Redo: Journals in Verse: My Personal Poetry

August 23rd, 2014 by , in Saturday with the Spark
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Today’s rewritten poetry article got a bit bigger and more helpful–if you’ve never tried poetry, read this article and see if you don’t get inspired to work with it! :D

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Redo: A Twist in the Web: Complex Subplots in Simple Storylines

August 16th, 2014 by , in Saturday with the Spark
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I went back and added quite a bit more to this small article about a surprising little subplot I came up with for my novel. Now there’s advice on how to work in a crazy little twist to your own stories! :D

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Redo: Happy Little (Sketched) Tree

August 9th, 2014 by , in Saturday with the Spark
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This reworked art post was downright fun to edit! I added a few helpful links and better explanations, and now it’s ready for viewing again. Click and see how I can draw when I actually put my mind to it, LOL!

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Redo: How Robin’s Getting Her (HeroClix) Groove Back

August 7th, 2014 by , in Thursday in the Zone
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Today’s reworked HeroClix post is completely rewritten, involving a new dollop of gaming advice and a happier tone. If you’re currently burned out on Clix tournaments (or any competitive game), you might just find your solution by reading about mine!

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Redo: Confront the Giant in Song

August 2nd, 2014 by , in Saturday with the Spark
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I went back and rewrote a good bit of this post about songwriting–it definitely needed it! I thought it made sense a few years ago, but I’ve tightened up the writing and made it much more readable. Click to read about how I write “problem songs” and what their purpose is!

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Redo: The Impromptu Writers’ Club

June 21st, 2014 by , in Saturday with the Spark
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Lots of tweaking, rewording, and reshaping for this week’s redone creativity post, about working together with other writers to improve your writing and get inspired to start again. Check out the new and improved article!

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Rescue Your Creativity from the Internet!

June 14th, 2014 by , in Saturday with the Spark
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I realized last night that I haven’t played my piano keyboard in about 5 weeks. 5 WEEKS? That, for me, is almost unheard of–at least, when you take into account that I used to spend up to two hours a DAY playing piano down in the basement. Even when I had video games and schoolwork to take care of, even when I was at my busiest in college, I always found time to play my music, or to write poetry, or do other creative things. What’s changed?

I can point to one thing: the Internet. Now that there’s a constant source of passive entertainment in my room (even while I’m lying or sitting in bed!), I don’t have to go far for mental stimulation. I don’t even have to lift a finger to create anything if I don’t absolutely need to. And, increasingly, I find that the urgent need to create is somehow slipping away.

Why This is a HUGE Problem–And More Widespread Than It Seems

For me, a prolific creator for most of my life up until this point, this is a radical mindset shift, and I know I’m not the only creative person suffering it. The Internet provides us with endless resources to fuel our creativity, but it also provides a handy time sink–it gives us carte blanche to while away just as many countless hours clicking things on a screen for no purpose other than a high score and/or a sense of accomplishment.

Unfortunately, that random Internet time doesn’t often lead to creativity boosts, unless your brain just really needs a gaming or browsing break. These days, for me, Internet time becomes simply “lost time,” time in which my brain still has to work at reading or analyzing, but rarely has anything concrete to show for it. And by the time I’m finally done puttering around on the Internet, I’m far too mentally tired to be creative. That is the most dangerous symptom of all.

I see this happening not only to me, but to some of my creative friends, too–we’re all suffering from what looks like “Internet fatigue,” not having the mental energy to do much beyond surf just one more website, take just one more online quiz, etc. Have you felt it, too?

A Simple Solution

I’m not recommending that we all just stop using Internet for the rest of our lives, however. Not only does our work often depend on Internet, but our creative lives are now taking place on the Internet more frequently than not. The Internet is great, but, as I’ve discovered, one can easily “overdose” on it and end up less creative than ever.

We creative folk have to reclaim at least some time for our brains to be JUST OURS–for our thoughts and ideas alone to be uppermost in our minds, rather than the blended remnants of today’s headlines/scandals, DIY ideas, status updates, etc. That’s the way we get back our creative juices…that, and specifically carving out time to do so.

So, how to reclaim productive creative time from the Internet? Here are some tips I’m putting into practice:

What other ways can you think of to rescue your own creativity from Internet fatigue? Tell me in the comments!

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Redo: The Enemy of Creativity: Self-Censorship

June 7th, 2014 by , in Saturday with the Spark
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More advice! Less rambling! MORE AWESOME!! Check out the new and improved, more in-depth post about writer’s block!

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5 Lovely (and Simple!) Beaded Ring Tutorials

May 31st, 2014 by , in Saturday with the Spark
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Handcrafting beaded bracelets and necklaces is more well-known now, thanks to Pinterest (and the Internet in general)–but the craft of beaded rings is just now beginning to appear more often on craft blogs and pinners’ boards.

What I love about these rings is that even though they’re made with beads and wire, they still look delicate and pretty, just like I like my jewelry to be. (The last one, the wire rosette, doesn’t have beads but is actually my favorite!) Read through, grab your ring sizer and ring mandrel, plus some beads and wire, and pick your favorite to try!

Tutorial from

This tutorial involves bead sewing and a little bit of knowledge of various stitch types, but it’s still pretty simple, and it makes a great, vintage-looking piece!

Tutorial from HomeBabyCrafts

I love how classy the single bead looks when wrapped around with silvery threadlike wire. Who would ever believe this could be so simple?

Tutorial from The Cheese Thief

The delicate clusters of white pearlescent beads in this “8-petal flower” ring have gotten away with me. Be still my beading heart. :)

Tutorial from Strawberry Box

This tutorial makes a fully-beaded ring (band and all)–easily customizable with different colors of stones, though this blue/white/silver combination is already lovely.

Tutorial from McFarland Designs

Ooooo SHINY! Even though this one doesn’t technically have beads on it, it does still require beading techniques to make. Swirls of shining wire wrapped around each other form a tiny rosette (which I’m tempted to make and use as a handmade engagement ring!).

What Do You Think?

Which is your favorite? How would you customize one of these designs for your own? Tell me in the comments!

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Redo: Little Doodles of Life

May 24th, 2014 by , in Saturday with the Spark
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This rare art post is now MUCH better (and slightly refocused), less blathery and more inspiring. Click and enjoy!

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