The Practice of Imperfection

“What we make matters, and doesn’t matter at all.” –Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic.

February’s IWSG question goes like this:

Besides writing, what are your other creative outlets?

I’m a single-thread creative. I write fiction. Period. I used to paint, but not anymore. I used to play an instrument, but not anymore. I find it difficult to apply myself casually. Hobbies become pursuits. Pursuits become careers.

I can’t deny my nature, so I circumvent the personality flaw trait by practicing deliberate imperfection. The results show up in my doodles and photoshop mashups. When I indulge in those pastimes, I allow myself to be awful, and I relish the cheesy outcomes.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

January’s IWSG book club selection was Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. As the title suggests, Gilbert describes what she calls the ‘magic’ in creativity. Early in the book, she puts a mystical spin on the act of creating, but then hauls us back to Earth with bootstrap advice. It’s obvious that Gilbert lives both a spiritual and practical existence. She somehow manages to weave both perspectives into a style of advice that is almost a brand for her. You won’t regret listening to the audio version of the book. Gilbert narrates the material, and she has a knack for making you feel like she’s talking directly to you. Perhaps she is. There is magic here, after all.

Inspired by Big Magic, I’ve unearthed a permission slip to create with imperfection:

The Fool's Permission Slip for Imperfection

How would you fill in your permission slip?

Hey, how about an imperfect Doodle …

Unlike the Magic 8-Ball, the Magic 4-Ball is accurate only half the time.
Unlike the Magic 8-Ball, the Magic 4-Ball promises to be accurate only half the time.
(My kind of odds.)

Don’t go away yet!

Be sure to visit my IWSG Blog Hop co-hosts, Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, and Michelle Wallace, and the amazing, everywhere-all-the-time Alex J. Cavanaugh.

And, finally …

Have I mentioned my novelette?

Overnight, users of the popular social networking site, Know-Me, acquire a duplicate, but dissimilar, identity. Though he claims to be shocked by the doubles’ debut, Know-Me’s CEO, Jason Vrabek, has impressed even himself with this latest testament to his genius. He swears his company has not launched a massive social experiment, something Know-Me has been accused of in the past. While experts investigate the phenomenon, the doubles engage with their counterparts, and Vrabek collects the data.

Alice Merkanowsky, an ordinary office worker, is enthralled with her duplicate self, the glamorous wife of a celebrity chef. Her thrill soon turns into an obsession which strains her marriage, and threatens her grip on reality.

Alice isn’t the only Know-Me casualty. Hoax, or not, the phenomenon triggers consequences that are frighteningly real, even for Vrabek who soon finds himself outmatched by his own genius double.

A science fiction short story. Buy KNOW ME here.

 Thanks for reading to the end!

Images in this post…

Eyes on the Prize

Happy August!

This month’s IWSG question asks: What pitfalls would you advise other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

Whoa, hold on.

Law of Attraction, baby!

When you focus on pitfalls, you focus on failure.

But Grehan, you shout, danger abounds! Especially in publishing!

Then why take advice from fools* like me? Seek out quality advice. Find a professional compilation like Writer Beware from the SFWA, And follow the blogs of publishing pros.

Hey, how about a doodle? That, I can offer.

 

Law of Attraction: Keep your eyes on the prize.

*The Fool is my alter ego. You’ll see The Fool featured a lot on my blog.

Thank you to July’s IWSG co-hosts:

Erika Beebe  Sandra Hoover  Susan Gourley and Lee Lowery

Click here to enter your link in the IWSG Blog Hop and to view a list of participating bloggers.

 

About the image

 

 

Spring Inspiration and the IWSG

Welcome to May!

Not coincidentally, this month’s IWSG prompt is about Spring.

The IWSG asks: Does Spring inspire you to write more than other seasons?

My answer is no. 

I’m a writer. It’s my job. And not a seasonal job. Hey, if I waited for inspiration to strike, I wouldn’t jot so much as a store note. Imagine calling the plumber and they say, “Sorry about your rusty pipes, but I’m not feeling the muse.”

Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. I show up. Writing happens.

That’s not to say that Spring isn’t a special time of year. I live in the northeastern US. In these parts, we claw out of Winter like Uma escaping the grave.

Uma Thurman in Kill Bill
Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.

My writing habit won’t change with the arrival of Spring, but–but–I will generate more. More energy.

You see, the Grehans are friendly with the sun.

That’s right, we’re solar.

In the spirit of the IWSG prompt, my solar panels have found their muse and, man, they are churning out the juice. In Springtime, the sun climbs higher and the days begin to stretch. These are happy times for those of us who dwell beneath the bright blue tiles.

In my part of the US, solar is still rare, though I’m lately seeing more shiny roofs. Because I’m often asked about my experience with solar power, I’ll use the IWSG prompt to launch a solar report feature.

Solar Fool! The Fool avatar and The Dog stroll on top of solar panels. I created this photoshop mashup for the May 2018 IWSG post. Fool components are by artist Xochicalco on canstockphoto, csp6440045
Fool on the Roof

Our panels were installed in 2016 to take advantage of a federal tax incentive, called the Investment Tax Credit, that was due to expire at the end of that year.* The ITC allowed taxpayers to deduct thirty-percent of their installation costs, with no cap. That was a decent incentive.

Beginning today and until I lose interest, I’ll post sporadic regular updates about our energy production.  To make sense of the stats, it might help to know that The Grehans enjoy living small. We occupy a meager 1200 sq ft. We own one television, no cable, dish or fios, so most of the time the TV is dark. On the other hand, we’re tech heads so computers abound, as well as other smart toys. Even though we love gadgets we’re not big consumers of anything (save whiskey) and our solar is sized accordingly.

In other words, your results may vary.

Solar generation, 2018 April

I’m saving trees, baby! Except for the ten I chopped down cause they gave too much shade — just kidding! Am I?

Thank you to May’s IWSG co-hosts:

E.M.A. Timar,  J. Q. Rose

C.Lee McKenzie,  Raimey Gallant!

Click here to enter your link in the IWSG Blog Hop and to view a list of participating bloggers.

*According to Solar Power Rocks, the ITC was extended in some fashion. Do more research if this is something you’re interested in, because I gave it only a cursory search.


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