Thanks to Jen for passing on the Kreative Blogger award
I am supposed to list 10 things about myself. But I have done a bit of that already on this blog, so, like a Catholic Priest at a Beauty Pageant, I intend to break the rules.
Here then are ten things I learned about creating things from nine of the great things our civilization has created (and one of the worst)
Lesson 1: Go big or go home. Learned from: Michelangelo'sDavid. You have to see it to understand, but the sheer creative arrogance of it just slaps you in the face. Forget for a minute the exquisite detail of the sculpture itself, and just consider the block of marble. Then think about thinking about chiseling away at that block to scratch out even your name. And to do it all to make a symbol of creative independence for your own home town. Go big, or go home.
Lesson 2: True love is everything, but it has to be fought for. Learned from: The Princess Bride. I am talking of the movie, but of course the book is brilliant too. Yet the lesson I think the movie makes so strikingly clear is that true love easily found is weak, and worse, boring. Only after conquering fire swamps, dread pirates, poison and death does love acquire some resonance, and that is what turns even the most cynical of hearts.
Lesson 3: You have to change to stay sane. Learned from: GreatExpectations. I have never read it, but my wife forced me to watch last years BBC adaption. The performances were great in parts, and stilted in others, but the story really got me. If you have read/watched it you know, if you haven't you must. Change or die.
Lesson 4: Some things are better not planned. Learned from: Venice. No one in their right mind would build a city on a swamp, but if you have been there, you'll understand why it is considered by many to be the most beautiful city ever built.
Lesson 5: Beauty does not have to be true, but all true things are beautiful: Learned from: Newton's Principia. I have not read this book directly of course, but having read Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, I can start to appreciate how it changed the world. People always lament the fact that it took so long for the modern age to get started, but due to the seductive nature of beauty not having to be truthful, I am glad we are still not in the Dark Ages. Sometimes I even worry we may go back. But the point is simple, honesty takes bravery, but in the end, truth is beauty.
Lesson 6: Limitations can breed brilliance. Learned from the Original StarWars trilogy
Lesson 7: Complete freedom can be creative death. Learned from, the StarWars prequels. Enough has been written on these two points, but the definitive breakdown is here. (Warning, link contains hours of the best formal cinema analysis I have ever seen)
Lesson 8: Say what you think needs to be said, not what you think people want to hear. Learned from all the songs John – not Paul – wrote for the Beatles. You can pick any specific example you want but you know I am right.
Lesson 9: People will think what they will of what you make. Learned from: Stonehenge. When you visit the place, the first thing you notice is how it is now a streamlined tourist attraction, crafted to squeeze money out of looking at something. But that can be said of most things. Then you look around at the people with you, and you see a good cross section of belief systems. From modern Christians, to Wiccan Witches; Hippy Hipsters and drugged out shamans -- each believing the place resonates for them. The one thing I am certain of, is that Stonehenge was built for one very specific purpose, and no matter what you believe that to be, the creators would laugh at what we guess that to be. Even when we do know the exact purpose of a thing, eg. The Pyramids, people will still make up all kinds of crazy crap. Those of us who write ambiguous things like books have no chance.
Lesson 10: Bad guys are often heroes with bad PR, and vice versa. Learned from: The Bible. And I'm not talking about Cain. God would have made more of an impact on me had his nemesis not been so rational.
And now to pass on the award to 6 deserving recipiants.
1. Angela Brown of http://publishness.blogspot.com/ Who believes ghosts can posses toy cars.
2. Aldrea Alien of http://thardrandia.blogspot.com/ Who is an artist as well as a writer.
3. Claire Hennessy of http://clairehennessy.blogspot.com/ Who loves Puff the magic dragon – and not just for the drugs.
4. Sarah McCabe of http://subcreator.blogspot.com/ Who knows magic is real.
5. Laila Knight of http://untroubledkingdomoflailaknight.blogspot.com/ Who was my first ever follower and needs a kick start to her 2012 blogging.
6. Natalie Whipple of http://betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com/ Whose pain I feel.