Creativity Is Messy | Creatives Can Be Cranky

In St. Louis I’m told the tradition for trick-or-treaters is to tell a joke before receiving their candy. That sounds fun. Although a while back when I demanded a joke around here things didn’t end well.

I was surprised one year when my kids decided the perfect bag for stashing their loot was a king size pillow case. Heavy, but holds up to rain, sleet and snow. Cardboard Creativity in action.

Halloween seems to refresh the creative spirit, whether its a cool costume, uncool prank or simply a discussion of how electronic chip implants may replace candy someday soon.

Fear is a small part of it. Freedom to experiment is a big part.

Which reminds me, did you see Maurice Sendak’s response to the question whether he thought the new “Where the Wild Things Are” movie would be too scary for kids?

“Let them wet their pants.”

I’ve mentioned that creativity can be messy.

I may have forgotten to mention that sometimes creatives can be cranky.

Are you scared by cranky creatives? It’s not something to really complain about or correct. Cranky protects the soft spot on a creative spirit’s soul. Let em be.

Rather than take up your Halloween with scary stories about innovation, a short story recommendation.

“mr. penumbra’s twenty-four-hour book store”

It’s mildly sci-fi, inspired by a tweet, includes a touch of scary and a hint of Google:


I’m sitting in a book store next to a strip club.

Not that kind of book store. The inventory here is incredibly old and impossibly rare. And it has a secret—a secret that I might have just discovered.

I am alone in the store. And then, tap-tap, suddenly I’m not.

And now I’m pretty sure I’m about to snap my laptop shut, run screaming out the front door, and never return.

For the complete story in written form head to Robin Sloan’s website, or if you would rather be read to head to Escape Pod for a podcast version.

As many things in this brave new world of digital media the story is Free. (A terrifying word if ever I heard one.) Escape Pod is at the forefront of discovering ways to preserve the short story format as magazines decline. This is the first story they’ve bought that was first published on a blog. Their business model is changing even while it changes the publishing industry.

So grab the story and a fist full of candy (yes the stuff you plan to give away, you know that’s why you bought it early) and let your thoughts wander.

Who knows what spooktacular new ideas you may dig up.

So, as Steve Eley would say, “It’s Story Time.”

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Creativity Is Messy | Creatives Can Be Cranky

  1. Paul C says:

    ‘Their business model is changing even while it changes the publishing industry.’ I marvel at how websites are springing up with some intelligent business models and evolving as they go along. Thanks for introducing me to several more and for this spooky creative post for Halloween.
    .-= Paul C´s last blog ..Bloggers: Extend Your Reach =-.

  2. Brad Shorr says:

    Hi Fred, Happy Halloween. Short stories should do OK on the web – suitable for text and podcasting. The only problem is monetization for authors and publishers. And on an unrelated note, there is a difference between being cranky and being a crank. Something to ponder over the weekend. 🙂
    .-= Brad Shorr´s last blog ..Use Trade Shows to Boost SEO =-.

  3. A never ending cycle, nightmare for some, invigorating for others. It’s nice that there’s room for change even if it’s horrifying at times.

  4. Hmmm, I’m thinking dressing up as a crank might be a fun way to answer the door tomorrow. 🙂

  5. J.D. Meier says:

    Halloween does refresh the creative spirit and freedom to experiment is a big part … well put.
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..Road Trip 2009 =-.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.