Creative campfire

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Often we creatives think we should work alone. We grew up learning about original thinkers who worked in relative isolation. There is another side to this story.

Scientists realized creativity developed before or with language when primitive humans began to gather in collectives that shared their experiences, often around a fire. This even started before learning how to start fires. These people would find naturally caused blazes, carry a spark, as in a burning branch, and create a fire to cook from, after learning cooked food was better by happening on animals which had been crisped. If you are interested in learning more about this, I recently read The Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson.

Also, after reading the biography, Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson, I gathered some other insights about creative genius. Leonardo often created work when in a studio setting with a variety of different artists. His notebooks appear to be individual works, but much of his painting was done in a group setting. Often, other artists worked on his pieces and on some he lay the framework for others to add color then occasionally added some of his own brushwork. The master left much of his work unfinished and never delivered some commissions.

Both these books are informative. Reading about the process of others is intriguing. Leonardo is one of the most celebrated and admired creatives of all time, and tracing creativity back to its beginnings is rewarding.

When hoping to take creative work to a higher level, critique groups, clubs, associations, workshops, and even online organizations can help a person improve. Sharing creations with a variety of people, if only an audience teaches how to gain interest in what is produced.

So find a place to create communally and share. It will improve creative skills immensely.

As a prompt, take a finished or current project, allow others to comment on it and see if it leads to ideas for improvement or further works.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Haphazard Creative. It is always my hope to inspire or encourage the creative journey. There is a follow button, or come back often. Be careful and remember smiles light lives.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

 

Lit Anew

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This day arose from
The dark negativity
Which tried to destroy
Whatever is left of me,
But I chose dawn’s rising light.

I stood up before,
I am standing once again;
I will not allow
Anything coming against
Me to break my heart’s resolve.

I come from a line
Of fighters and survivors,
We do not give up;
The naysayers may slow us
But like the rivers, we flow.

Anyone who loves,
Who wishes to rise higher,
May join the battle
To reclaim every day
From the forces of despair.

I will be a light,
If I only dimly shine
At least one may not
Stumble into the trouble
Loveless darkness often spreads.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

I never do well at challenges, but today starts the 2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, which happens to be the tenth one. You can find it at 2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge. I will see how I do, and you may join in.

Thank you so much for visiting Haphazard Creative. I hope you will either click the follow button or come again soon. Take care and be safe.

Grace be with you,
Jo Ann

Just a something, somewhat

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The way Justine felt, she had bought time from the Reaper by giving up speed. So, now she was determined to live a bit dangerously. She sat in a booth near the bar watching comers and goers.

The man who just came in had on a respectable pair of navy trousers, a white dress shirt, a tie he had only barely chosen to retain, and shoes too highly polished for the average office worker. His almost invisible crew cut gave him away, he was either once military or an officer of the law. Not what she had in mind, plus he sported a conspicuous gold band on his wedding finger.

She had some respect, restraint, married men were out of bounds; if she knew at least. She thought were there no markers and she only learned later, probably the man was already on the market as used and it was not her fault if she enacted a repossession.

She liked to steer clear of the previously encumbered because for her purposes it was best to avoid garnished wages and the poor chaps who were saddled with alimony.

Outside the window, to her left, a limousine pulled up, and a handsomely uniformed chauffeur bolted around the vehicle to open the rear passenger door. Justine inhaled sharply and retained the breath.

This could be someone worth working for a while. Luck had been negligible for some time, but all one ever needed was a good break until at least it was time for the next one.

She glanced at her phone, noting it was still the early side of the evening. Yes, prospects were fortunate.

She ran a hand through her newly ebon hair, tossing a streamer away from her carefully painted face. She crafted the version of herself waiting in this exclusive bar especially to captivate a man who could meet her present and, hopefully, future needs.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I have an unfortunate habit of doing decent beginnings of stories and then leaving them in an unfinished state. This one has been languishing in my notebook most of the month. I thought I would bring it to light and see if anyone thought it was worth continuing. The truth of this one is that I have ideas of tying it with a well-remembered tale I started in the nineties. The chances are that is just wishful thinking. So here you have something, somewhat devious, unlike my usual fare.

As a prompt, go out of your usual writing character and begin something like nothing before.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. I appreciate you taking time to read my missive. You may use the follow button, or come back as you wish. In your wanderings and wonderings, take care and by all means be safe.

With gratitude always,
Jo Ann

Two Poems, Two Pictures

1 Hope's Portrait

And Ago

The house at the edge
Of the world is empty now,
But once it held love;
It was a place of mirrors
Constructed of other’s eyes,
Wide open, truth-telling, real,
Unlike glass speaking vain lies.

All were happy there
Loneliness was destroyed
By companionship,
But no structure, human-made,
Can prevent time’s erosion
Working to comport bodies
Ever, always, toward death.

So now the shadow,
Ghoulish, unburied, dim blight
Lies uneasily
Over the house at the edge
Of yesterday, tomorrow,
And we must glean from today
Enough love to inspire life.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Friday, October 20, 2017

 

2 Time Out

Is It Enough?

It is easy to
Get along if you play
To the popular crowd,
But if you are creative,
Original, one of your kind,
You may find yourself living
A separate, distinct,
Isolated existence
On society’s edges,
Where you may just discover
Those who love you are enough.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I hesitated to bring only poems and pictures here. I wanted to do something inspiring, but coming up with articles is not always natural for me. More than anything I am a poet. So excuse me.

As a prompt try to capture an overwhelming feeling in something you create, whatever that may be.

I am so glad you took the time to visit Haphazard Creative, and I hope you will either click the follow button or come back again. I will try to be more productive and share more often. Have a great one and do take care out there.

As ever grateful,
Jo Ann

Social media is not social

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Alright, you read that, and you think I am some strange bird going against the culture, but give me a chance. This involves your life as a creative.

Though it began earlier, the internet, as we know it, came into being as the World Wide Web in the early nineties, I was there. I had AOL, Compuserve, and MSN which gave the WYSIWYG interface. Those services were not free, they were subscription services at least for full functionality. A variety of browsers developed, and content grew on the internet outside the services. A lot of that material was free, but you were at least paying your internet service/telephone company or cable provider to get on the web.

Many sites put up paywalls, and there were fees to get in. Pop-ups became a hassle, trying to get you to buy stuff. Growth continued, giants sprang up almost out of nowhere, and they dominated the web. Cellphones became ubiquitous so that everyone had a computer in their hand or pocket everywhere they went. The cost to get on the internet from the telecoms went up and up, but we, the consumers paid because we wanted to be connected. Social media had become an integral part of our lives.

All of it, from the beginning, has been a way to get consumers to spend more. If they can catch us, while we sit at home in pajamas, and convince us to buy any of a billion products there, they have us and our dollars. Or maybe we are in a physical store, and we see something we like, we look it up on that mini-computer we have with us at all times, find a better price and order it right there in the store, where by buying we would have helped someone we interacted with in real life. The services, subscriptions, providers all are money driven. The internet is not free, it is what is driving businesses in the real world to fail.

Then we have social media; the blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkIn, and others. One, they are collecting and aggregating our information. Two, they are targeting us with fees and advertising insistently. Yes, we communicate, but we are always bombarded with the ask for our money.

The sad thing is that we are more and more becoming driven by devices and growing less active in life with humans outside a screen. We hardly even make phone calls anymore, we text, we message, impersonal and limited interaction. Conversation, face to face, is becoming a lost art.

I have attempted to build a platform to build a reputation as a writer, artist, creative, but it is getting unsustainable with no income from the endeavors and a constant call to spend more. I create because I have to, not to pay someone else for the privilege. We, creatives need to find a way to change the dynamic. We give freely, they should pay us for the hosting. Never happen, but anyway.

This is why I say it is not social, social media is all about money, our money, we have fed this monster until it has almost consumed us and our lives.

As a prompt, create something, writing, art, photograph, that defies the boundaries of the internet. However, you probably want to share it on the web, because how else would anyone see it, we are bound to the internet, obedient slaves.

I hope you enjoyed your time here. I cannot say I do not love the internet, it just worries me. I hope you will either come back or click the follow button. Your thoughts are always welcome in the comments. Wherever you are, take care and be safe.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan