Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Creativity Facilitator
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Creativity

Building Community vs. Finding Leads

Building Community vs. Finding Leads
by Lisa A Kramer
The book is published. The year has changed. Taxes are submitted (not really, but just go with it). Now what?

This is the question that starts my days a lot lately. Somehow the fantasy of publishing, for me and many others, includes a suddent radical change. A book publishes, people become interested, you get invited on talk shows, people ask you for your autograph, someone wants to take you to lunch, money roles in.

It's all fantasy, really. I learned that when publishing P.O.W.er. The excitement,pride, and energy of seeing my first novel in print, and actually on bookstore shelves, led to a feeling of deflation and emptiness and "now what"? 

Actually, I get this feeling after any stage production as well. It's not a feeling of defeat or frustration, it's more like the energy of a slowly deflating balloon. You've poured your energy into this thing, this product, this creation out of your imagination or (in the case of Re-Creating the World) out of years of exploration, practice, and experience.  And then, it launches, leaving a melancholy sense of accomplishment and emptiness.  


 

The Gift of Creativity and A Huge Thank You

The Gift of Creativity and A Huge Thank You
by Lisa A Kramer
Hello Friends!

It's been a long time hasn't it? I've been working on books, thinking about projects, and focusing a little on what I really want out of life. The truth is, that chosing a life that focuses on something so intangible as my belief in the power of creativity and how it can bring people together, is not an easy one. Making a living out of creative projects in the world of late-stage capitalism seems a ridiculous choice. And yet, it's who I am and who I want to be.  I am so grateful to the people who have helped me discover this path, and that includes so many different people, I want to celebrate you today!

But first, I am thrilled to announce that Re-Creating the World: The Power and Joy of Collaborative Creativity is now available. 

Yes, this book that I have been working on for years, is finally out in the universe. All of the links can be found on here. I hope that you will consider spreading the word, or giving yourself and people you love the gift of creativity!




 

Call for Submissions!

Call for Submissions!
by Lisa A Kramer

Hello Creative Collaborators!

Spark Collaborative Media is pleased to invite you to submit your work for our first anthology!

Reclaiming Goddesses: Bringing the World into Balance

We are looking for short stories, poetry, artwork, personal essays, creative non-fiction that explore a world where the goddesses of the past (from all cultures) reclaim their voices and their purposes.

This anthology will be compiled and edited by me, with contributions from a diverse group of voices.
Timeline:
  • Submission Deadline: December 31, 2023 at 11:59 pm.
  • Tentative Publication Date:  December 2024 
How to Submit
  • We are collecting submissions on Google Forms.
  • Prose pieces (including short stories, essays, reflections, etc.): 1000-5000 words
  •  

Living Values in Creative Ways

Living Values in Creative Ways
by Lisa A Kramer
Have you ever thought about what you truly value, and how that relates to decisions you have made in your life? I recently was encouraged to take a values assessment and I was a little suprised by the results.  

Where is creativity? It was one of the options that I chose in comparison to other things. For a moment, I thought: Have I been fooling myself all this time?  Who am I to write a book about creativity and collaboration, if its not even one of my top values?

 Those doubts only sat with me for a few moments, however, as the list of values truly resonated. After reflecting on them for a while, I understood.

For you see, I do value creativity as a tool and as an innate ability (or superpower) that too many of us have forgotten we have. I value collaboration as a crucial aspect of solving problems in the world--if we do not learn how to work together, and recognize that we are all connected, then we become a world full of narcissistic assholes who focus only on money and power for themselves. Our current times reflect the danger of allowing that to happen.

However, creativity and collaboration are not the core of me, rather they are the foundation that supports my core. The things that I truly value. Allow me to explain.

So You Created Something: Now What???

by Lisa A Kramer

I posted this article on Substack yesterday. Different people find me in different ways, but I wanted to share here. Feel free to follow Sparks of Creative Rebellion on substack for interesting articles on creative journeys. 
 

The Clash of Collaborative Creativity and Capitalism

The Clash of Collaborative Creativity and Capitalism
by Lisa A Kramer
I dream of a society based on barter and mutual support.

I know, I know . . . crazy or too close to socialism or something like that.

But seriously, I wish that we could simply exchange goods or labor, rather than be ruled by this fictitious thing called money. Money is not real. I mean, yes, there is physical money, and at one point it somehow connected to the weight of precious metals. But, its getting more and more unreal, as things like cryptocurrency and the stock market thrive on the idea that imaginary money builds more money.  In some, since money is now mostly associated with plastic cards and apps, some peole don't even know what money looks like.

Money is simply this thing that people (wealthy people in particular) cling too, when it really means nothing.

I admit, I am not an expert when it comes to economics. I don't understand money, and I never will. What I do understand, though, is that in our broken late-capitalist society, money breeds money, and everyone else gets screwed. The exchange of money for true labor (the workers, the artists, the writers, the actors) is never equal to the money exchanged for so-called ownership (the producers, the CEOs, the 1%) of people who don't really understand the work.

 

Creative Teachers can Change the World

Creative Teachers can Change the World
by Lisa A Kramer
In some ways, my life was changed by a living chess tournament.

Okay, maybe I'm being a tad dramatic. But one of my favorite high school teachers challenged my social studies class with a creative approach that influenced who I am 40 years later.

What is a living chess tournament? There are different examples of what it could be, like this example of a historical event used to decide who would win the hand of the fair maiden:

To avoid losing them in a duel, the father forbade the encounter. He declared that the two rivals would play a chess game, and human actors representing the pieces would show the moves as they were made. Lionora would take the winner as her husband. The loser would also join the family but marry instead the younger daughter, Oldrada. (Bringing Chess To Life With Human Players In Marostica)

They reenact this event every year. Time for a trip to Italy!

Anyway, the chess tournament I'm talking about is a little different. It involved the merging of historical research, collaboration, and creativity. Little did I know how much of an impact this one event would be on everything I did later in life. I always held this example up as one that shows what can be done when we combine theatre, creativity, collaboration together with a touch of courage. 

Asking for Help in a Selfish World: A Rant

Asking for Help in a Selfish World: A Rant
by Lisa A Kramer
It took 5 minutes.

5 minutes after I re-launched a campaign to help me publish Re-Creating the World I received the first of many messages to the campaign inbox that was basically--pay me and I will help this campaign succeed. Pay me and I will promote your campaign.

I realize this may sound hypocritical, because I am fundraisng for something. I'm basically saying, pay me so I can achieve my dream and get this book published. 

 

Waiting as Action

Waiting as Action
by Lisa A Kramer

The young woman huddles into her coat, trying to stay warm against the slight autumn chill in the air. It's impossible, though, as her hair remains damp after an exhausting swim team practice.

"I wish I knew who was picking me up," she thinks out loud. "Why can't they ever be on time? They know when practice ends."

A few of her teammates tumble out of the locker room laughing as they jump into the waiting vehicle of one of the mom's.

"I'm going to close my eyes and count to 50, that will make them get here."

Eyes squeezed shut. "47 . . . 48 . . . 49 . . . 50."  She opens her eyes and  there's no sign of either her mother's little brown chevy or her father's gray oldsmobile.

"Urgh! Okay, this time I'll count until 100."

This ritual of magical thinking repeats and repeats until finally, success! A car appears.

"I knew that would work," she thinks as she gathers her belongings to get into the car.

 

10 Reasons to Embrace Your Creativity

10 Reasons to Embrace Your Creativity
by Lisa A Kramer
For some reason, creativity is one of the most misunderstood superpowers that we all have. Yes, its a superpower. If you choose to embrace it, and to strengthen your creative muscles, wonderful things can happen. 

By you, I mean every single one of you. I can hear it now though, many of you are thinking "I'm not creative. I don't have a creative bone in my body."

Those thoughts are born from myths about creativity that come from a society which likes to have control.

Being Gateless in an Angry World

Being Gateless in an Angry World
by Lisa A Kramer
In a recent interview for a possible contract job helping thought leaders in planning and facilitating their online workshops and programs, I was asked: "How do you deal with difficult personalities?"

In some ways, it feels like all we ever do lately is deal with difficult personalities.We live in an angry world. We've lost the ability to communicate across differences and disagreements because of entrenched beliefs that allow no room for discovering new ways of being an doing.

However, I don't subscribe to that. I am actively seeking ways to communicate better, to listen better, and to encourage some kind of neutral ground where we connect in a place of collaboration even if we don't fully understand one another.

For me, that space lies in creativity and collaboration. It lies in a willingness to search for the good, the beauty, the things that work, rather than everything that is broken and ugly. It's a difficult thing to do at times, especially when your are dealing with difficult personalities including your own doubts and fears.

Sometimes the most difficult personality we have to deal with is our own.

Today, I want to share the foundations of my approaches to building creatively with anyone, so that we all might begin to understand why I believe Creative Power is so important. 

Books, Words, Information, Power

Books, Words, Information, Power
by Lisa A Kramer
In 2014, I published my first book, a piece of speculative fiction called P.O.W.er. 

It tells the story of a young women living in a despotic culture where women are not allowed to read or write, and their required purpose is to marry young and make babies. However, Andra BetScriviner has other ideas when she discovers she has the ability to write things into reality, and that many women have unique abilities.

Her friends, including supportive men and people of diverse backgrounds come together to change society.

The leader of this country called New North (which in my mind was New England) was a horrible, greedy, ambitious man who believed he was the eye of god and had divine right to rule. 



 


In 2016, I felt like I should apologize to the world. Don't get me wrong, I am very proud of the book and its empowering message, but we had entered into a reality that sounded a little too familiar. 

I know, my words did not make this reality happen.

Political or Passionate

Political or Passionate
by Lisa A Kramer
When I was a senior in high school, I was voted most political. I didn't understand that then, except for the fact that I was one of the two senators representing my "house." My high school was huge, and we were divided into Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow houses--which mostly represented the color of the cafeteria and served as a guide for finding your classrooms. And, as divisions often do, it opened the space for rivalry.

So yes, I was a senator, but why was that the only accolade that I recieved? I never thought of myself as political. Heck, I barely thought I made a difference back then, or that anyone even knew me. (I can't remember exactly, but I think I might have won the senate seat because nobody else ran for the office. So" responsible, interested in helping the school. teacher's pet, outspoken . . ." those terms applied, but political?)

 

Many years have passed since then. 37 to be exact. And we all know that politics have become ugly. Many people who are comfortable in their privilege, avoid political discussions like the plague (although interestingly enough, many of those same people do not take steps to avoid Covid19). 

Now, perhaps I understand why I was labelled as political. In a country (the US) where there are more and more divisive politics every day, I can see why I might be labelled political. However, I have no desire to rule, or become a member of a political system so broken that it seems impossible to fix. Kudos to those who step into the fray and try to make change from the inside. 

Still, I rebuff the label "political" in exchange for the word 

PASSIONATE. 

A Song so Beautiful . . .: Creativity and Power

A Song so Beautiful . . .: Creativity and Power
by Lisa A Kramer

Somedays I doubt.

We all do.

Somedays I doubt that my truth is true. I doubt that creative power can change the world.

This doubt is born out of the frustration, anger, and toxicity spouted so often by mainstream media, or political pundits, in order to get clicks. Because anger, drama, and pain sell more than beauty, hope, and love.

Recreating the Economy

Recreating the Economy
by Lisa A Kramer
I have been thinking a lot about money lately. 

I have also been thinking a lot about dreams and goals.

The problem is, that it sometimes feels like you can't have one without the other, and unfortunately we live in a world where the money often comes first. I want to change that so much. Dreams and goals should not only be available to those who can afford them. 

I took a scary (for me) leap yesterday , and launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds to publish my book RE-CREATING THE WORLD: THE POWER OF COLLABORATIVE CREATIVITY. 

Why was it scary? Because its hard for me to ask for help, especially in the form of money.  I struggle with feelings of failure when I realize that I am not financially secure. I sometimes fall into that gremlin-filled wormhole that tells me I haven't been
doing enough . . . working hard enough . . . creating a platform big enough. . . . being enough enough. 

Celebrating a Commitment to Creativity

Celebrating a Commitment to Creativity
by Lisa A Kramer
I wrote a book.

That's probably not a surprise, but the thing is that I finished the first draft in 2020. Then, I gave up on myself. I thought the book was good and had potential. It is a book that truly represents me and my goals for the future. But I let my gremlins talk me out of it, so the book simply sat there being sad. 
A hand drawn gremlin saying mean things to a person crouched in front of it.
Gremlin of Doubt

 I couldn't face the fear of rejection, of not doing it right, of not finding an agent, of being completely wrong about my own work. I was mired in the world which believed that the only legitimate books were traditionally published, and that I would never find that perfect agent who could get me the perfect publishing deal. 

Of course, I realize, you can never find them if you don't try. Still a part of me didn't want to try.

 

When You Open to Possibility

When You Open to Possibility
by Lisa A Kramer

Being Open to Possibilility Means that Possibilities Open Up

It always amazes me how a shift in mindset opens up new possibilities. 

I know that there a many coaches and thought leaders out there talking about manifesting your desires, dreams, money. While I do believe that the energy of the universe works with us, I also struggle with this concept.

Why? Because if things don't happen quickly, or to the extent that these coaches often promise, then it becomes "you didn't believe enough," or "you used the wrong words," or anything that shifts the blame to you rather than to their methods and practices.

For this reason, when I help people access their creativity I don't promise that they will become rich and famous. I know that, by allowing themselves to be more open and playful with their lives and their dreams, the possibility of more things open up.

How do I know this? Because it's happening to me right now!!!

Reintroduction, Letting Go, and Creating Anew

Reintroduction, Letting Go, and Creating Anew
by Lisa A Kramer


Reintroduction

Welcome to my newly redesigned website! Whether you are new here or have been following me for a while, please consider signing up for my mailing list (located on the side bar) as transitioning from one platform to another made me lose a few things. It's totally my fault because sometimes technology makes me want to pound my head into my desk or send my computer flying. But that's not important now. 

Letting Go

Welcome to a new beginning, where I let go of 13 years of old blogs, to focus on what I am becoming, rather than what I was. Of course, I've saved some of them. I've kept my favorite or most popular posts. I've kept all of the posts by other authors in serious like #Celebrating our Unique Powers, and posts that focus on #Creativity, #Writing, #ArtsAndSocialJustice. I am letting go of the rants, many political posts, and some other random pieces. I am proud of all I have written, but I realize that looking forward, writing forward, and creating forward is what I choose to focus on.

Letting go is freeing somehow. As I sort through old posts, I discover things that have shifted, and questions that have changed. I recognized  areas of passion that grew stronger over the years. I said farewell to those that no longer serve me. I feel ready, now to conquer new projects, build new connections, discover new collaborations, and write new books.