Discovering micro narrative

micro narrative - the collector blog
The Dinosaur – one of the shortest stories ever

“When he awoke, the dinosaur was still there.”

Believe it or not, that’s one of the world’s shortest stories.

It’s titled The Dinosaur and belongs to Augusto Monterroso (December 21, 1921 – February 7, 2003) a Honduran writer, known for his humorous and ironical style in his work.

When it comes to writing, one tends to think that it’s necessary to count on plenty resources to find inspiration. That stories need to be long in order to deliver meaning.

Take another look at the first line of this blog post. You’ll see that all you need is a powerful idea to welcome as many interpretations as the universe has.

Flash fiction, a style of fictional literature characterized by its brevity, starts showing more presence on the world wide web through sites like Flash Fiction Online and Flash Fiction Magazine.

Micro narrative leads the way to compiling ideas for a longer composition. Sometimes, as a writer, you find yourself jotting down random thoughts without any connection between themselves. This literary style may put them all together.

Another tool that may you help with micro narrative is Twitter. You have 140 characters to tell a story. Great way to train your mind to express in a few words.

Play with ideas and possibilities. Starting small can bring some great results.

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Museums trigger creativity

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Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City

Last month I visited Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

It is one of the most iconic museums in Mexico. It’s a must to be there!

In December, there was an exposition on Russian art that displayed propaganda posters as well as drawings that illustrated influences from cubism.

There was a specific room for all visitors to play with cubes and build anything with them to interact and experience that kind of art. This is brilliant. It’s the first time that I find this possibility in a museum.

Then, in a different exposition, the murals painted by Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros portayed the essence of the Mexican history. My mom and I were analyzing them, and figuring out the meaning behind them. We came to so many conclusions together.

It was really constructive to exchange ideas on what we were appreciating.

In that very moment, I realized that it’s important to have pen and paper when visiting a museum. I felt so bad for not having any of those elements. (What kind of journalist am I?)

Therefore, next time I visit a museum, it’s mandatory to have them because of the following reasons:

  • Further research on a topic or artist can be conducted later on. Keywords are necessary for that.
  • It’s possible to come up with ideas to design, illustrate and photograph. Inspiration might catch you there!
  • Thoughts and interpretations can be translated into ideas for articles or analysis.

 

Go for it.

 

A story of art and entrepreneurship

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Jack Giesen – Calgarian artist, illustrator and designer

Jack Giesen, 26, is a Calgarian artist, illustrator and designer of indie science fiction and fantasy book covers. She has taken all of her talents to maximize their potential through entrepreneurship. Her parents were her first point of reference in aiming for an independent career, and her grandma inspired her to get into the creative world.

As for her name, it is what it is: Jack. Not Jacqueline.

The first steps

 She grew up in Saskatchewan and lived there until she graduated from high school. Because she was in a small town, she had to travel to a city on the weekends in order to take art classes.

“As soon as I graduated [high school], I was ready to go,” said Giesen. She recalls coming to Calgary in 2005 to take a pre-college program at The Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD). Then, she built a portfolio that was sent to several art schools. She got accepted to ACAD and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD).

Giesen decided to fly to Nova Scotia and begin a new journey far from the town where she grew up, which she didn’t like much. However, after a couple of years in that new program, she decided to leave.

“I left because they didn’t really teach any of the business side. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do afterwards, and I also wanted to run my own business,” she admitted.

So she went home and then returned to Calgary to work in the marketing and public relations field. Later on, she came across Royal Roads, a university in Victoria, B.C., where she is about to complete a bachelor in professional communications.

Read More »

Christmas spirit

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Zoolights – Calgary Zoo

I confess I haven’t felt the Christmas spirit in a while.

I don’t know. Other situations seem to be more powerful than taking the time to feel that spirit.

This year, the season is different.

It’s probably the first time that I’m excited about Christmas because I feel I’m part of new traditions.

I confirmed that at the Zoolights in the Calgary Zoo. I’m so grateful for being able to perceive all these new vibes in the air.

I’m loving every second of it.

 

Sunday readings: creative work

Sunday readings - creative work - the collector blog
Read something fun on Sunday

Sundays are meant to be peaceful.

And what’s more peaceful than reading?

Here’s three articles related to creative work that may inspire you keep creating.

25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer
Posted on 99u.com

Sit down and start writing. Find your routine. Get through that first draft…these are some suggestions that famous writers provide on this article.

Go ahead and check them. Once you’re done, you’ll be motivated to get your work done. Trust me.

The Five Things Book reveals over 100 creative people’s five favourite things
Posted on creativeboom.com

Think about the amazing things you surround yourself with. There’s a book that talks about that and it’s titled “The Five Things Book.”

This article describes its purpose and what results came after asking people from all over the world to list their favourite items.

It’s certainly an interesting exercise to understand creative minds better.

“Note and Vote”: How Google Ventures Avoids Groupthink In Meetings
Posted on fastcodesign.com

Sometimes brainstorming does not provide the best results when it comes to thinking in groups at a meeting.

In this article, the Google Ventures design team shares a hack that skips the worst parts of groupthink. If you plan to work in a creative field or are already in it, click on the link and take some notes. It’s brilliant.

 

Happy reading 🙂

Photo Credit: Anna Demianenko at unsplash.com

Calgary Zoo Lessons

A couple of weeks back I visited the Calgary Zoo at night to enjoy Illuminasia, a lantern & garden festival presented by Sinopec Canada.

I was deeply impressed.

The concept captured cultural aspects of China, Japan and India through food, garden and art. All at night.

One would think that a zoo has a fixed schedule, and that there’s nothing to do at it after 8 pm.

That’s not the case here, and that’s fantastic.

I learned two lessons from that experience:

  1. Culture can be transmitted through creativity at a zoo. It’s not an exclusive thing from libraries or museums.
  2. Art is a way of expressing knowledge.

I love you, Calgary Zoo.

A magazine can change your life

My new favourite magazine
My new favourite magazine

I just discovered an amazing magazine: New Philosopher.

It is an Australian publication that’s distributed in Canada, the US, New Zealand, the UK and Western Europe.

Its concept is quiet unique: exploring philosophical ideas from the past and from the present to live a more fulfilling life.

New Philosopher caught my attention because of its title “Why do you travel?”

I like the fact that it speaks directly to YOU from the start. It’s much more personal.

Its layout is beautifully crafted and the content is deep and meaningful.

There’s two more important notes to make. This is the very first time that this happens to me after reading a magazine:

  1. Most of the articles made me take notes.
  2. I felt I was a completely different person after reading it.

The content is that great!

All the philosophical aspects are not written in a complex way. It is easy to go through every word, and start thinking about things you had not thought of before.

My favourite lines from this issue:

[Carl] Rogers’ advice for a good life is to abandon plans and fixed programs of how to act and feel, and be free to move in any direction. Let experience shape the self.

In terms of business, New Philosopher doesn’t have any ads on its pages. It is founded through subscriptions and sales at bookstores. Great content will always sell itself.

I’m seriously considering a subscription and so should you.