by JT Ellison
cre·a·tiv·i·ty /ˌkrieɪˈtɪvɪti, ˌkriə-/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[kree-ey-tiv-i-tee, kree-uh–] -Noun
1. the state of quality of being creative
2. the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts
3. the process by which one utilizes creative ability: Extensive reading stimulated his creativityPronunciation
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
What better way to erase the wistful week in Colorado than a celebration of sorts. Life is good. We’re 3 1/2 weeks post-surgery, Mr. Wrist is healing nicely (though I’m stuck in this crazy halfway to my shoulder arm bent at a 45 degree angle contraption for another 2 weeks), I’ve relearned how to type, and I have a new toy. I bought a Sony Vaio out in Colorado, and boy, am I impressed. Vista works smoothly and is so similar to a friend’s cool new Mac that I don’t feel shortchanged, the Word 2007 package is totally cool, I’ve moved all my documents over from the sick laptop and sent it off to be fixed. There’s just one little nagging question.
Will I be able to create in this new world?
I didn’t plan to buy a new laptop just yet. I wasn’t emotionally prepared (I’m a classic Taurus, I loathe change for change’s sake.) My old Dell has worked fine. After a small existential fight, I actually made the transition from desktop to laptop, and wrote all but the last four chapters of my new book on the Dell. Then it decided to up and drop the soldered lead from the power jack to the motherboard, and bam, no more laptop. Now, timing is everything, right? So happens that the day after the
laptop heaved it’s last, lonely breath, I had the surgery. I couldn’t
type for a week, then started back one handed. I’d scheduled this to
coincide with a planned break from the manuscript, with every good intention to get it
done before they cut me open.
But the creative Gods conspired against
me and left me four measly chapters short. Then I went to my parents.
Now I’m home with this shiny, happy new baby in tow, which means I can’t finish the book where I started it. For the past five months, I’ve been parked in my favorite recliner, the soft leather warm and inviting, pecking away on my ancient Dell. I’ve done everything on this book in my living room, instead of sitting in my office, which was a massive transition.
I’ve spent the past few days transferring files, learning new software, playing around with different styles and colors (man, the desktop and screensaver choices are dynamite, and for a girl who takes great stock in images, that’s a good thing.) As far as ease of use, this thing smokes the old one.
I need to spend this week getting JUDAS KISS finished. I’m not procrastinating; I’ll get up first thing Monday, grab a Starbucks, plop into my chair and write the end. But I am curious. Will I be able to work as well with this new tool? Was the old cranky laptop a muse? (All my computers are named MUSE, by the way, just for the added inspiration.)
The question is, does it matter? Where does creativity stem from? Do the tools have anything to do with it? The setting you’re writing in? I know the question has been asked a million times, the coffee shop versus home office debate. What I’m talking about is changing your method in the middle of the game.
John Connolly got me thinking about this in his latest blog entry. Do our environs really play into our creativity? If we’re truly writers, does music or no music, laptop or desktop, office or coffee shop actually have any bearing? Are these just excuses we lob when we’re having a hard time thinking through a plot device, or a character isn’t singing for us?
So here’s a question for you. Where do you work, and how do you think you’d do if your cozy habitat was taken from you?
Wine of the Week: Michele Chiarlo Barolo Tortoniano, 2000, drunk with new friends in celebration of my father’s birthday at a phenomenal restaurant in Colorado named Gabriel’s. Highly recommended, we had three bottles of the stuff and it was all brilliant. I believe I’m on a nebbliolo grape kick again…
Robin Burcell will be my guest next week, and her essay is moving and exceptional. Please stop by and say hello. I’ll be back September 7th. Thank you for being so patient with me!
Also, for our Sisters In Crime readers and anyone else who might find it interesting… Trust me, this is going to be a good time. Great panels, huge authors. Big audience for writers too, 30,000 plus, so if you’re a SinC member and interested, contact J.B. Thompson at the address below.
SinC-Middle Tennessee at Southern Festival of Books
Where: Legislative Plaza, Nashville
Details: Sisters in Crime-Middle Tennessee will host a booth at
the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee, October 12-14, 2007. In
addition to promoting Sisters in Crime, the booth will be utilized as a signing
venue for up to 20 SinC authors, with one-hour time slots assigned on a
first-come, first-served basis. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the
author. Book sales will be handled through the Middle Tennessee chapter on a
consignment basis (details available upon request).
The Southern Festival of Books is a free, three-day book festival held in
alternating years between Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee and is attended by
thousands of book lovers from all over the country each year. For more
information, see the Festival’s
Contact SinC-MidTN chapter president J.B. Thompson to request a signing time
slot assignment and for additional information regarding book sale arrangements.
SinC authors who are unable to appear in person are invited to send bookmarks,
postcards, or other promotional materials for distribution to Festival attendees
(limit 100 pieces).