Good morning! Can we pretend it’s Thursday? Just for a few minutes? Sorry to take away a bit of your Friday, but I didn’t get around to typing up this post yesterday. I went to White Rock beach instead and did a scope of me reading some poetry. (It’s still live until about 1 pm PST today if you want to go have a look.) My second scope ever; I can’t say I have ever sat on a bench with people walking all around me and read poetry into a screen for an audience I couldn’t see. Strange and awesome times we live in.

Anyway, there are some changes to #3ThingsThursday that you should know about. It’s only going to be around on the first Thursday of the month. You can read more about that on Salma’s post. And for now, Raj is stepping down as a host to balance out her workload so if you want to link up, please visit The Write Balance or Love Laugh Mirch.

The three things I want to share with you today are a bit of a hodgepodge – which is the fun thing about these posts! You can jump around from one end of your world to the other and it is perfectly acceptable!

One: #HandletteredABCs_2016

What’s the perfect combination of art and words? Handlettering, of course, which basically means using your hands to create letters. I’ve been following a number of amazing artists on Instagram who use brush pens, calligraphy pens, micron pens etc and swoop, slide, swirl these beautiful letters onto various media. I’ve been playing around with chalk and brush pens and recently picked up a pack of microns of varying diameter. It’s fun but super detail-oriented (which I am not). To really get good, you have to have a lot of discipline and practice frequently. I’d like to give it a shot for no other reason than simply to create. So, I’ve joined an Instagram challenge of practicing a letter a day that started on January 3. I’ve been getting to it every two days as a way to unwind after the kids go to bed.

If you’re interested in checking it out, search #HandletteredABCs_2016. It’s never too late to join in!

Two: One of my favourite Christmas gifts

I got a lot of really sweet things from the kids this year. Handmade gifts and book fair purchases made for some creative surprises! One of the sweetest was a coupon book made by my oldest daughter. She took a notebook and filled it with the little pleasures of life for me to cash in whenever I want. As I flipped through the notebook it really dawned on me how much this little girl (ok, big girl) knows my heart. And also how very similar we are; so many of the ‘treats’ were things we both enjoy doing together. Like, read, draw, write, cuddle…but this one, guys, made me well up.

meditate, coupon book, mother daughter, christmas

This girl knows my heart AND soul.

Three: Big Magic

I’ve been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, this week (almost done!) and as you may have guessed, I’m loving it. So far, the most important thing I’ve gleaned from it is the reminder to create for the sake of creating. I had started doing that this past summer when I got back on the piano. I’ll write more about that in the near future because what I discovered about returning to music as an adult has been life-enhancing, and deserves its own post. But also, this book reminded me that I used to love writing fiction, particularly short stories. When I moved forward in my career path and stepped into my writer self, my focus was on finding writing work that paid. That made sense because it’s something I do on a professional level. But there’s also the part of me that enjoys creating characters who become ‘real’ to me, whose lives I have a deep interest in and whose outcome I am invested in. I may never sell my short stories, or even share them with anyone; that shouldn’t stop me from writing them. Not everyone will sell what creativity chooses to pass through them. But what a shame to deny the world, and oneself, that kind of pleasure.

What do you create that is simply for your own pleasure? I’d love to hear in the comments!

I really hope this post makes sense. I’ve been typing like a madwoman in between drawing birds and flowers and swirls for my youngest while listening to her favourite music. Not how I normally work, but that’s what I get for trying to sneak in a post on a non-blogging day!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative