Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Little Drops of Dew: A dream, books, calendars

Today feels like a good day.

I had strange dreams last night and the only remnant of one that stands out is of a giant squid body of some sort. I remember squatting in the dirt separating white and black noodles for dinner. They were very thin and the black noodles were actually worms and I didn't like touching them. I needed to separate them, so that I could prepare the white noodles for dinner. We were somewhere far away and had nearly escaped. I was about to dispose of the huge bulbous body when someone said, "stop! that's the best part. Look inside, you'll see thousands and thousands of rice kernels." I lifted the skirt of this squid-like mass and saw that indeed there were kernels that looked like miniature puffed wheat that could feed the masses. They looked lovely hidden beneath the purplish body of this interesting creature that seemed illuminated inside. It felt warm and protected.

Each year I go to Barnes & Noble and select a few daily calendars at 50% off. I like having at least three because I have trouble settling on just one. Two are the same from last year: The Book Lover's Calendar and The Argyle Sweater, which has proved to be quite funny. The third is a word calendar of archaic words. The print is so tiny I struggle to read the entries. I had spotted a Dot-to-Dot calendar that day, but decided against it. After stumbling upon some directly unrelated websites on learning and creativity, I decided to go back and get the Dot-to-Dot for home. I vaguely remember doing these as a child. I would like to improve my drawing and way of interpreting shapes and that's how I decided to get this calendar. I've found it to be quite relaxing. It has become my evening ritual. I try to guess what the image might be and then I begin connecting the dots. And Voila, a surprising image will appear. Yesterday was a pair of sunglasses and at the suggestion of my significant other, I drew in bloodshot eyeballs, a nose, and a mouth with teeth and tongue hanging out. It looks funny. I like it.

I've resisted for months on purchasing a wireless Apple keyboard. The time came about a week ago, and it's great. The iPad is fast becoming my main computer. It's more convenient and I don't have to strain my wrist with a mouse or a laptop touchpad for every move I make, and I much prefer the way the keys feel under my fingers with the wireless keyboard. My laptop was becoming sluggish, and because I don't use a desk or table these days to write, it became awkward to hold it in my lap when I type.

I'm having trouble deciding which fiction book to read next. I have so many unread books on my shelves and Kindle and I couldn't find one that truly grabbed me. I did begin one story that was a freebie on Amazon for Kindle: Awake in the Mad World by Damon Farrell Marbut. I haven't formed an opinion on it yet. It has some good moments in dialogue and seems to flow alright. I want to keep at it, give it a chance, though I did almost give up.

The last book of December that I finished that I thoroughly enjoyed was The Dog that Talked to God by Jim Kraus. This is such a sweet story. I happened to get it for free thanks to the Kindle blog that I follow. The Kindle price is currently $8.54. Anyway, this was a sweet, heartfelt story about a widowed woman and a dog that comes into her life and how the two forge together to find a new life. I love coming across books that I might normally not find. This one left me feeling uplifted and satisfied.

I think it's time for me to browse the library's bookshelves--to find my next reading adventure.

In preparation for my upcoming class and because I've become more and more curious about the topic, I found a book on Amazon that I've begun: Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget, and Vygotsky.

There are also a handful of books that I've downloaded samples for and a book or two on hold from the library related to this area.

This morning I felt the need to pull The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life by Julia Cameron. It's a book that I've read slowly over the years and that I look to for inspiration. I actually followed through on today's exercise--or rather, the exercise I landed on for the day. It was to write down 25 wishes, big or small. I did so in my personal journal. This was the perfect exercise for today--just what I needed! Cameron suggests that we do this exercise once a month or when we are feeling scattered. I have definitely been feeling scattered and this exercise gave me a gentle nudge. I even began a short story that's been tugging at me for weeks and maybe even months.

Tuesday's seem to be good days.

Happy writing and creating!

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