Autumn Creativity

Autumn Creativity

As the nighttime expands with the season, it opens up more time for dreams when I am awake. In earlier times, our ancestors likely used the longer hours by the light of the fire to imagine what they saw hinted at in the flames or in the shadows they cast. It was a time for storytelling and adventures of the imagination. It is similar, I suppose, for me even in a time of electric lights and computers.

I’ve noticed for years that Autumn is the richest time for my creativity Continue reading

The Freedom of Folded Paper

The Freedom of Folded Paper

When I was in my teens and twenties I bought notebooks of all kinds. I saw these as the workshops for my ideas. Much of my thinking was (and is) connected with the act of writing. I liked notebooks because I could take them with me anywhere, they came in different sizes and styles, and I could even choose the sort of paper they contained — the colour, lines or no lines (or even what kind of lines).

Nevertheless, with all that freedom, I often found myself paralyzed when I poised my pen over the paper and got ready to write. Would the thoughts be good enough? Would I want to see them there later when I read through the contents of the notebook? The formality of the structure of the notebook itself added a sense of importance to what would go inside of it. Most days, I carried around a notebook and never wrote in it. The pages would get wet when I was caught in a sudden rainstorm. They would be coloured by splashes of coffee. But the words written came slowly.  Continue reading

The Usefulness of Deadlines

The Usefulness of Deadlines

Sometimes I’ve said I would love to live in a world without deadlines. And, perhaps such a world could be wonderful. But I am not always sure.

When I was in graduate school, I had two professors during the same semester. Since they were my major and minor area supervisors, this happened most semesters, in fact. One had an absolutely rock-solid deadline policy. I knew he would give extensions for hospitalization and similar extreme reasons (but not much else). The other professor believed an assignment should be turned in on time; but realized that things take their own time. Oddly enough, I had tremendous stress preparing work for both of them.  Continue reading