A Regular Column by Anthony D. Fredericks
Who’s the most creative person in the world? A four-year-old child, of course. Kids are known for asking an endless array of questions (“Why is the sky blue?” “How do birds fly?” “Where do babies come from?”). But, by the time that four-year-old has turned into a nine-year-old, his natural creativity has been significantly reduced. And, then, that nine-year-old grows up into a 22-year-old, graduates from college, gets a job, and discovers that his once dynamic creative spirit has completely fizzled.
Simply put, our natural sense of creativity has been swept out of our minds by a system of societal myths, educational practices, workplace habits, and everyday expectations more focused on conformity than on fostering creative expression. We have not been trained to generate a plethora of creative solutions when faced with intellectual challenges. In so many ways, our thinking has become “McDonald’s-ized” – it’s standardized and predictable. “Thinking outside the box” is not what we do well.
The big unanswered question is: What causes us to be “non-creative?” We were creative souls when we were young; but, now, as adults, we find ourselves wrestling with challenges that demand innovation; but often discover that our creative “wells” have dried up. Why? Interestingly, it’s a query never asked before; and, even more important, one never answered in all the “How to Be More Creative” books (more than 60,000 published) and all the “Becoming a More Creative Person” articles (more than two billion on Google) currently available.
Three years ago, I set out to write From Fizzle to Sizzle: The Hidden Forces Crushing Your Creativity and How You Can Overcome Them! It is both an examination of the unseen powers that impede our creativity and, also about how those all-too-powerful influences can be curtailed and eliminated. The ultimate truth is that an understanding of creativity is also an understanding of mystifying obstacles – the miseducation, societal impediments, and workplace practices that negatively influence our creative spirit. Ultimately, knowing the barriers (the diagnosis) to creative thought prior to implementing dynamic creativity strategies (the prescription) can help make those changes more effective and long-lasting.
From Fizzle to Sizzle is a book about persistent pressures…and how they can be forever nullified. We’ll examine the influence of those forces in future editions of this blog…along with several creative “game-changers.” Stay tuned – there are amazing adventures along the way!
Creativity is intelligence having fun.
– Albert Einstein
Dr. Anthony D. Fredericks is Professor Emeritus of Education at York College of Pennsylvania. He is an award-winning author of more than 170 books, including the highly anticipated From Fizzle to Sizzle: The Hidden Forces Crushing Your Creativity and How You Can Overcome Them (January 2, 2022) as well as five other Blue River Press titles (e.g. Writing Children’s Books: Everything You Need to Know From Story Creation to Getting Published ). He also pens a regular blog (“Creative Insights”) for Psychology Today.com. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/contributors/anthony-d-fredericks-edd
The courthouse represents a place of order, respect, justice, and judgment. It is supposed to anyway. There have been shocking and tragic events in the courthouse where raw emotions erupt and even violence ensues. Courthouse Chaos: Famous & Infamous Trials, Mob Violence, & Justice by Andrew E. Stoner cover frenzied courtroom stories that have taken place across the country throughout the years.
True Crime fans will be unable to put Courthouse Chaos down as each layer takes you into well-known cases as if you were there. You will read about the trial of thrill killers, Leopold and Loeb, also in the book is the “Scopes Monkey Trial,” and Stoner writes about Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, D.C. Stephenson who once proclaimed, “I am the law in Indiana.” Additional events covered are the trials involving Larry Flynt, Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, among many others.
Andrew E. Stoner skillfully and unbiasedly writes about the diverse nature of America’s county and federal courthouses. His summary of the trials reveal the reasons behind these horrible acts.
“Some of the backstories will be familiar—failed marriages, business and political rivalries, gang violence, and men and women whose lives are spiraling out of control. And others represent the unresolved and simmering issues of race and privilege played out in deadly, sickening fashion. Few of the cases represent ‘career criminals,’ but rather ‘everyday people’ whose lives explode in a very public way, and a very public place—the county courthouse.”—Andrew E. Stoner
Andrew E. Stoner is a native of Goshen, Indiana, and lived in Indianapolis for twenty-six years. He started writing as a boy by teaching himself to type on an old Underwood manual typewriter. A journalist by training, his writing has been published in the South Bend Tribune, Goshen News, Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Recorder, Sports Illustrated and Colliers Worldbook Encyclopedia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Franklin College of Indiana and a master’s degree in journalism from Ball State University. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in journalism and technical communications at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.
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Blue River Press released its first book in the spring of 2004. Today we have more than one hundred books and eBooks in print on the subjects of sports, health, fitness, education, games, popular culture, travel, and more. Our books have been recognized with awards and national and regional review attention.