Making Something Alive

brush pens and inktense pencils

I just finished reading What It Is by Lynda Barry.  I confess I read it cover to cover in one sitting, internalizing every scintillating word.  She talks about the idea of the image and where images come from.  Memory is important.  Movement is key.  And I love her meditation on the mind.  She says, “My mind’s got a mind of its own.”

If we can tap into that infinite resource, we can make something alive happen on the page.  But what is alive?  The past?  Something that actually happened?  What about something we only imagined but carried with us all these years?  Are the two a blend of each other?  Or perhaps only the present moment matters.  What can you bring to the present moment?  Action!

The camera is rolling.  It’s the story of your life.  What will you say?  What will you show?

I decided to follow one of her exercises, which suggests recalling classmates from childhood.  What do you remember about them?  What would they say about you?  Now pretend you are them.  First person present tense.  Voila!  A story begins.

What It Is by Lynda Barry

Barry’s portrayal of the mind demons had me laughing out loud and nodding my head.  They echo our own thoughts: Is it good?  Is it bad?  You’ll have to read the book to find the answer.  Or better yet, start your own creative venture without thinking too much, and you may just find the answer yourself.

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