Monthly Archives: August 2012

Community: Creative Soul


What stories does this table hold?


It’s at the heart of Bigger Picture Blogs alongside creativity because we know that both flourish best when combined.

This year, we’ve been diligent about ramping up our efforts to encourage both the growth of community and creativity by introducing Reading Circles, Writing Circles {have you registered for a virtual writing circle? The right sidebar has registration info!} as well as Writing MeBP Creates and BP Captures.

And all this in addition to our weekly commitment to living intentionally by sharing the harvest of of small moments that often give us a glimpse of the bigger picture!

It’s been busy and beautiful.

But — we’re ready to take it to another level — mainly a level where we’re looking at each other face to face while sharing a cup of tea or coffee and good conversation.

This fall, Bigger Picture Blogs, in cooperation with Visual Prayer artist Michelle Pendergrass, is hosting our first in-person retreat!

The Skinny on Creative Soul 


What: an entire day of soulful creativity combined with community with live Writing Circles in the morning, a break for lunch together, a two-hour Visual Prayer workshop in the afternoon led by artist Michelle Pendergrass and then dinner together as we wind down and relax from our creative retreat!

Where: Lake County, Illinois. More specifically a quaint, lovely coffee shop in Antioch, IL –a far north suburb of Chicago.

Cafe book

When: Saturday, September 22 from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. with workshops from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m.

Details: Come for the entire day or choose to do only Visual Prayer in the afternoon

Cost: $25 for just Visual Prayer or $35 for both Visual Prayer and the Writing Circle {lunch and dinner not included in cost}

Who: You! Anyone! Professional artist or writer and artistic dabblers alike are welcome. BUT space is very limited. Only 18 spots are available.

Community is built on the foundations of time spent, conversations shared and hearts open. We know this time will be full of all of that and more.

Register for Creative Soul!

{Don’t forget to pop over to our Facebook page today for our normal Monday creative inspiration with BP Creates!}

Reading Circles – Plot & Structure {Part 3}

Happy Friday everyone! Did you come across anything interesting in the chapter on strong beginnings this week? I really liked the part where Bell talked about not needing much exposition right up front; that readers will follow a character doing something even if they don’t know anything about who that character is. It’s such salient advice because I know I always feel compelled to give a lot of backstory up front.

But I’ve observed this advice in action and I learned how powerful it is to not give too much right away. I learned this while reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. What compelled me to keep reading the book from the start was the sense that the characters’ world was familiar but there was something very wrong with it and I was dying to know what was going on. It wasn’t the plot that compelled me; it was this mystery provoked by the juxtaposition of familiar and foreboding, both comforting and strange. I used that lesson to guide my own writing: to leave a question unanswered as part of what compels the reader to keep going.

What stood out to you? What would you do differently, now having read this chapter?

All right, next week let’s read Chapter 5: Middles, or: how to get from here to there. We often have great beginnings…and then peter out. This read prevents the peters!

Have a great weekend, everyone and we’ll see you next week!

Bigger Picture Moments {Featuring Robin}

Every Thursday, the Bigger Picture community comes together to share glimpses of simple, everyday moments which might otherwise be lost in the rush of daily living. Won’t you join us today? Reflect upon something simple — or simply magical — that’s resonated with you this week, then share it with us!

Here’s a look at one of last week’s Bigger Picture Moments, from Robin of Diet Coke on the Rocks.  Head over to her place to read the rest!

My favorite place in the whole world is Catalina Island. We try and make it
there as much as possible for our family summer vacation, and so far we’ve been getting over there about every other year….

This year was a lot different than all of our other trips for a lot of reasons, mostly the ages of our kids and our ability to relax and do things you can’t always do with toddlers or babies, but the difference I want to hit on in this post was my desire to get out, move, and explore this year.
Bigger Picture Moments are being hosted today by Jade at Tasting Grace.  Please visit and share and be in community with us as we learn to really see the moments around us!