Local Matters

Community Sponsors


February 9, 2018 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, business, creativity.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is excited to share the details of the fifth annual Creativity Conference: Creativity in the Entrepreneurial Zone taking place Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the Batavia Campus. Do you have a hobby or passion? Ever consider turning it into your own business? Then you won't want to miss this conference!

"So many people in the world dream of being their own boss. What they don't see is just how realistic that opportunity is!" Lina LaMattina, Ph.D., director of GCC's Business Programs. "This year, every piece of the creativity conference has been carefully aligned to inspire those creative business ideas and show participants just how far their entrepreneurial aspirations can take them."

The Creativity Conference will open for participants to check in at 8:15 a.m. in the Conable Technology Building lobby. The conference cost is $49 per person. For GCC students, faculty or staff, the conference cost is $25 per person. Registration includes a continental breakfast and delicious lunch.

Seating is limited, so register today at www.genesee.edu/best under "View our classes now!"

At 9 a.m. the conference will begin with keynote speaker, Erica Swiatek. She will address the link between creativity and entrepreneurship. Swiatek has made her living doing just that as one of the founders of Innovate Faster, a training, consulting and facilitation company based in Buffalo. Innovate Faster offers training courses on the creative process, enhancing teamwork, managing change, customer service and much more. Details on Innovate Faster are available at www.innovatefaster.com.

Swiatek's own creative thinking and ideas have come to fruition in her business, 3600 Escape, a company located in Buffalo that hosts groups in one of two specially dedicated Escape Rooms. Participants select either the "Conspiracy Theory" or the "Mineshaft" room and then are locked inside!

They have to work as a team to find and put together clues to escape the room -- and they only have 3,600 seconds to do it! Swiatek has now taken this concept on the road allowing her to perform the escape room experience for companies and corporate events on their premises through a package of creative characters, clever clues and utilizing the participant's own spaces.

The escape room experience can be done just for fun, or as a real-life learning tool. Swiatek's post-experience debrief session breaks down the steps and actions taken by individual participants during the exercise to help them understand the personality traits that they draw from while working to solve a problem.

Learning about one's strengths and tendencies is a powerful way to unite a team, helping them to understand each other better and to work together more efficiently. More information is available at www.3600escape.com.

Swiatek earned her master's degree in Creative Studies and is currently an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College. At both Innovate Faster and 3600 Escape, Swiatek blends her expertise in the fields of innovation, learning and development to design activities, courses, programs and experiences to facilitate innovation, professional development, change management and teambuilding.

Certified in Myers-Briggs, DiSC and FourSight assessments, Swiatek draws on these tools to help participants problem solve, communicate and understand each other better.

From 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., Swiatek's will host a special escape room experience right here at GCC! Participants will work in small groups to look for clues, propose hypothesis and race against other teams to solve the problem first.

At the end of the session, Swiatek will breakdown the skills and tools used by each personality type to help participants better understand their individual problem solving strengths. Anyone registered for the conference can sign up for this special breakout session which costs an additional $15 per person and is limited to 30 participants, so sign up quick! 

For those not attending Swiatek's escape room experience, there will be nine unique and inspiring breakout sessions featuring entrepreneurial leaders from our region to share stories of their own startups, answer audience questions, and inspire the next generation of great new ideas.

Conference participants will be able to select three of these sessions to attend. Each session will be offered at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon.

Among the breakout sessions will be:

  • Rashaad Santiago, special effect/ makeup artist, Face Off-Season 6 Winner (2014)
  • Sue Fuller, owner of Della's Chocolates in Medina
  • Trace George, owner of VSP Graphic Group in Buffalo, (the official graphic company for the Buffalo Bills) and GCC Alum
  • Shawn Ramsey, owner of Canalside Tattoos in Medina
  • Maureen Spindler, owner of The Village Photographer in Hilton and GCC's own visual communications specialist/photographer

Additional sessions will be available and session schedules are subject to change.

At 12:45 p.m., everyone will come together for a sit-down lunch, provided by American Creative Dining, served in the centrally located William H. Stuart Forum.

After lunch, the team from Startup Genesee will conduct a powerful wrap-up session for all conference attendees with giveaways and a very exciting announcement sure to help take entrepreneurial ideas to the next level!

The Creativity in the Entrepreneurial Zone conference, presented by GCC, is made possible through partnership with the Startup Genesee Committee and the Ain Center at the University of Rochester's ongoing support for the "Year of Entrepreneurship" series.

Behind every great business is a great idea! Let GCC be a resource for your idea and your path to success! GCC offers both an associate degree and a Certificate program on Entrepreneurship. Check out the options at https://www.genesee.edu/academics/programs/business/entrepreneurship/.

April 18, 2017 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, creativity, schools, education, news.


Ladi Terry leads an exercise using photos to help foster creative engagement during one of the seminar classes at today's creative conference at Genesee Community College.

The half-day event included an opening speaker and several seminar sessions on a variety of topics.

Below, Shawn Adamson talks about storytelling frame and form using examples from Pulp Fiction. Bottom photo, a marketing session.



June 6, 2010 - 1:42pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, Plays, creativity, east bethany, theatre.

This Saturday, Heather Ackerman invites you into an alternative universe with alternative theater...

Well, all right, maybe that first "alternative" is a bit over the top...but the second is definitely real.

The venture

Ackerman's new East Bethany-based theater group, "Honesty Theatre," will be putting on their second production Saturday, June 12. It will be made up of a series of individual performances grouped under the theme of "alternate realities."

"All of these stories will be based on different 'what if' ideas," Ackerman said, citing as an example a vignette that has Sophocles' Antigone winding up in New York City.

Ackerman describes Honesty Theatre as "an experimental writing company for the stage." The group is made up of small teams of actors, each responsible for writing, producing and performing a short play...all in one day.

Each teams' play is included in a single, themed performance every month. At Honesty Theatre's premiere last month, the plays that were all about "beginnings." Subjects included Adam and Eve, beginning relationships, the first day in a new town, etc.

Ackerman says this style of theater is good for both audiences and actors; audiences get to see something "no one has ever seen before" (since it's being more or less created and performed at the same time), while actors have the chance to explore their creative instincts.

"Our emphasis is on the creative process, what we learn along the way and being creative with words, rather than on the final product."

Nevertheless, the Honesty Theatre troupe is taking advantage of lessons learned from their last show to enhance the quality of the next one. For example, instead of writing the scripts on the day as the performance, they decided to "workshop" the scripts well in advance this time. Spontaneity will still be very much in play, but with scripts prepared in advance, the actors can focus more energy on the performance aspect of the show.

"Acting on the fly is a lot better than writing on the fly," Ackerman said.

She also encouraged more interaction and reciprocal feedback between the different acting teams, as well as some advance rehearsal time. During the first production, the actors had to rehearse while the other vignettes were being performed. This time, they will be able to see and offer feedback on their fellow actors' work.

The brains behind the operation

Though currently a resident of East Bethany, Ackerman is a Batavia native. She has been acting since she was a youngster and has an impressive repertoire of local theater performances, including roles in Summer Youth Theater productions of "Alice in Wonderland," "Godspell" and "Oliver." She has also worked with a local independent theater company called Something-or-Other Productions, acting in such plays as "The Laramie Project" and "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged" from 2004-2007.

While a student at Genesee Community College, she had starring roles in "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "A Christmas Carol."

In addition to acting, she also has experience writing local theater productions. Her first stage play, an experimental piece about young girls and their perspectives on relationships (love, breakups, etc), premiered at GCC in 2003.

After earning a bachelor's degree from the NY University at Buffalo, she spent six months living in Boulder, Colo. It was there that the seeds of Honesty Theatre were planted.

"I was looking at the want ads and I noticed that there were these people looking for a theater writer," Ackerman said. "I called them right away, got the job, and wrote for them the whole time I lived in Boulder."

The names of the two individuals in question were Erin Kelly and Jesse McDonald, and they ran a spontaneous theater company just like Honesty Theatre. Kelly, in fact, was one of the founders of "L.A. Café," which was the first group to experiment with this type of theater.

"They're actually doing very well in Boulder," Ackerman said. "In the time since I left, they've already become a larger theater company."

Ackerman was so intrigued by their approach to live theater that she wanted to bring it to her own neck of the woods. She asked Kelly and McDonald for their permission, and they granted it happily.

The venue

Honesty Theatre productions take place at the East Bethany Old Town Hall, at 10440 Bethany Center Rd., which Ackerman says has "exactly what (they) need" in spite of its smaller size. The hall contains an old vaudeville stage.

"It has seating for 100, and it's great as a theater because it has an old-fashioned look and bright polished wood."

Saturday's show will begin at 7:30 p.m. and last about an hour and a half. Tickets are $8 and will be for sale at the door.

For more details, call Ackerman at 356-4678.

May 8, 2010 - 9:14am
posted by Joseph Langen in arts, creativity, imagination.



Joe and Carol at Mardi Gras World

Joe and Carol at Mardi Gras World

~Imagine all the people living life in peace.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.~

John Lennon

Recently I attended the Imagine RIT Innovation and Creativity Festival at the Rochester Institute of Technology. My son Peter, my grandson Joey and his friend Kevin went with me. Thirty thousand other people also showed up. So did two thousand RIT students and faculty, presenting several hundred exhibits, live performances and demonstrations.

On my first visit with Joey two years ago, I saw my first e-book reader, an early model which reminded me of and Etch-a-Sketch. Not much advantage over a book. Joey immediately took to the robots, one wheeling its way through the crowd and another busy assembling hot dogs with choice of catchup or mustard.

Before this visit I happened upon the RIT website describing the hundreds of attractions and where to find them. I had a plan for exhibits and activities I thought would be interesting to visit. However we found ourselves in the quad in line for free ice-cream and drawn to the two foot electric and gas race cars speeding around a makeshift track. Singers, dancers, drummers and art hummed in the quad background.

Without especially knowing where we were going, we wandered into one of the buildings. We encountered a blue room. Leaving their shoes behind, Joey and Kevin frolicked on blue cubes while backgrounds were added to make it appear on the monitor that they were swimming in the ocean or flying though the woods.

In another room, arrays of computer stations displayed computer games students had designed. The boys set to work immediately, exploring the new games under the tutelage of the students who had created them.

Down the hall a classroom awaited us. A storyboard filled one wall. I recognized it from my writing experience. Elementary cartoon graphics showed the layout for an animated film. Several students demonstrated how they progressed from the storyboard to a polished animated sequence.

As fascinating as I found all this, what happened next floored me. Eight year old Kevin and Joey asked sophisticated questions about the process at a level I had not imagined. They connected with these college students in a way which reminded me of the story of Jesus and the Temple elders.

The rest of the day was just as fascinating. The technology and imagination were spectacular. Even more impressive was the humility, sense of humor, and openness of every student and teacher we met. As if that was not enough, one student ambled through the crowd with his placard offering free hugs. I came home encouraged by the endless creativity of the RIT community and the infections enthusiasm they shared with the rest of us. Maybe there is still hope for the world.

Life lab Lessons

  • How often do you tap your creative resources?
  • Do your ideas sometimes surprise you?
  • Encourage others to share their creative ideas.
  • Merge your creativity with that of others in a spirit of cooperation.
  • Create ways to build a better sense of community.
April 12, 2010 - 2:56pm
posted by Joseph Langen in technology, conflict, creativity.


Cleaning the Pool
Cleaning the Pool


JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. I was beginning to fear i would not see you today.
JOE: I woke up in a technological snafu. Not only was my laptop refusing to connect to the Internet, so was my desktop. With remote assistance and considerable fiddling, everything is back in working order. I also had to retrieve my connection to my printer, or I should say Jay did. I watched as he manipulated my computer remotely until it behaved.
CALLIOPE: So I guess you are finally back on line.
JOE: You noticed. But it took until 1 pm to do so and by then I was tired of computers and decided to take a bike ride to get some errands done. Now that I am back, I don't have much creative energy left. But I did feel compelled to touch base with you.
CALLIOPE: Anything planned for the rest of the day?
JOE: I picked up Ian McEwan' book, his new novel about environmental concerns.
CALLIOPE: That should keep you busy for a while.
JOE: I hope so. Talk with you Friday.


March 29, 2010 - 1:07pm
posted by Joseph Langen in arts, cooperation, creativity.

Jackson Square

Jackson Square


~The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.~
Albert Einstein

Recently I attended a planning meeting for this summer’s Batavia Ramble. I once thought this was a gathering of Country-Western bands. Then I discovered that bands plan to grace us with all sorts of music. As those who attended the meeting shared their excitement and ideas, I learned of other possibilities as well. I was suddenly more interested in the whole undertaking.

Artists will be showing their works. Children will explore craft projects. Crafters will share and demonstrate their skills and wares. Other artists will be invited to sketch the festivities live. Street performers may well dot the landscape.

The discussion captured my imagination. I envisioned our community coming together to share our collective creativity. Many creative efforts these days are geared toward advertising and efforts to get people to part with their money. I learned that attendance at the Ramble will be free of charge. None of the organizers or performers will be paid for their efforts. Everyone involved is motivated by their love of their particular art and their wish to share it with others rather than an interest in making money.

For days after the meeting, I thought again and again about the growing tendency to grab what we want for ouselves despite our neighbor’s needs. Here is a group of people sharing their creativity with no expectation of financial reward. Perhaps the world community situation is not as dire as I thought.

These days I see a great gulf between creative people and their audience. We listen to music on CD’s or MP3 players, buy books on the Internet, find craftwork in catalogs and dine in chain restaurants. How often do we have a chance to meet artists face to face? Can we even imagine it? I wonder how much creative energy stirs in people or remains dormant around the world. Once people shared their stories, music, crafts and meals with each other for the pure joy of doing so. My guess is that they still do, at least to some extent.

The potential remains for artists to share freely of themselves and for the rest of us to encounter them in person at least until they become famous. See how you can express your own creativity and get in touch with others’ creativity.

Technology has allowed us to connect with the world and with each other much quicker than we could in the past. But it has made our communication more impersonal in the process. Perhaps it is time for us to reconnect with each other on a fully human level.

Life Lab Lessons
 What is your talent?
 How often do you freely share it with others?
 What talents of others do you appreciate?
 Find a way to share more of yourself.
 Make sure you show your appreciation of others’ talent.

January 9, 2010 - 10:59am
posted by Joseph Langen in creativity, heart, serendipity.


(Cellar Window)

You cannot find your soul with your mind, you must use your heart.~Gary Zukav

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What are you thinking about today?
JOE: I'm thinking about thinking and its limitations. I ran across the above quote by Gary Zukav and realized the limitation of thinking in the creative process.
CALLIOPE: Please elaborate.
JOE: I'd be glad to. Sometimes when I am ready to write I rack my mind for ideas and thoughts. Sometimes nothing emerges.
CALLIOPE: Then what do you do?
JOE: Turn off my mind and seek experiences, one of which will often inspire me to write something.
CALLIOPE: How well does that work?
JOE: I'm happy with it. I often find better topics through unexpected experiences than I do by trying to force my mind to think about something.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like serendipity.
JOE: It certainly does. Even the word serendipity conveys a sense of peaceful play.
CALLIOPE: So you enjoy wandering?
JOE: I do. I like the feeling of meandering with no particular goal and no pressure.
CALLIOPE: More people should try it.
JOE: I agree. Talk with you on Monday.


December 5, 2009 - 10:39am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, creativity, GoArt.


Art Show

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(Ice Show)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's new?
JOE: Nothing much. I'm just considering plans for the winter.
CALLIOPE: Anything different about this one?
JOE: For one thing, I will be starting my Americorps placement in January.
CALLIOPE: The one at the Arts Council?
JOE: Yes, GoArt in Batavia.
CALLIOPE: Do you know what you will be doing there?
JOE: Not yet. We talked about some ideas. I will meet with the director on Wednesday to discuss schedules and goals.
CALLIOPE: Sounds interesting.
JOE: I'm looking forward to it. I have spent most of my time alone lately with my writing. It will be good to be back in circulation.
CALLIOPE: How will it affect your writing?
JOE: I imagine I will have less time and might need to plan better. I will try to include some creative writing in my duties at GoArt.
CALLIOPE: Good luck with it.
JOE: Thanks. Talk with you on Monday.
November 9, 2009 - 8:46am
posted by Joseph Langen in creativity, distractions, passion.


 Metropolitan Opera

(Metropolitan Opera)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How was your weekend?
JOE: Eventful and quiet.
JOE: Yes. Saturday Carol and I attended a simulcast of Metropolitan Opera's Turandot in which her son Mike performed and on Sunday I continued reading and reflecting on Joan Chittister' book, Welcome to the Wisdom of the World.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about the opera.
JOE: In addition to seeing Mike on stage I appreciated the passion of singers, actors and musicians putting their all into the production
CALLIOPE: Was reading the book a separate experience?
JOE: No. Joan wrote about the immediate distractions which interfere with our doing what matters most in our lives, such as the passion we saw on the stage Saturday.
CALLIOPE: Do you mean minutia blocking what's important ?
JOE: Exactly. The noise of living keeps us from hearing what's in our hearts.
CALLIOPE: How does this apply to you?
JOE: I attend to what is important but find myself frequently sidetracked by things which are not that important.
CALLIOPE: What does Joan suggest.
JOE: Being aware of what is important and what isn't and doing what you are meant to do rather than everything you can do. Talk with you tomorrow.


November 3, 2009 - 8:39am
posted by Joseph Langen in creativity, Michael Jackson.


 Pushing the Limits

(Pushing the Limits)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Any further thoughts on Michael Jackson?
JOE: My newsletter topic this week centers on trying to make sense of his life.
CALLIOPE: How did you do that?
JOE: I didn't exactly. Making sense of something is an intellectual task which his life defied.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: Thoughts of his creativity, childishness, and adolescent mentality swirled in my head and finally came together along with a couple quotes from his songs.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: "We are the world, we are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day." from his song, We're the Children.
CALLIOPE: It sounds like you see a parallel between creativity and adolescence.
JOE: I do. Adolescence and creativity are both experiences in testing and expanding limits, ignoring boundaries and rules and venturing into new domains.
CALLIOPE: Interesting parallel. What about the rest of his life?
JOE: Creativity inclines its owner toward experimenting with personal life sometimes with0uut considering consequences.
CALLIOPE: Not entirely a rational pursuit.
JOE: That's the nature of creativity. Talk with you tomorrow.



November 2, 2009 - 9:32am
posted by Joseph Langen in creativity, Michael Jackson, This Is It.

 Triboro Bridge
(Triboro Bridge)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good m0rning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. I was contemplating Saturday's experience.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: Carol invited me to see "This Is It", the Michael Jackson movie.
CALLIOPE: Please share the results of your contemplation.
JOE: I had a vague interest in the movie while Carol was quite anxious to see it.
JOE: We were equally enthralled.
CALLIOPE: What captivated you?
JOE: The degree of his creative energy, much beyond what I had imagined.
CALLIOPE: Compared with whose?
JOE: Anyone else on the popular music or entertaining circuit.
CALLIOPE: What stood out the most?
JOE: Watching him craft and fine tune each detail and seeing them performed.
CALLIOPE: Sounds a bit mystical.
JOE: It was. I was trying to see how his mind worked, but it remained a mystery. Talk with you tomorrow.


September 19, 2009 - 12:50pm
posted by Joseph Langen in business, writing, creativity.




JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Where were you this morning?
JOE: Carol and I walked to the farmers' market and then drove to Batavia for my grandson's Pop Warner Football game.
CALLIOPE: A busy start.
JOE: Yes, but fun.
CALLIOPE: Did you think about your priorities with business and creativity?
JOE: Yes but I didn't reach any conclusions.
CALLIOPE: How will you approach it?
JOE: Hard to say. It's not something I can quantify. Making a list of the advantages of each does not seem like it would help.
CALLIOPE: So now what?
JOE: I recall Napoleon Hill talking about a man he once met who took time each day sitting for ideas. Maybe I'll try that.
CALLIOPE: You're not in any rush?
JOE: No one will starve to death or go homeless based on what I decide.
CALLIOPE: I guess you don't have to force a decision.
JOE: No I don't. If you feel like dropping me an inspiration, please do so. Talk with you on Monday.


September 18, 2009 - 9:00am
posted by Joseph Langen in business, creativity, decisions.


(Columbus Circle)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's afoot today?
JOE: Decisions, decisions.
CALLIOPE: Of what sort?
JOE: Tuesday I learned quite a bit about business plans and marketing at a Score workshop.
CALLIOPE: So what's the problem?
JOE: I'm not getting any younger. Where to put my effort keeps nagging me.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more about the conflict.
JOE: Do I spend my time writing, developing my business skills or look for a balance of both?
CALLIOPE: Maybe you need to decide what's important to you.
JOE: As usual, you hit the nail on the head. I find more satisfaction from writing but would also like to earn more money from my efforts.
CALLIOPE: How will you decide?
JOE: I don't know yet. But I will put on my thinking cap, talk with some friends and consider the possibilities. Talk with you tomorrow.



August 5, 2009 - 9:05am
posted by Joseph Langen in music, creativity, hula.


 Coconut Palm

(Coconut Palm)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Doing well. I got some exercise yesterday morning and went to say goodbye to my brother Bob and his girlfriend Carol who are returning to Hawaii this morning.
CALLIOPE: Any further musical adventures?
JOE: As a matter of fact yes.
CALLIOPE: Tell me.
JOE: Carol takes lessons and is in a traditional Hawaiian Hula group. She performed a couple dances for us last night.
CALLIOPE: Sounds interesting.
JOE: I thought so. It went beyond the typical Luau dancing. She also took time to introduce and later explain the movements of each dance.
CALLIOPE: A treat.
JOE: Indeed. It reminded me of the unbounded creativity across the world.
CALLIOPE: Any personal message for you?
JOE: It encouraged me to continue exploring my own creative side and express whatever you and the other muses might bring me as gifts.
CALLIOPE: Glad you appreciate them.
JOE: I do. Talk with you tomorrow.



August 4, 2009 - 9:21am
posted by Joseph Langen in music, creativity, Mozart.

 Portuguese Street Tile


(Portuguese Street Tile)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What news today?
JOE: I continued my creative restoration program yesterday.
JOE: Carol and I spent the afternoon at her cousin's cottage on Canisus Lake, one of the New York State Finger Lakes.
CALLIOPE: And you relaxed all day?
JOE: For the most part. However the afternoon was punctuated by a musical surprise.
CALLIOPE: Tell me.
JOE: Zack, a thirteen year old grandson of one of Carol's cousin's friends, began talking about his interest in opera. It turned out to be more than an interest.
JOE: He had amassed quite a bit of knowledge about opera, favored Mozart, particularly La Nozza de Figaro and Die Zauberflaut. In mid discussion he broke into song favoring us with several arias from each of his favorite operas.
JOE: How a mature baritone voice could emanate from a thirteen year old boy astounded me.
CALLIOPE: I wish I had been there.
JOE: Some of your more musically inclined sister muses would have been impressed.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps one of them had a hand in drawing him to opera.
JOE: Perhaps. In any case it was a pleasant surprise, bordering on a peak experience.




July 30, 2009 - 7:59am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, creativity, renewal.


 Swimming Racehorses

(Swimming Racehorses)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. I feel rested, relaxed and energetic.
CALLIOPE: How nice.
JOE: I think so.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to do with the state in which you find yourself?
JOE: Good question. I can always count on you for a little prod.
JOE: I was thinking earlier this morning about how technology has drained all my energy lately.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to do about it?
JOE: Patience! Patience! I'm getting to that.
CALLIOPE: Not very quickly.
JOE: That's just the point. There's no rush.
CALLIOPE: Proceed.
JOE: My plan is to take some time in the second half of summer (such as it is) to recharge my creative batteries.
CALLIOPE: Now we're getting somewhere. How?
JOE: My art supplies are getting dusty. I plan to get them out and get to work painting and drawing. I also plan to delve into reading to start my creative juices flowing again. Talk with you tomorrow.


July 9, 2009 - 8:49am
posted by Joseph Langen in creativity, madness.


 Barbary Apes
(Barbary Apes)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I thought about what you said yesterday about Michael Jackson. Have you had any further insights?
JOE: Indeed. I woke up very early today pondering the relationship between creativity and madness.
CALLIOPE: What do you think was the relationship with Michael between his art and mood?
JOE: I don't know. I haven't seen any speculation about this and am not aware of anything he has written or said about the issue.
CALLIOPE: So that remains a mystery. Do you know anything else about it?
JOE: One artist I knew painted only when he was depressed to express his mood. His color blindness further darkened his art. Another time I met a sculptor who only worked when he was not depressed to avoid contaminating his art with his dark moods. I recall my son struggling with taking his medication and thinking clearly or not taking it and having his hand steady enough to draw.
CALLIOPE: Do you think creativity and what you call madness are interrelated or just exist in parallel dimensions.
JOE: I wish I knew.
CALLIOPE: What's your opinion?
JOE: I think it could be both. Some people seem to write about wrestling with their demons while others wait until the demons recede so they can listen to the angels (or muses)whispering in their ears.
CALLIOPE: Very interesting.
JOE: I agree. I don't think mental and emotional turmoil give one a corner on creativity but they do seem to be paths to it.
CALLIOPE: I think you might be right.
JOE: I don't know if I am but you asked my opinion. Talk with you tomorrow.



June 15, 2009 - 8:29am
posted by Joseph Langen in technology, writing, creativity.


(Walking with Dinosaurs)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Welcome to a new week.
JOE: Thank you.
CALLIOPE: What's this about dinosaurs?
JOE: Saturday morning I had a chance to see the much ballyhood Walking with Dinosaurs.
CALLIOPE: Did it meet your expectations?
JOE: More than that. I had questions about how lifelike giant puppets could be.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: The combination of excellent technology and imagination based on historical research resulted in a very entertaining and informative experience for my son, grandson and me.
CALLIOPE: Any lessons for you?
JOE: The point of bringing together technology and creativity is to reach the audience and connect with their needs and interests.
CALLIOPE: So it's the same process with the dinosaur show and with writing?
JOE: As far as I can tell it is.
CALLIOPE: Keep this in mind as you work on your website.
JOE: I certainly will. Talk with you tomorrow.





May 27, 2009 - 3:05pm
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, creativity, rest.





(Old Factory- Leroy, NY)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Matching the weather.
CALLIOPE: Which is?
JOE: Overcast.
JOE: No particular reason. Sometimes I'm affected by my surroundings. Today is one of those days.
CALLIOPE: How do you plan to handle it?
JOE: This morning I will be busy helping a friend open his pool.
CALLIOPE: And then?
JOE: Hard to say. Perhaps I will be in a more creative mood when I get back.
CALLIOPE: Does your mood bother you?
JOE: No, Sometimes I think a little down time gives me a chance to regroup and return to creativity.
CALLIOPE: We shall see.
JOE: I'll keep you posted. Talk with you tomorrow.






May 25, 2009 - 8:01am
posted by Joseph Langen in creativity, gift, time.


(Big Ben)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I thought you might take today off in honor or Memorial Day.
JOE: No, I'm up early.
CALLIOPE: What thoughts entertain you today?
JOE: Who, not what. I read Julia Cameron's thoughts about time in her Vein of Gold.
CALLIOPE:Tell me about it.
JOE: She talked about the excuse most of us find from time to time not to create. “If I only had more time!”
CALLIOPE: Sounds familiar.
JOE: It is. I tend to wast time wishing I had more of it instead of using the small chunks which come available to create something even on a small scale.
CALLIOPE: Where do you lose out the most.
JOE: In visual art. I find time to read, write and photograph. Ten feet from where I sit wait my drawing and painting materials, gathering dust while I procrastinate.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to do about it.
JOE: Redefine my time requirements.
JOE: By using small chunks of it to create something even if it's only a beginning rather than a finished work.
CALLIOPE: Go for it.
JOE: I will. Wait for tomorrow's report.

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