Creativity is a spark. Its fuel can be something you see, hear, smell, remember, or imagine. It blooms in the soul, engages the mind, and shreds down the nerves like a snowboarder on six inch powder. It makes your fingers itch to grab that brush, that clay, that camera, or that laptop. A chef’s knife. The perfect fabric. A blowtorch. A blow-dryer.
Creativity is not limited by medium – that is one of its most beautiful aspects. I’ve worked in wire, in clay, in plaster of paris. I’ve sculpted wood, painted in watercolor, woven on a hand-made loom, drawn in pencil and ink, designed digitally, and written very bad, very angsty teen-age poetry. (Thankfully, that was long before the internet age and those tear-jerking epics will never again see the light of day.)
I loved all those mediums – even if what was created was not exactly museum quality, (My awesome sister still displays some of my earlier efforts – she’s a saint, what can I tell you?) I loved every minute. I can’t believe the opportunities I’ve had to play around in the arts. It helped me recognize a moment of inspiration when it wafted by, even if everyone around me was wondering what the heck I was staring at. It labeled me an ‘artist-type’ – and how terrific is THAT? That label allowed me to be quirky, weird, ‘original,’ sometimes flaky, and awesomely free. I’m fairly sure that my ‘smart’ daughter and ‘techer’ brother don’t have that kind of freedom. (Don’t know what a ‘techer’ is? Apparently some of you weren’t lucky enough to be raised in Western Pennsylvania. Go Steelers!)
One of my first, most exciting, exhilirating early chases down that creative mountain (thought – is creativity chasing me or am I chasing it?) was sitting in front of my television and watching my favorite shows. And then, later in bed, thinking of how I would have written it – how I would have ended that scene, how that dialogue should have gone, how they’d forgotten about that. Star Trek. The Mod Squad. Dark Shadows. Starsky and Hutch.
And a fanfic writer was born.
Funny that it took 40 some odd years (ahem) for me to wade through the everyday stuff of life – marriage and kids, soccer games and refinancing, aging parents and church socials – to run into myself again in the Stargate fandom.
To all the fanfic writers out there – and you know who you are – what a great ride it has been.
Inspiration. Creativity. Characters. Plot. Dialogue. POV. (Don’t get me started.) Hurt/Comfort. Pacing. Angst. Friendship. I’ve learned a lot since my first Uhura/Sulu story. (Yep, I went there.)
From my earliest Mary Sues to my attempts at cartooning, er, I mean Graphic Novels, in middle school, from lyrics to fantasy to essays, this journey has been a long strange trip.
Next stop – original fiction, I hope.