Friday, January 14, 2011

My Perspective on Creativity

I started getting more interested in creative nonfiction after a writing group a couple of months ago. A group member shared a story about her life and it touched me. One of the other members started talking about a recent conference he'd attended and mentioned creative nonfiction. I'd always wondered what you'd call my writings about my boys and my life. Creative nonfiction.

Isn't that a great way to describe one's life? I'd never thought about it, but it makes sense. When I tell a story about my boys, my quirky sense of humor kicks in. The way I talk about the escapades is completely different than what I was thinking and feeling at the time. Okay, most of the time anyway. But I think you get my point. Each of us has a point of view. It's not right or wrong, it just IS. My writings are simply MY perspective on life.

I've been reading memoirs lately. It's so amazing how these people put themselves out there. I read one about a poet's struggle with alcoholism; a former football player who went out for a fishing trip with three friends and was the only one who survived when the boat capsized; a man who was sentenced to prison at a leper colony not too long ago (I had no idea such things still existed in the United States). All of these people, from different walks of life, told their stories. Is that courage, or what?

The creative soul is fragile. Each time you put your work out there, no matter what your niche is, it takes courage. You know someone won't understand your quirky sense of humor, or your cynical perspective, or (fill in the blank). But does it really matter if some people don't get you? Don't like you? Probably not. Does it still feel "wrong"? Maybe. Do you stop creating? No more than you can stop breathing. I tried. (to stop creating, not breathing) I was miserable. I'm happy when I create. I'm at peace with myself.

For the first time, I put my occupation as a writer on a form at the doctor's office. Now, that may not seem like a big deal to some people, but for those of you who've struggled with who or what you are, it is a HUGE deal. Go, me!

Until next time, blessings.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Who Says Dragons Don't Exist Anymore

The evening was as still as a hunter waiting for his prey. The wind wasn’t stirring. The animals were quiet. As I walked to the door, I sensed an evil presence. I took a deep, calming breath and pushed open the door. Immediately, I felt the penetrating gaze. I searched the room for the source. It was hiding in the shadows. I could smell the decay. I could feel the fire of its anger. I could taste the bitterness, like that of a quince picked from the tree in my backyard. My awareness heightened, as I slowly moved through the thick swamp. Dread slowing my steps even more, I turned and saw it. It was cleverly disguised, but I knew. It’s gaze briefly brushed over me as I continued to watch. It was waiting for the perfect moment to pounce.
I watched as it mesmerized the others with its words. It had them in a trance. I knew not to fall into that trap. I’d done that too many times in the past. Wisdom, it seems, does come with age and experience. I wondered what it hoped to accomplish. It certainly knew that most of those present were of little consequence. At least to it, they were. Then again, it enjoyed the torture process so much that it didn’t care who the victim was.
I walked towards it slowly, so as not to frighten it away or give it reason to attack. As I came closer, it set its sights on me. Cold eyes, burning like frostbite. A flash of fangs before it reigned in its anger. Knowing I’d done nothing to rouse the beast, I stopped in front of it. I spoke to it.
“Are you avoiding me?” I asked.
“I’m trying,” it said.
As it walked away, I pondered this creature. Who says dragons don’t exist any more?