Be Creative Today.


Creativity Quote by John Updike

photo: “Massachusetts – John Updike", 1962. ©Dennis Stock / Magnum.

“Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or doing it better.”
John Updike

I am thinking about this today as I try to approach my (huge) to-do list with creativity and vision instead of dreariness and dread. So much of life is mundane; why shouldn’t I see these tasks as creative opportunities? We were made to be creative, I believe, so why not unleash it every day?

Look out, dishes. You are going to be extra shiny today!

52 Fridays – #1. Alabama

an art tour of the 50 states

In the spirit of love and support of artists everywhere, Mish Mash Make is launching a new (year long!) series – “52 Fridays“.  Each Friday, I’ll curate a 10 piece show from one state in the good ol’ US of A. And they’re in alphabetical order, y’all!   Which states will be the most artsy?  Which will have the most unusual art?  We’ll find out…

Oh, and if you’re wondering where the extra 2 Fridays are coming from, I’m scooping up DC, Puerto Rico and Guam. 🙂  With no further ado…  Alabama!!

Old Linen Postcard, available on Ebay from The Postcard Dude


A Purple Daydream by Michelle Summers- Birmingham


Floral Vintage Style Picture Frame by MetroSouth - Birmingham


Sweet Primitive Skep Candle by Horton's Honey Farm - Newville


Natalie Chanin's "Alabama Studio Style" photo by Kitty of Fritzi Marie


Puppet Man by Butch Anthony - Seale


Quiet Night on the Corner by Hootenanny 2011 - Auburn


Chun Red Stoneware Bowl by Knighton Pottery - Mobile


Peridot Forest by Darci Alexander - Birmingham


Distressed Wood Abstract by Paintsquare - Peckerwood


Turquoise Mixed Media Sculpture by Rachel Hunnicutt - Tuscaloosa


Obviously, I really like all ten of these pieces (I picked them!), but I have to hallmark Butch Anthony and his Doo Nanny folk art experience.  Has anyone ever been this?  I’d love to hear about it!  Go Alabama!

Next up, Alaska.


Poke the Box (But Not Too Hard) – A Book Review of Seth Godin’s Latest

Over Halloween weekend, I read Seth Godin’s newest book, Poke the Box. I find it fitting that I read this tiny tome between bites of fun-sized Snickers and mini Reese Cups. Although full of little nuggets of wisdom, this book is not hearty enough to satisfy those with a deeper appetite for insight and motivation.

Book Review of Poke the Box

Please don’t get me wrong.  I like fun-sized candy.  And I enjoyed Godin’s book. Ultimately, though I was disappointed that he didn’t give more.  I suppose it’s a positive that he whet my appetite.  He just didn’t deliver the main course.

Seth Godin

What is Poke the Box about?  To borrow a phrase, (Nike’s phrase, to be exact) Godin tells us to “Just Do It”.

He makes a significant point – that what is lacking in our world is not education, talent, skill, vision, or creativity – but (my word) gumption.  He sees offices full of dutiful followers, universities pumping out fearful dreamers, and a culture which often confirms that risk is…well… not worth the risk.  Godin defines this risk as “starting something”.  He also emphasizes that truly starting something involves finishing it.  (Those who have been following my Good Idea series will know this is a stand out point for me)!

Seth Godin book reviewDo I recommend Poke the Box?  Yes, I do, as a starting point… and perhaps this how Godin intended it to read.  You’re sure to come away with an emotional sense of “Yeah, I really should just DO this thing that I’ve been thinking about for months/ years/ ever”.  This is not a bad thing.  Godin’s book cheers you on, (“You can do it, you can do it, rah, rah, rah”), but does little coaching (“Yes, you can do it, and here’s a workout you should do every day so that you can succeed on game day.  I’ll do it with you for a while”).

Neither a book – nor a blogger- can solve all of your problems, or walk you all the way through life’s twists and turns.  Godin doesn’t claim this, but his claims are a little too lofty for what Poke the Box delivers.

Read it?  Yes

Savor it?  No