Monday, July 13, 2009

Discovering Art in Randomness

When are you most creative? First thing in the morning? After an espresso shot, a run or a shower? In the dead of night? I find inspiration bites me at sporadic times. I’ll have a dream so lively and strange, that I wake up with an urgent need to pen it. Or I’ll be up late, stuck in the sillies and an idea will come to me.

The concept for Sapphire Reign, the book I’m working on now, came to me from a dream, two actually, now spliced together, as did its prequel, Kings & Queens, so I guess that says something about dreams for me. Dreams are beyond our conscious imagination so that’s where interesting plots are born, characters introduce themselves, and circumstances aren’t hemmed in by time or space or practicality or realism. One night you’re attempting to evade shark jaws while surfing and the next, you’re under a purple sky in a land where everyone, man and beast, gets along until you arrive and destroy the balance, and as you strive to make things right, you only make them worse.

One night at 2 AM, I was writing a forum post and jotting down songs singers should avoid on American Idol. Some are so owned, they should never grace the stage again, some were the kiss of death, some totally bit—TOTALLY—, and some are just not, um, Idol material. In my post, which was making me crack up, a story emerged, so I arranged the song titles into a lose poem. Here’s that 2 AM creative burst:

~ Songs to Avoid on American Idol ~

I Am I Said
Dust in the Wind
Welcome to My Life
The Long and Winding Road
I Feel So
Like a Virgin
Cherry Pie
I'm Too Sexy
Born to be Wild
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
(You Gotta ) Fight For Your Right (to Party)
It's My Life
I Drove All Night
I Want Your Sex
Eight Days a Week
Time After Time
Any Way You Want It
All I Want Is You
I'm On Fire
Burning Love
Outta My Head
Hungry Like the Wolf
Crazy for You
My Immortal
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Livin La Vida Loca
It's All Wrong, But It's All Right
Is This Love
Love Bites
Love Is A Battlefield
Going Under
Bring Me to Life
Devil Inside
Highway to Hell
Some Like It Hot
Inside the Fire
I Have Nothing
Total Eclipse of the Heart
Smashed Into Pieces
Helplessly Hoping
I Wanna Know What Love Is
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
How Do I Live
My Life
Good Enough
Empty Me
Save a Prayer
Pour Some Sugar on Me
A Change is Gonna Come
Karma Chameleon
Shake Your Love
Shout to the Lord
Dare You to Move
I Believe
I'm a Believer
Travelin' Thru
The Greatest Love of All
Jesus Christ Superstar
A Perfect Love
Love of a Lifetime
Stairway to Heaven
I'll Fly Away
High Enough
Inside Your Heaven
To Be With You
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
This is just a crazy list of song titles, but it tells a story, a journey about life. There’s a character here who’s searching for true love and finds it in an unexpected place.
During a moment when you’re most likely to be creative or even a moment when you're totally not, like exhausted maybe or distraught, pick a topic and brainstorm. Go with it, write whatever crazy thing comes to your mind. You could end up with a poem, a song, a short story sketch, a new plot concept for a novel or character who wants his story told. Never assume your random thoughts are just rubbish. Often times, when you clear away the haze and dust and look at something in a different way, you’ll discover your junk is actually precious art. Inspiration is waiting in the oddest places and during the most unthinkable times, so go find it.

~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.


  1. Hello, it's nice to meet you! I found your blog through Calliopespen..Boy that muse sure visits a lot of people huh?

    I like to set my brain on "random creativity" status all the time. When I do this, it begins listening and observing better, picking up bits and pieces of life and conversations, and putting them into a giant toy box where I can take them out and play with them later. For instance, right now my muse and my brain just gave me an idea for a new poem. I guess my muse is visiting again...doesn't she EVER sleep?

  2. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. It's nice to meet you too. I'm so glad you found my blog. I love connecting with other writers. I don't think the muse ever sleeps, no. I just commented on a forum about that, that it doesn't matter whether I'm reading or sitting in church, I'm always looking for things I can apply to my writing.

  3. stranglingmymuseJuly 16, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    Hi Courtney! I just stumbled onto your blog, and I love your poem. I recently wrote a poem composed of search engine terms people have used to find my blog in this post on Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World

    I write about my muse a lot -- I agree that our muses never sleep.

    I love your blog, and I'm adding it to my blogroll.

    --Sandy Ackers

  4. I'm so glad you found my blog and enjoyed my poem. Thanks for taking the time to comment and adding me to your blogroll. I love meeting other writers. I love the title of your blog. Will check out your poem too.:)