Foolsgold:
Making Something From Nothing and Freeing Your Creative Process

by Susan G. Wooldridge


Harmony Books, 2007. ISBN 0307341488.
Reviewed by Lee Ambrose
Posted on 08/22/2007

Nonfiction: Life Lessons; Nonfiction: Creative Life

As a child did you engage in "treasure hunting"? I remember going on treasure hunts as part of childhood birthday parties and backyard play for many summers. I also remember the concept of a treasure hunt being used to help acclimate students my first year of nursing school. Sparse clues led the hunter from one location to another in search of some "hidden treasure."

As summer's end approaches, I am ending the summer in much the same way as I began the summer, with a second read-through of the recently released book Foolsgold: Making Something From Nothing and Freeing Your Creative Process by Susan G. Wooldridge. And now I'm recommending it to anyone and everyone who will listen! Several years ago I read Wooldridge's poemcrazy: freeing your life with words and found her style and material to be delightful and useful. So it is not surprising that I rushed to pick up a copy of her newest book.

What is surprising is that I didn't want to put it down, didn't want it to end, and couldn't wait to pick it back up for a second time. It is well written and informative, yes. But that is not the whole story. This book is far from "fool's gold" in the strict definition of the term. Rather, it is a rare gem.

In her own words, Susan G. Wooldridge says "Foolsgold describes a paradox, the value in what may seem to be worthless... Foolsgold reminds us to look beyond appearances, even in ourselves. What seems to loom in us most darkly may finally be what brings the most light."

I've found many helpful and inspiring quotes in the pages of this book, some of which have made their way already to my computer area as daily reminders. Others have been spotlighted in the SCN WiseWords.

Wooldridge's book is meant to urge all of us with creative longings to spend time with the simple and seemingly mundane aspects of our lives—and to be aware of all that "time and place" have to offer us in the way of peace, inspiration, motivation, or joy. She encourages us to go on treasure hunts at every opportunity... treasure hunts to seek out joy, wholeness and grounding.

If, like me, you are searching for a way to bring more simple and meaningful creative play into your world, perhaps Wooldridge can offer some exercises and practices for your consideration. Anyone interested in a good game of "Treasure Hunt"? First one to find "foolsgold" is the winner!

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