Tag Archives: imagination

blogging yourself home

laptop at homehere is part 1 of my presentation at MentalHealthCamp on the topic “blogging yourself home – writing, blogging and creativity.”

i’ll present it as if i was talking at the presentation and treat you, dear readers, as if you were participants in the workshop.

here we go …

when i was a little girl, there were these tiny glass bottles that fascinated me, and i loved playing with them. and not only were there bottles, but there were also tiny saws with which to open them. i could never figure out why they didn’t just have caps but anyway, i thought they were great little things to play with. especially since my mother really didn’t want me to.

turns out they were my father’s morphine vials.

after a few years, he exchanged the tiny little morphine bottles for bigger ones. from the little 2-ounce ones to mickies to 2-litre bottles of cheap red plonk. they were everywhere. i dind’t really think they were that cute anymore.

my father had the typical addictive personality. he managed to overcome the booze, too, but he had first bladder then pancreatic cancer, and there’s a high correlation between that and smoking, which he did with a passion.

he was also a great artist, a wonderful person in many ways, he introduced me to buddhism which many of you know is very important to me – but he had major difficulties.

the funny thing is that his addictions were difficult but for me as a child they were more a nuisance than anything else.

he also had bipolar disorder, and what did get to me were those long periods of depression where he basically wouldn’t leave his bed for months in a row.

it was that and a mother who tried to cope with this and my sister who has a disability by being a rageaholic and giving me the role of being the “responsible one”

so that’s the home that i grew up in.

why would i want to blog myself home then, why would i suggest to you to blog yourself home? because let’s face it, many of us grew up in homes we don’t particularly want to go back to.

here’s what i propose.

most of us are bloggers here, which means we’re writers.

and that means that we use our creativity, we use our imagination.

the neat thing is, not only is our writing a piece of the imagination; in many ways, the whole blogosphere is a piece of the imagination.

i’d like to ask you, then, what do you imagine your ideal home to be – what are the good words that come up for you as you think of the word “home” – in general, and then also specifically, your virtual home?

why don’t you reflect on this question and comment below? next blog post, i’ll continue the presentation.

image by nuanc

blogathon: my ideal writing weekend, part 3

this little imaginative piece about my ideal writing weekend is an entry for my participation in the 2008 blogathon, a 24-hour marathon of blogging. please support the cause and donate – however much, however little – to the canadian mental health association (vancouver/burnaby branch). to donate, email me or use this URL: www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=d2252. canadian mental health association
you should be able to get there by clicking the link; if not, just copy and paste the link into your browser. it will take you to the appropriate location at canada helps.

thank you for visiting, reading, commenting and, if you can, donating!

post #3 about my ideal writing weekend, which is going to the my ideal writing weekend competition http://absorbingwriting.com/2008/07/writing-competition-my-ideal-writing-weekend/:

yesterday was – oh, just fantastic. or, as the thesaurus says, “so remarkable as to elicit disbelief”. yes, we’re allowed to use the thesaurus. and the dictionary. and whatever else we want. in fact, irina, one of the workshop leaders, looked uncomprehendingly at marta, a lovely 77-year old woman from rhodes island, when marta asked, carefully, what materials we were allowed to use.

“whatever! crossword puzzles, cereal boxes, the bible – whatever inspires you!” apparently, marta had been to other workshops that were full of rules and verbotens. not here!

marta and i became friends right away. on the outside, she looks like a conservative little grandmother, all crochet and lace, but boy, once you get to know her … one of the malcolm X guys was her lover for a while, she ran a plumbing business for ten years, and she grew up the oldest of ten in a poor, alcoholic family in quebec. not a victim, though, marta, no – she’s turned it all into stories, and is ready to polish them. she’s already published three books, “and this time i’m going to do it right!”

the people are wonderful, well, almost all of them. there is one couple that goes on my nerves with all the stuff they already know but you gotta take that in your stride.

the trip to lunch was pretty, how should we say, adventuresome. we almost raced off the cliff at one time. heart attack material. before we had a chance to recuperate from the shock, we had another one – this time we almost collided with a donkey. yes, a donkey! there are still a few here in sardinia. a donkey, whose owner was busy talking on a cell phone. there should be a law: no cell phones on donkeys.

i won’t even talk about the food and the wine. that’s a chapter all by itself. unfortunately, i like EVERYTHING, including the mustazzoli, a delicacy made with almonds, honey and something citrusy which normally only comes out on holidays but i guess they know that we north americans really come for the food even though we say we’re here for the writing, so they make it anyway.

okay, we come for the writing, too. but everything that surrounds us – the food, the tucked-away dreamy mediterranean beauty, the company, the exceptional teachers – everything is so inspiring. we all write like mad, and it comes so easy, the ink flows like wine.

be playful? here are 7 ideas

recently, i discovered a new blog, and i immediately – what’s the word? – glommed on to it. beplayful.org, tha pathway through the forest in japanat’s the name, and it says it all. i was able to persuade david to write a post for change therapy. here it is:

i love being playful. being playful helps me to relax, to laugh with life, and to come up with new ideas. playfulness is at the heart of my creativity.

creativity and playfulness go hand in hand: when you are being truly creative, you are being playful; when you are being playful, your creativity and imagination can’t help but show themselves.

because of this link, i’ve found that being playful helps me discover my inner creativity.

here are some of the playful things that i like to do to bring out the creative me:

as a child i used to love drawing cartoons and treasure maps and random doodles. i’ve recently rediscovered this love of drawing, and i’ve found that doodling is a great way to bring out creative ideas or to let out any stress that is blocking my creativity.

mind maps
if you’re a visual thinker but doodling seems too abstract, you’re likely to find mind-mapping a great creativity-boosting tool. mind maps are brilliant for helping you to notice connections between ideas.

similar to mind maps, but more spontaneous, are rico clusters.

talking to myself
when i’m thinking out new ideas, i often find it helpful to verbalise them, giving them a physical presence.

conversation as an art form
if you’re not entirely comfortable with the idea of talking to yourself (i know i wasn’t until i realised just how much i do it anyway!), it can be equally helpful to share your ideas with others.

once you’ve found someone that you’re comfortable sharing ideas with, begin to see your conversation with them as a art form in itself. talking with others can be a playground of the imagination.

this is my favourite way of being playful, and the one that i find most difficult to do. living in a non-stop, 24/7 city it’s easy to feel guilty or bored when sitting down to do nothing. yet when i take the time to daydream is when my creative ideas flow best.

there’s something magical about writing down your thoughts, ideas, and parts of your life journey. equally special are the feelings and sounds as the ink of your pen glides, scratches and dries in your beautiful journal. isabella has written quite a few posts on this topic, for example a fun and crazy writing experiment.

go for a walk
or dance in the rain. or go peoplewatching, sitting with your coffee in a corner cafe.

breathing in the fresh air pumps oxygen to your brain, giving your thoughts an energy boost. breathing in the beauty of the world and of nature brings out the beauty of your inner world.

your thoughts
do playfulness and creativity really go together? what playful techniques do you use to boost your creativity?

did you enjoy this post? want to have more playfulness in your life? then visit beplayful.org or sign up for the beplayful RSS feed.

(i’d also like to thank astrid for featuring this post in the june 7 carnival of healing)

(image by kalleboo)