November 03, 2019

A Blend of Ideas by Lynn J Simpson

Our inspiration for November:

To engage in this prompt, you may wish to light a candle, take ½ hour and write all the ways the Lord led you—a method that Julia Cameron recommends in her book, Right to Write.

I’ve lit a candle. And chosen a playlist on youtube to view on an external monitor. The image is of rain dripping from long leaves but I’m still not satisfied with the imagery and could continue to search for another playlist. And this is like my writing. I distract myself with endless tools to be a better writer instead of writing! 

How has my writing been led? From writing plays in my bedroom with my best friend when I was in elementary school, to hiding in my room after middle school printing words of a teen novel in a spiral notebook, to attending writing classes as a young mother, and now still finding my way in my fiftieth decade; my writing journey full of continual winding paths that dip and curve rather than lead straight to destinations.  I use the plural because the paths have been multiple, with curves, overpasses and dead ends.

I’ve taken university classes with the idea of getting my English degree, and then the cost and the time commitment, and the ‘why’ stalls that path. I’ve taken non-credit courses toward writing a novel, and Creative Non-Fiction courses toward writing literary essays. I’ve written 30,000 words of a teen novel, and outlined a romance. I’ve penned blog after blog devotional style and then created a Scrivener project called 365 Devotional complete with headings. Inspired by Canadian writers like Donna Morrisey, David Adams Richards, and Gail Anderson-Dagartz, some stories I write are overcast with sadness, death and poverty but glittered with love and magic. Lately Hallmark Christmas movies have me back thinking about the contemporary romance I started a couple of years ago. And I wonder if I can write a romance with literary elements that is sprinkled with magic and spiritual concepts? But I’m not sure that is a genre? Yet, maybe that is the point. To write to mix things up, rather than follow a formula. A blending of art, so to speak.  

I read recently that our brains blend concepts. “Blending combines two or more sources in novel ways to create something completely different.” (Time: The Science of Creativity ed. 2019). The article gave the examples of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (click to see image) that “fractured the visual plane” and the Apollo 13 engineers who blended together a sock, cardboard, plastic, and a hose to create an air filter. A painting and an air filter were the final products but each produced in a way no one had done before. Maybe our writing can also be blended, the final piece a combination of tools and devices not limited by genre and the status quo of required elements? Initial reactions to Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon were so negative that he placed the painting in a closet for 9 years before showing it to the public again. Maybe there is a masterpiece that you’ve tucked away in your proverbial closet because of negative criticism or does not seem to fit into the current writing market? 

I know I have.

And need to let go and merge my divided writing paths.

I challenge myself and all of us, to take a chance to unleash our writing beyond the boundaries that may be tying up our creativity. 

And in celebration, live out our lives as the masterpiece we are created to be. 

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

Lynn J Simpson is an artist who hasn't settled for one genre or one way. You can find her musings on faith at Lynn J Simpson and her photography trials on Instagram and she's grateful for your friendship at Facebook.


  1. It is an encouragement to me that you too, have struggled with "colouring within the lines" in your writing journey, Lynn. I confess, it is the reason I rarely read how-to writing books, although I refer to them when needed. I suspect that following a writing formula or a set of some other writer's guidelines, may squelch some of our unique creativity. I am looking forward to someday reading your romance with literary elements sprinkled with magic and spiritual concepts. Sounds good to me!

    1. Valerie, may you continue to colour beyond the lines! I think it's so wise to be discerning of other writer's guidelines. Thanks for that tip!

  2. I think your winding path sound fascinating, Lynn. And i, too, would like to read the romance you mentioned! Maybe someday?

    1. Maybe someday! My writer's group may get bits and pieces read to them, for sure.

  3. I love your piece Lynn and I find it encouraging to know that you resist the parameters of genre, as do I. I love your verse at the end, that we are His masterpiece, (even if we are a platypus of blended parts!)
    Pam Mytroen

  4. Love that Pam--'a platypus of blended parts' that bring together a masterpiece (as His masterpiece)!

  5. Hi Lynn! I like your post and the idea of "blending." I'll read the post over again to let your ideas sink into my noggin. Your challenge leaped out at me and got me all giddy and excited. Your challenge, "to take a chance to unleash our writing beyond the boundaries that may be tying up our creativity," confirmed to me of my desire to take a leap at poetry. I've now written a few poetry pieces and I'm excited about this new path in writing for me.
    Write your romance novel,my friend. :) Thank you, Lynn.

  6. Hi Lynn, Several things popped out at me when I read your blog. I love your metaphor of the winding paths our God leads us on. As we look back on our lives, we often see them as winding, but to God they are beautiful, leading us in the direction of His purposes.

    I then loved your conclusion. In quoting Ephesians 2:10, you reminded us that we are God's masterpieces. You encouraged us "to take a chance to unleash our writing beyond the boundaries that may be tying up our creativity.
    And in celebration, live out our lives as the masterpiece we are created to be." A good reminder to me. Well written!!


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