Tag Archives: Creativity

Crossing the finish line

Today is day 100 of #The100DayProject . I finished. Yay. 

*cue partially inflated helium balloons and off key band.

I feel characteristically underwhelmed. It’s always the way— reaching the end of a project when I should be jumping up and down or popping a champagne cork, but instead I’m shrugging, going, “Eh, it’s over, okay, what next?”

There are 109 days left until NaNoWriMo starts November 1. I think I will do 100 days of illustrated poetry bits (thanks to everyone who commented!), but maybe I won’t start tomorrow. I’ve got nine more days to decide. And some laundry to fold. 

The good news is this time (unlike when I finished my novel OVER A YEAR AGO, ahem) I actually DO have something lined up. I signed on to do a Gale course, Writing Fiction Like a Pro. It starts tomorrow, lasts six weeks, and sounds like a good way to organize my outline for the NaNo novel I have in mind. Best part: several friends from my local writer’s critique group are taking it, too! I will enjoy the camaraderie, and probably need the accountability. 

Do you have some short term goals, writing or otherwise? What are your creative plans?


We Three Steves

I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction and poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it.

—Stephen King, On Writing

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity.

—Steve Jobs, Wired Magazine, February 1995
(He was 40.)


You know what to do.
Sit down in your thinking chair and think, think, think.

—Steve Burns, Blue’s Clues.
(Will be 40 in October.)

Well shone, Moon

Come now; what masques, what dances shall we have,
To wear away this long age of three hours
Between our after-supper and bed-time?*

Paintingwithatwist2Last night I spent my creative hours not writing, but painting. Had an awesome time with friends, sangria, 80s hair band music, and hula hoops. And paint!

As Bob Ross used to say, “Every day’s a good day when you paint.”

Instead of happy little trees, we created “fluffy little flowers” (according to Marléne, our instructor).

A few weeks ago, the main character of my novel rekindled a love of painting as a way of finding meaning in her very messed up life. So this was an awesome opportunity to think about how she feels when she paints, what she thinks about, how she views herself. If I were a paid author, I could have written off my evening as research, because it gave me a lot of little details for the story: the texture of the canvas, the weight of the brush, the zen-like tranquility of mixing the paint into darker and darker shades of midnight…

If you have one of these art studios near you, I recommend giving it a shot. You don’t have to be very artistically inclined to have a great time. Obviously, my attempt is super amateurish! But I had a memorable evening with friends, and got a lovely souvenir to remember it by.


*”Well shone, Moon. Truly, the moon shines with a good grace.”
—A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare