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Spending the summer being a creative

There are so many exciting creative developments in Columbus this summer. Besides a couple of films being shot in town, we also have the launch of a new culture website, The Columbusite, and a summer series of excellent theatre at the Georgia Repertory Theatre, including many productions for young people to enjoy.

Even in the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, creativity is blossoming. Our two kids love the Toddler Storytime sessions at 11 a.m. – they sing, dance, read and craft. Aria, finally old enough for Springer Theatre Academy, absolutely loved her Tykes week in late May. At home on lazy summer afternoons, we fill water balloons in the yard. In the hottest part of the day, building towers or role-playing inside is an imaginative escape.

Summer always seems slow to arrive and so quick to leave. It’s hard to imagine that July is already here. How can we think creatively about the rest of this season?

I’m using my downtime to dive into good reads. Everyone loves a great beach book, but I hardly get any reading done at the beach with a couple of preschool-aged kids in tow. I love to read before bed. This summer, I’ve been reading books that I plan to bring into an upper-level English class I’m teaching this fall: Afrofuturistic Literature. I’ve loved the sci-fi work of Octavia Butler (specifically, Parable of the Sower and Dawn, the latter of which will be adapted for TV by Ava DuVernay soon), and even bought my first comic book, the reboot of Marvel’s “Black Panther” by TaNehisi Coates.

Of course, there’s always the writing. The screenplay, which I’ve mentioned before, continues to be on the agenda. But I’ve added another task: adapting one of my plays into a 1-hour TV pilot. I love the creative challenge of taking a story that was originally built for a stage with all its constraints and transposing it into such a rich visual format.

I’m also considering how creative thinking can impact outlook and perspective. Although I like to consider myself an innovative thinker, the truth is that I am often brittle in my ability to perceive and envision the world around me. I am a chronic worrier, which makes it more difficult than need be to take action that is outside the box. I am often self-defeating, which impacts my ability to properly receive criticism. So, I am using a workbook based in the highly productive structure of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to think more creatively about how I can retrain my brain to best serve me and those I interact with.

What are you and yours up to this summer? What creative opportunities have you seized? I hope that you find that the big and small moments of this season provide inspiration and new perspective.