By Timoléon Lobrichon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
No discussion about creativity would be complete without a look at surprises. Think about it. In order to surprise someone, a person must creatively produce a facade that keeps the other person from knowing the truth until the facade is dropped.
People who are gullible, seem to be the best surprise recipients. They never suspect anything. As a young girl, I was such a person. I never suspected that when my friend and fellow Girl Scout, Laura asked me to come over to her house to play, that she had organized a surprise birthday party. All the neighborhood kids where there. I actually cried, because I couldn't believe that anyone would do such a nice thing for me.
I am still friends with Laura. We don't see each other that often, but we keep in touch with letters and emails. Her kindness left a lasting impression on me; one that has had positive after affects. Whenever I do something for someone else, I remember Laura, her kindness to me, and believe that in some small way, I am sharing the joy she gave to me.
This brings me back to being creative.
Doing nice things for people is even nicer when you can do them in secret. Back when my girls where little, at Lent, we would send flowers to people who had touched our lives throughout the year. Each of my daughters would pick a person they wanted to honor. We would send flowers with a simple message of, "Happy Spring!" The florist was instructed not to tell who the flowers were from, so people never knew from whence the flowers came. Our little secret gift was the product of some creative brainstorming on what to do that would be a sacrifice that would do some good. (The sacrifice was the cost of the flowers, which came from not having pizza for supper one night a week.)
Be creative...think of ways to do things for others...let your creativity bloom like the crocuses pushing out of the snow. Surprise!
Speaking of creativity and surprises, I wrote today's post as part of the WOW-Women on Writing Blanket Tour for Letter from Home by Kristina McMorris. This debut novel is the story of three young women during World War II and the identity misunderstandings they and the men in their lives have. Ask yourself: Can a soldier fall in love with a woman through letters? What happens if the woman writing the letters is different from the woman he met the might before he shipped out, the woman he thought was writing the letters? Is it still love or just a lie?
Like many authors, Kristina has had a wild selection of "real jobs" everything from wedding planner to actress to publicist. She finally added novelist to the list after Kristina got a peek at the letters her grandfather wrote to his sweetheart(a.k.a. Grandma Jean)while he was serving in the Navy during World War II. That got her wondering how much two people could truly know each other just from letter writing and became the nugget of her novel.
In honor of her grandparents, and all the other families kept apart by military service, Kristina is donating a portion of her book’s profits to United Through Reading, a nonprofit organization that video records deployed U.S. military personnel reading bedtime stories to their children. You can learn more about the program at http://www.unitedthroughreading.org/
If you comment on today's post on this blog or any of the others participating in Everybody's Talking About Surprises, you'll be entered to win a special surprise prize! It includes an personalized copy of Letters from Home, a Big Band CD, Victory Garden seeds, and more. To read Kristina's post about surprises and a list of other blogs participating in Everybody's Talking about Surprises visit The Muffin.