Creativity on the Internet · 20 March 2021

(Click the picture to watch my 2018 Trip to the Zoo video.)

The internet can be a great place to show off your creativity. Or lack thereof.

I have been writing and posting on the internet for many years now. Since 2006. (Or probably more accurately since 2007 since I just had a couple pieces in 2006.) Still, it has been a long run of weekly blog posts. Something I never dreamed I would be doing fourteen years later. After all, who dreams of writing in obscurity for fourteen years? Nobody. People dream of writing a bestseller right out of the gate. People dream about being syndicated after a few weeks of starting a blog. Nobody dreams of obscurity. Then again, fame and fortune are not really the points of my writing.

I have often explained that writing is like breathing for me. No writing, no life. Or at least, not as much life. I have also explained that I write because I believe God has called me to write. Even in obscurity. I cannot waste a gift from God. That would be crazy. (Even if people would argue that I have no gift.) But there is another reason that I write.

I write as an outlet for creativity.

Creativity is something that I believe we all have. Some people are more creative than others. Yes, some people are more artistic than others. And artistic seems to be the way we measure creativity. But everybody is creative in some way. We must create. It is written in our DNA. At least that is what I argued in a different post.

Most people are content to keep their creativity to themselves. Or maybe share it with their family and friends. But I am not most people. For some reason, I like to share my creativity (or lack thereof) on the internet.

The interweb is a great place to show off your creativity. Whether you are a blogger or a vlogger or an artist or a musician or a videographer or a teacher or you just like to see your own creations, you can throw your stuff on the internet and see what sticks. Or at least that is what I do. I create stuff and throw it against that proverbial wall that is the internet and see what sticks.

Actually, it all sticks because the internet is forever. (But that is another completely different story.)

I have not become a vlogger. At least not yet, but I do have my own YouTube channel. I started it because I wanted to post lectures for my classes. Sure, I had delusions of grandeur when I started. But I also knew that my lectures were probably not going to get more viewers than just my students. In fact, my hope was that they would watch the videos at home so they could work at school, a concept called flipping the classroom. Instead, they just used the computers in my classroom to watch the videos. Still, those videos proved to be vital to teaching during the pandemic.

I have also used my YouTube channel to show off some of my other creative endeavors.

I love to take pictures. I am not a great photographer, but I like to get out the camera to take candids of people when we all get together. I also enjoy taking pictures of sunsets and landscapes and flowers and all those other things that people think about when they think of photography. And I like putting those pictures together into videos. Slide shows really. I have slide shows of Christmases and trips to the zoo and family reunions. Not all of them are on YouTube, I keep my family off the web when it comes to pictures. At least mostly. But I enjoy making the slideshows of the pictures I have taken on vacations and other outings. It is fun to just put them all together and compose the music and post them on the internet.

(Click the picture to watch my Inktober 2020 video.)

One of the most recent slide shows I released was of my ink drawings from Inktober. It was such fun to make the 31 ink drawings, that I had to do more than just post them on Instgram, I had to put them into a slide show. And I put that slide show on the internet. Naturally.

I know that I am probably destined to live in obscurity as a creative person, but that does not matter. It does not matter whether anybody reads my writing, I will still write. And so it is with my other creative endeavors on the internet. It does not matter whether anybody watches my videos, I will still post them. Because whether or not anybody reads or watches, I still like to be creative. And for some odd reason, I like to post that creativity on the internet for all to see. Or not.

Like I already said, the internet is a great place to show off your creativity. Or lack thereof.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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The (Idea) Ether · 13 March 2021

There is this old imaginary substance in the universe called ether. Nowadays ether is where forgotten ideas go to be snatched up by somebody else.

Back in ancient times, people could not understand or imagine a vacuum. They thought there had to be a medium to transmit the light and heat of the sun. So they figured that ether was the thing. For the ancients, space and indeed the universe was full of ether.

We no longer believe that there is ether in space. Of course, we do have Ethernet and a gas called ether. Still, I like to think that there is this imaginary ether all around us. Even more pervasive than what the ancients thought. This imaginary ether is where ideas live.

I came up with this idea ether long ago. So long ago that I thought I had already written about it. (I looked at my old stuff and only found one mention of ether in my old writings. Which I thought was odd. After all, in my own mind, it seems I have already written about everything.)

Nobody really knows where ideas come from. Oh sure, there are times when we are talking or just thinking about something and a great idea springs from the conversation (even if that conversation was with yourself). That sort of idea genesis is common. It is probably even where the notion of brainstorming came from. Get people together to talk about stuff and ideas pop out. Some might even be actionable.

(I must note here that I do not really like making verbs or pseudoverbs from nouns. Actionable seems to be one of those words. It is technically an adjective, a word that describes a noun, but it still seems a questionable word to me. Even though questionable is legitimate, but probably has the same background as actionable.)

While brainstorming is often how we plan to get ideas, there are other ideas that pop into our heads seemingly from nowhere. Which is where my imaginary ether, my idea ether, comes in.

The idea ether is an imaginary place where ideas live. Ideas circulate around the universe in the ether, and pop into people’s heads at any moment. Sometimes those people act on those ideas. When they do, the ideas are removed from the ether. Even the act of writing down those ideas is good enough to remove them from the ether. At least for a time.

The bad part about the idea ether is that sometimes ideas pop into your head and just pop right back out into the ether. Oh sure, the ether usually gives you enough time to at least write the idea down, but sometimes it is capricious and just takes the idea away without giving you any chance of acting upon it. But if you are like me, those times are the times when you can come up with great fish stories. The idea that got away can be such a marvelous story. (I actually did write about that. More than once.)

One good thing about the ether, is that there must be eddy currents that keep ideas close to you. When you have a great idea pop into your head only to pop out again just as quickly, it seems to hover close. It gnaws at you just out of your reach because the ether eddy currents keep the idea near. The idea taunts you because the ether seems to have a mind of its own. A mind that likes to tease you.

I know. It is crazy to think that ideas roam around in an imaginary substance called ether. But it makes sense to me. After all, if that ether did not exist, why is it that somebody else comes up with my great idea that I forgot? I could have had the idea to invent the internet, but lost it back into the ether. Really. Okay. Not really. I would have had to have been a child genius to have the idea first. And people tell me all the time that I am far from being a genius.

Well, I could probably write for days about the idea ether that I imagined long ago. But I will end with just one more thought. Write your ideas down.

When you write your ideas on a piece of paper, you take them out of the ether. Even if you just take them out for a while, you will have better fish stories than if you never write any of your great ideas on paper. And yes, you do have great ideas. So act on some of them. You never know. You might create the next best thing since sliced bread.

I hope that you are blessed with many ideas. You can even say they come from the ether. I just hope you do not let them escape back to the ether to be grabbed by somebody else. Unless, of course, you just want to keep telling big fish stories.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Brilliant Idea · 6 March 2021

I do not know about you, but sometimes I think I have a brilliant idea. Then, I forget it.

We all have ideas. Ideas for great creations. Ideas for movies and books and videos. Ideas for blogs and vlogs. Ideas for pictures and drawings and… Well, you get the idea. We have ideas for everything under the sun. Or even under the moon and stars.

At any rate.

The interesting thing about those ideas is that when we get them, we think they are brilliant. (I know it is not just me.) We think that whatever idea it is in whatever area we are thinking of is going to be the latest and greatest thing since sliced bread. We just know that we are going to make it big with this great idea.

Again. I know I am not the only one that thinks that way. After all, there are so many examples of people who actually implemented their great ideas and actually did make it big. The folks who made and marketed sliced bread, for instance. (After all, it is what we compare every great and even not so great idea to.)

But back to brilliant ideas. I know that I have them. Or at least I have ideas that are brilliant to me. (Something that might approach mediocre in other words.) But be that as it may, I still think the brilliant ideas that I have are truly brilliant. At least until I forget them.

I do not know if you have ever had a brilliant idea that you forgot the next day, but I have. I just know I will remember the idea because it is so brilliant. And the next day, I do not have a clue what the idea was about. Was it about my next blog post? Was it about a book that I am writing or supposed to be writing? Was it about some invention that I will never create? I do not know. All I know is that I had the great idea, but now it is gone.

That is what happened to me the other day. I had a brilliant writing idea. I was walking up the stairs, and it hit me. The sad thing is that by the time I got to the top of the stairs, I had forgotten it. I was on the second step and eleven steps later, the brilliant idea was nowhere to be found. (I was actually on step three or four, but somehow “ten or nine steps later” does not sound as good as “eleven steps later.” Go figure.)

My friends would be the first to tell me that it is probably old timer’s disease. After all, I am so much older than my fifty-something year old friends. (A few years.) But older is older, and they constantly remind me that I will always be older than them.

Where was I again?

Oh yeah. Friends are amazing. They remind you that you are older than them. And when you forget something, they say you have old timer’s disease. They even blame getting old when you injure yourself. Or when you forget something. Or when you repeat yourself. That old timer’s disease is tiresome. And pervasive.

Where was I again? Oh yeah.

Brilliant ideas. We often have them. We cherish them. But when we do not write them down right away, they vanish. Or maybe that is just me. Still, I cannot really be faulted for forgetting a brilliant idea in eleven steps. Can I?

I hope you enjoyed my tribute to old friends. Especially if you are one of them (old or a friend). Maybe that was my brilliant idea.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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