Thursday, December 01, 2011

For Your Inner Writer (or Theirs)

Knit One Purl a Prayer

Christmas gets me thinking creatively, probably more than any other holiday, from the creativity of the story itself, to the strange combination of jolly Santas, snowmen (and women), purple candles, pinecones, and pies... my mind awakens.

It only makes sense to me to give "creativity" gifts, then, for Christmas. Here are my Top 10 for 2011. For the inner Creative (or Writer) in you (or in someone you love).

The Artist's Way is a book that literally changed my life. Skirt around the new-age stuff if it bothers you. But don't miss the chance to find parts of your creative self you didn't even know existed.

Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing. Okay, you know I had to recommend this. But trust someone else's words. Amazing bookseller Byron Borger says, "one of the finest books on being a writer I've yet seen," in his post 12 Books You Should Know.

The Anthologist is one of the funniest books I've read. Part fictional memoir of character 'Paul Chowder,' part terrific insight into the inner workings of poetry. Some off-color jokes, but they are contextually tasteful (if that makes any sense :).

Moleskin notebook. Sounds a little odd, feels great in your hands and under your pen. A nice treat to bring along on your artist's dates (see The Artist's Way for explanation of the artist's date.)

Bose Speakers. For a long time, music was absent from my life. Not sure how that happened. But these speakers have been a wonderful gift to me, bringing sound to my creative soul.

Powerspeak. Learning a language is a terrific boost for creativity and business and even your aging mind (is yours aging? mine is :) My daughter is using Powerspeak to learn Spanish and it's working *really* well.

Knit One, Purl a Prayer. Creative guide to prayer, includes knitting patterns! (I used to knit. Grandma taught me. :)

Leave Your Sleep, music by Natalie Merchant. This music has a fascinating story of creativity behind it. You can learn more at TED talks, or just get the CD set, which I highly recommend.

Every Day Poems. Seriously, one of the best things I ever did for my creativity and writing was to start reading a poem a day.

Tea Infuser for mugs. Because most creativity thrives on a little ritual. I've made mine tea. And loose tea can open you to beauty and the slow life.


Blogger Karen Kyle Ericson said...

Thanks for sharing this! My Grandma taught me too. I haven't crocheted or done needlepoint in years. All of these books look interesting.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

All great recommendations. And I agree with you about reading at least a poem a day. I do, too.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Glynn said...

I've taken to using notebooks -- Moleskin (great use for moles, by the way) and other kinds as well. I carry one around me -- and use it make notes, draft poems, write down ideas, keep a writing schedule, all kinds of things.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I am intrigued by the knitting book, as knitting is something I find most helpful for regaining focus. I can't believe someone has written a book about the spiritual discipline of knitting! Too good!

The Anthologist was a delightful read. My mother gave it to me for Christmas a couple of years ago.

And Natalie Merchant is a gem. I love that she set G.M. Hopkin's "Spring and Fall" to music. It's hauntingly beautiful.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Dolly said...

Thanks for sharing your list. Because of your suggestion, I am trying to read more poetry and finding it enjoyable.

Your book Rumors on Water has helped me focus my writing a bit more, so I am also recommending it. Thanks for writing it.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Marilyn Yocum said...

Excellent suggestions, some of which I have benefitted from and others I need to explore! Thanks for the list and the personal comments. "The Artist's Way" had a huge effect on me, not being raised in a creative sphere. Off now to check out the "...Purl a Prayer" and Bose.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

Great list! I'll be looking up several. "Right to Write" by Julia Cameron (same author as "Artist's Way") is one of my favorites, especially for someone just entering the writing life.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous JoDee Luna said...

Thanks for the shopping list. The Artist Way changed my life as well. I'll have to explore some of the other books.

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Ann Kroeker said...

The tea infuser...such a simple, low-cost gift that offers daily inspiration for creative types needing an infusion of warmth. I'm sipping PG Tips at this very moment.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Megan Willome said...

I agree with you on the magical powers of loose tea. And "Rumors of Water."

1:55 PM  
Blogger Michelle DeRusha said...

Love this list, L.L. And I loved Rumors of Water. When I'm *finally* done writing about God in the Yard, I'll start writing about Rumors. Yes, I am usually about 2-3 years behind everyone else!

My ritual, by the way, involves scones. I see a widening problem in my future.

9:48 PM  

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