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The Creative Process
The creative process. The elusive and mysterious, the elegant, yet hard to grasp. It confounds even the best of us. Still, its beauty can be harnessed by all. What really is at hand is patience, practice, and a willingness to be original, even in the face of commercialization and cloning.
Unlike the wheel, reinvention of the story, or the telling of it from another perspective or person is always welcome. This is because whatever story you are telling, can very possibly, be a favorite to many. Similar to the campfire ghost stories, or the old VHS tape you continued to rewind until it broke. Or maybe the DVD you handle so much, it is now scratched beyond repair. And of course the song you’ve played so many times your kids know every lyric and historical fact about it.
However you look at stories and whatever their value to you, most can agree that almost anyone can appreciate the spinning of a good yarn. So without anymore introduction, I’ll share some clues and hints into my creative process. How I work my craft and what means I use to find the ends I am searching for.
Be yourself. Put yourself into your creations. Use your experiences as a guide to what you are creating. I do not mean you have to create a factual account of your life. Although, that’s ok too, depending on the circumstance.
What I really mean is, don’t be afraid to tell your story your way. It is a difficult thing to judge yourself. However, you can trust in the fact that there are more people attracted to your style than you think.
This would seem to belong with the section titled Craftsmanship, but I’m going to give you a little Originality to go along with it.
Tools, no matter what trade you are involved in, should usually be viewed as extensions of yourself. Extra hands, legs, and maybe a processing unit like your brain, for tasks that would take too long, or be impossible to complete, by yourself.
You should know your tools, like you know yourself and the extensions of yourself, they are meant to accentuate. The originality part comes with the brands and types that you yourself prefer to use. An example of this is using a typewriter before a PC. Or maybe using pen and paper over electronic devices. Vice-versa, you could probably do a better job and be more productive creating on a workstation as opposed to a laptop. For some, working from a tablet or even a phone, is the best way to go. I myself tend to do a lot of brainstorming with pen and paper. Its just quicker and more efficient, and I am able to get the ideas out right away as I have them.
The point here is to change it up. Experiment. Find out what works best for you and your creative process.
That’s right. Use the skills you have picked up along the way. Like all creative persons from comic book artist to those who construct sky-scrapers, they all have to start somewhere. Usually this is a foundation, and if not a frame is surely a safe bet. Artist use stick men within their frames and then, fill in or flesh out the details. Some writers start with a synopsis or maybe an outline of the full story before they pen a single word. I’ve yet to see a building built on top of raw dirt, so you can pretty much bet on a foundation or at least some sort of slab being constructed and placed there first.
These are just a few of the basics. Just the things necessary to get started. A positive attitude and healthy work ethic are some of the other tools which all professionals strive to possess and sharpen. Just remember the old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. The building up of your skills and development of your talents is a lifelong process. Hopefully, it is one worthy of your commitment.
You may have noticed this already, but I am one who loves to blow the horn, and rally behind a great idea.
The Internet is one of those ideas.
The ability to spread and share knowledge is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, there are some bad aspects to the web. Most of them, people are already aware of, and most of this malformation is fairly and plainly obvious. Still, the reiteration of such properties in the form of warnings is also a pretty good idea. Since the Internet is mainly a one way communication device, for the most part (even though video conferencing is widely used), this one sidedness is also what coincidentally, gives it a unique convenience. Since we don’t always have the time to sit down (or stand) and have a complete and full conversation.
Instant Messaging, and Emails, help to relieve this stress. So, here are a few tips and some things to be aware of while building and networking on the web.
Like any task you hope to accomplish in the real world, it usually cannot be done without encountering some obstacles. The most common obstacle is directly related to one of the benefits I just mentioned. That was one of convenience.
Since you have the option to respond whenever you have the time to indulge, the person you are speaking to can partake in the same indulgence. This means you have to wait for a response and you could very well wait for an eternity if, you could live that long. There is no real way to alleviate that, other than to pick up the phone and call the person. However, if your only acquaintance with said person is online, then the best advice I can give you, is to not expect much more than a trade in services.
A favor for a favor, as such, unless you are dealing with a legitimate business online.
The urge to get personal is natural for most, even the malevolent and foul. The problem with this, is that no matter how much communication and information we share online, we can’t possibly know who we are speaking to until we physically meet them. Even when limited to audio conversation via telephone, there is still the slight yet ever present, aura of deception, and cannot be trusted 100%. A video call provides a little more proof, still, it’s not like knowing someone you met at the store, or at work, or at school.
The pitfall comes in mostly where money is concerned. It is the obvious trap and most likely the biggest pitfall of them all.
As far as your personal information. I suggest only sharing minute details which can be perceived as common amongst all people. The ability to connect is easier than it sounds. It doesn’t take your complete biography, or biology, for people to feel you and know what you are on.
Hints of Danger:
Ah yes, the sticky-icky part, which isn’t always squelched by rolling a phat one…
The truth of the matter is, even though the Internet for all intents and purposes is a mostly public domain, and just about everything and every activity can indeed be traced back. For the few brief moments we are online, it is also a mostly anonymous event. This is because we cannot see who we are talking to most of the time. Thus a lot of the time, we’re fumbling around and guessing when it comes to relaying to a person, what they may want to hear, or read in this sense.
Again, almost all activities can be tracked depending on how much digging around you might want to do, still once the event has transpired, the time it takes to find the culprit, is often long enough for the damage to be done and has settled in quite well with its intended victim.
Tread lightly while online. Although most enjoy and partake in the better parts of the web, there is a rather dark side, one where filthy and heinous minds lurk. And they are always willing and ready, to take advantage of the rarely innocent soul. A treasure which is often and heavily, sought out.
Most people will tell you today that stats mean very little. Most of these people are of a seemingly high intelligence as well. The truth is that they are right, but they are also wrong. Stats do provide a wide range of insight for those who know how to interpret them. For the billion dollar earining conglomerates this information is disemminated fairly well. For the poor struggling entrepreneur it is often regarded as mear fluff that doesn't go along with the territory. No matter how you feel about it, they do count and matter and, can be instrumental in developing your website. Especially if it is visitors (customers) you're after.
Websites such as these are pretty straight forward. This blog, is a tool for entertainment and information sharing, and a way to keep viewers intrigued. There is a small but easy portal for transactions to be made, but is not blown out for full ecommerce. This is enough for me since I only have one item for sale. And since the goal is simple and does not require very much human interaction other than a few mouse clicks, I can keep my concern on the purpose of this site which is mainly visits and views.
Other authors out there who need some traction for their new creation and some attention for their work can do the same, fairly easy. Hence the purpose of this blog. I've spent a few years on other endeavors and had not quite the amount of success I have had with this one. I contribute this success to my product, it is now one that makes sense for me. It seems for others it does the same.
I don't have any real statistics to show you from the previous incarnations of this site, but I can tell you that I rarely reached double digits in page views and this was over the span of at least 10 years. However, looking at todays numbers I 've reached about 400 views in one month. Far from gargantuan, but it is a start. Thus the point.
The stats can let you know where your at in the game and what you are doing right. I'll reiterate this by pointing out the first sale of my book was made on the day of my highest ranking in page views. The more detail you have the more you can zoom in and fine tune your process. Keep in mind that it is only a guide.
Sounds to simple to be true? Well it is simple and it's also...true.
Here is a link to the charts.
Ah yes. The pot of gold. As promised I am here to deliver to you such...
I believe the gold was a excerpt from the most recently published book. And yes, I also promised an explanation of said content...right?
So, below this, you will find a link to an excerpt of the recently published book. It is a chapter that deals with dreams. A particular dream of the protagonist within the book. It is also an old dream and one that should be familiar to most from my age group.
I added the dream to add a slight spice and personality to the protagonist . Dax. The former soldier and aspiring programmer, stuck in the field of counter-intelligence.
Undoubtedly, some would consider his dream to be that of a childhood fantasy (moreover boyhood fantasy). Depending on your sexual experience it could also be viewed as a perversion worthy of punishment and shame. For even more, it is merely a sexual fantasy, one that most would be pleased to experience in the real world as well as the virtual. This also lends a hand to the underlying theme of the book, which is AI and all, we still hope for our technology to provide.
Despite these considerations, the content was added with the hope that it could help someone, by entertaining them and letting them know that the impossible and far-fetched is not as unlikely as you may think. Dreams do come true. The real question is how bad do you want them to come true. What are you willing to give and sacrifice for your reward.
So, again, enjoy the book. Enjoy even more, this out take. But most importantly, I want you to take from this the idea that dreams are indeed worth chasing, just be sure you know what you want before you make the deal.
You can find the sample here.
They say Breakfst is the most important meal of the day. I along with many others, tend to agree with this idea.
Not only does it provide the nutrition that is needed for a long days work. It gives you a sense of preparedness that also helps to keep you focused and full of the energy that is also needed.
If you sometimes feel yourself trudging along threw out your day or you think you just can't make it without a nap or two. Try starting off your day with a good breakfast. It will do wonders for not just your body, but your mind as well.
So, follow along as I take you on a journey. The mission is to make a plate of sausage and grits. An oldy but goody, one that not only warms your tummy, but sticks to the ribs as well.
I made these about two days ago and never finished them. Instead, I tossed them in the fridge for safe keeping until now.
Nobody in their right mind is into recycled food. However there is nothing wrong with reheating some fresh food. And although a microwave can get the job done, a little finesse goes a long way into insuring your breakfast is indeed one of Champions.
The key here is to breakup the frigid grits, allowing a smooth transition from clumps of powder to creamy goodness.
That's right. Just add enough water to cover your grits, place the pot on a hot isle, and you are now cooking with gas.
Once the water starts to boil, occasionally stir the grits. The hot water will slowly melt those clumps into the creamy goodness I spoke about a moment ago.
This is what truly seals the deal. Add a few of these puppies to your meal and you'll have all the energy you need to thoroughly enjoy your TV and Video game cessation.
Breakfast of Champions, just like I told ya. Well, maybe not. But it sure beats the hell out of a microwaved Happy Meal at 6 in the morning.
Happiness can't always be bought, but it can almost always be made. Having the proper nutrition or diet can give you what you need to go the extra mile., which is often required just to make ends meet, much more to thrive.
One of the funnest things about Video Games today is the ability to screenshot. A few presses of the button or buttons and you get a little piece of art. Art that will never belong to you, but actually does in reality and will continue to be owned by you , as long as you don't make any money off of it. It is one of the shrewd features of our give-get society. It's mostly give.
Still, it's a fairly easy process to have one of these things printed up, so far. I was thinking of hanging this one in my living room.
I'm not too fond of amateur videos. Hovever poking fun at the absurbness of some of the things you see in video games is hilarious.
It's probably the only thing that can justify the even more absurd sharing or giving up of your privacy (in reality) in order to be entertained.
It's the way of the world these days and most people are into it. So much for alcohol.
If only this item couldn't be hacked like everything else in the digital world it may actually serve as impressive.
Still it can go a long way with the clueless and the new.
Despite some of the illness that has come from the adding of social elements to the game, the games themselves are still as fun as they used to be. From the shooters to the platformers , a lot of good times can still be gained from this medium. I definetly recommend it to anyone who has a little bit of time on their hands or to anyone who needs to destress from their day-to-day turmoil's and activities.
I'm going to jump off the new novel for a just few and distribute a little bit of that gold I was telling you about earlier. This is a marketing tatic for sure, but bare with me. I promise to make this easy to digest...
This is an example of what some artist's have. It's not a collection , but it still serves to exists as a perspective. You should not critique your entire life upon a few materials things, still, from a certain angle (perspective) it does speak volumes about who you are and what you've been through.
Looks like another pile of pooh, right? It weighs twice as much and I do mean physics...from this perspective.
What your doing when your not doing is another perspective into what it is you are really after. Some artist's struggle with this one. It is a testament to just how difficult our world can be regardless of modern achievements..
The long and short of all this, is this. Life is not and should not be hard. The problem is emotions (a well known human flaw) and how they motivate and move us into action. For humans to survive takes very little emotion. The will to eat or bathe or sleep, takes no emotion at all. These things require food, soap, and a lack of sunlight. But this is all elementary, right? Things people already know.
One of the keys I've found in life is the ability to change your perspective. Making a negative into a positive. Building something out of nothing ( far more difficult, some would say impossible considering our modern and developed world). And taking a moment to veer away from the warpath, as it's sometimes called and just think about the situation.
This often times makes you aware of options and choices you may not have known you had, and amazingly, sometimes, allows a certain ability to shine through the darkness you seem to be experiencing.
Self help blah blah blah? Should you pile through all obstacles mindlessly and pray for a good outcome? Should you continue to take it, and again pray that you are left with some shred of civility and dignity in the end. Only you can decide.
Usually a brighter day can be found just before the next one. The cool thing about the night is it affords us a certain and sometimes abundant amount of slack and ironically, clarity. It allows us to forget the last few moments, or hours, or days. This may be due to the decrease in vision and not being able to see anything that reminds us of those events. It could also be the low pressure and overall good feeling most people have at night.
It is then we can focus on what is truly important which by the way is not as serious or hard as the world likes to make it out to be during the daylight hours.
I hope this was inspirational for at least some of you. At the very least I hope it was helpful for those like me who can often be blinded by the world and particularly our perception of it.
It's back to work now, so I'll take some time to prepare some of "that really good, good" I also promised you a few weeks back. How about some insight into the new book. Maybe I'll drop a tidbit or two for you. I did have some exceprts that I would like to share that were not included in the published work.
That's it for now...Have a good night.
I hope you all drank responsibly.
More on that in just a few..
An old buddy of mine refered me to a website created for none other than creators. It's called Patreon.com and it's pretty cool. It's designed so you can support your favorite creators monetarily in a way that might fit your budget. The cool part is that you still get something in return for your support. Mainly one of your said Artist's creations. You can find me there under the username Unreleased Word.
Web Surfers beware!!! It's a little grimy over there since I chose to roll with my Rapper's identity. However there is still something to be gained...I think.
You know a RSS feed for either of these sites would be kickass....nevermind.
For the first time in many years, I did not completely saturate myself with alcohol this holiday. It's a trend I plan to continue although it was a little dry to say the least...
Anyway, I did put down a couple and had a fairly decent time pondering with myself and calculating a path to a brighter future. It is what is, and life can be a bit meandering, still the positive way is always a pretty safe bet.
Still, it ain't over till its over so, if your late to the party, have one on me...
I won't tell you were I got this. Or even my Xbox Live username . But I will tell you this...this shit is fun. If I'm not wirting, I am messing around on this platform. Besides that, all you need to know is to stay tuned. All will be revealed in the end.
We're not big on storms, but we do have them. Most of the time it's the occasional Winter snow storm that has us in a uproar. Especially blizzards. They can shut down the city for days. This is because no matter how good we get at removing snow it still takes time. Lots of time.
This wasn't a snow storm obviously, just a heavy rain with strong wind. Wind strong enough to take down a pretty big tree as you can see from the picture to the left...
These are homemade and far from the glory they are known for... however... the sauce was dead on and a winner on all accounts.
I deciede to make these last week were once again I found myself reminiscing on days gone and old friends. It's been more than twenty years since I've enjoyed the delicious treats and for some strange reason now seemed like a good time to have some. Actually I wasn't going to rest until I had some and I had no intention of driving all the way to DeKalb Illinois so I was left with the choice to make my own. And option no doubt, but one that I was willing to take on, only due to my past experience working for a pizza restaurant.
I would share the recipe but these particular goodies are of a sacred lore and cannot be treated as mere consumables for the unworthy public. And if you can swallow that, I have a few words of advice for you "Relax your mind, and let the sugar love flow.."
Shifts, a new book written by me, is now available in stores. I have only seen it on Amazon's website so far and a handful of independents that do business on their site. I am told it takes weeks for the distributors to propogate it fully to all their retailers so keep an eye out. It may be 3-4 weeks before you'll see it at your favorite bookstore.
Yes the de-capped crusader will return soon, at least weekly to fulfill your insatiable need for news, insight, and commentary about the new book and of course yours truly.
I am currently compiling a list of requests from you and yours and will be soon adding the pot of gold for your web surfing pleasure.
I will also be adding material that was excluded from the published version and why I chose not to publish it. As well as explanations and some deeper understanding to the chapters and verse for those who really like to... get it in.
Enjoy the book!! And as always feel free to let me know what you liked or did not like so much. As always I can be reached by email.