Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Act of Creation - by Brenda Chapman

Sept. 10: LIFE: Are you creative in other ways besides writing – i.e. photography, painting, music, widget making, any other creative pursuits that you might have? Tell us about them and why you pursued writing as a career instead of one of them.

I believe each one of us has the creativity gene although some develop its potential more than others. Of course, this doesn’t mean we are all creative in the same way ….

I cannot carry a tune. In fact, nobody in my immediate family can carry a tune so I come by this honestly. I learned to play the clarinet in grade seven but never got what you’d call proficient at it even though I was in the town band. (I learned to play very … very … quietly.)

The crafty hobbies were never my thing either. In fact, I went all through Brownies and Girl Guides only earning one badge, sadly enough for stamp collecting. I knit a scarf in university that took two years to complete — and I did work away at it. (After that, I hung up my needles.) My daughter and I were in a craft store once and the sales woman asked if I had a store credit card. My daughter burst out laughing.

When my husband and I got married, I knew how to cook about five main meals, including Shake ‘n Bake chicken. But I had a good excuse, well, besides the one about having no interest. I skipped home economics in high school to take art classes, something I was actually good at!

I took art classes all through high school and loved every minute. My teacher was a fierce four foot something artist with zero tolerance for those taking art as a ‘bird course’ and a woman I greatly respected. She advised me at the end of grade twelve to go into fine arts at university, which meant a lot, but I didn’t have enough faith in my talent or any idea of how I could make a living through art. I’ve since taken classes in oil painting and even a college course in interior design, and sometimes think about joining another art class. Perhaps, down the road when I have more time.

So, why writing? Reading and writing have always been my main pursuits from the time I figured out that those squiggles on paper formed words. I studied English literature for enjoyment but also because it could lead to a job (with more education, granted). Being able to write has served me well over my working life and continues to provide me great pleasure in crafting novels.

However, I have become creative in other ways. I garden and look forward to replenishing my flower beds every spring with new perennials and annuals. The act of choosing plants, matching colours with height and sun requirements, and creating beautiful spaces is satisfying. I’ve also taken up curling and skip a team, often having to get creative as I work out strategy and try to maneuver our way out of a tough spot.

As for the cooking, I’ve improved considerably and even prepare dishes without using a recipe. I grow several herbs in my garden and shop at markets where local produce reign and buy my meat at the butcher’s, finding I enjoy creating meals for family and friends.

Linguine and clams with a side of Caesar salad and home-baked bread anyone?
Twitter: brendaAchapman
Facebook: BrendaChapmanAuthor


Terry said...

I’m with you Brenda. It’s the creative gene. I sing, used to play piano and guitar. I also paint and love to cook. But gardening? No patience for it. I admire you for that.

Cathy Ace said...

Nice piece, Brenda...I too see gardening as a deeply creative undertaking, though we don;t plant many perennials as we have five acres, and that would take some doing!

7 Criminal Minds said...

I admire your ability to sing, Terry. I had dreams but no talent :-)
Think of how creative you could get on five acres, Cathy ... although I agree it would be way too much work .