Imagination, the Monster

The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination. – Richard Wright

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by your own imagination? All the stuff locked up, and ever expanding, inside your own head?

I feel that everything we see, smell, hear, taste and touch becomes a part of us. It never leaves, even if we can’t bring it to mind when we try to think of it. All of it is still there. Our imagination takes it all and mingles it in new ways, finding new ideas from the database we give it.

This is why I don’t like violence shown in the media. It becomes part of our culture, part of our surroundings and part of our imagination. Whether you believe it, or not. Nothing that goes into your mind is ever really lost. Like karma, it will come back to you in ways you can not imagine.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow…

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow.” – Orison Marden

A better tomorrow. So much of our culture is based on a better tomorrow, having hope and a future to look forward to. It’s eerie that our tomorrow could be just tomorrow and no days after it. We look to the future for good things, hoping things will be better and yet we live every moment with the fact that all our tomorrows may never come.

What do you want for tomorrow, your day tomorrow, the morning after tonight? What do you want for tomorrows far into the future, for future generations even? Are the two tomorrows very different?


What the ear does not hear cannot move the heart. — Cape Breton saying

March 25th I am attending a local Storytelling workshop. I’m looking forward to it and I really like Joanne, the woman who does the workshop. Today I looked up storytelling to find out a bit more and see what we might be doing in the workshop, just curious. There are a vast amount of resources for storytelling online.

From Wikipedia: Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images, and sounds often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture and in every land as a means of entertainment, education, preservation of culture and in order to instill moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot and characters, as well as the narrative point of view.

Storytellers of Canada

Storytelling Toronto

Vancouver Storytelling

Ottawa Storytellers

National Storytelling Network (USA)

International Storytelling Center

Society for Storytelling (UK)

Australian Storytelling

Professional Storyteller Network

World Storytelling Day is March 20th. Great timing for my workshop.

Digital Storytelling and Digistories

High Brow and Low Brow

Have you heard the terms “high brow” and “low brow” before?

High brow being something elitist and cultured and low brow (a negative term for popular culture)  being something very casual and possibly tacky.

Make a list of things you like yourself or things (events, hobbies, etc) which a character likes. Choose which are high brow and which are low brow. A character with a lot of high brow activities isn’t likely to have a low brow personality. Also, making a list like this gives your character a chance to evolve and be more than words on a page. Introduce some new pop culture or unique event to your readers. Make your story memorable by showing them a whole new world.

Elevators and Escalators

When I commuted to work, back and forth on the buses, trains and subways in Toronto, I remember how annoyed I would feel about people who behave like farm animals, sheep and cattle, following a herd mentality.

You’ve seen it. Everyone gets off the bus and goes into the train station. At the first door they all stop and each one goes through the same door, following the leader. Why don’t they open the other doors? There can be a whole row of a dozen doors yet they all wait in turn to go through just that one door opened by the leader. I used to walk around the flock and open my own new door. Then I would become the leader and they flowed behind me. It was funny to watch every commuting day.

We like to write about characters, people who open that new door or do something less predictable. Main characters are usually in the middle of some kind of change, someone who isn’t following the herd. How can you use an ordinary thing from our urban culture to show how a person has looked up from their feet and begun to look around at the world around them, opening new doors? Think of elevators and escalators if you’re stuck for an idea, urban transportation at it’s best.

Greetings and Salutations

You’ve been given the job of diplomat from Earth to the aliens discovered on another planet. Your first job is to write the official and formal greeting from Earth to the Merrians. It’s tricky because you don’t know much about their culture, superstitions and such. But, hopefully they will be understanding of any political incorrectness.

Passionate About…

“The creative process is not computer software that provides all the answers at the click of a mouse. Rather, the process is a mysterious beast who comes to sit by your side and befriend you only after you’ve stroked and fed it every day for a long, long time. This beast demands your care and nuturing, it wants to build up your trust, and it craves your love, because in truth, that beast is you. More people don’t create than do because they cannot give themselves that critical extra bit of love.” – Suzanne Falter-Barnes

At the end of this chapter was a writing exercise: write down (for three minutes) everything you are passionate about. Here are mine.

-ideas -philosophy – marketing/ promotion
-old things -buildings – gadgets
-pirates -dragons
-sewing – creating – stitching -embroidery -quilting
-the rain – water -ocean, lake
-fire -wood -stone, rock, pebbles
-growing things -garden
-places -history -culture
-women as a culture -traditions
-nature -outdoors
-ice cream
-travel -backpacking -road trips
-Internet -web building
-optimism -cheery – positive
-singing/ dancing alone
-drawing -art – graphics -ASCII art
-nights and mornings
-mysteries -unknown -Wicca -possibilities -science fiction
-Victoria Holt and Shirley Jackson style writing/ books