“How To Get It Done” (From A Master Project Juggler)

“How To Get It Done” (From A Master Project Juggler)

Among my most passionate fascinations is creativity and the drive to create.  This post originated with a piece I read on one of my favorite current blogs, Co. Create by Fast Company.  (I have linked the Fast Company Post above.)  Their mission statement says that they “explore  creativity in the converging worlds of branding, entertainment, and tech.”  Quite a lot of their articles focus on highly creative people giving suggestions about how to wring the best material out of every situation.

A formal personal bibliography of influential authors and thinkers is still a long ways from completion.  Distilling the origins of my own ideas and philosophies is, I think, pretty crucial for me to understand my truth, my passions, and whatever contributions I might ultimately have for writing and artistic expression.  At some point, I may put more energy into a comprehensive survey of influences, but for now this is just a small survey.

Cover of "Howl"

Cover of Howl

Somewhere, between my formal education and the present day, I managed to cram my brain  with the writings of many of Bohemian movements and free thinkers of the last century.  To a certain extent, I may have sought a way forward in my life and work because I have never really bonded with the conventional approach.  The “safe” or conventional approach still doesn’t really resonate with me; to this day, I would rather take creativity/productivity cues from someone whose work I respect or whom I count among my many influences, and for whatever reason, the conventional approach doesn’t usually interest me all that much.

I have found influences among many and varied thinkers, artists, writers, and activists of the last century.  Among my influences, I can count both well-known and obscure personalities and people.  From Allen Ginsberg, whose poem, “Howl” is among the greatest in American literature, certainly among the greatest of his own out-sized generation, I learned alliteration, the power of ellipsis, how to live my truth and mine my life experience for my art/craft.  Howl’s first two lines reverberate even now: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked/dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix.”  I have found greater value in the methods of confirmed free-thinker and Nobel laureate (of chemistry), Kary Mullis than in many scientists more well-known to the public.  (Mullis’s book, Dancing Naked In the Mind Field, blew my mind appropriately the first time I read it.)

A veteran internet marketer and self-proclaimed “world renown nutrition expert” named David Wolfe has been instrumental in helping me to form some of my own views on the subject of healthy nutrition.  He has made a career of traveling, speaking, cultivating a “high raw” foods lifestyle, and modeling the successful entrepreneur.  His best known book, The Sunfood Diet Success System, has radically informed my own nutritional theories.  Another health influence on me, whose work I first found straight out of college when I first walked into a health food store, was Christopher Hobbs.  The first book on herbs and health that I ever bought was Foundations of Health by Christopher Hobbs.  I have bought or read hundreds of other books on the subject since, but I would still argue that Hobbs’ book has been among the most influential on my own thoughts on the subject.

Terence McKenna is another influence, though more on the meme level than on the level of the writer’s craft.  Of his many books, I have read and benefited from a number: True Hallucinations, which Terence wrote about his first trip to the Amazon in the early 1970’s, and introduced us to him and his equally fascinating and erudite brother, Dennis McKenna, who is a research-oriented pharmacologist/botanist/chemist who is still active in his field.  (Incidentally, Dennis has just published a book detailing his life with Terence, called The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss.)  Other favorite Terence McKenna books include, The Archaic Revival and Food of the Gods.  The elder McKenna (Terence) also has countless articles, interviews, one CD, which involved him intoning his most radical ideas over an album-length trance track, and innumerable talks and sound bites available for download on the internet.

Kickstarter & I (Part 1: BIG JOY!)

Why do I like Kickstarter?  It’s a way to show support for small projects that might otherwise fall through the cracks, connect with my communities in an impactful and personal way, and support something outside of my self.  Supporting projects on Kickstarter allows me to  help make the dreams of others a reality, as well as helping me establish a history of support for others’ projects if at some point I should need support for a project of my own.  For as little as a dollar and up to the sky’s the limit, I can contribute to projects that make  me feel good, or make life better, or further causes I believe in.  For most campaigns there are small rewards and inducements for each level of giving.  Project backers also have the option to pay with their Amazon.com account, rather than giving credit card info.  

Thus far, I have supported six unique projects and am currently supporting a seventh project that has grown out of one of the original six.  The current project helps to pay for theatrical distribution of a film documentary of the poet/filmmaker, James Broughton.  I also supported the filmmakers’ original Kickstarter project to make the film, which is entitled BIG JOY: The Adventures of James Broughton.

James Broughton was a queer San Francisco/West Coast poet and experimental filmmaker, who published 23 books of poetry and also made 23 films over his lifetime.  According to The Independent (in the U.K.), “James Broughton for decades occupied a special place comparable to that of Jean Cocteau, Buster Keaton, Erik Satie and Edith Sitwell.”   He is, I believe, the originator of the phrases, “when in doubt, twirl” as well as, “follow your own weird.”  Thematically, he is compared to the ecstatic poetic arc also occupied by William Blake, Walt Whitman, and Allen Ginsberg, among others.

The film, which has played at South By Southwest, Tribeca Film Festival, and Outfest among other festivals and screenings, has six days remaining in its current Kickstarter campaign, and with only six days remaining, the filmmakers are about a third of the way towards funding theatrical distribution for the film.  In case you might want to know more about the film (or perhaps you or you know someone might be interested in supporting it), here’s a new trailer for the film to whet your appetite,