The Silver Fern Writing Workshop held the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month is approaching its second anniversary. To help celebrate this milestone, Janna and Geoff Benge decided to mix it up and have some fun by having the authors create their own thinking caps, which they would then wear to tune in to their creative muse. My wife Terry planned to attend and I decided this was a sketch opportunity which could not be missed. When I arrived Janna started telling me that she had just gotten a text from a friend who was in Roswell and he wanted to know if she knew where to find the aliens. This was rather fortuitous, a sign.
Muse cap supplies were scattered about on the dining room table. There was plenty of tin foil, tin pie pans, buttons, rubber bands, straws, soda cup tops, tape and a glue gun. The first author to arrive, already had his tin foil cap made. It had two large handles and a large satellite disk. He explained that tin foil is usually used to deflect the forces of mind control. The disk however was a conduit for pure creative inspiration. Rachel Kapitan designed an elegant Victorian looking bonnet that resembled a peacock when it spread open, fan like, perched on her head. Karen Price used a pie plate cap with a central antenna with a disk and button to catch her signal. Another author used a simple foil cap with foil flames flowing out behind his head. He claimed the design was based on the classic mullet hair style. One author crafted a very accurate Mickey Mouse aluminum skull cap with two buttons that made it look eerily life like. I made some very simple viking horns for my baseball cap to assist in my sketching.
Soon everybody put on their caps and got down to the serious business of writing. The room grew quiet and the pencils, pens and keyboards clicked and scratched out the messages caught by the twitching antennae capturing inspiration from the ether. Twenty minutes flew by as I sketched furiously trying to capture the quirky moment.
Everyone was then asked to share their musings. As Rachel read her story, I became infatuated with the way the potted Mother in Law tongue plant flamed up beside her. I enjoyed Geoff's story about an author's dependence on his foil cap. He claimed the cap allowed him to go where no mind had gone before. He experienced such a high from the creativity generated by the cap, that he started wearing it to sleep and in the shower. It slowly became clear that this man's addiction to creativity bordered on insanity.
Terry managed to press the wrong button on her computer and she lost everything she wrote. Several authors helped her search the hard drive with no luck. This is another advantage of analog over digital, things don't just disappear. After everyone had read their stories, the serious business began of drinking Funky Llama White Wine and enjoying the conversations about art and literature in the internet age. The stories and laughter lasted late into the night. Rachel gave Terry pointers on how to incorporate more dialogue in her stories. As I was walking to my truck outside, I glanced back through a window and noticed the warmth of the light as the remaining authors talked around the dining room table. One author was on the front lawn using his cell phone, the foil cap still on his head.