Episode 390 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast — quirky in a pandemic and always
In this episode of the CMP, the word quirky as a description for the show catches my attention. It is a word to embrace! In this show, simple talk from pandemic days and another week of shelter-in-place orders. I’ve been filling spare time with a number of good things…..
Books and Comics
My digital hold on Glass Hotel (by Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven) finally came in! I also stumbled over the Lumberjanes series and have been inhaling this awesome comic series about a girls summer camp where they work to earn tons of badges, encounter lots of magical creatures, and operate under a motto of “friendship to the max!” I had never heard about this show and found it through a random series of hopscotch. I am a library user, and I use Overdrive, Kindle, and Axis360 to take advantage of books available. But I had never signed up for Hoopla. Something I read in a library newsletter late one night during this pandemic caught my eye – I think it might have been mention of comic books. I know that I registered and then, in looking at a recommended list, discovered Lumberjanes. [You can read them free with Hoopla; they are available at Amazon.com, but they are expensive. I highly recommend taking advantage of Hoopla and reading them on your device!]
The series with its varied themes of friendship, adventure, bravery, identity, diversity, loyalty, and creativity is fantastic. It is a perfect fit for me, and I added reading this series to my list (50 before 50) as a replacement for something that had to get canceled due to the coronavirus closures.
(In the show, I mispronounced Hoopla and had to just remove it. So if you were wondering how I am reading these, that’s how. Our library hooks to Hoopla for 30 checkouts a month. There are 70+ issues of Lumberjanes, but many are in 4-issue volumes, so I’ve been happily reading these during COVID-19.)
A Class on Happiness
There is a bit more about this in the next show. Since it will take a number of weeks to finish, there isn’t much to say in this moment other than…. “I’m taking this class – and really enjoying it!”
An unexpected decision, but I’ve been wanting to knit socks again for a while. Somehow, I ditched a few things I had underway and jumped into a pair of socks. I haven’t looked back. (When I recorded this show, I was still on sock 1. I’m not halfway through sock 2, so it seems to have been just the right moment for this to happen.) Pattern: Hermione’s Everyday Socks, available on Ravelry. I have wanted to make these forever. In the yarn I am using, this pattern is totally lost. Really, it’s invisible. I used a very old skein of yarn I had on hand. I’m okay with all of these things at this point. (I even started out using one needle that was cracked and scotch-taped in the middle. I was also okay with that. After I finished the first sock, I found a back of needles, and now I’m back in business on sock 2 with a set of unbroken size 1’s.)
And finally…. make a list. I go in and out with lists. And then sometimes, I sit down and make a quick list and realize how helpful and grounding it can be. I wonder anew how I forget this simple wisdom and simple practice. So…. make a simple list. Five things. Even if your list if five things you do every day…. a shower, a walk, read, draw, and something else….. write those things down. The next morning, sit with your coffee and look at the list. Check things off. And repeat. Grounding. Concrete. Real. You’ve got this.
It can be easy to get weighed down by everything going on, by the anxiety and the uncertainty. But there are silver linings and gifts. I encourage you to look for them.
(The looking, in and of itself, offers a different mindset. You might find that the act of seeking and discovering helps shift your perspective in meaningful ways.)
Mentioned in this Episode (or Related)
- Fifty Before Fifty
- Do You Hear the Birds
- Glass Hotel (by Emily St. John Mandel)
- Station Eleven (by Emily St. John Mandel)
- Lumberjanes (recommended: use Hoopla; for browsing/info: Amazon.com)
- Guitar music: Nicholai Heidlas on SoundCloud
- Creativity Matters Group at Facebook
- Patreon page
- oamyoamy at Instagram
- Try Creative Bug with the Living a More Creative Life: 30 Ways in 30 Days class
- Try Trello
A note about Trello: I’m feeling really productive with my reading and my “To Read” list this year using Trello. I use Trello for other things, including tracking my 50 Before 50 list, but I am finding new book lover’s peace this year with Trello boards set up to help me keep track of books I want to read, Kindle books I snag on a deal, books I hear about in groups or on other podcasts, and then the books I actually am reading or listening to. If you haven’t tried Trello, you should! (It’s free!)