The Best Bits of the Week: Prodigal Magazine, Downton Abbey, Rhett Butler, and More

With such a title, it must be Friday, the sweetest of words.

As I mentioned in Wednesday’s post on innovation, each Friday post will focus on all the innovative art spread out over the web and greater world. And there’s no end to it.

Each morning as I read through blogs and new sites, skim photographers’ portfolios, discover hidden tracks, and add more books to my ever-expanding “to read” queue, I’m awed by the talent in this world. The beauty and spirit and drive in each artist (and I’d argue we’re all artists).

But I’m not looking to provide you with an hour’s worth of procrastination and mindless scrolling. My ulterior motive is this: unconscious layering.

What we read, see, hear, experience throughout the day may spark a moment of innovation instantly. But more often than not, it all dissolves and sinks down into the unconscious, simmering until you’ve got something. Something new, something weird, something innovative.

ONE: “Starting Over: A Manifesto on Being Yourself”

Michael D. Perkins of The Handwritten knows exactly how to capture our attention. As creatives, we’ve already been called “slightly off,” “odd,” or, my personal favorite, “one who marches to the beat of a different drum.” The thought of removing masks is often more idealistic than practical when it comes to writing or creating for an audience, anyone other than yourself and your loyal mother (God bless you, Mama!).

But in this e-book, Perkins gives us permission to be ourselves, and not only that, but also publicize it to the world:

So I stayed the same. I did what experts said to do to grow readership and leverage SEO. And it worked. My blog grew. But . . . I felt like I sold my soul to the devil.

Not to mention, this e-book is free.

TWO: “There are 2 Types of People in the World (So What’s That Mean for You and Me?)”

This post written by Keith Jennings of Keitharsis struck me as both profound and practical, the idea that we are not one type of person or another but complexities and opposing personalities and conflicting ideas.

And these tensions within us have the power to deepen our art:

So head to your work space, lean into the tension in your life and let one of those voices in your head rise up and say the unsaid, see the unseen and feel the unfelt.

THREE: Prodigal Magazine

If you don’t already know, Prodigal Magazine will take on a new face this March. Founded by Jason Wenell in 2005 as a space where men could discover Truth “just as it is, naked, raw and real,” Prodigal will soon be a source for both men and women now that it’s being transferred to the capable hands of Darrell and Allison Vesterfelt. Their excitement is catching.

Until March, we must be content with updates from Twitter. Follow @ProdigalMag with me.

FOUR: Downton Abbey

If you haven’t seen this PBS series yet, I don’t want to hear the excuses.

This show is one of the most powerful examples of plot and characterization I’ve seen in a long time. The episodes roll frame by frame like literature, which is all more surprising that it isn’t a Dickens adaptation.

Please, let’s you and me talk Downton developments.

FIVE: Coldplay

I’ve fallen back in love with these boys as of late.

In recent light of their latest release, here are a few classics to remind you of the good old days [and help you hope for a better future when it comes to subsequent albums]:

1. “The Scientist” off A Rush of Blood to the Head

2. “Shiver” off Parachutes

3. “Death and All His Friends” off Viva la Vida

4. “Til Kingdom Come” off X&Y

SIX: Gone with the Wind

I’m less than a hundred pages from finishing this novel, and all I can think is what took me so long?

I may have a new blog in the making: The Last Southerner to be Whisked Away by the Wind.

So let’s hear your thoughts, your opinions, and your best bits of the week!