Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Creative Mushrooms

Creativity is a funny thing. I liken it to mycology (I dropped that term to both impress you as a reader and to make my friend in Oklahoma giggle a little). Fungi start somewhere, usually as spores. Those spores land and then grow into various mushrooms (this is where you scientifically-minded folks will see right through my scientific jargon to the poser I really am). Have you ever seen mushrooms or other fungal growth? They don't usually look like this: 

There are some crazy looking mushrooms out there, however. See?

There are also some stereotypical looking ones, too:

Then there is my favorite kind of mushroom, the kind sauteed and served on a steak:


These elements of the mycology field grow in various forms and in various places. Their size and their shape will depend on the weather, light, moisture, atmosphere, and location. Oh, yeah, and those original spores. 

Where is this going, Elizabeth?

Right. Back to creativity-as-mycology. Creativity does not just happen. It takes inspiration. It takes motivation. It takes atmosphere. And it starts with a spore. I think everybody contains the spore for creativity, although each spore grows in its unique way. Finally, you cannot force this growth. Fungi just happens (just look at the tiles in my bathroom... or maybe, don't). Creativity is the same way.

I write this as a means to encourage creativity to flow this evening as I have the mind to start three separate projects and yet lack the creative energy to make them actually happen today. Maybe I will go to bed and wake up to find that a night's sleep will encourage fungi growth. 

Actually, no. I don't want to wake up to find fungi growth, ever. But you know what I mean. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Simultaneously Thinking Fresh and Outside the Bun

I have always loved driving along highways. Yes, I like taking backroads and finding adventures along those, too. However, the long expanse of asphalt stretching out into the horizon brings some form of comfort to me. The reflective green signs announcing the next exit in a half mile stand as invitations to pull off and stop (planned or otherwise). Finally, no interstate journey is complete without seeing the glowing emblems of fast food and gas stations towering above the exits, often visible for several miles. 

Have you ever heard them?

"Stop here!" they scream. 
"No, here!" 
"Grab some fries and a drink!" 
"Stretch those legs and eat a hot dog!"
"This iced tea will make that drive feel shorter!" 
"We have bathrooms AND snack food!" 

That is what those signs say to me, anyways. I usually keep my music turned up loud so I can ignore them. I'll admit it: I give in sometimes.

As much as I have traveled and of the distances I have covered, I forget that those signs are not always recognized by everybody. This past week, I gave a private tour around the Nashville area for a family from Manhattan. One of the things that most amazed the family (especially the kids) was the fact that these places existed. As we'd pull off an exit to work towards our destination, the kids would point and ogle at these culinary treats. "Look! A Shoneys! A Taco Bell! A So-nic!" Evidently, fast food dining is few and far between on that little New York island. Something I take for granted, see everyday, consider American, and rarely actually think about became one of the highlights for this family. They toured an American city and it seems fitting that one of the things they were excited to witness were those glowing pedestals of processed, pre-packaged, high-sodium, deep-fried deliciousness our country is so good at promoting. Welcome to 'Merica. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Day, New Year

Well, hello from the optimistic side of the new year! New Year's Eve is generally a day in which we contemplate the old year. Our human nature tends to focus on the negative and write off the "old" of the past year. New Year's Day is generally a day in which we nurse a hangover celebrate a new year and get excited for the future. Just think! A whole new set of 365 days tied neatly together with a sequential string we label "year" given to you for fresh [fill in the blank]. Maybe a fresh start. Maybe a fresh goal. Maybe a fresh intention. Regardless, today is a new day.

Overall, I am a fan of new days. I try my best to treat each day as its own new day (new day!) and not let the whole "year" thing bother me. I make resolutions throughout the year as needed. I nurse hangovers celebrate the future as often as I can. Today is just another day, really.

But I felt it today. I felt the buzz of newness. I emitted an aura of anticipation as I thought of this upcoming year. I know many amazing things are in store. I know obstacles are in store. I know of my goals and my plans to reach those goals. I know how the majority of these plans will not work out exactly and I will be left with stories to tell. I like telling stories.

I plan on writing more. I plan on being published at some point. Sweet family members have faith in me enough to set me on my writing way (for Christmas, my parents gave me a crazy-capable external hard-drive and my husband gave me a writing desk). Here is what I found about the writing: in the same way that I cannot just hit the pavement and run six miles easily and injury-free after not running for a month, I do not have the ability to just make writing happen like I once felt I did. But my goal is to make that happen. Maybe I have just experienced months of "Writer's Block." Maybe I just got busy. Maybe I just didn't have the right desk! So now that I have the "write" desk (I wish I could have helped myself there, I just couldn't), I have the intentions of making this happen. I will write more. I have no idea of the content, but I will write more. If you choose to continue following my journey, I appreciate that.

Happy New Set of 365 Days to you. May each day bring you joy, regardless of whatever else the day may also bring.