Give Yourself Space for Creativity

Give Yourself Space for Creativity

I get my best ideas in the mountains. 

Or even on a long car journey to the mountains.

I am most creative on an early Monday morning. 

I keep a notepad nearby to jot down ideas, and the page fills up by my first Pomodoro. I may be most productive on a Friday afternoon, with the urgency of my personal deadline looming, but I’m most creative on a Monday, with the whole week ahead of me. My mind has freedom to roam.

Give Yourself Space for Creativity

What mountains and Mondays have in common [besides the letter M] is SPACE.

On a long journey, my mind has time to be free. To let go of tasks. To exhaust busyness and let my mind wander. No obligations, no distractions.

On a Monday I can stretch out. I have a sense of unhurried-ness. Calling it procrastination would be stifling; what it really is is possibility. The dam is unblocked and the flood of ideas pours through: I could do so many things! 

By the end of the week I am too focused on crunch time. 

I push those thoughts out of my head before they hit the page – sometimes before they are even fully formed. They probably get pushed to the Monday part of my brain; I don’t know how that works.

Realisations like this remind me of why I’m a minimalist. 

Minimalism is having space to explore and freedom to breath. When my home is tidy, my eyes don’t dart around to the clutter. When my wardrobe is tiny, I work solely with pieces I love. Minimalism makes it easier to focus, but it also provides the space essential for creativity: fewer choices, fewer things to remember, more time and space for creativity to seep in. 

P.S. There’s more on my minimalist journey and how it opened up room for opportunity in my ebook, Own Your Story.

The Very Best of Alan Rickman

Dear friends, my heart is broken. Alan Rickman has been my favourite actor for as long as I can remember having a favourite actor. As a kid, so much of my world was broadened by Harry Potter. I read certain books because Jo Rowling cited them as favourites. I started reading fashion magazines because Emma Watson was on the cover of Teen Vogue. I wasn’t really into watching movies until I decided to explore my favourite Potter actors’ greater works – especially Mr Rickman’s.

I truly believed that I would see him onstage at some point. I was waiting to drop everything and fly to London or New York to see him perform. Since Gambit my friend Emma and I had a longstanding agreement that she would own a theatre that he would be starring in, and we would all meet at an opening night reception – she would calm his nerves as he worried about what I, a revered theatre critic would say of his performance. Some part of me never let go of this ridiculous fantasy.

Over the years I have collected favourite performances of Alan’s. It is not an exhaustive list, as, fortunately, there are still films I have yet to explore. So here is my Introduction to Alan Rickman.

The Severus Snape: The Harry Potter Series

The Very Best of Alan Rickman

Did you know that Jo Rowling specifically requested Alan Rickman as a casting choice for Snape? He was filled in on Severus’s backstory when cast, long before it was revealed to the world – and my god, it shows. It was through Harry Potter that many of us were introduced to Alan Rickman, so I’m starting the list here. Ob-viously.

The Super-Villain: Die Hard & Love Actually

The Very Best of Alan Rickman

My two favourite Christmas movies! Hans Gruber in Die Hard is perhaps my favourite villain of all time – and I was truly impressed with Rickman’s fluency for accents. While Hans Gruber is a villain I love to hate, Rickman’s character in Love Actually is utterly despicable. No one messes with Emma Thompson, not even you, Alan.

The Sardonic SciFi-er: Galaxy Quest & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Very Best of Alan Rickman

Science Fiction takes itself so seriously, which is why Galaxy Quest, a parody of the genre, is such gold. Who better to play the sardonic alien than Alan Rickman. In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, he voices Marvin the endearingly depressed robot. I could play those clips all day. (Also that film features before-they-were-THAT-famous Martin Freeman and Zooey Deschanel).

The Sultry Singing Voice: Sweeney Todd

What is better than Alan Rickman’s voice? Alan Rickman’s singing voice. As we have already determined, he plays an excellent evil-doer, so of course he would be cast as the evil, creepy, lecherous Tim Burton villain Judge Turpin in that masterpiece of a musical Sweeney Todd. This is one of my favourite films EVER and I saw it because of him (and his Death Eater co-star Helena Bonham Carter). It was also my introduction to Jamie Campbell Bower. I would watch the scene of the two of them on repeat. Just. Brilliant.

In Sense & Sensibility

The Very Best of Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman as a Jane Austen hero. Proving that yes, he can do anything. Colonel Brandon is the best man in Austen, and I’m pretty sure Alan Rickman’s performance may be playing a factor in that claim. He is the secret romantic, the guy next door, if ever a Colonel were one. Also, he’s much nicer to Emma Thompson in this one.

The Lovable Dead Cellist: Truly Madly Deeply

I had to break the alliterative pattern for this one because how else do I describe Rickman’s character in this one? He plays the ghost of his widow, back to just hang out all day with his cello. Heartbreaking and also kind of funny.


Texas – In Demand. from Rokkit on Vimeo.

Alan Rickman – In Demand Texas from Alan Rickman on Vimeo.

Yes. That’s right. Alan Rickman as the romantic interest of Texas’s music video for “In Demand”. I can’t listen to that song without thinking of him at a gas station. It is so great.

Others I haven’t even seen!

The Very Best of Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman plays the voice of god in Dogma, takes on a Southern American accent in Something the Lord Made, and won a Golden Globe for Rasputin. So much more to explore.

Oh my. Reflecting on so much awesomeness has helped me feel better (I really wasn’t doing so great). I hope this list helps you discover another side to the great Mr Rickman.

To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.


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Words Not in English: Korean for Shopping Bag

Words Not in English: Korean for Shopping Bag

We’ve passed the days of “paper or plastic”, where places like Scotland and California charge a bit extra for a carrier bag at the store. It’s always handy to have that extra bag on you, but what is it called? A “shopper”? A “portable shopping bag”? Well, Korea has a word for it: 망태 – mang tae.

The organised among us carry extra bags, or reuse the plastic ones we’re given at the store, but the heroines treat such an object as mindfully as any other. Select your mang tae carefully so that you are happy to carry it with you, and even happier to take it out for use.

My mang tae include my Blogcademy tote, a Whole Foods bag commemorating my first food shopping trip in London, and, the newest in the collection, a Mr B’s tote to celebrate one of my favourite bookstores.


Select your own mang tae with care. What makes it special to you?


P.S. the cutest French word ever….