A Crapsey … What??


Cinquain. A Crapsey cinquain. Remeber it’s one of the syllabic poetry forms I mentioned in last week’s post.

The Crapsey cinquain was developed by a woman named Adelaide Crapsey, an American poet. As per its name, the cinquain has five lines. The Crapsey cinquain follows a strict syllabic form:

Line 1 – 2 syllables
Line 2 – 4 syllables
Line 3 – 6 syllables
Line 4 – 8 syllables
Line 5 – 2 syllables.

A single siquain can stand on its own or it can be used along with additional cinquains as a stanza of a longer poem.

For one example, you can see “American Princess” in my own poetry collection, Windsong and Other Poems.

Additionally, here is an example just for this. (This is a rough draft and not finished in any way.)

Facebook,
Instagram, and
more social media.
Good or bad, we live our lives
online.

Give it a try. If you feel brave, share yours in the comments below.

Video: Let’s Talk about Writing Crochet, and Creativity

Don’t you just love the frames YouTube decides to use as your video cover? that will change once I do he thumbnail and upload it, too, but until then, I’m obvioulsy in mid-word and look like I’m making a goofy face.

I’m restarting my YouTube channel. Last Friday, I uploaded a reintroduction video, so here it is.

I would love it if you would go over to YouTube and leave me a comment or a like. Or subscribe. That would be very appreciated!

I’ll be talking about writing, creativity, and crochet. So if there is anthing specific you would like to hear about, let me know. This week’s video will be about some aspect of writing. Exactly what isn’t decided yet, but it will prolbably be about one of my favorite poetic forms, mainly because I have a catchy hook in my head and if I don’t use it, it will drive me bonkers.

Well… More bonkers. How’s that?

Mojo Revisited


If you remember, back in June, I mentioned I had lost my mojo for writing. Since that time, I’ve tried a few things to get it back, but my usual tips and tricks didn’t really work that well this time.

So what did I do?

I can tell you what I didn’t do. I didn’t push it. I was nice to myself. I didn’t say I had writer’s block. I didn’t say I was in a rut. I didn’t do or say anything that might indicate I was embarassed or ashamed of not writing.

So I crocheted.

A lot, actually. And I started a mailing list. And I wrote blog posts about crochet.And I decided I’m going to restart my YouTube channel.

You get the idea.

I was still being creative, I just wasn’t focused on writing. And that actually brings me to my point. (Yes, I do have one other than the fact that my mojo is coming back.)

I think it is important to have more than one creative outlet. If I didn’t crochet or do anything else, I would have obsessed over not writing. That would have made it worse for me, I’m sure. Having more than one creative outlet allows you to keep your creative well filled when it could otherwise become drained. It helps you prevent burnout when one outlet seems to run dry. 

Depending on what your creative outlets are, they can even inform and feed off of each other. Although I had lost my writing mojo, I still wrote, but I wrote about crochet. So you could say that crochet both informed and fed my writing. That’s a good thiung.

I stsill say I am primarily a writer, but I’m also fairly confident in saying I’m an avid crocheter/crochet artisan too.

What about you? What are your creative interests? Do you find they influence each other in any way?

Leave a comment and let’s talk.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?


How is that for a throwback to childhood and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood? But seriously wouldn’t it be great to have a large community of neighbors who are interested in what you have going on? I don’t mean in a nosy way, but in a genuinely interested way.

Sometimes I really do.

And the good thing about the internet is we can do that in many ways. True there’s Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs like this…

But then…

A bad thing about the internet is that something that’s here today could be completely gone tomorrow. Then what do you do about those connections? How do you keep in touch with those contacts for whom you have NO contact information?

You don’t own your lists of friends online, no matter what social media platform you use.

Do you kno what you do own?

Your email contacts list.

And so that’s my point today. I would lie to invite you to be my virtual neighbor. Join my community. I’ll send you an email once a week, usually on Friday, to let you know what’s going on. I’ll include a link back to this blog in case there’s something you’ve missed. And you’ll be the first to know when something new is on the way.

(For example, there’s something new that my community list has known about for a couple weeks that I have yet to annouce here. I will soon, though.)

Because of some choices I made when I first set up this website, I can’t just pop a form in for you to fill out. What I can do is give you a link

See? I just did.

Yes, I’m being silly. But serously, you can click the link above or the image at the beginning of this post and sign up. For the rest of this month, you’ll get a free crochet pattern PDF in exchange for your email address. In August, it will be something different. I’ll switch it up between something for people more interested in writing and for people more interested in crochet.

I’m also going to be setting up a resource library here. There will be items of interest for writers and crocheters. I’ll work on that this weekend. It will be passsword-protected and the onl way to get the password will be to join the newsletter community.

Some of you may be thinking that you already subscribe to my blog, so why do you need to sign up for the community newsletter? Well, one reason is the resource library I just mentioned. Another reason is… What would you do if I had to move this blog and the subscriptions didn’t move with it? How would you know where I’d gone and where to find me?

Signing up for the community newsletter would keep you from wondering if I’d just dropped off the face of the planet….or got helplessly tangled up in a ball of yarn.

It could happen.

Should You Go to a Conference?

No matter what your hobbies or career choices, eventually you’ll be faced with going to a conference. Should you go or not?

The short answer is yes. You should go.

The longer answer begins with “it depends.”
Here are three things to consider when you’re decidig whether or not to go to a conference.

1. Budget

Unfortunately, conferences aren’t free. Some are more expensive than others and only you can decide if it’s worth the cost or not. If you’ve never been to that conference, it’s difficult. How can you know if a conference is worth the mone if you’ve never been? (Talk to others who have been, evaluate the speakers, etc.)

Aside from the conference fees, though, remember the travel expense and vendors. Many conferences have books or other merchanidse for sale. That needs to be considered when you decide on your budget.

2. Education

Depending on your profession. you have to have to have a certain level of continuing education credits. Because of that, you might be hesitant about going to another conference for something you don’t have to do. I understand that.

The thing is, if you don’t go to conferences that aren’t “required,” you’re behind on new advancements and upcoming trends by the time they hit the stores. That makes you scramble to try to keep up. Disclaimer: I am NOT suggesting you should chase trends. Keep with what you know and love, but be aware and ready to change or adapt if there’s something new coming up that you want to incorporate in what you do.

3. Connections

Conferences allow you to network and meet with like-minded people who work in similar areas as you. Yes, you can meet people in groups on Facebook and other social media platforms, but there’s something to be said for meeting people face-to-face in real life. The shared connection of the interest the conference caters to makes networking and meeting new people easier and less awkward.

The people you meet can become friends, mentors, coworkers, collaborators, and even fans of your work. They can help you promote your work and you can help promote theirs. It’s almost like having a built-in street team.

What else?

There are many more reasons to attend conferences. I couldn’t list everything here, so I thought I would focus on the top three. What did I miss that you think is an important consideration? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Do You Wish You Were More Creative?

Sometimes you get stuck in a rut. You think you’re not creative. Or you feel “blocked.” You get frustrated and don’t know what to do next.

Well….

I can help you with that. In more ways than one.

First, I have a few books out that address various aspects of creativity. They’re all linked below with short descriptions of each. Second, you can work with me directly in a coaching situation tailored to exactly what you need. Third, you can join my email list where you will get periodic creativity tips and other updates. I am working on a freebie to offer you when you sign up.

Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone Everyone who is mae in the image of God is creative. These devotions illustrate how creativity surrounds us and how we cn use it in his service even–and especially–in unexpected ways, such as teaching, parenting, gardening, and cooking, as well as themore expoected outlets of writing, painting, and drawing. Hopefully,. they will help ignite the spark of creativity in you.

80 Creativity Tips 80 Creativity Tips provid a jump-start to sagging creativity and a boost when motivation is low.

Journal Your Way to Creativity Journal Your Way to Creativity is a 90-day self-guided journal designed to help readers tap into their creativity. Some of the promps may sound silly, but some of the silliest prompts tend to be the ones that make you dig the deepest.

Question of the day: What is a service or product that is not listed here that you would be interested in?

Let Me Tell You a Story

Have I ever told you how I started writing? Or anything about my creative journey?

No?

I want to do that now, then.From the time I was about 7 to 16 (I’m guesstimating), my mom was a babysitter. My job, if you can really call it that, was helping to entertain the kids.

That included telling stories.

Even my brother loved my stories and frequently wanted me to tell him a bedtime story.

Eventually, I started writing them down I would also write poems. I was on the school paper and yearbook. But even though I wrote, I didn’t call myself a writer. My writing was mostly just for me at that point.

Don’t get me wrong. I had teachers who encouraged my writing, but those were mostly on school assignments. I didn’t think it was really that big a deal.

Fast-forward to college.

I was waiting for one class to let out so my class could start. I think it was Introduction to Sociology, if I remember correctly. A classmate came and sat by me (on the floor in the hall) to wait, too.

I was reading Writer’s Digest.

Her: “Oh. Are you a writer?”
Me (hesitating): “Yes.”
Her: “What do you write?”

To be totally honest, I don’t remember the rest of our conversation. It was *cough*  years ago.

Why do I remember this much of it?

It was the first time I gave myself permiossion to say I was/am a writer.

This is why I say that you are the only person who says you can or can’t be creative. It’s why I say you have to give ourself permisssion.

No one else can do that.

If you hven’t yet given yerself permission to be creative, to be a writer, to be whatever, do that now.

You might have to do it more than once. That’s OK. Just keep doing it until it sticks.