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Posts tagged ‘Open House’

Open House: Seven Sisters

Seven sisters in a symphony of creative blogs to sit and sip your coffee by….

  1. Kate Hopper shares wise words from a reading event, even though she was sick as a dog and shouldn’t have gone.
  2. Liz Hum considers how unfair parenting can be from one child to the next and why.
  3. Jennifer Johnson shares the loveliest love poem to her husband, on their anniversary.
  4. Bethany Hiitola shares a delightful craft gift to give to friends.
  5. Mary Duquette’s faith in human nature is restored.
  6. Carmen Torbus waxes poetic over zucchini gardening and gets soupily creative.
  7. Karen Winters posts a painting experience including a shot of her on site at the easel, the yellows and greens of the painting smack dab in the scene itself.

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Open House

Due to a terrible worm, my computer has gone kaflooey this week, so in lieu of a full reading list to while away your weekend with a scone and screen, you just have to peek at a few and find a way to fill your weekend with other things…maybe you’ll find inspiration in the blogs below.  Enjoy!

  1. Elizabeth Beck embodies the art of procrastination at its finest – and take a peek at the week’s posts prior to this one to really get a sense of how productive procrastination can be.
  2. Bethany Hiitola finds inspiration for independence in her little girl.
  3. Kate Hopper waits and a miracle happens.
  4. Georgia Geis knows nothing beats those three magic words (not please and thank you, the other magic words).
  5. Mary Gernamotta Duquette pulls a Homer Simpson in a writerly fashion, doh!

Open House

This installment of the Open House brings self-assessment and emergency care; says goodbye to the old and anticipates the new; and throws in a dash of brotherly love. So grab your preferred cup of joe, or bob or serena (my name for herbal tea) and read about Jacqui, Alana, Suzanne,Tracy, Elizabeth, Johanna, Liz, Jen, and Brittany. Enjoy!

  1. Jacqui Robbins flirts with new ideas while working on her current project (I can relate to that!).
  2. Alana Kirk Gillham waves goodbye beautifully in tribute to her family’s home on the way to a new one.
  3. Suzanne Kamata considers what she loves about being a mother after being tagged. (Why do we so often wait until someone else notices us being a good mom to look at how well we are doing?)
  4. Elizabeth Beck had an ER visit, and gave an anatomy lesson.
  5. Johanna Rupp shares a meeting of herself through May Sarton and views of her garden (which is much farther along than mine is so far this year!)
  6. Liz Hum throws tarot cards to check in with herself.
  7. Jen Johnson discovers she should not Frisbee the toys across her living room when she already has frustration adrenaline pumping, with a serious consequence.
  8. Brittany Vandeputte watches her two young boys play and is justified in her decision to have them close together: no, she was not smoking crack after all.

Open House

Another week, and time to get this resting puppy back on its feet! I feel for Miranda’s need to give herself a rest. So I hope she breaks out her cup of coffee, or Mother’s Milk herbal tea and relaxes to the music that is the blogs of creative women. And that you do, too! Enjoy!

  1. Liz Hum has gone a noveling and is excited it grows bigger bones.
  2. Elizabeth Beck overhauls her studio and admits she has a problem.
  3. Jennifer Johnson’s husband has hijacked her blog to show that poetry is in the genes.
  4. Kelly Warren is back on the market.
  5. Karen Winters is grateful she only lost some paintings in a tragic accident.
  6. Mary Duquette fights against the rising tide and wins.
  7. Brittany Vandeputte continues her war with disease while keeping pace with her renovation.
  8. Bec Thomas courts creative copyright laws.
  9. Lisa Damian’s writer retreat feels indulgent, but she makes it work for her by producing.
  10. Amy Grennell is making the most of of her shortened creative hour.
  11. Kate Hopper announces her toddler haiku contest winner and shares her favorite top seven (warning: lots of poopku).
  12. Carmen Torbus dreams big, feels vulnerable when dreams start to come true.

So, enjoy a lucky 13 blogs (and one more for luck, as I tapped 2 of Liz’s) with your morning cup of preference. Maybe it’s enough to last you through the holiday weekend.

3/11 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt

Care to dance? A lovely array of submissions for this week’s creativity contest. Our winner is Cynthia Platt, for a beautiful poem. Cynthia sent in this lovely note: “Here’s an entry for you for the ‘Dance’ category. Dancing has always been a big — and joyful — part of my life. Now it’s joyful part of my nearly-three-year-old daughter’s life, too. Thanks for taking a read, and for hosting the blog, which I read, and take inspiration from, regularly!” Congratulations, Cynthia. Your $10 gift certificate has been issued.

Dance Party

Last night we had a dance party.
A dance party
used to mean something
concrete to me.
Late nights,
flashing lights,
speakers pumping out
bass at outrageous decibels.
I am older now, though,
and she is so young.
Early nights have replaced late,
a brightly lit living room has displaced
the dark, pulsing club.
Last night, her music played
sweet and low and lovely.
I am older now,
and she is so young.
The three of us danced
around the living room,
“It’s a dance party, Mummy!” she trilled,
joy suffusing her voice.
And it was.
Last night we had a dance party.
A dance party means something concrete to me.


From Jen Johnson, a fabulous sonnet: “Submitting an oldie-but-goodie this week, something that came immediately to mind with the ‘dance’ prompt. It was written back when I was in my sonnet phase and really fascinated with poetic form and structure. (A fascination that I still have, though these days I have less of the required focus to put it into practice!) The idea originally sparked when I realized that the nursery rhyme for which it is named has fourteen words — so I wanted to see how it would work as an ‘acrostic sonnet.’ The term refers to the fact that this can be read two ways: top to bottom, like an acrostic, by reading the first words of each line ‘down’ the poem; and also left to right, like a typical poem.”

Ashes, Ashes — We All Fall Down

Ring me round with laughing children, dancing
around and around in the pale daffodils,
the yellow, nodding flowers chancing spring.
Rosy sky wipes wet hands down her skirts, spills
pockets brimming with sultry, heavy air.
Full puddles standing in the glossy street
of gravel-gilded pavement call for bare
posies of children’s toes — pink, tiny, sweet.

Ashes of memory, now — bitter, gray.
Ashes only, no longer the burning.
We slog through this muddy field on May Day,
all alone, sodden socks blistering, yearning.

Fall just once to your naked knees. Stumble
down and stop. Now rise, kindled and humble.


From Cathy Coley: “So, when I saw ‘dance’ was the prompt, I knew I could take this in a 1,000 different directions. However, very quickly the idea of dancing on my father’s feet as a little girl, and Baby C dancing on her Daddy’s feet popped up strongly and quickly from the bottom of that full pool. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get good light, dh and baby together all at once since last Wednesday. This is the result of the photos, which I had hoped would inspire a generational poem or something. Alas, bad photos don’t make for good inspiration, especially on Tuesday morning staring at the day’s deadline. But it was great to remember how I felt as a little girl dancing on my father’s feet. And I got a nice shot in of Daddy kissing his girl.”



From me (Miranda): When I was in high school, I won a competition for designing the T-shirts and sweatshirts for an annual dance event. (The win was one of about two happy moments related to my high school years.) I loved drawing in pen and ink, an interest that I inherited from my mother, who supplied me with a homemade light box. The final design is packed in a box somewhere in my attic, but I do have some similar sketches around somewhere — alas I spent nearly an hour tearing apart my just-unpacked house in search of the scrap of paper I was looking for, to no avail.

danceI have a weakness for images of dancers. I’ve always admired the beauty of a high arch. Many dancers have exquisite feet — and many non-dancers have exquisite feet, too. Whenever I notice a person with exceptional arches, I can’t help but ask if she’s a dancer. Unless someone is willing to intentionally point her feet for you (which is a bit awkward to ask of a stranger), the only way to really assess her arches is to casually observe her foot when it’s extended — say, if she’s sitting on the floor with her legs out straight, one crossed over the other, which tends to force a gentle pointing of the foot. Or, if someone is sitting in a chair cross-legged and has a natural turnout, you might be able to observe her arch when she absently points her foot during conversation. Not that I am utterly obsessed with feet or anything, really! Despite many years of ballet, and dancerly aspirations, I do not have beautiful arches — as you can tell from this photo of me en pointe. Just not that impressive. (Good thing that “arch augmentation” isn’t something that most plastic surgeons offer, or I’d have done it by now.)

I still remember the smell of new toeshoes with fondness — that intoxicating perfume of glue, leather, and satin. While I don’t consider myself a stage mother, I admit that I did drag my daughter to ballet lessons at the age of 5. Ballet just wasn’t her thing, however. She never cared for it, so I let it go after a few weeks. Now, I peruse my old copy of Allegra Kent’s The Dancer’s Body Book and Suzanne Farrell’s autobiography, hoping to manifest a little grace in my life, even with my regular old, Plain Jane arches. (Photo credit Jack Foley.)


This week’s prompt: “Map”
Use the prompt however you like — literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, March 17, 2009. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly contest, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 24 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

Open House

Wow, is it Friday already?

Any fun plans for the weekend? I’m trying to get a sitter for tomorrow, as my husband will be installing tile in our new basement bathroom, and I need to work on taxes and take care of some pressing client work — not to mention a million other things, such as taking the last of our boxes to the recycling center (the bulk of them were picked up by “neighbors” for re-use). Hopefully we’ll find a bit of time for some family fun in there somewhere. I also commented on the Monday Page that I would spend 30 minutes with my manuscript, so I’d better make that happen!

Here’s a peek at what’s up in the lives of Creative Construction community members:

  1. Kristine Coblitz burned her Superwoman costume.
  2. Liz Hum worked on a new strategy for scheduling her day. She also observed that painting chocolate on someone’s butt isn’t always attractive.
  3. Jen Johnson contemplated fleeing to Australia — or not.
  4. Marsanne Petty committed to a daily, six-sentence story.
  5. Bethany Hiitola finds that mornings are a considerable challenge.
  6. Jacqui Robbins made some progress in the office. (What do you think of the premise that the state of one’s work space is a reflection on the work itself?)

Open House

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has something fun to look forward to this weekend. Here’s our bi-weekly roundup of noteworthy blog posts from the Creative Construction community.

  1. Suzanne Révy shares a creative dialog with her son.
  2. Jacqui Robbins fights with part three.
  3. Elizabeth Beck sets the record straight on her favorite colors.
  4. Emma-Jane Rosenberg had some challenges with the challenge.
  5. Suzanne Kamata’s short story won an SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Magazine Merit Award for Fiction.
  6. Kristine Coblitz took to evening power writing for the February Finish-a-thon.
  7. Kate Hopper asks why write?

Have a wonderful weekend! Grab onto a few moments for yourself, somehow, somewhere.

Open House

A selection of interesting tidbits from the personal blogs of Creative Construction community members:

  1. Kerry Bennett contemplated homeschooling a 15-year-old and moving to Maine.
  2. Jen Johnson closed up shop.
  3. Kathryn Virello expanded on dreams, wishes, hopes, and aspirations.
  4. Brittany Vandeputte dug deep on food, passion, and happiness.
  5. Liz Hum made some goals for 2009, and put them right in her calendar.
  6. Susanne Fritzsche took a personality quiz that proved her uniqueness.
  7. Elizabeth Beck took stock of 2008 and adopted a fun way to track her creativity in 2009.

Enjoy, and have a lovely weekend. Take a little time for yourself creatively, even if you can only steal ten minutes. You’ll be happier for it.

And while you’re being creative, can someone please help me test my latest theory? To those who recently (or not so recently) resolved to lose weight and/or get in shape: I suspect that the best diet includes personal creative time. I seem to have observed that having time to express myself creatively is the best appetite suppressant out there. Avoiding sugar and simple carbs is key for me, but lately I wonder if creativity is actually a better diet “pill” or strategy than anything else I’ve tried. Your thoughts?

Open House

Our latest collection of interesting tidbits from the Creative Construction community:

  1. Liz Hum shares some important thoughts on happiness.
  2. Kristine Coblitz finished her outline draft. (Applause!)
  3. Carmen Torbus turned 32 and stated her intentions for the year.
  4. Kate Hopper appreciates her precious baby girl, just because.
  5. Brittany Vandeputte may have finished her revisions, despite the onslaught of bad health. (More applause!)
  6. Jen Johnson wrote an open letter to President-Elect Obama and other officials regarding the disastrous Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
  7. Mary Duquette found a moment to be writer and mother, without being at odds.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

Open House

Feeling a little overfed today? Have another slice of pecan pie and enjoy a bit of surfing. Here’s our bi-weekly roundup of interesting goings-on from the personal blogs of Creative Construction community members:

  1. Christa Miller is making a big change.
  2. Liz Hum regretfully abandoned NaNoWriMo. She also turned 30. Happy Birthday, Liz!
  3. Susanne Fritzsche reflected on the 18 different women inside of her.
  4. Kelly Warren is thankful for the little things, including fallen cake.
  5. Emma-Jane Rosenberg celebrated 11 years of marriage.
  6. Lisa Damian checked on her list of things to do before dying.
  7. Benita Larsson posted very cozy pictures of her snowy street in Sweden.

Enjoy the long weekend, if you’ve got one!

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