Monday, December 24

The Expansion of my Creative Circle


I've heard it said that taking a bath is a great way to get ideas, and I think that it must be due to the way in which you tend to unwind and clear your head while you're bathing.  Up until this morning, I had never had a flash of genius in this way.  But then, today, the circumstances were perfect.  I had just woken up.  I hadn't eaten, hadn't looked in a mirror.  My mind was still so sluggish with sleep, that as I enjoyed the warm water, I wasn't really thinking about anything in particular.  

Then it hit me.  It hit me so suddenly and was so overwhelming, being the first proper thought to cross my mind.  I hurriedly finished my bath, dressed and sat down to tell my brother all about it, before I gave it any more thought.  I see now that it was a good thing I did.  


In the past, I have regretted my tendency to lock onto an idea too quickly.  The affect of this is that what should have been a loose and flexible concept is instead concreted indelibly into my head.  I don't add to it, I don't change it, I don't stray from my circle of comfort.  My creative circle has always been so small and limiting. 

Today, I took my little spark of an idea to my brother.  He has always been a huge help to me, (ideas-wise), because he has the natural ability to push the creative circle.  Maybe it was the warm bath that loosened me up a bit, but today, I ran with him.  I refused to allow myself to squeal as my creative circle was tugged and stretched into an oval, squeezed into a square, dragged into a spiral.  

I think for the first time ever, I reached a point where I could take wild and wonderful ideas on board.  For the first time ever, I hadn't given myself the chance to concrete my ideas.  Instead, I held them lightly to the side as I raced down different avenues.  I accepted this or that suggestion, and thought it through until the craziness even made sense.  


I had recently come to the conclusion that I often denied myself the freedom to invent.  Once again, I was limited by my tiny creative circle.  Even though I was playing with the fantasy genre, I wasn't giving myself permission to be wildly imaginative.  I always wanted everything to make sense.  I was scared of the idea becoming too big to handle.  But that's what it's all about.  Ideas are dangerous, and writer's have the great opportunity to play with this fire.  

Today, a great event took place.  I have handed myself the key to my caged creativity.  

Wednesday, December 19

The Merits of Dating Girls Who Read

A while ago, I spent a few hours on the site, Stumbleupon, hoping to... well, stumble upon... something interesting.  I found this little site on which someone had posted this story, or perhaps more accurately, love letter.  Being a reader and writer myself, this sweet and simple reflection gives me so much to be happy about.  It also reminds me that our love of reading is a beautiful gift to us, that people can admire and value because of the positive influence it has in our lives.  Have a read.  I was in a soppy mood, and if you are too, it might be just what you need:
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books.Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.”
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
By: Rosemarie Urquico.  (Via  

Tuesday, December 18

The Man Running Past

I cannot apologise enough for not posting recently - my reading life, my working life and basically my life in general has been in no order for accomodating regular posting.  However, I am today dipping from a passage that I read a few weeks ago, and which I thought was something very important.  Have a read.

If one is walking along a street at night and a man who can be seen a long way off - for the street slopes uphill ahead of us and the moon is full - comes running towards us, then we shan't lay hands on him, even if he's feeble and ragged, even if someone else is running after him and shouting, but we'll let him run on.  
For it is nighttime, and we can't help it if the street does slope uphill ahead of us in the full moon, and besides, perhaps these two have organised the chase for their own amusement, perhaps they are both of them pursuing a third man, perhaps the first man is being unjustly pursued, perhaps the second man intends to kill him and we would be implicated in the murder, perhaps the two know nothing of each other and each is simply running home to bed on his own initiative, perhaps they are sleepwalkers, perhaps the first man is armed.  
And after all, haven't we a right to be tired, have we drunk so much wine?  We're glad that we can't see the second man anymore either.  
Frankz Kafka.  Meditation.  

This is a simple little reflective story from Kafkas' compilation of meditations.  I think this serves to jolt any readers into a great habit - can we consider every view, imagine every consequence and cause, and realise how other people are feeling?  I never would have imagined that this simple scenario could lead to so many strands of cause and effect.  What a mind-opening lesson to learn!