Tuesday Creativity 2

Continuing with the series I started last week, and also with the theme of “everyday magic,” I thought I’d share two more photos as creative fodder.

I took both of these pictures on the same morning as the daisy photo from last week. The temperature was exactly right for dew to collect on the leaves and petals of my late-blooming rosebush. By midmorning, the sun was bright enough to bring out each bead.

These photos make me think about transience and transformation. To me, the kind of beauty dew creates is like the beauty of shadows on snow, or the thin coat of ice that turns tree branches briefly into glass: it’s all the more precious because it won’t last. That’s a funny thing for me to appreciate, as a chronically anxious person who generally isn’t great at uncertainty, change, and letting go. Maybe appreciating those things in the form of dew and snow is one step toward appreciating them elsewhere.

What do this week’s images inspire for you? As always, thank you for visiting the blog. See you next week!


Tuesday Creativity 1

I’m going to do something a little different here for a few weeks, combining the regular blog with my Maker’s Day feature, for a Tuesday Creativity series. (I’m starting a new job and figuring out a new schedule, so need to juggle a little less elsewhere for a while. 😉 )

In the back of my mind, I’m percolating ideas that link creative writing and mental health. One of my big goals, as a teacher of writing and as someone with longtime mental health challenges, is to help folks with similar challenges use creative writing as a safe outlet for exploration and expression. I’m hoping that, sometime down the road, this means putting together workshops geared to supporting mental health through writing.

Meanwhile, I’m experimenting with some ideas. Over the next several weeks, I’ll use this space to offer prompts and my own brief thoughts on them, as possible starting points for creative exploration.

Today’s prompt is a photo I took of dewdrops on the petals of a Gerbera daisy:

To me, dew creates magic. I love the way the tiny beads transform leaves and flower petals, and I love how transient the magic is, vulnerable to the smallest shift in temperature and the smallest change in the angle of the light. I wish my photos did a better job of capturing that crystal-on-silk glitter, but this one gives at least the idea of it.

This image made me think of a verse from one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s poems in The Hobbit:

“For ancient king and elvish lord, there many a gleaming golden hoard they shaped and wrought, and light they caught to hide in gems on hilt of sword.”

What might this image, the photo itself or the “everyday magic” behind it, conjure or inspire for you?

As always, thank you for visiting the blog. See you next time!

Tuesday Purr Therapy

It’s been a bit of a week here, so Fergus thought he’d help me with this week’s post. Enjoy!

Mom, how could your computer be more interesting than me?

This is your conscience speaking, Mom. You stress too much.

Here’s how to relax. See how easy?

Now you try it. I’ll lie on top of you to keep you in the correct position.

Good work. You can have a hug.

Don’t you feel better now?

Stop back tomorrow for the weekly Maker’s Day prompt. 🙂 As always, thank you for visiting the blog!

Maker’s Day 14

A little late, but here! Next week we’ll get back to our regular Wednesday schedule.

Our prompt for this week is a photo. What does this scenery inspire or evoke for you?

If you’d like, please feel free to share thoughts and responses to the prompt in the comments. On Facebook, I’ve started a “Maker’s Day Sharing Group” where we can talk about the prompts and support each other’s creativity. New members are always welcome!

Also, if you’d like additional food for creativity, check out my online Writing with Musical Inspiration class, offered in partnership with Tiferet Journal. This is a fun and unique six-session class that uses music as a springboard to make art and talk about writing craft. The next session starts this coming Monday, 9/12. We still have a few spaces available! More info and registration here.

You can find all the Maker’s Day prompts together here. If you’d like to receive the prompts weekly, please consider subscribing to the blog. Thanks for visiting!

New Classes Coming Soon!

Today’s post is a quick “preview of coming attractions.” I have two new online classes beginning soon: Writing with Musical Inspiration, which starts next Monday, 9/12, and Introduction to Classical Music, which starts on Monday 10/3. If you’d like to check out one or both, I’d love to see you there!

1. Writing with Musical Inspiration

This class meets on six consecutive Mondays, 2-3:30 pm EST, on Zoom, beginning 9/12 and ending Monday 10/17. We start each session by free-writing to a piece of music, and then use music as a springboard to talk about particular elements of writing craft: capturing people/personalities in writing, evoking setting, sharing a specific experience, and more. Every week features different pieces of music and a new writing prompt. Sharing of work for feedback from me, and/or the group, is always welcome and always optional.

For a quick sample, listen to this piece of music, by English Renaissance composer William Byrd, and write about whatever it conjures up for you. Each of our classes will begin with an exercise like this.

After you listen and free-write, consider these questions we’ll discuss in the first session of class:

  • When you first meet someone, what do you notice about them?
  • What kinds of details might tell you about the kind of person they are?

We’ll talk about why writing people can be a powerful tool to set your writing apart, and what kinds of tricks will let you draw personalities vividly on the page. That’s just one of the craft elements we’ll cover in the six-week class.

Total cost for the six weeks is $150 per person. To find out more or sign up, click here!

2. Introduction to Classical Music

This eight-week class, for folks who are curious about classical music and would like to learn more, meets on Mondays on Zoom, 10-11:30 am EST, beginning October 3 and ending on November 21.

We’ll explore music from all six major periods of Western history: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern. Composers discussed will include Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and many more. We’ll listen to and talk about “greatest hits” and lesser-known pieces, and see how the language of music changed over the centuries, what inspired composers to hold onto tradition, and what inspired them to forge new paths. We’ll also talk about how instruments evolved and how some that we take for granted, including the modern piano, came to be.

Total cost for the eight weeks is $120 per person.

If you have questions or would like to know more, please email me at kfaatz925@yahoo.com.

To sign up: submit payment of $120 directly to me via PayPal or Venmo (@Kris-Faatz). Include “Intro to Classical Music” as a note.

As always, thank you for visiting the blog. Hope to see you in class!