Monthly Archives: October 2011

Are there worlds within the eyes of cats?

Alternate Universe Cat

My cat loves to be spun around on an office chair until he’s purring with dizziness. He meows for this every day, often several times a day.

Lately, I’ve imagined that the chair is really a machine that can spin him through the veil into another universe–just for that brief time he’s actually in motion–and I wonder what he sees. Maybe his alternate self! Or maybe alternate me. Possibly deeper knowledge than any of that; answers he can’t communicate.

It could be that other universes lie within the eyes of cats. When you look close, their eyes are tiny galaxies with a black hole at the center. Perhaps things come and go, and are born and reborn, deep within the eyes of a cat.

Or maybe I’ve had too much coffee today. Likely, but it’s still fun to think about.

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Ideas, Imagination, Multiverse, The Unknown

Where do you start to write when you’re inside the writer’s block?

Inside the writer's block. A doorway out.

As we’re coming upon yet another NaNoWriMo, countless people are preparing to spend November madly writing 50,000 words and hoping those words resemble a novel at the end. It’s hard to know what to write about, especially with that kind of deadline.

This is an exercise I do to relax–a meditation of sorts–which can be used as a starting point into a story idea. At the very least, if you try it, you might have a little fun with your imagination.

You’re in a room without any windows or doors. It’s a colorless and soundless cube, and you’re all alone. You can’t see yourself, but you know you exist. You know this room is yours, and that it’s really a gateway to many places. And so, you create an exit.

A door, a window, a hatch, a hole… whatever portal you’d like. You can see it clearly form where you willed it. You go to it and through it.

Now outside of the block, your senses kick in. You’re in another place. It could be just outside your house, or in another country, or even during another time or on an entirely different world. Looking down, your body reflects wherever you are, as you’re dressed for the occasion, although you could be any gender or race, or not even human at all.

Others are approaching. Something is about to happen.

This is where your adventure begins. Write.
You’ve got your character’s feet. See where they take you.

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Filed under Creativity, Ideas, Imagination, Writing

Where do creative ideas come from?

Pool of inspiration

My dear friend Natania Barron and I have often talked about how creative folk draw from the same pool of inspiration. Some us call it the muse. Few of us can figure out how we travel to that magical source–frequently in dreams or arriving clear out of nowhere while we’re doing the dishes–but we’re grateful whenever it happens. We’re always reaching for it, muttering to it, and hoping it grants us yet another fantastic idea to add to our notebooks.

I’ve wondered lately whether we collectively add to this pool, and if it’s not really a source that has ideas waiting, but instead a place where our ideas gather, especially those ideas we obsess over, whether we use the ideas or not. For instance, I can spend months considering a concept, on and off, and then ultimately dismiss it, deciding instead on another direction. Then–bam!–that very concept appears in an article about some film or other project in development. I don’t mind; in fact, I’m pleased that, although I didn’t continue with the idea, it will come about all the same.

Could it be that I was merely helping this idea form?

Is it possible that we’re far more networked than we ever guessed–not alone in our craft at all?

So much for my professional hermit persona!

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Filed under Art, Beliefs, Friendship, Ideas, The Unknown, Writing