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…

Big December Announcement (and #IWSG hopping!)

Announcement?? Why yes, in a minute …

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, the day when insecure writers (which is to say, all of us) proudly step to the mic and shout, “I’m a writer! And I’m insecure about it!”

Is this thing on?

Every month, the Insecure Writers Support Group asks a question. Here’s December’s: what five objects would we find in your writing space? I could list hundreds, but I’ll look directly ahead, at the shelf from where my computer’s monitor stares at me with resigned disdain.

Grehan’s objets d’art.

The dragon is for luck, and protection of course. The Tullamore Dew is self-explanatory. The Beast Mode patch was a gift from my Sig-O. The grenade was a gift from my dad. The Dilbert cartoon was a gift from a co-worker, back in the days when I had co-workers. The cartoon story goes: I had made a confession to my programming buddy, Ed, who lived in the cubicle next to me at Grunt Co., Inc. I had confessed that I was writing a novel. My first, but it was going to be big. A few days later, the Dilbert cartoon appeared, push-pinned to my cubicle wall, underneath my nameplate.

The cartoon is dated Wednesday, March 11th. I’ve looked back and the year would have been–I’m embarassed to admit–1998. I did finish the novel and it was big. And messy. And now filed under ‘practice.’

In 1998 Y2K was looming. A boom time for programmers with my particular skills. I kept my day job and didn’t indulge my fiction-writing addiction for another 10 years.

And now, here we are.

Ed and I are still friends. In fact, he’s throwing a Christmas party in 10 days. Maybe I’ll show him the cartoon. Will he remember it?

To join the IWSG Blog hop, sign up here.

My thanks to founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh and this month’s IWSG co-hosts J.H. Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker , Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey! .

Be sure to pay them a visit!

And now …

If you’ve looked to my left sidebar, you’ll notice I’ve got a short story appearing soon on Amazon. A novelette, really. Is it only the sci-fi genre which uses that term? Did I mention the story is sci-fi?

Grehan, what’s it about?

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.

Look for KNOW ME on Amazon next week!

Thanks for stopping by, Blog Visitor!

Gull gif is from giphy.com

Cartoon is by Scott Adams.

All other images on this page are by CV Grehan. I track images on this site in my image index.

Evolving Creativity and the IWSG

Greetings in November!

This month’s IWSG question asks: How has your creativity evolved since you began writing?

In my previous career, I was a programmer. I dwelled in a company cubicle Monday through Friday, 40-60 hours/week. And often on weekends because that’s when programmers break stuff make system changes. That sort of job, which I held for longer than I choose to reveal, shaped my approach to all work, including writing.

Basically, the approach goes like this: show up. Ideas happen on their own. Work does not. Guess which one of those outcomes is no good without the other.

Parties and umbrella drinks are great on their own. But together, they make a celebration.

Show up for work,

Creativity will happen,

and then, WE CELEBRATE!

Thank you to this month’s IWSG co-hosts.

Be sure to visit their sites.  

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman!

 

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Solar Reports for June and July

September’s IWSG question goes like this:

What publishing path are you on, and why? 

The question would require a complex and revealing answer so I’m doing the cowardly thing and dodging it.

As a substitute, I’m flaunting my solar stats for the months of June and July. Back in May, I used the IWSG stroll to kick off a semi-monthly solar report. I might be the only one who is fascinated by these stats, but at least I have one person’s attention.

I’m pretty good at wasting time, evidenced by my doodles. When I’m under a deadline, I really up my time-wasting game. Like, I’ll study my solar production stats, then look back at the weather. Please allow me to introduce one of my favorite procrastination sites: TimeAndDate.com where you can make this kind of magic:

Cloudy days block my rays.

Now the most important business:


Thank you to this month’s IWSG co-hosts.

Be sure to visit their sites.  

Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler!

 

THE STATS:

Grehan June Solar Stats

Grehan July Solar Stats

Til next month …

 

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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.

 

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