By: Brandi Kay, Georgia Weekly Post
“How do I do it?” That is the easy question, “It is a God-given gift.Each of us are blessed with our own unique abilities.
I would have loved to have been blessed with the ability to sing. To be able to close my eyes, take a deep breath, and some beautiful, awe-inspiring sound emerge, unfortunately, what emerges has every dog in the neighborhood howling with me.
That does not mean, however, that I do not still enjoy doing it. I put on headphones, plug in my MP3 player, and go to town cleaning my house.
I cannot dance, either, but my Swifter Sweeper mop does not seem offended by my lack of grace. Just because you think you cannot do something, does not mean you should not enjoy doing it anyway.”
The second question is more complicated, “What happens if you can’t?” I always answer this question from a very personal perspective, what works for me. Every person has to find their own way of accessing their creative and emotional energies. Every innate talent, whether it is analytical, theoretical, or physical is based in the same core emotional center of every human being, the soul. This is what I do when I am staring at a blank computer screen for hours and cannot form a single sentence. “The first thing I do is close my laptop and get away from it. I take a break, take a nap, take my gorgeous mutt for a stroll, or go grocery shopping. The change in environment usually solves my problem. When that doesn’t work, I have a strange system that works for me.
I have a Tupperware bowl filled with story ideas written on slips of paper folded up. I shake it violently, pop the lid, and choose one. Now these are not normal story ideas, these would not even qualify as science fiction or fantasy. They are straight-up, no-holds-barred strange, weird, and bizarre. Dare I say, even stupid…”
“Some examples of ones I know are currently in that bowl:
Describe your life if:
You are a piece of .05 cent bubble gum, living in a box on the bottom shelf of a convenience store.
You are a single strand of hair on someone’s head.
You are a big fluffy cloud, in constant motion and perpetual change, looking down at the world below, but not necessarily THIS world.
You are a bug that some child has just picked up, and…
You are a dryer sheet left behind at a laundromat.
You are the forgotten roll of film in a camera, waiting to be developed.
You are an ant in the big, human city.
You are a germ, bacteria, or single-celled amoeba.
You are a single grain of sand.
You could be anything in the known universe, what would you be? And why?
You are a cobweb in the corner of your own bedroom.
There are probably twenty more like this in the bowl. Each time I remove one and look at it, I then have to replace it with a totally different question from the one I chose. Coming up with the story ideas is as challenging as writing the stories. I do not go back to my computer. My bedroom doubles as my office, so I will change the environment from the one I usually write in. I will go to the kitchen table (when it is not covered in gun cleaning supplies and the rack to hold the long guns as I clean them), or a quiet restaurant, or the library. I hand write these stories. Just me, a pad of paper, and a pencil. Neatness and penmanship matter. Every single mark is a labor of love. I start with a list of questions based on the story idea. One of the last ones I wrote was My Life as a Scented Candle.
The list of questions were simply to help me organize my instant ideas:
where am I located?
what am I in, the type of holder?
how do I feel?
is there a moral to this story? (because, in the end, sometimes there is no moral to the story, it is just a rant and rave of repressed emotions.)
I have found by altering my surroundings, the topics I usually concentrate on, and dividing my attention between creating a different reality and the physical mechanics of actually writing; my subconscious will solve whatever problem that was hindering me from being able to write in the first place. I do not outwardly express my innermost emotions very often.
I do not cry. I try extremely hard, (I stress extremely,) to control my temper and never let anger overpower my intellect or emotions. However, I can unleash the fury of pure hell, when pushed to my limits. I use my words to skewer my opponent with the truth, or to gently coax the truth from them, or to blatantly seduce them with the power of the truth.
At the heart of every thought, every emotion, is the truth. Sometimes we try so hard to avoid the truth, when in actuality, it is the most pure and easy thing to surrender ourselves to, and it is what we base our actions and reactions.
I pour everything I am, everything I want be, into the story I am writing. The first letter, the first word, the first sentence, making each mark as beautifully as I am able to, it distracts me enough to let go.
Sometimes it is nothing but self-pity, or feelings of rejection, fear, loneliness, or hurt. Sometimes it sensuality, sexuality, and the physical desire for intimacy.
Once I finish this project and carefully read what I have labored over writing, the truths I was hiding from myself and others is there in it's most pure form...black and white. Then, I am able to go back to my job of writing.”