Artist’s Way: Week 5 Check-In

23 Apr

1.) How many days this week did you do your morning pages?

I’m happy to report the morning pages are at 100% capacity for the week. I felt I did too much planning, so towards the end I allowed myself to let loose the anger, and boy did it flow, like blood oozing from a severed head. I haven’t been as loyal to the “start as soon as you wake up creed.” It’s difficult when you’ve got your lady Skyping you across an ocean. I’d rather see her smile before I get to it. Regardless, they were penned, and allowed me to let loose my feelings and opinions. I’ve been rocking a “Crave” engraved leather bound journal gifted to me from my brother-in-law, but triumphantly/sadly it’s almost filled up. The search is on for a worthy attached pile of papers to serve as the sequel Morning Pages journal.

2.) Did you do your artist date this week? 

This week I’m happy to report I got back on the “dating” track. I rocked my Zoo Membership, bypassing the 45 minute Easter break line, and brought some unexpected friends. An artist date is supposed to be a date with you and your inner artist, but I checked Mr. Artist and he didn’t mind if I brought along a collection of forgotten texts. Basically I bundled up all the books I haven’t gotten to yet but was itching to start. I’m sure the books I’m currently reading felt I was cheating, but hey I’ve got a lot of love, why not share! This was quite the effective exercise! While a hundred little jaws dropped as one of the polar bears drank from the other’s crotch, I politely sat on a bench leafing through an English manga (Japanese comic book), Return to Labyrinth  based on Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. I didn’t realize how fast of a read comics were. Plus the illustrations always provide inspiration. Even more so, comics have a serious space limitation, so if a picture book writer wants to learn how to keep it “brief” and to explore story development through dialogue, it’s time to hit up your local comic book store. Then when it was feeding time for the gorillas, I feasted on Kwaidan, Lafcadio Hearn‘s classic collection of Japanese ghost stories. While living in Japan, it was always on my to-do list. As chance (or the universe, if you read the Artist’s Way) would have it, I stumbled upon a beautifully illustrated version for only one easy payment of $4.99. I couldn’t pass it up. The zoo was filled with familial spring breakers, so my eyes took advantage and people watched for inspiration. As a childless children’s book writer, it’s important to take advantage of situations filled with energetic, expressive children. In regards to the zoo, I was able to watch how they reacted to the animals and their habitats. What did they generally ask of each animal? What did they already know? And what poison were their parents feeding them? “Hey hunny, look at the cheetah!” Excuse me ma’am, do you mind not being so ignorant about the ocelot, South America’s junior jaguar. Thank you. But I did go to the zoo with a purpose, so basking under nature’s heat lamp, I relaxed on a bench opposite a patroling one-horned Indian Rhinoceros to enter the world of the Carousel. As an avid amusement park enthusiast, I’m eager to learn everything I can about the history of the industry. This colorful collection of anecdotes, information and photographs brilliantly educates the reader on the merry-go-round. My ulterior motive for reading it is I happen to be involved with a woman who is so passionate about the carousel, I figured I should read up and share the passion with her. Overall, this was such a productive artist’s date, that as soon as the summer temperatures arrive, I’ll do this on a bi-weekly basis. It’s important to mingle at the local captive watering hole, observe the kiddies, and most of all not to ignore books (they’re very impatient!)).

3.) Did you experience any synchronicity this week?

My synchronicity this week dealt with a hobby of the musical persuasion. I’ve owned a guitar for 11 years. In that time, I’ve probably strummed no more than 11 hours. I’ve taken 2 classes, and bowed out both times prematurely. I want to make music, but for some reason the guitar doesn’t hit my chord. The drums however have always been my pie in the sky. I suppose the only thing keeping me from beating away is the neighbor factor. “Keep it down!” “What’s with all the racket!” When I move to Taiwan, I’m hoping to find sound proof walls. If I don’t, I know my calling. Because when I checked one of the bucket list this week by seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform live in my native Buffalo, NY, it was actually the drummer Max Weinberg’s birthday. The funny thing is back in college when I saw U2 in Providence Rhode Island, it was also the drummer’s birthday. Hmmm. Coincidence? I think not, this is a simply and silly sign from the universe. On your next birthday, treat yourself to a drumset! Consider it bucket listed under Urgent!

4.) Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? 

My drawing has taken off! I’m finding myself more comfortable and eager to sketch. In the Night Pages, I doodled on 4 of the 7 pages. In regards to the Night Pages, I allowed myself to treacherous yet effective behavior. For two of the night pages, I actually went to bed without doing them, though took care of them the next day while trying to stay in the frame of mind from the previous night.

This week was another successful one in regards to the task as I completed 8 of them. Week 5 has a host of quirky writing exercises examining what we want from life. I took the tasks seriously and as instructed gathered images correlating with these desires. I posted some on Pinterest, and kept the rest private as suggested by my girlfriend in order to stay confident about them in case others unleash their criticism and negativity. It’s important to protect your inner artist. After all, they are just a child and as they grow, you must guard them from all foreseeable danger.

Significance occurred with productivity. I dusted off my father’s bicycle and rode it across town to the library where I spent hours each day tackling formiddable GRE vocabulary. But I didn’t neglect my artist pursuits. As while at Barnes and Noble, I researched possible publications for my “Wrestling Dad” article on the double-life of famed “The Innovator of Violence” Tommy Dreamer.

My girlfriend can tell how moved I am by the “Artist’s Way” that she abandoned the hints and flat out demanded (politely) that I purchase a copy of her own. Which I gladly did. That now have 2 other mortals, who I have urged to begin re-discovering their inner artist.

My love for comic books is growing. I ended most nights this week by reading recent issues of DC Comic’s Justice League. It took 31 years to grow a fascination and appreciation with actual comic books as oppose to their cartoon and cinematic spinoffs. In fact, I’m eying up issue #1 of Deadman. As soon as this sentence adds an exclamation point, it’s all mine!

Happy discovering imaginators!

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