mayBE 2015: thirty.

Today my good friend Gwynyth Kier is guest posting today!  Along with my other friend Brooke, we started a little writing blog called Sense of Story.  She is a constant source of writing inspiration and feedback.  I am grateful for her support and encouragement and for being a guest today!



Hello! I’m a mama to four awesome kids ranging from 10-1 years old. We spend our days homeschooling, adventuring and creating whether with lego, popsicle sticks or ingredients for dinner.

I am also a writer exploring short fiction (you can check some out at Sense of Story) and am working on a middle grade novel.


I am so happy to have the chance to collaborate once more with Rozanne today!

Do you have a creative routine? What is it?

I prefer to have a routine so that I can get right back to where I left off without losing any threads or momentum. That said, life with small children means the routine changes a lot.

Ideally I spend a little bit of time writing each morning. I start with the morning pages mentioned earlier this month, or a prompt, before moving onto my current project. I find creating at the same time under the same circumstances everyday (or regularly) trains my mind to get into the zone and access the Un filtered goods quickly. Babies and toddlers tend to wake early though-especially when you’ve got something planned, so if morning writing gets cut too short, I work again during baby’s afternoon nap and big kid screen time.


How do you express creativity in different aspects of your life?

I think we are creating and expressing creativity all the time. Maybe not in the ways we often associate those words with, but parenting, time management, cooking three meals + snacks everyday…these parts of life draw heavily on our creative resources as well!

What do you do when you are in a creative rut? What emotions are associated with it?

If I’m stuck on a plot conflict, or just feel so drained by everyday life that I don’t feel like I’ve got anything left to give, I get cranky and negative and often think I should give it up. The most effective way for me to get out of the funk, is to surround myself with creative, positive people and their stories. I let them seep into my consciousness until their cheery sureness bursts out and into my own work.

These motivators are friends like Rozanne, who share so generously of their wisdom and inspiration and also established authors who’ve been there and written excellent pep talks:War of Art, Bird by Bird, and On Writing to name a few.

My other funk busters:

Exercise – Even if its just a walk in the fresh air, my head will eventually clear enough to see a solution.


Creating with my kids – getting into a playful mood and lifting all expectations of quality and final product. This works best as a cross-training exercise, so as a writer, I’ll get out some paints, clay, or markers. Later, I’ll try to bring this light mood to my writing and see where it takes me.


Where do you get your creative inspiration?

I am constantly collecting little scraps of life that catch my attention. An overheard snippet of conversation, a memory or feeling evoked by cooking smells, my kids, wondering about the owner of the one shoe left on the side of the road…

What is your earliest creative memory?

Sitting in a waiting room with my mom trying to thread a sewing needle (genius mom!) to stitch on a square of fabric.

Describe your creative process.

Coffee/tea, a prayer to the muse, notebook, pen, and lots of doodles in the margins.


General thoughts on creativity?

I believe we are all inherently creative, whether we are helping our friend solve a problem, raising our children, gardening, knitting, writing…no one needs permission or to be told they have a gift to seek a creative life. But I think we all have a duty, as a young Miss Rumphius in my favourite children’s book was urged, “To make the world a more beautiful place.”


Here is one of my favourite exercises to get the creative juices flowing.


Start with one word-the first word that comes to mind. Write it in the middle of a blank page like this:


Next, make a branch in one direction and write the next word that comes to mind from the association of your first word, like this:


Continue riffing off the last word you wrote until you have about six words in your chain:


Now start a new chain from your original word:


Make about six chains. Go fast, don’t think or judge, just write the first word that pops into your head even if it doesn’t relate to the previous word in a logical way.Image-6

When you are done, grab a different coloured marker/pen. Close your eyes.

When you open them, scan your web and circle the first three words that jump out at you-even if they aren’t your favourites!


Write out your three words and watch the images and ideas that come to you as you contemplate them.


Set a timer for ten minutes and write what you see.


Thanks again Gwynyth for sharing a little bit on creativity!  I love word association games.  The kids often have the greatest associations – the most creative ones, actually.

So today…



You can leave a comment below or join my top secret life explorers group on Facebook if you want to share any discoveries or explorations.  Friend me  and I will send you an invite!  You can share your thoughts or your creative expressions there.  You can also post on Instagram using #may_BE2015  




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2 responses to “mayBE 2015: thirty.”

  1. brooke Avatar

    what an awesome exercise, gwynyth!

    1. gwynyth Avatar

      Thanks Brooke! I am loving all the prompts here this month…so much creative momentum!

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