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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert [Book]

April 21st, 2017 No comments

I first saw mention of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear in some magazine I was reading. There were several writing and creativity books mentioned and I quickly requested those I hadn’t previously read from my local library. What I hadn’t noticed, until I started reading the book was that it was written by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. This often happens to me. I don’t recognize famous people out in public or important people in a company or government. It is just not something I am attuned to. In this case, I might not even have started to the read the book had I known more about the author. Sometimes coming to a new resource “cold” allow you to take in important lessons without any preconceptions.

One big thing I agree with Gilbert on is that writing — like many creative pursuits — is indeed magic. Whether I have been writing, performing music, singing with a choir, performing solo or walking onstage in the play or musical, there is something amazingly magical in what results. Thinking that creativity is magic doesn’t mean that it is unattainable for everyone, though, only that we have to treat creativity as something that is special and — most importantly — something that everyone should experience, as often as possible, in their lives. 

Big Magic isn’t a book about writing, with special exercises, meditations, or prescriptions. Rather it is a book about having and coping with a creative life. Creativity is always seen as something special — found only in select others — and this can lead to our own denial of its power and rewards and our own abilities. In a section entitled Permission, Gilbert says that we should all be “entitled”. This is a loaded word these days, but the fact is, we should all feel entitled to engage in creativity throughout our lives, regardless of what others might say or do or how much they try to dissuade us. Creativity is a certain, inalienable right, like those others laid out in the Declaration of Independence. In fact, I consider it one large part of “the pursuit of happiness” that Jefferson gave such importance.

One of the most important lessons Gilbert imparts is one that many creatives might not want to hear. She says that, in most cases, you shouldn’t depend on or expect your creativity to support you financially. In fact, she thinks this is one of the best ways to kill of your creativity entirely. If you expect your music or poetry or photography to support you, you quickly turn the magical into drudgery. What you once loved to do becomes a hateful burden and if allowed to continue, will kill your desire to create. 

Sure, some lucky few might be able to support themselves from their creativity, but most will not. In fact, she says, “with rare exceptions, creative fields make for crap careers. (They make for crap careers, that is, if you define a “career” as something that provides for your financially in a fair and foreseeable manner, which is a pretty reasonable definition of a career.)”

No matter how successful you may become, there will still be aspects of any job that you hate — the bureaucracy, the finances, the constant travel and more. On the other hand, Gilbert says, “Creative living can be an amazing vocation, if you have the love and courage and persistence to see it that way.” For myself, I often say, “Love your creativity, but don’t necessarily expect for it to love you back.” There is much to be gained from creativity, but money not be the most abundant nor important.

Big Magic is divided into short, easily consumable, sections — more like a collection of essays, although unlike some similar books, it holds together well as a complete book, too. You can read it from cover to cover, as I did, or jump from essay to another as your mood — and your creative need — strikes you.

Come to Big Magic to help you understand and better manage your own creative life. Creativity is never an easy path, as either vocation or avocation, but it is amazing and something that everyone should experience in some way. Like most things in life, though, having a guide along a strange and confusing path is always more helpful than we might like to admit. Consider Big Magic one such guide in your creative life. Now, head out on your own creative journey.

Other books by Elizabeth Gilbert

See more of her books on Amazon

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 
** 74 copies of Big Magic are available to check out from the Los Angeles Public Library 


23 Classic Cocktails You Need to Know How to Make via Bon Appetit

April 21st, 2017 No comments

I’m on medication which is severely harshing my cocktail vibe at the moment, but I’ll keep this post around for the future when I can work my way through most of all of them. (SMILE) Everyone should taste the classics at some point so you know how crazy some of our newer cocktails are. — Douglas

Knowing how to make classic cocktails is important. There’s only one problem: There are a lot of them. Unless you’re a bartender, there’s no way you’ll remember what goes into a Sazerac or the proportions of a Moscow Mule. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the 23 most important stalwart drinks to know how to make, from a Manhattan to a Daiquiri to a simple whiskey on the rocks. Check them out in the slideshow and get shaking (and stirring).

Read 23 Classic Cocktails You Need to Know How to Make via Bon Appetit



An interesting link found among my daily reading

Rustic Genuine Leather Pencil Roll – Pen and Pencil Case by Rustic Ridge Leather

April 20th, 2017 No comments

I spotted this via Boing Boing and it looks sweet. I could see adding this to my travel art kit although i would probably use it more fro paintbrushes than pencils or pastels. Still, you might find this nice for your own artistic pursuits, whatever they may be. — Douglas

 Rustic Genuine Leather Pencil Roll - Pen and Pencil Case by Rustic Ridge Leather

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs


On YouTube: Grilled Greek Chicken – Garlic, Lemon & Herb Grilled Chicken Recipe from Food Wishes

April 20th, 2017 No comments

Rosanne saw this recipe and wanted to make it immediately. This is always a good sign. It does look very tasty. We might even get around to trying it out this weekend. — Douglas

On YouTube: Grilled Greek Chicken – Garlic, Lemon & Herb Grilled Chicken Recipe from Food Wishes

On YouTube: Grilled Greek Chicken - Garlic, Lemon & Herb Grilled Chicken Recipe from Food Wishes

As I mentioned in the video, the secret to this simple chicken is a very powerful marinade. This is one of those rare recipes where, when in doubt, we add a little more. Above and beyond that, the only way to ruin this would be to singe the skin/marinade with too high, direct heat.

Read more about this recipe on Food Wishes



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Categories: Cooking, Food, Recipe, Shared Items Tags:

25% Off Today – Beautifully Protect Your iPhone or Samsung Phone With These Cases and Wallets

April 20th, 2017 No comments

25% Off Today - Beautifully Protect Your iPhone or Samsung Phone With These Cases and Wallets 

Beautifully Protect Your iPhone or Samsung Phone With These Cases and Wallets

Dress up your smartphone and get 25% Off Today

Available exclusively from
DouglasEWelch.com/shop/iphone

iPhone Wallet Features

  • Open book style with built in stand and elastic strap closure
  • 3M adhesive strip designed to stick to your device
  • Anti reflector camera hole
  • Full access to camera, buttons and ports
  • iPhone 6 & 6s wallet holds two credit cards; 6 Plus & 6s Plus holds three
  • Easy to clean a with damp cloth

View my entire portfolio

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories is the next great show from Netflix Japan via The Verge

April 19th, 2017 No comments
I enjoyed Midnight Diner immensely and I recommend it to anyone I know who subscribes to Netflix. It’s in Japanese, with English subtitles, so you can’t just have it on in the background, but each 30 minute episode is worth the time focusing on it and immersing yourself in this tiny little Japanese world. I am eagerly awaiting the next season. Check it out! — Douglas
 
Terrace House has become Netflix Japan’s breakout international hit — and with good reason — but for my money it runs second place to another of the streaming service’s Japanese shows. Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories follows the owner and clientele of a tiny Tokyo restaurant, telling short, touching stories of family, friendship, and humanity in the heart of urban sprawl.

 
PS…Another great Japanese show I enjoyed on Netflix was Atelier.

An interesting link found among my daily reading

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuits and Honeyed Cream via Joy the Baker

April 19th, 2017 No comments

Strawberries, Rhubarb, biscuits and cream. Not much more to say about this except YUM! — Douglas

 
I swear… as soon as we wind our clocks forward and tack that extra hour of daylight to our evenings, I’m sure it’s summer.  I’m sure it’s time for a new pair of (now age appropriate) jean shorts, time for pink wine and pink sunsets, time for me to start chasing the sound of summer waves crashing on summer beaches.  

Time, really… for me to hold my horses.  

Because spring. Because there’s this easing into summer that usually involves lots of spring rain and surprisingly crisp days and just blooming flowers. In these gloriously crisp and blooming days we get welcome early strawberries and right-on-time rhubarb.  It’s only natural that we combine the two in some sort of pie iteration.
 


An interesting link found among my daily reading

Dream of the Fall with these colorful Wisteria Leaves

April 19th, 2017 No comments

Dream of the Fall with these colorful Wisteria Leaves

 

Dream of the Fall with these colorful Wisteria Leaves

Tops, Totes, Scarves, Smartphone Cases  and Much More!

While the spring blooms of wisteria look wonderful in Spring, these fall leaves are just as striking at the end of the season.

 

Available exclusively from DouglasEWelch.com/shop 


Chiffon Top Features

  • Front panel is edge-to-edge custom printed just for you
  • Sublimation transfer print technique embeds dye into the fabric allowing it to stay soft and drapey
  • Option of black or white back panel, sleeves and binding
  • Slightly sheer 100% Polyester chiffon with silky handfeel, ideal for wearing as a layering piece with your faithful cami or bralette
  • Loose cropped boxy style fit

View my entire portfolio

Santa Barbara Harbor

April 19th, 2017 No comments

Santa Barbara Harbor

Santa Barbara Harbor

A grey, but beautiful, morning in Santa Barbara. 

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On YouTube: What Shakespeare’s English Sounded Like – and how we know via NativLang

April 18th, 2017 No comments

What Shakespeare’s English Sounded Like – and how we know

On YouTube: What Shakespeare's English Sounded Like - and how we know

Watch What Shakespeare’s English Sounded Like – and how we know on YouTube via NativLang

Botched rhymes, buried puns and a staged accent that sounds more Victorian than Elizabethan. No more! Use linguistic sleuthing to dig up the surprisingly different sound of the bard’s Early Modern English.

Learn more about Shakespeare’s English with these CD’s and books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 


Categories: Education, History, Theater Tags:
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