I loved last night’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD). Instead of starting the competition, they just had everybody dance in their styles. Viewers got to meet the new dancers and welcome back past favorites. I have to admit I’m not a reality show fan, but there are a few I watch religiously. SYTYCD is one. Project Runway is another. Other than that, I tend to avoid reality TV like the plague. I don’t like the scheming, backstabbing, and phoniness. So why do I like these two? I think it comes down to one thing – creativity.
I like watching the seed of an idea grow into something beautiful. With SYTYCD, I have my favorite dancers, but I think I’m more intrigued with the choreography. How does one take a piece of music, create a story from it, and find a physical way to translate it? Or does it work differently? Is the story the starting point? Do the choreographers pick the music from there? I bet the answer is both… or either… whatever strikes that spark.
On Project Runway, I’ll watch in awe as outfits emerge from challenges. I’m fascinated how designers can start at the same place and end up with wildly different outcomes. The same thing can happen with a story idea. Two authors can have the same idea, but end up with radically different books. I don’t know how it all works but, to me, it’s fun. I couldn’t sew a handkerchief, but I like putting the puzzle pieces of a story together. I can actually feel a different part of my brain being energized.
So how about you? Are there certain shows you like, because they’re creative or different? How are you creative?
People often ask how writers come up with ideas. Really, we don’t always know. They’re just suddenly there. The idea for GHOST FLUTE came together differently than any other story I’ve written, though. I was struggling with an idea block. I wouldn’t call it writer’s block, because I wasn’t writing at all. If I’d had an idea, I would have been. I just couldn’t brainstorm. My creative well was dry.
Then one day, I was sitting, staring out at the trees behind my house. It was sunset and the sky was in that hazy in-between stage. I starting thinking, I wonder what’s back in there tonight? Quite a bit of wildlife stroll through the area or make their homes there. Anyway, the daydream took off… just the feel of the story.
I don’t know why I thought of the book of Native American mythology that I own, but I did. I’d bought it years and years ago, just because it looked interesting. I don’t think I’d ever cracked the cover, but I did that night. I thumbed through the various myths and legends and there it was, my inspiration. Everything came together in that moment — the setting, the story’s vibe, and the characters. I’m a plotter, so that came through really strongly, too. The story stuck in my head and grabbed on with both hands.
I started writing it the next day and, now, it’s almost ready for release.
Ever have one of those days where everything goes right? Where the weather is sunny and pleasant, there’s no stress, and you just feel good? They’re much too rare, but I’m having one. I hope you’re having one, too.
The icing on the cake is that I learned that Ghost Flute will release Friday, June 25. Now that’s a good day.
Well, as you can see, my new website is up and running. New features have been added including excerpts for all stories, buy links, and a blog. A word about that… I am not a blogger. Whenever I’m asked to blog, I stew and fret, because I don’t want to write drivel. I’m also a rather slow writer, so when the words are coming, I’d prefer they go into a story. So while I might not blog frequently, hopefully when I do, my posts will contain something worthwhile. Let me know what you think of the new site.
Native American culture is rich with myths and legends about nature, the heavens, monsters and spirits. The Brule Sioux tell the story of an elk charmer, a promiscuous lover who lured maidens by playing his flute. He tossed his conquests aside until the day he was found dead on the prairie with a knife buried in his stone heart. As the legend goes, the elk charmer still plays, roaming the world and looking for love. GHOST FLUTE is based on this legend.
I’m working on the first round of edits today and have been inspired by the beautiful cover I found in my in-box this morning.
What do you think?
Please be patient! Site under construction.