September Creative Experiments Recap

As I posted at the beginning of the month, I decided to take part in the Creative Experiments for September over at Daisy Yellow. Let’s see how I did, shall we?

Carry a notebook with you for a month, adding notes, scribblings, to-do’s, sketches, doodles, coffee stains and whatever you wish.

I always drag a beat-up old spiral around with me, but I was only a few pages away from the end so I decided to finish up that one and start a whole new kind of notebook: a National Brand hardcover, quad-ruled Lab Book. It was certainly a new experience, but I felt more free to doodle and otherwise not just write one big, unbroken paragraph of rambling prose. (But I still did that too.) I also felt more compelled to fill the entire page, perhaps due to the lack of defined margins.

One day this month, write a thoughtful description of 5 sounds that you encounter.

I love this prompt. I’ve never encountered anything like it. Unfortunately, I kept forgetting to do it, even during the most perfect time for it (the Celtic Classic), so I just took a few minutes here and there during an ordinary Monday.

  1. My coworker talking on the phone in Persian. It’s so beautiful, and yet I’m so used to hearing him speak in English that it always takes me a second to realize I can’t understand what he’s saying. It reminds me of when I’d listen to another coworker at another job speak Polish on the phone. I swear it sounded like English backwards.
  2. The printer hums and ticks like a vacuum that just sucked up a pebble. It’s a happy noise – printing something out generally signifies completion of a task.
  3. The racket of the locker room at the gym: a child squealing, over and over again. There comes a point in every child’s life when they discover they can produce a high-pitched shriek that makes adult ears bleed and dogs take note. I guess the mother has learned the quickest route to quiet is to ignore the noise. Anything else will just encourage more. I’m not sure I can hear that sound without shutting my eyes and taking a deep breath.
  4. A cell phone ringing (jangling?) from inside a locked locker. Surprisingly clear, not muffled at all. Reminds me of a sound from an old video game, like a laser pistol on an old Atari or Nintendo. I’m positive I’ve heard this specific noise before in some game I used to play as a child, but I can’t place it.
  5. My cat’s strange, creaky greeting. Sort of a “meh-eh?” – like a question. Often she opens her mouth before speaking as if she has to force out the noise. It doesn’t sound especially friendly, but it’s one of her “I love you/pet me” meows. Over the years I’ve come to find it cute, even endearing.

Create an itunes playlist or mix CD with 15 songs that make you feel just right.

This was by far the most difficult. I almost never listen to music anymore: in the car it’s audiobooks, and it’s rare for me to spend enough time in my study for listening to music to even occur to me.

  1. “Time to Start” by Blue Man Group
  2. “Sin” by Pet Shop Boys
  3. “Send Me an Angel” by Real Life
  4. “It’s Good to be Alive” by DJ Rap
  5. “Running in the Family” by Level 42
  6. “Mess” by Ben Folds Five
  7. “Magic” by Ben Folds Five
  8. “Blue” by Eiffel 65
  9. “Asshole” by Jim’s Big Ego
  10. “Lifeline” by Copper Sails
  11. “Ana Ng” by They Might Be Giants
  12. “Never There” by Cake
  13. “Anna Begins” by Counting Crows
  14. “Always” by Erasure
  15. “Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Taco

Read four (4) books this month, fiction or non-fiction.

The books I read (and reviewed) during the month of September:

  1. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  2. The Immortals by John F. Ferrer
  3. Time of the Twins by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  4. Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson
  5. Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi
  6. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

That’s fewer than usual because Crime and Punishment took roughly half the normal human lifespan to get through. Holy crap that’s a long book!

This was lots of fun, but I wish I’d put more concentrated effort into it instead of just signing up and then promptly forgetting all about it. Maybe next month, eh?

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  1. Melydia, Wow! A super wrap-up of the creative experiments. I think what’s important is trying new things and being mindful of things you might have missed. I especially loved your 5 sounds. My dog has a funny, whiny yawn that she does only the first thing in the morning – it’s just too cute and happy. I hope you’ll try just one or two for October if your time is short.

    Tammy

  2. I loved reading about your experiments! I haven’t typed up my summary yet, but I found September really fun because it focused on a slightly different type of observation – lots of sound, a little less drawing.

    I also love hearing people speak in different languages – the different intonations, consonant sounds I can’t even dream of making.

    Thanks for sharing!

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