Q and A about the Creative Process – Taking a Turn

Q and A about the creative process.

Thank you to Christy at Poetic Parfait for inviting me on the Creative Process Blog Tour. It seems a fun place for a bit of blogging Q & A. It was nice of Christy to nominate me.

Let’s start with the Rules:

Pass the tour on up to four other bloggers. Give them the rules and a specific Monday to post. Answer four questions about your creative process that lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do. Compose a one-time post on a specific Monday (date given by your nominator).

And on to the Q & A about the creative process. Well, here goes …

Q #1: What am I working on at the moment?

A #1: I am posting somewhat regularly when life doesn’t interfere with sitting down and writing (poems, stories and sometimes just ramblings) as well as my art (drawings and paintings).  I am editing my second novel written last November during NaNoWriMo, still working on the first one written back in 2012, yikes! I am also participating in Camp NaNoWriMo during April with the goal of assembling an anthology of my poetry by topic and theme hopefully for publishing in the future.  I have also recently been asked to share my poetry at Healing the Heart workshops with Aurora Ministries around the Puget Sound region.  This has taken me totally out of my comfort zone and now have no idea where it may lead. Yet, it is another avenue for me to share my passion and to hopefully help people.

Q #2: How does my work differ from others in my genre?

A #2: My blog is somewhat eclectic with both my visual art; drawings, paintings and photographs and a lot of writing.  I have enjoyed putting words on paper whether it be via poems, stories and sometimes combining them with a visual.  I am as transparent about life as I can at any given moment, so what you see is real.  It all comes from deep within.

Q #3: Why do I write and create what I do?

A #3: Part of the reason is it is cathartic for me, a way to release the pain and feelings I have and to give hope to others.  So, the tagline, “For Your Eyes, Heart and Soul – Shining a Light into the Dark”.  I hope that I can spread a little love, joy and hope to a world that is so often in need of just that.  I love the beauty that is all around us, even in the pain and tragedy there is often a  beauty that may arise.  I also hope that by sharing from my heart, some of my own struggles and stories it may help others in some small way, because we are all in this together.  I believe there is hope and that grace will win in the end!

Q #4: How do my writing and creative process work?

A #4: I have no set schedule what with a family (we home school our daughter) and a day job so I write and create when I can.  I often go through great frenzies of production where it seems I can’t get ideas down on paper fast enough, whether it be sketching or writing.  I always have a notepad with me and my phone, love the Smemo app!  I will create late into the night on occasion (I wrote most of this post around 11:30pm) and do whatever it takes, because creating is my passion.

And now I get to nominate 4 fellow bloggers for the Creative Process Tour (to follow the rules above). I nominate:

Lizzy at Considerings
Dorothy at Eyes to Heart
Vashti at Vashti-Quiroz-Vega’s Blog
Linda at Linda Jean’s Creative Works

The Monday for submissions is April 6th, but you are welcome to post any day you want if that works better for you! Have fun and what are you creating today?

Compassion in the Midst of Bullying

I didn't get hurt.“Momma, don’t be mad at him, he doesn’t know any better.”

The words rang in my head like a banging cymbal. Thoughts of anger, sadness and complete confusion swirled in my mind. After what she had experienced, how could she say something like that? My wife silently stood watching and waiting as I struggled with these thoughts.

Well, I thought to myself she is better than I am that is for sure. She has more compassion in her little finger than I have in my whole body. As we talked more about the situation ultimately deciding to wait a few more days before making a final decision. After all she was only in kindergarten and despite the repeated occurrence of the little boy putting his hands on her neck and squeezing until in her words, she thought her eyes might pop out of her head, she seemed okay.

She was small and petite, one of the smallest in her class and an easy target for the bigger boys of the same age. To be taken our of school was not what she wanted as she had many friends and enjoyed her teachers. The school teachers aware of the incidents, were to keep a close eye on the little boy to make sure these types of things did not happen again. It was only two months before the summer break and it seemed she would be okay. However, a few weeks later she relayed another story that happened in gym class with the same boy.

“He came up behind me and picked me up and dropped me on my head.” She calmly stated to her mother, while holding her head at an angle because of the pain in her neck. Numerous trips to the chiropractor and the pain in her neck lessened with no long-term damage. However, the headaches continued and no amount of chiropractic adjustments helped because the stress remained.

We continued to struggle with the decision to pull her out of school or not with only a couple of weeks to go before summer. My wife was exploring homeschooling and seemed determined to convince me that next year this was the best option for our little girl. I remained unconvinced. Although, I would do anything to protect my little girl, I also wondered if this was something she needed to learn to deal with and not let the bullies win. I did not want my only daughter to believe that she was a victim and live her life not standing up for herself.

I picked her up from school one Friday afternoon, we buckled ourselves in and I started the car turning to look before backing out of the parking spot. Glancing in the rear view mirror at my beautiful blonde little girl I asked, “So, how was your day today honey?”

She smiled and looked back at me in the mirror and stated with a touch of joy in her voice, “Today was a good day Daddy, I didn’t get hurt.”

Before the words had died in the air his heart broke and he did not know how to respond. He could only muster a “That’s good, sweetie.”  Nothing about school, her friends or the fun that she had; no, the best part of my 5 year old’s day was that she did not get hurt. Are you f@$^&** kidding me I screamed in my mind!

Fighting back the tears I began slowly backing up the car and silently drove home. It was that night that my wife and I decided to get her through the last few weeks of this school year and to truly explore homeschooling for the next year when she entered first grade. After much research and many conversations with our little girl, as this would impact her also, we all decided to give homeschooling a try; never looking back.

Our daughter is now finishing fourth grade in some subjects and already into fifth and sixth grade level in others. She is thriving with a curriculum selected just for her; it is challenging and it allows her to move at her own pace. She is happy and involved in many other activities from horse riding, church youth groups, dance, soccer and baseball; not sheltered or un-socialized as some would have you believe all home schooled children are.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The above story, based on true events, recalled as best they can and written in response to the #1000Speak theme Building from Bullying. Her experience has affected her. We still talk about it on occasion and how her perceptions are sometimes filtered through the pain she experienced. She has met others that are bullies, in organized events, even at church sponsored functions. This is unfortunately an all too often reality of the fallen world we live in. Maybe I am jaded but I believe we will always encounter bullies this side of the undiscovered.  Yet, we can not let ourselves become permanent victims and we can show compassion in the midst of the bullying.

This little girl has a heart that is more sensitive than anyone I have ever known. It will bring her pain and yet, it will also bring her great joys. You cannot have one without the other. She is my teacher and I am blessed beyond words because of her. Below is a poem she wrote in response to the 1000 Voices for Compassion movement.

Be kind to others in need.
Be kind and loving to others.
Even if they’re not kind and loving to you.
Have compassion for your sisters and brothers,
for God is waiting for you to be loving, just as He is.
For there will be people coming.
You will need to help these people.
Even if they’re not kind and loving to you.
For I tell you nothing is to small,
for it is simple enough to just have COMPASSION.

~Muppin ©2015, Age 10

Alluring Shadows

(A pencil drawing I completed in 1986 during college and have now digitally edited.)

(A colored pencil drawing I completed back in 1986 during a college art class that I recently digitally edited using the free online PicMonkey photo editor.)

Drifting on scented winds
Across the azure horizons
Beckoning in the distance

Lost in memories bliss
Yesterdays and reckonings
In galaxies of cobalt space

A future that awakens
Into days yet pledged
And unknown sapphire dreams

Hiding behind the gaze
Of cerulean danger resides
In ever alluring shadows

~Mark Schutter ©2015