Patrick Ross’ Creativity Tweets of the Week – 2/2/12

The Artist's Road

Patrick Ross

Patrick Ross

Your weekly treat has arrived early this week, as I’m reserving Friday for another post. Below find a highlight of links I tweeted on creativity and writing this week. Let me also invite any folks in the DC area who blog or are considering doing so to join me in a six-week workshop on blog writing I’ll be conducting at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The course runs six weeks starting the evening of Tuesday, April 17th; more information to come!


Read more on “The Artist’s Road” . . .

Thanks, Patrick, for including Creative Flux in your Creativity Tweets!

Creativity’s The Easy Bit

"It’s one thing to dream, but it’s completely another to engineer the final solution."

"It’s one thing to dream, but it’s completely another to engineer the final solution."

Some say that creativity, coming up with great new ideas is hard. I disagree. I have no problems coming up with really novel and interesting ways of addressing problems. It’s about the most fun you can have. You chew on the problem, explore data and whet your tingling nerve endings. Then maybe a bit of incubation and perhaps some deliberate creativity techniques, from using the dictionary to find stimulating random words to bouncing ideas around with other people.  And before long, there’s all kinds of great thoughts spouting out and spreading around.

But that’s not the half of it. When you have the idea, you next have to figure out how to make it work in practice. It’s one thing to dream, but it’s completely another to engineer the final solution. You may have to design shapes, connections and so on. You may need to figure out how to make it really cheaply and in a way that is easy to manufacture. And of course take into account all the regulations about recyclability, toxicity and so on. You may even fret about packaging and how to ship it from A to B in one piece. And before all this there’s all the stuff about usability, learnability, aesthetics et cetera. Maybe also you’ll be lucky and be dealing with something more conceptual, maybe just something that people should do.

Then comes the hard part. Or maybe the hard parts. This is about the people stuff. Because before you even get to spend any money on development, you’ll have to persuade other people that the idea is great. You’ll need to persuade them that the problem that your idea solves is worth solving. And worth spending money on. Even if it is blindingly obvious to you, you’ll find that there will be people who think it is stupid and a waste of time and certainly a waste of money.  And if you’re developing a commercial product, then you’ll also have to persuade people to use your idea, customers to buy, retailers to stock, marketers to sell and so on.

But don’t worry. All this stuff about persuading people is also about creativity. Because now you are in the territory of social innovation, where you can be creative about how you influence, sell and change minds. The problem that many innovators face is that, while they are great in their home territory, they are lost when it comes to persuasion.  The solution is not easy, but it can be fun. You just have to roll your sleeves up and study psychology and social influence. It’s a big field and there’s lots to discover. But if you want to really make a difference in life, you’ll find it the best investment you can make.



How To Invent Almost Anything

How To Invent Almost Anything

David Straker is a creative professional who has spent many years in R&D (hardware and software), won a few patents for his employers, and since the 90s, has been a business consultant—training people in blue-chip companies around the world. He has written a number of books, including two on problem-solving and one on inventing.


Please join the discussion below

Training Creativity

Creativity erupts from some people like magma from a volcano; it requires no encouragement and you couldn’t stop it if you tried. Loathsome aren’t they? For most of us creativity is more like a puppy. It will frolic and play around the room, it may chew up our favorite slippers if left unattended, or it may wander off, curl up in its bed and nap. We have little control over what our cute little Muse will choose to do, and it rarely chooses to help pull the dogsled we call a Work In Progress.

But, through the use of some training and encouragement Muse can grow into a useful and dependable companion.

Housebreaking Your Muse

The first step is to instill some basic rules about what is and is not acceptable. This will take some patience on your part, and some flexibility. Muse may scratch at the door at 3:00 AM, ignoring him because the floors are cold and the bed is warm is not a good idea. You don’t want this to become a habit, but occasionally answering the call is better than the alternative.

Keep a notebook handy for jotting down those flashes of inspiration that bark in the back of your mind while doing important non-writing tasks that cannot be abandoned in order to open the door for Muse.

Leash Training Your Muse

It is lots of fun to roll in the grass and let Muse lick your face, but eventually you will need to get her adjusted to the fact that all of life is not a constant frolic. When you sit down to your keyboard to go for a literary jog, it is best if Muse will trot along beside you.

Unlike a puppy, use of a choke collar is discouraged; for Muse is a delicate creature. Positive reinforcement and rewards work well. Take occasional breaks from the W.I.P. run to allow Muse to play. Chaining the both of you to your keyboard for eight or more hours a day is not good for either of you. Go for a walk, take a look at the world around you, let Muse play among the scenery.

Teaching Muse to Come When Called

If Muse is reluctant to join you when it’s time to write – sometimes the W.I.P. is about as enticing to Muse as a bath – try some free-run exercises to entice him. There are many; here are just a few:

1) Pick up the daily paper, select three headlines at random and challenge yourself to set a scene or write dialog between characters based on those headlines.

2) Pick two rival historical figures, put them in a confined situation; perhaps a life boat at sea, and imagine what they would say to one another.

3) Imagine how the world would be different if something common did not exist – say any and all paper products.

Letting muse off the leash to play for a bit often encourages him to be more cooperative and less inclined to run away when he knows you expect something of him.

Include Plenty of Play Time

Keep Muse fit and invigorated by spending time reading good writings of others, enjoying a variety of art and music, and getting involved with children. Youngsters are a veritable fountain of imagination. Play with them. Allow your muse to wrestle and run with theirs. We were like them once: unfettered, freely imaginative, seeing and exploring the wonder that is our world.

Feed, nurture and love your Muse and it will become your loyal companion.



Allan Douglas

Allan Douglas

Allan Douglas has been an author, writer, and prattler since the 1970’s. Published mostly in magazines but has three books to date with more on the way.  He lives on a mountainside in the Cherokee National Forest in East Tennessee with his wonderful wife, a genius border collie and a Prima donna hound dog who is queen of the mountain. He serves as an ordained Elder and Session Clerk (writer of minutes) in his church, is a master woodworker/furniture maker, and once dreamt of sailing the world in a Bristol Channel Cutter and writing of his adventures.  Stories about this and his life as a mountain man wannabe are posted to his Simple Life Prattle blog.  He also offers advice to writers at The Write Stuff. His latest book is Writing for Profit or Pleasure, Where (and how) to Publish What You Write.

Connect with Allan 

Web Site | Twitter: @AllanDouglasDgn


Books by Allan Douglas:

Writing For Profit Or Pleasure

Writing For Profit Or Pleasure

Writing for Profit or Pleasure, Where (and how) to Publish What You Write.



Please join the discussion below.

Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking

Aspects of creative thinking that are not usually taught.

  1. You are creative. The artist is not a special person, each one of us is a special kind of artist. Every one of us is born a creative, spontaneous thinker. The only difference between people who are creative and people who are not is a simple belief. Creative people believe they are creative. People who believe they are not creative, are not. Once you have a particular identity and set of beliefs about yourself, you become interested in seeking out the skills needed to express your identity and beliefs. This is why people who believe they are creative become creative. If you believe you are not creative, then there is no need to learn how to become creative and you don’t. The reality is that believing you are not creative excuses you from trying or attempting anything new. When someone tells you that they are not creative, you are talking to someone who has no interest and will make no effort to be a creative thinker.
  2. Creative thinking is work. You must have passion and the determination to immerse yourself in the process of creating new and different ideas. Then you must have patience to persevere against all adversity. All creative geniuses work passionately hard and produce incredible numbers of ideas, most of which are bad. In fact, more bad poems were written by the major poets than by minor poets. Thomas Edison created 3000 different ideas for lighting systems before he evaluated them for practicality and profitability. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart produced more than six hundred pieces of music, including forty-one symphonies and some forty-odd operas and masses, during his short creative life. Rembrandt produced around 650 paintings and 2,000 drawings and Picasso executed more than 20,000 works. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. Some were masterpieces, while others were no better than his contemporaries could have written, and some were simply bad.
  3. You must go through the motions of being creative. When you are producing ideas, you are replenishing neurotransmitters linked to genes that are being turned on and off in response to what your brain is doing, which in turn is responding to challenges. When you go through the motions of trying to come up with new ideas, you are energizing your brain by increasing the number of contacts between neurons. The more times you try to get ideas, the more active your brain becomes and the more creative you become. If you want to become an artist and all you did was paint a picture every day, you will become an artist. You may not become another Vincent Van Gogh, but you will become more of an artist than someone who has never tried.
  4. Your brain is not a computer. Your brain is a dynamic system that evolves its patterns of activity rather than computes them like a computer. It thrives on the creative energy of feedback from experiences real or fictional. You can synthesize experience; literally create it in your own imagination. The human brain cannot tell the difference between an “actual” experience and an experience imagined vividly and in detail. This discovery is what enabled Albert Einstein to create his thought experiments with imaginary scenarios that led to his revolutionary ideas about space and time. One day, for example, he imagined falling in love. Then he imagined meeting the woman he fell in love with two weeks after he fell in love. This led to his theory of acausality. The same process of synthesizing experience allowed Walt Disney to bring his fantasies to life.
  5. There is no one right answer. Reality is ambiguous. Aristotle said it is either A or not-A. It cannot be both. The sky is either blue or not blue. This is black and white thinking as the sky is a billion different shades of blue. A beam of light is either a wave or not a wave (A or not-A). Physicists discovered that light can be either a wave or particle depending on the viewpoint of the observer. The only certainty in life is uncertainty. When trying to get ideas,  do not censor or evaluate them as they occur. Nothing kills creativity faster than self-censorship of ideas while generating them. Think of all your ideas as possibilities and generate as many as you can before you decide which ones to select. The world is not black or white. It is grey.
  6. Never stop with your first good idea. Always strive to find a better one and continue until you have one that is still better. In 1862, Phillip Reis demonstrated his invention which could transmit music over the wires. He was days away from improving it into a telephone that could transmit speech. Every communication expert in Germany dissuaded him from making improvements, as  they said the telegraph is good enough. No one would buy or use a telephone. Ten years later, Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone. Spencer Silver developed a new adhesive for 3M that stuck to objects but could easily be lifted off. It was first marketed as a bulletin board adhesive so the boards could be moved easily from place to place. There was no market for it. Silver didn’t discard it. One day Arthur Fry, another 3M employee, was singing in the church’s choir when his page marker fell out of his hymnal. Fry coated his page markers with Silver’s adhesive and discovered the markers stayed in place, yet lifted off without damaging the page. Hence the Post-it Notes were born. Thomas Edison was always trying to spring board from one idea to another in his work. He spring boarded his work from the telephone (sounds transmitted) to the phonograph (sounds recorded) and, finally, to motion pictures (images recorded).
  7. Expect the experts to be negative. The more expert and specialized a person becomes,  the more their mindset becomes narrowed and the more fixated they become on confirming what they believe to be absolute. Consequently, when confronted with new and different ideas,  their focus will be on conformity. Does it conform with what I know is right? If not, experts will spend all their time showing and explaining why it can’t be done and why it can’t work. They will not look for ways to make it work or get it done because this might demonstrate that what they regarded as absolute is not absolute at all. This is why when Fred Smith created Federal Express, every delivery expert in the U.S. predicted its certain doom. After all, they said, if this delivery concept was doable, the Post Office or UPS would have done it long ago.
  8. Trust your instincts. Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged. Albert Einstein was expelled from school because his attitude had a negative effect on serious students; he failed his university entrance exam and had to attend a trade school for one year before finally being admitted; and was the only one in his graduating class who did not get a teaching position because no professor would recommend him. One professor said Einstein was “the laziest dog” the university ever had. Beethoven’s parents were told he was too stupid to be a music composer. Charles Darwin’s colleagues called him a fool and what he was doing “fool’s experiments” when he worked on his theory of biological evolution. Walt Disney was fired from his first job on a newspaper because “he lacked imagination.” Thomas Edison had only two years of formal schooling, was totally deaf in one ear and was hard of hearing in the other, was fired from his first job as a newsboy and later fired from his job as a telegrapher; and still he became the most famous inventor in the history of the U.S.
  9. There is no such thing as failure. Whenever you try to do something and do not succeed, you do not fail. You have learned something that does not work. Always ask “What have I learned about what doesn’t work?”, “Can this explain something that I didn’t set out to explain?”, and “What have I discovered that I didn’t set out to discover?” Whenever someone tells you that they have never made a  mistake, you are talking to someone who has never tried anything new.
  10. You do not see things as they are; you see them as you are. Interpret your own experiences. All experiences are neutral. They have no meaning. You give them meaning by the way you choose to interpret them. If you are a priest, you see evidence of God everywhere. If you are an atheist, you see the absence of God everywhere. IBM observed that no one in the world had a personal computer. IBM interpreted this to mean there was no market. College dropouts, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, looked at the same absence of personal computers and saw a massive opportunity. Once Thomas Edison was approached by an assistant while working on the filament for the light bulb. The assistant asked Edison why he didn’t give up. “After all,” he said, “you have failed 5000 times.” Edison looked at him and told him that he didn’t understand what the assistant meant by failure, because, Edison said, “I have discovered 5000 things that don’t work.” You construct your own reality by how you choose to interpret your experiences.
  11. Always approach a problem on its own terms. Do not trust your first perspective of a problem as it will be too biased toward your usual way of thinking. Always look at your problem from multiple perspectives. Always remember that genius is finding a perspective no one else has taken. Look for different ways to look at the problem. Write the problem statement several times using different words. Take another role, for example, how would someone else see it, how would Jay Leno, Pablo Picasso, George Patton see it? Draw a picture of the problem, make a model, or mold a sculpture. Take a walk and look for things that metaphorically represent the problem and force connections between those things and the problem (How is a broken store window like my communications problem with my students?) Ask your friends and strangers how they see the problem. Ask a child. How would a ten year old solve it? Ask a grandparent. Imagine you are the problem. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
  12. Learn to think unconventionally. Creative geniuses do not think analytically and logically. Conventional, logical, analytical thinkers are exclusive thinkers which means they exclude all information that is not related to the problem. They look for ways to eliminate possibilities. Creative geniuses are inclusive thinkers which mean they look for ways to include everything, including things that are dissimilar and totally unrelated. Generating associations and connections between unrelated or dissimilar subjects is how they provoke different thinking patterns in their brain.  These new patterns lead to new connections which give them a different way to focus on the information and different ways to interpret what they are focusing on. This is how original and truly novel ideas are created. Albert Einstein once famously remarked “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

And, finally, Creativity is paradoxical. To create, a person must have knowledge but forget the knowledge, must see unexpected connections in things but not have a mental disorder, must work hard but spend time doing nothing as information incubates, must create many ideas yet most of them are useless, must look at the same thing as everyone else, yet see something different, must desire success but embrace failure, must be persistent but not stubborn, and must listen to experts but know how to disregard them.


Originally published on December 2, 2011 by Michael Michalko in Creative Thinkering


Michael Michalko

Michael Michalko

Michael Michalko is the author of Creative ThinkeringThinkertoys (A Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques)Cracking Creativity, and ThinkPak (A Brainstorming Card Deck). While an army officer, he organized a team of NATO intelligence specialists and international academics to find and collect the best inventive thinking methods and techniques in the world. He has expanded and taught these techniques to numerous Fortune 500 companies, associations, government agencies and organizations around the world. He lives in Rochester, New York and Naples, Florida. His website is:

Connect with Michael Michalko
Web Site | Twitter: @MichaelMichalko


Books Michael Michalko:

Creative Thinkering

Creative Thinkering



Cracking Creativity

Cracking Creativity


The Black Dress

Photo by Roz Morris / Photo editing by Terrabyte Graphics

Photo by Roz Morris / Photo editing by Terrabyte Graphics

Deleted Scene from “My Memories of a Future Life,” by Roz Morris

This is a scene I wanted to include in my novel My Memories of a Future Life. Briefly, the narrator is a musician who is injured, and is clinging to the hope that rest will cure her. In the early part of the novel she is making bargains with fate—if she rests, the universe will give her back her playing and her life.

I didn’t want to delete this from the book, but I had other scenes that made the same point. When I’m in final revisions I cut ruthlessly. I frequently ditch material that is perfectly good, and that includes scenes that I’m in love with. It takes discipline and soul-searching, but by that stage the story has a will of its own that overrides my ego. It doesn’t listen to me wail that I liked a scene. It is ruled by an overall rhythm of event, event, event; onwards, onwards, onwards. If a scene circles over already trodden ground, something must go.

So this is a scene I cut reluctantly. I liked its simplicity, the tiny slice it showed of a musician’s life and the totemic responsibility Carol put into one garment. In real life it was inspired by a family heirloom—another tug for the heartstrings, although that matters to no one but me. Even though it didn’t make it to the page, I like to think she still did it, off screen in the moments we didn’t see.


The house was quiet. On the coat rack next to the door was a dress in dry-cleaner’s wrappers. A Post-it note was stuck to the cellophane, scrawled with Jerry’s flamboyant script.

Picked this up for you. The dry cleaners were about to give it to Oxfam.

The dress was black velvet, three-quarter length. A performance dress. Classical musicians have a bizarre working wardrobe; you wear what you like for rehearsals, but performances demand formal wear. For the women it had to be black, with a modest neckline, a skirt at least nine inches below the knee. It was a constant battle to find clothes that obeyed those rules and weren’t funereal.

I’d found this dress in Camden Lock market three weeks ago. I wouldn’t have been there if I’d been playing, but I was out roaming London on another tour of nothing. The dress was on a rail between pseudo-Victorian nightgowns and mangy fur tippets. It was unloved—the seam split on one side; the other side fastened only by ancient press studs which left an alarming glimpse of flesh underneath. But the other seams were tough enough for a performance. The velvet was silk and the pile so fine it hung from my shoulders like liquid. I took it to the cleaners and discussed repairing it and putting in a zip. They warned me it would take a few weeks. That was fine, I said.

I left it there. It would count the days for me. I imagined picking it up on my way back from the hospital and carrying it over the threshold. I’d try it on; we’d nod at each other in the mirror. New start.

Now I didn’t even lift the cellophane to see if they’d done a good job. I threw it straight in the wardrobe and shut the door.


Keys to the Future (Compliments of Q2 Music)

Live from Abrons Arts Center on May 25th, 2011



Roz Morris

Roz Morris

Roz Morris is a bestselling ghostwriter and book doctor. She blogs at and has a double life on Twitter; for writing advice follow her as @dirtywhitecandy, for more normal chit-chat try her on @ByRozMorris. She has a second blog, where she runs The Undercover Soundtrack – a regular feature about writers who use music in their creative process.

My Memories of a Future Life AudioMy Memories Of A Future Life


Please join the discussion below

Get Down with a Mashup

Mashups for Idea Generation

Gregg Fraley, author of Jack’s Notebook, gives a short interactive talk to the Institute of Cultural Research in London, July 2012.

He suggests in this video that conceptual mashups can be enhanced with multi-modal learning experiences to generate new ideas.

Yes, you can try this at home.



Gregg Fraley

Gregg Fraley

Gregg Fraley is an author, speaker, and Chief Solver of London based KILN. KILN offers innovation services, including IdeaKeg, a subscription service for innovation teams. Gregg is an experienced innovation process facilitator; his customers include prominent brands like American Crew, Budweiser, and Nestlé Purina. He’s the author of “Jack’s Notebook,” a well-reviewed business fable related to innovation and structured creative problem solving. Jack’s Notebook is used by business schools like U of C Berkeley and St. John’s University, but more importantly it’s been used by thousands of people form all walks of life to amplify their own creativity. Gregg had a 20 year career in the software industry. His earlier experiences included work in advertising, journalism, and interactive television. Avocations include stand-up comedy, cartooning, and improvisation.

Connect with Gregg
Blog | Twitter: @greggfraley

About Kiln Ideas, Ltd.
Kiln is an innovation products and services company that “fires up corporate innovation.” Kiln is part cultural scanning, part self-drive creative idea generation, complimented by hands-on facilitation and innovation training services. Kiln allows companies to stay tuned to trends, while speeding up the front end of innovation. IdeaKeg™ is their new subscription service than offers innovation teams a kinesthetic experience where objects related to current trends are mashed up with business objectives. This stimulates better questions and generates better, more breakthrough, ideas for new business concepts.

Connect with Gregg at Kiln Ideas, Ltd.
Web Site | Twitter: @kilnco | LinkdIn



Jack's Notebook

Jack's Notebook

If you want to start into more advanced creativity practice, you might consider my book – Jack’s Notebook, a business novel about creative problem solving. It’s done in story form, this is not your typical didactic business book!


Please join the discussion below.

PSI and Forced Association

Atomic Collision

Image by mynameishalo

PSI (Problem + Stimulus = Idea)

When to use it

PSI is a simple approach that can be used in several ways.

As a simple thinking tool, it can trigger an effective thinking process.

As a framework for a whole approach, it can accommodate a number of methods of stimulating ideas.

It is a good tool to use when you are stuck, as it gives a logical structure.

As a quick tool it sets a direction. More serious use requires effort to define the problem and experiment with stimuli.


X  Long



X  Psychological



X  Group


How to use it

Define the Problem

The P of PSI stands for Problem. The first step is thus to clarify the problem that you are seeking to solve. If you are not clear on the problem, you will have difficulty in finding a good solution! Some thoughts for this:

  • Try writing it down in several ways.
  • Say the same thing in different words.
  • Describe it from different viewpoints.
  • Think about what ‘success’ means.
  • Think backwards: what is ‘not success’.

For example, if you are seeking to stop a window leaking, you can define the problem as staying dry or keeping out water, it can be about sealant or surfaces, materials or coatings, corners or the entire frame. You can even look at it from the viewpoint of the rain or the window.

Find a Stimulus

The S of PSI stands for Stimulus. It is amazing the number of stimuli you can find around you. Almost anything will do, although something evocative is better, as it will trigger more ideas. The bottom line with stimuli is that if they work, then fine, but if they do not work or run out, then there are plenty more lying around.

For example, a stimulus for the leaky window could be found by looking through the window. Can you see a tree, a car, a running child?

Bang them together

The magic equation of PSI is:

P + S = I

or, more fully:

Problem + Stimulus + Idea

In other words, you bang the Problem and the Stimulus together and see what Ideas this creates. It sound simple, and is. But that does not mean it is not effective. As in much creativity, it’s the simple things that work best.

Thus, for example, when you look at the tree, you could wonder how the inside of the tree stays dry. Could you apply some bark? It has fibres in it. Could you pack the area with waterproof fibre? Or what about the car. That has windows – how does it keep out the water, especially at speed in the driving rain. It uses rubber seals that fit closely over the window and flex with any movement.


Problem: How to get plants to grow in contaminated soil.

Stimulus: Fire

Idea: Have a bonfire in a pit to burn away the contamination, then root the plant in the ashes.

How it works

PSI uses the principle of forced association, which gets your brain out a rut by bringing together things that have not previously been combined. In its flight from the discomfort of this, the subconscious brain will give you whatever you want, including useful ideas.

PSI takes this a step further by deliberately using the problem as one part of the combinatory equation.

A very simple principle that is at the heart of much creativity is Bisociation can be used both as an understanding and even as a stand-alone creativity tool.

Forced Association

Moon Collision Dust

Moon Collision Dust by Steve Spangler

The simple principle of forced association is of ‘banging things together’ that have not previously been brought together, or at least not recently.


Bisociation, a term coined by Arthur Koestler in his book, ‘The Act of Creation’, where he discusses the principle of forced association, amongst others. It is a quite a nice term, combining ‘bi’ for two ideas and ‘association’.

A + B = C

A simple ‘calculus’ of forced association is the equation A + B = C, where A and B are two things being brought together that result in the idea, C.

The lever of Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is the term used by social psychologist Leon Festinger to describe the state of discomfort created when we hold two opposing thoughts in the mind at the same time. In social psychology, this classically happens in such situations when a person who thinks of them as being kind and thoughtful does something like walk past a beggar on the street without giving them anything. They typically react by trying to get away from this discomfort, for example by walking faster or pretending the beggar is not there.

In creative forced association, the act of verbal vandalism in bringing together two words or thoughts that do not go together is enough to shock the subconscious brain into giving you whatever you want, including good ideas, just to get away from the discomfort of holding together words that it does not think should go together.



How To Invent Almost Anything

How To Invent Almost Anything

David Straker is a creative professional who has spent many years in R&D (hardware and software), won a few patents for his employers, and since the 90s, has been a business consultant—training people in blue-chip companies around the world. He has written a number of books, including two on problem-solving and one on inventing.


Please join the discussion below

Happy New Year and Thank You!

Happy New Year 2012

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.

Thank you

I would like to express my gratitude to all the Creative Flux contributors for their high caliber work and stimulating insights, with my greatest appreciation to Terri Long who launched the site with her brilliant piece, “How Gender Roles Crush Creativity.” These thanks are also extended to all of you avid readers and savvy commenters.

Special thanks to: Rich Weatherly, for the use of his beautiful quote; Q2 Music, for their outstanding repertoire and service, and for graciously sharing their audio clips; and to all the StoryWorld zealots, for calling out into the wilderness with such eye-opening and engaging information that Transmedia-disciples, like myself, might be led to the (real) Truth.

Thank you, all, for making 2011 a terrific success!

In the upcoming year, I look forward to discovering and discussing your innovations and inspirations, I invite you all into the conversation and to contact me if you have an idea you would like to share on Creative Flux, and I wish you all the courage to continue jumping into the void!

And if your vision ever gets clouded in 2012, let Wordsworth be your beacon . . .


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth


Please join the discussion below.

A Sweet & Sour Christmas

The Christmas Story

I don’t know about you, but I’ve already placed my order for a custom-fit sheep costume.


And now, my personal favorite…

Christ Came Down

CHRIST climbed down
from His bare Tree this year
and ran away to where
there were no rootless Christmas trees
hung with candycanes and breakable stars

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree this year
and ran away to where
there were no gilded Christmas trees
and no tinsel Christmas trees
and no tinfoil Christmas trees
and no pink plastic Christmas trees
and no gold Christmas trees
and no black Christmas trees
and no powderblue Christmas trees
hung with electric candles
and encircled by tin electric trains
and clever cornball relatives

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree this year
and ran away to where
no intrepid Bible salesmen
covered the territory
in two-tone cadillacs
and where no Sears Roebuck creches
complete with plastic babe in manger
arrived by parcel post
the babe by special delivery
and where no televised Wise Men
praised the Lord Calvert Whiskey

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree this year
and ran away to where
no fat handshaking stranger
in a red flannel suit
and a fake white beard
went around passing himself off
as some sort of North Pole saint
crossing the desert to Bethlehem
in a Volkswagen sled
drawn by rollicking Adirondack reindeer
with German names
and bearing sacks of Humble Gifts
from Saks Fifth Avenue
for everybody’s imagined Christ child

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree this year
and ran away to where
no Bing Crosby carollers
groaned of a tight Christmas
and where no Radio City angels
iceskated wingless
thru a winter wonderland
into a jinglebell heaven
daily at 8:30
with Midnight Mass matinees

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree this year
and softly stole away into
some anonymous Mary’s womb again
where in the darkest night
of everybody’s anonymous soul
He awaits again
an unimaginable and impossibly
Immaculate Reconception
the very craziest
of Second Comings



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