Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Anyway, let's take it and run with it. Pull out the newspaper. Please don't tell me you don't take the newspaper. OK, fine. Find a dang newspaper somewhere. Find a story. Make a blackout poem.
If you create one you love, send me a PDF and we'll post it.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Stay tuned: I'll be functional again by Wednesday.
*Yom Kippur is a fast day. You're allowed to eat and drink if you're ill. Unfortunately, my biggest ailment is stubbornness.
Monday, September 28, 2009
For transgressions against God, the Day of Atonement atones; but for transgressions of one human being against another, the Day of Atonement does not atone until they have made peace with one another.
I hereby forgive all who have hurt me, all who have wronged me, whether deliberately or inadvertently, whether by word or by deed. May no one be punished on my account.
As I forgive and pardon those who have wronged me, may those whom I have harmed forgive and pardon me, whether I acted deliberately or inadvertently, whether by word or by deed.
No matter what or whether you believe, fresh starts and forgiveness are good. Happy New Year!
Friday, September 25, 2009
And, in keeping with our grammatical twist, today's fun is to point you toward (gasp) Twitter, and the ThatWhichMatter feed. And, if you have to be on Twitter to get there, and you're not, you can look here at the Lifehacker site, which looks pretty interesting on its own. Heck, check this out, and see why Al Gore might want to spend a little time worrying about his own personal environment. Hey, just sayin' ...
Thanks to Barb, who knows ThatWhichMatter most is giving me a steady flow of blog ideas. Happy weekend!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Today, for example, we're celebrating National Punctuation Day! And, while you might think the exclamation point is my favorite punctuation, you'd be wrong.
Which brings us to our exercise:
- Guess my favorite punctuation mark.
- Tell me your favorite.
If you're feeling really adventurous, scroll down on the National Punctuation Day site and check out the baking contest. Let me know if you decide to enter.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Another creative battery booster? Teaching. There's no learning experience like teaching.
With both those tips in mind, I'm taking Creative Instigation on the road. For CI team members in NY, I'll be presenting in Rochester Oct. 8 at the 2009 PRSA NE District Conference and I'd love to see you there. CEO, adventurer and social media guru Peter Shankman is the keynote speaker.
If you belong to a group that's looking for speakers, remember my motto: Have creativity props. Will travel!
When I leave Rochester, I'm heading to Niagara Falls. Get that barrel ready!
P.S. That's a bad day at the falls in 1911. Surely you didn't expect me to go with the typical tourist shot. You do know me better than that, right?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Look around and find your favorite.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Yet, every year, we rehearse. Why? Because we know this is a creative endeavor that matters. So we approach it wholeheartedly; we don't put it in neutral and coast.
Is there a creative task you've been doing for so long you could do it with your eyes closed? If so, this is the week to bring it back to consciousness. Why? Because it matters.
Whether you're writing a resume, reading a bedtime story or baking a cake, it matters. Otherwise, why are you doing it?
As long as you're doing it, here's my advice: Put your whole heart into it. You might even want to rehearse. (How do you rehearse a resume? Easy. Pretend you're the HR director. Now, pick up your resume. Ask yourself: What makes this stand out? Da-da! You just rehearsed.)
And if you decide to rehearse the baking, let me know ...
Friday, September 18, 2009
P.S. Thanks to Leslie for the link!
P.P.S. If you're Jewish, you're allowed to have another favorite Jewish mother. Maybe two. But that's it.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
We should also never miss a chance to say thanks. A big shout-out to Mike Brown for getting me started on this, back in 2007. It's been fun. And it still is!
(Really and truly -- these are creativity tips. Celebrate. And say Thank you. People do better creative work when they're appreciated and their work is valued. Besides, it's simply the right thing to do.)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The lesson? That's OK. Nobody is creative 24/7.
As the flu and allergy season kicks in, listen to your body. Get your vitamin C. Have some tea. And when you need a nap, take one. Your friends will understand.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I'll take my holy hamburger with fries. And, of course, a diet Coke.
*Self amuse. It's a good thing.
Monday, September 14, 2009
"After that," I said, "I'll be over to see you."
"Your life is full!" she replied.
One short sentence -- and it stopped me short. I've never been a "glass is half-empty" type of gal, but I wasn't thinking my life was full. I was thinking it was freaking insane.
But she's right. My life is full. Wonderfully, astonishingly, fortunately, temporarily full. It's all a matter of perspective, and I'm changing mine.
Here's to creative perspectives, and a week filled with good friends and good work!
P.S. I wonder how many people reading the blog are old enough to understand the "Fill 'er up!" headline. I remember sitting in the back seat of dad's '62 Buick, watching some guy in coveralls washing our windows while he filled the tank ...
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Then, she edited. And wrote:
A little thing. Turn a period into an ellipsis. But what a difference it makes -- in meaning, in intent, in possibility. A period stops us. An ellipsis lets us go.
Today, change one little thing. The way you greet people, the route you take on your daily walk, the time of day you make that routine call home. It's your choice to make. And you never know where one change can lead ...
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
There's only one word for it, plagiarism. Let me make this crystal clear: Plagiarism, in any form, is wrong. Good intentions are no excuse.
I have known the man who submitted the column for years, and have never had any reason to doubt his talent or integrity. He read Sam's column and used it as inspiration, adding his own true experiences. He included Sam's word-for-word pay-off paragraph on balance -- which he originally attributed to Sam. Unfortunately, he deleted that attribution line before sending me the copy.
In his words: I thought I had tweaked it and changed it up enough to fit our order of events that I -- when trying to shorten my version -- deleted that attribution line. I ovbiously never went back and compared it with the original.
He was wrong. He has apologized to me. He will apologize to Sam. I sincerely apologize to Sam, and to you.
So, what have we learned?
- Inspiration is good. Plagiarism is bad.
When I talk about "stealing" ideas, I am talking about taking something as inspiration and making it your own. For example, my friend Linda wrote a sestina. I am taking that idea, and the words you provided, and writing a sestina. The idea came from Linda. The six end words came from you. The poem will be mine.
- Think before you hit "send."
My first reaction to Sam's email informing me of this unfortunate situation was an inappropriate, knee-jerk, "how dare you think I would plagiarize copy" response. The immediacy of electronic media is dangerous. As my brother's old poster used to say, "Make sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear."
- Ask for help.
I asked two valued members of my creative team for help. I sent them the materials, and my suggested response, considered their input and changed my copy. Thank you for always being there.
- Mistakes happen. And reputations matter.
I respect the words and reputations of other writers. I also value my own words -- and my reputation. In this business, in this town, reputation is a "make or break" factor. Part of my reputation is built on being Mama Bear. This time, one of my cubs made a big mistake. It's a mistake he's not likely to make again.
She never mentioned it again. Lesson learned.
Friday, September 4, 2009
(I knew typing skills would eventually come in handy. You know, for something other than earning a living ...)
Enjoy the long holiday weekend! I'll be back -- hopefully with the sestina you helped create -- on Tuesday.
I really need to stop with the exclamation marks. Really!!!!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
For this first go-round, the winners (drawn from a hat) are, in no particular order:
To give you a feel for how the six words get incorporated into end words for six stanzas, and then included in the final stanza, check out Sestina, by Elizabeth Bishop. There's also a rhythmic structure, but I'm not going to worry about that for my first time with this poetic form. I will post the poem as soon as I have it written. Don't expect it today.
While you're waiting -- with baited breath, I'm sure -- you can play along. Try a sestina, or:
- Choose one of the words, and write for 90 seconds about it. Don't think. Just write.
- Choose one of the words, and draw it. (What would silence look like?) Click on silence ... it links to a gorgeous, short poem.
- Choose two of the words, and include them in a haiku. (3 lines, 5-7-5 syllables)
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Help me get going on a sestina. Post one word. If we have six posts at the end of the day, I'll have the start of my sestina! If we have more than six posts/words, I'll write them all down, and pull six out of a hat. Honest to Pete. And I'm very trustworthy.
Keep in mind, I have to use each word as an end word in six six-line stanzas, then use two of the words per line in my final three-line stanza. Confused? So am I. It will all be clear once it's done.
Ready, set ... give me a word!