Simple Ways Parents Can Nurture Their Creativity

Nurturing your creativity takes time and attention, but as I’ve found out, it doesn’t take as much time as I had originally figured.

Thirty minutes a day can do wonders for a creative person. It can create a proverbial garden of inspiration.

Creative Life

In thirty minutes, you can:

Write a full page of your book (that’s about 250 words)

Edit a half a page.

Knit three rows of your latest project.

Sketch a part of a drawing.

Practice a couple of songs.

Go for a walk. (Daily walks are the best for clearing your brain and getting those creative juices flowing.)

Draft a blog post.

I used to thing I needed long, uninterrupted stretches of time to nurture my creativity. Well, my lifestyle doesn’t always allow me such luxuries. In fact, that last time I have a long, uninterrupted time to do anything was when I had an unexpected 11 hour layover at the Atlanta airport. (After getting over the grumpies about my layover, I didn’t think twice about getting to work on my latest project!)

Times When Busy Parents Can Nurture their Creativity

Before the children get up

While the children are eating.

When the children are busy playing.

NAP TIME!!!

Right before you go to bed.

This tiny snatches of time add up, but when we are in the midst of our days it can often seem like the exact opposite.

Time for you: Do you long to pursue a passion? Have you learned to snatch up minutes to nurture your creative life?

Easy Ways for Children to Unplug From Technology

My family needs to unplug from technology, but I have to confess, I am the main culprit behind our media saturated lifestyle. I often plop my children in front of the television in order to get things done.

Have you done that too?

(Crickets…)

It’s a quick fix but often comes with disastrous results. After spending time watching a movie on television, my children’s tempers flare up easily.

Does this happen to you?

(More crickets…)

Y’all need to speak up before I feel like the MOST.INCOMPETENT.PARENT.EVER.

Since my children are so young, they are still shaping their view of the world. Do I really want Disney and Dora to be the main conveyors of truth?

Nope.

media

I got to thinking about the path I’d like my children to walk. I’d like them to be grow up and become purveyors of truth rather than recipients of people’s propaganda. I’m taking baby steps to accomplish this:

To unplug from technology, I’ll expose my children to living books.

Charlotte Mason, a pioneer in the education of children, coined the term living books. To her, living books were written by an author who knew their subject very well. The author tends to write from their passion for the subject and this enthusiasm enables them to write in such a way that ignites the imagination of his/her readers.

To unplug from technology, I’ll limit my children screen time.

This is where I need to focus the majority of my efforts. For me, it comes down to managing my time better so I can stop doing this:

unplug from technology

And limiting their screen time doesn’t mean they NEVER EVER watch TV. It simply means I need to be more purposeful by scheduling it in and not using it as a crutch. Crutches can be disastrous. Just read about the time when my two year old walked out the front door!

To unplug from technology, I’ll give my children lots of outdoor play.

I recently read an article from NPR which said that Old Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills. This article propsoed that, as the generations passed, children’s capacity for self regulation (aka, self-control) decreased.

Playing in nature ignites a child’s capacity to imagine. I believe that our capacity to imagine is a gift from God. Something that I, as a mom, don’t want to squelch.

 

How about you? Do your children spend lots of time in front of a screen?

 

SEAGRASS PIER by Colleen Coble

 

Colleen Coble Seagrass Pier

Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble

Don’t miss Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble Her latest release in the Hope Beach series, Seagrass Pier. The book releases July 1st, and Colleen’s publisher is offering the ebook at a special pre-order price of just $4.99 between now and 6/30 everywhere ebooks are sold.

PLUS . . . between 6/9 – 6/30 Colleen will be hosting a Kindle giveaway.

seagrass-400-click

Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble

One winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Seagrass Pier and the rest of the Hope Beach series by Colleen Coble

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 30th. Winner will be announced on Colleen’s blog on July 1st.


Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning and be sure to stop by Colleen’s blog on July 1st to see if you won!

My Review of Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble:

Elin Sumerall found a perfect match for her heart transplant. After the death of her husband, she spends her days taking care of Josie, her 4 year old daughter and her mother who has early onset dementia. During the course of the story, Elin begins to have violent memories and she learns that these memories stem from the woman’s heart now beating in her chest.

Marc Everton is an FBI agent looking for the person who killed his partner. He winds up working with Elin when he realizes her memories are real. They aren’t happy working together since they now have to deal with the fling they shared years ago. He then realizes that Josie is his daughter and that both Elin and Josie need his protection.
Overall, the book was very compelling. I couldn’t put it down. The plot twists kept me thinking. I highly recommend this wonderful story!
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher for review. All opinions are my own.)

Maintaining a Creative Life as an Adult

My husband says I’m insecure about my ability to live a creative life, and that I need a lot of validation. He’s right.

But I wasn’t always so wishy-washy.

Every-child-is-an-artist

Creative Life Image Credit: Quozio

 

When I first came to faith in the Lord as an 11 year old, a whole new world of possibilities opened up to me. I believed 110% that I could do anything and that included living a creative life. And so I dreamed big dreams and had the blessing of seeing those dreams come to fruition.

 

Creative Life Image Credit: marganz

Yet as I got older, those school teacher voices of doubt and conformity riddled my brain with thoughts like:

“Color in the lines.”

“Forget that acting thing and major in Economics. That’ll get you a secure job in something like investment banking.” (?!)

“You can’t make a real living as an artist.”

I bought into those beliefs and paid for it dearly with years of unfulfilling work which didn’t feed my soul. As a result, I shortchanged myself artistically during my twenties. That young girl who once dreamed big dreams had been squelched by the illusory “real world.”

Now, as I take steps towards a creative life, I have to overcome this inner struggle with myself daily.

Am I really smart? Am I really creative? Can I really do that?

All of my self-inquiries are really questions of: Am I worthy? Am I brilliant? Am I talented? Am I fabulous? Am I beautiful?

As an adult, I am learning daily to accept what I had already known as a child: that I am, in fact, worthy, brilliant, talented, fabulous and beautiful.

I’m learning to get out out of my own way.

How about you? Do you know that you are brilliant, fabulous, talented and beautiful? Or do you have to get out of your own way?

Chat with Piper Huguley, Historical Romance author

Hello, folks! Today we’re chatting with Piper Huguley, author of historical romance. Her writing accolades are many. Among them, she is a two time (2013 & 2014) Romance Writer’s of America Golden Heart finalist. (Way to go, Piper!)

Welcome, Piper! Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m an English professor who wanted to major in history but I was afraid I couldn’t find a job.  Fortunately, English is very interdisciplinary so my study of literature meant that I could keep studying history.  It wasn’t until very recently that I realized that my eclectic interests have uniquely shaped me for this project from the very beginning. I’m happy to be on the path God intended for me after bumbling around for so long. I’m glad to take this work on, even though the process of fulfilling a purpose is frightening sometimes!

African American Historical Romance, Lawyer's Luck

Tell us about your upcoming historical romance, The Lawyer’s Luck.

The Lawyer’s Luck which releases in July, is a story about a young man studying to pass his law exams when he finds the runaway slave who stole his horse and falls in love with her. She’s not very impressed with him though, since he stopped her plans to get to Canada and freedom, so he has a hard path to winning her over.

What led you to self-publish The Lawyer’s Luck?

In my chapter meeting in January, Beverly Kendall talked about self-publishing and the need to have an enticement to the beginning of the series.  So I wrote a novella– The Lawyer’s Luck–for that purpose.  Since I was self-publishing the first book, it only made sense to self-publish this prequel as well.  I might not have written it if I weren’t self-publishing The Preacher’s Promise, so I’m grateful for that.

Can you talk a bit more about the historical background of your novels?

The Lawyer’s Luck takes place in 1844 and is about the parents of the heroine in The Preacher’s Promise.  The Preacher’s Promise takes place right after the Civil War during the Reconstruction era.  During that time, there was that period of a few years where African Americans made great strides forward in several areas, including the political realm. Then, the power was all taken away. I have always been interested in how that power was used during that brief time as well as the reactions of African Americans when the power was taken away.  Most people have put a sad spin on those few years, but I believe that the seeds were then planted for another kind of power at that point.

You are a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist. How is being a GH finalist different for you the second time around?

Well, the second time around, people seem to have taken me more seriously than they did before.  Not that they didn’t before—just more so.  As a result, I’ve gotten much more attention and visibility than I did before, but there are some other factors that may be part of that—I’m self-publishing and then there’s my quarterfinalist placement in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.  So those factors may also have something to do with being taken more seriously.

Congratulations on your placement in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest! What’s your writing process like?

I tend to fast draft very rapidly.  The aftermath of that, the editing part, takes more time and happens much more slowly.  I’m trying to develop a process where I can be more purposeful about my editing.  I’m getting there.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

My students taught me that there is a lot of misunderstanding going around about what happened to so-called ordinary people in history.  I hope that readers will come to see that small acts of strength, courage and purpose performed by the ancestors have borne fruit into who we are today.  We, as Americans, must acknowledge our ancestors’ gifts of sacrifice as meaningful. These remembrances can sustain us whenever we have a rough time at work or home.

Any parting thoughts?

For those of us who live, reside and love America, this is our history.  It is important to know that just as we know and understand an immigrant narrative of survival in our country’s history, there is a narrative of survival for African Americans as well.  A lot of that narrative is covered in shame, but we are still here.  If African Americans had not loved each other and loved God how is it possible that we are still here?  Who are these people who loved each other and loved God enough to invest in future generations?  That’s the story that I am telling.  It is a survival narrative as well—every bit as important and relevant as the immigrant one.

Piper Huguley, Author of African American Historical Romance

About Piper:

Piper G Huguley is the author of Migrations of the Heart, a five-book series of inspirational historical romances set in the early 20th century featuring African American characters.  Book one in the series, A Virtuous Ruby won the Golden Rose contest in Historical Romance in 2013 and is a Golden Heart finalist in 2014.  Book four in the series, A Champion’s Heart, was a Golden Heart finalist in 2013.  Book one in her new 19th century historical series, The Preacher’s Promise, in the “Home to Milford College “ was a semi-finalist in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest and will be self-published in summer 2014.

She blogs about the history behind her novels at http://www.piperhuguley.com. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.