About Me

Hello and welcome to my new blog, Hello Hoobubby! Hoobubby comes from the name of the character in a children's picture book I have played with on and off for some time. My name is Alexandra and I am a therapist and writer here in Portland, Oregon. I'm not exactly sure quite yet what this blog will be all about- books? writing? love? decorating? art? travels? yodeling bats in traveling Chinese circuses? food? Definitely food! Have a wonderful day and by the way, you look very scrumptious today so watch yourself! (You can also find me at my private practice blog at http://leapbrightly.blogspot.com and at my business site at http://www.alexandrasaperstein.com )

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ideas just love smelly feet, didn't you know?


I have never believed really in heaven and hell but I have often believed in a very real hemisphere where nonsense is hatched, a place where everything is upside down and inside out, a place that smells of popcorn, french toast, and butterscotch souffles, and where there is a chariot that goes out every night into the peppermint air of midnight, and the chaffeur of this chariot carries a large copper ladle with him the size of a lamppost and he dispenses ideas as if they were dallops of whipped cream on hot steamy cocoa, and if he happens back over your part of town and you haven't done anything with them, he snatches them back when no one is looking with a long, pointy fondue stick and gives them to someone else who will make more time for them. Thats why you sometimes read the synopsis on the back of a book or see a movie and say, "I had that same idea once!" You are absolutely right! You did!

Where do ideas come from though? I wondered about that the night before last when I woke up totally alert just after four a.m. with a new idea for an old children's story I had worked on last year. I opened up my laptop and it felt like the words had carefully lined themselves up like little school children waiting to board the bus, and there was just a flow and I felt completely excited and inspired! Well, that lasted for all of twenty or so minutes until my idea yawned and proceeded to pull a pillow, afghan, and park bench out of its pocket and lay it out right then and there splat on the middle of my story, mid paragraph! Actually it had the nerve to take a nap mid-sentence, which I happen to think is a very rude thing to do! Don't you agree? I poked and prodded but the idea wouldn't budge. It was fast asleep and I didn't know how to wake it up!

And this is exactly where I used to get stuck in my creative process, not having faith that the idea would ever wake up again, that it was some type of derelict bum who might just sleep forever on its little park bench right there on the pages of my unfinished stories. Scoot! So I went back to sleep yesterday and when I awoke I knew I needed to pull my idea apart like taffy, invite it to tea on a plush velvet couch, treat it like the royalty it is instead of a passing peddler. I think our ideas linger because they really do want us to toss and turn them over, flip them up in the air like pancakes, jab at them, ask them lots of personal, touchy questions. That might be why they follow us onto airplanes, whisper in our ears on the way to work, and even scurry at our heels into the bathroom before we have time to shut the door behind us. They don't mind messy hair or dirty feet or eyeing a round tushy in the shower! In fact, I often have wonderful ideas in the shower and step out feeling quite inspired! ( :

Other times I think our ideas grow despondent, pack up their wares, and trail off down the road hoping someone else will pay them more love and attention. They end up sitting atop cliffs, their legs dangling there off the edges of the world wondering why no one wants them anymore! I have never had a shortage of ideas I realize as I write this post. What I use to lack was a shortage of faith in my ability to fully raise a story up from birth. Each time it feels like I have pulled out all my teeth one by one by the time I reach my last dot of the final sentence. But maybe raising an idea isn't all that different from raising a child or a friendship. Maybe with a bit of patience, devotion, and a huge dallop of trust we can raise full grown ideas that won't need to be plucked away by that grand old fondue stick in the sky....

3 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you're pursuing those ideas that just come to you at any moment. Making a living by the pen wouldn't be for me because I don't get those fabulous ideas often, but it is fun to dabble when inspiration hits :)

    Writing for me was more a matter of rewriting and rewriting the rewriting. NaNoWriMo was the best thing I ever did. It forced me to just WRITE and not think so much, telling my Goldilocks desire to have things "just right" to take a seat in the waiting room while I just let my fingers fly on the keyboard.

    I hope you'll share a snippet or two as you go along--your imagination seems a treasure chest full of things to explore.

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  2. Hi Julie!
    I'm awed by people who do Nanowrimo. My 12 year old niece did the junior version of it this past November.
    Are you sure you don't get those fabulous ideas often? I find that if I'm too busy with things that aren't meaningful and if I don't create time to do seemingly "nothing" its hard for them to show. THere is a book I love called "If You Want to Write" by Brenda Ueland that I love on that subject- have you heard of it?

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  3. I've been going through a midlife looking-for-that-thing-I'm-truly-passionate-about thing for awhile now and writing is just one of the trial balloons I've sent up. I think many people can identify with witnessing that passion in others (coworkers, friends, those we interact with online) that makes you wish to have that same pull toward something you just can't wait to get back to after work, when you return from visiting family, or even when you finish the must-do chores at home. I haven't found that "something" yet and am beginning to feel that I'm not built for that kind of singular dedication but perhaps a series of interests instead.

    I definitely know what being "too busy with things that aren't meaningful" is like (TV, internet) so maybe I just need to step away from technology a bit more often and listen to what comes from the quiet.

    The book you mentioned sounds very interesting (more than just writing). The author sounds like my kind of woman and someone who would be a likely candidate for the lists you read of "people you'd invite to dinner" :) I see that our library offers an audio download of the book, but it is only 1 hour 28 minutes, so I'm not sure how much of the book can truly be read aloud in that short amount of time (although it does not look like a long work on Amazon). Thanks for the recommendation!

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