Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

writing- the research behind Finding inspiration and voice July 4, 2018

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:48 am
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I am presenting a few workshops this summer, as part of the Murdering Mr. Edwards book tour, and as such I have been researching.  In the Finding Inspiration and Voice: a workshop for novelists and poets workshop, participants explore character and plot development through a variety of prompts.

I am using the prompts to shake loose new ideas and bring out things ‘your brain knows, but isn’t tell you.’  This is a very unscientific way to explain creativity and its link to the subconscious, but there is science behind the concept, and here are some articles that may be of interest:

Andreasen, Nancy C. (MD PhD) A Journey into Chaos: Creativity and the Unconscious.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3115302/

“How to Stimulate Creative Breakthroughs: The Unconscious and Creativity.” The Academy of Ideas. https://academyofideas.com/2016/06/stimulating-creativity-unconscious

Seager, Charlotte. “How the subconscious mind shapes creative writing.” The Guardian. 2015 https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2015/apr/07/subconscious-mind-creative-writing-mark-haddon-michelle-paver

https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/05/researchers-tie-unexpected-brain-structures-to-creativity.html

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317814542_A_Deeper_Understanding_of_Consciousness_Through_the_Study_of_Creativity

 

 

 

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poem-reality June 21, 2017

Eventually

Reality has to intervene.

You’re not destined for the NHL

Or the corps de ballet

Your voice will not sell

A million records.

Simon sends you packing.

 

Reality can suck.

But if playing hockey

Brings you happiness

Why stop just because you’ll never hoist the Stanley Cup?

Dance like nobody’s watching

Sing until you’re smiling.

 

Don’t let reality rob you of the joy

Of the activity itself.

The rush of a beautiful pass and goal.

The beauty of a perfectly formed pirouette.

The harmony than hums in your ear.

Celebrate those moments for ten thousand hours.

 

They say ten thousand hours yields excellence.

Perhaps you’ll need twenty.

Or thirty.

Embrace the joy.

Share in a community of like minds.

Perhaps after forty thousand hours

Your reality will change

And if it doesn’t,

At least you’ll nurture your soul.

Like reality,

Success has many faces.

 

quote- creativity April 21, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:47 pm
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With respect to the fashion he loves to capture on New York streets photographer Bill Cunningham said,

“A lot of people have taste, but they don’t have the daring to be creative.”

.

.

 

How often have I heard this?

I love your shoes,

but I could never wear something like that.

Oh, I love your hair!

I wish I had the guts to do that.

Your outfits are always so great,

how do you come up with these ensembles?

That car is so cute!

I could never do that.

I’ve started about a dozen books,

but I never finish them.

Just do it.  You have the power to decide.

I wonder some days, if I’ve gone over the deep end

into Crazy Old Lady Land

but what the hell.  We live one time.

There are no secrets here.

Every day, make choices that make you feel

sublime.

 

 

poem- imagination trumps reality April 26, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:19 pm
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“How can you write

about being drunk

if you’ve never been drunk?”

the boys ask, grinning.

I shrug, and hand them some papers.

“You tell me.  Did I do it?”

They read,  groan, gasp and sigh.

“I didn’t see that coming,” one mutters.

Finally they look up at me with muted faces.

“Well?” I ask

“Oh, yeah,” one grunts.  “You did.”

The others nod and grunt in agreement.

“But how?” asks another shaking his head.

“I could imagine what it’s like to be drunk,

and so I never needed to drink.

I could have fun without needing to dull my senses

or find artificial courage.

I don’t drink.  I’ve never done drugs.

I don’t need to, because

I have imagination.”

“Huh,” they say,

and class begins.

.

.

.

I know that my experience is not at all common.  My parents were social drinkers, but I never saw either of them intoxicated.  I didn’t like the taste of alcohol, and felt no need to drink to be cool.  If I went to a party, I was disgusted how the drinkers all turned into idiots.

My high school friends didn’t drink. We went out together, had a great time, and the next morning we remembered what happened and we didn’t have a headache!  We had a remarkable amount of common sense! 😉

I have addicted relatives.  They are also a good lesson of how lives can be destroyed.

I am routinely astonished by students who have never met *anyone* who doesn’t drink.  They think all adults drink.  Many of the adults in their lives only socialize in an inebriated stupor and they don’t know there is another way to interact with people. I have never tried marijuana or other recreational drugs either.  I don’t need to medicate my emotions or do weird things.  I need all the energy I have, so I can’t afford to send my motivations up in smoke!   I can’t imagine just taking some pill off someone at a party.  That’s not fun, that’s just stupid (and dangerous).

I don’t presume to tell anyone else what to do, and I actually support legalization, to remove the criminal component. I consider it a health issue.

One thing about my clean life style- it frees up room in the budget for my Fluevogs! 🙂

PS. I’ve linked to the snippet that they read.

 

poem- kill the critic October 29, 2013

Kill the critic:

let him drown in the

flow of your words.

Kill the critic:

let him sear in the

molten eruption

from the core of you.

Kill the critic:

let him smother

gasping against the tide

of your creativity,

.grasping at the emptiness

that was your insecurities.

Kill the critic:

be free.

.

.

NB: I do not advocate murder of anything but the inner voice that tells you that you’re inadequate.  Your inner critic has no business in your writing head-space.   You can’t edit a blank page.

 

poem- echoes

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:51 am
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I bought

an adorable black hat

at Goorin Bros.

Tilted the burgundy brim

to the perfect angle

Grabbed my new

wooly black ruana,

draped it around my shoulders

with a flourish, loving the fall

of the ruffled edges,

the weight, the warmth.

I felt my creativity

shouting through the garb,

felt Bohemian, wild, and artistic.

Then I grinned in the mirror

and saw the echo of my

great-grandmother’s

Salvation Army cape and bonnet.

We never get too far away

from home.

 

 

overflowing July 10, 2013

Filed under: anecdotes,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:50 am
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Words overflowingliving room writing zone stacks

piling

compiling.

Words for research

for inspiration

for entertainment.

3 keyboards

for composing,

at desk,

on the couch,

in the bath

(waterproof!)

Words overflowing

like water.

Plainly,

I need

more book shelves.

.

.

.

.

You know, I think there are probably over 100 books in the area shown in this shot?  Wild.  This is my writing zone.  Theoretically, I sit at the desk, but usually I am lying on the couch.  Theoretically, I use the ergonomic keyboard, but usually I just use the mini-keyboard on the notebook computer, which is probably not good for hand health.  One of my favourite places to write is (seriously) the bath tub.  Why I can focus so well there, I have no idea.  Computer well away from water, waterproof keyboard on my knees, I don’t have to see what I type, and I get huge chunks of story.  

Where do you write?

The writing zone…
 

 
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