Scheherazade Meets the Karate Kid

Here’s a taste of my guest post on Fiona Kernaghan’s lovely site about magic realism, Create An Enchanted Life.  It deals with how my past methods as a composer have (un)consciously influenced my writing habits.

“I play piano for modern dance classes, which means that I must improvise everything, although within a fixed structure.  Being a self-taught musician, accompanying for dance was my daily practice, my piano lessons, and my performing opportunity rolled into one.  When Martha Graham says “And!” you play whatever’s in your head.  You trust your first instinct, and build on whatever comes out.  Being an organizer and a structurer from my other endeavors, dance exercised another part of my creative brain, and taught me to take whatever material you start with, and elaborate, energize, and make it work.  To bring everyone to ecstasy.

For my series, I have to come up with 1001 stories.  I have a simple rule: any idea that pops into my head is welcomed and put into the series somewhere.  There’s no time for picky judgment.  Even if it’s a ‘mediocre’ idea, like a seven-inch plant squashed into a chunk of coal, I can use it somehow, elaborate, energize, and make it work.  Hey, where did I learn that?”

For the full article on how years of ‘wax on and wax off,’ to quote the Karate Kid, in one discipline prepared me to write 1001 Scheherazadian tales in another discipline, check out the article.

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