Currently residing in the Pacific Northwest, Greg blogs about his upcoming books in The Sy'Arrian Legacy Series. His posts also explore the creative process and what feeds our imaginations.

Creative Insight: Part Three

In the final entry for this series, a more categorical approach will be implemented to foster brevity and clarify intent. Besides, many of you are probably wondering if I will ever shut up about what makes our creative brains tick. Well, I will let you in on a little secret you may already be aware – it will never happen. The day my creative brain shuts up is when I stop typing and walk off into the sunset.

Future writings will touch on more details related to the specific sources where I receive insight and inspiration. Although I have referred to them minutely in previous entries, the wide breadth of each fountainhead deserves further explanation in greater detail.

One of the sources assisting me in generating ideas for future content is the gaming industry, more specifically, video games. Yep, you read it correctly and if you think someone my age is too old to be playing video games, well, you may be a little out of touch with mainstream society. The video game industry is a thriving industry, churning out content faster than any motor vehicle factory and many gamers make a living at playing and live streaming their adventures for others to watch; yet more content to save for another post.

Video games have large, immersive worlds requiring players to navigate through story driven content to achieve an end goal(s). This content not only requires detailed code development, beautiful graphics and talented voice actors but skilled writers to bring pixels on a screen to life. A small list of video games I have played, and there have been many, includes; the Neverwinter Nights series, The Last of Us, Horizon Zero Dawn, the Uncharted series, Fallout 4 and the Assassin’s Creed series. Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list, merely a few coming to mind containing wonderfully crafted stories.

In relation to books and authors, I have mentioned in previous posts James A. Michener and Terry Brooks, however, you may be surprised to see many of them are a mixture of genres. When I was growing up, I literally devoured books; the longer the better. Favorites included; Jack London, Rudyard Kipling, and Philip K. Dick. Granted, I have not read every book they have written but the ones I did had a lasting impression, which served to guide my own efforts. For me, it was how some of them utilized written word to paint a picture of something we have no context to draw from. This may seem like an obvious statement but what I am referring is using word variety and saying more with less.

Lastly, I saved what I consider the best for the end – people. Now, before I list those who had the most impact on my life journey, if someone I know is reading this post, do not be offended. My mother was the one who lit the imaginative flame by reading to me in bed when I was little, while every creative writing teacher told me not to stop writing because I have a gift for drawing in readers right at the beginning of a paragraph. Whenever I received such a compliment, I never knew how to take it mostly due to the fact I wanted to remain humble and not allow it to morph into ego. Now I am simply learning to thank people and not make a big deal about it.

Thich Nhat Hanh and Don Miguel Ruiz were two notable figures who, through their writings, helped me become more self-aware; however, I may have never been exposed to them if not for good mentors. One of those mentors was also my boss, who not only helped me develop into a better employee but a more considerate person. Two close friends, who my husband and I consider family, assisted us in transitioning to veganism. This aided me in returning to living a compassionate lifestyle and becoming a better human being; one who treats all earthlings with kindness. The mentioning of my part time writing in an introductory email at work after taking a new position paved the way to a friendship with one who became more than just my editor.

The catalyst for my return to writing and directly responsible for the finished story published July 15 of this year is my husband, Jared. It was on a weekend many, many years ago, after watching something on television, I commented on how the characters had similar abilities to my own, the Sy’Arrians. Apparently, he was tired of me talking and not doing, so he replied, “No one is going to know unless you get off your ass and start writing.”

The rest as they say is history.

As always feel free to post your questions, comments or concerns. I will respond, if need be, when I able.

Video Game Reference Links:

Assassin’s Creed:

Fallout 4:

Horizon Zero Dawn:

The Last of Us:

Neverwinter Nights:


Author Reference Links:

Terry Brooks:

Philip K. Dick:

Rudyard Kipling:

Jack London:

James A. Michener:

People Reference Links:

Thich Nhat Hanh:

Don Miguel Ruiz:



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