Reading Agenda

Various antiquarian books, including Francis G...

Various antiquarian books, including Francis Grose’s Antiquities; this is one of the most popular images. If you want to use it, please copy it and host it on your own site. It’d be nice if you linked back to here, though. I still have the original image from the camera, if you want to experiment with colour balance. It’s 1712×1368 pixels. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love books since I can remember, and to tell you the truth, I worry that there is not enough time in my lifetime to read all the wonderful tomes that I want to read. I try to read at least one book a month, the minimum. Right now, I am missing all the juicy tomes that are packed in several boxes in VA, for when I get to move.  Some very old, some new.  Vintage books are a passion of mine, although I don’t consider myself an avid collector – but certainly looking towards the future to start a collection of rare tomes.

The end of the year will soon be here and I have to say that I have thought about my next selection of books for the next five months.  I have a few books scattered around which I intend to finish before 2012 says goodbye.  So far, I have planned to read those but want to add two new books which I have waited to purchase, since I want to own them in actual presence and not electronic format.  One of them is “So Dark the Night” by Cliff Burns and the other is “The Mandolin Case” by Dr. Tom Bibey.  Can’t wait to get those.

So far, my 1 book a month agenda looks like this.

AUGUST – “The Mandolin Case” – Dr. Tom Bibey

SEPTEMBER – “So Dark the Night” – Cliff Burns

OCTOBER – “Count Lucanor” – Prince Don Juan Manuel

NOVEMBER – “The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady” – Edith Holden (this is a vintage book)

DECEMBER – “Finding Water” – Julia Cameron

I am starting to think about 2013 Reading Agenda, and will be sharing it with you, once completed.  Many times, I get to read more than one book a month, and that of course, bumps one book ahead of schedule.   Do you have any favorites that you want to read?  Any that you have enjoyed so much that you would like to suggest?  Your suggestions are welcomed.

Creating the Space that You and Only You Need

English: Reminds me of the book & movie about ...

English: Reminds me of the book & movie about Jonathan Livingston Seagull. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You need space to breathe.  You need space to think clear.  You need space to fuel inspiration.  You need space to unfreeze the soul.  You need space away from the heavy load that your dreams may present at times.  You need space away from them (whomever that might be).  You need space to feel again.  You need space away from the person you have become (and whom you don’t seem to recognize).  You need space to come back.  You need space to exist.  You need space to be.

After reading a very inspiring book, I found myself searching for more.  I enjoyed this book immensely, and got from it much more than I was expecting; however, it puzzled me to the point of wanting to know why I was ready to slap some of these characters, when I could read between the lines of their soul, and all I saw was little bits and pieces of me.  That book touched my soul, deep enough to want to retreat for a few days, in the safe space I needed to create for me and only me – and so I did.  And so I searched.  And so I found.  And so I understood.

Sometimes, it is necessary to stop and look at your current space, abandon it for a while, create a new one where you feel safe enough to meet with yourself, so you can come back, and make the necessary changes – if needed.  The soul needs a nest from time to time, where it can renew, because the journey never ends.

I love books since  I can remember, but I can count with a single hand the books that have touch a chord in my soul throughout my life, and at different stages of it.  When I was a child, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis left a seed growing in my soul.  When I was a teenager, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach gave me wings.  A few weeks ago, “The Grievers” by Marc Schuster gave a piercing jolt to my soul, which sent me back to visit the child and teenager long-lost forgotten.

I don’t know if any other books will talk to my soul as I continue in my journey, but I plan to read tons more, as I’ve always done.  And if there is a time when I need to create the secret space that me and only me needs, I will do so, and I will nest for a while, rest my wings, and let go, so I can come back to my Narnia.

About Creativity and Appreciation

Creativity – Characterized by originality and expressiveness; imaginative (American Heritage Dictionary)

Appreciation – Recognition of the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of people and things.  (American Heritage Dictionary)

Looking at those definitions, one can see the close relation between the two words.  When we create something, whatever that may be, we put ourselves into that project; we give much effort, and there is a sense of pride in the very depth of our artistic soul.  Many times, we are so proud of our work that we want to share it with the world, or with friends and family – many times, there is no feedback, many times, it seems as if no one is listening.  There is no appreciation.

And that takes us to the definition of appreciation and why a bit of appreciation goes a long way.  Artists/writers are emotional and very creative people, whether they show it on the outside or not.  Lack of feedback or appreciation can weaken the artist’s spirit.  It may seem as if a vortex has swallowed his/her precious efforts and no one seems to notice.  What’s worse is that the artist/writer identifies with his/her work so deeply that lack of appreciation translates into lack of esteem/love/appreciation towards the artist-persona, or the human behind the work or piece of art.  Therefore, we as writers/artists tend to suffer when our work is ignored, not recognize or praised, and we may fall into artistic self-pity or worst, depression and lack of motivation, which can only lead to artist or writer’s block and the false belief that “we are just not good enough.”

Next time you are feeling so low in relation to your art or writing, think of why you are feeling that way.  It may be that you are lacking a bit of appreciation from the ones who matter most, or even from yourself.  If others fail to verbalize appreciation for your work (many times this is the form of appreciation that we pay close attention to or notice the most), then look at the image in the mirror, smile, and know that whom you see is capable of much, much more, and has an eternal creative spirit that wants to keep going.

About Isolation and Inspiration

Namib desert dunes

Namib desert dunes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IsolationTo cause to be alone or apart … (from the American Heritage Dictionary)

InspirationThe excitement of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity … (see American Heritage Dictionary)

When we look at the common definition of these words, it is easy to see the relationship between being isolated and becoming inspired.  One can lead to the next or may cancel the other.

Sometimes, it is necessary to remove yourself from the daily grind for a while and look for solitude, to isolate yourself, to be able to reconnect with the source of inspiration.

Sometimes, too much isolation can kill inspiration.  This happens when isolation has led to boredom or lack of excitement, rendering the mind and soul victims of lethargic existence.

While a dose of separation from the world is good from time to time, an overdose will kill the spirit, which needs a flow of the senses, a flow of ideas, to create and rejoice on its creation/inspiration.

Isolation can fuel inspiration in short doses, but it can kill creativity when it becomes self-imposed for long.  A bit of both is refreshing to the soul.

Have you experience this relationship between the two?  Feel free to relate your writing or artistic experience.


Sad Message in a Bottle

This morning I became irate when I heard a comment from one of the PIX 11 news cast members about a message in a bottle that was found.  The reporter encouraged people to go to the beach and deposit their own messages.  Although she said it  in a casual tone and probably she did not think twice before saying that, I was angry because I expect more from a person who is well-educated and many times, has done a segment on eco-friendly products.  Imagine what would happen if 100 idiots, followed by another 100 morons, decide to do just that?  100 message bottles a day = 36,500 bottles dumped into the ocean yearly.  What would you think of 100 people dumping 100 message bottles in your front door or lawn?  Well, the ocean is home to many species and just because you belong to the human species does not give you the right to trash another species home.

The point of this post is not to ridicule anyone (hence the name of the reporter is not mentioned) but to make you think about how every little step that we take impacts this planet – for better or worse.  A more appropriate comment would have been – “Oh, let’s try not to throw more bottles into the water, send a virtual bottle instead, or next time you are at the beach, why not pick up one bottle and dump it in the trash can.”  Imagine the impact of 100 people doing just that.  However, what is in our hearts, comes out through our mouths, eventually.

We are not perfect, we are human, but we have been given a little gray matter to use it from time to time.  I know that the idea of a message in a bottle has been romanticized, and we humans fall for romance.  I am learning to live more eco conscientious and have much to learn; however it saddens me when I see people who should know better encourage dumb and irresponsible behavior.  Don’t complain when the planet’s resources start lacking or when Mother Nature’s fury unleashes near you – we have created this environment and as we give we get back.

Next time you think is cute to send a message to the other side of the world, think of the possibility that a marine animal may get injured with that same message – not so romantic.

I know that I sound as a preacher, but when I see educated people making these silly and irresponsible statements, which may encourage others to do stupid things , I have to wear my preaching gown.

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Many thanks to Kenton Lewis from The Jittery Goat for bestowing The Very Inspiring Blogger Award to Inkspeare.  Read that sentence again, and tell me if blogging isn’t cool, well, epic – you can’t use the word cool these days, it may imply that you are too old.  Well, when I receive an award from a fellow blogger I don’t take it for granted, as it is always an honor that someone thought of Inkspeare.  According to the rules, I have to mention seven things that most likely, other bloggers don’t know about me.  In addition, I have to bestow the award to five other bloggers, whom I consider candidates for this award.

Thank you Kenton Lewis and here are my seven secrets.

  1. I am a former social worker, diamontologist, vet tech, car salesperson … After that, I got tired of wearing many other hats.
  2. I love cowgirl boots and cowgirl hats.
  3. Most of my closet is full of vintage clothes.
  4. I want to learn the art of fighting with a sword (not fencing) – a real thick sword.
  5. I love mermaids and think of the possibility of them being real.
  6. I love black and white silent films.
  7. I didn’t wear black clothing for 9 years (after my father’s death).

Now, the five blogs that I want to nominate for this award.

  1. Rosekate – for those inspiring pictures
  2. 365 Vegan Breakfasts – for offering a delicious vegan breakfast recipe every day with yummy pictures
  3. Collingwood Farm – For inspiring me to learn more about farm living.
  4. Closetcast – For inspiring a great outfit everyday.
  5. Terra, not terror – For inspiring adventure in the everyday

If you can, please, take five and visit these awesome bloggers, you will find many interesting and beautiful posts.

Uranium Mining and Milling in Virginia is a Dangerous Idea

If the moratorium that has kept a ban from mining Uranium in the Coles Hill area of Chatham – Pittsylvania County, VA – is lifted, may God bless VA weather and the residents who live there (including me when I finally get to move there after restoring the old farmhouse – just five miles away from the proposed site).

Instead of writing  a list about why it is a bad idea, let me leave the reader with a few YouTube videos that I found, which will give you an idea of how dangerous lifting this ban is, and mostly it is all about VA type of weather and hydrology.

The first video will give the reader a bit of history on how this all started.

About what residents living there will loose.

Huge flood in Coles Hill area – 1996

North Carolina joins to support the ban and this is why this affects NC.

The last speaker on this video makes a good point

The people from Pittsylvania County and beyond do not want the ban to be lifted.

And I leave you with this last video.

If this ban is lifted, living in this small town would be hell.  Just think of the pollutants, the noisy equipment, constant movement of mine vehicles … and just picture the worst case scenario …  May God bless Pittsylvania County, its residents, and all the people beyond this area who will be affected.

Please sign the petition to keep the ban.