Saturday 11 May 2013

Creativity In The Forest.

Creating, imagining, daydreaming, and writing in the forest is one of my favorite summer
pastimes. I imagine all sorts of
Illustration by Samantha Kickingbird
fantasy creatures and then, just as I nearly catch a glimpse of them, they run and hide behind the trees, giggling at me and my human eyes that can't quite focus on them.

The forest is my inspiration for my writing about the fantasy characters that are featured in my fantasy/adventure children's books series (book two coming soon).

As I imagine and daydream, the trees turn into faces and then materialize as full bodies. They start to laugh and dance and turn into  fantasy characters doing all sorts of things (of course this is just the wind shape-shifting my perception, but we're in creative mode, right?)

This creative process was how Snarls, the dragon, and Petra, the princess knight, were created several years ago--they are the characters in The Pen Peiyu Adventures. And still, years later when I  look at the same tree formations I first saw them in, they are still etched into the bark of their tree homes.

Through the years, and with lots of practice at creative imagining,
I've trained my human eyes to be more preceptive to the
forest and the fantasy characters that live within it. I see gnomes,
fairies, witches, princesses, giants, and of course, a dragon.
Can you spot the dragon guarding my horses?

Creativity is a training process. The same process occurs when we stare into the clouds and make pictures.

I'm often asked at author visits how I get into creative mode. Well, creating characters within the barks and leaves of the trees is definitely a creative process for me. But what of those who don't have a forest?

I have suggestions.

-  Listen to music, especially classical music, to get your right brain stimulated--scientists have proven this.

-  Write and doodles with the opposite hand you usually write or doodle with.

-  Do an art project. I am an artist, so I paint while listening to music. This really stirs up my creative juices    and I can write wonderful things after a session of art.

- Meditate or deep breathing with your eyes closed for at least 20 minutes.

- Dress in a costume relevant to what you are writing about.

- Dance nude under the moonlight. Okay, this one I don't suggest if you live in a town or city. (Okay, I've never done this, but my writer friend swears by it).

This is me in my creative forest.

Creativity is a learning process, and for some of these processes it may be best to practice when you are alone so as not to be judged too harshly by those who do not know how creativity works. Find your creative muse by tying different things--creativity will come to you.

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  1. Nice horses. Where do you live? Paradise? Yes, I can see the dragon, in the back, far left. Who could ever miss that thing? Snarls is made from a tree? One would think he'd be more careful of his snout of fire, having been born of a tree.

    I think you better create a gnome fire department to keep that Snarls in check. We can still smell the fire bringing our homes down.

  2. I live up route 881, turn by the Spruce-tree Giants, past the Oblong Rocks, then onto the Forest of Magic. You will know the Forest of Magic when you hear the trees clapping in anticipation of your arrival.

    Yes, Snarls was born from a tree. Aren't all characters?

    I do have gnome fire-fighters--they are on strike for not being including in book one or two. I'm trying to get them a deal for book three.

  3. Canada is a much different place than when I last visited. Sounds like a terrific place for creative-types but for the average Joe - - does Canada have average Joes? Maybe those are the gnomes??

  4. I haven't seen nor heard about an average Joe for a long time. I really can't say if there are any average Joes here. Is that a hotdog?

    We do have average Johns though, or is that a bathroom?

    The gnomes are definitely not average Joes. Gnomes never have names like Joe. They have names like: Tremadolar Hexlan or Simorano Natemale. And gnomes are far from average.

    But we do have lots of gnomes in Canada.

  5. What about Fred?

    I met a Fred gnome once in a virtual meeting. He said he lives in Alberta. I asked if that was Canada, but he had no idea. Fred has a job on a farm, but he called it a growing land. He is in charge of the beasts. I think he meant beets. Fred is kind of difficult to understand, especially in a virtual world setting.

    Fred must get up early each day, rain or snow, cool or cold, and "pull the hairs out." I'm pretty sure he meant scare the hares / rabbits away from the beets. I suggested a scarecrow might make his life easier, but he said the beasts are afraid of scarecrows. I'm not sure what he meant by that one. I don't think beets would care one way or another. I do not think beets have feelings. But Fred is adamant that his beasts scare easily while growing.

    Fred is a strange fellow, even for a gnome. I really think he lives by you. Cool or cold, rain or snow sounds alot like Canada. If you see him tell him Sue said "Hi!". Fred is your average gnome - he did clearly say this. So you do have average Joes. (Joes is just a catch-all phrase.)

  6. Yes, I know what Joes are. I was just pulling your leg.

    About Fred:I know him and he does work on a farm that grows beasts and he is in charge of pulling beast's hair--that's called grooming the beasts. And a lot of gnomes have that job in Canada.

    I will pass along a hello from you.

    "Hey, Fred. Sue says Hi!"

    Fred nodded a 'hello', he's kind of in the middle of a hair-tangle problem right now.