Refilling the Creative Well – Ditch the List

Refilling the Creative Well, Part 3: Ditch the List

*clears throat* I have a confession. I am obsessed with lists.

Okay, if you know me at all, that’s not a confession. But if you don’t know me or only sort of know me, you may not know the extent I’m obsessed.

At work, I’m an office manager. I keep sales lists, lists of vacation time, lists of phone calls made or emails sent, lists of audits of customers, lists of new sales, lists of things I need to remind my boss to get done, lists of follow ups with customers, and more. This serves me well at my job because things (rarely) get forgotten this way.

At home though, I keep more lists. Daily to-do lists. Weekly to-do lists. Both of which I always overschedule. ALWAYS. (If I can mark everything off a list, that means I didn’t schedule enough work to be done!)

What this boils down to is, for better or worse, I dictate mass amounts of my life with lists. So when creative burnout is approaching or is in full flaming glory… it’s the lists that have to go. As hard as that is for me to do. And it’s really, really hard. *clutches stacks of scribbled lists* Continue reading

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Refilling the Creative Well – Next Series!

Refilling the Creative Well series, Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society

Welcome to our next series! Did you miss us?

When we sat down to our business meeting last month we all decided this was probably a good series for kicking off 2018. After all, we’re about done recuperating from NaNoWriMo, the Christmas holidays, and the winter doldrums, and it’s time to get back in the flow of things.

So how do you refill that creative well when you’re getting burned out? We all hit burnout, whether it’s thanks to life obstacles or overwork. No matter who you are or what you do in life you can hit burnout, but creatives seem to hit this especially hard.

Stay tuned! Next week we’ll start revealing our own strategies and we hope you’ll join in on the conversation and tell us yours.

What? Oh… hi. Yeah. We’re still here.

The Ferrets should probably come to the realization that every year in December/January we pretty much hibernate. We’ve survived NaNoWriMo, in whatever capacity we each participated, then it’s diving into the deep end of holiday things and trying to recoup at the start of the year.

Pretty much I’m saying that we’re still here. In fact we have one of our semi-yearly business meetings coming up just next week, where we’ll be talking about this blog and all the things we plan to bring you this year.

Anything in particular you want to see? Now is the time to suggest it and get our brains thinking it over. We’ll see you all soon.

*Photo by user skeeze at Pixabay, creative commons usage

Ferrets on the Town: Downtown Claremore, OK

It’s been a busy year. It’s been a busy few years honestly. Not to mention physically and emotionally draining. Sometimes the Ferrets don’t always get to run away on our coveted writing retreats, so from time to time we steal an afternoon to ourselves closer to home.

Back in February we loaded up in my car and headed to downtown Claremore, OK. A short drive from Tulsa, it was the perfect afternoon getaway for lunch and a bit of quirky shopping.

Lunch was at The Pink House, which has since moved from it’s own (yes, it was pink) house down the street to a spot on the first floor of the Belvidere Mansion. What a perfect place for an afternoon lunch with friends! If you are a tea-lover there was a very long list of teas you could order. It was hard for some of the Ferrets to decide! And while we were there we enjoyed watching a large table of little girls come in with fabulous hats and their best attempts at fancy-lady manners for their own tea party.

See this food? Yum! Their menu had a great selection and there were other things we’d love to try if we go back another time.

Make sure to leave room for dessert! A few of us did and it was well worth it. Mmm… thinking about it makes me ready to return!

The next highlight of the afternoon was Continue reading

Required Reading – The Rants: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

required reading, rants, classic books we didn't enjoy, rabid rainbow ferret society, Lissa Clouser, Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

I was usually the kid that didn’t mind required reading in school. I didn’t mind reading the classics, and I could usually find a redeeming quality in almost any book set in front of me. Usually.

A Classic I Loathe:
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

A quick glance at Wikipedia (about all the effort I’m willing to put into this book some 10+ years later) tells me this book won the National Book Award in 1953. Modern Library ranked it #19 on it’s top 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. (That list, by the way, was released in 1998. Didn’t want to give the end of the century a chance, eh?) Time Magazine put it on a similar list.

At over 500 pages, I consider it Continue reading

The Ferret Libraries – Lissa’s Collection

I’m not sure if I have more books or if Ferret Serena does, but our collections could comfortably be called dragon hoards at this point. (And I think we are both very okay with that.) I have zero issues when it comes to having an overabundance of books, and while I am slowly trying to cut back in other areas of my life when it comes to “stuff” laying around, books are not one of them. In fact, even though it is years away from being possible, I fully intend on constructing a library building on my property one day. The perks of having more than 2 acres on which to play! Continue reading

Required Reading – The Raves: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

required reading the raves, required reading, fictional ferrets, rabid rainbow ferret society, classic books, book recommendation, To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Lissa Clouser

I started reading many of the classics well before they were required because, honestly, I just wanted to know the stories for myself. I first read Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet both when I was 10 years old. Granted I read them with a giant copy of the Oxford English Dictionary sitting next to me at the ready and for the Shakespeare half I read all of the footnotes in the big volume my dad owned, but the stories were important enough to me they were worth the effort. It so paid off when high school came around.

One of my absolute favorites was actually, surprisingly, never required, but I did end up using it for a school project. Continue reading

Business Meetings for Creative People

I know, I know… I shuddered just typing “business meetings” but these aren’t the kind you have to bring a last-minute PowerPoint and a giant coffee to. Unless you just want to. (Hey, I’m not judging.)

Believe it or not, the Ferrets do hold business meetings a few times a year. We take ourselves seriously (at least sometimes) and know that to make it to the level of creative career we want to see… sometimes you’ve got to have a bit of order to the insanity. It’s been a trial and error process, but I think we’ve mostly gotten sorted out what works best for us.

1. Hold the Meeting at a Reasonable Time of Day

For us that usually equals noon. Early enough in the day we have plenty of time to get things done and late enough in the day we all should be awake. Theoretically.

2. Serious First Doesn’t Always Work… Okay, It Never Does Continue reading

2016: The Good, the Bad, and the “What? Why? UGH.”

Here we are. We made it. December 31st. That shiny midnight that heralds the dawn of a new year is so close I’m pretty sure I can reach out and touch it, but don’t tell 2016 I said that… it will find a way to postpone it even more.

I think we can all agree that this year has been rough at best. In the realm of celebrities I’m pretty sure we’ve all lost at least one person we really admired. We don’t discuss politics on this blog, but if you’re in the United States you know that no matter your views this election was a mess of bamboozlery, misinformation, and high-strung feelings.

If you’re a Ferret, SOMETHING unfortunate happened to your car at least once this year. We’ve all come out of it with working vehicles, but at times it’s been dicey. We’ve had a car go swimming (okay, that was technically my husband), another hold a late-night rendezvous with an already-dead deer, and several others deal with a long list of issues including batteries, power-steering, brakes, and more. The people have stayed safe, but the cars? Not always…

Several Ferrets (or spouses) dealt with job-related issues. When incomes are already tight, possibly losing (or actually losing) a job is not something you want to add to that list! Incomes in general have been an uphill battle for a variety of reasons for just about all of us. Why aren’t we all famous authors yet? Continue reading

The Writer’s Pursuit of Health – Writing Down the Emotional Rabbit Hole

 

The Writer's Pursuit of Health, Writing and Working Out, Lissa Clouser, Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society, health, writing, mental health, emotional health

I’ve never been properly, officially diagnosed with any sort of mental illness, but let’s just say that I’m well aware my emotions and sometimes coping habits range outside of the norm. This makes it very, very easy to get “stuck” in a non-productive, unhealthy mental state. We’re talking about more than “I had a bad day at work” stuck. We’re talking about sitting in the bath tub crying because you are vividly imagining the aftermath of the deaths of everyone you know and you can’t stop. There’s no ‘off’ button once the process starts. Sounds fun, right? Thankfully it’s not something I deal with all the time.

The emotional rabbit hole is deep. It’s deep enough on the good days, extra deep on the bad days, and when you’re a writer who delves into the emotional for a (hopefully one day) living? We’re talking black hole deep if you aren’t careful.

Over the last several years I have learned to twist this toward my advantage. Several of my poems deal with some extra sticky (think big, fluffy, stab-you-in-the-leg-when-you-walk-through-it field of burrs sticky) memories. Things I have lost sleep over. Things I could have filled a bathtub with tears over. Things that to this day make me feel like a chunk of my insides are missing. And yet I write. Continue reading