Schipul Geek’s Guide to Summer Vacation Success

Photo thanks to jaeWALK

Greetings from Schipul-Land!   As our Schipul crew prepares for another hot Houston summer, our minds wander to our favorite vacation spots, travel tools, preparation tips and out-of-town safety tidbits.

We may not be lounging on a beach or flying high in a plane over foreign lands today, but our entire team has some great ideas on how to make your summer travel experiences safe, fun and memorable – one geeky post at a time.   Join us for this month’s:   Schipul Geek’s Guide to Summer Vacation Success!

Schipul Book Club giveaway!

Lonely Planet books

To kick off this vacationing Blog posting party, we have a fun Schipul Book Club giveaway for June.

Leave us a comment telling us about your dream vacation spot (whether you’ve been there yet or not) and on Friday, June 18th 12pm CST we’ll pick one lucky commenter to select a Lonely Planet Country Guide book of their choice!

Schipul Book Club: Win Hugh MacLeod’s new book – Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

Ignore Everybody

Congratulations to Karen Pitcock at Team Teen for winning your free signed copy of Hugh MacLeod’s “Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity!” Thank you to all who commented…and keep listening to your wee voice!

Rally your creative comments people! The Schipul Book Club has a new favorite author and a chance for you to add another piece of fine literature to your collection. Let the curiosity ensue…

A guy sits down at a bar, starts drawing cartoons on the back of business cards and now has a bestselling book. Sounds like a simple plan. True. But it wasn’t your plan, nor your passion…it was Hugh MacLeod’s. His book, “Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity,” stems from his own personal life experiences and his ability to “nurture and develop his own creative sovereignty.”Brimming with quick-witted brilliance and intellect, his stories are raw, ingenious, and to be quite honest, compel numerous snorts of laughter.

While I can’t sit here and write out my thoughts on MacLeod’s entire book, (well actually I could, but I would be banned from the Schipul Blog entirely…with God only knows how many legal issues from Ol’ Hugh), I can highlight one of my favorite “keys to creativity.” And it is not because Hugh mentions crayons…or that my 23nd birthday party was Crayola themed with a life size Crayola box…but I digress…

Key to Creativity #7:   Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.

“Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away…Being suddenly hit years later with the “creative bug” is just a wee voice telling you, “I’d like my crayons back, please.”

Everyone was also given nap-time as a small fledgling, and to your dismay, is no longer included in your job description. Naps are something you should do when you can truly enjoy them…where you wake up with a mutated mug due to bed sheet indentions. In other words…a successful slumber. A creative endeavor is parallel in this thought. You need to create something that you love and can give to wholeheartedly. “If you make something special and powerful and honest and true, you will succeed.”

MacLeod does not mention naps in this chapter, not even once (I’m just strange and my thoughts tend to wander). But here unto you my little pandas the interest lies…your body will never be satisfied with a mediocre nap just like your soul will never be satisfied with an empty crayon box.

MacLeod puts it quite simply…

“They’re only crayons. You didn’t fear them in kindergarten, why fear them now?”

Write that down.

So now I can only assume that you are planning to conquer the world with your creativity all the while changing people’s lives and going on leisurely runs with your new buddy Matt Lauer. But before you do:

  1. You must leave a comment explaining how you let the creative juices flow by listening to your “wee” voice You will be entered in our drawing to receive your very own SIGNED copy of Hugh MacLeod’s, “Ignore Everybody and 39 other Keys to Creativity.”
  2. Read the book. This is imperative to your survival.
  3. Make something. Why? Because Hugh said so.
  4. An anonymous comment will not enter you in the drawing. Let us know who you are!
  5. Contest will end Friday, August 14th at noon. Your new book awaits…

Schipul Book Club: Win The Giving Tree + a Moleskine of Your Very Own

giving-tree“Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy”

It’s that time again! Every month we give away a copy of one of our favorite Schipul books and since Schipulites LOVE Storytelling, that is this month’s theme!

What better book to Demonstrate “Story” than the Shel Silverstein classic The Giving Tree? Using very simple writing and line drawings, Silverstein proves a little can go a very long way in telling a powerful tale. We’ve got a copy with your name on it.**

Can’t wait? You can also watch an animated version of the book narrated by Silverstein himself!!

We’ve got a double whammy for you this month so that’s not all!!

Long before the netbook became the new notebook, legendary artists such as Van Gogh and Hemingway used the real deal made by French booksellers to capture their ideas and jot notes. These little books were called Moleskine’s. The last French bookseller that sold Moleskine’s closed it’s doors in 1986 but the little books and the genius they inspired was not gone forever!

In 1998 a tiny Milanese bookseller brought the books back and as happykatie so elqouently puts it “happiness is a fresh Moleskine” so we think you need one of your very own! Use it to draw your own pictures and flex those storytelling muscles!! Practice makes perfect right?

So how do you get your Giving Tree and your Moleskine? Comment below!! What organization do you think is awesome at telling its story? It can be anyone from the pizza place down your street to the biggest cell phone company. We want to know!

We’ll be picking winner this Friday (the 29th) at 3 pm so follow us on twitter to get the announcement!

**Oh and a word to the wise: If Hallmark Cards make you cry, you may want to read The Giving Tree behind closed doors. Especially if you’ve never read it before…. I know I’m a cheese ball but I tear up every time!

Outliers: Outrageously Talented or Just Plain Lucky?

Malcolm Gladwell is a master storyteller; he leads readers down winding yellow brick roads and provides them with insight into the mystifying and foresight into their future. He explains those “simple truths” about life and society usually kept secret by Sociologists in a way that your average Joe can understand and embrace them. It is little wonder Time Magazine named Malcolm Gladwell one of their 100 Most Influential People in 2005.

He helped us examine the tiny things or the “levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable” in The Tipping Point and he explored the power of the trained mind to make split second decisions in Blink. In Outliers, Gladwell irrevocably proves that there iS no magic apple you bite into to obtain success. Success is a beautiful balance of nature, nurture and a little bit of luck…. Combine those three things with the 10,000 hours Gladwell insists you need to obtain “expert status” and it looks like an insurmountable hill to climb.

Through various case studies and real stories (which this gal loves!) he highlights the “hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunists and cultural legacies” underlie that magical thing we call success. Is Gladwell content with these circumstances to remain the status quo? No, he is not.

Gladwell insists that “to build a better world, we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success-the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents in history-that provides oppotunities to all.”

Outliers is DEFINITELY on our Schipul Suggested reading list!

Have you read Outliers but haven’ quite gotten your Gladwell fill? Join us Wendesday for “An Audience with Malcolm Gladwell” brought to you by the Greater Houston Partnership. We’ll be at the Hilton America’s Houston at 11:30 am! We hope you can make it out!!

Check out my personal blog for more MagsMac ramblings on Outliers. I am fascinated!