The Spark

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ The Spark: A mother’s story of nurturing genius by Kristine Barnett … I usually take a week or two to finish a book, but I started The Spark one evening and kept reading till 4:30 in the morning and would have kept reading then except for commitments in the day. So I got a few hours’ sleep and met the commitments and then finished the book. (I am a slow reader.) Here’s a lot of vision to tell. And Jake Barnett’s TEDx talk message also feels correct and is simply delightful to watch.

step up to the easel


I’ve been in the new place 14 months now, and on the easel is a drawing I taped there 12 months ago, dormant for 11 months. This month I’m fired up after reading theFirst20hours, and organizing my time and space is the first skill acquisition I’m committed to. Two days ago I was pulling out a coreboard as backing for my excellent draft schedule, and as my hands lifted the board out of its portfolio case, the texture and lightness of it triggered the feeling of being about to sketch — this particular coreboard is my portable sketching board, ready to assist me in the backyard or wandering around a model to find the right angle. I was like the dog who hears his leash jingling — I longed to tape sketching paper onto the board, gaze at something, and make lines. I’m very accustomed to having no time to sketch, having drawers of art materials preserved in inactivity, having idle ideas about what to draw and who to give it to, very accustomed. Occasionally I get a lightning jolt that reminds me the longing is real. As I organize my space, I want to find a very active spot for the easel, to make it easy to step up and finish this drawing. And start another and finish it.


I moved this past week, and settled in this past weekend, to the third floor of a house with trees around and above it. This morning rain is tapping a trillion surfaces of leaf and needle out my open window. Beyond the swath of gentle percussion is the city sound, Rt 16 a block away, the wet Pike a mile away or two, planes and motors one thick span of drone.

First of the month I picked up the Unconventional Guide to Art and Money by Chris Guillebeau and Zoë Westhof. I read the opening pages, followed the pdf’s links, and joined Leah Piken Kolidas’s Creative Every Day 2012 September challenge, themed “Time,” which … (more didn’t come)

Breathing in

July 2012

I need to click all the links in this article — it goes along with the exciting reading I’ve been doing lately with Ken Robinson’s Out of Our Minds, which is quite pithy (I’m at the halfway mark).

June 2012

I’m listening to Ken Robinson’s audiobook The Element — it’s about finding your element so you can be in your element. I had watched his TedTalk about creativity and education and instantly searched for his books at the library, his audiobooks online … And this morning after about 6 hours of listening, I started

When at the library, failing to get Sir Ken’s books because they were at some other library branches, drat, I picked up The Checklist Manifesto, which I’ll have to buy so I can lend it around. Fascinating peeks into medicine and construction in the first 70 pages. Still reading.