Resources for Artists and Writers: Inspiring, Curious, and Useful

This is where I store and recommend resources on, obviously, art and design, broadly defined. I often forget where these are or that I even knew about them so I put them here. The category is very broadly defined because it includes any resource I value as an artist and writer—anything I use or recommend or wish I used in my creative work, including website design.

Some are inspiring, some curious, and some extremely useful. The choices are entirely idiosyncratic. Inclusion reflects only my interests.

Nothing comprehensive but I hope you discover something new.

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The Day After My Birthday

Images of the Number 70Today is the day after my birthday. I turned 70. I had planned to start daily entries partly because I had an artist friend who wrote a book on her 70th birthday and published it in the days when no one did that. No blogs or on-demand printing in the 1980s. I had been planning my big start for days. I missed it because I was on learning how to do a child-theme in WordPress. My goal was/is to once and for all find a focus for my life. Or at least limit my focus to 3 major obsessions.

I use writing to figure out everything except my own life. I kept a journal for 20 years and then stopped. It seemed a waste of time since my life kept getting screwed up anyway.

Even on my birthday resolution, I’m a day late and dollar short. Actually since the big non-depression, more than a dollar short. I lost almost a third of my IRA and half my income. The two are not equal, one half and one half, because the whole damned thing made me more aware of the need to save, and earn. So the biggest loss was my sense of security. A real bummer.

My Birthday

Anyway, for my birthday, I had such a nice day. I didn’t do anything special but more people remembered it  than have remembered in all of the last 20 years. I kept forgetting why they kept saying to have a happy day. Why are all these people so cheerful? And on the phone? And it wasn’t just because I live in cohousing. Other people remembered too.

I’m more used to people forgetting. To their credit, I also don’t remind them. My mother always forgot and I don’t think my brothers and sister ever remembered except the year I was 52 and we all happened to be together and I mentioned it. They scurried about and put together a party. A very nice one with presents and everything. I was very touched.

My son never remembers, or if he does I don’t hear about it. My daughter always does and goes out of her way to buy a not-just-nice present but one she thinks I will enjoy. This year it was late because it is electronics and she wanted to take advantage of Black Friday. (Why is it called Black Friday and not Green Friday?)

Turkey Day

Cartoon-Style Drawing of an AngelThe year I was 22, I even forgot. Sometime the next year, filling out a form in graduate school, I was trying to remember how old I was. I stopped to think because it seemed like I had been 21 for a very long time. My birthday often falls on Thanksgiving and I’m usually cooking a big turkey. (I have not a clue why anyone would cook a small turkey.) That year I was very nervous because it was the first time I had either cooked a turkey (of any size) or cooked for several people who were not family.

The meal was fine. My birthday got lost—for months.

Just One Pronoun

A Quote Worth Quoting:

“Misplacing just one pronoun can totally confuse a listener. And when you communicate in writing, as more and more of us do in this age of e-mails and texting, you may not even know whether the recipient misunderstands.

When you’re an adult, you may not remember the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, but that was never the point. The point is to understand grammatical principles so well that you internalize the logic. Then you can communicate beautifully and with no effort at all.”

—— from Marilyn vos Savant