“To live a creative life…”

For a while, I forgot I had a Pinterest. Yes I signed up way-back-when when all my girl friends were first getting on it; I pinned a few things and promptly forgot about it. After all, I wasn’t really very good at the DIY (Do It Yourself) projects, crafts, wedding planning, or cooking stuff that all my friends seemed to be so zealous about sharing.

And then I read this post by Jeremy Cowart. When I looked at the type of boards he had, I thought, “Hmm…that looks more like something I could do.”

So I went back to my account on Pinterest. I was planning on writing today, but then I got caught up in this totally different kind of creative expression. I began thinking about the kinds of things I liked. I didn’t have all the “crafts and cooking” boards my friends loved, but I could post about books, music, quotes, dance, cool photos, art, travel, and other interests I had. I even have a board that just shows random things about me. And in the process, I even found myself pinning about home decor, clothes, hair, and other things I never thought I’d be into! (Who knows, maybe I’ll start a crafts or cooking board yet.)

I spent most of the afternoon thinking about my creative interests and how to express them. While I didn’t get around to any of the writing I had planned, I did get a chance to put some thoughts into another creative outlet: Pinterest. And guess what? However you do it, it’s fun to express yourself.

If you were creating a collage of your life, loves, and interests, what would it look like? I challenge you to find new ways to show off your inner self!

Let’s talk: What do you think of Pinterest? What’s your best medium for creative expression? Leave comments, and let us know!

Also, if you’re on Pinterest and want to share your creativity, feel free to leave your profile link in the comments for us to check out!

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How to become one of my favorites (…if you’re a book/movie)

This blog topic is thanks to the wonderful suggestion from my dear friend Ashley. I put out the open-ended question “What should I write about next?” on places like Twitter, Plurk, Facebook, etc., promising to write about the best topic. Since only two people responded, I will write about both of their topics in separate posts. Ashley’s topic gets to go first, since she was the first to reply. 🙂

I have thought more about what I like in books than in movies, but I believe the general principles apply to both. Allow me to share my humble opinions with you.

A good book/movie has:

1) A twist in the plot. I cannot stand stories that are utterly predictable. Granted, most stories have some elements of predictability. But if I could sit down and write out the ending for you, your book/movie is not going to be one of my favorites.

2) Thought-provoking material. Most of the time, I want stories that give me something to think about. Probably because of my psychology and English degrees, I like analyzing. I like finding symbolism and layers of meaning. Now, before I sound like a total nerd, I enjoy mindless stories as well. I am a fan of nights where I curl up on the couch with ice cream and a book that is as pointless as ice cream is to weight loss. But, overall, at least give me some kernel to gnaw on if you’d like to be one of my favorite books/movies.

3) Engaging content. By this I mean that the story has to pull me in. It must be able keep my attention; I don’t want the hours dragging by as I’m reading/watching the material. My favorite books/movies are the ones where I end up shocked by how quickly time has flown because I have been so engaged in the story.

4) A range of emotions. I like to laugh; I like to be moved to tears. If a book/movie can do both, genuinely, then it’s a favorite.

5) A bittersweet ending. Now I can’t say this is a must for every book/movie, and a good deal of my favorites do not have this. If, however, the story can end in a bittersweet way, with you feeling happy and satisfied with just a hint of regret about something (even if it’s only that the story is over), to me that is true genius. Any story can end well. It takes brilliance to find just the right tone of a bittersweet ending. If a book/movie can do that, it is a favorite.

Any agreements/disagreements to my list above? What makes a good book/movie for you?

Continued math: now there are 2

6/11: 4 – 1 = 3 girls.

6/12: 3 – 2 = 1 13-yr-old.

6/12: The remaining 1 13-yr-old + 1 set of super-kind house parents = super-happy Katy who has 19 1/2 hours all to herself!

6/13: The remaining 1 13-yr-old + 1 new 5 year old = Katy’s job for the next 56 hours.

Children’s home = more practice at math than I’ve had in a while. (Sad, but true.)

So, all of that math = (I mean, equals) where I am now: I have 2 girls to watch until I get time off. And I am very excited about that time off! Once I found out for sure what my hours would be, once the end was in sight, I literally felt like a load had lifted off me. Last night was especially wonderful because of the afore-mentioned super-kind house parents who agreed to take the 13-yr-old for the evening.

Now, I know the question that is burning in the back of your minds. Katy had 19 1/2 hours with which to do absolutely nothing. What on earth did she do?

I’m so glad you asked. I will tell you:

2:30-5:15 – Watch Disney Channel (yes, really), briefly surf the Internet, and lie on the couch, still watching Disney Channel (yes. really).

5:15-7:30 – Supper with my awesome friend LaShay at Rosa’s. Yes, I totally had three tortillas with nothing but butter and honey.

8:00-11:00 – Randomly surfing through a few tv shows, then concentrated reading time in a new book I got from the library. It’s by one of my favorite authors, Orson Scott Card. I have loved him forever because of his book Ender’s Game, and now I have ventured outside his sci-fi world into the fantasy one. Ladies and gentleman, a possible new favorite book of mine: Enchantment. It is a fascinating, intellectual fairytale-that-clashes-with-the-modern-world story, and I am totally digging it. Not done yet, but I’ll definitely post more of my opinion on this book when I finish it.

11:30 PM – 9:00 AM: SLEEP! I fought it off as long as I could, because I wanted lots of time to read. But I finally gave in, and it was glorious. Also, it was literally the most amount of sleep I have had in two weeks (I had stopped sleeping well, averaging around 6 hours a night as opposed to the 9-10 I need).

And now I’m back to this job I love (a.k.a Preparation to be a Mom 101). The girls and I have had a good day, including lunch at Chick-Fil-A, nap time for the younger girl, and a visit from one of the girls’ moms. Currently, the 13-yr-old is playing with Barbies and the 5-yr-old is listening to Miley Cyrus music videos online (funny how easily they could switch activities and be having just as much fun). I think we may watch a movie a little bit later before bed.

Final piece of math for you: last week + Katy’s time-sheet = the discovery that she worked an 84-hour week. Yes. Really.

I’ll have the two girls for the next few days, and of course I will keep you updated on our adventures.

You’re welcome.