Refilling The Creative Well

My creative well is feeling a bit shallow these days. I blame the dreaded January malaise. My work-in-progress is coming along. I’m about halfway done the first revision pass and the whole mess is sitting at about 87,000 words. But I’m at that point in my process where my imagination needs a little rejuvenating.

creative inspirationI love live theater! I don’t live in a huge city, we’re about 200,000 strong, but there are lots of arts and culture events to choose from if one is in the mood. Becky’s New Car is the latest offering by the Globe Theater. Done in the round, with minimal props, it’s all up to the actors. What a fabulous job they did. If you ever get a chance to see this play, I recommend it. So funny.

Becky’s feeling the effects of a humdrum, middle-aged life when she meets an beguiling millionaire. Stuck in middle management at her job, married forever, twenty-something son still living at home, trying to be everything for everybody, she inadvertently gives the wrong impression and finds herself at a fork in the road. With plenty of laughs along the way, it was the perfect way to fill my creative well.

“When a woman wants a new car, she really wants a new life.”

Becky's New Car

 

What’s you’re favorite way to rejuvenate your imagination?

 

January 26th was Human Library Day

Check out a human book.

Oh my gosh, who could resist? Not me. Thank you Twitter for the heads up.

This past Saturday was my city’s first ever attempt at Human Library Day. It was hosted by the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and libraries across the country.

HL DAY Canada logo thumb

Real people. Real Conversations.

I love conversating. In person. With flesh and blood people. Who talk back. Where you can gauge how they’re feeling without needing emoticons. All you had to do was register, either online or in person the day of the event. Friendly volunteers in red t-shirts were there to greet you and help you out. The ‘human books’ were spread throughout the various floors of our downtown library, in nooks and crannies or small private rooms, perfect spots for some quiet and informative conversation.

Perfect for writers, information junkies, or anyone with questions to ask the interesting and varied group of people kind enough to share their lives and career choices with the list of books who had volunteered to sit and chat. Among them a Forensic Firearms and Toolmark Examiner, a STARS pilot, a STARS flight nurse, and a grassroots organizer. I saw the list of ‘books’ and was swamped with a flood of story ideas. It was like Christmas morning.

With stories of a terminal cancer diagnosis, the loss of a dream because of a violent domestic attack, people were there to share their stories, change perceptions, and tackle stereotypes. They were there to make a difference in their community. To share their experiences.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” ┬áspoken as Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

I ‘checked out’ a divorce lawyer. (Let me assure everyone it was for research purposes only.) The hero in one of my work-in-progress is a Family Law Attorney. I had questions. Needed to know I was on the right path with his views and ideals. We also talked about what her day is like, how much time she spends in court, and the misconceptions she faces. We talked about the importance of mediation and collaborative law when dealing with “good people at their worst”. As opposed to being a criminal lawyer who deals with “bad people at their best”.

All that in fifteen minutes.

So, if you had the opportunity to ask anyone a few questions which ‘human book’ would you check out? I think I’d like to talk to a member of the Hell’s Angels. Can you even imagine? I’m never gonna be able to shut my brain off now.