Three books, free for the asking

20Jun14

Remember about a month ago, when I introduced the undisputed-queen-of-creative-inspiration, Keri Smith? And I listed 10 ways to make yourself miserable as an artist? No?

Well, never mind. What matters is that I bought a copy of her book How to Be an Explorer of the World. The reviewer at Brain Pickings summed it up best:

…  [it’s] a wonderful compendium of 59 ideas for how to get creatively unstuck by engaging with everyday objects and your surroundings in novel ways. … [T]hese playful and poetic micro-projects aren’t just a simple creativity booster — they’re potent training for what Buddhism would call “living from presence” and inhabiting your life more fully.

Excited by the prospect of boosting my creativity and my zen, I jumped into the exercises …

Explorer of World scavenger hunt 1130887 BLOG

… and liked them so much that I decided to buy two more copies of the book and give them away.

Explorer of the world 1130888 BLOG

More on that in a second. But first, I want to tell you about one of the curious creative side-effects this book unleashed.

One of the first instructions was to “Never leave home without a notebook and pen.” I understood the rationale — but as an avowed minimalist, I chafed at having to carry One More Thing. Still, I didn’t want to miss a potential creative breakthrough.

I grudgingly decided I would carry a notebook, on four conditions. It must:
1. fit in my camera bag,
2. be very light — but also tough,
3. be inexpensive, and
4. be refillable.

And guess what? I found the perfect solution not only for taking field notes — but also for storing my photo-release forms, holding my iCal printouts, keeping my endless lists, and, yes, stashing the bits of leaves and twine and squirrel bones I sometimes collect on my walks.

Better yet, it was cheap and easy. I started with the Circa Junior-sized sample kit … and then I printed my own ruled paper, calendar, and photo-release forms.

Circa notebook 1130890 BLOG

Still, although I was smitten with my creation I fully expected to forget about it within a week. But to my surprise, I’ve actually been looking for excuses to write in it. I think it’s because the pages are easy to remove or rearrange, so there’s no risk of having to live permanently with a dumb idea or a silly drawing. Maybe that’s why I’ve suddenly started writing fiction again — and why I’m suddenly also brimming with blog ideas.

Anyway, I guess it’s just one example of how setting out to stoke your creativity in one way can send wonderful and unexpected ripple effects into other areas of your life.

So … would you like a copy of Keri Smith’s book, or maybe your very own Circa journal? For the former, please leave me a comment with the word “Explorer,” and for the latter just write “Journal.” My lovely assistant Esteban will do a random drawing next weekend, and then I’ll mail three lucky winners their prize, anywhere in the world, for free.

As always, thanks for reading.



14 Responses to “Three books, free for the asking”

  1. “How to be an Explorer of the World” sounds very interesting to me. Also, I need to be creatively unstuck (which will take a miracle!).
    Marilyn

    • 2 hmunro

      I believe in (creative) miracles, Marilyn. I’ve entered you in the drawing. Good luck!!

    • 3 hmunro

      Hello, Marilyn, and congratulations: You’re the (hopefully) proud new owner of a copy of “How to be an Explorer of the World!” As I promised in my blog post, I will gladly ship it to you anywhere in the world. Just drop me a note at hmunro (dot) wordpress @ gmail (dot) com and I’ll have it on its way. Thank you so much for playing, and especially for stopping by!

  2. WOW! I am impressed that this book has sparked your creativity and kept the ripples going! I had not heard of the book before but have just started following Brain Pickers and have valued their insights on various topics and books. Plus my sister and I have been urging each other to get more active, more creative, more engaged–so your example is a great incentive to keep working. So, yes please, add me to your drawing for Explore and Journal!

    But your excitement and example are great prizes by themselves!

    • 5 hmunro

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Patti! And how wonderful that you and your sister are cheering for each other and urging each other to push your creative boundaries a bit. I have officially added you to the drawing! Best of luck! 😉

    • 6 hmunro

      Hello, Patti, and congratulations: You’re the (hopefully) proud new owner of a copy of “How to be an Explorer of the World!” As I promised in my blog post, I will gladly ship it to you anywhere in the world. Just drop me a note at hmunro (dot) wordpress @ gmail (dot) com and I’ll have it on its way. Thank you so much for playing, and especially for being such a loyal reader. Cheers to you from Minnesota!

  3. I love BrainPickings, what an epic source of information. I would love the Explorer book, if you’re happy to mail to Australia!!

    • 8 hmunro

      I’m not at all surprised that you love Brain Pickings, too. It’s food for the creative soul, isn’t it? And absolutely, I would be delighted and honored to mail a book to Australia. Consider yourself hereby officially entered in the drawing! But most of all, thank you for stopping by. It’s always such a pleasure to see your lovely smile. xx

    • 9 hmunro

      Hello, Pollyanna dear, and congratulations: You’re the (hopefully) proud new owner of a copy of “How to be an Explorer of the World!” As I promised in my blog post, I will gladly ship it to you in Australia. Just drop me a note at hmunro (dot) wordpress @ gmail (dot) com with your mailing address and I’ll have it on its way. Thank you so much for playing, and especially for being such a loyal reader. Cheers to you from Minnesota!

  4. Always ready to be an “Explorer”. Thank you for your generosity in doing this draw. 🙂

    • 12 hmunro

      Yay! I’ll very happily add your name to the drawing, Rochelle. I’ve never mailed anything to Denmark before, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed! 😀

    • 13 hmunro

      Hello, dear Rochelle, and congratulations: You’re the (hopefully) proud new owner of a copy of “How to be an Explorer of the World!” As I promised in my blog post, I will gladly ship it to you in Denmark. Just drop me a note at hmunro (dot) wordpress @ gmail (dot) com with your mailing address and I’ll have it on its way. Thank you so much for playing, and especially for being such a loyal reader. Cheers to you from Minnesota!

      • Oh wow, not sure I’ve ever won anything! Yay, this is very exciting….. Will be sure to drop you a note. Thank you so much!


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