The topic this month for Splenderosa's group (to which I was invited by my friend Tish), is "Ways I stay creative."
There is a problem with this topic.
1. I am not creative.
2. There is no 2.
I am not creative, but I will gladly tell you how to be creative. Telling people what to do is one of my most favorite things in the world. I have an inner dictator that I have been squelching since I was a kid. Only now I am bitter because Sheryl Sandburg, about whom we can debate later - but seriously, how much leaning in does someone raised with her level of privilege have to do? - said this:
I was a bossy little girl and I was told not to be bossy so I kept my mouth shut and look where it got me professionally: Nowhere. Certainly not a corner office.
I am not creative. I cannot make up stories. I don't know how to plot or create compelling characters. I don't make something out of nothing.
What I do, I guess, is report.
And apparently, I live in an environment rich with things to report.
I have a husband who is a great straight man. He sings karaoke and sometimes I go with him and sing (badly - more on that in another post). He has a highly-developed sense of drama and can be counted on to escalate any situation to a point that I, from a low-drama background, I find baffling, which is when I start taking notes. He can fix almost anything. He is a hottie. And he doesn't mind if I write about him.
I have his parents, who are not very nice and who give me material that is hard to make funny, although I have gotten a lot of mileage about being a Bad Bacon Eater, a User of Bad Cabbage, and a Not Apple Peeler for Apple Pie.
I have two naughty cats. I just figured out why Laverne keeps slipping away into the bathtub - she has been eating the olive oil soap that SH and I got in Paris a few years ago. Shirley yowls for no apparent reason. She has been yowling for the past ten minutes. I don't know why. She followed me into the bathroom but didn't want me to pet her. Then she sat in front of the heat vent under the sink for a hot-air bath. Then she returned to the basement to yowl.
She is an odd duck. Every day this week, I have come home from work to find her rabbit fur binky in a new location. SH and I have been leaving it lie where it is, curious to see where it goes next. It has made its way from the basement to the stairs to the top of the stairs to the hallway.
I take public transportation to work and I overhear people talking about their POs, which I finally realized did not mean purchase orders, as it does in my world. I also see acts of great kindness, like the bus drivers who very carefully help the passengers who use wheelchairs on and off the bus. And I have my favorite drivers, whom I miss when they are not on the route.
I go to the Y with the guy who goes "Woooo!" all during body pump and step.
I work with tattletaling, radio-playing, ice chewing vipers Although I don't write about work that much, as I don't think that's wise. Not that I am so concerned with a co-worker finding this blog, but you never know and it's just better to be discreet.
I am surrounded by material. All I do is write it down.
I do, however, have some ideas to spark creativity that you may want to try. I don't see how any of these things could hurt.
1. Eat more chocolate. If you don't like chocolate, eat more whatever. My point is that you could be hit by a bus tomorrow. Do you really want your last thoughts, as you lie on the ground, your life slipping away, to be, "Rats. I wish I had eaten dessert." Don't risk a dessert-less death.
2. Watching TV helps me. I like lying on the loveseat in the basement, the llama fur blanket my dad got me in Peru draped over the space heater (there is a heat vent in the ceiling of the finished part of the basement, but we all remember this from 9th grade physical science: heat moves up, not down) and me, keeping me toasty warm, watching whatever show I have gotten on DVD from the library. I just finished season one of "The Wire," which I got mostly because Idris Elba is such a hottie. But it's a good show with a good story. I also liked "The Closer," "Foyle's War" (someone here told me to watch it - thank you!), "White Collar," and "House of Cards." Oh - and "The Mindy Show" or whatever it's called with Mindy Kaling. She is adorable and smart and her book is very funny. Read it.
3. OK, watching TV might not help me be creative, but it gives me something to write about.
4. Go to a bar and watch people. That's what I do when I go out with SH.
5. Watch people at an airport.
6. Did I tell you to eat dessert?
7. Read good books.
8. I have nothing else. I really am not creative, but I am surrounded by material and I take the time to write it down. Perhaps the best advice I have gotten about writing is from a friend of mine who writes for the Memphis newspaper. He told me just to write every day. Which I do. Almost. When I am not writing, I am eating dessert.