Saturday, September 12, 2009

The creative process...

The more you write the more creative you get. For me the more I'm supposed to write or the closer I am to a deadline the more creative I get. But it's a creativity deferred.

For example... here's my head just this morning.

"ok.. this morning I have to finish up a first draft on this essay

Or I could read one of the ones that's near finished out loud. They always sound different out loud. No I should wit for an audience to do that. Where would I find an audience at this hour? Ok no I'll just work on this draft.

That was a good movie last night. I have to remember to write a review for it. I wonder i could ever be a professional movie reviewer? Probably not since I really only like to watch movies I only like to watch. I wonder what it takes to get movie reviewer jobs... I'll look it up real quick.

Ok back to this essay. It's actually pretty good. I think I could punch up that second part.... but this is the first draft I'll worry about that later. Maybe a few notes. Oh.. what was it I thought of last night? hmm.. maybe John knows. I'll send him a text to see if he remembers.

While I'm texting I should see what Tyrone is doing. He's off maybe he'll want to go to lunch or the zoo.

I should go to a coffee shop and write. I can concentrate better and it will give my roommate some privacy.

I wonder how Reed is. I'll see if he's somewhere he can take a phone call.

Ok the coffee shop is great I should take a few moments to write down the idea I had on the way over. Nothing too intricate just a little note on my facebook.

Think I would write better with a cupcake? maybe sugar will give me energy. I'll just look it up real quick.

Ok.. back to the essay.

Didn't hear back from John or Tyrone.

I should get a burrito.

I should check and see what Reed is doing.

Ok have to check my sites to see if anyone is wanting a massage. I have to make some money after all. Might as well check out some chat rooms too.

Look at all the fatties ordering cupcakes. I should write something about that.

Ok facebook is up and I have a few postings.. better check. I have to keep up with people after all.

Oh right.. I just remembered about that idea about my childhood. I'll just write a few paragraphs of that.

Holy crap that homeless crazy bitch just walked in and knocked a chair over and walked back out! I have to tell everyone since I already have facebook up.

cupcake. No I might go to lunch with someone later.

Reed posted he got a tablet. I should look that up and see what he's talking about.

What is that woman looking for? Stupid bitch just walking around. Probably an electric outlet? I'm just going to ignore her.

Should I write about that conversation I just had with that woman? No.. well maybe later I have to work on this essay.

I'm sure hungry. Where is Ty? Maybe we could go to the zoo.

I've been working on this essay for three hours and haven't gotten past two paragraphs! What the hell? How does this happen? I should write about that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Who wrote his crap?

Who wrote this crap anyway?

I recently wrote a short note just to keep writing and to put down an idea I had. The idea was that I could also pull it up again later and maybe brush it off and fill it out more.

When I write I will sometimes scribble something down on paper or just type up some bullet points or an outline then come back and look at them with a fresh eye. As I'm writing I say in my head everything I'm writing so I will know what it will sound like if it's read out loud.

It doesn't work that way.

I read the few paragraphs to a friend. First reading of an unedited piece and thought to myself. Who wrote this crap? Repeated words. Repeated subjects of the sentence. It was like reading something translated from another language. Poorly.

It's a good lesson though. I need to literally read everything I write aloud. Maybe record it if I don't have an audience. The difference is a little frightening.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Burning Pigs and Hamsters

Hamsters and burning pigs

At the mall last week I saw a little boy that must have three or four years old. He was wearing glasses and talking nearly non stop to the adults dragging him along. I think it's safe to assume they were his parents since they had mastered complete indifference to whatever he was saying. He reminded me of myself at that age a little. The tiny little glasses. The font of information being wasted an otherwise numb family.

Yes, except for the fact he was blond this kid would grow up to be me one day. Unappreciated for the facts he's already collecting like other kids collect baseball cards. "Look at me" I wanted to say. "I am your future and I might at as well tell you right now that they don't care how smart you are".

He didn't hear me but he must have sensed me looking at him. He looked up and our eyes met and he said "A cat will eat baby hamsters if they are out. It's only natural" It seemed random. . But it wasn't. I knew what it was.

I picture at some point recently the little blond me had been lax in his hamster care and had left the top a little too loose and the babies escaped. He found them of course but not before the cat did. The cat, not used actually killing and eating prey didn't know what to do after the catching part. The mangled hamster corpses were found the next day. Maybe they had even been presented as a gift to the family.

Distraught over and maybe a little curious about his little dead pet he presented it to his mother. She explained to him the circle of life ending with a phrase she hoped would give him peace and ease his guilt a little. "A cat will eat baby hamsters if they are out. It's only natural" she explained. When he thought more about the dead rodents he would repeat this to himself so the healing could begin.

Not having the time to tell me the entire story but sensing I may be interested and that he only had a few seconds at most he chose the last line to blurt out. It was in fact the perfect line to say to convey the entire story, teach his audience, me, a little something and possibly make my life better. It was beautiful in its simplicity. I gave him a thoughtful nod and he continued being dragged in the opposite direction but now he had a proud look on his face.

As I walked on through the mall a thought occurred to me and I had the urge to find the kid and warn him as his future self. "It's not always cute saying out loud what's going on in your head!" I wanted to tell him. Saying a line from an inner musing when you're four years old is cute but saying a line from your inner musing when you're forty can come across as creepy.

For example. A friend had just told me that growing up he had seen an old tv show called In Search Of hosted by Leonard Nimoy. The show would pick a topic that was a myth or something supernatural like witches, the loch ness monster or Aliens and then add creepy music and go "In Search Of" evidence. I used to watch the show all the time and remember being scared to death by a story on bigfoot described to me by Spock.

If I had a fear from tv or movies it was always something that could get me and harm me. Like spiders or monsters. My friend however was haunted by the show about Spontaneous Human Combustion.

"What?" I asked "that's just crazy. When have you ever heard of anyone just bursting into flames?"

"It can happen, Steven and there's nothing you can do about it. It just happens. That's why it's called spontaneous. Your family or neighbors come home and all they see is a burnt chair and your feet and hands on the floor" It was obvious he was still a little scared of it.

As it turns out Spontaneous Human Combustion is something I know a little bit about. Unfortunately something came up and I didn't get to tell him that it wasn't really spontaneous after all and since he didn't smoke it was easier to avoid bursting into flames than it was to avoid killer bees or African zombies. Two other In Search Of shows that had scared the crap out of me.
I read an article or heard an article or watched a show that explained that the people thought to have spontaneously combusted had actually caught themselves on fire, probably accidently, and had slowly burned down to nothing but feet.

Though humans tend to think themselves mostly inflammable one scientist, I'll call him Bill discovered that since most of the subjects were smokers and many had drinking problems. This helped support the idea that they accidently caught themselves on fire. Bill found out that if our bodies catch on fire even a little the melting fat will wick up through the fibers of our clothes making us burn like tallow candles. The alcohol makes us burn faster or helps us to light up in the first place.

For most people that's the interesting part. For me the interesting part was finding out that Bill used pigs to confirm this experiment. I guess they have the same basic body make up as people do. Picture it though. Bill stopped by a farm and picked up a pig on the way to the laboratory. To properly recreate the scenario there had to be alcohol so he got it drunk. There had to be fibers for the wick effect so it had to have clothes. Since a pig can't wear pants I'm sure he used a nice sun dress. Probably something from JC Penney with a floral print. Then he flipped a cigarette at it and tried to catch it on fire.

Add some blue eye shadow and chipped nail polish and it's what we used to refer to in Missouri as the third date.

This is what was going through my head when the little blond boy said "A cat will eat baby hamsters if they are out. It's only natural". Luckily I've developed a filter so I don't look creepy otherwise my response would have been "A drunk pig in a dress will burn if you get it drunk".