Origins of Creativity in Writing

There are numerous Blogfests running on any given day. Some are ongoing and others are one shots. With all that run, I do tend to pick around the lot, finding the ones that really interest me…and, hopefully, you.

Origins: When did your writing dream begin? is the brain child of DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude,  and he has three co-hosts: Katie Mills aka Creepy Query Girl ; Matthew MacNish at The QQQE ; and Alex Cavanaugh at Alex J. Cavanaugh.

To find the other blogs participating in this blogfest, click HERE or the Origins logo. There are close to 200 writers participating. Check them out.

I’ve also written a Flash Fiction piece  Origins: Entitled on my creative fiction blog, Tale Spinning. I hope you enjoy the story.

I can’t really pinpoint an exact time when writing became one of my dreams. It feels like it’s always been there, at the back of everything I’ve done in my life.  I don’t feel I’ve ever been tied down to wanting to “be” just one thing, ever. When I have done that, I find that I tend to get bored: especially the times when I’ve played the money game (read: non-creative pursuits).

As a kid, I read comics, watched TV and went to the movies. Outside of school projects, I would create little things for myself. Mini-comics were a way to pass time when I was bored in class. I’d take paper and fold it down, and then again, creating a sequential booklet for myself to draw in (lots of stick figures) and write short pieces. These would get passed around to friends later. I don’t remember ever getting caught.

There were stories I wrote for sleep-away camp newspapers, mainly mash-ups (yes, plagiarisms) of others work, combining different elements into one piece. While never criticized for that, I was often praised for “imaginative writing” and writing skills. I knew the truth, and just shrugged my shoulders.

High school changed that. I worked on the DeWitt Clinton newspaper for a year, writing articles, learning the craft of setting up the newspaper from scratch. I was really involved, and was going to be promoted to an editor’s slot when my parents told me we were moving to Westchester County. While my dreams of the paper were shot at that point (the new HS paper was not very open to someone new coming in), I did continue to write.

Off and on, I would write poetry, short stories, begin ideas for novels…and more times than not they would languish, first just as a pile of legal pad paper and then committed electronically and saved. All through this, I was always hoping I’d have my name on a book (or comic book) as a writer. It was a passing dream that wove itself throughout most of my life, a goal I always hoped I’d achieve.

2011 saw a new stage of writing for me. I created my second blog, Tale Spinning, for experiments in creative writing. Starting only in February of that year, I wound up writing close to 200 short pieces of fiction. I’ve now had two short stories published in anthologies, have my own eStory published, received a number of blogging/writing awards, been asked to write a number of guest blogs, and have won a few online writing contests.

Still to come: holding that physical book with my name on the cover in my hands.

What Sparks The Writer? (The Spark Blogfest)

My good friend (and co-conspirator in our Rule of Three Writers Blog Fest) Lisa posted on her blog Flash Fiction something that intrigued me: When Dreams Come True-A Post for the Sparkfest.

Sparkfest is the invention of Christine Tyler of The Writer Coaster, and this is my first introduction to her writing blogging world. I am sure it won’t be my last as I just subscribed. SUPPORT WRITERS AND OTHER ARTISTS. End of soapbox.

The prompt for this blogfest:

What book made you realize you were doomed to be a writer?

What author set off that spark of inspiration for your current Work in Progress?

Or, Is there a book or author that changed your world view?

Christine has a whole set of “rules” on her page: check them out, and enter as you will. Me, um…well,  if you’ve been reading me at all, you should have an idea about how I feel: Rules? Rules? We don’ need no stinkin’ rules!  Her basic prompt was to choose one of the three above.
By The Way: if you don’t know, I am also a Fiction Writer, and write on my Tale Spinning Blog. This probably should have gone there, and it might still, later. Thought you should know, if you have only known me for what I write about in Education.
I’m going to try all three. Just to be…me. (Thank you, Gene Simmons. I hope she says yes, and I hope you are better).

What book made you realize you were doomed to be a writer?

This is a tough one for me. I am not sure there is one book that did that. The first thing that comes to mind, really:

Comic Books

I have been involved with reading, collecting, cherishing comic books since way before I could read. My mother used to buy me a few when I was very little (Gold Key; Harvey; Classics Illustrated; Disney;  and Archie comics) and I loved the whole thing. It was more than pictures and words. Comics took me on a journey across the world and into imagination. When I discovered Super Heroes, that was it: Hooked 110% all the way. My imagination knew no boundaries from that day forth. I also understood very well that with great power comes great responsibility.

My memory may play tricks with me, but besides wanting to be a scientist (not with MY grades!), I had always wanted to write for the comics. Always. Still do.  I used to write my own little things in school when I was bored out of my mind. Always drawing my little thumbnails (didn’t know I was story-boarding then), creating characters, writing dialogue, etc.

So…doomed to be a writer? I don’t think I’ve ever thought of writing as a doomed thing. Exciting, creative, expressive, exploitative, demanding, challenging…yes. Doomed? Never.

What author set off that spark of inspiration for your current Work in Progress?

My current work in progress is Agent driven: I asked her “what do you want from me?” when all she had previously said was she wanted to see a novel from me (she won’t handle short story writers). Her answer: “I want a great love story.” So, that is what I am doing right now. For those of you that have read my published short story in Dawn of Indie Romance, you’ll see I do have that in me.
The author who set me afire in inspiration overall is Roger Zelazny. I do have a few other things in the works besides the “great love story,” and I feel that I owe them all to the late Mr. Zelazny. He was, to me, THE writer to look up to, to want to be compared to. He broke down big heavy walls in his speculative fiction and fantasy writing.  He explored ancient mythologies putting his own twist  on things.
  • Lord of Light was the first book of his I read, and will reread it as long as I can read. Hinduism, scifi, fantasy: you name it.
  • A Rose for Ecclesiastes just an amazingly beautiful story, melding Christian mythos with science fiction AND it’s a love story too.
  • The Chronicles of Amber is probably what Zelazny is best known for. This fantasy series has everything in it: great stories; great characters; great mysteries; great love; great horror and tragedy; and a lot of Zelazny’s humor.
He was diverse in his writing styles. He had a love for language. He had a diverse referencing skill in what he drew upon as a writer. If I ever had to grow up, I’d want to grow up to be a 1/10 of a Roger Zelazny in my writing. My The Kistune-Mochi Tale (working title) is inspired by his work. Thank you, Mr. Zelazny.

Is there a book or author that changed your world view?

This is the book that blew away my itty, bitty mind when I was around 16/17. It was written/published in 1972, and I still have my copy. So, yeah…16 or 17. I remember reading it, having to put the book down, close my eyes, and my head just swam/exploded with all the complexities I was experiencing from the book. No: I was not on any drug. I don’t do drugs. Never did. This book was enough.

RD Laing’s knots was a psychological poetry brainf**k for me then, and it still retains all of that for me now. Not a fiction book, per se, as I’m normally driven towards fiction. But,it is life presented in an infinity loop of desperation, longings, desires, needs, destructiveness, love, hate, and “what are we doing to ourselves and each other?” wanderings.

Amazon’s description of the book is:  “A series of dialogue-scenarios, which can be read as poems or plays, describing the “knots” and impasses in various kinds of human relationships.” I think they do it a disservice.

I think my questioning of “why” someone does something, not as judgment but as wanting to just know to understand, has it’s roots from reading this book. It does help me as a writer/playwright: all characters want something. My question is: why?

Hope you liked this one. Bit on the long side, but…I never did promise you brevity.

You should join this one, if you are serious about writing too.