Creativecraft: Inspiration

Fire it up!

I hate inspiration.

There, I said it.

Inspiration is an infuriating creature. It’s capricious. Fickle. Unpredictable. Unreliable. It rarely gets work done and is notorious for abandoning me right in the middle of something that needs done.

And it is indispensable to my creative process.

The fact is that every idea I’ve ever had, no matter what it is, is a child of inspiration. That relationship may be subtle, like a whisper carried on a breeze, or it may be unmistakable, like a lightning strike. Either way, inspiration births ideas and everything that comes from it.

Nevertheless, I hate it because I can’t control it. I want it to obey me and to produce on command. It laughs and disappears for days and months and years, only to return with no apparent prompting to dump a pile of ill-begotten offspring on me and disappear again.

So, it is a surprise when inspiration appears with the true intent of showing me a new thing, opening up a vista of possibility to me that had been heretofore obscured and impossible to get to.

This time, inspiration showed up in the form of an internet article about a dumpster fire toy. I know, right?

But that’s what it was. A spark that, pun intended, caught fire and burned away the dead wood that was obscuring my path to something I’ve been trying to find my way to for decades without success. Suddenly, there it is, the thing I’ve been looking for in all its glory.

A dumpster fire.

Yeah, inspiration. I hate it. And I love it.

Please don’t leave. Please come back.

DLH

Read more at my Creativecraft weblog...

Posted in Art, Ideas | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gaming for the Rest of Us: It turns out, I haven’t really been gaming…

I know, gasp, horror.

That’s not entirely true. I’m playing in a Legends of the Five Rings Role Playing Game campaign once a month. I play Realm Grinder and Forge of Empires as a sometimes diversion. And I play Seaport on my phone. But for the most part, that’s minutes a day, and I just haven’t had the focus or the energy to do more. It happens… Eventually, it will change and I’ll get back into the business of writing about the games I play.

DLH

Read more at my Gaming for the Rest of Us weblog...

Tagged | Leave a comment

Brickcraft: Things have been quiet

Unfortunately, as is so often the case, life has intervened in building. While that means I haven’t been producing new work, it does not mean I have not been thinking about things to build, and if my schedule should clear, I have some strong new ideas about how to progress with my building projects.

Also on the table is a complete redesign of this site. 

Stay tuned. More will follow.

DLH

Read more at my Brickcraft weblog...

Tagged | Leave a comment

The Rambling Road: You’re not finished until you’re done, or understanding tired

I recently read a quote from a personal trainer that said, “You’re not finished when you’re tired; you’re finished when you’re done.”

While I appreciate the sentiment of not quitting until you get to your goal, as someone with a chronic illness, I also understand it’s not always that easy.

What do I mean? Well, it seems cliché, but there’s tired and then there’s tired. There are times when I want to quit because, frankly, I’m just to lazy. I think that’s the kind of tired the trainer is talking about, and in that case, they’re right. No one can advance if they quit because it’s hard.

On the other hand, there are times when I want to quit because my body can’t. I tend to describe that as being tired too, but the reality is that it’s more unable than tired. Something has happened inside that means I don’t have the energy to expend, and pushing at that point can create disastrous consequences.

One of the most important parts of managing the complexity of a chronic illness is learning the difference and knowing when to quit. Further, there’s the task of knowing how to tell the people around you who care why you have to quit this time when, maybe, you didn’t have to the last time.

This isn’t an argument for quitting altogether. Rather, it’s an acknowledgement that, sometimes, the path isn’t a straight line toward the destination. Sometimes, we have to know when to quit so we can get ahead.

DLH

Read more at my The Rambling Road weblog...

Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Readiness: Run to where? Taking an honest look at getting out of Dodge.

One of the central themes of a lot of readiness thinking and training is the notion of bugging out when a disaster strikes. There are a lot of reasons for that fact, mostly driven by people living in urban and suburban areas that are critically unsustainable in a crisis situation. That said, one of my major misgivings about the notion of getting out of dodge, and I think one of the major failings of that kind of readiness, is that it often ignores where someone will run to if they run away.

This isn’t a question of standing your ground, but rather it is one of figuring out how not to be a refugee. Why is avoiding that state so important? Because, as a refugee in a crisis situation, you become dependent on whatever aid someone else can provide, and in the worst cases, those providing that aid triage it just like medical care. Unless you have a plan for how to get somewhere that can support you and alternative plans for what happens if you cannot get there, it may prove to be the case that it’s a better call to stay where you are, even in a worst case scenario.

Consider the standard planning for a so-called bug-out kit. A single kit usually contains enough supplies to support one person for three to five days, and with proper care, rationing, and a little luck, could probably last two weeks. What happens after that? Keep in mind that, if you’re in a situation where there is a crisis bad enough to warrant leaving home, it’s likely there are going to be many other people, often far less prepared, doing the same exact thing. If the refugee crises of the past few decades have shown us anything, mass migrations of people fleeing a crisis usually end badly for everyone, even for people who were prepared for short term fleeing.

So, again, what happens after that? If you want to avoid finding yourself in the middle of exactly the kind of secondary disaster a large-scale crisis is likely to create, the only real answer is to have a known destination that you know will be well-supplied and, unfortunately, well defended, along with secondary options for how to get to that location if the primary way is blocked and places to go, at least temporarily, if you cannot get there at all.

Of course, this kind of planning becomes very unique and depends on all sorts of variables, making it far more complex than stocking a backpack with three days of supplies, but the fact is that readiness is a state of mind and a constant practice. The best bet is to add the, “Run to where?’ question to your readiness planning so that you don’t find yourself just trading one disaster for another.

DLH

Read more at my Readiness weblog...

Posted in Philosophy, Preparedness | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment