On creating


My writing space. Special mention, my almost 40-year old teddy bear. 

The countdown has begun again! In less than a month, National Novel Writing Month begins. NaNoWriMo is a contest where the goal is to write fifty-thousand words in a month. That’s 1666 words a day. Easy peasey. Sort of.

That is my future, but lately I’ve been working on other projects for myself. I recently completed a built-in bookcase that hangs above my desk. It’s mostly completed, but there are a few things I need to finish up before I can say I’m 100% done with it.

Next, I have to sew a costume for a friend’s Halloween party. I decided, in my insanity, to go as Severus Snape. The problem is that I can’t find a suitable costume. My solution, if you haven’t guessed, is to make my own.

That’s where creation and ingenuity come in. Although I did take Home Economics back in high school, and part of the curriculum was to learn to sew, it has been more than two decades since I took the class. Will that deter me? Hell no! I see it as a challenge. Bring it on!

The complication is that I cannot find a pattern to use, and that’s where ingenuity comes in. I don’t know how to make my own pattern, so I went to Jo-Ann, searched through their catalog, and I came up blank. The closest thing I could find was a costume jacket similar to the one Alan Rickman uses, but not quite. I decided to buy the pattern, knowing that I’ll have to make a few alterations to the pattern in order to make it.


Found this a Jo-Ann in Lubbock. Not exactly what Snape wears, but close enough.

I’m actually rather excited for the project. I haven’t sewn in years. This’ll be my first since high school, and the fact that I rather loathe costumes isn’t enough to dampen my excitement. Actually, I can’t wait to get started. It’ll be interesting to see if I can pull it off. I have less than three weeks to actually do it. More than enough time for a tailor to make one, but I’m no tailor, no seamstress. I have almost no experience in something this ambitious. I also have to make the cloak, but that’ll come later.

I also have another project in mind. I want to build a couple of nightstands, again out of red oak, to match my computer desk and book case. I’m thinking about building a bedroom set as well, but one piece at a time. I’m not that skilled at woodworking, but I think I’m getting better. Experience really is the best teacher.

I still have my goal of publishing a book, but that’s only part of what I want to do. I like the act of creation, the art and the science of bringing into existence something that was not there before. It’s almost an alchemical transformations, bringing in several elements, combining them, and giving life to something new. Whether it’s a short story or novel, whether it’s cooking or baking, or even woodworking or crafts, it’s a subtle magic we can all perform.

NaNoWriMo is a great opportunity to give yourself permission to lose yourself in writing, but it shouldn’t be the only time to let your creativity flow. There’s all sorts of things I want to build and create. In this, Adam Savage is almost like a mentor, and I look up to him. You should check him out on the YouTube channel Tested, where he builds and creates anything and everything. While I don’t have his level of skills and ingenuity, why should I let that keep me from doing what I like?

Quizzaciously? Um…what?

I came across this video while scrolling through YouTube. I’m a big fan of Michael Stevens whose videos on his channel, Vsauce, tackles seemingly random questions. As someone who likes to write, I found this video fascinating. Michael discusses Zipf’s Law, which when talking about language, you will encounter a word proportional to its rank. Which is to say if a word’s usage ranks it as, say 1000, it’s used 1/1000 times as often as the word that is ranked number one.

The video is long, but it’s informative, interesting, and I’m just a geek for random scraps of knowledge. Consequently, the word quizzaciously has only been found used once in the English language, well until this video went up. “Thanks Michael,” I say quizzaciously. Now I’ve used it twice on here. I’m such a fanboy.

Ignore me and just watch the video.

My Mistress: Procrastination

Yet another Friday night, and once again I find myself sitting behind the LCD screen of a laptop. I have a few projects that I need to work on, a book I promised to publish over a year ago, and my NaNo 2013 that has yet to be completed.

So of course I’m not doing any of that. Oh no! I’m playing with video on the laptop, recording myself playing random songs. I sang one and played it back. No one will ever see that one. Lord, I can’t sing! I wanted to puncture my own eardrums! Seriously, I should never sing. Ever!

But my guitar playing isn’t all too bad. To be sure, I need to practice a hell of a lot more than I do, and playing electric guitar parts on an acoustic doesn’t sound the best, but it isn’t all that bad. I think I need to venture out and meet other guitar players. I definitely do.

But all I’m doing is procrastinating. I’m the worlds worse procrastinator. I’ve been meaning to start a support group but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Maybe next week some time, or next year…

I have a few puzzles to work out as far a plot lines in my 2013 NaNo. I had a few Eureka! moments earlier today while I was at work. I think I should explore those threads. That’s what I should do. I’m glad we had this talk. We should do this more often. Next time bring some snacks. I’ll provide the drinks.

Just goofing around.