Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Books as Artist Date

Take the curious and meaningful moments of a life, assign a keyword to each, then organize them alphabetically by keyword -- encyclopedia-style. The result is Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s thoroughly original memoir, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. A few of her clever and tender observations run several pages, most are a paragraph, some a mere sentence. Here’s one:

I love any kind of cream sauce. My mother hates cream sauce but craved it when she was pregnant with me.
Notice where your thoughts go ... to the contradiction and coincidence? To yourself and your own mother? That's Rosenthal at work, turning her ordinary life into something universal and creatively engaging. Reading the book felt to me like an Artist Date -- a little playdate that fills my mind with imagery and energy -- companion creative tool to Morning Pages, both of which Julia Cameron presents in The Artist's Way.

Maybe I’m unique with books as Artist Dates; I'm still experimenting to discover what makes one vs not one. In the process, I've tagged some possibilities from my library. I'm eager to find more.

Whatever, the Encyclopedia has engaged me, and my muse is eager to start listing and categorizing in a sheer sense of play.


  1. All you have to do is reformat this blog, yes?

  2. Sweet. I love that kind of imaginative thing and am flattered to think I might conribute!