Mess by Keri Smith

Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal, now a literary phenomenon, sold over 200,000 copies and is still going strong. Now, Smith is back with MESS: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes (September 7, 2010) in which she asks readers to break their librarians' rules and make a mess of a book on purpose. Using accidents and mistakes, readers venture where they wouldn't normally go with the possibility of creating something unexpected.

In Mess, Keri asks us to cut small circles out of a bunch of magazines and arrange them into a collage, leave a drawing outside in the rain, drop paint from 5 feet in the air onto paper, and allow ourselves to make a creative spontaneous freeing mess. Her book awakens the child within us and asks we have fun with all we do while trying new techniques to be creative in life. Mess is about breaking the rules and exercising our minds worry in trying to make everything perfect and beautiful. Keri encourages us not to think too much. I agree, my best work has come from it!

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images: Reprinted from Mess by Keri Smith by arrangement with Perigee, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Copyright 2010