Hello, Everyone! Happy August.
Today I have creativity on my mind.
Readers often ask me “where do you get your ideas?” and I’ve answered that question in a number of ways – from my own life experiences, from something I saw in a movie, from a brainstorming session with another author… the list can go on. But that’s more referring to plot or a general outline for a story.
There’s something much deeper that happens when I’m writing. It happens in the act of writing, of getting words on the page. Dialogue will flow out or a new plot twist will occur, without my conscious thought. It’s like the source of creativity is a rich vein of gold inside me, waiting to be tapped. As I write, the gold reveals itself.
I don’t feel like this creativity comes from CJane, the individual. Jung talked about the “collective unconscious” that is shared by all people. It’s that part of us that shows up in our dreams or when we’re taking a shower or running or simply being still, contemplating a flower. Something emerges.
Sometimes things emerge that take a while for our conscious mind to comprehend. For instance, lately in my therapy sessions I’ve been looking at a young part of me that is reluctant to ask for help. This young voice feels misunderstood and alone. All I wanted when I was a child was for someone to hear me and understand me, and for them to tell me they would help me. But when that didn’t happen I decided it was wrong to need help and I should be able to do it myself.
I was talking to my dear friend (and fellow social worker) Kathleen about what I’m seeing in therapy. Then I was telling her the plot of my never-ending Miles WIP. There’s a scene when Miles is talking to Marco (who you may recognize from All the Way to Shore) about trying to get out of debt. And Marco finishes the conversation with these wise words:
Don’t think you have to do it alone, Miles. That was a hard lesson I had to learn. If people around you offer help, take it. It doesn’t diminish you or make you out to be a freeloader. It’s just smart.
It sounds like what I’m learning right now in therapy, yet I wrote those words months and months ago. I hadn’t even made the connection until I was sharing the story with Kathleen.
I love the mystery of creativity, the fact that you can’t manufacture it or force it to happen. It’s in every one of us. Perhaps our purpose in life is to allow our creativity to flow and contribute to the whole of mankind. Then again, maybe our purpose is to have fun and do what delights us. I suspect both purposes are one and the same.
Miles, the never-ending WIP, is almost done! I’ve gotten 51,000+ words edited and new words written and The End is getting closer and closer. I had to give Chad more of a story and did he ever get one – one of those plot twists that emerged like a shining gold nugget just this past week. Now I’m writing furiously to get it all on the page.
I’m also in edits for Pattern for an Angel, my Dreamspinner Holiday Anthology story. Here is a working blurb:
Hospice nurse Gabe Martin is only 25 years old, but his main priority is raising Ian, his adopted 5-year-old son. Gabe would like a partner but has put dating on hold to be a parent. His son won’t wear anything but dresses at home and wants to be an angel for his kindergarten holiday pageant. When Gabe visits a sewing store to get help making Ian’s angel gown, he’s assisted by a bewitching employee named Loren, and life changes.
Loren Schuster is a genderfluid drag queen who uses he/him pronouns and likes wearing feminine clothes in everyday life. He recently had a bad break-up that killed his interest in serious relationships. But he reconsiders that stance when Gabe Martin walks into the shop—a gorgeous single dad who wants to help his son wear an angel gown. The only problem is, Loren doesn’t know how to sew.
Through a crash sewing course via YouTube videos, Loren manages to make the angel gown. Loren also supports Gabe in helping Ian express himself the way he longs to—in public as well as at home. Along the way, Gabe and Loren overcome their initial hesitations and, with Ian, create a new pattern for their lives.
That’s it for this month. I hope your August is happy and creative. I’m looking forward to being at Eugene Pride again this year on August 10th and to the Author Reading we have scheduled the next day at a local pleasure shop. Fun!
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work, and her characters are travelers too, traveling into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming-out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intently at her laptop.
CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards. All the Way to Shore was Runner Up for Best Bisexual Novel in the 2017 Rainbow Awards.