Saturday, June 1, 2019

QE Results for May and the Three Energies of Creative Production Theory

Feet firmly planted on Beale St.

In January I wrote a blog post entitled Queer Eye, My Daughter, and I where I related some of the experience and pleasure I had binge-watching the two season of the show with my daughter over the holiday break, and in doing so basically laid out a self-improvement (or self assessment, at least) plan for the year.  The plan involves taking an honest inventory of where am in life with regards to five categories, as I see them, as exemplified by the men on the Netflix show Queer Eye.  And so, an honest assessment on my performance for May in the five QE categories:

KARAMO: "Culture, Confidence, Put yourself out there". 4.5 stars. I wrote 200 pages, with more of a day to day, week to week balance than I had with April's photo finish. I did not write enough fiction, I am afraid, and blaming it on my two lengthy business trips would be a little disingenuous, although I have this "Three Energies" theory when it comes to creative production. In short, I believe there are three different types of energy you need to have to be able to successfully perform your chosen art:

Activation Energy: This is the energy required to generate a new idea and actually get started on bringing it to life--writing the first page, getting the first notes recorded, making some marks on the canvass. I have this in spades; I've got dozens of story ideas supported by outlines, notes, and the first twenty or so manuscript pages. They are stacked up in my mind and my hard drive like airplanes awaiting clearance for takeoff

Sustaining Energy: This is the energy required to just put your head down and keep working toward the finish line even when every page is more like slogging through a dismal swamp than it is like skipping through a lush garden as it often is during the activation energy phase. This is the form of creative energy, for myself, anyway, that is most likely to be drained away like your cellphone's charge when you are out of network and surfing the web by the vagaries of life. The bad day at work, the routine broken, the unpleasant news, the glance at a finished project so much better than your WIP--all can suck that spirit right out of you. My sustaining energy does take a hit when the non-writing work and travel amp up, but I've been at the game long enough to figure out ways to compensate for this.

Finishing Energy: This is the energy--some would say the moral fortitude--to actually finish off a project and pronounce it done (which isn't at all the same thing as being fully satisfied with the project; frankly that never happens). Getting through those last twenty pages, writing your last line, completing the draft, etc. I've got this one in spades, too--and I'm thankful for that, because I actually think this is the energy many creative people struggle with the most.

One of my trips brought me to Memphis, and I was overjoyed to have a night to myself which almost never happens for work trips. I made the most of it with a sunny stroll down Beale Street and visited a couple of my favorite haunts there.

Despite my dearth of sustaining energy writing-wise, I did get out quite a bit this month--I joined my friend and HWA Mentor award-winning JG Faherty in a beautiful part of New York on a torrentially rainy night for the Rockland Teen Library Association's book launch party for Scrawl, a student anthology that Greg and I helped edit. I got to give a speech and I gave every one of the students that had a story in Scrawl a free copy of Generation Dead. It was a fun night.

Two smooth guys. JG Faherty and I

Kim and I went to an opera at the Garde Arts Centre--Verdi's Don Carlo, our first. I loved the music; we were seated in the first row so I could see every draw of the bow on the strings. 

I also started going out to the movies weekly with my father...more on that in the upcoming What I Watched: May blog. I've eaten more popcorn in the past month than I have in the previous year, easily. And I like popcorn.

This came out. Translation: The Curse. There's no curses in the movie or the about a red herring! 

TAN: "Make an effort with your personal appearance". A raise to 3. I've been going out more and have gotten better at dressing accordingly; the concert t-shirts are now relegated mostly for lounge-around-the-house wear. I'm putting all of my new slimmer fitting clothes to actual use.

Me making an effort with my personal appearance at Tater Red's. I'm well aware I'm cenobite-esque, thank you very much

BOBBY: "Create and maintain a physical environment that promotes productivity, creativity and inner harmony". I'm keeping it at 3.5, mostly because of more work on the yard and a quick tidying of my home office. I also got the pool opened up--and the pool is huge in promoting "productivity, creativity, and inner harmony" but I'm having a little trouble getting the chemistry of it just right, which has never happened before.

ANTONI: "Make nutrition healthy and enjoyable, cook for others". 2.5 still. Kim and I hosted the family for a Memorial Day cookout and I made potato salad and manned the grill--rather pedestrian, just burgers and dogs but I will say they were cooked perfectly and according to taste. Stuck to my diet but wasn't irrationally rigid about it either.

JONATHAN: "Take care of yourself physically" Staying at a 4.  I ran 118.6 miles, making May my fifth consecutive +100 month, a feat I'm certain I've never done before in my life. In five months, I've eclipsed my totals for the entire years of 2018, 2016, 2015, 2013, and 2012. I started keeping track of such things in 2011, the year I set my personal best, and now only that and 2017 (I beat 2014 on the first day of June!) stand in my way for a new yearly record. 

Some lifting, but not as consistent as I'd like to be. But the results are starting to show...

 17.5 my high but with only one bump in one category. Progress is progress, though.

Reading/watching/listening posts will soon follow.

I combine reading and listening, and writing, in my novel Aural History, which you can find HERE, along with my other ghost/zombie/human/punk/metal/sporto novels below...

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