January 2nd, 2018


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When I was doing my degree, I concentrated so hard on achieving a good mark that my 'creative' self largely disappeared.  I confidently thought that it would return when the final piece of work was submitted.  May came and went.  I thought, "Well, it's early days yet."  June, July, August came.  Nada. Niet.  Nothing (well, I had some physical challenges, such as falling down concrete steps, a huge abscess etc and my beloved cat Dylan died - so I thought maybe I had enough on my plate).  September....October.....

Then suddenly, it returned at the most oddest of times - in the middle of a factory, mechanically (nay maniacally) stuffing photos into envelopes.  I believe it happened because I was sensory-deprived, but I started to see the outlines of a novel brewing, based on being couped up with others.   I was a bit dystopian - I could imagine people reduced to being humanoid animals - I had definitely felt like a mole and I had definitely refered to the place as a 'hen house'.  It reminded me of Tim Burton's reaction to recreating cute animals for Disney - not exactly Orwell's Animal Farm, but was starting to resemble Art Spielman's Maus. I have had bursts of imaginative writing when I experienced extreme conflict 15 years ago and it made me wonder - why do I have to experience a LOT of strain before my imaginative self opens up properly?  Interestingly, it never happens when I was pushed re the degree i.e. intellectually being stretched - only if I felt emotionally and/or physically compromised.  Interesting....however, I would like to have more leaps in the imagination without being put through the factory mill.

Anyway, thank you Terry Pratchett - I needed to be reminded of this (apparently it is the Year of the Justifiably-Defensive Lobster so I will celebrate accordingly).