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Be More You

Just a little something I ran up today. I intend to make a lot of creativity films in the coming months. Just limbering up.

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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Creative Genius

 

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Just do the job

Shiva

It’s important your writing does the job it was made for. I was reminded of this recently reading about the writing of the classic monologue “The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God”. J. Milton Hayes is quoted as saying:

“I wrote The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God in five hours, but I had it all planned out. It isn’t poetry and it does not pretend to be, but it does what it sets out to do. It appeals to the imagination from the start: those colours, green and yellow, create an atmosphere. Then India, everyone has his own idea of India. Don’t tell the public too much. Strike chords. It is no use describing a house; the reader will fix the scene in some spot he knows himself. All you’ve got to say is ‘India’ and a man sees something. Then play on his susceptibilities.”

Here for your amusement and entertainment I submit to you the full text of the original 1911 dramatic monologue. Bonus points if you can make anything using this as a basis, a novel, an animation, a piece of musical theatre . . . go nuts. Let your creativity free.

oOo

The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God
by J. Milton Hayes

There’s a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu,
There’s a little marble cross below the town;
There’s a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew,
And the Yellow God forever gazes down.

He was known as “Mad Carew” by the subs at Khatmandu,
He was hotter than they felt inclined to tell;
But for all his foolish pranks, he was worshipped in the ranks,
And the Colonel’s daughter smiled on him as well.

He had loved her all along, with a passion of the strong,
The fact that she loved him was plain to all.
She was nearly twenty-one and arrangements had begun
To celebrate her birthday with a ball.

He wrote to ask what present she would like from Mad Carew;
They met next day as he dismissed a squad;
And jestingly she told him then that nothing else would do
But the green eye of the little Yellow God.

On the night before the dance, Mad Carew seemed in a trance,
And they chaffed him as they puffed at their cigars:
But for once he failed to smile, and he sat alone awhile,
Then went out into the night beneath the stars.

He returned before the dawn, with his shirt and tunic torn,
And a gash across his temple dripping red;
He was patched up right away, and he slept through all the day,
And the Colonel’s daughter watched beside his bed.

He woke at last and asked if they could send his tunic through;
She brought it, and he thanked her with a nod;
He bade her search the pocket saying “That’s from Mad Carew,”
And she found the little green eye of the god.

She upbraided poor Carew in the way that women do,
Though both her eyes were strangely hot and wet;
But she wouldn’t take the stone and Mad Carew was left alone
With the jewel that he’d chanced his life to get.

When the ball was at its height, on that still and tropic night,
She thought of him and hurried to his room;
As she crossed the barrack square she could hear the dreamy air
Of a waltz tune softly stealing thro’ the gloom.

His door was open wide, with silver moonlight shining through;
The place was wet and slipp’ry where she trod;
An ugly knife lay buried in the heart of Mad Carew,
‘Twas the “Vengeance of the Little Yellow God.”

There’s a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu,
There’s a little marble cross below the town;
There’s a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew,
And the Yellow God forever gazes down.

oOo

Phil South is a creative life trainer at Unified Field www.creativelifetraining.com

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Creative Genius

 

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Sense your life for true creative power

607px-Shiva_Bangalore_If you know me well you totally get that I have a sciencey side and a philosophical side. I love science and read books on science for entertainment, and I also study psychology, hypnotherapy, counselling, NLP, mysticism, culture and spirituality on an ongoing basis as a part of my work.

Now hey, I’m not one of those tinfoil hats who browbeat strangers on the bus about knowing Jesus or Jung or Buddha, or how alien government secret societies control your mind or how science and religion are polar opposites. Nothing so loony. At the same time I freely promote the idea that there is more to life than meets the eye or the brain, to anyone that asks me what I think. It’s my own personal take on life, and 90% of the time what I believe or don’t has little or no relevance to everyday conversation.

Besides I’ve always been suspicious of people who tell you too freely what they believe. Believers or Non-believers who are too verbal about their faith or lack of it always strike me as answering a question I didn’t ask, of perhaps protesting too much. I always thought it was more important to convince yourself of what you believe, not everyone else around you. But that’s just me, and I digress.

At this time of year there is a lot of pondering, a lot of inward looking, even for those who have no specific faith or creed, and I’m sure this is true of you too. The end of the year makes you review the year past and postulate about the year coming. Its a way of processing events and preparing for the new ones coming down the track.

Rather than start doing syrupy Christmas messages, although I am a sap about the holiday season and unabashedly so, I thought I would go for some deeper thoughts about creativity and ways to prime yourself for creative success in the coming year. Now, the sorts of things I am about to discuss can seem a little leftfield to some and I realise that it’s possible that these kinds of thoughts could be misconstrued as spooky or mystical.

It’s true if that’s your bent you can read a lot into such things and if that’s your leaning there can be milage in doing so. But that’s not the whole message, intent or engine behind what I’m suggesting. You can do this whatever you know to be the truth of life, and I think you’ll notice that once you do these things they will mesh seamlessly with your lifestyle or personal beliefs.

Okay enough preamble. How can you program yourself for success and creative outpourings over the coming year. This is my gift to you this holiday season, my entire philosophy in a nutshell. Use it wisely, or ignore it, or keep it safe for reading again once you’ve digested it a little bit – the choice is yours. I don’t mind what you do with it, but please at least do me the respect of reading it just the once with an open mind. Who knows you might notice how easy it is to wander outside your comfort zone in complete safety. That’s nice, because it means you trust me. That is your gift to me.

1. See – Visualise
Do you ever stop for a while and try to visualise your successful project coming to fruition? I know it might sound foolish but it’s a very powerful tool which people have a tendency to overlook because it seems too simple. There are many disciplines which promote visualisation as a primary tool for change and growth. In areas as diverse as art and creativity, body building, medicine, sports, psychology, and even business there is a lot of evidence to suggest that creative visualisation programs the mind better than any kind of therapy, training, coaching or any kind of verbal preparation. Your brain is a computer which runs on images. Feed it programs it can process. Visualise the project you have in mind, even sometimes before you fully know what it is. Relax and close your eyes and see the project being completed and see yourself enjoying the process. You will be amazed at how programming your brain in this way improves your success rate.

2. Hear – Silence
A crucial thing people don’t have nearly enough of is peace and quiet. The tendency these days is to never go longer than a few minutes without some kind of input, usually sound or noise. What are people so afraid of? Boredom? Silence itself? It’s like the modern equivalent of monsters under the bed or in the closet in the dark. The way people act you would think that silence is a fearsome monster to be thwarted by noise at all times. Some people even sleep listening to music or the radio. When is your brain ever going to rest? How can you create anything if you are constantly receiving input? Take even as little as 10-20 minutes a day to sit and contemplate nothing. Seriously, try it. Any thoughts that enter your head, brush them lightly aside and empty your mind. Only once your mind is empty can you fill it again from your creative reserves.

3. Feel – Trust
Trust your instincts. Instinct is a powerful human tool which reminds us of our animal past. We have so saturated ourselves with noise that we can’t hear our own voice within telling us what to do, making suggestions or giving us ideas. We need to retrain to listen to the voice of our own unconscious. But more than that we need to learn to trust our true instincts uncoloured by our prejudices and ideas about who we think we should want to be. Sometimes we are not our true authentic selves but a version of ourselves which we would like to pretend to be to the outside world. Only by trusting your instincts often and having those instincts validated will teach us that we can trust our own voice.

4. Smell – Sensitise
Don’t bombard yourself with sensory input, try to detoxify yourself from the fact that everything in 21st Century life is turned up to 11. TV is too loud, food is too fatty and salty, the Internet is always on and you will never read it all or experience everything. This constant barrage of input will over time desensitise you to the subtleties of life, of your senses. If you dull your senses by overpowering them then how can you experience the full beauty and range of your actual life? Consider some kind of detox like a juice fast. If I were you I would get a juicer and juice fruit and vegetables and live mostly off that for a few days. You will find soon that everything tastes so much richer and more gorgeous and over time you begin to crave healthier foods. This can not only be good for your health but radical breaks from your routine resensitise you to life. If you experience life you can write about it, paint pictures, write songs etc. which pass that richness of experience on to others.

5. Taste – Savour
And finally for goodness sake enjoy yourself. Don’t just scarf life down like it was fast food, take a moment to roll it around your mouth before you swallow. Chew things over a little before you digest them. Start to notice things about yourself and your environment which you like and don’t like and be honest about that to yourself. Make sure your life is the way you’d like it. Someone who is unhappy in life is a poor creator, their stories are full of prejudice and hatred, their art is expressing discomfort and emotions and thoughts coloured by their lack of authenticity in life. Take the time to figure out who you are and what you want. Don’t just go along with what’s going on because you don’t have time or can’t be bothered to change or be assertive about what you desire. Taste your life.

There you have it. This is my gift to you this holiday season, the bulk of my philosophy in a brief. As I say it’s up to your what you do with this. Use it wisely or use it unwisely, the choice is yours. I promise you even doing just one of these things will expand your creative options and ensure a positive new year . . . whatever your beliefs.

My beliefs? They, my holiday season friend, are a closely guarded secret. 🙂

Happy holidays, and if I don’t see you before have a glorious time.

oOo

Phil South is a creative life trainer at www.creativelifetraining.com

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2012 in Creative Genius

 

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My Creative Camera Project

Click here to see the full project

I just posted this project to the MAKE:PROJECTS site and I urge you to go read it. It tells the story of how I turned an old camera in to a lend for my DSLR. What does this have to do with writing? Well as I’ve said before this isn’t just a writing blog anymore it’s about creativity in all its forms. But if you wanted a writers take-away from this it’s this:

Make something from what you have around you. True creativity comes form being able to use what you have to hand and not being able to use the excuse that you can’t work because you don;t have proper materials.

Make something every day, regardless of the fact it might not be entirely related to your projects in hand. If you’re making, you are learning, if you are learning then your mind is getting more complex. A more complex mind is a creative mind.

Phil

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Creative Genius

 

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The Rule of Two – Infographic

I had a lot of fun doing this, I hope you have a lot of fun reading it.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Creative Genius

 

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Awesome creative secrets, for you

I know this blog started out as just a writers blog, but it’s morphed over the years into something resembling a general creativity blog. I talk about writing a lot because that is the thing I did for 30 years professionally and so my information on that subject has a lot more perceived credibility. Plus I conceived CGP originally as a training methodology for writers before I realised it had ramifications for artists and musicians too. Little did I know how the focus of my jedi training would change over time. I slouch corrected.

It was I guess inevitable, in hindsight. You see I’m also a professional photographer, film maker and artist, and I’ve spent lots of time teaching those things for money. As a multi-platform artist I know that it’s true: the principles of creativity are the same no matter what your medium, and for several of the last posts to this blog it’s becoming clear to me (and to you too) that this is not just a writers blog, it’s a creativity blog.

I regularly talk about other disciplines, and the last post is an ideal example about making the transition from artist to writer. But the same is true the other way, how do you make the transition from writer to artist? Can’t draw? Learning to draw like Matisse is hard, but learning to draw like you is easy. Photography requires no drawing. Screen printing is more about ideas than about art skill. What you can and can’t do is not the issue. Creativity is.

Creativity is what makes the difference between mediocre films, photos, stories and paintings, and truly life changing, awe inspiring, GREAT ones.

Ponder this for a while: how does the way you work in your medium translate to another? Could doing work in another medium like music, art or photography inform your writing? Could writing your ideas in prose inform your art? Give it some thought, train your senses by spreading out from the confines of your safe zone.

Bring your art alive.

oOo

On the subject of photography I’ve found this authentically brilliant ebook and video course by a young guy called Evan Sharboneau, who has a lot of creative skill in photography. I’ve been recommending this book and video course to everyone I know, because it’s such a fast and enjoyable way to make your photos “pop”. If you have a basic DSLR, the desire to make creative images and some time, for less than the price of a high speed, large capacity memory card for your camera you can get this really useful, inspiring and comprehensive course which could help you win photo competitions, and with ease. Snap over to his web site for more details. You won’t regret it.

oOo

Of course I am compelled on an almost daily basis by the voices in my head to remind you that my course WRITING FIT is the only complete 8 hour audio course to understand your needs as a creative writer and give you the tools to enhance them, permanently. The only writing course which confirms in detail what you always thought was true about your creativity and original ideas.

Watch out for my new health and life training courses in the coming months. And the new web site is almost ready, www.creativelifetraining.com. It’s going to be very cool.

Warm regards from the Unified Field creativity labs,

until next time

Phil

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Creative Genius

 

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Artist to writer, making the switch

I recently got a great email from Mike, a student of mine, asking a very interesting and provocative question.

“I have a question about creativity that I imagine you could explore for a blog post – for years I was an artist and now I’m trying to be a writer. But I’m having transitioning problems! My ideas, no matter what the intended medium, usually come fully or pretty-much-fully formed. But, I’m used to having an idea for a concept or narrative present itself visually, and I’m really struggling translating the visual idea/story into a verbal/prose one. It seems I’m lacking some of the patience needed to spend days describing with words, what would have taken (only!) hours to draw. Using words to describe the scene instead of pencil lines, if you will.

“Have you come across this transitioning trouble before when dealing with multiple outlets of creativity?”

My answer was as follows. Art and writing have a lot in common. You start from general shapes and work backwards to specifics. You sketch in the broad outlines of what you are intending, based on an internal vision of what you are trying to create. You flesh out the lines and add shading and colour, and continue until nothing can be added and nothing taken away to match the perfect internal vision. It’s the same with writing.

You write little pieces of prose, which sketch out the overall shape of the piece, each one a piece of the puzzle, and gradually as you add more and more they achieve a weight or momentum of their own. You keep adding and taking away words until they are all connected, and nothing can be added or taken away, and it matches your perfect vision of what the story should be.

The difference with writing, depending on the length of the form you are going for, is that a single image or scene is not the full story. You have to imagine a series of scenes telling a story from a human perspective. You have to outline the characters and fill them in with colour, or telling details about their specific motives and concerns, and take this series of images or visions to a conclusion. Art is mostly single images which tell a fragment of a story, leaving the rest implied or at the discretion of the viewer to supply. It’s the same with writing, except you need to supply more mental images and suggestive detail and a sequence of such events to make up an entire story.

Thanks Mike for a great question. I hope that helps. If you have any questions about creativity by all means emulate Mike and email me and I will be delighted to respond.

oOo

Thanks for all of you who were so complimentary about the Red Riding Hood series so far, I am going to work on the last two but blog in between as it’s way too long between posts if I try and do them all in a line and I have lots of things to bring to you before then. If you would like to join my newsletter on this link, I will send you monthly updates containing tips about enhancing your creativity, no katter what your area of creative outlet.

Meantime I should mention that my course WRITING FIT is the only complete 8 hour audio course to understand your needs as a creative writer and give you the tools to enhance them, permanently. The only writing course which confirms what you always thought was true.

Warm regards from the Unified Field creativity labs,

until next time

Phil

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Creative Genius

 

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