Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Creativity....Part 2.

So I think I'm going to do a few posts on creativity...  Other people's creativity that is.  This is technically the second part to the series since my last post and the flying cereal should have been labeled the first. I think the focus will be how creativity can be manifested in even everyday life.  I think it's about time people start thinking beyond the regimented rule of allowing themselves whimsy only when they're young.  Too often we get out of school, and the impetus for experimentation is gone.  The mentality becomes: We don't try anything in art/music/writing/any sport because we're (a/an) _______, and that's the only thing that can define us now.  The routine is set, and this is the way it will be from now on.

I think comfort can be nice, but choas will keep us alive.  Anyway, here is some definite outside-the-box thinking that is totally creative!

Check out the blog for more cute pics of this baby here

Friday, July 23, 2010

A fun video!

So, I think that being creative in writing means to use sources for inspiration everywhere.  I love to explore many venues of creativity......and I especially dig the interface of graphic design with poetry.  I love how many people now tend to create pieces of art by combining image and word, and I definitely think it is a trend which is picking up more traction (and has been for the past ten years).

So, with the thought of exploring creativity in other genres... I thought I would present the following video for your enjoyment.  I dig it a lot since I have wondered many times what it would be like to pick up a table full of food and let it drop.... I guess kind of that self-destructive manifestations we have when younger...

When you watch it, I thought it was cool to take a look at the photos on the right-hand side of the screen that shows the setting up of the shoot.


The Huber Experiments - Vol. 1 from The Upthink Lab on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Forray into Flash Fiction

So, maybe the following is not exactly a forray in the sense of pillaging flash fiction.  It's really more like taking a dip into the genre.  But, I thought I'd post up a bit of long flash fiction I wrote based off a poem of mine.  I don't know what made me want to do it, but sometimes you get ideas in your head that you can't shake, or is it just me?  Anyway, this is not really refined at all, and I know there are a few areas that can be tightened up, words changes, phrases rearragned.  I realize flash fiction is usually shorter, but I have to say I relatively happy with the first effort.  I wanted to take the name 'flash fiction' quite literally, hence the breaks in the story.  Oh, a bit of warning...it contains bad words in it and sexual content, but it's not smut or anything nasty like that....so no worries.

Well, hope you enjoy....if anyone is reading that is ;)  It's called Sara and the Price of it All:

        He went flying by her in a squat, white convertible, its top and windows down. The last rays of the sun to shone off the top of his bald pate. His arm, poised upon the door, revealing a brown, tailored suit that showed just the perfect amount of his white cuff. As he passed, barely giving her a sideways glance, a smirk was smeared on as if he were grimacing from some unknown pain. He swerved in front of her, just missing the tail end of the car in front of him and forcing her to slam on her brakes. Now in front of her, he tapped on the brakes twice to make some kind of signal.
        She saw his head tilt back a bit, presumably from a chortle. Then just as quickly as it happened, he zoomed away from her. She took a deep breath, and held down the scream that wanted to creep out.

     The exclaim rang out even about the loud chatter from those in the party. Sara was startled. She zipped around to see who was calling out her name. It was Harvey Kline, a gentle and fun guy Sara was always pleased to see at parties. He was a short man, as seemed to be a lot of the men in Los Angeles. His brown hair hung loose in large curls much like a dirty mop. His face was bright and round, as usual, and he came over to her with a large smile pasted across it. He carried two drinks in his hands making a locomotion action with them as he approached accompanied by a chug chug sound from jutted lips.
     “My lady,” Harvey said, bowing as much as the crowed room permitted. His voice was a rich tenor full of Shakespearean propriety as he spoke. “Put down whatever thy drink is and have a quaff of this concoction.” Sara did as commanded and took a sip of his drink.
    “Wow, this is really good, what is it?”
    “Ah, well,” Harvey’s voice altered again, taking on the combination of a maniacal scientist and Peter Lorre. “It is… a concoction of which I cannot tell you. But, I made it myself.” He paused, then added, “Oh, and it’s filled with ruffies so that I can ravish your body later without anyone knowing the better!” He laughed mischievously and Sara could not help but join in.
    “Okay, if you weren’t such a softy,” she said, placing a hand on his shoulder, “I might believe you.”
    “It’s not working, huh?” Harvey deadpanned at her.
    “Sorry hun.”
    “Oh,” and he hung his head, shoulders severely stooped over. He looked the perfect picture of pity and she laughed. “Hey,” Harvey straightened up, now serious, “did you ever get the part? You know, the one you tried out for like last week it was. What was it, the ah…”
    “The waitress role for the John Rushing comedy,” Sara inserted. She shrugged. “Mum’s the word so far, but I guess Daniel Donahue’s got the final say,” she scrunched up her nose at the name.
    “Oh God, not him!”
    “But the guy’s such a creep!” Harvey looked around him to be sure no one was listening. “How does he even get in these positions?”
    “How do they all?”
    “Good point.”

    There he was, standing across the room. Sara was all by herself, wishing for anyone – but him – to come and talk to her. He had his eyes fixed on her like a predator watching it prey, readying for the pounce. She looked around, but saw no where to escape. She was caught, and he knew it. He made his way over, interjecting a comments to people along the way, yet relentless in his pursuit. Sara could see his brain working hard as he rehearsed mental moves to make her capitulate to him. In his mind, those moves would lead into more movement: the type that would send her to the place where all men want to send women. It was instinctive, the desire to get theirs, but then ask if it was good, seeking the affirmation of a job done well, and Sara wanted no part of it tonight.
    Just then, Harvey was near. She could see his fluffy head of curls, but could not make eye contact. She scooted over to try to initiate it, but it was not happening. Harvey was lost in conversation with a young couple who she did not recognize. They barely looked old enough to be in this party atmosphere, and, knowing where she was, Sara realized they probably were not. At the last moment, Sara got Harvey’s attention. His eyes perked up, and he broke into a big smile. He started to move towards her, but it was too late. Harvey saw why she had called him over, and mouthed a ‘Sorry’ to her.
    “Susan, how are you?”
    He had looked her up and down as he talked. Sara’s flesh crawled at the sight of it. As she shivered, an internal debate started. The subject was whether to correct him about calling her by the wrong name. It was very tempting to just let it slip. He ran into many people, especially young actors who are looking for their big break, so it seemed only natural. Then, she remembered who he was.
    “Hey Daniel. It’s actually Sara.”
    “I’m sorry?”
    “My name. My name is Sara, not Susan.”
    “Oh, right.” Daniel looked over his shoulder at the crowd behind him. He looked back at her again and smiled. Sara edged to the left. There was a glare coming from his bald head that unnerved her greatly. The way he seemed to look down on her, even though he was shorter than her by a full three inches, accentuated the glare. Daniel seem to stare down his angular nose when speaking, and it helped accentuate the vulture reputation he had in the business. His brown suit jacket was unbuttoned now, and she saw there was a large, wet stain down his dress shirt.
    “Someone got a little tipsy and crazy with their drink,” he said when he noticed her staring at it. He cracked a short burst of laughter, and she forced herself to laugh as well.
    “So,” Daniel said, drawing out the word, “your test scene was very good.”
    “Oh, thanks.” There was a brief pause between the two, and Sara followed with, “You really think so.”
    “Oh yeah, for sure. No doubt about it.” He gave her a look down, and without focusing on it, reached for the straw in his drink with his tongue. His tongue hung out, testing the air, seeking the thin plastic. All the while he stared at her body unapologetically. Daniel stared as if hypnotized. Finally, he continued, reluctantly looking up at her.
    “Yeah, we see thought that you have a lot of potential. It’s why I thought I’d talk to you tonight. I’d like to talk to you about potential.”

    Sara got up, slipping out from the sheets silently, hoping not to disturb him. She needed to get out of the place quickly. The stench of the room, the heat from his body still on her skin, all of it was too much. Above all else, the guilt of failing her resolve was creeping into her mindset. The price of it all was too much, and her dignity had a value Daniel could not ever understand. She just wished she had been able to have that clarity before tonight.
    She made it all the way out of the bed and began reaching for her clothes. She picked up a shoe but it slipped out of her hand. The smack against tile flooring was painfully loud. Stirring, then a moan came from the bed. Sara looked over her shoulder slowly. Daniel was moving now, and had turned in her direction. His beady eyes stared at her.
    “Where are you going?” His voice was flat.
    “I need to go. I have an appointment in the morning.” Sara continued to pick up her things.
    “Agh, come on,” his voice was full of phlegm, and he hacked twice, coughing up something that sounded substantial to Sara. She heard him swallow it. The repulsion was greater now, and she was afraid that she might just start running, regardless to her nakedness or the effect it might have on Daniel. “Come on, baby, let’s start up round two. What do you say? It’s only five in the morning.”
    “I’m sorry. I have to go.” Think of something. Any reason what-so-ever, but just think of something to say! “I have to drive home and get washed up. I’m really sorry.”
    “Oh, come on now, Susan. Don’t give me – ”
    “It’s Sara. If you’re going to fuck me, at least get it right.”
    Daniel sat up in his bed, and then stretched out his arms, arching his back and sliding down the bed again. He scratched stomach, moving farther down, pulling the sheet down with it until he was playing with himself.
    “Come on, babe. Don’t get so upset. See, I’m almost ready.”
    Sara shook her head. By this time, she had her dress back on and was slipping on her shoes. “I’m sorry. I really can’t now. I have to get back to my apartment in order to get ready.”
    “Fuck you.”
    “Excuse me?” Sara could not believe what she heard. She stood motionless, staring at him.
    “I said ‘fuck you,’ are you now deaf too in addition to being prude?” He remained slouching, playing with himself. “Come on. Get back in bed with me.” His tone was not in a plea, but a firm command.
    “And I said I have to go, maybe your old age have damaged your ears.”
    “You dumb cunt.”
    “No," She shook her head. "Dumb no longer. That’s something you can bet on.” She started walking out of the room.
    “You know,” Daniel got up, kneeling on his bed, “you’re going to be making a mistake. You remember what I said about you having potential. Poof,” he motioned with his hand a cloud of smoke escaping his mouth, “now it’s gone. Gone.”
    She slowly shook her head. “If it means that I won’t have to fuck another limp dick like you, then so be it.” With that, Sara walked out of the apartment, ignoring the stream of insults that followed her out. The tirade became muted as the door behind her closed and finally faded away.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Getting back into the game/ A good blog I read today

I know I am not a good blogger.  In fact, I'm sure that one would realize this fact by a quick scan of my entries.  They tend to be made up of excuses on why I have not been writing, and how I will change that habit.

I've come to accept that I am not an extremely dedicated blogger.  Yet, at the same time, I have felt compelled to write an entry today after reading a couple blogs I regularly peruse.  Both were on the topic of blogging and the entries refreshing as usual, but still did not spur the drive to make some scribbles, or, I should say, some tappings.  What did it was a blog I stumbled upon.  I am a big fan of the "Next Blog" button at the top of the page, and hate it when people disable it.  Scanning through a series of blogs is always exciting as it is like opening a series of gifts, or walking into a book store to pull off random books and see if they spark interest.

So, when I had clicked through a bunch, one finally struck my fancy, and I started to read through her entries.  The blog is Gitzen Girl, and I was fascinated with her style of writing.  It's very engaging, and very easy to get hooked into reading it.  Also, I am really digging people who choose to have a positive aspect of life, especially in times of difficulty.  I am a negative guy by nature, so reading the entries of positive minded people are breaths of fresh air.  I am skeptical sometimes on how one can always be a pool of such energy, but I know it's my negative feelings creeping in to try to discredit them.

Anyway, in her blog, she has been grappling with the very recent and unexpected death of her father.  Her father meant much to her, and I can completely empathize as I lost my mother in similar unexpectedness.  But the tragedy aside, I found the desire to write an entry today due to a past entry of hers.  In one post she talks about how we are all given talents and it is usually our negative natures that cancels potential acts of greatness before we even begin them.  We tend to mitigate our strengths by saying 'it will not be good enough,' or 'a waste of time,' or that 'no one will care for it'.  We are so exact with the criticism that we shut down any attempts at exploring our possibilities, and instead rely upon the here and now of our situations: our jobs, our friends, our routines, what-have-you.  That's not to say those three things and other aspects are not life-fulfilling.  They are, but at times we tend to find a niche in between these things, and barricade ourselves to other possibilities, ones that might open us to new levels of personal contentment.  I know I am guilty... and I would wager others are too.

In  the end of the entry, she talks about reading a fortune cookie that quelled the doubt and confusion in her.  It said, "You are competent, capable, and creative.  Prove it."  A simple declaration for sure, but it was enough of a push for her to find her mojo again and write the article she wanted. 

Reading her blog and the fortune made me realize that I (too) am competent, capable, and creative.  I can prove it as well.  So, I am very thankful to her for the inspiration to write this entry, but also to help spur my creative writing juices in general again.  I was heading into a lull there for awhile after hitting a bump in the progress of a story I have been writing.  I side tracked with three short-stories and a few poems, but the impetus of output was lost.  Refreshed now, I am going to tackle that story and a few others I have been cooking up.  I now I can finish them, and, regardless if someone reads them, I know I can do it to the best of my ability.  As Arthur Christopher Benson wrote in The Thread of Gold, "...the essence of the happiness is that the joy [of writing] resides in the doing of the work and not in giving it to the world."  That seems to contradict what I am doing right now, but I deeply believe in those words.  I love to write for the satisfaction it provides to me, regardless of how many people will read them.  Would I like for people to read them and enjoy it?  You betcha!  But I know that I will continue with my work even if no one does.

So remember, as Gtizen Girl's fortune cookie said: 

You are competent, capable, and creative.  Prove it.