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  1. The Genius and the Muse - Elizabeth Hunter - Google книги
  2. Genius Germinates in Groups
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The Genius and the Muse - Elizabeth Hunter - Google книги

Even the brave and stalwart Odysseus knew that he was defenseless against their allure, so he had his crew lash him to the mast until they had passed the island of the Sirens. No matter how strong your passion for writing is, the world offers too many perilous distractions. You have emails to send, bills to pay, social media singing out to you.

Sometimes the song is too loud. With all these many beguiling entertainments, obligations, and amusements, you have to remind yourself to lash yourself to the mast and ignore the many singing sirens of distraction and reapply yourself to your passion for writing down your words, telling the story only you can tell — and telling it as well as you are able. Start small: lash yourself locally to the sanctity of your time and space. Secure your own writing spot, a safe haven away from distractions that is only for you and your writing.

Cervantes wrote Don Quixote in prison — and crafted a character that still tilts at windmills with vigor all these centuries later. Your space can be anywhere, but it must be sacred to you and the people around you; a place for you and your writing, only.

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Unplug from the world to plug into yourself. The Internet is great for inspiration, but most times writing is more about intensity and perspiration. Here, too, you can start small, a trusted friend willing to be a frank first reader, small critique groups. Writing can be hard and lonely. The work of writing can be too solitary at times, but the production of great writing is more often than not a result of being surrounded by other people of similar ilk or inspiration.

Great writing comes from experiencing great thinking and great ideas. Fostering such alliances is likely to be one of the most vital things you can due to nurture your own creativity. Think of most of the famous writers throughout history and their famous friends: the Algonquin Round Table; the Inklings; the Bloomsbury Group; Paris in the 20s with Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein, Pound, and Joyce, all feeding off of each other, all fervent in the belief that one day they would wake up and be geniuses together.

Treat your muse well. She hungers for new experiences and wonderful adventures. Good living makes for good stories; good stories make for good writing. Seek to make your dreams your reality. New and novel experiences make for new and novel thoughts — all of which make for better books. Kate Mitchell tripped over the ridge of cracked asphalt, the stumble sending her backpack falling to the ground where it scattered notebooks, pencils, and a bag of lens caps and filters across the parking lot.

Her camera bag started to slide. She caught it just before the padded case slipped off her arm. Kate shoved her unruly red hair out of her eyes and set the carefully packed camera case with her SLR and lenses to the side before she began to pick up the rest of the scattered mess from her backpack. She could already feel the sweat starting to trickle between her thin shoulder blades as the Southern California sun radiated from the blacktop. She finished tossing the last of her school supplies in her backpack and hustled toward the old building set in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains.

As she neared the sprawling building that housed the school of visual arts, she heard the clanging and ringing of hammers from the metal-fabrication shop just past the ceramic kilns, and the chatter from a group of splattered painters who were gathered by a bench near the entrance. She felt her phone vibrating in her pocket and grabbed it to read a message from her boyfriend.

Genius Germinates in Groups

Pulling open the side door to the building, she sighed at the rush of cool, dry air that poured out. She walked down the wide hall toward the restroom to check her hair, which had probably already flown in eight different directions. She patted her skin dry, pulled herself together, and hurried out, checking the screen on her phone to see if she had enough time to make a quick pass through the alumni gallery before her History of Photography class. Deciding she could stop for ten minutes, Kate turned right instead of left and wandered down the long hall containing past student work from notable alumni of Foothill Art Institute.

Kate walked through the gallery, scanning the walls for any new additions.

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Her work would be here one day. She may not have been sure of other parts of her life, but when it came to photography, Kate knew exactly where she wanted to go. The last thing she wanted to do was ruin a weekend that Barbara had planned. Their families had been close friends for years. Their mothers met when Kate and Cody were babies.

By the time college rolled around, it took no one by surprise when they started dating. In the back of her mind, she knew their parents were both expecting marriage. But Kate had always been focused on her education and her photography, and no one seemed to question whether she was settling too quickly. Walking swiftly past the screen prints and paintings at the beginning of the gallery, Kate moved around the partitions to make her way to the back corner where photography prints from past students hung scattered on the walls.

Maybe Brad can invite his girlfriend. Shaking her head, Kate continued on toward the center of the photography exhibit. With her back to the rest of the gallery, she studied the early work of one of her favorite photographers, who was also partly the subject of her graduate project. Still in his early thirties, his dramatic good looks, mysterious personal life, and reclusive persona made him an intriguing and attractive subject for gossip.

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Along with an impressive technical prowess, the young photographer exhibited an almost impressionistic use of light and shadow and an artful isolation of features. Kate leaned her thin arms against the back of the bench and scanned the collection of photographs. His portrait work had appeared in leading magazines around the world.

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He was notoriously private, constantly in demand, and stubbornly single-minded. She turned, hearing a familiar voice call from the entrance of the gallery. She smiled when Michelle, her friend and roommate from freshman year, walked around a corner. Kate lifted a hand in greeting. The light was unique. The lens, less sharply focused.

It was in soft black and white. Her head tilted as if the photographer had captured the image just before the subject turned her head, and the rise of the cheek hinted at a smile without showing one.

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They were long and stained at the tips. Dark hair dusted the back of the hand and wrist. The nails were neat, but the skin was cracked near the cuticles. She grumbled and bent to pick up her backpack and camera bag. Tossing another look at the mystery portrait and hoisting her bags over her shoulder, she trudged toward the exit with Michelle. I was going to take a look. Kate nodded toward the painting section.