Creativity and Being a Goober

This has been a great weekend so far!

Last night was the Brandon Sanderson signing. I am still so grateful to my co-worker for trading me shifts so I could sit at Powell’s for about four hours. I’m also grateful for Trevor, because he sat with me the whole time, he drove, and he even had a good time!

When Sanderson does a signing, he always talks for a bit, then answers questions, and then reads something he’s working on. Last night he spoke about creativity. And I really loved what he had to say. He spoke about how our society tends to demean creative endeavors. How, when we tell someone we’re writers, they laugh and ask “how’s that working for you?” Or they say, “you mean you’re unemployed.”

First of all, to those people, you’re pretty rude. Secondly, we just met, you have no knowledge of my success and failures. But it’s always assumed we’re the latter.

But, Brandon asked why someone playing on a community sports team on the weekends is socially acceptable, even encouraged, when creative endeavors as a hobby are often laughed at.

He then mentioned his mother, who’s an accountant, and an old roommate of his who is now an engineer (and who happened to be in the audience). He said that they are creative in their own ways. The things they do and enjoy exercise the same “muscle” that writing fiction does for us.

And I’ve always believed this. I believe that every person is creative, they just don’t use the “muscle”. Trevor has claimed, for the last seven years we’ve been together, that he’s not creative. I tell him he’s wrong. Thanksgiving dinner is a bona fide masterpiece every year. And he strives to outdo himself every time. Compound butters, herb rubs, carefully mixed gravies. It’s a science as much as it’s art.

And it’s delicious.

And recently he’s been drawing. And as he draws he gets better. His sketches fill out and become much more complex. He’s strengthening his creative “muscle”.

I think it’s time we stop doubting our creative abilities. We should be fostering them, and encouraging others to do the same. Children and adults alike should feel comfortable talking about their artistic expressions.

But, aside from the inspiring speech, Brandon was his usual self. Equal parts confidence, humility, and goober. I say this with the utmost affection. Seriously, even Urban Dictionary agrees with me:

basically a goober is just a kindhearted, rather oblivious goofball. it’s term of endearment really.

This mixture put me at ease, and reminded me that it’s OK for me to be a bit of a goober sometimes. When I get really excited about something (read: books) I tend to run at the mouth and make really bad jokes/puns.
Sanderson signing

This is why my last encounter with Sanderson was so dreadful. I was too much of a goober to recognize it at the time, but it was bad. This time I put on my “Starbucks Barista” smile, and treated him like a customer, and we actually talked like normal people! I asked him a question, he answered it, we smiled, and I told him that Writing Excuses was awesome so far this season. Then he handed me my books and we walked away…

As soon as we cleared the wall of his books my facade crumbled and I was in full on goober mode. I celebrated my successful two minute conversation, and basically was a bubbly, bouncing, squeeing fangirl for about an hour.
Sanderson Signing 2

So that was last night. I was blissful the whole evening, and that feeling followed me into this morning. Laying in bed, listening to rain, I scrolled through my morning’s dose of social media. I follow Tor Books on twitter, and they tweeted asking followers what they were reading on this rainy day. I replied with The Star Scroll, and that I hoped to finish it to read Sanderson’s Firefight. I tagged him in it.

I thought nothing of it, a simple tweet to start my morning, and continued with my day. Until a couple hours later, this happened:
Sanderson tweet

Now, this isn’t that big of a deal. At least I tried to tell myself that. But… I still had a healthy “fangirl” moment. And I may have flagged the notification email for all of time. I regret nothing.

And, to wrap up today, I finally got some feedback on A Stranger Comes Knocking. And it was mostly good! A couple tweaks and cleaning up my stumbles into the common pitfalls of the first person narrative, and, as my grandma always said, “we’ll be cooking with gas!”

Anyway, Trevor and I are about to embark on our own cooking adventure, tonight’s feature being homemade chicken tenders. They usually turn out beyond delicious, and I expect tonight’s edition to be no different.

Monday should find me a bit of time to get my first Book Review of the year posted, and I look forward to it. I’m also volunteering at the Salem/Keizer school district, sorting books for the school’s libraries. Hopefully that’s as fun as I think it will be. Either way, I’m sure I’ll have something to say.

See you then, Blogland!


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