Reading: Show Your Work

Today I completed the Austin Kleon trilogy, our of order, with Show Your Work. It does not cover getting gigs, publishing, shows, or any of that stuff. Any of that stuff that comes under the heading of showing a bit of art. Instead, it’s about you showing or sharing your work. Sharing is key here. Share the process of the making, not just the finished product.

Do this everyday, “Share something small everyday.” Everyday. There is advise for the people who don’t create that much yet. Share who you admire or steal from. Certainly there’s something you’ve done (watch a YouTube video?) that you want to tell someone about it. Do that.

There’s more, but that’s what the book is about.

Notes from "Show Your Work"
Notes from Show Your Work

Dog Bowl

Our dog has floppy ears and a habit of pushing her bowl around the floor. We don’t know why. She just does it. This morning I watched her eating with her ears spread out over the breeze.

Dog Bowl
Dog Bowl

Don’t Forget Childhood

My wife found me on the couch asleep with a crayon in my hand. You know them, wax sticks that come in boxes from 12 on up. They’re considered kids toys. Lynda Barry advocates using crayons in Syllabus. This is a mostly done piece froma book from The Dollar Tree. I say “mostly done” because Barry states for people to put as much pigment on the page as you can. I’m pretty sure I can get more to stick to it.


Asleep with a crayon in hand. How old was I when I last had this happen? What about your?

Question Your Route

Why take I5 home from Salem? Why take a freeway?

There are other great routes between Salem and Portland. This view is from a walk. We’d just used the ferry to cross the Willamette River. While waiting we watched a cement truck use the ferry for the same route. We also watched ospreys in their nest. Later we passed through hop fields, filbert tree groves, and a field of hemp, not marijuana according to the sign. This was a fine set of views.

Wheatland Ferry, Oregon

Reading: Keep Going

Keep Going, from Austin Kleon, is about making things. It is an easy read for those of you interested in making things. Actually, those of you not interested in making things, in the art sense, may find it worth reading.

But that is not the point of this posting. You can see the summation below. (Easy for 10 chapters all of them titled.) This is something I started after my heart attack. How to get through a book? How to return to reading?

I started with Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death. Read a chapter, make a summary. That process got me through the book. I don’t understand why this enables me to ready. But it does. I’ve continued. A two-page spread, fill it up with chapter numbers, some bits of summary follow. I’m reasonably sure I understand that I read.

This works for fiction and non-fiction books. But, Poetry? That does not seem to work. The collections, Sailing Alone Around the Room, Newspaper Blackout, and Queen of a Rainy Country, are three recent examples, are all so atomic that summaries would fall to individual poems.

So I must read without the crutch of summarizing. I hope I understand/

Notes from the book