|Posted on October 26, 2010 at 11:49 PM|
The most difficult task when it comes to managing creativity, is creating against a given task. Typically, creatives (artist, writers, you name it), have their own way of working, their "system", their agenda. I'm like that. Very difficult to box me in and within that box let me create. Same goes for the advertising agencies I work with professionally - I feel their pain when we lay one hundred of mandates on them and then ask them to make great commercials. Having that said, it is very well doable to create, or in my case write, against a task.
I got a task a few weeks back from a book blogger Velvet (http://www.blogger.com/profile/10924589941745430884). Whether I could write a GUEST BLOG for her blog. Sure! was my immediate response. Little did I know that it would be a bit harder than that. I have done a few guest blogs in the past where I had the "freedom" to write about myself, my publishing experiences, and my book - easy enough. This was going to be different.
Here's the briefing that I got:
"October Trix-n-Treatz guest post
Premise: Alice in Wereland (twisted version of Alice in Wonderland) a place where Alice travels through Wereland and meets were-creatures i.e. werewolves, were-rats, were-dragons, etc.
Select a were-creature of your own.Create a scene were Alice meets your were-creature.
What would your advice be to Alice in this world?Or create some other conversation between the two.
Length of piece: open"
It took me some time to get my head around it. But I got excited by having to work differently than I normally would. So, I disected the whole briefing, started looking around the world of were-creatures, found that all was a bit of the same, and decided to create something significantly different, in my own style. Read this sentence again. This was the trick to unlock my creativity: I created my own space, my own creative freedom, where I could do "my thing" - no different than any other writing bonanza.
Here's my submission:
Alice meets WereBees
by Kurt Frenier
One day, Alice decided to take a walk in the forest. A new book under her arm, she was eager to escape from her duties and drown in the story. The sun was shining on her uncovered shoulders and that was precisely what she looking for: to find a suncovered spot between the tall trees where she could dream away, with the heat as her blanket. It wasn’t long before she found the perfect hiding place.
She gently sat down on the soft grass under a vibrant an young, tall tree. Alice turned the leather book to page 16 where she left it the day before. For a minute, just before she started reading, she looked straight into the sun, absorbing its every energy. Her breathing slowed down – she was at peace. Her mind was empty; ready for the story to sink in.
She’d read no more than two sentences before she was brutally interrupted by a squeaking sound. A good looking girl, dressed in the prettiest of dresses stood a few meters away from her. She made a high pitch noice – Alice wasn’t sure whether she was singing or crying. Alice stood up, dropped her book, and looked at the girl. “Hey, little girl, what’s going on?” The girl didn’t react. She just stared back at Alice , her face innocent and sweet. Then the girl started running away from where Alice was, as if she was being followed.
Alice didn’t know what to do. She looked around but saw no one. She doubted – should I follow her, or just pick up my book and continue reading. Deep in her heart she felt a stinging feeling, as if something was wrong. Her instincts told her not to move. Her heart told her a different story – the innocent in the girls eyes reflected the innocent she had inside of her as well. She wanted to follow.
"In the eye of fear, just think of all the discoveries you might make if you just go along with what life puts in front of you", her mother had told her once. Those wise words echoed in her head now. She desperately wanted to discover what was up with this girl, despite her doubts and fears.
So Alice decided to follow the girl; hesitantly at first, but fiercely later on. She walked for at least half an hour, through thick bushes, jumping over rocks, passing many little roads inside the forest she'd never walked on before. Along the way, Alice kept shouting "Hey little girl, stop. Stop. Where are you going?"
But there was never a response, apart from the girl looking back from time to time to check whether Alice was still behind her. Although Alice wanted to give up herself, she couldn't. There was something intriguing about this girl, and about the whole situation for that matter. After the long walk they arrived at the top of a hill, central in the big forest. There was only one tree; a huge tall tree. Both girls slowed down their pace.
It was late in the afternoon already. Clouds were appearing on the horizon. The sky looked dramatic; even scary. Alice 's blood was pumping from the heavy walk. She was excited - her hunger to know what was going on was going to be satisfied soon.
Then Alice saw them, in the distance, standing under the thick tree: a circle of young girls, all giggling and having fun. They were all about her age; maybe slightly younger. It looked like an inviting party up there. It felt very appealing to take part in whatever they were doing.
Alice got up closer.
When she was a good 10 meters away from them (the girl she had followed joined the circle), the girls stopped dancing and turned their heads toward her -as if they had smelled her. They were now staring straight into Alice 's eyes.
Alice stopped walking. The pretty picture of all jolly girls looked very different all of a sudden; hostile even.
It is getting late, Alice thought. Maybe I should head back home.
The words of her mother came back to her: "In the eye of fear, just think of all the discoveries you might make if you just go along with what life puts in front of you".
I came this far to check this out. It would be a shame not to follow this through, Alice said to herself, pumping her moral. She stepped forward until she was within reasonable reach to talk to the girls.
"Hi", she started.
"I'm Alice ".
"You seem to be having fun here; what's going on?" - she made it sound very casual to break the ice.
The little girls just stood there, with frozen looks.
Then they all made one step forward, synchronized, towards Alice .
At that very moment, the sun set, and the moon appeared. Something strange and daunting happened: the girls...changed!
First, their color faded; they looked like spirits -almost translucent. Then they shrank, then dropped to the floor only to make a popping sound and a second later starting to fly and buzz - they had all tuned into bees. Not your regular kitchen and garden bees, but big nasty looking killer bees; at least 10 times bigger.
Alice was nailed to the ground, astonished about what she saw happening in front of her eyes. There were now a good twenty big yellow-and-black vicious looking bees, flying in her direction. She could see there sharp, long stingers shining -it was the reflection of the moon.
They moved faster, ready to attack Alice , with the bee that was the innocent girl in the lead. Alice ran. And ran. And ran. But she was not fast enough.
"No, no, no" she shouted, completely out of breath.
"I have done nothing wrong! Leave me alone."
"Don't fight it", the bee in front said, close to her ear.
"If you accept, the transition will be less painful".
There was no way Alice could resist them all. She was surrounded. They were all over her. She could feel the stings; in her arms, her legs, her neck.
She dropped to the ground. Or did she? Before her body hit the floor, it felt as if she'd become smaller. A lot smaller. Her vision became sharper.
She could not only see in front of her but also besides her; almost 360 degrees around. She felt warm; very warm. Her thoughts disappeared. Where she'd been feeling confused a second ago, her mind was empty now.
"Welcome sister", one of the bees said. Alice was on the same height as her, flying as well. She didn't understand.
The only thing that went through her little bee mind were the words of the mother she'd never see again: "In the eye of fear, just think of all the discoveries you might make if you just go along with what life puts in front of you". She was IN the adventure.
Were post created for October Trix-n-Treatz by Kurt Frenier
© 2010. All rights reserved.
Not bad, if I may say so myself. The message: if you are boxed it, break it - stretch it - melt it - reframe it - shred it - whatever ... but don't let yourself be stopped.
Let me know what you think.