Summertime floods me with echoes of my childhood when the days were long, almost endless, and I had time to daydream and read and play and be.
It just feels necessary, even as an adult, to shake up my schedule in the summer—sort of like letting the tasks and responsibilities swirl about me like a snow globe storm. As my calendar settles out before me in a fresh pattern, it opens more creative think-time.
So that’s why I’m using the summer months to follow Ann Kroeker’s lead in recording a Curiosity Journal here at The Patch. A Curiosity Journal is a place to record what I’m reading, playing with, learning of, reacting to, and writing about. (Check out Ann’s entries here.)
Although I had planned for this to be an online-only journal, I remembered this journal my sister-in-law gave me. With its eclectic mix of pages—both notepaper as well as pages from books and dictionaries—I decided it would be the perfect place to record a tangible creative journal.
I’m not sure I’ll have a weekly update here, but I will give a regular report of what’s going on in my creative life. I’ll see how it settles out before me.
Here’s my first offering. Enjoy, and may you be inspired to curiosity this summer. And please join the summer fun by commenting here (and include your post link if you’ve written one) and then popping over to add your link at Ann’s.
Reading: This past week was the kick-off for our public library’s summer reading program for adults called A.R.K.S. (Adults Reading Kids Stuff). This year’s theme is A Midsummer Knight’s Read. Cute, eh? My sister also participates in A.R.K.S. and her kids do the children’s program. So this year, I’ve asked each of the kids to choose one book they want me to read. Miss HM’s pick for me is from The Tiara Club series by Vivian French: Princess Charlotte and the Birthday Ball. Sounds dreamy! Her choice made me smile in that heart-deep sort of way.
I’m also reading several other books that I would like to wrap up because I have too many going at once! Of great interest today though is this read: Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer. It’s just the sort of quirky real-life reading I adore!
Playing: My mom and my sister and I are taking my sis’s kids on a road trip to the beach! So I’m playing around with making personalized travel journals for the kids. I’ve included the route, the state maps, car games, and a verse for the week.
Learning: I met my nephew Jullian for the first time this week! Mike’s brother and sister-in-law (and little J) live in Hong Kong, and they are here for a visit. Jullian is 18 months old and completely adorable. I joined him as he watched one of his favorite videos, called Pororo (The Little Penguin).
Jullian is learning to speak in a bilingual home, so as he used his sweet little voice, I got to hear some words and phrases in Chinese. And although I watched Pororo in Chinese, I don’t think any of that has stuck in my brain! Jullian’s limited vocabulary is already larger than mine in that language. I would love to become familiar with the language. It’s on my list of things to do when I have nothing else to do . . . but I think I’m going to have to carve out some time for it instead.
Reacting: My church has adopted a local elementary school and will be partnering with it to provide support for the kids both academically and spiritually. After attending the meeting, I was so excited about the vision for going to serve and to love! I’ve decided to help by listening to kids as they practice their reading. This is something I’ve done periodically with my sister’s kids, and it has been such a joy. I am looking forward to meeting a new kid and investing in the future of his or her education.
Writing: My writing is in a steady groove now with some regular posts due each week. Here’s what I’ve been working on:
- Snap Judgments of the Positive Sort: High Calling Blogs book club post
- Mixed Signals: Is Nutella Guilty of False Advertising?: my Friday column at Christ and Pop Culture
- Why I Run: feature article at Christ and Pop Culture
- Which Word Wednesday: Green Superhero Edition
- Web site content for Zdi (new site to be unveiled soon!)
- travel journals for my nephews and niece
1. My Curiosity Journal: Summer 2011 by Erin Straza
2. A.R.K.S. by Normal Public Library
3. Pororo and Friends by Pororo at http://www.pororo.net/en/
4. Travel Journals for the Kids by Erin Straza