Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Creativity under pressure

Mary Sullivan

I'm sure many of you know about NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month.

I've never been involved in the past, but decided to try it this year. It couldn't be for the purpose of writing an entire first draft, because I have too many other writing commitments at this time to commit to that. I did it because I need a new proposal for my next book and had nada. Zip. Absolutely nothing.

As hard as I tried, I was coming up dry.

So I looked at a couple of paragraphs in my next Super, which comes out in April, 2016, and really liked two characters who play a small role in the book.

I took one paragraph in particular and used it as the basis for the next book. So…I had a hero and a heroine. I knew their names and had some backstory for the heroine.

I committed to NaNoWriMo. On November 1st, I read that one paragraph and wrote down their names and then…just started to write. By the end of the first week, I had a few thousand words and at the end of the second weekend, I had a proposal. Once I finish line edits that are due this week, I will refine and flesh out what I've written and send it off. Voila! The beginning of a new story.

Having to produce under pressure somehow triggered the creative flow.

The weekend before last, my daughter woke up on Saturday morning looking forward to a party she planned to attend that evening. It wasn't until she checked the invitation to find out what time to go that she realized she had missed that it was a toga party!

Not wanting to ruin her one pair of good sheets, or buy more, she rummaged through her closet and found old ivory curtains she will probably never use again. She ran to a nearby store and bought gold lace and trim, sat down and made herself a Greek-themed dress, with a high waistline wrapped with gold cord. She left it un-hemmed, folded the too-wide straps in on themselves and, to the bodice that was too revealing, added gold lace that she held in place with duct tape. She was only half an hour late for the party and fit right in! The dress looked fabulous.

I call it the Scarlett O'Hara of togas, because she made it from her old curtains. She's going to store it just in case she ever goes to another toga party. I think she should wear it next Halloween with a curtain rod across her shoulders. Remember Carol Burnett's Gone With the Wind comedy sketch? It still makes me laugh.

What is the most creative thing you've ever had to pull together under pressure, be it a cake, a costume, a last-minute gift for someone, or…anything?

1 comment:

Mary Preston said...

I'm no good when under a deadline of any kind. I just make a hash of things.

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