Tag Archives: Recreation

Reading: Its Own Reward

Book of the Decade! Photo by mjb2014
Book of the Decade! Photo by mjb2014

“When the Day of Judgment dawns and people, great and small, come marching in to receive their heavenly rewards, the Almighty will gaze upon the mere bookworms and say to Peter, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them. They have loved reading.”
Virginia Woolf

missjunebug is way behind her time in writing a new blog post! She has been very, very busy reading and rereading some wonderful books. Here’s her current shortlist for fab reads:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is a stunning narrative that follows a young Theo Decker through loss, grief, and ultimately redemption. What. a. book.

The Dinner by Herman Koch is a darker, more satiric view of a couple of young, overprivileged youths run amuck and their sociopathic parental units. Disturbing x 10 but worth your time.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach has everything a good book should have: great, relatable characters, strong dialogue, literary leitmotifs à la Herman Melville, and some great moral take-aways. Even if you can’t stand baseball, you will enjoy this novel. Chad’s hit a first-time-up-to-the-plate home run!

The Tenth of December by George Saunders is a short story collection that is long on substance and searing satire. G.S. is the king of voice creation with each story having a compelling and distinctive style. missjunebug’s fave? Has to be “Semplica-Girl Diaries.”

Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith is a crime story with a difference: It’s really written by J.K. Rowling. And it’s really good. missjunebug is a big fan of Detective Cormoran Strike. With a name like that, how can he not be awesome! Note to J.K.R.: Sequel, please!

Now missjunebug is moving on to The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame. Should be good!

mjbTip: If you find yourself not finding time to read, join a book club. It’s the best way missjunebug can think of to keep motivated to keep reading and sharing. And believe her when she says, “Sharing is the best part!”

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Creating Creativity

Creativity is Not Device Dependent
Creativity is Not Device Dependent (Photo credit: eliztesch)

missjunebug has been thinking about creativity lately thanks to a Wall Street Journal article she read recently. She learned a few things and she had a few of her own ideas about creativity confirmed. The insight that missjunebug applauded is also the one she finds most personally relatable: creativity thrives in transitional times.

What are some of those transitional times?

Walks from here to there

Showers to prepare you for the rest of your day

Relaxing baths

A quick run or a leisurely jog

Waking

Falling asleep

missjunebug has a vivid memory from high school where she spent the evening grinding out trigonometry problems. She got stuck on one, gave up, went to sleep, and the next morning Voilà! She had the answer! This was close to missjunebug’s last taste of success in math altogether, but that was one heady moment for her! (She still thanks Mr. Clay for his infinite patience!). More recently, in fact a day or two ago, while she was finishing up a shower, she got the first six lines of her “In Not Of” poem that she grew into a finished piece in no time! Creativity can be elusive, but if you take the time to tap into these transitional times, missjunebug guarantees you some very creative flow!

Other creativity creators?

Try walking away from the problem to arrive at a quick solution: too much focused concentration can block creativity.

Have a relaxing glass of wine or two. Down a cold Stella and let the creative times roll!

Let your mind wander where it wants. It will often arrive at a much more creative place where you will find new inspiration for your project or problem.

Finally, in coincidental keeping with the Pantone Color of the Year 2013: Emerald, gaze at some green, that promising color of renewal and growth, to get your creative juices flowing! According the WSJ “Students with green test-cover pages gave more creative answers than those whose pages were white, blue, red, or gray.” Maybe colleges need to ditch the Blue Books for green ones!

mjbTip: Relax into your creativity!

 

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Tiny Things: Fall Collection

missjunebug was walking her Spoonbug the other day and found these two cool tiny things: Tiny Piney Cones (science-y name) and Nature’s Own Tic-Tacs (very science-y name). Check them out! She threw the leaves in for some local autumn color. And, yes, missjunebug wants to emphatically assure you SoCali has all the fall colors, just in tiny amounts! Enjoy these final days of fall before Winter Solstice (or the end of the world) arrives!

All for fall still life! Photo by mjb2012

 

missjunebug asks: "Now don't those look like Tic Tacs??" Photo by mjb2012
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Plethora of Poppies at Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve!

Poppies Galore! Photo by mjb2010
Poppies Galore! Photo by mjb2010

missjunebug and Mr.JB took a little field trip out to the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve in Lancaster, California this weekend. It was time for some serious natural decompression what with taxes being due and Icelandic volcanic ash clouds wreaking havoc with ElderJB’s travel-back-to-Africa plans! What a week!

Those glorious little bursts of orange x 10 kamillion did the trick! mjb and Mr.JB arrived early enough to score a good parking space and she recommends you do the same if you don’t want to wait in the long line of cars that begins to form somewhere around 10 am. Trust her when she says, “Arrive early!”

missjunebug and Mr.JB grabbed their jackets and their cameras and wandered the little trails taking picture after picture. So many poppies! So little time!  They enjoyed looking at the skittering lizards, listening to the melodic birdies flying around and even talking to some of the other onlookers.

mjb took a chance and said “Ni Hao” to a trio of friendly Chinese tourists enjoying their visit to the Poppy Preserve. missjunebug had a fun time telling them how much she and Mr.JB had enjoyed their country in two recent trips to China and they were pleased to hear it. missjunebug is a big believer in promoting understanding between cultures and it’s fun, too!

Further up the trail Mr.JB concentrated on taking some of the best nature photos he’d ever taken! missjunebug can say this now because she’s seen them herself and they put her little point n’ shoots to shame, but she’s happy to share her p-n-s’s here anyway. Enjoy! And get out to see those poppies before they disappear!

Mr.JB Heads Up the Trail to Track Poppies! Photo by mjb2010
Mr.JB Heads Up the Trail to Track Poppies! Photo by mjb2010
More Glorious Orange! Photo by mjb2010
More Glorious Orange! Photo by mjb2010
Upclose and Personal with Poppies! Photo by mjb2010
Upclose and Personal with Poppies! Photo by mjb2010
Little Lupine Loll with the Poppies! Photo by mjb2010
Little Lupine Loll with the Poppies! Photo by mjb2010
A Little Lizard Leaps into the Scene! Photo by mjb2010
A Little Lizard Leaps into the Scene! Photo by mjb2010
Poppies Mostly! Photo by mjb2010
Poppies Mostly! Photo by mjb2010
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