I have been given the opportunity to take part in
The Creative Promoter’s 2nd Blog Carnival.
Thank you Lisa Anne Wooley and Fred Charles!
The theme: Places where we find creativity.
Creativity is something that comes from within. The art of creating something, whether a craft project, a painting, woodworking, writing, music – they are all expressions of inner creativity. When I first read the theme for this project, I read it as inspiration, or the places that inspire creativity.
There is something magical that happens when the spark ignites a Creative’s passions. I can find no pattern, no specific commonality to what will ignite that spark. It has varied from sitting on my sofa flipping through a home improvement magazine, to walking behind a push mower, to planting seedlings in my garden. I’ve been inspired while riding in the passenger’s seat of a car and even while I was driving alone with the radio blaring.
While some people say that the beach inspires them, I feel that a beach setting in a tropical paradise does more to bring peace, calm and relaxation to my normal stressed state of existence. Some are inspired by mountains but while I admire the beauty and majesty of them, I don’t feel particularly inspired in a creative way.
The settings that inspire my creative nature are varied, but if there is a commonality to them it would be something out of the ordinary. Here are just a few:
- An old abandoned house that has fallen in disrepair that at one time must have been a statement of status. (Inspired Arturo’s Treasure; mystery intrigue tale of pirates, buried treasure, betrayal, and romance that spans generations. [Watch for it in 2016])
- An eerie boggy creek bend that has recently flooded and is alive with insect noises that gives an audible hum in the air. (Inspired Blight Creek; a zombie tale of a different nature. [Watch for it in 2016])
- The dressing room of a bridal shop where my daughter tried on Prom dresses. (Inspired Death by Design; Haute Couture styles to die for! [Watch for it in 2017])
I think more than any setting or place that inspires my imagination is the magical game of ‘What if’? While sitting in a restaurant that my husband and I frequented in our dating years we observed a young man get on his knees and propose. It was a heartwarming sentimental moment that brought a tear to my eye.
It sparked conversation between my husband and myself of our beginnings, and as I mulled that over and over in my mind it sparked What if? in the scene we had witnessed. What if the couple were perfect for one another, but his ex decides she isn’t through? What if there is a tragic accident? What if she goes to jail? (Red Wine & Roses scheduled for release in 2015!) (Oral Dilemma, scheduled for fall of 2015)
I know people who play the ‘what if’ game in their own lives, constantly worrying about things that will never happen. Worry is such a useless time waster. The majority of the times those things we worry about never happen. But in the fiction world, anything and everything can happen. We can throw our characters into the fire, into the next fire, into the impending disaster, into and out of relationships, give them an incurable disease, poison them, shoot them, and basically wreak havoc in their fictional lives to play out the scenarios that would send ordinary folks to the nut house.
It sounds disturbing when you summarize it concisely like that, but it’s the game many writer’s play to create some of the best fiction out there.
Once the ideas begin to form, I create a file for them in my ideal garden. I have a cheap spiral journal that I picked up on clearance that I jot down ideas. In this journal are some sketches of characters, sketches of objects from a story idea, and notes about a particular story or character. Some are all on one page, some are spread over several pages. If there is any one place for my collective creativity, it would probably be this journal. I also have files on my computer and external hard drive with the information once I piece a few things together.
Last summer my daughter was helping me clean in the basement. She picked up this journal and tossed it into the trash bin. I about came unglued. I yelled, screamed, ranted, scooped up my precious journal and ran upstairs to hide it away for safe keeping. When I was alone with it later, I opened it, reliving each moment of excitement when I initially had these inspirations and gained a new refreshed zeal for a few ideas that had sat unattended for a while.
Don’t judge me!
It’s funny, my secret garden journal sat in that stack for a couple of months forgotten while life decided there were other things to demand my attention. My rediscovery of this treasured object that looks like a dime store worthless notebook reignited my passion like it was rocket fuel. Just like in a natural garden, you leave the seeds covered with dirt for a time, hidden away they begin to germinate. So in a sense another place that I was inspired was a musty cobwebbed basement. Weird, I know.
As I poured over each and every page, I saw that I had more than I thought I did when it was set aside. I saw connections that I didn’t see before. Like a Vining plant climbing a trellis, my notes had a thin thread of the overall theme woven through them. My true creative nature flows when I have the pen in hand. This is the incubator, the hatching process. Taking raw materials – the boggy creek, the snooty sales clerk, the young couple – and formulating my ‘what ifs’ into a tale of mystery, romance or whatever.
The physical act of writing, pounding out the story on the keyboard varies between two stages. Stage 1 is the driven compulsion to get the story out of my head, where the characters are playing out the scenes faster than I can type. This is when I am in the flowstate, when I am immersed in my fictional world. It’s a magical place, a mystical place that real life demands summons me from too frequently.
Stage 2 sadly is where I have spent most of my writing time. This is the disjointed, interrupted, distracted part. It’s difficult to get back into the flow state of writing when you’ve been distracted from your plan for the umpteenth time.
Sadly, this is the state where I have to function more effectively than I have because I don’t just have ten hours in a day of uninterrupted time to get things down onto virtual paper, as is the case with most of the authors I know. We have lives, families, obligations, and jobs that demand our time.
Whatever inspires or sparks your creativity, make it a priority in your life. Pursuit your dreams with passion, in whatever manner you find that works for you.
There is no one place or location that inspires me to be creative. Ideas come to me in some of the strangest places. My secret garden, or inner sanctum’s outer expression would be my journal. I’d like to say that it was a nice leather-bound journal resembling something of an ancient handwritten book, or as fancy as the Book of Kells, but alas it’s not. It’s a meagher little dime store notebook but it works for me.
What inspires you? What sparks your creativity? Is there a special place that ignites your creative juices?
We are all different, inspired by different things, have different ideas on how to execute that creativity. I for one am glad for the differences. It would be pretty boring if we were all of the same hivemind.
Write on my friends, write on!
Go to CARNIVAL, Lisa’s blog to find the links to other bloggers posts in this series!