Daily Design

I’ve struggled to find a resource to teach me better design skills, to go from workmanlike to beautiful.

On the advice of Best Beloved (after reading it eleventyleven other places for years) I finally started practicing what I already knew. Since October 28th I’ve designed something every single day. It’s a bit of a random harvest, but I already see trends I’m happy with.

The long term goal is better website design, for myself and others, but I’m less than a month in, so I’ll accept fun abstract images as a start.



some more late thoughts (a post by the Little One)

Not so little any more, I suppose. Studying for her driver’s license. This was written two years ago. Original at http://fionacanfield.com/2017/12/06/knowledge-in-passing/

once i went to a coffee shop and in one room of that coffee shop was a white piano and a white bench and a marker and people had written stuff all over the piano and the bench with the marker and honestly i thought that was so cool.

i really like that kind of stuff.

i think it’s really neat.

people years from now may never meet you, never know you, never know anything about you, and you can scratch something into a tree or a wall or write it on a chair and someone out there will see that and know you exist.

you know what would be cool

when you’re about to move out of a house, leaving a note somewhere. maybe a letter. or part of a journal. or would that end up getting cleaned out? either way someone would see it.

i like thinking about that kind of stuff. i want to do that kind of stuff. leave notes in cracks and write on trees and just. leave little messages for people who will never even know me.

it sounds like something out of a story. well i’d read that.

someone moving into a new house and finding a journal about the life of whoever lived there before them.

i think that should be a thing people do. leave notes all over the world. maybe it is. maybe not. i guess people don’t really think about that kind of stuff.

not just because i want people to know i exist. i want people to have the experience of finding messages from someone they’ll probably never meet. messages meant just for them.

because that sounds really magical.


Our Hummingbird

not our little guy, someone else'sThere is a ruby-throated hummingbird that lives in the neighbor’s tree. That’s an assumption, of course; I don’t know where it lives, but every morning I see it perched on the highest twig, surveying its domain, watching for errant pigeons to dive bomb.

He (I’m assuming it’s a he, who knows?) disappeared for a while when the weather turned cold (cold being a relative term here in southern Arizona.) I worried he’d left us, but he’s been back for a while, buzzing around the little tree where he lives and dodging in and out of the huge mesquite in another yard in the neighborhood.

We become attached to what’s familiar. Thoughts, like that little hummingbird, flit, buzz, hover, dive, soar, disappear, return. After while, we accept our frequent thoughts as truth. When they serve us, motivating or comforting, that’s a good thing. What about when we tell ourselves we’re not good enough, when we tell ourselves that The Other is somehow lesser than us, or too different to be accepted?

Don’t believe everything you think. Go ahead and believe in hummingbirds, though. That’s fine.



Creative Trip Around the World

In this week’s 21st Century Creative podcast Mark McGuinness and guest Laurie Millotte discuss creating a global business. Laurie’s challenge to listeners was to create a round-the-world trip based on your creative desires. Here’s what I wrote:

Before Best Beloved and I spent a year traveling the US and Canada doing house sitting, we’d already built a location-independent business. As a result, we’ve already done a fair bit of traveling. But this week’s challenge has me thinking.

1. San Francisco. The entire city, but especially the waterfront and the trolleys, fire up my creativity. I’d want to start my trip with a total immersion in a city that has always inspired me.

Continue reading “Creative Trip Around the World”



asleep fall

a poem

and, overnight, fall
fall the leaves
fall the mercury
fall the crisp carpeting dead to begin the blanket
fall asleep
fall the snow another blanket to hide beneath
to lie beneath
what lies beneath
is falling
asleep

snow-window-sue

I searched for the word mercury to see if I’d posted this poem here before. I didn’t find it, but I found an amusing bit I wrote about the end of the universe, inspired one morning as I tried not to listen to the feed mill 100 yards up the street from our home in Wisconsin.


Giving You the Best Books Possible

library-of-lightNot long after finishing my first mystery (about 8 seconds, I think) I realized I could do better.

Not long after finishing my second mystery, I knew it. Not just that I could do better than my first, but that I could do better than the one I’d just finished.

You may already see the pattern.

I have strong perfectionist tendencies I’ve spent half my life working to control. The pursuit of perfection is pointless, a burning of energy without value.

The pursuit of excellence is a different matter.

Continue reading “Giving You the Best Books Possible”



Listening to Music Instead of Just Hearing It

One of the changes I’m making in my morning routine is spending 15 minutes each weekday doing something creative without being tied to the outcome; art for the fun of it.

winding toward the pass (west of Denver)This morning, I listened to some of the most-played tunes on my song list. But instead of background music while I did something else, I did nothing but listen, and watch the world slowly undarken through the window.

Though I know how much I love music I was surprised at how moving it was.

Another surprise: black tea has appealed to me lately. All my life I’ve had it Irish style: with milk.

The biggest surprise: black coffee. You have no idea what a leap that is for me.

Establishing new routines. Turning yet another great big corner. New year, new focus.