Monday, June 23, 2014

Inspiration Monday: Draw From the Middle of the Deck

I just played this game with some friends:


This game is ridiculous, and also ridiculously fun. It consists of decks of cards bearing characters, attributes, and situations. A "villain" is drawn from the various decks and the object of the game is to use the cards you have drawn to win against the villain as determined subjectively by the dealer, or "judge." So, basically what you might get is Genghis Kahn who is made of peanut butter and armed with The One Ring, who must be defeated by either a t-rex in a hamster ball, an emperor with butter for a face, or The Little Rascals hiding in a trench coat with a swarm of bees. (Clearly the butterface emperor and peanut butter Genghis Kahn are most evenly matched.)

It can get to be a pretty crazy game and is great for laughs, but the entire time we played I kept wishing I had a notepad next to me to write down some of the silly juxtapositions that popped up from the deck. Every card in the pile is like a crazy writing prompt. Even though all the combinations are unbelievably random, some were almost uncannily combined, like they belonged together despite all the deck shuffling and card switching.

I enjoyed spending time with friends and having some much needed laughs over a silly, cool game, but even more than that, I am grateful for the creative refresher. I have found myself with blinders on lately. I've been in a creative rut and I forgot how to have fun just "mixing colors" to keep things fun and alive. Even in some of my writing projects with a darker edge, there's no point in reading on if you're not sure I can twist the end for you or send you careening down a dark hallway you hadn't noticed at first pass.

Basically, I've spent so long just trying to put one foot in front of the other, I forgot how to dance.

If you're like me and your work is getting stale, take a cue from Superfight and draw a card from the middle of the deck. That's the only way you will come up with the game-winning neurotoxin-spraying housecat who wins a singing contest, and besides--you might accidentally have a little fun.

Accidental fun is the very best kind.

Friday, June 20, 2014

One of Those Days

I wouldn't say today was a bad day.

A bad day is like the one a few weeks ago when I was almost killed in a near-miss car accident, I got the worst papercut I've had in years, the door handle of my car broke off, and (if that was not enough for a king-sized bad mood), a resident of my housing program passed away in his apartment.

That is a bad day.

This is just "one of those days."

Today was just the kind of day when nothing--nothing, mind you--went to plan. Everyone needed something, and I found myself all out of somethings...and out of air conditioning in my car. Did I mention it is hot in Memphis in the summer?

(It is hot in Memphis in the summer. It is hot in Memphis often when it is NOT the summer. It is just hot in Memphis.)

It was the kind of day where I drove my boiling, paint-peeled car around in circles so much I didn't notice I was almost out of gas, the kind where I worked most of a whole day before I ever got close enough to my desk to see my daily planner, the kind where I told someone with a straight face I couldn't possibly go to a party because I smelled like Secretariat.

I said it's hot in Memphis. Everyone without air conditioning smells like Secretariat.

I'm lucky to have friends and colleagues to whom I can vent, who laugh at my pathetic attempts to drop a honey-glaze on everything with a few bad jokes, and who tend to think no less of me on my bad days than on my better ones (or at least they treat me just the same). I am grateful for Husband, to whom I can merely whimper and he will have pajamas and a good book ready for me at home.

Maybe it is these days, the in-between, run-ragged days that give lighter ones their shine and darker ones their heft. It's like exercise. Without days like today, I wouldn't have the muscles I need to get through a really bad day.

Even still, I sometimes I wish I had a couple of these and a "wake-up-and-start-again" machine:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Messy Drawer Wisdom

I found this note wadded up in the back of my nightstand drawer while I was pawing through for change. I don't know why I shoved it in that drawer, but I'm glad I found it.

Today reminds me that bad things don't last forever either, because I have no idea why I originally wrote that note.