Neil Gaiman: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?


Neil Gaiman: Where Do You Get Your Ideas

“For me, inspiration comes from a bunch of places: desperation, deadlines… A lot of times ideas will turn up when you’re doing something else. And, most of all, ideas come from confluence — they come from two things flowing together. They come, essentially, from daydreaming. . . . And I suspect that’s something every human being does. Writers tend to train themselves to notice when they’ve had an idea — it’s not that they have any more ideas or get inspired more than anything else; we just notice when it happens a little bit more.”  — Neil Gaiman

The Black Wolf Blogger Award Sparkles Version

Ray aka Ben Naga of https://bennaga.wordpress.com/ has kindly gifted me with the Black Wolf Blogger Award (Sparkles Version)

the-black-wolf-blogger-award

The Black Wolf Blogger Award

I improvised on the introduction with the following:

“This is a new award, it’s the first time I’ve seen it.
If it is representative of the wolf, which is a positive symbolism:
the wolf has sharp intelligence, deep connection with instincts,
appetite for freedom, expression of strong instincts.”
Sited at spiritanimal.info

So all that remains is for me to nominate a few likely looking candidates. I know that some of those whose sites I follow do not like to accept awards so I won’t nominate them here (unless in error). Conversely, I hope I don’t omit anyone in the mistaken belief that they do not entertain awards.

bipolarmuse
vampiremaman
cristianmihai
sophiebowns
teacherastransformer
wakingspirals
thebipolarjourneythroughtherabbithole
bennaga (he honors me/i honor him)
aminddivided
thelightbearernovelist
deanj.baker
retireediary (does not do awards but fantastic site)
uncletree’shouse
mackenziesdragonsnest
whoisbert

I do hope that whoever reads this will investigate at least some of the sites listed and that you will find here some things to entertain and challenge you, just as I hope they will continue to entertain and challenge me. For which I am forever grateful.

Editor’s Corner: 101.6

Written by Shawn MacKenzie
Post Tuesday 16th December 2014

scribe-small 101.6

In the Realm of the Senses

“Observe, record, tabulate, communicate. Use your five senses. Learn to see, learn to hear, learn to feel, learn to smell, and know that by practice alone you can become expert.” …. Sir William Osler, M.D., C.M.

Last night I was watching the cats play with the chinchillas (a special birthday treat for the kittens). Claws sheathed, eyes wide, ears forward, whiskers twitching, and mouths open to taste the air, they were totally in the now, absorbing the experience with every sense at their disposal. The chins, too.

kids chin and carter

Oh, the lessons we learn from our companion critters everyday!

Try though we might to place ourselves on a separate, gilded rung of the evolutionary ladder, we human beings are still animals. Like other furred, feathered, or scaled creatures, we still count on our senses to guide us through the world. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell, they layer our existence, give it depth and intrigue. They teach us what is safe, what is deadly, what is sexy, what is repulsive. Indeed, without well-honed perceptions, we would surely be as dead as the dodo.

Curiously, though we live by our senses, many writers have forgotten to write by them. Oh, we communicate through sight, sure. We are highly visual creatures. The aspects of person or place, the colors, shadows, shapes, all are accessible, familiar, and easy to share. Sound usually comes in second, then the other senses fill out the field from afar.

But why should this be? We do not live in half worlds, why should we write in them?

Just imagine if we wrote with all our senses, all the time; if we returned to our animal selves with ears up, nostrils flared, gleaning and giving information at every turn. A Victorian sitting room, for example, may be all teak and William Morris wallpaper to the eye, but perhaps it also smells of lemon oil and stale pipe tobacco, the chair by the fireplace creaking ever so gently when sat upon. This tells the reader so much more than a visual description alone. The resident has taste and a comfortable income; they take pride in their environment, keep it well. As for the lingering scent of tobacco – scent being one of the most evocative of the senses – oh, that can go a hundred ways! A father lost in the Crimea, his spirit conjured by the slightest whiff of his favorite chair; a pretentious brother who fancies himself the next Sherlock Holmes but went up to Oxford at Michaelmas.

Layers, one on another…

We are writers. Our purpose is to communicate, to move, to inspire. We take our knowledge of the world and give it back, limited only by our imaginations. So why stop with familiar? Why not go all topsy-turvy? We can focus, perhaps, not on how a city looks, but on how it tastes; not on how a thunderstorm sounds, but on how it smells. And let us not forget the rasping tongue of a whisper or the intricate fugue of a meteor shower.

meteor shower

As Dr. Osler said, learn to hear, to see, to smell. Dig deep; use all your senses. And next time you write about the first green shoots of spring, do not ignore their verdant voices raised to the heavens in paeans of rebirth. Welcome to the Big Picture. Have fun.

I will try to respond to messages as I am able. At times it may be in the form of a post or a direct email response. Guests who post, I will forward messages addressed to them. It is up to them how they decide to correspond.   — Shawn MacKENZIEMacKenzie’s Dragonsnest

Thoughts on Writing – Susan Sontag [Series Pt 8]

a writer's word new 14th june 2014Thoughts on Writing

A Multiple Part Series – Part # 8

“Think With Words—Not Ideas”

by Susan Sontag

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 14th December 2014

susan sontag photo for series

The writer does not have to write. She must imagine that she must. A great book: no one is addressed, it counts as cultural surplus, it comes from the will.
(3/10/80)

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Ordinary language is an accretion of lies. The language of literature must be, therefore, the language of transgression, a rupture of individual systems, a shattering of psychic oppression. The only function of literature lies in the uncovering of the self in history.
(3/15/80)

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The love of books. My library is an archive of longings.
(4/26/80)

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Making lists of words, to thicken my active vocabulary. To have puny, not just little, hoax, not just trick, mortifying, not just embarrassing, bogus, not just fake.
I could make a story out of puny, hoax, mortifying, bogus. They are a story.
(4/30/80)

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A Short Note for the end of each part of this 8 part series.

When Susan Sontag died the obituaries omitted her relationship with photographer Annie Leibovitz, with whom Sontag maintained a relationship with throughout her last decade.

gold fountain pen for sontag series

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