Valerie of Life 4 Me by Me

of Life 4 Me by Me
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B i o g r a p h y :

Hello, I am Valerie Furnas.  (Yes, you say it just like the heater.)  In my soul I am a writer of great mysteries that contain a taste of history with a ton of action and romance.  Unfortunately, I have two day jobs to support my writing habit.  From 8-4 I am the widely proclaimed…”Coolest 7th grade teacher of Flower Mound.” From 5-9pm I am a reluctant driver’s education teacher.  (The one that looks terrified in the passenger seat.) In the wee hours in between I write.  I blog everyday at Life 4 Me by Me. It is my vanity blog where I conquer world problems, solve the mysteries that have stumped those throughout the ages and wane a bit poetic from time to time.   My biggest inspiration comes from the craziness around me, those I encounter, and my three and a half dogs.

~ Creativity ~

I work over an hour away from home, I love it.  There is something soothing about having an hour all to myself.  Most times I turn off all the noise and sit with my thoughts.  Although my thoughts are many times way more noisy then any radio.  As my muscle memory drives me home I retreat to my thoughts.  It is in those times that my mind creates.  Stories take hold and begin to flesh themselves out. 

Every evening I sit with my laptop and stories are quick to come to me.  Once the white page is in front of me I think back to those stories from my drives and they spill out on the page.  The stage of writing called flow is comfortable and is easy to slip into for me.   The story spills from me coming from a place that I don’t know.  Being a worrier I wonder what is that place?  What is that magic spark that it all comes from?  

Over the last year I have often researched creativity: seeking the on switch and the different stages.  Strangely enough, in the beginning of my research I thought that creativity was something only artist and writers were interested. This is actually one of the 6 Myths of Creativity.  In fact, every average person that loves what they do, is given the time and the ability to work with a team can find creative solutions.   
Apparently long hair and tattoos are not the imperative to producing incredible creative flow.  My mom will be thrilled.  

Creativity is something we all have access to, even when it feels elusive.  The root of creativity is problem solving.  For a writer that means giving yourself a story plot line, or characters that are riddled with problems. In writing problems are camouflaged as risk.  Like Stephanie Plum, the bounty hunter who refuses to carry a gun and is a novice that needs the big money that the more dangerous criminals bring. Evanovich has given herself the foundation for several sparks of creativity to grow.  She must figure out how to bring in new dangerous criminals with the use of no conventional weapons.   Plus, the character herself is ripe with internal problems that have to be solved in each book.   The writer must understand their characters and be able to use that knowledge to inspire themselves.  

In silent times, like driving in my car, where we listen and allow our imagination to run wild that we lay the foundations for creativity.  In the article, “The Art of Creativity,” they talk about allowing the unconscious mind to pull into our awareness more than the story but the feelings that the story evoke. The idle daydreams we allow ourselves driving, walking or on those jogs can later translate into the illumination that we seek for whatever project we are facing.  It all hinges on the limitations that we place on ourselves.  If we think ourselves creative and give ourselves the opportunities to daydream and become confident in our unique abilities the more we trust ourselves.  However, if we fear making a mistake the more frozen we will become.  Research has shown that it is true the more the creative the individual the more mistakes that will be made.  By being open to ideas some will work and others won’t.  The openness that we celebrate these wins and these failures determines future readiness for us to enter the state of creativity.  

Creativity is like all other things in our lives.   
The more it is practiced the stronger we become and the more readily it comes to us. 

How do you prepare yourself for creative endeavors? 


  1. Valerie : I am very inspired by the bit about how "the root of creativity is problem solving." When faced with writing a new novel, I know this to be the truth. The writer must figure out how to make the novel work - plot, character, setting, etc. It is definitely a challenge.

    Thank you so much for writing this post!

  2. "If we think ourselves creative and give ourselves the opportunities to daydream and become confident in our unique abilities the more we trust ourselves. However, if we fear making a mistake the more frozen we will become."

    This is so, so very true. Once, my art teacher and I, were talking about my artistic style. She was complementing me on a piece I had just done and, in all humbleness, marveling at a couple sections. I told her that I didn't know how it happened, it started out as an accident. She responded that therein lay how she knew I was a good artist, because I saw beauty in the mistake and left it. I'm not saying this at all to brag. It was a forever moment in the way I viewed art.

    Thanks for the awesomely inspiring post!

  3. Lauren,
    This looks amazing! I wish you formated all of my post.

    I love researching creativity. Thank you for inviting me to be apart of this series.

  4. This was a great blog post. Inspiring and funny all at the same time. Thanks for that.


  5. What a wonderful and insightful post! :).

  6. wait, long hair and tattoos don't help?


  7. lovely post... we must exercise creativity.

  8. Wow, great post! Excellent thoughts, and inspiring.

  9. I can really relate to this. I too love long stretches of road, alone with my thoughts and my stories. Well written!

  10. When do you sleep

  11. I get a whopping 5 hours a night and crash on Saturdays. Fridays are rough, but I feel that it is all worth it.

  12. Creative people don't really have the luxury of normal sleeping patterns. ;)

  13. I'm hoping short hair and tattoos do help :)

    I really enjoyed this! This is such a brilliant idea Lauren!

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  15. I love this interview. And admire your devotion to writing and blogging with 2 jobs and such a commute...way to see the commute as something positive too, that's awesome:D

    I nurture my own creativity by always believing that my talent, abilities and muses are always always present, that just because somedays I can't see them, or feel them as strongly, that they are there most definetly. On those days where I feel like I am pushing against a wall, I just keep working, I start by saying 'okay this is what you do Mandy, today it doesn't feel easy, so just start with 30 minutes, go from there'...and usually well before 30 minutes I am in the flow and having a ball. :D

  16. Valerie I just loved "the root of creativity is problem solving."

    I've worked in new business & product development role a lot and one of the questions I'm asked is 'would you consider yourself creative?' - my answer has always been that I look for solutions to problem first and the creativity comes from there.

    Basically, as long as there's a problem to solve, I'm happy!


( hippies always welcome )