Monday, November 29, 2010

Mince pies and other imaginings

Writers tend to think of ourselves as creative people (and we tend to hope that our readers agree!). The desire to share our creative spirit is usually what drives us to write in the first place. I like to think of reading as a creative process, too. Unlike watching movies, where pictures are displayed for our eyes to absorb, reading books requires us to imagine the pictures. Wouldn't it be amazing to know not only what the pictures in the writer's head were when she wrote the story, but also what the pictures in different readers' heads are when they read it? Out there in the world are thousands of readers with my spaceship in their heads! And none of them look exactly like the one I created in my head and tried to put into words on a page.

The writers I know have other creative outlets, too. From painting to scrapbooking, their imaginations find expression. Several of them seem to have an obscure obsession with knitting. I always loved to draw, although I can't say my skills have improved since I was a teenager. These days I've modified that hobby to suit the digital age, using 3D and 2D graphics programs - last week I made Christmas cards featuring our baby daughter photoshopped as a mischievous elf.

I also like to cook (although I'm not very good at it), especially at Christmas. My specialty is decorated cookies. This year I've been a bit more creative than usual by seeking out new recipes for mince pies* instead of sticking with the old family standard. By seeking out, of course, I mean googling.

When you're not exercising your imagination with the help of the latest novel you're reading, where does your creativity take you?

*Mince pies appear to be largely unknown among Americans, in my experience. They're little pastry tarts filled with mincemeat, which is a sweet concoction of spiced dried fruit and vegetable suet. Serve at Christmas time only, with brandy butter.


Tez Miller said...

Fruit & vegetables? No wonder I don't like mince pies! ;-)

Jessica @ Laugh Love Write said...

OOOOo I am in the states right now and no one knows what a mince pie is, but being from Australia we have the all year round mince pies too (the kind with all kinds of meat and some with potatoes etc)

Oh and I thought I would add that I am a knitting writer. I love to knit when I am not reading or writing.

Jessica @ Laugh Love Write

Shiloh Tolbert said...

I had never heard of mince pies until reading this post, but I have to say the ingredients sound better than "mince"! Lol! I'm not an extremely creative person, although I would love to be, so we do pretty simple crafts around my house. My kids love to get out the hot glue gun, so we make alot of home made decorations for the holidays, ANY holiday!

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of mince pies and always bake my own at Christmas and pass them around to my friends here. I am slowly converting the Germans to this tasty treat!!

in Germany
who cross stitches and paints too.

Patricia Lynne said...

I knit, make jewelry and write my own stories when I'm not sucked into a book. I'm also a very bad daydreamer, getting nothing done as I make stuff up in my head. Lastly, I love to bake (and get paid to do it!)

Nicole Murphy said...

Hmmm, fruit mince pies. The BEST part of Christmas :)

I'm always trying to find ways to be creative outside of the writing. I go through stages of doing things - photography, knitting. I've tried jewellery making, drawing, learning a musical instrument ...

One thing I'm enjoying at the moment is making trailers for the books - little mini movies. Maybe I'll get into movie making next.

Regardless, the creativity must out, or I'll explode!

Barbara E. said...

I'm in the US and my mother always made mince pie at Christmas - not small tarts, but a whole pie. Not everyone in the family liked it, but I did. I haven't had one for many years now, and I miss them.

GB said...

I've never been a fan of fruit mince pies. Or fruit cake either for that matter. Or those biscuits that look like little pillows with the fruit mince in them. (Hmmm, I sense a trend...) Real pies, though, with meat, meat and more meat I can happily eat.

My creative outlet is sewing, specifically sewing clothes from the renaissance period England. Hand finishing the clothes in front of the tele can be a good exercise in multi-tasking too.

Sara Creasy said...

Hah, see, I knew my post would bring more writerly knitters (or knitterly writers?) out of the woodwork.