Summer Projects

Ahhh, summer.

It’s definitely here, and it has finally registered, but I can’t decide if summer is for setting everything aside and simply laying out that blanket in a shady area in the park and just lying there all day, or if it’s a time to go into super-project-making mode. I suppose trying to find that happy-medium is the key. Enjoy the hot summer sun, but also, make the time to make those projects.

And then of course, there are all those cool projects and excursions that summer itself inspires, so much to see and do, places to visit and people to see.

I don’t really have a specific project in mind right now, and I kind of like that. There are the ongoing projects, of course, but I’m at the start of the summer with an itch to begin something new. I know that I’m going to keep my camera on me at all times, that I’ve got a brand new journal to write in, and I have all kinds of events on the calendar and new places I’m planning to visit. I’m going to let this new project unfold as I make my way through the summer days. And in a way, that’s a perfect summer project — one that combines both the impulse to relax and the desire to get things done, thereby letting the true nature of these summer days shape what it is that I decide to make.

I was going to end this post with: "Get started on your summer projects!", but that’s not quite right, not really in the spirit of the season. So I will end with this: "Get started on your summer!"

What’s Your Project?Project #127

Make a list of the authors of ten books that you love. Google them to find out their contact information. Email each of them, stating why you appreciate them and their writing. Share how their writing has affected your life. Request a brief interview via phone, email, or, if they live nearby, in person! Prepare five or six questions ahead of time and document their answers. Create a blog (weblog) and dedicate one entry to each author you interview. Make sure you include a picture of either the author or one of their books.

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Over the years, I have corresponded with many authors I respect and admire. One story in particular stands out.

One summer, I was browsing in the art section of a bookstore. A book fell off the shelf, begging me to read it. I bought it that night and promptly wrote a letter to the author, asking if we could meet up in person. I wanted to talk to her about my creative goals and dreams. She called me a few days later and said “I’m driving to Santa Barbara to do a book signing for my second book. Want to meet for lunch?”

So I did. Shortly after that, the author asked me if I would be her assistant at her first-ever workshop, to be held in New York City. Not long after, I assisted her with her second workshop. We kept in touch and she became a world-famous writer and speaker about the topic of creativity. One cool thing is that she’d often thank me in the back of her books.

Eleanor Traubman
New York, NY
Creative Times

What Change Do You Witness…

I recently wrote about the Mixed Media Memoirs site, a very cool participatory site which posts a topic each week and encourages you to create a work of art based on one your journal entries with that topic in mind. Entries submitted are posted on the site. Melba McMullin was kind enough to ask me to provide this week’s topic, and I chose “What Change Do You Witness…” My idea here is that while change sometimes seems sudden, or the realization of a change might just hit you one day, it is often the result of a very long process made up of subtleties and nuance, decisive action as well as adaptation to things that you simply have no control over whatsoever. What is clear to me is that a deeper understanding of how a change occurred — whether it’s positive or negative — will help you either lock it in and grow it (if it’s positive) or figure out a way to turn things around (negative). Change is always happening whether you want it to or not. So that is why I ask, “What Change Do You Witness…” I hope you’ll participate in this week’s Mixed Media Memoirs topic. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Speaking of Excellence — Check Out Ali Edwards’ Site

I’ve really been inspired by Ali Edwards site. She celebrates scrapbooking and being a "life artist," but she also regularly discusses Autism from a very personal perspective. She tells her family’s story and shares information — her experiences, the things she has learned, and resources she’s found helpful. It all comes from the heart, and I’m sure it’s immensely helpful to others dealing with a similar situtaion or simply have questions about what autism is. I think it’s a wonderful example of how to use a blog/website in an empowering and inspiring way.

Tree Photos

I started taking these Tree Photos in January 2005. April and May are amazing months to observe – it’s when the green leaves start appearing on the branches. That moment when I run up that path and I see that what was just days before only branches is now a luminous sea of green – it’s a beautiful site, a wonder to observe and experience.