100 Days of Creativity

100 Days of Creativity

As a recent grad who has yet to find a job, my situation has highlighted the fact that I’m in a bit of a creativity rut lately. I used to always have story ideas swirling around in my head. In school, I always had projects to work on and keep my brain sharp. Now that the summer has hit and I’m jobless, projectless, and, let’s face it, kind of friendless, I’ve decided to at least take back some semblance of control in my life. Thus, the resurrection of this weird little side blog I started back in the day.

Having spent most of this month listening to webinars and taking online courses about how to make it in the design and tech industry, the prevailing theme and piece of advice seems to boil down to this: you gotta make stuff. Doesn’t really matter what it is, just create something that nobody else but you can create. Enter the challenge:

100DoC-main

Inspired by my other designer friends, I’m going to embark on a challenge to make something every day, for 100 days. I’m focusing on writing, because I feel like that’s where my heart beats strongest, but if the odd illustration or design idea comes to me, what the hell.

I’ll mostly be using this generator, which gives you the first line of a story to work off of. I’m not limiting myself to any particular length or genre of story. I just need to take that first line, let the words flow and see what happens.

Let’s do this thing!

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you think i’m not a goddess?

my tongue is still raw from when i sipped tea a little too eagerly, but i find myself content and sloshy nonetheless. i’m in a glorious haze of non-hungoverness, if that can be called a thing (and it can, because i just did, so ha). in the way that i still have traces of eyeliner clinging between my lashes (like despondent sea snails perched on a rapidly-drying rock when the ocean has left them, who try but can never catch up to the fleeing tide because hello, they’re snails), my fierce warrior amazon psyche from the night before lingers in my aching bones, not quite ready to fade away and leave me with my regular self.

i mean, it’s not like she’ll ever really go away, because who do you think brought her round for drinks in the first place? but the doldrums of reality beat ever onwards, and this tantalizing phantasm would cease to intrigue if she, in all her stygian glory, rocked up in the watery sunlight of this sorry excuse of a season, blinking indignantly and revealing to the world the kind of stuff that’s easy to hide in the dinge.

y’know, like maybe her jeans are a bit too long, or her shoes are just a little too twee for her liking.

you see, the appeal of slipping into someone else’s skin is that it only happens when i’m just so goddamn ready to ditch my sweet schoolgirl self on the side of the road, coughing back the dust and forlornly still believing that my silence makes me mysterious

and not just forgettable.

she orders me a gin & tonic, smiles knowingly when i find myself drawn to its exquisite unsettling taste, then hurries me onto the dance floor, not caring that it’s

such

a

banality

to be a 21-year-old dancing to chart-toppers in a club. you think she gives a fuck what people scoff at these days? she plucks archetypes, like ripe berries off the legit shrub of prejudice, and swallows them whole.

it’s where her, like, power and shit comes from, dude.

whatever the case, i find myself rubbing my vocal chords raw and moving my body in ways that would surely be mortifying in the absence of any number of factors that make this situation what it is.

look, i know that nobody’s going to inspect my gloriously-applied gel eyeliner and nod appreciatively, or care that my aggressively-coiffed hair is fucking righteous, because once we walk up into the club like what up, I got a big cock the only thing people care about is seeking out the kind of transcendental experiences that can only be found at the bottom of a highball glass.

so i let her take over me, and her hold on me is so sublime that i cling to her as long as i can, basking in the afterglow of her spirit even while i sit at my computer, unmoving, in my pajamas for the entirety of the sun’s newest manifestation.

tomorrow i’ll get shit done. tomorrow she’ll be safely tucked away behind my ribs, unhurriedly sipping spiked tea while she awaits her next debut.

we can’t wait.

 

  • Do some pull-ups. If a man saunters by, keep doing them, but take one hand and at least three fingers off the bar and sneer at him
  • Make any and all decisions with the same gravity with which Nicholas Cage delivers “I’m going to steal the Declaration of Independence”
  • Get yourself at least one outfit that makes you feel as if punching an Austrian terrorist is just the warm-up
  • (Because it is)
  • Invest in one of those showers with the sexy glass doors, so that your lovers/enemies can see your hazy yet undoubtedly sleek figure do that hair flip thing
  • File all of the heels of your stiletto shoes into actual stilettos.
  • Find one of those Gentlemen’s Clubs wherein pipes are smoked and brandy is swirled; kick down the door wearing a leathery boobs-akimbo outfit, light up a cigar with a propane torch, and hiss, “I am no man!”. Have a Youtube clip of that Eowyn scene queued up on your phone in case someone doesn’t get the reference.
  • Learn how to say “Enchanté” and “I bet your wife couldn’t do this” in at least 17 languages
  • Carefully mark your regular lipstick so you don’t confuse it with your poison one
  • Make sure your leg can travel a vertical 180 degrees
  • Always carry a wig
  • Ride a tiger around sometimes
  • Practice your backflips in the mirror so you don’t make that weird backflip face in the heat of the moment
  • When you meet Beefchunk McRipplechest, immediately find out what his hobbies, skills, and aspirations are, and flawlessly do everything he loves with cool nonchalance. Then set his car on fire, just ’cause.
  • If you find yourself locked up in a Cambodian prison with no chance of release, simply shift into your natural form (this is almost always a large anaconda) and facilitate your own escape. Allowing others to help you in any way is punishable by death, in accordance with Hippolyta’s Sacred Code.
  • After completing any badassery, ensure that one foot lands directly in front of the other as you walk away so that your hips take out the eyes of any gawkers

Words and I have a mercurial history.

There are times when I’m graced with literature; I make friends with sepulchral and lugubrious and exsanguinate. Chewy, silky words that are teetering piles of ideas and nuances, distilled into a single, pure drop of conveyance. These are the words that sit patiently under the distant tree, waiting for me to come over and join them in the blissful shade. They are in no hurry, with no agenda but their meaning, and it worries them little if my brain stumbles on their articulation.

But sometimes I find myself locked in an elevator with a snarling, arrogant fiend. Lyricism rarely graces spoken words, but that’s beyond their concern. They are not here to make me feel good. They do not care about my inner chaos. They will snicker at my misplaced emphasis, invite others in to mock. They seek only to get their point across, vociferously, and whether or not I wish to hear them is irrelevant.

I am thoroughly shackled with the former; I have not been graced with any gift of the oratory. Asking; telling; forcing people to listen–hear–me, is done not by speech or elocution, but with inky black claws. I must be allowed to toggle ideas in my head, switch and delete and rearrange my thoughts into something coherent. Words must drip and ooze down the page, collecting scraps, before coalescing at the bottom to form a plump, shining image.

If I am one who shies away from talking, who runs away into the embrace of bounded pages and pens fast running out of fuel, then I can be sure I have an antithesis. One who burns and crackles like a firework, whose patience for my sedate, measured expression runs out faster than a hummingbird’s heartbeat. They exult in breakneck banter, in letting words tumble out of their mouth quicker than they can catch them. When they speak to me, I might have to sift through clutter, glide over iterations of “um” and “like” and “y’know”,  to grasp substance and sense. My dramatic brain has turned listening into both a chore and a respite, a bittersweet cacophony.

(There is another creature out there; one that scares and exhilarates me.  One whose charm is a black hole, who sucks the air out of the room with their entrance. They leap onto wobbling desks or languish barefoot in pastoral fields, trailing captive throngs wherever they go. They have harnessed the power of both realms, easily snatching complexity, poetry, and insight out of the esoteric cranking of their brain and splashing it across brick walls and billboards and open air. They are pied pipers, beloved and terrible with their heady influence. For it is a fearful beauty; they are the ones who wrench open the scribal cages and set words free into the auditory realm like doves into a battlefield. Everyone stops; everyone listens; everyone is spellbound.

But, I think we agree: no one man should have all that power.)

And so, to those at whom I howl, growl, yip and squeak, I say this: Wait. Pause. Don’t dismiss or be fooled or put me on a shelf somewhere. Let me write you a sonnet, an essay, a strongly worded note. A manifesto two hundred pages deep bound with twine and delivered to your front door by a woman in a trenchcoat.

I have things to say. I just can’t say them.

At least not out loud.

Things Every 20 Year-Old Should Know By Now

  1. The world doesn’t owe you a single goddamn thing.
  2. If this makes you sad, please know that you don’t owe the world a single goddamn thing, either.
  3. If you’re rude to waitstaff, everybody on earth hates you.
  4. There is no such thing as a “guilty pleasure.” You should feel not a single ounce of shame when you roll down the windows of your crappy Civic and flail around to “I Knew You Were Trouble”, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”, or “The 1812 Overture”. (See point 2 if you feel weird about letting people know your True Nature in regards to anything.)
  5. How about learning the subtle yet powerful art of Wielding an Apostrophe? Look, I know language is an ever-changing beast; for god’s sake, they amended the definition of “literally” to include the phrase “something that is not literally true, but used for emphasis”. This is an unescapable fact that plenty of scrupulous tweed-wearing folk should take into consideration. However, just because “tl;dr” is an acceptable form of communication in our society doesn’t mean that it’s defensible to pluralize nouns with an apostrophe, or still somehow not understand the difference between “its” and “it’s”, “your” and “you’re”, or “then” and “than”. If you were handed a high school diploma (or a degree in literally anything) with any sort of aplomb, then there is absolutely no reason for you to contribute to the torrent of abuse faced daily by this hapless piece of punctuation.
  6. Morning people exist. We do not need to hear yet another iteration of “# a.m.? I didn’t even know they had one of those in the morning!”
  7. Alone is not the same as being lonely. It’s okay to go see a movie in theatres alone. It’s totally legit if you want to go to the beach and read on your own private scrap of sand without worrying if your friends can see your back fat. It’s not creepy to go to a restaurant by yourself and eat a huge bowl of curry and pretend to read a YA paranormal romance but secretly people-watch.
  8. Thou shalt not suffer a butt-faced miscreant to live. Like, obviously don’t kill them or anything, but don’t tolerate any bullshit in your life from anyone. Odious people should be removed from the Island of You and fed to sharks and/or Davy Jones.
  9. In the immortal words of Kayne: “Just shut the fuck up sometimes.”
  10. You are young. So. Goddamn. Young. In the grand scheme of life, you have passed “Go”, but you have not yet collected $200. But that doesn’t for a second mean that your opinions, thoughts, ideas, slam poetry, politically-charged Youtube rap videos, or meandering Twitter feed is any less valid or important than anyone else’s. You are young, you are important, and you are pretty fucking great.
  11. Eat your vegetables.