How I Found My Creative Voice

Now, sit right down and let Stu tell you a story. Settled in? Good. Now, mind the spittin’ bucket if  old Ned comes by. He never could give up his chaw even after them docs took away half his jaw. His aim aint so good no more, so…you’ve been warned.

There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. ~ Martha Graham

Creativity is contagious. Pass it on. ~ Albert Einstein

It happened that I did something early in my life that I swore I would not do: work for the money, not for what I wanted to really do. For fifteen years I worked a soul killing job. I had a break in my personal life during this period and I found something I was missing: an improvisation class in NYC.

It was heaven. Creative heaven. I had an amazing year+ with this company, but inner politics ruined it (as well as things I might talk about another time: My Run In with Scientology. No joke).

A two year semi creative dry spell fell upon like the wrath of grapes, and then…one summer afternoon, at the Tuxedo NY Renaissance Faire, I was found….

…by the members of the Instant Shakespeare show. My kids were pointing at me like crazy to get chosen (so, all of this is YOUR fault, Adam & Jessica ;P  ) and sure enough, I was picked to be the audience patsy.

Except, I had the best time of my life. I added a few things, hammed it up,  and had the crowd in my hands. I made the MC (Scott Eck) laugh so hard he even said  he gave up the show to me. Afterwards, so many people asked if I did this for a living. Many said I should. Less than a year later…well, I had a lot of great creative adventures. A lot.

Which now brings me to the point: if I let the roadblocks of my life (and I consider a money job as opposed to a passion job a road block) stop me, I would not have found my creative voice, and I would not be as happy and fulfilled.

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook

It also brought me to this:

My very first solo eStory on Amazon

Thanks to the fine people at Trestle Press I now have an eStory published that is not part of an anthology. It’s 4,000 words long, and it costs just $ .99. I get 70% of that, so…yeah, the more the merrier. Won’t you make me merry?  😉

Product Description: Seth had been devoured by fire. What does a man do when the life of flame becomes as real as his waking life? When the sound of fire is the beat of his blood through his body? When what he sees he lives?

You can find it at Amazon: Flash Over

I have two more stories published, both in charity anthologies, supporting Doctors Without Blorders. You can find them on my brand new Amazon Authors Page. Two volumes, both $3.99, and both support a worthy cause. Please give them a try.

Thank you.

Stranger In A Strange Land (UBC #21)

Ultimate Blog Challenge

Tale Spinning, my writing outlet

GROK: to understand profoundly and intuitively

“Grok in fullness” ~Valentine Michael Smith

Have you ever felt  that you really just don’t fit in?  Have you experienced that no matter where you are, or only a few times in your life, that this experience is outside of your comfort zone, is foreign to you? Have you gone beyond your normal levels of point of view and try to see what it’s like to be Other? Have you been a stranger in a strange land?

Can You Grok?

Stranger In A Strange Land

Published in 1961, after 12 years of writing, Robert Heinlein’s Hugo award winning book hit the shelves. Ground breaking for the time, this Science Fiction novel tackled topics that were not normally part of the literary landscape, and scathingly as it did so. Religion, philosophy of life, sexual mores, polygamy, free love (yes, very ’60s BEFORE the ’60s happened, or were just coming about: see Harlan Ellison on why he was calling his work Speculative Fiction, not SciFi), cannibalism, questioning government & authority, and God as concept or reality(outside of religion, already mentioned).

I read this sometime around when the original Star Trek hit the airwaves, and I started to see the “Can You Grok” or “Do You Grok” tee shirts. At first I thought it was something from ST, but I was told that it came from a book, by the older brother of a friend. So..what do I find the next time I go to Dr. Z and visit his bookcase (see previous entry for more on how important this was for me: The Once and Future King)…a beat up copy of Stranger in a Strange Land. Yes, I took back whatever I had been reading and exchanged it.

And, as a pre-teen/just on the verge of teenhood…wow. Talk about reading things “normally” not in my reading vocabulary. Sex, sex, and more sex. 🙂 … but, it was more than that. I didn’t/couldn’t  understand the entire book at that age, but what I did took me along on a trip of trying to reach beyond myself, and trying to figure out why I felt so OTHER, even at this early an age. I’ve grown into someone who believes in being a non-conformist, who tries to Grok (I think I’m fairly intuitive),and yeah, I fails at times. I’m also not every one’s cup of tea, as I don’t follow the party line all the time, party line being a fuddy duddy grown up dull thinker with blinders on.

Accepting what is in front of you, getting rid of the judgmental portion inside of us, loving as freely as you can, to not fight new expressions of self…what’s wrong with that. Why is that Strange?

So…another book that moved me, changed me, inspired me, connected me. There are more, just like there’s music that does. Next seven to come.

Can you Grok? Have you even tried?