Yesterday I made a crown: four feet at the base, four-and-a-half feet wide at the top, bejeweled, golden, and undeniably tacky. It will definitely be the spectable it's intended to be at the Christmas festivities.

What I always find, no matter what the purpose, is that creating something tangible is relaxing for me. Not that I'm any sort of artist; don't ever think that. I need lots of help to transmit the idea in my head to reality. But I'll work for hours, even days, on such projects with hot glue, a box-cutter, and a staple gun. When I directed student dramatics, it was set-building that I looked forward to, not opening night or the after-glow party. I like making things out of paper and lights, paint and duct tape. It's not for the ages; it's only for a brief span, and the "Ah!" of the audience when the curtain opens is my reward.

Writing is of course creative, but it's a different sort of work. Every once in a while it relaxes me to make something real, even a cake, something different from plot-lines and character arcs. Like a big old, gold-lame crown.

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