Creative Autobiography

First creative moment I remember:

That’s an issue. I don’t remember a creative moment till high school. Then I wrote poetry in a journal and wrote a poem that the visiting poet liked so much he asked to take it with him.

If I made art in school, I don’t remember it.

I do remember swinging on a swing and singing Popeye. Is that creativity?

I remember teaching my family a song I learned at church when I was four or five. Is that?

The earliest story my family tells on me is someone asking me a question and me telling them a giant whopper, because I learned that from my father. Storytelling is definitely part of my creative DNA.

I remember in high school telling my sisters stories until they would fall asleep. I told them that I was an alien, with parents from Venus and Mars who had died in a flu epidemic on earth and I had been adopted…

I always loved to write and tell stories. That’s what people say, but I don’t remember writing or telling stories before high school.

Ah. I thought it had to be one I had done. No. The first creative thing I remember is singing with my folks and singing with my pastor at his house on his piano. And baking cakes with his little girl in her Easy Bake oven.

Anyone there?

Yes. The creative moments I remember, aside from the swinging, all had audience.

What is the best idea you ever had?

To marry R.

Creatively… To teach description using riddles and pictures? To model writing for my students? To tell Dielli’s story… “She has a name. We just don’t know it.”

Hmm. Maybe my creative DNA is storytelling and non-anonymity. Maybe I want an audience. I think I do.

How do you begin your day?

I get out of bed and turn off the alarm. I go to the bathroom and take my medicine and pee, or vice versa.

What is your creative ambition?

To write things that others read and appreciate.

… You know, it doesn’t have to be nonfiction. I love the fact that one of my blogs gets thousands of hits each month looking for help on a writing project.

I think I always thought it had to be nonfiction and that seemed a little scary. What if people didn’t like it? What if I got rejected?

Describe your first successful creative act.

The teacher gave us an assignment to write a poem. I wrote one, a long one, on being on the bus at camp in North Carolina. (I was living in New York by then.) I gave a lot of the interesting details, those being the ones I remembered and thought were interesting. The poet agreed. He read my poem to the class and asked if he could take it with him.

Describe your second successful creative act.

I wrote articles for the school newspaper in high school. I got some of my poetry published in the school literary journal in college.

Compare them.

All around the same time. All creative. All writing. All things I wanted to do. All things I was proud of. All things I did well.

Which artists do you admire most?

Ah, that’s an interesting question.

Suzanne Brockmann, though I don’t agree with her worldview. Mercedes Lackey the same. David Weber, though sometimes he’s too detailed for me. Gordon Dickson. Robert Aspirin.

Tarkay. Treby. Benfield.

You know, all of those people in the second list are figurative artists who are somewhat abstract and use color well. (Okay, Benfield doesn’t use a lot of color.)

But maybe that’s why I like them. Detail with the edges washed out…

Maybe that’s related to my creative DNA. Earlier I thought that my creative DNA probably had something to do with my focus on one part of a conversation and then my walking off without saying goodbye on the other side. I took it out because it seemed too negative, but it’s something I need to think about. I think there’s a kernel there.

Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?


Who is your muse?


When confronted with superior intelligence or talent, how do you respond?

By getting better myself. Applying myself. Working harder.

When faced with stupidity, hostility, laziness, or indifference in others, how do you respond?

With hostility, sarcasm, or indifference. Ouch.

Am I a mirror then? A sheet of shiny metal that only reflects (and warps) what it sees?

What is your ideal creative activity?

Writing. Writing poetry, letters, novel.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?Greatest fear?