Creative Concept Development – Journal 2, 09.06.16

Assigned Readings

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp, Chapters 1-4

Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse

Summary of the Readings

The  Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp: Chapters 1-4, Summary

Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse, Summary

Response to the Readings

Each chapter in the book ends with exercises. I started reading the book when Owen gave it to us. I already did many of the exercises but after reading the section again for class I have revised and added additional exercises.


Ch 2. Ex 1. Where’s Your “Pencil”

This activity was a good idea. I already started carrying my supplies around. It isn’t much, but it gives me something to record moments as they happen.


Ch 2. Ex 2. Build Up Your Tolerance for Solitude

I did not feel like this applied to me. I am accustomed to solitude and I never suffer from it. I enjoy being alone with my own brain.


Ch 2. Ex 3. Facing Your Fears

Maybe I am being to blasé about fear. I am almost never physically afraid. I am not sure why, but I suspect it links back to events that happened when I was younger. I have plenty of emotional fears, but it is in my nature to face them. I think it always has been.

I remember when I was a kid. Everyone has those nights. You know the ones. There is something in your room. It is under your bed. You scream for parents but every parent alive knows there is a time to just make the kid face it. If you lay under the covers and are very very still, it won’t know you are there. You are as still and quiet as you can be but then your bladder betrays you. So what do you do? Your parents have abandoned you. The monster is waiting. You have to be still but you just can’t do it. Wetting the bed is not an option. So you make a frantic leap off of the bed, jerking your feet into the air and dodging the hot breath and grasping claws of the -____-  and you run into the light. I had those nights like everyone else, but I never leapt off the bed to run into the light. Instead, I laid there, frozen in place. I closed my eyes and I let all that fear gather up in me like a raging storm. Then I rolled as hard as I could. I threw myself off the bed and onto the floor and then I rolled right under the bed to face the thing that I knew could not really be there. I hated the fear that rose in me much more than I feared whatever might be waiting.

I don’t think I have changed much.


Ch 2. Ex 4. Give Me One Week Without

I already started. Giving up books is hard, but I think it will make me more productive.


Ch 3. Your Creative Autobiography

I did this activity first because I knew it would take a long time. I have completed it but it is password protected because I am not yet ready to share it. I need more time to consider these questions.


Ch 3. Ex 5. You Can Observe a Lot by Watching

I have not done this yet, but I will.


Ch 3. Ex 6. Pick a New Name

I don’t want a new name. The idea is offensive. The author explains that she feels having an unusual name has helped to define her. I feel the same way. My first name may be odd, but it has come to represent me quite totally.

My last name is also precious to me since it is the name I chose for myself. It is my mother’s maiden name.  My father left when I was only a few weeks old. He signed blank adoption papers that would allow anyone to adopt me if my mother wished it. He didn’t have any interest in me at all after that. My mother’s second husband did adopt me and I grew up with his name. It was good since my brother and I had the same last name. It contributed to building a bond between us but the name itself bothered me. My Mom  divorced my brother’s father when I was about 13. He didn’t do much to stay involved (not that he was particularly involved before). He was, to put it mildly, not a very good person. Why would I want to use his name? My grandparents were the ones who mattered to me. They provided moral and physical guidance. My grandfather was as close to a “father” as I ever had. I chose to take his name when I became an adult. I would never give that up.

I understand why people change their names. I see the beauty of it. It is rebellion. It is self-definition. It is brave. I just don’t need it.

I tried thinking about the names I would have picked if I had ever had a child. That did not help. Those names are blank. They are meant for someone who will grow to embody them, not for someone who is already themselves.

Ultimately, I guess, if I must answer the question. I might choose Leo Black. I never particularly liked my middle name. It has little relevance or meaning and I did consider changing it a few times. I never thought it was worth the trouble but if I did, I would probably chose Leo.

The name Leo, like my first name, works well for a girl or a boy. I like that. It is the name of a character in a story my Grandfather used to tell me.”Leo, Cleo and Theo” were brother lions who lived in the Bamboo Jungle behind out house. The character of Leo still lives in my mind and he has come to represent safety, security and love. He is afraid but he conquers his fears. He loves everyone and is always willing to help. he is adventurous and exciting but he isn’t careless or reckless or wild. If I had to have a new name, that name would make me feel good.


Ch 4. Ex 7. Name that Muse

I did this. I created memory tricks and memorized teh muses. I made index cards and put them around the house. Now I know them.








Ch 4. Ex 8. Trust Muscle Memory

I did not do this activity. I simply did not see the point. I understand how muscle memory works. I did enough cartwheels and handstands to know that once you know, it stays. I wasn’t very interested in doing more.


Ch 4. Ex 9. Mining for Memory Inside a Photograph

This activity was hard. It took a long time and brought back very intense emotions that I do not usually access.

Class Overview

I did not find the readings so I did them during my Library time before class. During class we discussed both the Carse book and Twyla Tharp.

I was thinking about playfulness. I think some of my most creative moments came when playing with Donnie or trying to keep Donnie from burning down the world.

Virginia brought a cool creative response. She brought in a board with a bunch of pieces of exotic wood. We used them to build pictures together.


Creative Possibilities

Write about experiences of play as a child. I question were solitary play fits into the Carse paradigm.


Creative Response

I feel like my response to the readings bleeds over into creative response.  I did so many activities that I ended up with many associated products.

The paintings that I used for the Pecha Kucha were also my creative response. These paintings represent infinite play. I attempted to do work that was not bound by so many strictures and rules. I used these for the presentation but I believe I will continue to use these small postcard sized paintings to explore abstract thinking.


Creative Response

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Ted Talk on the Creative Process from the point of view of four artists