My Dishwasher, My Muse

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Автор Ujalov (Igor M. Olov) (собственная работа) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, через Викисклад

I am the best writer in the world when I’m emptying my dishwasher. Burdened with the task that has to be the most endless, repetitive drudge in all of humanity that can literally be completed in under ten minutes, suddenly, my creativity alights.

Forget the forks. Forget the mugs that always have little puddles of water in their bottom-tops, heat-dry or no heat-dry (sorry environment). No, the instant I’m reaching up into the cabinet to precariously stack the cereal bowls is the instant I could be creating my most insightful masterpiece.

Ever.

That’s the moment I want to feel the wind under my fingers as they fly over the keyboard. That’s the moment I want to transform my bright, mid-century square of an apartment into a sloped attic garret, with exposed golden wood beams and unexpected cracks of sunlight. I want to toil away, just me an the page, the page and me, until the ideas are fully realized, fully formed from the muck of my imagination.

And then I finish emptying the dishwasher.

We can all surmise how that turns out. Sometimes the feeling does carry through, and I sit down and get to work, minus the garret, of course. I haven’t quite nailed my transmogrification yet.

In fact, doing something like emptying the dishwasher is one of the techniques I utilize when blocked. I give myself a choice: I can write or I can do something I feel even less like doing. At worst I get a chore done, at best, I face the words.

Writing ebbs and flows, creativity ebbs and flows. Mood alone can’t dictate productivity, or we’d never get anything done. When all else fails, there’s always the dishwasher.

Always.

Seriously, that thing seems to never not need emptying.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Getting Back That Old Writing Glow

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IMG_1631So sometimes you just feel…off. Out of sync. Like you’re blinking at the wrong rate. That’s me this week.

Physically I’m fine, though a little tiny bit stiff from a new exercise video I tried. Mentally, though — particularly when it comes to writing — the thoughts aren’t quite lining up.

And that happens.

I assume. I could be the uniquest unique writer in the unique universe (note, is anyone else shocked that “uniquest” appears to be a valid word?!). But I’m probably not.

This could be a chance for a new kind of creativity. Or it could just require a little more finger grease, to loosen up those darn typing muscles. Who knows.

Yesterday, for example, I labored over a sketch for our comedy group. If there’s anything that shouldn’t be labored over, it’s probably comedy. My does it show.

But if writing was all butterflies and singing flowers and sunshine and rainless rainbows everyone would do it.

Hmm. It kind of feels like everyone does it, but then again I socialize with a lot of writers, so I might have what one might call a biased sample.

Still, I will step once more into the manuscript, and clean up if nothing else. Even if I’m not in time with this universe, it’s possible that I might be blinking just right for my imaginary ones.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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Fridaying My Way Through Writing

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It’s a solidly gray day here in Chicago, and I’m hoping I haven’t fallen off the blogging wagon. I skipped a day yesterday, the first since the A-to-Z Challenge.

Bad me.

I am in a very odd space of inspiration and non-inspiration, thinking but not quite ready to do. I’m hoping that like water suddenly retreating from the shore amidst an eerie silence, that I am on the brink of a creative tsunami.

We shall soon see.

With the show halfway through its run, and my only responsibilities picking up cake and refreshing one of the props, it’s time to return my attention to my original writing. My real writing.

I have such romantic visions of sitting down and doing the work, but anyone who has ever written anything knows how that tends to go. Just ask Spongebob.

But when that rush of creativity hits, there’s nothing much you can do other than be carried away with the tide.

And that might be a tad more romanticizing.

I also have editing to do, with a manuscript that needs to convert from draft 1 to draft 2 at some point.

This sketch comedy writing has been fun in many ways, and I’ve picked up a lot of great, transferable skills, but short-form sketches aren’t who I am as a writer. So for me and Spongebob, it’s time to hit the pencil and paper.

In or near Chicago? Check out our sketch comedy revue, Me Inside Me Presents: “Neurotrash.” Saturdays at 10 pm, May 7, 14, 21 & 28 in Donny’s Skybox Theater. Tickets $13; Students $11 SCTC Students: $7  Click here for tickets.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

Creativity Another Way

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So I hope everyone here in the States had a great, relaxing, wonderful holiday weekend, and that everyone everywhere else had a great weekend while wondering why we have foisted Black Friday on the rest of the world. Did I shop this weekend? I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might paint me as a consumerist. But oh the bargains! Ish.

Well, I’m still bone-dry in the old writing front, but when it comes to prop-making, I’ve been a total fiend. And aside from a couple of items, I am pretty much done. I have a final gloss coat to put on my paper mache project, which came out even better than I expected, and some spray-painting to do, but otherwise, things are in order.

Which is interesting, because covering the props took creativity, just not the kind of creativity that uses words. I’m hoping that it will recharge my writing bank, thinking in this different direction. I mean using a glue gun itself has to be restorative, right?

Sometimes it feels as though the writing part of the brain has its own little tower, tall, cold and impenetrable, except when it gets the urge to lower the drawbridge. And lately those drawbridge gears need oiling. Boy are they sticky.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

Creativity Can Come From Anywhere

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I came across a video this morning that I simply have to share. Creativity is a strange thing, it strikes you, sometimes, from nowhere, demanding to be recognized. And other times, it’s difficult to find, like trying to squeeze water from a dry sponge.

But in those times, it may help to try to find the creative, the beautiful, the inspired, in something that doesn’t seem to be, well, any of those things. What you come up with may, in fact, be stunning.

That’s what artist Mary Doodles does, and the results are delightful.

Here’s the video. Enjoy.

 

Try  Her Cousin Much Removed, or sign up for my spamless newsletter.

Download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Sometimes, a Blank Page is a Blank Page

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I’m having one of those days with this blog. You writers know exactly what I’m talking about, where there is not one remotely interesting idea in the entire cavern that is my brain.

So I’m going to write about that.

For a creative person, this dearth of ideas is a little unsettling. What if I’ve used up all the interesting thoughts I’ll ever have? What if that thing that rushes like a river sometimes, a calm brook at others, is now a choked trickle, soon to leave a dry river bed that can only be filled by watching reality TV?

Heaven forbid. Though Real Housewives of New York is coming back soon, so at least I’ll have that. I may not have creativity, but I’ll have the Countess, Carole and Ramona. Carole’s mostly the Greek chorus, in case you’re wondering.

Every time this happens, it feels like it’s never happened before. It feels like an end of something I’ve taken for granted, of something so prolific sometimes it requires hurried scribbles on the back of receipts and other random scraps of paper. It requires notebooks at all times.

But not today.

Slay Boredom with 10 Big Project Ideas

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Bored kids? Bored you? Feeling creative? Or want to daydream about something you might do eventually but probably won’t? Check out these fun projects you can do together, by yourself, or just read about doing.

10 Big Project Ideas for You and Your Kids (Vol. 1) by Charlie Baskins. $0.99 from Smashwords.com
Are you looking for a cool project to work on with or for your kids? This project presents 10 great ideas for doing something more than the ordinary, and gives inspiration on how to turn the mundane into the extraordinary! (Volume 1 of a series)