Archive for the ‘creativity’ Tag


Two nights ago I rejoiced that I had finished my part in copyediting half of “Mrs Job” in preparation for her reappearance under a new name and with a new cover. Now, I thought, I can get back to the photos from my recent four weeks in Europe until I get the second half from the editor and, after I finish it quickly, Mrs. Job will be on the way to her attractive new identity.

You would have been seeing a blog entry today with photos and travel descriptions.

But then the publisher e-mailed the sad news to me. They had run into a financial problem that made it impossible to go on, so Mrs. Job would not be published by them after all. My initial reaction was – rather healthily, I think – to feel sad for me. Then I thought about what it meant for them and e-mailed a sympathy note recognizing how devastating it must be to lose their dream.

So I gave myself the evening to mope, and scheduled today to think about Mrs. Job’s future now that she has basically been evicted from two homes. Well, not quite evicted. In January, 2012, I terminated her agreement with iUniverse to sign the contract with TM Publishing. The process has been slow, but their intention to follow through was genuine. And I can’t say she’s been evicted. More accurately, she never did get to close on her new home.

At any rate, I’m now starting the search anew. Any help you can offer with names of potential agents or publishers, or even just plain good ideas, will be gratefully considered.

In the meantime, while I was enjoying my mope last evening, I remembered Saturday’s rally for immigration reform at the Guardian Angels Church. Over 300 people were there, singing, listening, hoping, and being moved to tears by the stories of people who had suffered under our current system. Especially hard to see were the young people whose parents had been torn away from them.

So, no, Mona! You are so lucky to have the problems you have. Get off the stick and open yourself to creative thinking!

And open to the possibility that someone reading this might have help to offer.




He called me Auntie, I called him Uncle Joe. There was no logical reason for it, given that he was my former husband’s brother-in-law. But Uncle Joe he was.

Being in the process of reading “Atlas Shrugged” was the stimulus for my remembering Joe. You don’t need to have read Ayn Rand’s works, though, for this to make sense. I just want to point out how creative and essential Joe was, and how unlikely it would be that anyone would recognize him, either financially or through reputation, for what he did.

Joe earned his living as a school custodian. I’ll admit, before I understood his job, I thought it was pretty insignificant. Not the heralded creativity of those who obtain patents and money for their inventions of new things or ideas. He would certainly not be recognized by those who think the contributions of the mind outrank physical labor.

No, janitors don’t just wash floors and clean up messes after careless students. Daily Joe was met with the challenge of something not functioning properly. Heating and air conditioning breakdowns, electrical failures, plumbing problems, structural damage, animal invasions – I can’t name all the problems. And that’s just the point. Whatever the event, it was his job to diagnose and repair, to apply his creative skills to arrive at the most efficient solution. He kept the school running.

In the meantime, he served, as so many custodians do, as unofficial counselor to troubled students.

I confess, I have joyfully engaged in an occupation where the mind was paramount. That’s why I so fear falling on my head which contains my most important working parts. But I am unwilling to join those who belittle folks like Uncle Joe. We are all of potential value. We are all served if we appreciate and encourage what others have to offer. That includes the young man of limited ability who greets us as we enter the concert hall. Maybe that’s why, in the 60s, I identified with those who opposed elitism.

So, here’s to the memory of Uncle Joe.


Yesterday I called my sister to wish her a happy birthday. In the conversation I said something like,” I’d like to talk about gerunds.” Her response was immediate and enthusiastic, loosely quoted, “It makes me furious.” There was no need to explain my intention. So when did it become correct to say “”I appreciate you coming with me,” instead of “I appreciate your coming with me?” Obviously it’s now acceptable, but when did it happen? My sister, the former teacher and MFA, can explain in detail the new relationship. As she pointed out, we learned the gerund rule way back in grammar school but we have to accept that language usage changes, even though it causes ear pain. I for one, though, expect to continue saying, “I appreciate your coming.”

But then, what does it really matter when the cover of the “Intelligence Report” from the Southern Poverty Law Center says “The Year in Hate and Extremism: The ‘Patriot’ Movement Explodes” and spells out in the interior contents the details of growing racism, hate, and consequent violence.

In the same reading session, however, I found an article in “Yes” magazine where Frances Moore Lappe says “A new way of seeing that is opening up to us can form a more life-saving mental map. I call it ‘eco-mind’ — looking at the world through the lens of ecology. This worldview recognizes that we, no less than any other organism, live in relation to everything else.” Gong on, she elaborates six inherent traits we can foster, once we learn to navigate the world with the map of eco-mind.

1)    Cooperation

2)    Empathy

3)    Fairness

4)    Efficacy

5)    Meaning

6)    Imagination, Creativity, and attraction to change.

Pages 12-15, Yes” Spring 2012.

I want to believe those traits will overcome hate. But then, I didn’t say I expect they will.

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