Posts Tagged ‘creativity’ Archive

E is for Easter Eggs!

One of my family’s traditions is to make pysanka or Ukrainian Easter Eggs. Pysanka are made using wax and dyes to make beautiful designs.

 

I made mine this past weekend and took pictures along the way. It’s a fun and easy project, though it takes a bit to get used to ‘drawing’ on the egg with wax. I’ve loved making these since I was a kid. For those of you with youngsters around, I highly suggest picking up this tradition as it has always made Easter extra special for me.

First, you need certain materials. I got a small pack off Amazon for $10. It had one kistka (wooden tool used to ‘write’ with), one chunk of beeswax, six dyes and a set of patterns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wherever you ‘write’ with the beeswax on the egg is where the color will stay. After you are finished ‘writing,’ place the egg in whatever dye color you’d like (keeping in mind that you must start with the lighter colors). Wait a few minutes and Ta-da! Your egg is died!

Keep going with the process. Writing where you want the dye to stay and dying the rest of the egg.

Finished product! The only thing left to do is take off the wax.

Actually, finished product! I’m really awful at taking the wax off and usually peel it off with my fingernails (bad, bad). If you do these, I suggest looking up online how to really take off the wax.

Story Chain

For the Gearin’ Up to Get an Agent blogfest, week two is all about creation and the story chain.  If you’d like to read the post before mine, check out Deana‘s blog.

Tony plopped a bag down in front of Dio and she fell to her knees, digging through it, unable to wrap her mind around her parents death and…Europe? Suddenly, she hated Europe too.

Dio chucked out an old bottle of shampoo out of the bag and her old stuffed weasel from when she was little. Surely, she wouldn’t need those.

“Come on, Dio. We need to leave.” Sandy waved and Dio reluctantly dragged her bag toward the taxi. Dio sat down and began to cry when her fingers touched dried boogers on the seat.

Life is so unfair.

To follow the story, go to Frost Lord’s blog.

What’s in a Name?

Usually, I don’t spend too much time on character’s names.  This is usually how it goes:

Me: Cale, I need a girl’s name!
Cale: Kayln.
Me: Sweet, I like that one.

Or:

Me: Porsha, Helena, Mirial, Natalie, Victoria, Sophie, Jeannette, Shell.  Hmm, yeah, Shell sounds good.

Anyway, this is my current problem.  I really don’t like one of my MC’s names.  I’ve never liked it, but it’s been his name since 7th grade when he came into existence.  Do I take the time to figure out a different name or leave it as is?

How do you guys come up with your character’s names?

Near Death Experience

Have you ever almost died?  Or thought you were about to?

Cale tells me my car accident was pretty bad.  I’m not convinced, but then again, I don’t remember much of those days.

I’m not talking about that kind of experience, the experience that leaves you scarred, but the one you jump up from exhilarated, with adrenaline rushing through your veins.

Like the one Cale had this weekend.  He (motivated by his crazy friend) decided it’d be a great idea to go kayaking during a lull in a storm.  Bad idea, especially when it started hailing golf balls and a tornado formed in front of them…

And I’m referring to the one I had last night.

I flew back from  Mississippi yesterday after being home in Minnesota for Easter.  My flights took me from Minneapolis to Atlanta, and then to Memphis where Cale would pick me up.  Unfortunately, we had to take a quick pit stop in between Atlanta and Memphis in Huntsville, AL.  We were rerouted because of bad weather because we didn’t have enough fuel to take us around the storm brewing around Memphis.  Back into the air we went, and I decided to take a nap.

With forty minutes left in the flight, I was jolted awake by sickening turbulence and the sound of a woman crying somewhere behind me.  The window to my right revealed lightning and billowing clouds.  For the rest of the rocky flight my hands were clasped tightly together and I resorted to…writing.  In my mind, I watched scene’s unfold of other passengers lives…

I wrote what had happened to the woman with dreads earlier in the day and why she was going to Memphis.  I jotted down notes about the woman next to me who kept turning her light out for thirty seconds, only to turn it on again to read for a few minutes, and then repeat the process.

Mental notes were jammed into folders in my head about the Asian girl who kept invading the space of the boy in front of me who wouldn’t stop farting.

Ten times over, I rewrote this blog post, as if it were a prayer or mantra.

My eyeballs were literally glued to the window and was shocked when the overhead lights popped on for an instant.  When they turned back off, I returned to the window, relieved I could see the flickering lightning below us.  With the lights off, creativity flowed and an entire novel burst into existence.

Will I ever write it?  Heck no!  The idea of writing a story about people’s lives before they crash in a plane is way to terrifying for me to journey there for months on end until it would be finished.

I may not write that story, but it was still amazing to experience the joy of pure creativity, even if it was inspired by the thought of something dreadful happening.

Finally, at two in the morning, I landed safely in Memphis, completely thrilled at being alive.

What did I learn?  Writing is survival.  My brain resorts to stories in times of stress and it unburdens me.

What does your brain automatically do when you are under stress?

My suggestion: turn off the lights, look out the window at the coming storm, and give your mind the freedom to do what it does best.

Creativity

I don’t often wonder where ideas come from. Creativity strikes, a world is born, and I do my best to keep up and write it down. I have been asked recently where my ideas come from and I have read some posts on creativity, so I’ve decided to write one of my own.

Where exactly though does creativity come from? Is it something inside us or is it motivated by outside forces?

When I was in middle school we had classes in separate parts of the building. I remember walking in between classes day dreaming to myself. I’d have to shake my head and remind myself of where I actually was. For me, I believe my writing and creativity is some sort of mutation of reality. There are bits of truth in everything I write, or at least things I hope to be true.

I’ve learned over the past couple years that creativity is not confined to one aspect of life, such as music, painting, or writing. It also resides in sports- someplace I never would have thought to find it. The greatest sports players are creative geniuses, able to think around a situation in an instant. Creativity comes in different forms and is used in many different ways. Perhaps all of us, even those of us who think we aren’t creative, actually are.

Over all, I believe creativity is something sparked by the outside world, a part of us grabs onto that spark and something great comes to life.