Tuesday, November 19, 2013

On creativity and slowing down . . .

I read a lot, always have, remember very little, always have, but things hit me hard once in awhile and make me pause.

I've just begun reading World Enough & Time by Christian McEwen and it's a delicious, slow read. Concurrent with this book, I'm also reading James Lee Burke's Creole Belle, another slow, delicious read. Burke keeps me glued to the story. McEwen keeps me coming back for more, little sips at a time.

McEwen's concept is in her subtitle: "On Creativity and Slowing Down." And that's what caught my eye when I learned about this book.

I'm creative. And I have decided to slow down (again). What a perfect book for me to read right now.

She talks about teachers who have to deal with larger and larger classes, with "no child left behind" requirements, getting up early to grade papers, to prepare for their classes, and who are often "overtaxed and anxious." And aren't we all these days?

She points out that,

In recent years, that humblest of written links, the tiny hyphen, has vanished from some 16,000 words. "Fig-leaf" is now "figleaf," "pigeon-hole" is "pigeonhole," and "leap-frog" has catapulted into "leapfrog." The reason, says Angus Stevenson, who edited the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, is that we no longer have time to reach over to the hyphen key.

What does this have to do with art? With living? I don't know yet because I'm only 27 pages into the book. But it's a delightful read. A slow read. A put-the-book-down-and-think-a-bit read. And it keeps me coming back. And did you notice? Look at all those hyphens I used!

More to follow, I'm sure, as I move through this delightful book. (I've put links to both these books in my blog, there on the right side, down a little bit, just in case you're interested.)

©Carol Leigh (who rescues hyphens whenever possible)