On creativity

Lately I've been thinking a lot about creativity. I spent the last 2 years or so in a creative desert, with no will to write or draw or build anything, and then suddenly, a few weeks ago:  bam! Inspiration hit. I wanted to blog again, I wanted to write a story, I'm even posting quasi-professional things on LinkedIn.

(That means I leave out the swear words.)

There's always lots of blah blah blah about how creativity is "1% inspiration and 99% perspiration", implying that if you just do the work you'll eventually be a Artist with a capital A. But without that 1%, that muse, you're barely a lower case 'a' if you're lucky. At least in my experience.

And yet I have no idea what planets need to align for the muse to start talking. I have no idea what happened a few weeks ago - nothing had changed, not even my brand of deodorant. So where does it come from? Where does it go?

(Where does it come from, Cotton Eyed Joe?)


It's easy to think of creativity like a finite vessel, with only a certain amount of emotional energy that can be expended. If you waste it on your job or your kid, you have nothing left over. But that doesn't always track; creative energy begets creative energy, after all. Surrounding yourself with artist types might make your vessel bigger, your flashes of inspiration happen more often.

I'm somewhat reluctant to overanalyze, in case I scare it off. I don't want it to go skittering away for another two years. But when I'm not paying attention I find myself wondering about the particular blend of physical, emotional, and social situations that must have to happen for me to feel "inspired". My brain tries to dissect that, to slice it up and put it back together in a jar on the shelf, so next time I can just add a generous helping to my lunch.

Yeah, I'm totally going to scare it off.

Where I capitalize a lot of unnecessary stuff

Because this appears to be turning into a Subjecting You All To My Health Concerns blog, I should probably tell you about my latest ovarian escapades.

(This is the point at which my 2 male readers are allowed to leave the room.)

(No, really. Go on, guys.)

I haven’t said anything about it in a while, because things have been status quo, as in, apparently I’m in menopause.

Recently I got a “final” diagnosis from a new OB-GYN, and guess what? Apparently I’m in menopause!

“Well,” he qualified, “before the age of 40 it’s actually called Premature Ovarian Failure.”

I thought, Hear that, girls? You’re failures! Both of you! MAMA IS SO PROUD.

(I didn’t say that, however. I cocked an eyebrow and informed him, “That is a terrible name.” He concurred and started referring to it as Premature Ovarian Shutdown. Which…is still terrible. Well, he tried.)

Anyway, bottom line is that I am now on Hormone Replacement Therapy, the traditional, non-bioidentical kind, which is just fine with me because at this point I am just fucking sick of dealing with it. Will it make me sleep better? Make me less bitchy? Remove this brain fog that I have been swimming through for over 2 years? Great! Sign me up!

It does, and it has made great strides in those areas. I’m pretty happy to go back to being recreationally bitchy, instead of compulsively so.

The other bottom line is that in order to conceive, I would need a donor egg. I actually have several egg offers, because I am singularly blessed in the area of Friends Who Would Give Me An Egg And Also Probably Help Me Move A Body. (I’m somewhat deficient in the areas of Friends Who Want To Fly Me To Maui and Friends Who Have An Extra Jaguar They Just Don’t Know What To Do With, if anybody wants to step up. But I think I’m still ahead of the game.) The donor egg option isn’t completely off the table, but…well, I’m not sure we’re entirely comfortable with it, and Xander is 4 and somewhat self-sufficient, sometimes he can even go 15 whole minutes without attempting to maim himself, and do we really want to go back to that whole diapering thing again?

(I’ll keep you posted on that one.)

Of course there’s always the possibility that my ovaries will “wake up” and drop a random egg, which I’m sure is exactly what will happen…when I’m 47.

That’s just kind of how things work around here.


Do you ever have one of those things, that you think is something and you’re kind of freaking out about it but you don’t want to say anything, especially on your blog, because if it turns out to be nothing then you’ll feel kind of dumb?

But then you can’t help yourself and tweet about it and people are like, wait, what? But you don’t want to say too much in case it ends up being nothing and then you’re the asshole who vague-tweets?

Well, guess what? It ended up being nothing! 


Recently I went for an echocardiogram – an ultrasound on my heart - because I have a heart murmur. Not one of my three previous GPs ever thought it was a big deal, but this new GP is rather thorough and wanted a “baseline”. In case said heart murmur ever went rogue and became more vocal, I suppose.

So I did that and a week later promptly got a notice ordering me to appear at the hospital, for a Trans Esophageal Echocardiogram, which is basically the same test except THEY DO IT FROM THE INSIDE.

No indication of why, no indication of how well they were prepared to deal with a 37-year-old’s tantrum, no general anesthetic (I asked. After freaking out all weekend because the letter arrived on a Friday). Just “we’re going to shove something down your throat to have a look at your heart, mmmk?”.

Today I finally got to speak to my GP about it, who clarified that they suspect I have a bicuspid aortic valve. Most people have a tricuspid valve, which is why mine sounds funny, and a bicuspid valve is a genetic defect that they can’t do anything about…but it’s a good idea to stay healthy and exercise and monitor it and tell someone if you feel pain in your chest. (I’m glad she said something, I totally wasn’t going to do that otherwise.)

So basically, they think I have this thing that is not really something, it’s pretty much nothing, but they want to get a better look. So they can confirm that it’s nothing.

I am SO glad I didn’t say anything about this.