{R e f l e c t i o n} Explosions

“When the wicked rule the people mourn. . . . Renounce war and proclaim peace” (Doctrine and Covenants 98:9, 16).

Seven or so years ago, my sister and I were returning to shore from a river cruise in Mystic, Connecticut, on a gorgeous sunny day. Just as we were disembarking, we looked up to see a smallish fireball of an explosion about a hundred feet away. A truck had crashed into a telephone pole and the transformer had gone up in flames and black smoke. Power in Mystic was down, and the police blocked access to Main Street, which crossed the river, with our car on the other side.

Aside from the shock of seeing a sudden, unexpected open flame on an otherwise beautifully placid day, we were sobered to think that in a couple of minutes we would have been walking in that exact spot as we returned to our car. I still remember that sick feeling of being thrust into a chaotic situation with a number of unpredictable variables and instantly needing to problem solve how to stay safe. My body’s stress response clicked on, adrenaline pumping, and it was an anxious, emotionally exhausting afternoon.  Continue reading “{R e f l e c t i o n} Explosions”

{R e f l e c t i o n} Dancing on Shiva, Part 1

On Being Vulnerable

Sharing the story of my head injury was more emotional than I thought it would be. It was a huge relief to communicate what I have been experiencing. It also felt quite vulnerable because it exposed the mental and neurobiological strata I deal with, not only to friends but to complete strangers. The effort to heal and not be controlled by these phenomena is massive, a work of body, heart, and mind, and it is challenging to understand myself, much less come to terms with. It is most certainly not always a glorious fight.

The process of self-acceptance demands a daily dose of grace and requires confronting the specter of shame that cloaks stories of mental health. It is absolutely sobering to think about the shuttered away nature of these illnesses throughout history, and even today. Yet, these experiences are not atypical. They are baffling and bedeviling, and sometimes they seem to be simply the stuff of the man of sorrows, something perhaps only God can fully understand. Continue reading “{R e f l e c t i o n} Dancing on Shiva, Part 1”

{Reflection} Keepin’ On: Healing through a Concussion

Today, like so many anniversaries, is bittersweet. One year ago I smacked my head into a wall and concussed my brain. This ordinary “life happens” day has been a threshold to a newness of life. And yet, it has been the toughest experience I have had. Hell, actually. I am such a natural optimist that even though I have experienced immense mental struggle for years, I think deep in my heart of hearts in the most abject despair I still clung to the belief that life was good, God is great, and that I would overcome. It is, He is, and I will. However, I had to go to the bottom. Continue reading “{Reflection} Keepin’ On: Healing through a Concussion”

{a r c h i v e + a r t} #ColorOurCollections, February 1-5

Library lovers and artists of all stripes will adore the abundance of creative, archives-related goodness happening on the Internet this week. Libraries across the world have opened their collections for coloring with free coloring book pages available online.

The New York Academy of Medicine is sponsoring the event and inviting people to share their creations with the #ColorOurCollections hashtag.

FullSizeRenderI digitally colored this image from Walter de la Mare, Down-adown-derry: A Book of Fairy Poems with illustrations by Dorothy P. Lathrop, New York: H. Holt, provided by MU Ellis Special Collections Rare PZ8.D37 Do 1922.

This participatory digital humanities event is appropriate for kids of all ages.

P. F. Anderson picked up my video and added it to her Storify article about #ColorOurCollections. Check it out to view a stream of libraries’ coloring books and see how other people have colored the classics.


Click here for the list of 127 participating libraries (and counting) on Twitter.


Just a few of the libraries inviting us to color their collections.

New York Academy of Medicine (event sponsor)

New York Public Library

Oregon Health and Science Library

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Open Library

Happy coloring, strivers!IMG_0295Follow Call to Action

{a r c h i v e + p h o t o g r a p h y} Anna Atkins, cyanotype, and scientific illustration


Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “Delesseria sinuosa.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 30, 2016.

Over on Instagram, I featured a couple of images from the New York Public Library’s digital collections. These gorgeous, ghostly images come from the library’s copy of Photographs of British Algae by Anna Atkins, the first female photographer, and an amateur botanist. This was also the first book to be produced entirely using photographic methods.

Read more about these images and see the entire book (published over 10 years) on the New York Public Library website here.



Welcome, strivers! + Introduction

Hello, there!

Me, at the Utah State capitol {one of my favorite, spots}

I have a few posts up, and I figured I need to introduce myself and this blog.

My name is Elizabeth Pinborough. I am a bookish child of the 80s who is always on some sort of creative quest. Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English I joined the ranks of Garrison Keillor’s fictional society P.O.E.M. {professional organization of English majors}. Being the journeying idealist I am, I headed off to graduate school, where I studied more literature, and religion.

The past five years since then have felt like traveling a wandering path through the wilderness. The challenge of finding a workable combination of creativity and career has been real. These years have given me great gifts of experience and {I hope} wisdom, however. I have not only worked on some fulfilling professional projects {like writing historical essays for this website}, but some personal ones {like creating this book}. This time has provided the defining struggle of my life so far, and I am so grateful for it.

The Art of Striving blog

Why The Art of Striving? The art of striving encompasses all the dreams and realities that we are all trying to mesh together. It embraces the sheer bravery it takes for anyone to move forward with purpose in spite of daily obstacles. We are all strivers, who embrace both false starts and little successes, fear and faith, as we continue on our perfect journey.

My philosophy for The Art of Striving.

What will you find on the blog? Beautiful, enlightening posts that will get your mental gears turning and your creative hearts beating {like this post about libraries and cultural remixes}. Plenty of creators and thinkers share this kind of content, and I want to introduce you to the best of what they have to offer, too. I plan to embrace my own imperfect creative process, and just make, write, and illustrate!

I am so glad you are here to join with me. Please comment and introduce yourself. I would love to hear about your journeys, too. And whatever you do, keep on keepin’ on.

EP Signature

Follow Call to Action

{#tbt: a r c h i v e + d e s i g n}


So, I have fallen in love with the photos in the State Library of New South Wales Flickr account. Currently I am engrossed with putting a modern twist on them with doodles and designs.

The photo above was particularly stunning to me. Mrs. Wing Fang is in Sydney on what appears to be the deck of a ship. The image was taken in 1935.

I love everything about it. Mrs. Wing Fang’s  wardrobe is pristine, complete with sweet rosette of flowers clipped to her lapel. Her lips are bemused, her cheeks hint at a smile. Her gaze is straightforward, and she seems 100 % confident in herself. Oh, how I would love to know her story! Where her journey is taking (or has just taken) her, who is snapping the photograph (friend or partner or stranger), and what her occupation is. Continue reading “{#tbt: a r c h i v e + d e s i g n}”