Stephanie Burgis
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A creative jump-start
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I swore after yesterday afternoon that I wouldn't waste any more days by not writing, because it makes me feel horrible and worse yet, my poor novel stagnates. I spent last night creating new livejournal user icons just for fun (as did Patrick - check out his cool new runestone icon from our Sweden trip!), and then this morning I sat down and read through the first 40 pages of Kat by Moonlight. As soon as I finished reading, I cranked up Flogging Molly's CD Swagger and started flipping through all the magazines we had in the house. Ever since reading Jenny Crusie's essay on collaging for writers, and then being shocked by just how useful collaging turned out to be for writing Congress of Shadows, I've become a total convert. I snatched every image that appealed to me and that felt somehow related to Kat (even if I had no idea how it related). Then I put them all together in the order that felt right. (And I worked very hard to not let Maya eat any of the glue as I collaged! Poor puppy. She was so frustrated by not being allowed to play.)

This is what I came up with:

(Or click for a larger version of the image.)

Unlike my CoS collage, this didn't immediately inspire any big plot shifts in my head. But it did help me to get the feel of the novel back, after a week or so away from it. And more than anything else, it reminded me of how much fun I've been having with Kat and her family. Best of all, the collaging itself was enormously fun to do. I'm not visually artistic at all, which used to be a big frustration for me. Luckily, collaging works wonderfully on a subconscious level, and better yet, the look of the final product doesn't matter nearly as much as the associations it brings up for the person who made it. Which makes it pretty much the perfect artistic activity for me!

Off for lunch now and yogurt with fresh strawberries. And then (knock on wood) maybe I will finally, finally finish Chapter Four...

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