Where Have All The Words Gone?

Creativity is something that needs to be nurtured. It needs coaxing. It has to be cajoled and convinced it to come out and play. This is the best and worst thing about being creative- it’s work.

My family is creative. At least we’re creative thinkers. We can turn a phrase and make up words, terminology and conceptualize like you wouldn’t believe. Though, if you read this blog you might already be hip to that info. What you don’t know is that words we’ve made up become real; at least to us. So ingrained that the whole family -even those who marry into it- know what they mean. When I spend time with my family, I am firing on all cylinders. With each joke I am aiming to one up the last. It’s a mental workout. Sadly though, this intellectual intensity isn’t readily available in my daily life.

Now, now, that’s not to say I am not mentally stimulated by my day to day routine, I am; it’s just not brain boot camp. Plus if I was always ‘on’ I might find myself spending even more time alone. I guess what I’m trying to say is being creative doesn’t just happen, it’s a decision that needs to be made. Maybe it’s writing in a journal when you wake. Or it could be baking a cookie mansion. How about designing and building a performance art piece every month? Then again it could be writing a blog, where you get to create anything you want. So, even though I haven’t been writing as much as I would like, I know that I am being creative elsewhere. And it seems to be paying off. But I do miss these words we share.

Where Have All The Words Gone?

Spin Gracie Spin

Once upon a time there was a happy little burly gal named Gracie. Now, she was no ordinary girl. She was a little off kilter. Not in a sad or embarrassing way, but in a never know what you’re gonna get- chocolate kinda way. And lately she’s been feeling a little nuts. Mind you, that’s way better than feeling sherry-cherry filled, which is just gross.

Now, this beautiful little disaster has been a busy little body, trying to juggle all her different lives and loves. She’s usually pretty organized, but lately she’s been close to dropping plates, balls and spilling milk all over the place. Which stinks, cuz she doesn’t have time to replace any broken dishes from the matching set of 12 or cry over the milk? Not Gracie, that’s who.

Gracie is a girl on the move with many irons in the fire. And the craziest part is she’s constantly looking for more to do, more places to be, more costumes to be made and more…well, just more of everything. In the coming months Gracie is undertaking and overstretching and happy to do so.

I guess the moral of the story is: If you’ve got a problem, yo, She’ll solve it. Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it. And if you ask this chocolate covered-milk spilling- iron firing- nut nicely enough, I’m sure I can fit it in somewhere. Or just throw it to me on the count of three and then don’t move, cuz all this juggling is making me dizzy.

Thanks for the lovin’,
Gracie in the Middle. For more showgirl sentiments check out: gracieklutz.com

Spin Gracie Spin

The Starving Artist: Chapter 50: Kick, Stretch & Kick, I’m 50

Wowsa, can you believe I’ve written over 50 chapters of the Starving Artist? I mean, I can barely recall a Monday without serious cyber reflection. Now, not all of these entries have been deep or even meaningful, but they’ve all been a slice of me. And a benefit of sharing myself I have been about to shed unwanted weight, both physically and emotionally. This blog has become somewhat of a dumping ground for my overactive and cluttered brain. A healthy and hyperspace form of nearly free therapy. But the part I’m most surprised by is how much I’ve learned about myself and how much happier I’ve become.

In the past, I’ve found it hard to celebrate the little wins. I glean over them onto the next without pausing to think about how things have changed. Speaking of celebration, I am 20 days away from another milestone, my birthday. For some people getting older is tough. It’s as though they see life as a hallway with doors closing as they walk past. A journey with fewer and fewer detours. They treat life like the tedious daily grind it can be. As though each day is just another brick in the wall. The shuffle of tired feet and the shuffling of papers. A sad and sorry state of affairs if you ask me. I’ve always considered myself an optimism expert with a dark side. But in these last few months I’ve been feeling evermore that life is a tisket, a tasket, a little yellow basket. And this basket can hold as much life as I can carry; and with all the exercise I’ve been doing lately, I’m pretty strong.

Over the past 50 Mondays my life has changed and rearranged and continues to shape shift. As though my journey is aimed in the general direction of happiness, but the ocean of life keeps tossing me to and fro. Though if you know me, you know even stormy weather has a silver lining. The biggest secret I am busting to share though is: Even in a sea of trouble you can sail on a boat named Happiness. It’s all about how you read the maps. And today’s maps read like Thank you cards. There are so many things to be thankful for, and I am thankful for most of them. I am thankful that I’ve stuck to my guns. I am thankful that I am creating art again. I am thankful to be back in the work saddle again. I am thankful for dreary Sundays I can fill up with knick-knack nuggets that needed my attention. I am thankful for a Hubby who wears my gloves. I am thankful for my inspiring BFF. I am happy to feel at home. And I am happy to be 50, without looking a day over 32…for at least 20 more days.

The Starving Artist: Chapter 50: Kick, Stretch & Kick, I’m 50

The Starving Artist: A Break From Regularly Scheduled Programming

I know, I know, I am usually so on it, with it, powning it…but I am a little over stimulated. I have too much on too many plates, and they’re all spinning. Typically, I would give myself heck for not reaching my full potential…It’s just with moving, working full-time and all my extra-curriculars I have fallen into mental disarray. Plus, if I want to present a great first pass at my in-class performance- TODAY!!!, I have to focus on it. Trust me, I love being a modern woman and doin’ it all, but there aren’t enough hours in the day…There are only 24, you know. So, it is with great lamentation that I politely decline to blog. I know you’ll get over it. But Gracie will be around all week, falling all over herself just to talk to someone. And everyone deserves a summer holiday, right?

The Starving Artist: A Break From Regularly Scheduled Programming

Dare To Be Glaringly Different

When I was in grade 4 I thought it would be so amazing to have braces. I longed for the secret identity I thought glasses would provide. I yearned for a unique trait that would separate me from the norm. I wanted a conversation starter, a hook, a gimmick. A limp, lisp or dark secret past. Heck, even my daily bruises developed elaborate stories. I’d detail the fictional fun to make myself seem more interesting than (I thought) I was. I have always wanted to be just left of the middle…well, honestly, deep left field. I’ve always wanted to be different.

I grew up a middle class girl in the middle of Ontario during the mid-90’s. That’s all smack bang in the middle. And the middle is very different from the centre of attention. I was born in the 80’s but my serious memories were made in the midst of Smashed Pumpkins and grunge-y Shangri-la. But as far as I could tell I was just one more of the faceless masses with pre-teenage spirit. I found myself jockeying for position within systems that didn’t celebrate our differences. Sadly, most systems are finite, not interpretative. Systems are by nature are, well, systematic. Empathy, consideration and individuality isn’t part of the equation. I looked throughout middle school, but I couldn’t find my defining feature, no matter how elaborate my exterior got. I was just another little girl in a school of little girls. And, I wasn’t happy with that to say the least.

I am not sure if I was born wanting to be different or if I grew into it, but I’ve never liked the status quo. When my wish for braces came true at 16, it only stopped me from smiling. When I wear sunglasses to protect my sensitive eyes, I lose them and can’t imagine the cost, were they prescriptions. I still suffer from exaggerated bumps and bruises, though I allow their cause to remain mundane and preventable. As for the lisp I lusted after…I’ll admit that sometimes I spit when I talk. But all these minor first world problems don’t define who I am and the sad thing is: I didn’t realize that I’ve been unique this whole time. The mere act of wanting to be different makes me so. I am not interchangeable in a row of blondes. I stand out naturally…er at least my fake peg leg limps out.

Dare To Be Glaringly Different

The Starving Artist: Chapter 41: Crafternoon Delight

This weekend was a beautiful one. The weather was clear and hot. The air was fresh, filled with all the smells of summertime. The din overcome with the sound of laughter and music. The drum circle beating for the heart of the city. I walked Queen St with a bounce in my step. I did something nutty…I crafted all weekend. I crafted hard. I spent long hours literally wrapped up, immobilized, stabilized and helpless. It’s left me tired and happy.

With the promise of help from Hubby and a truckload of patience, understanding and work ethic from BFF, we started to build the most complicated yet integral plot prop I’ve ever conceptualized. Together we sat nestled for hours in the front yard of my high-density city living building. With nosy neighbours and concerned citizens inquiring as to our wellbeing…I think they meant mentally. With oblivious disregard to their giggles and questioning stares we forged onward. Empowered by the knowledge that great things raise the most eyebrows.

I sat in the grass with my BFF for two days; fabricating indestructible props of plaster proportions. I have started to implement my dream designs, taking her generous offer to help build my act for my upcoming shows. I needed the help. Trust me, I am not the easiest person to deal with when I can’t just do it myself. I don’t like being sidelined. I like to be in control. I like to win and I like it when things are done right the first time. I should know by now that those are also qualities BFF posses, plus she’s more patient…A lot more patient. (Again BFF, Thank you & I apologize)

As every crafter knows, the dream outcome is a lofty goal. Everything is possible when you’re in the dream design stage, but translating it to reality, well, that’s a different story. I am happy to announce these messy, soggy, drippy and slow-drying dreams have hit their mark and surpassed their design. They have become perfectly moulded, weird, wonderful, dreamy and just plain amazing. I am proud to announce this as the most successful crafternoon ever.

Now, it bugs me that I can’t tell you the details of this secret project, but it is my hope the reveal will be worth the wait. All I want to do it tell you every little detail of all the detail oriented tasks I have assigned myself. Keeping a secret has never been my strong suit, I am more of an open neckline playsuit kinda gal. This feeling of checking things off my dream wish list is amazing…exhausting, but amazing. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt artistic. I haven’t been inspired to achieve. I was stuck in a holding pattern, circling boredom. I would sit with fingers crossed, mouthing silently; begging who ever is in charge of this crazy thing called life for a break…I have longed for the power to inspire myself. In these art projects I have found the fabulous combination of control and creativity. I think I’ve finally found my place upon the wicked stage. It comes from being a crafty Vixen. Finally, I found my art in the heart of the city. And I am happy.

The Starving Artist: Chapter 41: Crafternoon Delight

The Starving Artist: Chapter 40: Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s Forty!

Chapter Forty! That’s the top of the hill that people always talk about it being all down hill from. Things are supposed to get easy now right? If it’s all downhill than I should be able to coast. Well, as with most hills, they aren’t measured in chapters. It remains the same height regardless of how you count. It’s just that those numbers seem to have lost their meaning. The journey I started with such a focus on my numbers has shifted. Measurements becoming about fitness and function. The work becoming worth more than the number of days hired. The Starving Artist has become hungry for something more than the numbers.

Upon realizing what a special anniversary this was I thought I should do something special to celebrate. So, I glitter painted a brazier and helped finalize the pink gemstones. While sitting surrounded by newspaper I altered my costume…again. I love that I can change my act by changing my clothes. Hubby, BFF and I sat inside this rainy Sunday and we laid the ground work for some serious crafternoons in the near future, and I found myself smiling. Giddy with the thought that I was finally feeling the support I’ve been looking for. That’s not to say there was unsupported before, but this feels like the act of supporting. An action, speaking volumes. We are quickly pouring the foundation that a good artist structure relies upon. It’s not a rush construction job either, this crew is all union. Quality control has become the focus of each task. Together we work until well after sunset, stopping for appropriate meals and unionized breaks, of course. Foreman Jilly makes sure of that. Her demands to play, snuggle and poo sprinkled evenly throughout the work. Plus you can’t argue with the littlest boss-lady. That’s just un-union-ly…right?

Alright, so I’ve reached a milestone. (I’ve been told to relish my wins) But it simply marks how far I have come, not how much further I have to go. (I’m still a sad sack. Except now I relish my wins) It can feel defeating, like you’ve already done some much to only get THIS! far. In these times of emotional turmoil I turn to the meme of an eagle and the black framed motivational plaques for help. Each journey begins with a single step. It’s not the destination it’s the journey. There’s always going to be another mountain. Take a deep breath and feel better. (Whatever that means) So, treasured readers (all 7 of you) here’s to Forty amazing…or at least completed chapters of The Starving Artist. And here’s to a Gazillion more *hopefully* entertaining blogs*cheers.**

**Melicious Manners does not support morning drinking

The Starving Artist: Chapter 40: Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s Forty!