A week ago it was in the 30s, and this morning I walked out to the driveway to find that The first wave of dandelions had already bloomed and float away. This is a member of the second wave getting ready to open. I know they’re weeds, and I probably won’t be so philosophical when I’m yanking them out of the garden next month, but right now, after a long rainy spring, they’re a lot more than weeds. They’re miniature sunflowers.
If was rainy and cooler for most of April, and the May flowers arriving right on cue. A couple weeks ago, I bought a basket of pansies. I am the world’s worst waterer –so bad that the Society for the Prevention of Picking on Pansies has sent several threatening letters warning me not to buy hanging baskets anymore. Mother Nature intervened this year and made sure they survived.
Today, on All My Guppies, The little Thinker Girl tries to arrange a quiet algae dinner with Herman the Hermit, but is foiled by the snails who, toddling nicely at the ripe old age of the five days, have developed a severe case of Herman worship (T1, who wanted me to attach a picture of T2 glued to his tuxedo sleeve, mentioned how well he empathized with a guy who only wanted to have a nice quiet date without snails or siblings trying to tag along.)
Herman, preferring to be left alone by everybody except the little Thinker Girl, was last seen plastered to the glass border of Tankland, screaming “Get. Them. Outta here!”
My morning pages are caffeine. I start off with a drawing exercise from Charles Bargue’s classic drawing course and get loose with a three minute life doodle of the fish or the dog or cat before I get down to business with book illustrations or–time allowing — an actual painting.
My creative coffee doesn’t just jump start painting or illustration. It’s part of the 10,000 hour journey towards mastering an art, and it’s the reminder that anything worth achieving takes practice and persistence.
It fuels the rest of the day, but it also drives every part of my life.
Back in April, just about the time I was trying to untie my creativity from a paralysis of over-analysis and get the last few pages of The Truth about Trolls laid out, Thing2 was exploring his and putting my resolve not to limit it to the test.
His spring time creative effort led to a rock pile in the middle of his room, the fruits of a “quarry” he and a couple friends had started near the kids’ Lord of the Flies training ground in the woods behind our house.
That was three weeks ago. The rock pile is still there.
He’s cleaned his room. I have cleaned his room-a bit. Laundry has been done. Baths have been had. But that rock pile is still there.
At first thing to wanted to hang onto it. Then he was afraid he wouldn’t clean it up the right way.
It was a story writing itself (Élly has been very understanding, as long as her pages keep developing).
Thing2, aware that the rock pile and the absurdities of our undeclared battle are serving as inspiration, is more determined than ever that it should stay. To his credit, however, he has moved it out of the center of the room so the rest of us can get from point a to point B without breaking or next.
I’ve decided to exercise my mom authority and remove the “inspiration” as soon as he goes to camp or I finish his story, whichever comes first.