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Storm Timelapse, Los Angeles, California, February 17, 2017 [Video] (2:30)

February 19th, 2017 Comments off

On Podcast: Mary, Queen of Scots on In Our Time [Audio]

January 23rd, 2017 Comments off

I enjoyed this podcast and you might, too — Douglas

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Mary, Queen of Scots
In Our Time

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of Mary, Queen of Scots, who had potential to be one of the most powerful rulers in Europe, yet she was also one of the most vulnerable. In France, when she was the teenage bride to their future king, she was seen as rightful heir to the thrones of England and Ireland, as well as Queen of Scotland and one day of France, which would have been an extraordinary union. She was widowed too young, though and, a Catholic returning to Protestant Scotland, she struggled to overcome rivalries in her own country. She fled to Protestant England, where she was implicated in plots to overthrow Elizabeth, and it was Elizabeth herself who signed Mary’s death warrant.

With

David Forsyth
Principal Curator, Scottish Medieval-Early Modern Collections at National Museums Scotland

Anna Groundwater
Teaching Fellow in Historical Skills and Methods at the University of Edinburgh

And

John Guy
Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Recommended Reading from In Our Time

Ian B. Cowan, The Enigma of Mary Stuart (Sphere, 1972)

Jane E. A. Dawson, Scotland Re-formed: 1488-1587 (Edinburgh University Press, 2007)

Gordon Donaldson, All the Queen’s Men: Power and Politics in Mary Stewart’s Scotland (Batsford Press, 1983)

Susan Doran, Mary Queen of Scots: An Illustrated Life (British Library Publishing Division, 2007)

Antonia Fraser, Mary, Queen of Scots (first published 1969; Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009)

John Guy, My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots (Harper Perennial, 2004)

Rosalind K. Marshall, Queen of Scots (Mercat Press, 2000)

Alison Weir, Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley (Vintage, 2008)

Jenny Wormald, Mary Queen of Scots: A Study in Failure with a new foreword and afterward by Anna Groundwater (Birlinn, forthcoming June 2017)

Jenny Wormald, Mary, Queen of Scots: Politics, Passion and a Kingdom Lost (first published 1990; Tauris Parke, 2001)

Do It 2017!: #2 Make Space and Time for Your Making, Doing and Creating!

January 19th, 2017 Comments off

Do It 2017

#2 Make Space and Time for Your Making, Doing and Creating!

Listen to this episode

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One of the most important aspects of increasing your creativity and productivity in 2017 is allowing more space and more time in your life for your creative pursuits. Just like myself, I am sure you experience those days were the simple act of living takes up all your time. You eat breakfast, go to work (or do your work in the home office) and before you know it, it’s time to make dinner and the light outside is starting to fade. Sure, you got something done, but did you get anything done for yourself? Did you take some time to write a few lines? Did you pick up the paintbrush, the guitar, the loom, the knitting needles? Or, did time simply slip away as it does nearly every day?

Make It Easy: Reducing Friction

I have found over the years that the best way of insuring creativity in your life is to make it as easy as possible — as frictionless as possible — so that you are reminded of your need and desire to create each time you look up — each time you have a moment to think — each time you walk into a room.

One real world example of my own came when I started to learn how to play guitar. Breaking through the initial phase of sore fingers, memorizing chords and learning to strum takes consistent practice — at least once a day. Skip a day and your fingers hurt more, your memory fades and it feels like you are starting over at the beginning.

Guitar

Keeping the guitar in its case certainly offers more protection and keeps it dust free, but it also adds a layer of friction to your practice. If I wanted to spend a few minutes practicing, I would need to open the case, pull out the strap, tuner, picks etc. It may sound silly, but that tiny amount of friction means that, more often than not, you simply won’t bother. It only takes the smallest amount of work, the smallest excuse, the smallest impediment to push creativity out of your day.

How did I combat this? I made sure to buy a stand for my guitar. That stand then sat within arm’s reach of my office chair. Whenever I turned away from the computer for a moment — even just a few minutes — I could grab the guitar — practice some chords, practice my strumming — and then put it down and go back to work. You might be thinking, “Well, that’s no way to learn a musical instrument! You have to dedicate hours every day to practice, in the right environment, at the right time. Surely playing a few minutes here and there could never work.” Well, I am proof that a few minutes practice, a few times a day, can be just as effective as long sessions. In fact, for me, had I been forced to do my practice in long, intensive sessions, I probably wouldn’t have done it at all. Again, too much friction.

Now, sure, when I was practicing for a performance, I would often spend and hour or more running my songs exactly as I would when performing. This builds comfort with the material and the physical stamina to play a longer set — both of which you’ll need in performance. But, when it comes to basic learning and practice, you often need to fit it in around everything else in your life and simply putting it in your face works wonders.

So, with my example in mind, what can you do to make it easier for you to transition from other activities into your creative activities? Is the piano covered in junk or is it ready to sit down and immediately practice a few bars? Is your loom, spinning wheel, sewing machine, knitting supplies set up in a particular area, close at hand? Is it always ready for you to start creating something? If not, you are sabotaging your own creativity — your own productivity. You are making it difficult to start and enjoy your own creativity.

It may sound difficult, but find a space where you can set up your tools, your easel, your paintbrushes, your writing supplies whatever and leave them there, ready to use at a moment’s notice. Too many of us suffer from “dining room table” syndrome. We have to use an existing family space for our creative pursuits. This means we have to setup and teardown every time we want to do anything. What a perfect way to insure that we don’t create at all.

Sewing

If you are truly lacking any space, at least combine all your supplies in an easily portable container so that you can grab and go, no matter where you are or where you might be able to work. This is one thing that makes knitting and crocheting such a popular creative outlet. With a little preparation, you can take your creativity wherever you go — keeping the anti-creative friction at a bare minimum and creativity at a maximum.

The easier you make it to create, the more likely you will create. It is a simple formula. Reduce the friction and you will suddenly find time in your day — more time than you might have imagined — to create, make and do in your life!

Next time I’ll talk about how scheduling time for creativity can be another great way to move your projects forward.

Previously on Do It!:

Categories: Audio, Creativity, Do It!, Podcast, Show Tags:

Slow Motion Bubbles In My New Year’s Eve Prosecco [Video]

January 1st, 2017 Comments off
Categories: Drinks, Food, Podcast, Show, Video Tags:

Making the Christmas Lasagna (Time Lapse) [Video] (2:23)

December 25th, 2016 Comments off

 Our Christmas tradition is to have lasagna for Christmas dinner, due to my wife’s Sicilian heritage. Years ago I learned how to make pasta, so I made a batch of homemade pasta sheets, Rosanne makes the sauce and assembles the lasagna.

This is a time lapse of myself, Joseph and Rosanne preparing the pasta.

Music: “Jingle Bells” by Kevin MacLeod (http:/incompetech.com) under Creative Commons License.

Christmas lasagna 2016

 

Categories: Food, Friends and Family, Podcasting, Show, Video Tags:

Los Angeles Rain in Slow Motion [Video]

December 23rd, 2016 Comments off

Instagram Photography from November 2016 [Video]

December 5th, 2016 Comments off

Douglas E. Welch Talks Creativity and More on The Grantcast with Grant Baciocco [Audio] (33:50)

November 26th, 2016 Comments off

It was so much fun sitting down with Grant Baciocco to talk creativity this week. Grant is an old friend from the earliest days of podcasting (2004) and I am always watching his career and enjoying whatever work he us currently engaged in, including his own podcasts — like Grant’s Advent Calendar, which we watched religiously when Joseph was younger — and his in-theater and on-screen work with PuppetUp! and much more!

Check out everything he does on MrGrant.com and also over at Saturday Morning Media, where he is always creating great, kid-friendly content. —Douglas

Mrgrant combanner

Douglas E. Welch Talks Creativity and More on The Grantcast with Grant Baciocco

 

15 Minutes With author and podcaster Douglas Welch – GrantCast EPISODE #101

Douglas Welch is an author, podcaster and new media and social media consultant.  

In this interview we discuss how he uses creativity in his work, plus discussion on his past int he world of theater, Walt Disney Imagineering and more.

Listen to 15 Minutes With author and podcaster Douglas Welch – GrantCast EPISODE #101

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More morning coffee via Instagram Stories [Video]

October 31st, 2016 Comments off
Categories: Cooking, Drinks, Food, Home, Podcast, Show, Video Tags:

Canal Lock Time-lapse, Liverpool to Leeds Canal, Granary Wharf, Leeds, UK [Video] (0:33)

October 2nd, 2016 Comments off

A time-lapse of a canal locking up and down the Liverpool to Leeds Canal in Leeds Center at Granary Wharf.

Canal Lock Time-lapse, Liverpool to Leeds Canal, Granary Wharf, Leeds, UK

 

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