Wednesday, September 7, 2016

9: What is Creativity?

A longer episode with podcast updates, writing updates, a sample read of Chlorophyllium 9, and talking about creativity.

What is Creativity?

 Welcome to's Creative Writing Podcast. 

Today's podcast episode is about Creativity.

Taking a closer look at what creativity is and what it means to be creative.

Not subscribed to the podcast? Get it now!

My Week

Labor Day weekend was great! I'm usually off on Friday's, but this year I've made a real effort to make it to the kids' homeschool co-op sessions. Sure, it eats into time I could spend in an empty house, writing, but I feel like I've been missing out on this experience with them.

I guess that's one thing about having your oldest getting ever-closer to 18 and then having a very young one join the party. I just don't want to miss out on the important stuff. I swear, you blink and so much of life has passed you by.

I know my dream is to become a full-time writer, but this is just something I have to do. I'm starting to get some rhythm to it and I have even gotten some words in during the classes. I'm mostly an observer at this point, I help when needed, which isn't much in my wife's class on world geography. But when we rotate over to the nursery, I tend to help a little more actively.

To celebrate Labor Day, I cooked up some mean steaks on the grill and we tried to watch Tomorrowland. Unfortunately, the disc we got from Red Box was scratched and it was skipping huge sections of the movie, so we bagged that idea and watched some Doctor Who, Season 1 instead.

I won't lie to you, I also wasted a pretty large chunk of time playing the new expansion that just released for World of Warcraft. I haven't paid for game time in over 5 months now and this was the perfect time to play the auction house as players were scrambling to level up their crafts. Call me a nutter if you'd like, I love online economies and making money in online games. I know it's not real money, it's just so much fun!

Podcast News

What's new with the podcast? Milestones? Achievements?

I realized this week, while looking at some of the podcasts I listen to regularly, that my post names were way out of whack with how other folks have their episodes showing up in iTunes. I've gone back and changed the post names and I'll probably have to manually refresh the RSS feed or something, but I hope it changes the older episodes.

The change makes a lot of sense, now that I think about it. This is just another one of those instances where I look back and think, "Now why in the world did I think this way was somehow better? Sheesh, no brainer!"

I'm notoriously hard on myself and overthink silly things like this.

I haven't gotten a whole lot of listener feedback for the podcast lately.

Listener Shout-outs

My dad replied to my author newsletter this week. Here's some of what he had to say,

"Every podcast gets better and better. They are done in a professional manner yet you draw people in with your personal touch. Listening to them makes me want to know more about you. When you start your writing prompts I am almost disappointed because I realize that we are reaching the end of the podcast. Yet the prompts makes you think with a creative mind. You do an excellent job. I am very proud of you. Nothing in life seems to stop you. You just learn from it and move forward. I think that Coma is my second favorite right behind  “The Boy in the Window.” I know you are very busy but if you get time you really need to work on Coma I think it has great potential."

Thanks, Dad! I really appreciate that you take the time to listen to my podcast and read my stories. It means the world to me! I'm really excited about all the stuff I have going on. I won't lie, though. It can be pretty exhausting. This whole podcast journey has opened my eyes to how much I still don't know. But I'm learning and trying to do things better.

Writing Updates

Chlorophyllium 9 is pretty much done. I just need to put on a bit of polish here and there before I compile the document and give it a read through start to finish. I like to do this on my Kindle Paperwhite. I find the switch in media helps me find the errors and inconsistencies better than on my computer screen where I've spent large amounts of time writing and editing.

This change in venue helps me keep my mind fresh and I don't have to keep going back to reread portions when my brain gets lazy.

Next up is Final Hope! The first chapter we encounter after Chlorophyllium 9 ends throws us right back into the most gut-wrenching scene of the novella and we pick up on the details that were washed over before.

[Excerpt of Chlorophyllium 9 - Opening Scene.]

What is Creativity?

Definition: "the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work."

What makes you unique?

I'll write the show notes later. :)

Supporting idea.


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The Sign-Off

Ending summary and sign-off.

And now, for this week's writing prompts!

What you'll find below is a series of creative writing prompts to help get you through your week. There are no rules as to how you should use them, but I recommend taking your muse's hand; wherever she may lead you.

Whether you find yourself writing a descriptive scene or dialogue, a poem or prose, or anything else (even if it seems entirely unrelated to the prompt), you have won. Happy writing, and may you find success in hunting your muse this week. 

1. Broken Wing 

You are sitting at the dining room table, eating breakfast, when a loud bang startles you. No one else is home so you quickly check all the doors, but there is no sign of anyone to be found. You figure it might be some of the neighborhood kids up to their hijinks again. Then you see it. Outside the back sliding glass door lies a bird. It must have flown into the pane. It’s flapping around erratically and looks dazed. 
You carefully reach down and pick it up. In an immense measure of trust, the bird doesn’t struggle. It just looks at you. The left wing looks broken but, remembering a story from when you were a kid, you think you might be able to brace it and look after the bird while it heals. You take it inside and set to the task of wrapping the broken wing.

2. A Familiar Case 

You’re a medical examiner for a sleepy, country town. There isn’t even much in the way of violent crime in the entire county. Therefore, most of your examinations center around natural causes of death. Everything seems routine at your latest call-out: cold body, very little decay, no obvious sign of a struggle, and.. What’s that? 
There’s black underneath all the fingernails and… a strange black line is drawn down the middle of the victim’s tongue. 
While the detectives seem remiss to write it off, something in the back of your mind tells you this one little detail is very important. You express your concern to the lead investigator, but they tell you to give the body a full examination and write it up in your report. They clearly have better things to do than chase ghosts when it comes to simple, open-shut cases like this one. 
When you proceed with your investigation, you discover another clue on the body. This confirms your worst fears, an old unsolved case you researched and used as supporting evidence in your college thesis has come back to haunt you. If you’re right and the deaths follow previous patterns, you should be examining your next corpse in five days; with many more to follow.

3. Strange Sprouts

This was it, the year you finally got down to it and planted your garden. It was a lot of hard work clearing out the unkempt overgrowth of previous years’ failures, but you did it. You planted tomatoes and carrots, corn, and beans; even a few heirloom varieties, since that’s all the rage. 
You’ve spent countless hours in the garden pulling weeds, watering, and tending to all the little seedlings. Then one day a new batch of seedlings sprout next to the ones you planted. They don’t look like weeds, but they certainly have something sinister in mind. One by one, they consume your seedlings. 
When you try to pull them, they resist. You don’t know where these little devils came from but you have a bad feeling about this; still, watching them bear fruit could be interesting.

4. On Darker Tides

You’ve been invited to your best friend’s wedding on a cruise ship, it’s been so amazing, and you couldn’t be happier for her. The ceremony is beautiful and you watch the two newlyweds dance. They both look so happy.  
It’s the picture perfect wedding. After the festivities, you walk back to your cabin and take a refreshing shower before stepping out onto the veranda. The salty ocean air is refreshing and you watch as the last rays of sunlight are consumed by the fathomless depths. 
You must have dosed off because the next thing you recall is hearing a man’s voice shouting, begging someone to please stop. You can’t be sure, but it sounds like… the groom. Then a dark silhouette flutters downward and you hear the splash after what seems like an eternity. 
Rumors abound in the hours afterward while the ship authorities investigate the incident, but the preliminary report seems to indicate that it was just an accident. How can that be? You heard what you heard and something about your friend’s alibi troubles you.

5. The Dancing Nun

No one can explain it and the whole world is watching as all news channels feature a nun performing an elaborate dance around a fountain in a prominent town square. What first came across and a humorous oddity has transfixed viewers all across the world as the hours tick by.  
Bystanders elbow in to share the spotlight and reporters angle in to shout their questions above the cheers of the growing crowd, but the nun just keeps dancing her wordless dance. 
Is this some sort of demonic possession, a civil protest, an elaborate distraction, or just fun tomfoolery?

6. The Temptation

You’ve never considered yourself a thief, but lately you just can’t seem to resist the urge to pocket trinkets and gadgets. You’ve even found things in your pockets you don’t remember seeing before, like the key chain you’re sure someone is missing. 
As if to complicate matters, it seems that the objects you are somehow attracting have become stranger, more… arcane? 
Have you become an unwitting magnet for magic items and enchanted objects? And is that a… wand? Just as you think you’re about to lose your mind, you hear a strange knock at the door before the lock clicks open.

7. See You Latte

After several non-starters, you’ve finally found someone on the Internet dating sites who seems interesting enough to meet in person. After talking on the phone for over an hour, you decide to surprise them with an iced latte before you start your date. 
Then, while waiting in line, you’re accosted with the contents of an entire tray of coffee beverages. The unfortunate perpetrator is apologetic and scrambles to clean up their mess. As you bend down to help, you both lock eyes and any thoughts of your upcoming blind date melt away.

I hope you've enjoyed this week's episode and creative writing prompts.

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