Books, libraries, reading, and a what if…

Today marks the beginning of Banned Books Week and so I happened upon this little video that Bill Moyers made to honour this…

I agree with Bill. I wonder how many of us would be as whole as we are without books in our lives. Right now I am in a place where I can afford to buy some books. It’s wonderful!

But I still need the library. I grew up in libraries. I grew up feasting on books.

Now libraries open doors in other ways than books. We borrow DVDs, music CDs, audio books (wonderful for long trips!) and let me not forget TOYS! Whoot! When my children were small I borrowed toys regularly as well as books to read to them. All of us would be poorer without libraries and the bounty they lend to us.

But libraries do more than lend out magic. They host story telling times, events, workshops and clubs.

I’ve gone to those story tellings.

I’ve studied writing with Welwyn Wilton Katz.

I’ve volunteered in literacy programs.

Which leads me to my point (and I do have one)…the Library belongs to all of us. And we need to let our municipal politicians know that we — not some board or council — are the owners. They are just human beings; they will make mistakes.

Locally that would be the error of closing our only library (aside from a few specialty libraries devoted to small interest groups) on Mondays. What wrong headed thinking!

In our little corner of the world the library and the art gallery (the Tom Thompson) are attached which I feel is an excellent idea, a great match, a marriage made in heaven. They are both necessary as places where people learn to think, to imagine, to create, to expand their horizons, to grow. All necessary traits in a good citizen.

So, it would follow, if you follow my thread, that both of these edifices should fling their doors open EVERY day of the week…even if you must train more volunteers to do the “grunt” work (and here I believe Unions need to get on board). If citizens want this enough, they will step up and make it happen. Libraries are a human right … if you want creative thinkers, critical thinkers, thinkers period.

Are you with me?

Oh and while you’re at it…read a banned book! There’s a million of them. Here’s some I’ve read WITH my children…

Where Did I Come From? Cover

The Giver Cover

A Wrinkle in Time  Cover

And one of the all time best banned books… In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak

Wonderful Banned Books Week display at Porter Square Bookstore, 2012

Nickel and Dimes-10TH Anniversary Edition (11 Edition) Cover

They are some of the best reading in town … with the greatest ideas!


Thought i’d get your attention! Who likes that word. But really it’s just another way of saying “practice” which is a word that describes a process for improvement and a word that also describes the process of discerning Spirit in our lives. (Check out Tara Gentile’s blog post about practice when you click on the link in the word practice)

Practice might also be referred to as routine. Routine can be framed as rhythm … and who couldn’t use a little rhythm and rhyme in their lives? Get up and dance!

So i have joined in with that wonderful woman up / east of me in the Big Apple of Canada (i prefer to call it the big, juicy tomato ’cause i love those delicious Essex County beefsteaks!). Jamie Ridler has formed a group who will provide encouragement, support, and best of all…accountability to keep doing those Morning Pages — that discipline that is one of the basic tools that Julia Cameron first introduced us to in The Artist’s Way.

So my images today will show the cover i made for my composition book (you know the kind, found at Dollar Stores everywhere…marbled heavy cardstock covers and lined pages). I use these for my Morning Pages because i don’t want to “waste” my good journals or sketch books on them. Not because they aren’t ever so treasured, but because i find that the cost, the loveliness, the preciousness of those other journals inhibit my free expression.

Sometimes those 3 pages (the recommended number) aren’t quite enough. I have to write in the margins, make new lines on the top, even spill over onto the 4th or 5th pages. Perhaps i am a bit more loquacious than you. Perhaps i just have more “stuff” to unload. At any rate here’s a peek…you don’t get to see inside. I don’t even look or re-read for a very long time.








Collaging these covers was an activity that my eldest daughter, my 13 year old grandson and i did one day while they were visiting and the weather was being very uncooperative for beach or hiking activities. We scrabbled through my rather extensive containers of clippings from magazines, clipped out more from magazines i hadn’t scavaged, and then covered the whole lot with clear adhesive backed vinyl to preserve them. It was fun then and every day when i pick up the journal i am reminded of the time we spent together.

Hope you join us in practice or just in spirit! It’s a journey… that’s life!

What’s going on in my right brain

Working on a right-brain business plan (a wonderful idea from Jennifer Lee) whose book i purchased for my Kindle (which by the way does not preclude fondling books every chance i get).

It’s hard to describe the process with words so i’ll just post a few pics of the signature folders (go here to see what signatures are) …

Tried to insert my sense of humour in what can be a hair-pulling exercise for someone like me who resides much in the right brain. Off to the studio!

If you’d like to see close-ups of each of the 8 signatures (mind you they are nowhere near finished) just comment or email me and i’ll put all the finished signatures with inserted pages up in a future post! Ta Ra! Talk soon! Have a wonderful weekend!


Well, yeah, it’s the dog days of summer. Humidity higher than the hot. And here’s what happens when you take out the wax paper insert between pages during times like these…

Grrr grumble grumble.

Upside? 1. all four pages were in their infancy stages so not too loud a wail from me. 2. makes room for more pop-ups, inserts, and the like. Short of it…i get to play a little more. But still… I hate to lose even one page.

So how did i let those feelings go? How did i hoist my canteen out of the down and dirty dumps?

I journaled of course!

Nothing better to shake the blues, for me, than to get out the scissors, the glue, my files of images from old magazines etc. and some pens and watercolour crayons and just go to it.

Often when there is no strong impetus…i’ll just reach into the text box and pull out a couple of words and phrases and force myself to come up with something.

In a pinch i will fall back on some themes i have cooking on the back burner.

Closeups for those detail oriented…

Even with this page the humidity seems to have messed with the setting of the blue Sharpie pen i used for the lettering. You can see a smudge at the ts of the word gets where the ink smeared. Just remember to chant this mantra…”it’s the process that counts…it’s the process that counts…it’s the process that counts…om mani padme hum.”

I take my own photographs of my journal pages. It’s another part of the process…a learning, growing, stretching kind of place for me.

If you’re feeling slightly wonky or adrift at sea…give it a try and see what comes of it. Just get into the process and have a whale of a time.

(These photo credits go to Jeff Suchak of Mythic Landscape