Welcome to the Friday Five – my ritual at the end of each week in which I list four things I’ve learned plus one fun picture.
This was a week of idea growth for me. I posted a short story collaboration with a fellow author friend, and pursued an artistic obsession I’ve had with Pan’s Labyrinth ever since I watched that film. This may turn into a story of undetermined length. All these creative pursuits combined with the spark and busyness of the Christmas season are keeping me on my toes!
1. Excellent work speaks louder than work that is poorly done. It’s true that some people get results by being loud, brightly-colored, or sometimes even offensive with their art. None of these things are necessarily bad, if you have a point to make, but it’s always better to let your work speak for itself through its quality (and it doesn’t require shouting).
2. Words and actions can hit with equal force, but be sure to use both. The old adage “actions speak louder than words” it still true, but for some of us, a poignant note is a sacred object, treasured above a whole truckload of favors. Don’t underestimate the power that a piece of writing can have on someone’s life.
3. If you slow down to speak clearly the first time, your words come out crisp. I use voice dictation software for my work, and I have tended to work with the fast paced “I’ll fix it later” mentality. However, lots of correction-sessions later, I’ve discovered that if I just take a deep breath and slow down a hair, my words no longer slur and the words come out coherent with little need for fixing. Huh. What does my life look like if I ease up just a little on the accelerator?
4. Take interruptions as invitations. At a local bookstore this week, my husband and I met the store’s charming manager, who spent half an hour helping us, through thoughtful recommendations, find Christmas gifts for my in-laws. At one point, he was showing me an illustrated children’s book by Madeleine L’Engle and his voice shook, overcome with emotion for the story. Funny fact you might not have guessed: When this man first started chatting with me and James, I wanted him to go away and leave us alone to shop in peace, but by the end, I’d made a new friend and wanted to support local book stores like never before.
5. James and I have a running joke – make a face when it’s supposed to be a nice smiling photo and see if the other person notices. It hasn’t gotten old yet.