Oliver Penguin Solves a Mystery

Oliver Penguin sat down at his dining room table, where he had placed a smattering of carrots, some cuts of celery, the saltiest of potato chips (They all talked like they had served on a merchant marine ship somewhere on the seven seas), a couple of flaps of pita bread, and some crispy, homemade tortilla chips that were so flaky, they couldn’t hold a job for longer than a couple of minutes. Still, he had the sneaky suspicion that something was missing from his amazing table.

The salt and pepper shaker sat in the center in all their crystal glory. The two brass candlesticks did their best imitation of gold and looked longingly at the porcelain plates they thought could help them earn a layer of karats or 24. The white, taper candles in the brass candlesticks were lit, they were higher than anything else on the table. A couple of purple lilacs, Oliver thought of them as lilac lilacs, but they were really purple, floated in two bowls of clear, diamond cut, glass bowls that were frosted in such a way, cakes, if there had been any, would have been jealous. The silverware gleamed with reflected candlelight. Yet, Oliver Penguin still thought there was something missing. What could it be?

He took inventory again: carrots, celery, cucumbers (He had forgotten to mention them, but they were there, they weren’t missing), potato chips, pita bread, tortilla chips… “AHA!” He put his wing to his forehead. “DIPS!” How could he forget the dips?

Oliver went back into the kitchen, grabbed the dips, put them in bowls, and brought them out to his table. Then he waited. His friends would be over soon; he couldn’t wait to see what they decided for the evening’s entertainment. Would it be a musical or a mystery? It was already a mystery, but when they decided, would it still be a mystery? Maybe they could find something with elements of both.

Oliver Penguin seeks a family that shares his love of dips, musicals, and true crime. You can adopt Oliver at our Etsy page or here on this website. He’ll bring his scarf with him.

Read another penguin story: Periwinkle Penguin Paints a Picture

Periwinkle Penguin Paints a Picture

Periwinkle Penguin was painting a picture from a book he read when he slipped and fell into the canvas. Now, you might think that he slipped and fell onto the painting because that’s usually how it happens. People, and penguins, for that matter, don’t slip and fall into paintings, as a rule. However, this time Periwinkle fell into his painting hand-knit sweater and all.

He looked out from the painting and didn’t see himself in front of the canvas where he normally stood. He looked all around him and didn’t see the room he normally saw. Instead, he saw all the colors he had used on this particular canvas. There was even some white space in the corner that he hadn’t gotten around to painting, yet. Periwinkle Penguin could not deny that he was inside his painting.

And what a wonderful painting it was. It had all the colors of the rainbow and several more colors he had mixed from his acrylic pigments, but mostly, it had a lot of blue. Periwinkle loved the color blue.

He decided that he might as well take a walk and see what he had created. After all, this was a perspective, from which he had never seen one of his paintings. He walked past the irises, blue of course, and by the butterflies, red, orange and black, and onto the green grass that was outside a cozy home, the lightest of blues with a red tile roof. Periwinkle sighed. This would make a wonderful house if it were real and not just a painting.

He turned and slipped again, but this time he slipped right out of his painting and back in front of it. The sun was going down outside, and Periwinkle Penguin could see all of the other canvases he had painted. Each one had a version of a place to live, but they were missing the most important element – his family. Periwinkle smiled and looked forward to the day when someone would adopt him and take him on some real adventures.

Periwinkle Penguin is available for adoption on our Etsy website or from us directly. All of our handmade stuffed penguins help real penguins (and other birds) at the Royal Albatross Centre in New Zealand through a donation of a portion of their adoption fees.

Some Days, It’s Jimmy Buffett instead of Motivation

I’ve written this article, or a version of it, three times now. The other two versions were not quite positive enough to be motivational. Instead, they were trying to work through my own fears and frustrations. With coronavirus, politics, and stupid people, those anxieties are legion. Some days, there just isn’t anything for it, and those are the days that I turn to Jimmy Buffett.

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Celebrate Failure Like You Celebrate Success

Celebrating success comes easily to Americans. You see professional football players dancing in the end zone, even if their touchdown didn’t mean they won the game. You see confetti pour out of the ceiling at NBA games, even when the team is no longer in the playoff hunt. You get a bonus in your paycheck when the company has a banner year… Well, we can dream that’s what you would get if you were a part of the company’s success, and I’ve heard they do that somewhere. And by all means, celebrate your success! You earned it. However, success isn’t the only thing you should celebrate. You should also celebrate your failure.

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Why I Wrote ‘Disneyland Is Creativity’: Creative Process

I wanted to capture the joy and use the examples of creativity in Disneyland to help people become more creative. Creativity is a core part of our humanity. People have been artists and storytellers since they came together in caves hundreds of thousands of years ago. Human beings survive as a species not by being the fastest or strongest but by being the most creative. Our creativity allows us to adapt as a species, and our personal creativity allows us to live better lives. I wrote “Disneyland Is Creativity” to help you find your creative process and empower you to become more creative.

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You Can Be More Creative if You Believe You Can Be

As I got my Master’s in Creativity and Innovation, the most important I learned was the first criteria for being more creative. The person who wants to be more creative needs to believe that he or she can be more creative. The mind is a powerful tool that you can use for good or ill for your own well-being: physical, mental, and educational. We can harness the power that is latent within our minds if we first believe that we can.

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The Creative Process of Writing ‘My Life in the Projects’

Someone once said that being creative isn’t just about having ideas. There are billions of ideas out there. The creative person has to choose one of the ideas and bring it into the world. As a writer, I have tens of ideas for books and series, and hundreds of ideas for articles. (This year alone, I’ve written over 275 articles on my website and more at my day job.) So, how did I come to choose to publish “My Life in the Projects” as my first book? Here’s a peek at the creative process of writing that book.

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Disney Lego MiniFigs Series 1: Collectors’ Corner

(This article contains affiliate links. If you click on a link that goes to Amazon and purchase a product, you support our writing effort without having to pay more for the items you order. Thank you.) If you couldn’t tell by my numerous Disney blog posts or the books I’ve written about Disney (“Disneyland Is Creativity,” “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity,” “Penguinate! The Disney Company”), I’m a Disney fan. Maybe a little less well-known is I love Legos. They’re great for inspiring creativity, especially the basic sets that allow you to build what you imagine rather than following a set of plans and instructions. So, when I saw the Disney Lego Minifigs series 1, I looked at my budget and knew I had to have them.

Disney Lego Minifigs Series 1 Characters

Lego decided to start its series with three of the Big Five represented. Mickey, Minnie and Donald or among the 18 figures. They added Daisy to the group assumedly for symmetry in the release. In fact, only Maleficent and fan-favorite Stitch are without a partner of some sort. Buzz Lightyear has a Little Green Man, Aladdin has the Genie, and classic Alice has the Cheshire Cat. Grown-up Syndrome is ready to battle with the young Mr. Incredible, which I guess timeline-wise doesn’t really work. Peter Pan can take on his nemesis Captain Hook, and Ariel can sing for Ursula.

Appeal of Disney Lego Minifigs

Aside from the fact that they are Lego and Disney, the minifigs have an additional appeal of the blind draw. Not knowing what’s inside increases the anticipation. With each packet you open, you narrow down the one’s you want to get. Soon, you’re wondering if you’re going to get your 10th Syndrome, or if it will be one of the other three characters you need to complete the question. At the end, you hoping to get either the character you need to complete the collection or another of the best characters in it. When that final character is revealed… YOU WIN! It’s exciting and wonderful and fun. Some people would prefer to know what they’re getting, but others enjoy the thrill of the chase.

The Best Disney Lego Minifig

The blind draw gives the Little Green Man the advantage as the best Disney Lego Minifig in Series 1 because you can get a thousand Little Green Men and never have too many. It’s the only character where repetition doesn’t hurt, and in fact, it might help. Little Green Men always seem to travel in groups, except when they are selected by the claw. Some of the other characters seem to be available in other Lego sets if you can afford them. That makes Mickey Mouse a little less exciting though he appears to be in different outfits. The Cheshire Cat is cool, but I’m going to have to give the nod to the Little Green Man.

Collecting and Creativity

Why is collecting a part of our creativity? Ideas come from combining two or more things that haven’t been previously combined. Collecting allows us to have visual and tactile stimulation to improve connections. Oftentimes, people who collect items, don’t focus on just one thing or category. They tend to collect multiple categories of items over time. Perhaps, the most famous example of this is Ray Bradbury’s office at the beginning of Ray Bradbury Theater. He characterizes it as a place where he’ll never starve for ideas. Join us on Patreon for more creativity (and penguins)!

Did you collect and complete your Disney Lego Minifigs Series 1? What are you collecting now? Let us know in the comments.

‘So, You Think You Can’t Draw’ Episode 2 Going Live

I’ve designed ‘So, You Think You Can’t Draw’ for people who think they can’t draw. It cuts down the essential shapes you need to draw anything and gives you time to practice them, so that you feel comfortable drawing. Episode one was released on June 15, 2020. Episode 2 will be released today. You already know how to draw; these will just remind you. The series is on Patreon only, so here’s what you need to do if you want to remember how to draw.

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