Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? It’s no surprise I go on these little blogging hiatuses whenever life gets a bit too cumbersome. But this has been a long one I think. So, what have I been doing you ask…let me tell you all.

My fearless daughter broke her wrist while trying to follow the big kids on their bikes over what she thought was a hill–a nice, rolling hill that deposited you safely on the other side of it. This was no such hill. It was a dirt jump with a sheer cliff on the opposite side that immediately propelled the rider into a hole. Sounds menacing doesn’t it. Anyway, her bike tumbled over the edge and a day later we learned that she broke her wrist while doing it all. That pretty much killed our summer. My big plans of “Try New Things” quickly became lots of “Not-So-New-Things.” Eight weeks later and we are firmly in soccer season with all my time sucked up with practices and games that conveniently never happen on the same fields and with times that often overlap each other. Whew!

Needless to say, some things have taken the backseat for a bit. So, what am I going to do since I really don’t have much time to write or blog or anything that requires thinking in large gaps of time? I’m FILLING THE WELL. This is something I’ve often told my students is a necessary part of the creative process, yet I’ve never really done it myself. Wow, I’m such a hypocrite. Filling the Well is simple really. It requires a sketchbook or a notebook or anything you can collage and write into. It requires books. Lots and lots of books. Good books, bad books, whatever. Music. Art. Photography. It requires finding inspiration and putting it someplace you’ll remember it. And it needs to be tactile–I need to be able to tuck this notebook under my arm and carry it with me wherever I go because inspiration and ideas happen in the strangest places.

An example: I went to a farmer’s market over the weekend and while there, a woman with long brown hair and mismatched clothes stood in a corner and sang. She had bells on her ankles that jingled when she moved and a man beside her that played a sitar. Her voice was hypnotic. She was also Romanian, which is the ancestry of one of my characters. I never could fully picture this character in my head and she always felt a little forced. Then, I saw this singer and it all came together. Since I had my notebook and a pencil, I quickly began sketching little things I noticed about her. I also took some pictures.

Filling the Well is such a simple concept that we often forget how important it is. There are so many ways to stay motivated, to be creative. What do you do?