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This is what I think about inspiration: that it happens all the time. We have these tiny spark moments where we think, “What if…” or “I wonder what that would be like?” Sometimes I see new books on the table at Barnes & Noble and think, “How weird. Here’s an author who must wonder the same things I do.”
Now there’s a scary thought.
So inspiration is happening all the time. But what I think people are really asking when they ask about inspiration is how you fan those sparks into something that can become a story. Read the rest of this entry »
I am pleased and very excited to introduce a new guest this week. Tosca Lee is the award-winning author of two novels (with two more soon to come). Havah is the story of Eve from a first-person point of view. Demon: A Memoir is a tale about a man who is stalked by a demon whose goal is to solicit the authorship of his own story – a tale that begins before the creation of the world. Forbidden, a collaborative series with Ted Dekker, comes out in September of this year. Rumors are that this story will eclipse Dekker’s wildly popular Circle series. Iscariot, Tosca’s third stand-alone work, will be available in 2012.
While Tosca’s prose is poetic and often ethereal, she is as down to earth as they come. She’s the originator of the “Writer Cam” on her Facebook page where you can see her at work via photos of the unglamorous side of writing (the mundane and grueling) as well as her humor and triumph along the way. (Loving this concept, I’ve adopted it with my own album of writer-at-work photos you might have seen on my Facebook page.)
Tosca keeps a blog on her website where she explores ideas about writing, spirituality and where the two converge. Watching her at the daily grind through Twitter and Facebook, Tosca has been an inspiration to me in my own writing. Be sure to come back on Thursday for a glimpse into her life and to gain some insight from a successful fellow Creative.
I know what you’re thinking, “That real life soap opera show where they leave a handful of schmucks to fight for a million bucks and give them nothing to eat except stale rice, bugs and cows’ brains?” No, I mean the ingenious social experiment that gives daring contesters the chance to find out what they’re made of by isolating them and stripping them of all but the barest of necessities. (Okay, so maybe they are the same show.)
Survive or Die
Some concepts inspire me by their very nature. One I keep coming back to again and again, packaged in different wrappers, is the idea of a survivor story. Remember Cast Away where Tom Hanks had to endure four years on a deserted island with only a few (strategically written) random items in Fed Ex boxes? Or Life of Pi – the story about the boy adrift for weeks (or months?) on a lifeboat with limited survival gear and a ferocious tiger aboard his vessel? There are even similarities in the true story of Aron Ralston, the climber who got trapped under a boulder in a tight canyon and was forced to amputate his own arm with a pocket knife.
I like stories that make me dig deep inside myself and search for the extent of my own capabilities. How would I survive if I had to capture my own food? What could I do with a pair of ice skates and a broken piece of a porta-potty? Could I sever my own arm if I had to? The last one may be a little extreme, but these kind of stories make my mind reel in excitement because they force me to explore the depths of my own creativity (aka ability to solve extreme problems by unconventional means).
How Creative Am I?
We’ve built this cushy life with all of our creature comforts and techno gadgets that we’d never ever dream of giving up, but somehow… Sometimes there’s still that desire for raw human challenges that creep into our fantasies and end up in our books and movies and news stories. The ironic thing is that for me, if I peel back all those layers, it seems to all come back to creativity. When pushed, when forced by necessity, how creative could I be?
Trekking the Dessert
The act of creation takes a lot of energy. Whether it’s a story, a song, a painting or some other project, creating anything requires a great deal of effort (not to mention blood, sweat and tears). All that can be dehydrating for an artist. But so many of us have that undying passion, that zeal for creation, that we don’t want to take a breather in between projects. Instead, we trek onward, malnourished, onto the next project (aka desert expanse) without a moment of rest at the lush oasis in between. Read the rest of this entry »
Greetings, Becca’s readers! Thanks for letting me share creativity with you today. And many thanks to Becca for inviting me here! Her blog is a source of weekly inspiration and thought-provoking challenge, so I feel honored that she’s asked me to share some inspiration in return.
A Creative Journey and a First Step
As some of you might already know, I grew up in Germany and attended German schools. My last two years of “high school,” I was part of an art program that required 3 hours and 45 minutes of classroom work (5 class periods) per week. It was intensive, challenging, and explosively inspiring.
Explosively? Well, in the sense that, within a few weeks after the first class met, my brain was exploding with new, creative ideas. I hope you read Becca’s recent post about left and right brains; let’s just say that these art classes pumped a gazillion watts of energy into my right brain!
A few weeks into our third semester, our teacher, Herr Ripp, took us on a day-trip to Köln (Cologne), about two hours by train from our city of Darmstadt. We got to do some sight-seeing, which was fantastic — but the main reason for our trip was to visit an art exhibit on Swiss-German painter Paul Klee. The exhibit featured several of his works but focused on his famous Hauptweg und Nebenwege (Main Path and Side Paths). This was the painting Herr Ripp really wanted us to see. Read the rest of this entry »
This week I am pleased to welcome a dear fellow Creative to share some of her own inspiration. Courtney, the Vice President and Head of the Writing School within the Consortium, has a passion for creating. She has been writing since second grade and completed her first novel at age fifteen. In 1999, she graduated from Oklahoma Christian with a BA in English/Writing. To date, she has written eight novels, one of which will be published this spring. Plan to pick up a copy of Colors of Deception, available at Amazon.com April 2011.
Courtney’s talents transcend writing. An artist from birth, she’s been painting even longer than she’s been writing – as far back as she can remember. In college she discovered her medium of choice: oils.
On Thursday, Courtney will share how one artist’s work transformed her own method of painting, inspiring her when she least expected it. Come back to find out who that artist was – and to catch a glimpse of some of Courtney’s awesome work.
Until then, check out her blog at www.courtcan.com to whet your appetite.