This past month I participated in a project called 30 Days of Creativity. You can probably guess what it entailed.
The days of my creative June are numbered, and here’s my list (skip to the bold words if you just want the bare bones). I admit that seeing it all written out like this makes me proud—not that I accomplished anything particularly grand or marvelous, but that I made time for creativity every day.
1. I ruminated on the idea of using just one thing to inspire creative projects. I came up with a simple recipe for eggplant. I wrote about both in a blog post: “One Inspiring Thing, or Easy Eggplant and Oregano Stew”.
2. I created a tranquil atmosphere (with tea-light candles and homemade iced tea) for my study circle. Maybe it barely counts as a pass, but I had an incredibly busy day that day!
3. I made a couple new friends at a conference. I also made some delicious vegan chili and cornbread.
4. I wrote a poem that in no way reflects my usual style. See “Something From Nothing, or Avoid A Void”.
5. After a very busy three days of conference-going (and presenting), I created some quiet time for myself. I spent it reading (fiction! Will reader response theory let me claim reading as creative time? I’m going to say yes).
6. I transcribed my presentation notes from the conference I spoke at and wrote two blog posts: “Sam or Spam? (Update)” and a post about my presentation, “Spirituality in the Workplace and Everyday Life: A Baha’i Perspective”.
7. I made a birthday cartoon for my friend Steven (and that quick blog post).
8. I practiced my Adobe InDesign skills by making an unusual business card. I shared it—and a few thoughts about the process—in my post, “A Business Card for a Friendship?”.
9. I posted a photograph I took awhile ago in my post “Tiny Fruit, or Giant Person?”.
10. My schedule on the 10th was a little tight. Just before bedtime I took a few silly self-portrait photos in order to comply with my pledge to create: “Self Loathing, Self Love, and Eating a Dinosaur”.
11. I doodled some cartoons and published it (which I don’t normally do): “Just a Few Doodles”.
12. My husband was coming home from a work conference, and I enjoy baking, so I made one of his favourite things as a welcome-home gift (but with some nutty/seedy additions): banana bread with pecans and pumpkin seeds.
13. My husband helped me compose a few limericks.
14. I wrote a short prose piece about the terrors of modernity and submitted it to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. They’ve published a couple of my lists before (see here), but this one was rejected. Still, I enjoyed writing it.
15. I spent a lot of time preparing study materials for the youth program (which I’m co-facilitating—with the great Emad) at this year’s Maritime Baha’i Summer School. The study materials were based on recent messages from the Universal House of Justice. Oh, also that day I listened to the Pointer Sisters for like two hours… and ate homemade noodles for dinner.
16. I wrote and submitted a list to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. I also edited and posted a guest post for this blog (written by my lovely friend Heather). [UPDATE: That list was rejected. I posted it here.]
17. I wrote a couple of my poems in calligraphy and submitted them to The Writer’s Block (which is looking for handwritten poetry for an upcoming issue).
18. We hosted board games at our house. The creative part was that I deliberately attempted unusual strategies of my own invention. (FYI San Juan players: prioritizing the monuments is not worth it!)
19. Honestly, I was not very creative on this day. It was rainy and we lounged around all day watching some season two of “Veronica Mars”, and then “Coraline”—in which creativity is certainly evident. It was the most fluid stop-motion film I’ve ever seen (and my animation-interested husband agrees), not to mention its solid, YA-novella-inspired story (originally by Neil Gaiman). Also, the soundtrack was very good (lots of candy-creepy harp playing, and bells). My most creative moment of the day, though, was discussing character studies and creative writing exercises with my husband, who is working on a graphic novel.
20. I submitted a few poems to Rhino Poetry Magazine. I’ve been using my 30 days to submit work at a more prolific rate than usual. Not exactly sure why—maybe I’ve just been feeling fueled by the creative solidarity? It’s more work than you might think; you have to polish things before you submit them, and then write perfectly short and sweet cover letters.
21. I wrote a guest post about wedding planning and reality TV, if you can believe it, for the fantastic blog Engendering Equality. [UPDATE: here it is!] I also collected a few of my flops into a post here called “Rejected Lists”.
22. Every year for Ayyám-i-Há I make a mix CD for a certain friend. This year, I failed in my mission. Luckily, he and his wife are expecting (imminently), so I made a mix CD called “Oldies for the New Kid”. If I could knit booties, I would; with me, mix CDs is what you get. Even for babies. Deal with it, Geoff. (And congratulations!)
23. I made two cards: one to go with that CD I just mentioned, and another to accompany a wedding gift. Unfortunately, I can’t mail them yet, what with the Canada Post strike!
24. We gave a friend some serious learnin’ in the art of the great board game Settlers of Catan. Does that count?
25. I participated in a challenging community consultation. Trust me, I had to get creative about some of the suggestions I voiced.
26. Today’s creative challenge: writing a blog post without using four specific keys on the keyboard. They are broken! See “Creative Freedom Within Limits” for the result.
27. A friend and I wrote a role-playing dinner-theatre-type game a couple of years ago, and we are working on polishing it up so that we can print prototypes and submit a proposal to a game-publishing company. I edited the game rules today. We’re getting there, step by step!
29. I began to write a query letter and proposal about our game (see Day 27).
30. The final day: this may seem like an anti-climactic end to the month, but I finished the query letter and proposal from yesterday. I actually consider this an accomplishment, since I’ve been meaning to get around to it for months.
That’s all for me. Have a great weekend!