Thursday, January 24, 2013

Creativity with the Kindle Fire

My daughter gave me a Kindle Fire for Christmas and I was initially skeptical of its value to me.  I'm an avid reader and have been known to finish a book in one day.  I love my books; I love having bookcases full of them and stacks of them by my bed.
Some of my creativity related books.  Recognize any of the titles?
When I moved from a 3 bedroom house to a small 2 bedroom apartment, I weeded out a lot of reading material.  I donated to thrift stores, to the public library and even took stacks of books to the local used bookstore and donated over $100.00 worth of book credits to a friend when I moved.  Five bookcases stuffed with books became three bookcases and then two.  I know my kids were entertaining thoughts of my having only one bookcase, or even none, but I couldn't even contemplate letting go of more.

I'm pretty sure that my kids are hoping that having the Kindle will mean that I'll stop collecting physical books.  But do I think that it will replace the feel of a book in my hands, the touch of pages on my fingertips or the visual beauty of having book spines lined up in glorious color on a shelf?  Definitely not!  I am, after all, still the little girl who spent hours each day at the library around the corner (I ran into my favorite librarian 20 plus years later - and she still remembered me!) and dreamed of having a library of her own.
I have to admit though, that I am liking this whole Kindle thing!  A month after the holidays, I have over 200 ebooks saved to this new electronic gadget of mine, most of which I've found for free via a newsletter - Kindle Buffet.  I actually started collecting ebooks in October, using Amazon's free Kindle for PC or Mac program.

And, while that's wonderful enough on its own, what is really making me love the Kindle is that I've discovered that I can download videos to it from my computer and this is where the creativity with the Kindle Fire comes in.

Yes!!!  Art videos, art journaling videos, craft videos...oh, my goodness!
Do you like the background?  My four year old grandson and I created it together with homemade alcohol ink sprays and tissue paper!
I'm over the top excited because it means that I can not only watch my videos from last years Willowing's Lifebook  class, but also from Effy Wild's Book of Days class, Stephanie Gagos' wonderful workshops and Sheri Ann Ponzi's Angels In My Studio workshop - but I can also take the videos with me into my corner of the bedroom studio!  Woot!

That may not seem like a big thing.  But I wasn't often able to watch the videos on my computer because my computer stopped doing whatever it needs to do to allow it (can you tell I'm technologically challenged?  Lol) and I haven't been able to find a solution or afford repairs.  Not a problem with the Kindle!

It also means that my fibromyalgia, fibro fog, arthritis and disabilities won't be as detrimental to my creativity because I won't be having to travel from the computer desk in the living room to my art table in the bedroom.  All of that back and forth traveling just wasn't helpful for my pain levels OR my memory issues.

Creativity with the Kindle Fire - oh yeah!  I'm totally looking forward to getting back into my art journaling and other creative projects this year!

Are there things that interfere with your own creativity (whether or not you have health or disability issues)?  Have you found ways to move around the roadblocks and challenges that keep you from creating? Please share...it's something I always need help with, and I know I'm not alone!

24 comments:

  1. Hi Cynthia, you have convinced me, I will be saving up for a kindle fire. my computer is in the kitchen (the only phone connection for internet) and I have one of the doors to the lounge behind me so I hear the (blasted) tv. I too have F.M. and other problems and love the feel of books. Just being able to have the info in the den to refer to instead of writing it down and then not understanding what I wrote LOL and have to go back to the computer to check would be such a blessing. DianneT

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    1. Hi Dianne! The more I learn about my Kindle, the more I like it! I don't usually play games, but find I can de-stress and relax playing a game on the Kindle. I just downloaded my Creative Artitude email account to it too, and can access the internet, Facebook and Pinterest. If my computer decides that it really needs a visit to the repair shop, I won't be completely out of touch!

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  2. Great post, Cynthia! I just got the Kindle Fire HD and I love it! I was like you. I have tons of books and magazines, love them, and couldn't imagine liking an ereader. My husband got me a Kindle keyboard ereader for Christmas in 2011, and I didn't fool with it for several weeks, but I finally loaded a couple of books just to see what it was like, and I was hooked. It has been invaluable to take with me wherever I go. I've spent a lot of time in waiting rooms over the last few months with my father-in-law, and I had my books, music, and games with me to pass the time. The Kindle Fire does so much more, plus everything's in color. I downloaded free camera, drawing, Facebook, and Pinterest apps onto mine last night. And, like you, I love that I can take it with me to another part of the house if I want to with no trouble. I haven't tried the downloading video thing yet, but that's a great idea for class videos. I'm glad you're enjoying yours too! :)

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    1. Thanks Sharon :) It's easy to get hooked, isn't it? I haven't played with the music app yet, but am thinking I will soon. And drawing? There's a drawing app? I'm going to have to search for that, lol.
      Be sure to check out the link in my post for Kindle Buffet. They have a daily newsletter listing the free ebooks available, and they cover every genre. The newsletter is generally 2-3 pages long so you have to pick and choose. But free is a great price!

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  3. I have an old Kindle, and a Kindle Paperwhite. I LOVE them. Because I don't have to carry millions of physical books around. But I still buy physical art books for the colour pictures. Novels and biographies? I find it much better to have them on Kindle.

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    1. Lucy, I can see myself still collecting art books. And a few non-fiction books as well - the ones that just call to have sentences or paragraphs underlined and notes left in the margins. While technology may change the way we read, I don't think that physical books will ever become obsolete.

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  4. I was given a basic model Kindle for my birthday the year before last. I thought it was time to try an eBook reader, since when we went away for three weeks to Italy, I ran out of reading matter, and it's not so easy to buy English language books there. My husband, on the other hand, still had a couple of hundred books to read on his iPad.

    I didn't expect to like it, since, like you, I love the feel of a book in my hands, the restful nature of not having battery-powered technology, the look of the bookcases stuffed with books ... but I fell in love with my Kindle. This year I was given a Paperwhite, which has the advantage that I can read when my husband wants the light off. I haven't tried a Fire, but I simply don't need a tablet, so I can't see me getting one.

    I have fibromyalgia, too. And an underactive thyroid and asthma and food allergies. All these things interfere sometimes with the creative process, for one thing because I'm often just way too tired to do anything. But since my various physical problems and lack of decent memory plus the inability to get up in the morning mean I can't work, I look on the bright side: at least I have plenty of time to BE creative!

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    1. Jay, my kids decided to get me the Kindle Fire so that I could have internet access even if my computer decides to crash - or when I'm away from home. I think that aspect of the Kindle is the hardest for me to adjust to!
      And Italy? You didn't take me? I was there once, as a child, long enough for a four hour layover at the airport during a trip from Turkey to the US. And I gifted someone there with my entire collection of Barbie dolls and clothes when I accidentally left them on a table there.
      Like you, the tiredness interferes with my creativity. Or the pain levels or fibro fog. Not having an income proved to be the most challenging though, since I was always afraid of running out of supplies and not being able to replace them. Now that I'm working again at a very part time job, I'm hoping to relieve that particular obstacle and start creating on a more regular basis!
      I've subscribed to your RSS feed, but wish that you had the option for emails since I often don't remember to check my RSS account. Maybe I should put a sticky note up on my computer screen, lol!

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    2. Oh no - I bet you were devastated as a child when you lost your Barbies!!

      Do you mean the option to be notified by email? I'll have to ask my husband about that; he is my techie guy, and my Wordpress blog is self-hosted. I can't do much without him. Thanks for subscribing! I often don't remember to open my newsreader, either, and do find it useful to get email notifications. Thanks for bringing it up - I'll look into it. :)

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    3. Yes, Jay - the email option. If you add it, be sure to let me know 'cuz I'd love to get your posts on a regular basis :)

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  5. I got my 10 year old daughter a Kindle for Christmas, she wanted an ipod, but I thought this was better and would give her a chance to read on trips. So far so good. I haven't had a chance to play with it yet. I hope I will soon.

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    1. Candi, what a wonderful gift for your daughter!
      Be sure to check out the link in my post for the Kindle Buffet newsletter. It lists the free Kindle books available each day, and often includes a few childrens and young adult. Oh, and the occasional cookbook/baking book too - including gluten free ;)

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  6. What a great post. I love that something you thought might hamper one aspect of your creativity is actually facilitating another aspect! For me, that was learning how to use photoshop on the computer. I was afraid I wouldn't paint or draw anymore, but it has actually opened up new ways of making art, and I STILL put paint and pen to paper. So happy you left those kind words on my blog, which brought me here!

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    1. Thanks Jessica! I'm going to be experimenting with photoshop because I managed to get a free copy of it - woot!! I was great with PageMaker & Corel Draw back in the 90's. I think Corel Draw was the precursor to photoshop. Now I just have to take a few deep breaths and jump in, lol.

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  7. I have a basic Kindle, purchased used since I was not sure I would like it and did not want to lose a lot of money, but as you said, now I am hooked. Thanks for the link to Kindle buffet. I check Pixels of Ink daily for free books too.
    (and a couple other sites a few times a week)
    Still, I can not pass up a library book sale! I do have enough physical books to start my own library.

    And art books just are not the same in ebook format.

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    1. Laura, you're welcome! I started out with three different newsletters for Kindle books and they all have their good points.
      I love library book sales too - and second hand book shops, and book stores. I can lose track of time shopping for and looking at books, lol!
      You should check out my post on my other blog - I included links to various other places to find free ebooks! http://TheBottomlessHeart.blogspot.com

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  8. What interferes with my creativity more than anything is lack of time, or busyness! I keep thinking one day...

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    1. I visited your blog to get a sense of who you are; what you write about; whether or not you have kids, etc.
      You have a wonderful, well written blog and perhaps it's the focus of your creativity at this point?
      One of the ways I kept creativity in my life while I was raising my kids as a single parent was to put together craft workshops or days with them and a few friends kids. We always had a blast and our craft days became a tradition that we all enjoyed.
      Time and busyness will always be a factor though. Sigh!

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  9. I have a Nook and I write e-books but I still can't give up real, solid books. I love getting new ones and always have a hard time parting with old ones in order to make room. I have a large bookcase in my office and I still don't have enough room for all my books. Found you through Sincerely Paula and am a new follower. Have a great weekend! http://georgielee.blogspot.com.

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    1. Hi Georgie Lee! It's wonderful to have a new follower :) and I'll be visiting your blog as soon as I have a sip of my first cup of coffee, lol.

      Books can be so addicting! Before my move, I had 5 bookcases (not counting stacks of books here and there) and I'm now down to two very over crowded ones. I've done all the weeding out I can bear ;)

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  10. Thank you for sharing this timely article at Inspire Me Monday!

    While I too am hooked on real books, I am also faced with the painful challenge of having to downsize my beloved collection.

    I am struggling to adapt to a basic Kindle but after reading your article I too think I need to start saving up for some FIRE!

    Congratulations, by the way - I featured you this week at Inspire Me Monday at

    Create With Joy
    http://create-with-joy.com

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    1. Wow! I'm so honored that you chose my post as one of your features! It was my first time participating in one of your linky events :)

      The more I use my Kindle Fire, the more I enjoy it. I've even downloaded books to share with my 4 yr old grandson, and a few learning apps for him too. Oh, and music. Fun!

      Thanks, again, for featuring my post! I've shared on my Facebook page...

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  11. So glad you are loving the Kindle Fire. I am a big Kindle fan. I am an avid reader. I still love to go to bookstores and browse, but I buy the book on my Kindle. When we read the adventure takes place in our minds and imagination. That is where the magic happens. I love that I always have my favorite book, my current books, my Bible, and every other book with me ALL of the time! I also love not having the book clutter. I know it's hard to think of books as clutter, but I used to buy so many books that I read once then wanted out of my house that I was always going to the second hand books store. This is so much better. Also I share my books with my mother-in-law. It works out perfectly. Now I'll have to investigate the more creative ways to use the Fire that you suggested. Thanks.

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    1. Oh, I miss bookstores, Donna!! There are none in the little town where I live now. The huge Powell's bookstore in Portland, Oregon (I could get lost in that place, literally, for hours!) has an online store, but it's just not the same.

      I don't go out often, but have taken my Kindle to appointments. So much easier to sit and wait while reading! Carrying the Kindle in my purse is so much easier on my shoulders/neck (fibro and arthritis)than carrying a physical book!

      I love that you're sharing with your mother-in-law - how perfect :)

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Thank you for leaving your comments; I read and appreciate them all! Cynthia