Courtney S. Barr

Welcome to My Kingdom!
Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Memos and Are You a Little Insane?

"The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person."
-Frank Barron

There often are moments throughout the day where I feel a little insane. They come at various times; sometimes logically so and others a bit not. As a student it is often pressed upon us that artists are mad and in their madness they push people & the world away. That they are constantly at odds with order and the typical workings of life - therefore they create a surrealistic creation so that they do not have to accept or deny reality.


Yes, we talk to ourselves.
Yes, we sometimes talk to fictional characters.
Yes, we observe the oddest things around us seeing inspiration in the oddity.
Yes, we feel things that most overlook and we attempt to recreate the feeling with our medium.
Yes, we accept that there are going to be days where we want to pull our hair out and days where utter bliss will fill us.
Yes, we do not ask the obvious questions yet we want others to.
Yes, we are possessive, we are controlling, we are determined, we are emotional and we are unique.
All perfect ingredients for a modern solitary Mad Hatter.

People forget that the Mad Hatter had the White Rabbit/March Hare, the Dormouse & of course various visitors. That he welcomed the normal and the abnormal. That he had insight and yet also was blinded by his intelligence. He asked questions and rolled the answers around his mind. He had answers and waited for questions in order to stir your thoughts. The Mad Hatter was more than silly songs and wild clothing, he had heart, passion and a mind full of imagination. Insane? That is subjective to the viewer. Solitary? No. Creative? Yes. Extraordinary? Unlike any other character before or after him.

If my creative process pushes me to learn more by asking odd questions then so be it.
If a paint color forces me to examine a landscape more closely - bring on the suitcases.
If a sentence structure keeps me up at night - thank goodness for Critique Partners.
If characters speak in my mind and I reply - I thank technology for bluetooth and the fact that most people walk around appearing to talk to no one these days as it is.
If my odd hours and weird habits (Watermelon Jolly Ranchers anyone? - Did I brush my hair today?) make my appearance frighten the neighborhood children so be it - I can be the crazy writer problem with that so long as writer is in the title.

I do not use any of these things to block out reality. In fact it is quite the opposite. My work is based on reality. No, not necessarily setting or physical character descriptions. Reality is passion - heart - pain - sorrow - loss - success - failure - denial - acceptance - danger - survival - hate - forgiveness. It is the traits that each of us possess in life. These traits are what we make of them when creating and we are blessed to work within, around and among reality. Every day we should take note from the Mad Hatter:

"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?"

Yes. I see. Create. Explore. Flip the Script then flip it back! Embrace the obvious and obscure! Create nonsense out of the norm and norm out of nonsense. No matter what - CREATE! Be Mad and be proud of it!

A look at the blogosphere today and well...maybe we all really are a bit Mad... ;o)
  • The Beatles and Horses. Do I need to say more to entice you over to Portia's Blog today?
  • Talli Roland asks about...posture today...You didn't see that one coming did ya?
  • Do you associate Chinese food with the fear of disappointment? No? Well maybe you should see whyJanet did?
  • Have you murdered someone lately? Um..okay well Elana has! ;o)
  • Morons with Gumption? Road Construction? Need I say anymore before you head over to Wendy's post?
  • Are you an Airhead? Do you want to win one or three?Shannon's got the goods!
  • Yesterday there was a great deal of shameless flirting going around the blogosphere...if you missed out be sure to click here for the list of entries & here for my nervous flirt'n...
Have a Memorable Monday!


  1. Oh, I have had to fully embrace my crazy to properly tell this story. But I think we writers have our own special brad of crazy. The cute, creative kind. Not the scary, needs medication kind (or, that's what I hope.) Thanks for the shout out about my contest. Happy Monday!)

  2. Let's face it: crazy is fun!

  3. Shannon - ;o) I totally understand that! I agree that we do have our own type - though I have to say that Jolly Ranchers, Green Tea & Sweet Tea are my own form of medication ;o) You are so welcome by the way!

    Tracy - Dang straight it's fun! lol ;o) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Normalcy is highly overrated. ;) Afterall, doesn't the Bible say God usues the things that seem foolish to the rest of the world? :D

  5. This may explain why people give me buttons like "Writers are people who won't give up their imaginary friends." I agree, being a Mad Hatter doesn't mean you don't see reality. I think it means I see it too much!

    Loved your Flirtfest entry...had me cracking up. I mentioned you in a post got a Pay It Forward shout out and link back to your blog.

    Hope you enter more blogfests, can't wait to read more!

  6. Love that Frank Barron quote. You mind if I use it in my sidebar? And thanks for the plug!

  7. Emily - you are SO right! What a wonderful thought! Thanks as always for stopping by!

    Raquel - love it! I definitely hold onto my imaginary friends. I am so glad you are enjoying the Kingdom! I will be sure to scoot over to your post ;o)Oh yeah - I have some blogfests coming up...

    Wendy - Of course girl! Please use it, apply it, share it, go crazy becoming it! lol Glad to see you pop in today. You are quite welcome.

  8. I heard a story of how Mr. Charles Dicken's used to walk the street of London muttering to himself constantly. At times he'd have to cross the street to avoid his own characters he'd see like Miss Havisham. I'm not sure if it's true or not, but I love it! What a great world it is to be mad enough to create! Or is it the other way around??? Love this post.

  9. I loved this post! It makes me want to just shut up and write. But first I've got to check out all these great blogging links, many of which I somehow missed today.

  10. Wonderful, wonderful post! YES, I do all those things!! :D

    If you get a chance, come check out my first ever blog contest! The Pay it Forward Giveaway is underway!

  11. What a great post. Thanks so much for making my Monday better. :)

  12. Aw, shucks, thanks :-) I'm mad as a hatter myself. I wake up grumpy and by the end of the day I'm full of a ridiculous amount of goodwill toward my fellow man. Funny how that works. I think it's the coffee ;-)

  13. I think crazy is a good thing - I know I wouldn't have it any other way! Great post - I loved it :)

  14. My dad often said "Who has more fun than us crazy people?" It's a philosophy I firmly embrace. :)

  15. Really, writing is the only profession in which I can be believed marginally sane. It's a wonder no one's tried to have me committed yet in my day job or at home, quite frankly.

    Wonderful post, good lady. It resonates on so many levels. And not just because I'm crazy. :)

  16. I. love. this. post!! I think this is one of my top 10 all-time favorite princess posts! I want to be crazy-mad like a hatter. I do. I do. LOL! :-)

  17. Lynn - I love that! I am not at all surprised about Dickens possibly doing it. There have been moments when immersed in my characters that strangers take on their liking...

    B - Thanks! I will definitely head over there!

    Sarahjayne - You are quite welcome! Thank YOU for stopping by the Kingdom!

    Portia - you are so welcome and yeah maybe it is the coffee... ;o)

    Jaydee - glad you enjoyed it! Being crazy is fun, isn't it? lol

    Jemi - I love that! What a great philosophy!

    Simon - lolololol yes I can see the Mad Hatter in you and I LOVE you for it! Especially since we are blessed to enjoy such wonderful Mad writing!

    Shannon O - lol Glad you enjoyed it! Yes crazy like the Mad Hatter has become a goal of mine for sure! Glad to have you in the madness ;o)

  18. I'm mad and proud of it! But I can totally function in the world! most of the time. And I don't care who thinks I'm crazy anymore. I am who I am - and an awful lot of people seem to like that person! Thanks for sharing!

  19. What a fun post, Courtney! It's nice to feel a little insane at times. In a creative way of course.


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