Tag Archives: talent

Authors Answer 56 – Our Other Creative Endeavours

Authors are creative people. Writing requires a person to be creative. But just how creative are we? Some only write, while others are multi-talented artists. So this week, we find out just how talented a bunch we are.

Mona_Lisa,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouchedQuestion 56 – Apart from writing fiction, do you do any other creative works?

Linda G. Hill

I used to knit, crochet, and quilt a lot but there hasn’t been much time for it in recent years. I’m too busy writing and editing, happily. 🙂

Gregory S. Close

I really love music.  If I had a choice at an alternate creative career, it would be to play bass guitar in a progressive rock band.  Unfortunately, there is a bit of a talent gap between me and that choice, so instead I’ve just tried to play when and where I can over the years.  I also enjoy composing different kinds of music, and would love to score a soundtrack to my novels, given a chance (and maybe an infusion of talent).

I am tinkering with an electronic-inspired score for my sci-fi/fantasy project, Greyspace, and also I wrote the music for my home-made book trailer a couple of years ago:

I have no illusions about the quality of the work, but I do enjoy making it, regardless!

Caren Rich

I love to quilt. I started with traditional quilts and then moved into art quilts. I don’t have a place to quilt at the moment so I’m concentrating on writing, but I miss it.

S. R. Carrillo

I consider all forms of art – music, writing, drawing, painting, photography, videography, etc. – to be creative, and I have a bit of a hand in just about every one. Except music. That one, I just appreciate. ^_^

Elizabeth Rhodes

Baking is my day job and I make cakes and candies as a hobby.  For a little while I made a small side business out of custom cake making, but it’s hard to get something like that off the ground.  You’ll find some of my work on my blog.

D. T. Nova

Does Super Mario Maker count?

In the past I’ve dabbled in more versatile programs that can actually create whole games, and it’s possible I might return to one of them at some time in the future.

Jean Davis

I used to draw and paint and still do on occasion, though I’m not as good as I used to be. I enjoy doing all sorts of crafty things when I’m not in writing mode. In fact, my friends complain to that can do anything crafty. But don’t ask me to knit or crochet anything because those are the two things I really can’t do. They’re my crafty kryptonite.

Eric Wood

I guess I do, if my blog can be considered non-fiction since I mostly write about my two sons and our adventures (and frustrations) with them. Otherwise, no. I don’t have anything on the go fiction wise. Perhaps when the kids are older and require less time (if that’s even possible) I’ll start creating more works of fiction.

Paul B. Spence

I draw, paint, sculpt, sew, make leather armor, scratchbuild model sci-fi vehicles, paint miniatures, and roleplay/do interactive storytelling, but other than that… no.

Allen Tiffany

Well, it’s damn sure not art! Though one of my daughters is an award-winning artist, she certainly did not get it from me. And though I once presented a paper at a conference arguing that all problem solving is a form of creativity, I don’t that is in keeping with the spirit of the question. So…no, I have no other creative talents.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

When I was younger I was all about the creative works. I didn’t just write, I also drew and sometimes painted, played piano and guitar and sang, and I would love to do stuff like building models; I once built my own “dollhouse” in a closet by using cardboard and paper to create all the furniture and decorations and whatnot.

These days I don’t have time for all that stuff, so I focus on the thing that is most important to me, which is the writing. I do occasionally pick up my guitar, but the moments are so few and far between that I have to tune it almost every time, and I rather enjoy coloring books, but that’s more a guilty pleasure than a “creative work”.

I guess the short answer is that I enjoy all sorts of creative stuff, but I simply don’t have the time to delve into them all.

H. Anthe Davis

I do some of the art for my stories, mainly maps and concepts.  I’ve done some video-editing, I’d like to tinker with game creation, I’d like to do some songwriting except I’m terrible at it…  There are many things I’d do if there were six of me, but it feels like I never have time.

Jay Dee Archer

I’d say my other main creative ability would be art, especially pencil drawing. I’ll be doing a lot of concept art for my books, as well as maps. Painting, digital art, and anything involving colour, I’m not very good at. I also dabble in photography, and have started doing video editing, but that’s at its infancy. I’m hoping to improve my photo and video editing skills in the future.

How about you?

I’m sure a lot of you have some creative abilities. What do you do artistically? Let us know in the comments below!

Life in Japan: J-pop

Every country has its own brand of music.  Japan has several of its own, including enka, Visual Kei, and of course, Japanese pop (or J-pop). This week’s question comes from Joanne Corey.

Do you follow any J-pop groups? My ethnomusicologist daughter is writing a master’s thesis on the fandom of AKB-48, so I know that these groups not only perform at concerts and put out recordings, but also have television series, do modeling, make ads, etc.

I’m not a big follower of pretty much any music, I’m afraid. However, on the topic of AKB48, they’re on TV, on advertisements, and pretty much everywhere individually or in groups. Their system is a strange one. They are idols. They are manufactured idols. They’re not well-paid at all. They make minimum wage from what I’ve heard. It’s only after they become popular and go on their own that they start making money.  However, the music industry in Japan is unlike the one in North America. Singers are company employees and have a lot of rules they have to follow. In AKB, they have extremely strict rules. Break one, and they’re punished, and they have to apologise. And like I said, they’re manufactured idols. Think of AKB as a factory. They take raw materials (unknown girls) and shape them into pretty much identical people without much talent. Honestly, they don’t have very strong singing abilities, but they can learn to sing, dance, and act. They’re still not considered very good talents when they finish with AKB and move on to something else. They are idols, and idols don’t need to be talented. Just have good looks and charisma.

As for the fandom, well, they’re a bit strange. Most fans of AKB48 are middle-aged men, most likely single. And they dance.  Crazily.  You cannot unsee it, so I won’t put a video of it here, but if you really, really want to, go to YouTube and search for “wotagei” or just “wota.” These are grown men dancing to music sung by teenage girls. Wildly. Scary. *shudder*

Anyway, I hope that gives you an interesting look into one part of J-pop fandom. There are normal fans, of course, but for groups like AKB48, they breed the lonely, awkward middle-aged male fan.

Have a question about life in Japan? Go here and ask in the comments.

Natural Talent

Is there something that you just seem to have a knack for? Something you don’t have to concentrate on very hard to do well? Or is it more than one thing?

Ever since I was young, I’ve always been very good with maps. Geography was something I enjoyed a lot, and would capture my attention all the time. Any map was fine. Got a map of Delaware? I’d go over it and study it. In fact, I have a map of Delaware in my mind right now.  I know have a map of the United States in my mind with the location of Delaware, which is next to Maryland. It’s pretty small. You might miss it.

It’s not just country maps, but also local maps. If I drive or walk somewhere, my mind creates a map. If I’ve already seen a map of the area, it’s much easier. But when I combine looking at a map and exploring the area on foot, I completely memorise the area. I only need to do it once. Any time I go to that area, the map pops up in my mind, and I have an bird’s eye view of the area. I know exactly where I am and where to go.

I have no idea why I can do this. I seem to know where everything is. If I want to think about which direction something is, my mind calls up a map of the area, and I immediately know which way it is. It’s kind of strange, isn’t it?

But that’s not all.  I’m also very good at spelling.  But you may have noticed that I tend to use the British spelling, which is more common in Canada.

What about you? What’s your natural talent?