GeeksnBarbells Podcast Ep.2-Creativity and the effect environment has on it

At GeeksnBarbells, we delve into the creative world and how healthy living and mindset can maximize our potential, as well as just geeking out on gaming, anime, books, art, and the world of fitness and nutrition.

In this episode, we explore the concept of creativity, and how our external and internal inputs, such as work spaces, personal life, and how we eat and move can effect our brains and our creative output.

Little Joys Ch. 37

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

February 6th, 2020

Passion is a fascinating thing. When it hits someone, or a group, it can help create the most beautiful, weird, awesome works that we have had the pleasure to see and hear in our lifetimes.

As I was re-watching whisper of the heart yesterday, one of studio Ghibli’s films, I was caught up in how beautiful every scene was, the attention to detail, the care put into each characters development, even if what they did or said was quite silly.

It was a double hit to the soul really, as the main characters of the film are two young children who are embarking on separate journeys in which they are discovering their passions and what they enjoy doing. For one, that is going to Italy to learn to create violins, for the other, it is becoming a writer, and developing her own story for the first time in her life. Intertwined through it all is a focus on discovery, on pushing themselves to see what they can do, to see whether what is in their head and hearts is real.

For many of us, passion ebbs and wanes. It is hard to maintain sometimes, because of the monotony of the daily grind, issues with family and friends, relationship woes, sickness and fatigue, the list goes on and on. We forget all about that joy of discovery we had when we were younger, when it was all about the journey, about testing our limits, seeing what we were capable of.

Part of my leaving home and traveling around has been a giant test run. To see if I was able to do this writing thing. And it’s been a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs, moments of furious creativity, followed by weeks and months of listless energy and a void in my mind so vast I felt like I was falling without end.

But then I come across something like whisper of the heart, and I remember why I started this, what the whole point of it all is. It’s the discovery, the journey, the beauty of trying to find a light in all this chaos.

One step at a time.

One little joy at a time.

 

 

Question of the day: Can book series get too long?

As the years have come and gone, I have had the pleasure to read a wide assortment of series. From fantasy to sci fi, action to philosophy, I have read and read.

I sometimes wonder if authors get a little carried away sometimes. They fall too deeply into their stories, and a series that should have been five books ends up as 13.

We all hear about this in relation to tv series, and films of course. But the same case can be made for a variety of book series that simply lose themselves in the minutiae of the world and forget the reason the story came into being in the first place.

Probably the best example I can think of is a series that I have to say is in my top five favorite novels of all time, and that is the wheel of time series.

Robert Jordan’s books are one of the greatest stories to ever be written down, ever. That being said, around book 8 it really, really starts to drag. Characters that serve no purpose start getting dragged into the light, main characters are pushed aside or simply put through similar situations that do not cause any significant character changes or development. Robert became too invested in the world, and got stuck.

Now as I said, I still consider the series to be one of the best there is, so it isn’t like there was anything particularly bad about what he delved into in the later books, but at the end of the day it did detract from the focus of the main characters, who were already quite numerous and needed a lot of time to develop due to the complexity of the story line. So adding more detail to other people and aspects that added little value to the overall plot became annoying, and I found myself skimming through parts on my second to third readings of the series because they seemed like nothing but filler.

I find this to be a distinct issue in series that have more than 2 or 3 main characters. Once you start expanding past that point you get really bogged down, and there are very few authors who have the capacity to handle so many perspectives, much less for 15 novels, each over 500 pages long.

Being in the process of writing my own novel, which at this point only has two central characters, I am truly amazed at how Robert was able to handle so many, so I don’t want this to come across as thinking I can do better, I definitely know I am nowhere near that level.

But I really wish that other authors would take this into account, more is not always better. I love complexity, I love deep, fleshed out stories, but slogging through an extra book or two that really didn’t add much to a story is not the best use of creative talent.

I am not sure exactly where I wanted to go with this rant, except to say that as a book lover, I am sending all the good juju vibes I can to authors out there and I hope anyone reading this takes it as constructive criticism aimed at making a big undertaking like a series of books and making it a little easier by adding more simplicity.

A minimalist approach often works wonders for big projects because our brains can get a little windy in their old age.

Food for thought.

The power of books

“I have lived a thousand lives and I’ve loved a thousand loves. I’ve walked on distant worlds and seen the end of time. Because I read.”

-George R.R. Martin

 

Books are portals through which imagination can soar through uncharted skies, skies the likes of which we who live on this floating ball called Earth can never inhabit in the flesh, but can dig our hands into through the mind of another.

One of Humanities greatest gifts to itself was the written word. We can never truly grasp how much of an effect it has had on our society, the ability to pass on information from one generation to the next, expanding our minds through the years.

When it comes to fiction, which holds a special place in my heart, I cannot even imagine what my life would be like if I had not grown up with the stories I was blessed to read.

Who would I be without Robert Jordan, J.K. Rowling, Brandon Sanderson, Philip Pullman and the host of other amazing authors who blessed my mind with their many worlds.

A lesser person, with much less capacity to envision other lives, other perspectives.

My ability to connect with others is so strong because I have connected with thousands of people through their stories, real and imagined.

We need more stories in this world, more inspiration, more beauty and art and wonder.

To those out there doing their best to create, keep on giving, the world needs you.

Words worth hearing Vol. 7

Each of us has a responsibility to share our gifts with the world so that we can make it just a bit better for the next generation, so never hide what brings you joy, shout it out to the world.  Create and create some more to get away from those destructive tendencies we all have.

 

“Does what goes on inside show on the outside? Someone has a great fire in their soul and nobody ever comes to warm themselves at it, and passers-by see nothing but a little smoke at the top of the chimney”. 

-Vincent Van Gogh

“There is an awful lot of anger in the world, and in me, and that there is a real need to be creative with it rather than destructive. I think of violence as basically useless; it doesn’t solve anything. The more violence you create the more violence you have. So it really is an inconvenience. It’s like lying; if you lie, you’re constantly trying to remember what you lied about and how you lied. With violence, if you create it, you’re always trying to figure out why you did it or how to deal with the messiness of it or, later on, how to absolve yourself. Much better to create something, much better to talk”.

-Alice Walker

 

Finding a light within the darkness

We are all of us searching for something to light up the darkness we carry around inside of us.

For some people they find that light within another person, within family, within community or within the greater cause of a nation.

For others it is found within the works of others, the solace of a book or piece of music.

There are some who find the light only when they are creating something themselves.

Putting pen to paper, bleeding ink into skin, feeling the warmth of wood being shaped into something of beauty, there are a myriad of avenues Humans have gone down to expend this inner energy we find ourselves carrying within to bring forth something new into the world.

Every single one of these ways of finding the light is of value, and we must not allow anyone or anything to take away the thing which helps us illuminate the darkness.

So fight with all your heart and spirit to keep them alive. They are what will guide us forward into the future.

Share your stories

Stories shape us.

Since the first Humans began to communicate we have been sharing our thoughts, emotions and daily adventures through a host of mediums; cave paintings, pottery and simple drawings in the dirt.

The stories we tell ourselves and others help us to understand the world, to expand our limited perceptions and reach out across the void and touch, however briefly, the life of another, real or imagined.

The most important thing all of us can do is continue to share these stories for they are the bedrock of community.

Whether you are a writer, musician or painter never stop sharing because now more than ever, Humanity needs your stories.