“Art, 100; commerce, 0” (or, “There’s Always Time for What Moves You”)

"the only rule is work"

While I have been noticably AWOL here of late, I’ve been off-the-charts generative in other parts of my life.

Even reductive, as necessary.

Writing. Designing. Cleaning. Writing.

Creating presentations for me to speechify. (Yes, multiple: when it rains, it pours, baby.) Writing off-color songs and performing them before a live audience (use caution with that last link).

And, most exciting of all, clearing the decks for what looks to be the adventure of my middle-aged life, later this fall.

On top of all that, I got a crazy-ass bee in my bonnet to submit an entry to this little contest Southwest Airlines is running. Not because I have a great love of air travel (really, they’re gonna have to turn me around on that one), but because some real-life connecting over the weekend in the form of an impulse trip to Albuquerque reminded me of how awesomely stupendous it is to see people in person. And something about the crazy vortex of creative energy that’s currently experiencing me (no pun intended, and yes, that grammatical construction was correct) inspired an idea.

Did I say “inspired”? More like “leapt out of my head, grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me…HARD!” Because that’s how it is with creativity and ideas and The Juice: once you open yourself up to it, and kinda-sorta let it be known that you will be a responsible conduit craaaaazy things happen.

There are some things you have to do to make this great state of creativity happen. Merlin has been posting a lot of good stuff about it lately. In fact, he’s been so on fire, I’m guessing he’s practicing a lot of what he’s preaching.

And more’s the better for all: us, because we get his best, and a goodly dose of inspiration, to boot; him, because I can almost guarantee you he feels better these days when his head hits the pillow.

You can’t always be in productive mode, of course. Fields lie fallow once yearly for resting/recuperative purposes, and probably, so should we. (Well, not for a season, necessarily, but you know.) I’m guessing that even high-percentile-prolific people like Seth, Chris, Walt, my friend, Tim, and anyone else who makes a metric crapload of cool stuff on on a regular basis takes a break sometimes. (Brogan, you officially need to take one more often!)

But at some point, you put your ass in the seat, hunker down and do the deed. And you say “yes” to all the good stuff that comes along that really lights your fire, regardless of how busy you are. Because, trust me, you will always find time for the good stuff. And the stuff that grabs YOU? And won’t let you go? That’s the superfine, añejo stuff. That stuff, you clear your calendar for.

I am hunkered; I have swept away all non-essential items. But I am going to come back from this crazy jolt of creativity with new vigor and a plan, so look out!

In the meantime, if you feel like helping me out on my crazy little project for Southwest, and you live in or near one of the cities listed here, email me. The address is all over this site, but you can also just send to communicatrix at the gmail. Easy-peasy.

Thanks for playing. Now…go make stuff!


Image by litherland via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. Great to have you back, you were missed — but that’s about the only excuse that matters, so power to ya.
    I was noodling and doodling with that contest myself, but I actually took something to heart that I’d read about saying ‘no’ to impulses (from myself and others) that get in the way of what needs to be done. So I’m delighted that you are passionate about it (I wasn’t) and are using it creatively — Southwest doesn’t know what it’s in for!

  2. Thanks, GirlPie! Yeah, that and “dead” or “in hospital without wireless” are about it, huh?

    Funny, I wasn’t psyched for it initially, either. But then this idea popped in my head and I HAD to do it. Really, I don’t care if I win, and kinda hope I don’t. I’m not overly fond of air travel (YEAH, SOUTHWEST–THAT’S ME, TELLIN’ IT LIKE IT IS, BABY!!!)

    But the Idea. Had to do it.

  3. HA! Your other excuse cracked me up!
    Hope you can share your SW Idea after the contest is past.

    Man Colleen, your voice. Your. Voice. I could read your commentary on the phone book, listing by listing, and am sure it would come through loud and clear and entertain by the hour. (When I was a kid, I’d wanted to change my name to blare (lowercase, all those decades ago), if that give you an idea of my affinity and delight. Can’t get enough of your writing.

  4. GirlPie – Okay, that is TOO nice. As Dan Savage is fond of saying, “I’m Catholic; I can’t handle praise.” But thanks. Really, thanks.

    C – Well, me, too! Come on back and watch me cringe from compliments!

  5. Who is this GIRLPIE I keep seeing everywhere and why does he/she not have a blog I can look at?

    Definitely second the need for downtime.

    I’ve been in GO GO mode for too long now, and overwork leads to bad sleep/exercise/food/work habits. Then you get in this addict-like vicious cycle: “I just need to stay up late one more night to get this project done…” but then that makes you get up a bit later every day. Then pretty soon all your good habits are replaced by bad ones. Dirty secret: even if you “keep up”, the quality of work deteriorates.

    Anyway, that’s my personal “very special” episode of Family Ties, but otherwise, things are great! ;-)

  6. I am glad you are feeling inspired these days. I can’t wait to see what you come up with for SW! The videos they have posted thus far point toward instant success and fame for you. I say, if it tickles your fancy, then you should definitely pursue it.


  7. I hope that you have saved the video for posterity. It is the most amazing thing that I have seen because, it was the last thing that I expected from you. Bravo!

  8. Nathan – I hear you. There is going to be a serious detox when I get back from Chicago. AFTER the scotch-drinking, iPhone-love-festing bacchanal, of course.

    Earl – Amen. Zzzzz…

    Alexis – It’s up! http://xrl.us/SWAblogger

    Vote early, vote often!!!

    Rummuser – Oh, us old broads are FULL of surprises…

  9. The spot is brilliant! OF COURSE that’s the angle — the best angle in the world! All those conferences and events and stuff bloggers attend, your spot sends them right to SWA! Voting from every different computer in the office and house — it’s short, sweet, delightful — really fresh, timely and swell Colleen — yeah for you!
    But next time: lipstick.

  10. Dang, this post is like a triple-shot espresso. Whoosh!

    Those are great times, when the ideas are coming faster than you can execute and it’s all hard and a pain in the ass but so exhilarating too.

    Off to check out your brilliant SW thingo.

  11. Rummuser – Well, the spirits said something like 400 lifetimes. I am a slow learner, what can I say?

    GirlPie – Thank you!!! And HAHAHA on the lipstick. When I was young and fresh, I wore lipstick like Mignon (aka Grammar Girl–isn’t she adorable!?) Really dark, really red (or brown-red, like dried blood.)

    I know I need something, but after quitting acting, I rebelled and threw out ALL my makeup, except for the powder I put on my eyebrows. It’s my one vanity on-camera–without it, you can’t see me!

    Sonia – Thanks, gal. It’s a great Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride while it lasts, right?

  12. Doll, I’d cast you at 33 so quit with the ‘old’ crap — you’re twice as young and way more fresh than most our age…

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