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Cathy: And now for something completely different

I’ve been so wrapped up in the idea that I need to finish my manuscript, that the feeling has resulted in much the same as shooting one’s self in the foot, can’t win for trying, or a hundred other clichés. So when I saw the opportunity from Elizabeth Beck to be a part of Do Not Leave Unattended! by Judy Beckett of, I jumped at it.

It reminded me of last spring to summer when I discovered Kerri Smith’s Wreck this Journal. I was so stuck, I hadn’t worked on the manuscript since about three to four years prior, even though it had never left my mind. I had let life get in the way of art, and I needed to find a way back. I discovered the way back to art through Wreck. It has everything to do with being able to be free about it, make it messy, have fun with it and play. Because of that little tome and my use of it, I was able to return to the manuscript with a renewed sense of fun and inspiration about it. It didn’t matter if I made it work, what mattered was that I was writing about kids and what they go through in sixth grade, and that even if some of it is hard, it’s also fun to be a kid, have a family who loves you, even when they’re a pain, have friends who stick by you, even if you’re not exactly sure why, and that no matter who you are, you can do something great, maybe even change the world a little.

So, now that I really am right at the end of the ‘first’ draft (which has already been through practically word-by-word edits), like two to three scenes from the end, I find myself trying to make it work, or avoiding doing so, or whatever so that I won’t finish. I took a moment to breath, to get messy, to create something completely different and let it go out into the universe, especially not perfect. Here is the result:springjournal2


I wanted to feel like a kid, so I played with markers, I wanted the sense of youth and fun and something new and had been thinking a lot about spring because it’s spring. On my dog walks and in my gardening, I’ve been noticing lots of itty bitty wildflowers, like confetti all over my lawn and around the public areas in my subdivision. I thought about them being fairy footprints left behind after a night of dancing. I wrote a haiku. Then I free wrote in the journal about spring, how it’s about change and new and color…

So it looks like a kid did it, and I’m glad. I needed to feel more like a kid to finish writing about one. And I put a lot more productive hours into my manuscript the week i did this page. Letting go and playing in creativity really can set you free.

Who wants to be next?

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. i love this, cath! bright, colorful, fun and free. i especially like the “fairy footprints left in the grass after a night of dancing”. great line. you go, girl! hope your field trip is going well! we just got home from ours and the girls are crashed on the couch. 🙂

    April 28, 2009
  2. Cathy #

    thanks, kelly. glad you had fun on your field trip…ours is tomorrow.

    April 28, 2009
  3. I think there are a lot of creative connections to be found in mining one’s earlier years…makes things feel “whole” somehow, no?

    April 28, 2009
  4. Cathy #

    so, miranda, are you hinting at wanting to be next to make your mark in the journal?

    April 28, 2009
  5. hmmmm, am i hearing this will be a group, passed around, journal? now that’s something we haven’t talked about before! how fun would it be to do that? 🙂

    April 28, 2009
  6. Cathy #

    click on Do Not Leave Unattended! in the first paragraph.

    April 28, 2009
  7. Cathy #

    kelly, are you volunteering, then?! you know how to get in touch with me to give me your snail addie?

    April 28, 2009
  8. Kristine #

    Sometimes the hardest thing to do, Cathy, is to finish.

    Your journal entry is so cool! I wish I were that visually creative.

    April 28, 2009
  9. cathy, i’m very proud of you !! well done!

    we could do a creative construction pass around journal too …. it’s a pretty easy peasy thing to do!

    April 29, 2009
  10. Cathy #

    thanks, kristine and elizabeth.

    kristine, i really just thought about flowers on the ground that i had just seen then played with markers – if i had really considered composition or anything else for that matter, it would have been a much different piece. i just went with the flow.

    i think a journal is a great idea for our group!

    April 29, 2009
  11. OK, I LOVE the idea of our own journal. I will acquire and get started if everyone is on board!

    Any parameters we want to include? Anything pertaining to motherhood and creativity? Or just leave wide open?

    April 29, 2009
  12. okay, i just signed up for the “Do Not Leave Unattended”. that sounds like fun. and i’m all for doing our own traveling journal for cc!

    April 29, 2009
  13. It looks so fun! And I can so RELATE to being wrapped up in the idea that I need to finish my manuscript. And your journal… and DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED? Fabulous! Sometimes you just have to let go. I mean, if you let go, sometimes the projects we DO want work on suddenly become clearer.

    April 29, 2009
  14. Cathy #

    yay, kelly! and glad to see you back, bethany!

    miranda, i thought i responded to your ofer already, but i’m glad you hopped on the idea – i love the idea of keeping it wide open. zero pressure. i like the perameters over on Do Not Leave Unattended: ‘impart wisdom, create laughter touch hearts leave footprints’

    i guess i’ll get this one back in the mail to jude beckett, then, rather than grab someone’s snail mail here.

    April 29, 2009

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