Tunes for a Monday Morning
Daydreams and Spells

Gathering the Worlds

Gathering the Worlds by Charles Vess

From The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett:

"Witches are naturally nosy," said Miss Tick, standing up. "Well, I must go. I hope we shall meet again. I will give you some free advice, though."

"Will it cost me anything?"

"What? I just said it was free!" said Miss Tick.

"Yes, but my father said that free advice often turns out to be expensive," said Tiffany.

Miss Tick sniffed. "You could say this advice is priceless," she said. "Are you listening?"

"Yes," said Tiffany.

"Good. Now. . . if you trust in yourself. . . "


". . . and believe in your dreams. . . "


". . . and follow your star. . . ," Miss Tick went on.


" . . . you’ll still be beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy. Goodbye.”

Gathering the Worlds by Charles Vess

''Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it,''  noted Madeleine L'Engle in her book of essays on writing, Madeleine L'Engle: Herself.

And this is true. Showing up, placing butt in chair, is vital to any art-making process.  But balancing work and life commitments is hard; there's no shame in admitting the daily struggle that almost all of us working in the arts face. Ours is work that tends to require large swathes of solitary, uninterrupted time...and that's harder and harder to find in our fast-moving, web-connected, over-scheduled, and over-stimulated modern world.

''I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life," said Simone de Beauvoir. "I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish….You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.'' 

I tend more to frustration than anger, but otherwise I know precisely what de Beauvoir means. I want twenty-four hours more in each day, and nine consecutive lives to live, for I am greedy for life and art as well, with all their occasionally conflicting demands. I want as much time as possible to continue to work hard and learn. I'm greedy for it all.

Tinkerbell by Charles Vess

The enchanting art above is from my old friend Charles Vess. (We've known each other since the 1980s, when both of us lived in New York City.) Charles says: "Reading your knitting post put me in mind of this painting of mine. So just in case you haven't seen the painting, here it is: 'Gathering the Worlds,' a 'Mother' teaches her 'daughter' to knit new worlds from pieces of the old." Gorgeous! Thank you, Charles!

The drawing is "Tinkerbell."


Beautiful drawing, filling me. Knitting me to the whole of things:)

A lot of the poems in my book Sister Fox's Field Guide to Writing are about the hard word involved. Here is one of them:

Switching on the Light

“Opportunity is missed by most people
because it arrives in overalls and looks like work.”
—Thomas Alva Edison

Just so my Muse arrives, sleeves rolled up,
apron tied in front, garden gloves hiding
broken, dirt-encrusted nails.
She hands me a hammer, a spirit level, a saw,
says: Get to work, slug-a-bed, don’t be a sloven!
her language as archaic as her ethic.

I have learned over the years to sweat
the poet’s way, fingers flying over keys,
grinding mental gears, reaching far
for the odd book of facts, crossing out words.
There’s the judicious placement of artful caret,
the careful use of the angry stet.

Every worker should be worth her hire:
my hire and hers. Somewhere Edison,
my birthday twin, switches on the light.

©2013 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

A great way to start the morning!

Oh, so perfect for me today. I awoke this morning with overwhelm. I get ovewhelmed with all there is to accomplish. Especially this time of year - outside chairs to stow away for winter, leaves to rake, pots to put under cover from freezing, wood to stack, kindling to gather - I want to go to the studio and paint for a week and still have time in the week for all of the rest.

Well, that was unexpected...

Yes, that's why its called 'artwork'.

A favorite saying, from my long, long ago days in animation, spoken by the director Chuck Jones: "Everyone has 10,000 bad drawings (or words or stiches or malformed bits of clay...)in them and the only way to get them out is to draw them out."


Terry Pratchett is priceless and the painting so beautiful--the color palette in particular is stunning. Funny, sometimes when you have masses of unstructured time, you can kind of get mired in it and it can be hard to climb out of the undoing morass.

Oh how I love this quote and your painting!

Oh yes, frustration. Lots of it. But I guess it's what fuels this continuous quest also.

I am late to the party because I had to mend a story, stitching in new verbs, snipping off some nouns,
spitting on the slender tip of thread to get it through the darning needle and still not done. I do not
expect perfection, but slips and snips were needed. Whew. And one whole event revised to make the
pattern match the dream.

Thank you for the lovely response, everyone.

I love this poem, Jane.

"Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it."

I wish that was the first thing I had learned not one of the last.

Amen Kitchen Boy....

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