clay mounds

how little respect must you have for your children to hit them? i feel like a lot of parents don’t really see their kids as human beings, but mounds of clay to shape to their liking, usually into an image of the parent.

8 tips to increase creativity and break writer's block

8 tips to increase creativity and break writer’s block.

These are simple activities that I indulge when scenes, images and plot do not manifest with alacrity.

If you are stuck on a plot point or scene development: take the characters involved and run them through a fun, if not absurd, scenario in your head. It has no stakes or impact so you are free to let your imagination run wild without the fear of having to edit later. Have fun with it. Then, after you have done so, get back to the event you wish to put down on paper.

In relation to the point above, sometimes you must walk away from the keyboard. Take a walk. Exercise. Or find a way to relax and let your subconscious mind work it out. Sometimes, the problems are solved by not being the center of focus. That’s why we have things like a “Shower Epiphany”. You know, when the great ideas come to you while taking a shower.

Another aspect to the “Shower Epiphany” is the sensory exclusion of everything else but you, the warmth, and the constant smooth sound of falling water. Since we can’t sit in the shower and write, I am sure some people have the tech to but the pruning would be worrisome, there two things to mimic the sensory limitations: First, turn your bloody phone off and put it away somewhere that it would take effort to retrieve. Second, iso-rooms. Isolated room with no decoration, adornment, sound or anything but a desk for that matter. Local libraries have study room if you don’t have a small room to utilize in this manner. With no distractions and sensory deprivation, your mind must generate input. You can focus and direct this function by thinking of your writing problem. If you don’t believe me that the mind will generate sensory input, false as it is, go stare into a mirror for more than three minutes and see what happens. Or, stare at another person’s face for ten minutes and see what happens. Go sit in a dark, sound proof room for ten minutes and see what happens. You will hallucinate, but with writing, this can be harnessed.

Having a problem with a metaphor or image? Do association exercises. Example: Take a cup. What does a cup do? It holds liquids. What else holds liquids? Oceans, lakes, ponds, palms of hands, bladders, plastic bags with no holes in them…etc. You get the point. Now, you can reverse engineer. In this example, you have a character who is holding a cup and you want to develop this because it relates to the character’s inner turmoil. So, the cup can represent an obstacle. Perhaps the character was on a hunger strike or has a fear of accepting drinks they have not prepared themselves. Let’s go with this then- “She lifted the thin rimmed tea cup to her lips, but every sip, was a struggle like swimming across the salt burdened sea to a shore that falters in the horizon.” It is the association game. If you are not innately skilled at this, I recommend just doing the game regularly when among other activities. There are patterns everywhere.

Just work through it. Write some horrible, dumb, stupid, sentences and just keep going. You know why? Because we rewrite. In fact, rewriting probably takes more time than writing the first draft for some of us. Also, if it is the first draft, and you are having inspiration or flow obstacles, don’t worry. First drafts suck. The degree of the deplore depends but they do. I liken it sculpting with clay. First, you gather a mound of clay. The second draft is forming the clay into a recognizable figure but cutting away chunks. Third draft smooth out the features and creates fine details. Do as many drafts as you need to.

Do routine tasks differently to prime creative thoughts. If you eat with your right hand, try eating with your left. The point is to disrupt your routine. This break automatic approaches to tasks. Your neurons light up and are ready for novelty and our minds love novelty, so they get primed.

Emotional state dependent creation: Having a hard time getting that pathos to pour and the pain to emote from your protagonist? Listen to some music you know make you feel this way or invokes a memory of and event you can use. I can’t tell you what music to listen, but I wouldn’t listen to Mariah Carey if the character is to be in the emotional condition where they go on a murderous rage… unless hearing her music makes you feel that way.    

Notice most of this is about relaxing and not getting too anxious about writing. There is a reason. Creativity can be stalled by worry, fear and anxiety. That twist of tense tension tortures us into freezing. When faced with fear, humans do a few things: fight, flee and freeze. The stress hormones don’t give a crap if the threat is imagined. They will do what they do and leave you blocked like you had eaten a wheel of cheddar the night before.

Relax. Writing is just about depicting a world through a series of false memories and conjured daydreams. Two other activities help me as well. First, reading. Go read a book, short story, or comic that is similar to what you are writing. Second, acting exercises. Pretend to be other people and look at the world or conflicts you are creating. You know, get a second opinion from yourself. Sounds a bit crazy but writing is the art of wrangling memory and madness in a way. 

Hope it helps.


Joshua Lee Andrew Jones of Wayward Raven Media.

Imbalance occurs. Balance is restored.

Ars longa, vitae brevis.            


On a more serious note–

Pokemon are vague creatures. They are all based on something, sure, but the Pokemon art style itself is vague. It leaves a lot to the imagination when drawing Pokemon in any style but for the original. People should not receive hate for their varying interpretations.

For me, Pikachu has no solid form. It does not look like a mouse to me. The only thing “mouse” about Pikachu to me is that tiny blurb of text beside it in the Pokedex.

But what does Pikachu look like to me, then? Well, I’m not really sure. Really, as some of you might have already gathered, it is rare that I draw Pikachu the same way twice.

Sometimes Pikachu is more canine for me, sometimes it is more rabbit-like. Heck, I’ve even drawn a big cat-inspired Pikachu before and that one didn’t feel anything less like “Pikachu” to me than any of my other incarnations of it.

For me, Pikachu is a pliable mound of clay that I can draw without feeling any stress. I often default to sketching Pikachus when I sit down to draw with no clear intent, and I enjoy the freedom that comes with drawing Pikachu however I please.

And that’s what I want everyone to do with Pokemon. I want people to take these vague creatures and breathe life into them– even if their versions aren’t mainstream, canon, or common.

These are fantasy creatures with limitless possibilities. Draw them however you please and don’t apologize.

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? [2/2]

Set season four. If you’ve never heard the song this fic is based on, click here. If you haven’t read chapter one, you can do so here

Ten minutes to midnight, Kate goes on a search for the elusive host of the party. Castle’s been conspicuously absent for a while, yet another mark of a night where he’s smiled a little too brightly, and laughed a little too loud for it to be natural. There’s something forced about his New Year’s Eve cheer, a strain that’s lingered in the depth of his eyes and the slight hunch of his shoulders with every bit of small talk and drink refills. 

It isn’t terribly difficult to find him, the outline of his frame highlighted by the glare of the city lights that reflect up into the loft windows. The relative darkness of the office takes her by surprise, slants of light filtering in from the bustling party at the other side of his bookshelves. 

“Hey, stranger,” she calls softly, waiting to approach once he’s turned to look at her, “Any reason you’re not out there being the center of attention?”

The breath he takes is slow, a huff of air that stretches the dark fabric of his immaculately cut suit across the swell of his biceps. With the lights floating up from the street he looks older, a little worn and dejected. It worries Kate because, even in their worst moments together, Castle’s always playing the light-hearted optimist, rarely letting the darkness that so often consumes her also wreak havoc with him. 

So often he’s her solid ground, but tonight she’s obviously meant to be his. Steadiness in the eye of whatever storm that has her partner in its grasp.

“Do you ever feel like things are changing too fast?”

The question is meant to be serious, almost introspective but Kate still smiles, reaching out to lay a hand at his bicep when Castle turns back towards the window, “Usually I feel like they aren’t changing fast enough,” she replies, “Like I’m in a holding pattern that’s never going to break.”

“You’re stubborn like that,” is his answer, the words formed around a half-hearted smile that fails to stir anything in her but concern. Not for herself, despite bruises and scars Kate’s infinitely more pieced together than she’s perhaps been since she was a naive whip of a nineteen year old, on the cusp of dreams that were never meant to be realized. 

She’s learned in the intervening years that dreams have a way of changing. Age, experience, and circumstance morphing them into being like mounds of clay. Easily built, easily squashed unless protected and carefully fostered. 

Her noise of agreement at his proclamation is soft, formed around the elegant curved rim of her champagne flute, “Still. Working to change it, Castle. Can’t stay gridlocked forever." 

Kate forces herself to meet his eyes when she says it, a swooping shot of want sizzles through her veins. He’s got that look in his eyes again, the one that he used to only give her when he thought she wasn’t looking. Sometimes she thinks it’s giving her a promise of forever, overwhelming and dizzying in its excitement. Most of the time she’s sure that’s just what Castle looks like in love. 

Or, more accurately, in love with her. 

It makes her want to cry, to dance, to let him take her in his arms and chase away the doubts and the encroaching, sometimes encompassing shadows. 

Most of the time she just gazes right back at him, hoping against all odds that he understands she shares the sentiment but her fragile, puzzle pieced self just isn’t ready to speak the words and begin the journey. 

Keep reading

umadbrx  asked:

☎ because when else would he call


Oh, for the love of—.

What the hell was he supposed to do? His hands were covered in clay, and his phone was in his damn pocket. God, this better be important. He stopped the wheel (kind of a sleepless night, pottery wasn’t a bad way to waste time), wiped a hand on his jeans to pull the phone out, resting it between his ear and shoulder as he went back to working on the mound of clay.

“I hope for you’re sake you’re in the hospital or something."