March. I'm always a little bit relieved to have survived March. I love all of the seasons, but March is it's own season, the one I dread a little bit, a long month, when winter languishes and we've forgotten what the sun looks like and SAD is lingering around the edges. March is the month you think the weather is going to turn, then it doesn't, and the grey seems excessively heavy and relentless.
But this year I found a new appreciation for the month of March, and for Cleveland's everlasting winters- they are great for making art.
Steal Like An Artist: Ten Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
I read a great little book on making art: Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. Filled with practical arty advice. I may buy this one- it is worth owning! A few of my favorites:
Nothing is Original
Practice Productive Procrastination I think it's good to have a lot of projects going at once so you can bounce between them. When you get sick of one project, move over to another, and when you're sick of that one, move back to the project you left.
Don't Throw Any of Yourself Away if you have two or three real passions, don't feel like you have to choose between them. Don't discard. Keep all your passions in your life.
Sam and I had a winter project this year which was to restore my old doll house. We painted, sprayed and stained, and it was a great way to fill the long afternoons of the long weeks indoors. A lot of useful lessons went into it. I've decided this will be a part of our homeschool curriculum- each year, each child will have a winter project. I am excited by the possibilities. Making time to do the things we love is one of the reasons we homeschool, after all.
I also like the idea Austin Kleon talks about in the book which is to practice productive procrastination by keeping several projects going at once. I have considered at times shutting out all other ideas until I get the book written. Not so- says Kleon- all of your passions are useful.
The other book I have been reading- and reading-- is Middlemarch. I seem to be reading it at the slowest, most plodding pace ever, and meanwhile so many other books sit waiting. I am enjoying it a ton however. Only a couple hundred pages to go.
Type Nine- The Enneagram and Blogging: (Nine is me for sure. )
Commonly known as The Peacemaker, The Healer, The Optimist, The ComforterWhat We've Got to Tell the Kids About Living Extraordinary: A Holy Experience
There’s nothing in this world that’s normal — there’s only growing blind to the glory.
Early Spring in the Field: Writer's Almanac
This podcast at OnBeing: Paul Elie- Faith Fired by Literature is so great. (Thanks Ruth for the recommendation).