think you’ll find something here you can relate to, though.