Book Review: It’s About Time

Marney Makridakis invented the land of Artella in 2002, both as a magazine as as cyber-destination for creativity. She’s been working creatively ever since, inventing creative trips and explorations for her loyal and enthusiastic tribe.

Now she is tackling the tricky topic of time and tipping it on its ear through her new book, Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life.

The first thing I notice about a book is the organization, and Creating Time gets high marks for excellent organization–three sections, 16 chapters, with titles that explain in depth what the section contains.

The material is followed by notes, acknowledgements, contributors’ and Marney’s bio. The foreword is in back, too, because the content begins and ends from the same point, Marney explains.

I read the book front to back, but that doesn’t always happen with creatively-written books, and this one is prepared. If you read it section by section, the excellent table of contents will help you re-find what you need it when you want it again. There is also an index, an all-but-abandoned but highly useful tool for finding specific references or sub-topics. For all of you who are too young to know how to use an index—heavy sigh—it’s what we used before there was a search engine in every blog.

You will not wind up with 28 hours in a day by reading the book, but you will discover any number of new ways to see time, feel time, experience time and tell time.

Reading the book is like visiting with Marney herself. She chats about her life, using events in her and her family’s life to illustrate points. You get to know her struggles with a genetic bone disorder (when a foot surgery takes a year to heal, your sense of time has to become uncomfortable) and many example of her wonder of her son’s experiencing life. She uses stories and artwork from the coaches she trains, and she invents words like Wellativity and Artsignment. The book is pure, authentic Marney from first page to last. Her voice and language are on every page of the book.

You can use the book as a workbook–there are step-by-step how-tos and assignments to help put to use what you have just read. I have a big weakness for books written for kinesthetic readers, and this is fully one of them. You learn by doing. She doesn’t tell, she shows. And when Marney shows,  you can’t avoid participating. The book is a personal tour through her vision of time, through her experience of time. You are presented with new ideas and new ways to manipulate the time you want to repeat. (Not having a good time? There are ways to speed up the experience of time, too.) Reading the book is a workout in a mental gym.

The book is richly illustrated and designed to keep you moving, reading, empathizing and making time bend to your will. Marney wouldn’t have it any other way.

Disclosure: Marney sent me a review copy at no cost to me.  My curiosity (and need for more time) would have driven me to pay for it,  but I’m thankful for the generosity.

–Quinn McDonald  is a creativity coach and writer who is a kinesthetic learner.