random miscellany of inspiration and insight

For my post today I just wanted to share an odd assortment of stuff that inspired me, motivated me, made an impact in some way, and was usually stumbled upon at just the right moment.  It’s an eclectic assortment, little bit of this, little bit of that, just a chance to indulge in some very cool stuff other people have said and done.  Here we go.

A few weeks ago (when I was feeling very much in the grind), Wendy N. Wagner wrote about Being Okay With Where You Are:

“A few weeks ago, the very wonderful John Anealio wrote a great blog post about getting out of the success grind. What he said made a lot of sense. Sometimes your ego makes the artistic experience painful and miserable, and it’s stupid to turn the joy of our lives into torment. Sometimes you have to change your relationship with your ego to make good art…. Sometimes I absolutely loathe myself for writing so slowly–after all, if I was a “real writer,” I’d be cranking out the words…. But only sometimes. Mostly I remember that holding a Hugo award in my hand can’t possibly feel as good as that moment when I’m lost in a story and there’s no time or space except the stuff I’m unfolding in my head.”  ~read more

Wendy was also part of the recent SF Signal Mind Meld about Favorite Female Protagonists and it’s a collection of AWESOME.

One of my creative heroes, Amanda Palmer, wrote a (sort of) review about Neil’s new book where she talked about a lot of stuff, including their differences in creative styles:

“we start off with all these fresh ingredients, recognizable (a heart, a finger, an eyeball, a glass of wine) and we throw them in the art-blender. i only let things mix very slightly. i keep my blender on 2 or 3. you can recognize the component parts: in the final art-soup, the finger might be severed and mangled, but you can peer into your bowl and see that it’s a finger, floating there, all human and bloody and finger-y. neil puts his art-blender on 10. you wind up with a fantastic purée, but often you have no fucking idea where the experiences of his life wound up in the mix of his final product. if you see a finger, it’s not recognizable as a human one. and that’s part of what makes Neil Gaiman (capital N and G) work. and, i’d argue, my choice to dial my art-blender down from a 5 to a 2 or 3 over the past few years, as i write more and more “direct” songs…i don’t know, it may be part of what i’ve needed to do to survive as an artist (or more likely, as a human).
we do these things instinctively, i think.” ~read more.

Incidentally, the Amanda Palmer Tarot Deck, a project started over four years ago then shelved indefinitely, has just been resurrected with a very successful kickstarter campaign. It’s proof to me that no idea, no project,  is ever truly dead.

Speaking of long term creative projects, this photographic documentation of four sisters that spans 36years is powerful and provocative.

Amy Sundberg wrote about Taking Time Off From Social Media and noted:

“I hadn’t unplugged myself so thoroughly for quite some time, and I found quite a lot of value in it. Space to just be. Time to think about whatever I wanted to think about. Permission to be in my own present moment, whatever that happened to look like. And perhaps most refreshing, a break from most external stress…. When we hate a thing or secretly resent it, we aren’t going to be doing our best work. A grudging connection has a different quality to it than one that is celebrated.” ~read more

Thinking of time and space and being present in a moment, I just have to share this mumuration of starlings:

Murmuration from Islands & Rivers on Vimeo.

To me that’s just pure magic which made me think of what Theodora Goss wrote about the Magical Women in her life:

“…They make the world more magical, show me the parts of it that are magical, in case I’ve forgotten… To the arts in some form, specifically to the mythic in arts, and to arts that change the world. I think it takes a great deal of courage to be one of the people who tries to change the world in some way — I’ve heard too many people say that they’re not trying to change the world, that they’re just trying to entertain (particularly in their writing). But that’s the point of that? If you’re not trying to change the world, what are you doing, and why? I mean, doesn’t the world need changing?” ~read more

One magical women in my life, Christie Yant, wrote Regarding People of Faith in the SFF Community. It affected me personally as I negotiate my own faith(less) journey and the people around me:

“It’s the old fishbowl allegory: One fish says to the other, “Isn’t the water lovely today?” and the second fish says, “What’s water?”… We forget that while we know three of the people at the table pretty well, and they all just laughed at our joke, we just met that fourth one and huh, she wasn’t really laughing.” ~read more

Moving from faith into the realm of math, but still, ironically, about connection and community, Vi Hart makes a party out of triangles:

That’s all I have for now, hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me indulge just a bit. What’s inspiring you lately?

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  • Paul Weimer

    History is inspiring me, lately.

    Listening to history podcasts has been wonderful for ideas. There is so much history out there, just waiting to be transmorgified into story, its scary.