Archive for Creativity Posts

published in Achieving Your Dreams, Courage, Creativity, Inspiration by Maryanne | January 10, 2017 | 2 Comments

Put It Out There – Whatever “It” is For You

 

Painting by Victor Gilbert

“You were invited, and you showed up, and you simply cannot do more than that. They might throw you out…but the ballroom is often more welcoming and supportive than you could ever imagine.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

I was flipping through Elizabeth Gilbert’s delightful book, Big Magic; Creative Living Beyond Fear, the other day and came across one of my favourite passages. It’s a great story and since it made me laugh out loud, again, I thought I’d share it with you.

It’s a good reminder about finding the courage to put whatever it is we have to offer to the world out there. Sure…we might get laughed at, scorned, criticized, teased and/or rejected. But if so, so what? We’re tough. We can take it.

But chances are pretty good that if we love what we’ve come up with, others probably will, too. And if not, oh well. If we enjoyed making (or baking, creating, designing, writing, composing, sketching, building, painting, sculpting, etc) it, then the effort was worth it.

Here’s the basic story from the Big Magic book:

There once was a young American painter. He saved up all his money and went to live in Paris to be inspired by art and beauty. He lived on the cheap for months, painting and showing his art to anyone who would look. One day, he got chatting with some wealthy people at a cafe and they invited him to a masquerade ball at a beautiful chateau in the country.

He said yes.

He worked really hard on creating his costume, rented a car and off he went to the ball. The butler confirmed his name on the guest list and announced his arrival. Everyone turned to look and the party ground to a halt. It was in this moment that the young man realized his mistake. This was a themed party, in which all the aristocrats were elaborately dressed in period costume.

He was dressed as a lobster: a home-made lobster, complete with red spandex tights, painted red face, bobbing antennas and red ballet slippers.

But did he run back out the door, like many people would’ve (myself included)? No. He swallowed his pride, held his head high, stepped onto the dance floor and had a wonderful evening. People loved his audacity and willingness to roll with the punches.

He was the life of the party.

“We did not come all this great distance, and make all this great effort, only to miss the party at the last moment.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

No, we didn’t. So if you have a book to write, a blog to start, a song to sing, a poem to compose, a house to build, a painting to create, a drawing to sketch, a business to start or an education to get, do it.

Get thy butt on the dance floor of life while the party’s still in swing.

And even if you look as bad as Elaine did on Seinfeld, hey, that’s life. We’re still talking about that episode, aren’t we 🙂

Related Blogs by Maryanne

Beautiful Big Magic – The Book AND the Magic

Embracing Our Embarrassments – Our Candour Can Give Others Courage

Even the Best Parties Have to End

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.

Pssst…Wanna Win a Gift for YOU?

Check Out Our Quick Christmas Contest

 

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!”

– Dr. Suess

I don’t know about you but I have this odd habit of giving gifts to other people that I personally love. A good book often meets that criteria.

So for our little year-end Christmas contest, we are offering up the chance to win a book of your choice. But we’re only giving you two books to choose from – partly because I’m a bit of a bossy Santa 🙂 and partly because both books have truly impacted me this past year.

And the two books are:

Big Magic; Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Productivity Project; Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy by Chris Bailey

I have already written several blogs about these two outstanding books, so if you would like more information on why these books have resonated so much with me, the links are at the bottom of this blog.

Quick Christmas Contest

If you would like to win one either Big Magic or The Productivity Project, just send us an e-mail (with subject heading: “Christmas Contest”) with the following info:

A) State WHICH book you would like to win.

B) Tell us (in a few sentences) WHY you would like to read it.

All names will be entered into the draw. Contest ends on Dec 24th 🙂

Good luck and I hope you have a happy holiday season…may it involve much reading, reflection and relaxation. And here’s to a creative and productive 2017 for all. Ho ho ho!

Related Blogs by Maryanne

Hey Busy Bee – How Productive ARE You in that Little Hive of Yours?

Do You Procrastinate? Here’s a Tip: Think of Your Future Self

Using Creativity to Bring More Joy & Beauty to the World

Beautiful Big Magic – the Book AND the Magic

Books With Bite

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.

 

published in Christmas, Creativity, Family, Giving, Inspiration by Maryanne | November 22, 2016 | No Comment

Re-Gifting 101 – Raiding the Treasure Trove

 

drawer-filled-with-x-mas-goodies-in-basement

Going through the bureau full of gifts to be re-gifted

 “These gifts are actually very cool.”

– Anon teenage gift-wrapper, age 14

You know you are on the right track with a re-gifting mission when the teenage girls you’ve enlisted to wrap said gifts actually approve of the majority of the presents.

This isn’t particularly surprising, however, because my Mom – who purchased the gifts in the first place (over the past 4 decades) but didn’t quite get around to giving them away – had excellent taste. She was a great shopper. Getting around to wrapping the items and actually giving them away, not so much.

As you may recall from previous blogs, I ended up with the vast majority of these gifts that need to be re-gifted. And thanks to the hard work of my friend, Jackie, who helped me sort through all the boxes and move the gifts into one bureau, when the time came to put my enthusiastic young wrappers to work, I was ready to roll!

Here are a few cute shots of the gift-wrappers hard at work:

paige-wrapping-pressies

Paige

 

harl-wrapping-presents

Harleigh

 

ella-wrapping-pressies

Ella

Many of the gifts are destined for my family. Although most of the presents are brand new items (I did my best at guessing WHO my Mom was thinking of when she bought the gift in the first place), there are some slightly used items (such as Momma Pope’s favourite coffee cups that she called her “memory mugs”) that I think will put a smile on their face 🙂

Another thing that will put a smile on some faces is the choice of wrapping material:

ma-holding-up-depends

MA preparing to wrap a gift in some rather unorthodox, but oh-so-Pope, padding 🙂 as Sadie looks on in dismay

But I promise I only used these old (but not used!) Depends – found (oddly enough) in the boxes from my Mom’s place – on a few of my brother’s gifts! I actually think the damn things were bought in error because they are rather LARGE and my Mom was rather tiny at the end of her life.

At any rate, here are three tips about re-gifting during the holidays:

1. Be creative.

2. Try not to re-gift an item BACK to the same person who gave it to you in the first place…this doesn’t tend to go over well.

3. Consider making the wrapping material part of the fun.

As for yours truly, I am thoroughly enjoying the items I kept for myself from the stash of stuff in the boxes from my Mom’s place. Check out my “new” yoga pants from the ’70’s (the tag was still on!):

yoga-pants

My yoga peeps were rather impressed 🙂

Take care and have a great week! There will be no WWOW next Wed (Nov 30th). The Watering Hole Christmas e-zine will be going out instead.

Related Blogs by Maryanne

Trundling Through the Treasure Trove…With My Tallest Friend

Say WHAT? Sorting Other People’s Stuff

Tact, Timing and Titillation – The Tao of Re-Gifting

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here. To receive The Watering Hole quarterly e-zine, here is the link to subscribe.