Or, The Creativity of My Mind

My mind is like a shark—always moving and eating words, ready to spew them out at a moment’s notice.

Make no mistake about it, my siblings are each creative in unique ways.

Joanne’s Creativity

My younger sister Joanne is artistic, from painting to crafting surprises. She once made me a cardboard fireplace for an apartment that didn’t have a real one. It was quite the Christmas gift. We laughed, stacking presents around it, pretending to warm up via its red and orange construction paper, non-dancing flames. She crocheted a dashing green poncho (or is there a decade-2000 name?) for our older sister. Joanne added matching fingerless gloves for typing on those brisk Montana days.

Creativity in a green poncho
Jackie wearing Joanne’s poncho

Joey’s Creativity

My brother Joey works magic restoring vintage automobiles. He has had cars featured in magazines and on calendars and win multiple contests since he was sixteen. His eye for detail and perfectionism is appreciated by many classic car owners. They return time and again with a new challenge for him.

Dad & Joe, the gray t-shirt men

And Jackie’s Creativity?

She can whip up a batch of cookies or a round of bear claws in record time. The kitchen experiences an iota of the explosion that occurs when I attempt one of those things. In my kitchen, flour is everywhere, all available mixing bowls and six spatulas are dirty. Dough residue sticks to the inside of the sink (I mixed there until the arrival of my KitchenAid) like concrete.

I plan my kitchen cleaning around my baking schedule.

Other Snippets of Creativity

Jackie lays out a pattern, read the instructions and voila! I have a new suit or dress for my wardrobe. After attempting to teach me, she said, “Lay out the pattern, pin it to the fabric, and cut it out. After that, just walk away.”

“What about marking the darts and holes and…”

“Just walk away.”

This is particularly weird since throughout junior and senior high school I made many of my own outfits. I sewed green corduroy pants, a waist-length black jacket, skirts with dots, and short buttonless vests. Once, I made the most elegant couldn’t-be-worn-except-in-the-1970s ankle-touching, delicately flowing vest. I can still picture it (oh and how I wish there were a photo of it!). It was dark blue with faint and tiny white flowers on it, trimmed the entire way around in white ribbon. I felt like a starlet wearing it with my bell bottom jeans.

children in 1970, creativity in sewing my outfit
Jackie, Joanne, Joey, Rosemary circa 1970

Why I lost my sewing ability is a mystery.* I can’t blame Jackie for making me stop, just stop, since she frequently wound up fixing my mistakes. *It’s never to late to learn, check out this page.

My Siblings are Talented

Don’t doubt their creativity.

We are all great book worms. Our mom was an avid reader, teaching us to love books of every kind—education or fun. We share this enjoyment of books.

But me? I’m in love with words. 

I am madly, flipping, have-been-my-whole-life, in love with words. Reading well-placed words upon the page thrills me. I love seeing words appear on my computer screen, the legal pad, my left arm when I’ve run out of paper. You’ll see a near panic attack if I leave home without a pen in my purse.

I love words.

Rearranging words, revamping them to make the message clear and more clear—what joy! It’s why I puzzle over anyone who can write and publish a blog in twenty minutes. Are you some sort of wizard? My blogs take hours, take re-writes, take re-thinks and proofreading.

Kindles Are For Wordies

For my mystery, I read it on the Kindle as a way to proof it. This confirms my wit (I’m quite witty—in that scene with Jethro and Lloyd. They cause me to laugh out loud each time I read it!). I’ve placed the right words in the right person’s mouth at the right time. I help the reader feel what the characters are feeling—well, gosh isn’t that awesome?

When I’m the Queen

Jackie emails wordsmith me from the vacation home company she worked for and requests: 

Think of a blurb for a “Celebrate Summer Special” for our vacation houses. I’m thinking 10% off per night for a 3-night stay during the week of June 16-22.  Something catchy. 

In less than five minutes I come back with:

Celebrate the Summer Solstice Montana-style with a spectacular deal of 10% off per night for a 3-night stay. Our vacation properties provide you with a welcoming in of summer that sets the tone for a great season. With the 10% you save, you’ll be able to enjoy even more time in our local shops & restaurants.

I whip off three variations for her so she can choose what she thinks sounds catchiest.  (As I write this blog I think of three more ways to say the same thing.)

It was also fun to caption these two photos for her of the resident Airedale, Daisy:

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, I’m ready to jump into spring with a stay with us!

Daisy – the airborne Aierdale

If you don’t give me back my toy, I won’t tell you what I did!

In response to her stunned, “How do you do that?” I feel superior. For a minute. I type the brilliant retort written above:

“My mind is like a shark—always moving and eating words, ready to spew them out at a moment’s notice.”

She may be cracking up out there in gorgeous Montana, but here in Pittsburgh I’m thinking: It’s good to sometimes be the Queen of Words. What’s your regal skill?


More fun reading, You’re Never Too Old to Laugh and Make Snow Angels

Or laugh at me whining.