Quieting The Creative Mind

I wonder if you feel the same as me? I go through phases where I mull over the same creative idea again and again, refining it, researching it, exploring its potential. And then there are the phases where the idea I'm working on seems to fade ever so slightly into the background while new ideas sing and dance around me, demanding attention. Giddy, excitable, running around like they've had too much sugar and totally distracting me.

An old friend once told me to do one thing at a time. He was right. He could see I would jump from idea to idea and he wanted me to achieve my dreams. This simple piece of advice led me to focus on Angel's Great Escape, which became my first picture book and then I concentrated on An Amazing Alphabet of Cake until it was published. So what do I do when new ideas pop up and tap me on the shoulder while I'm trying to complete a project? I don't want to ignore them as they may be worth exploring. So I capture them, a bit like a genie in a bottle that I know I can release later. I make notes, a lot of them! I'll sit quietly with a cup of coffee and give myself 20 or 30 minutes with the ideas, free writing anything that comes into my mind. It quietens my thoughts a bit, allows me to concentrate and reassures me that the idea isn't lost but rather quietly being worked on by my subconscious waiting until I'm ready to turn the volume up back up.

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Inspiration - Dan Mace

This guy is new to me. He's teamed up with Casey Neistat for a brilliant new creative project called 368 and Casey's videos have led me to Dan's channel. This video reminds me of how I started creating. My sister and I used to create movies on a massive old VHS camera with me filming while she presented. We loved it. We even filmed our own version of an old programme called Star Test. I then went on to study Media & Cultural Studies, purely because I wanted to run around with a camcorder. Somehow life has led me to events, writing and illustration but watching this really speaks to that initial spark in me and now my mind is racing.

Recipe - Carrot & Cumin Soup

A little something cosy but super healthy for those moments when you're not sure if it's Winter and Spring.

Ingredients for 2 servings
A little coconut oil
3 x carrots, peeled & chopped into small cubes
1 x red onion, sliced finely
1 x small clove of garlic, crushed
1 x teaspoon of cumin
350ml water
A squeeze of lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

Method
Melt the coconut oil and add the carrot and red onion. I find organic carrots are a lot more tasty and sweet if you have them. Allow the vegetables to fry gently for about five minutes. Add the crushed garlic and cumin. Stir and allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Add the water and simmer for ten minutes or so until the carrot has softened. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste.

Enjoy in a mug with warmed sourdough bread while curled up watching your favourite box set.
Note: I adapted this recipe from one I found on Abel & Cole's website as I didn't quite have the right ingredients - click here to see the original recipe.

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Sunday Song - Frederick

I've been reading and really enjoying Patti Smith's Just Kids. It makes me want to jump on a plane to New York. This tune, dedicated to her husband Frederick is such a fantastic love song.

"I met Fred at Lafayette Coney Island. It's a place where they sell hot dogs in Detroit... I looked at him. I didn't know who he was. He looked at me. And I swear to you I thought, 'That's the fellow I'm going to marry.' I don't know why that happened. It was an instant moment of alchemy."

A Quiet Weekend In The Cotswolds

We weren't expecting quite so much snow this weekend but still managed to have a lovely, cosy time in the Cotswolds. It's so good to have a change of scenery once in a while and to take some time just to explore and appreciate good company and good conversation.