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Monday, April 16, 2012

A Lesson in Creativity

For years I have built plastic model kits. I grew up in the back woods of Idaho and my folks, as poor as we were, managed to find and afford to enroll me in the model of the month club where each month I would get a new model, a newsletter with model building tips, a bottle of paint, and some little model building tool. Through those early years I built models to impress my parents, my brother and sister. Later in years to come I built models to impress others.

Many years later I found out my grandfather who lived in Missouri, as part of his rehab for being an alcoholic was a model builder. I eventually inherited his model building tool box and kit years after he died. In time building models with tools that were hand made, widdled down wooden clothes pins, hand made handles for the miniature files, and implements created out of pencils and scraps of wood, I realized he took as much care and skill creating his individual tools as he did building his models. I eventually quit building models for other people and started building them for myself. I started building scratch models from bits and pieces of things I found, used packaging, caps from bottles of all types, old toy pieces, and scraps from broken things I would run across.

I researched things I would like to build models of and collected the needed materials to recreate those things with pieces of other kits and the collection of scraps I picked up from everywhere. One example is the Montana Class Battleship! They were planned and never built. I found on the internet models the Navy commissioned and actual blue prints to be used for the ships. I have purchased three identical models of the USS Missouri Battleship to eventually cut in half and add the necessary space from the middle of another ships hull to get the right length. I will one of these days have a scale model of a ship that was planned but never built. That is creative in my book, a plastic model that will definitely be a one of a kind, a piece of history that was but unrealized.

I built a model of the Wright Bros. Kitty Hawk, with plastic struts, card board, and string. I learned more about that plane and what the Wright Brothers were doing by building that model than I did from all of the pictures and books I have looked at and read through the years.

Do what you do for you!

Make it unique, make it yours, be creative, express yourself.

True masters of a craft put the same love and care into their tools and implements as they do their works of art.

For a person like me, the unrealized Engineer, fascinated by how and why things work the way they do, with an insatiable curiosity, and an anal retentive attention to detail building models is a natural extension of my desires, abilities, curiosity, and challenges me to figure things out, create the pieces and put them together in a way they work like the larger life like versions. The result is stunning unbelievable models that exceed my own ideals of what I expected. It has dawned on me that I apply these same principles to my writing.

I feel my writing originates from my curiosity, put together from bits and pieces I gather from all over throughout the different walks of my life. I make it creative, unique and mine. I write the stories I would love to read but haven’t been written yet. I frankly haven’t worked on my models since I started writing largely due to not having a dedicated place to set everything up and leave it up. When the day comes I design and build the room that will be my office when I stay home and write full time, it will contain my desk, computer, and stuff I use in my writing – It will have book shelves for my collection of beloved books I feel I can’t live without – and a table with my model stuff set out in a useable fashion with a model in progress at any given time with no deadline. Like my books my models will be a personal challenge to myself to extend my abilities and grow my skills to levels I don’t even know I have within me!

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