Many of my friends are creative sorts in the "traditional" fashion: artists, cartoonists, writers. But creativity takes many forms, whether painting a portrait or writing an essay on politics, crafting a short story or role-playing a character, performing in a play or rebuilding an old car. They are all creative endeavors in the purest sense: acts of creation.
I hate asking questions of the "what is your favorite [...]?" format. Myself, I can never pick just one favorite in anything.
But I thought I'd try it like this: "What is one of your favorite creations, and why?" I don't care about genre or medium: whether it's a picture, a story, a comic arc, a journal entry, a computer program, a gizmo, a roleplaying session or arc -- whatever, as long as it's something you've fashioned. (And assembling a model or a car from parts definitelycounts. What is a storyteller but someone assembling words into a new form, anyway? :D )
"Favorite" brings a particular bias to it that interests me. A favorite painting isn't necessarily the one with the most technical merit. Maybe it's the one with particular sentimental value. Maybe you just love the way that one eye came out, and so you ignore the terrible composition and the gradiant-fill background. For whatever reason, it's special to you.
Plus, for me, it's a lot easier to decide "I like this one!" then to figure out which one is "best". It's hard for me to get much perspective on my own work, selecting the best on technical merits would be an iffy proposition.
So, here is my request: pick a genre (I wouldn't advise trying to figure out if you like this miniature better than that RP or this picture or that story -- so it'll be easier to decide on the category first). Then pick one of your favorite creations in that arena and tell me about it -- in comments, or in your own journal, if you'd rather. If it's something you can link to -- an image or a story or whatever -- please do! If it's not feasible to show off the whole thing (an unpublished manuscript, for example), an excerpt would be much appreciated.
And last, because I thought it would be a little unfair to ask this of all of you and not do it myself:
I've picked The Warlock, the Hare, and the Dragon. Better known amongst its small circle of readers as "Silver Scales", this is an unfinished novel that I've been working on sporadically for the last year. It's been shown, as it's written, to a handful of friends. Despite (or perhaps because) having only worked on this only when I've felt like it, not having an outline written out for it, and generally giving myself permission to include whatever bits entertain me -- hackneyed, overused, or otherwise -- I'm remarkably pleased with how it's come out overall. I've gone back to re-read bits of it more often than anything else I've ever written (and I am typically a big fan of my own writing. That is, after all a large part of why I write.)
Kildare stepped from the sorceress’s bedroom and into a cleared spot near the door to his office. He fell back against the door, sagging in relief.
From the desk at the far end of the room, a brown head pivoted at the noise. Two long ears pricked up, then, as a pair of dark eyes fastened upon Kildare, slowly flattened again.
The grey man had the sudden feeling that he’d been safer in the sorceress’s lair. One gloved hand went to the doorknob at his back. Perhaps there was still time to escape.
“You,” Madden said, in tones so icy that Kildare moved to turn up the collar on his coat before he remembered it was already up. In a brown-beige blur, the hare leaped from the desk, bounding from one stack of boxes to the next. The series of leaps and landings caused each stack in turn to wobble precariously. Before Kildare had finished turning the doorknob, the hare was on top of the stack nearest him, glaring down at the grey man. “Don’t even think about it,” Madden growled, crouching close to the box.
Kildare released the knob. “Ah. Madden,” he said, weakly. “Have a nice nap?”
The jackrabbit’s fur was bristling all over his body, but his ears were flat against his skull. “Why, yes, very nearly, old chap,” he purred. “I was having a lovely nap, right up until someone started a ritual potent enough to shift Mt. Titania with my unknowing and need I add unwilling participation.”
“Er. Yes. About that ritual, Madden – “
“Yeah, Kildare,” Madden interrupted. “How about that ritual?” The hare drew himself up onto his haunches. It is difficult for eighteen inches of furry jackrabbit to look fearsome, but he managed it. “Are you out of your ever-lovin’ mind?” he roared, in a voice much too large to be emerging from such a small body. “What moronic spirit possessed you to make a portal to a dragon? Are you crazy, or just stupid?”
Kildare said, "Are those my only choices? Really, Madden, it was perfectly safe -- "
"Safe? Safe? You're using toadsbreath, for cryin' out loud, because you "NEED ALIVE DRAGON" and you're telling me it's safe?"
The warlock gave him a put-upon look. "You saw the runes," he said, trying to be reasonable.
Madden released an explosive breath, his small frame quivering with rage. "Putting the rune for "Safe" down six times does not make a spell safe! You treat that rune as if it were some kind of magic talisman -- " the hare paused briefly, realizing his linguistic error. Kildare tried to stifle a smile, which only earned him a fresh glare from the hare. "All right, so maybe it is a magic talisman. But it's not that potent!"
"My folds are always safe," the grey man said, almost conversationally.
Madden growled deep in his throat. "I retract my earlier question. You're stupid and crazy. Just because you've never died before doesn't make you immortal, either!"
Kildare lifted his white eyebrows and widened his eyes. "It doesn't?"
The hare's nose twitched as he sunk further onto his haunches. "I hate you."
The man started to unbutton his coat. "Does that mean you're done yelling at me, then?"
Madden snapped back, "As a matter of fact, no!" With renewed vigor, he launched into, "How dare you just plop me down, asleep, in front of your hare -- or I should say, man-brained spell? Using me, like a … like … “ He groped for words.
“Like a focus?” Kildare supplied, unwisely.
Madden dropped to all fours and dug his forepaws into the cardboard of the box he was on, rending deep furrows in it. Kildare swallowed and made a mental note to ask Madden about having his claws trimmed. “Like an herb!” the jackrabbit countered.
“That’s not fair,” the grey man protested, mildly. “You’re not even singed.”
“Don’t make me come down there and bite your little grey nose off, Kildare! You know what I mean – you treat me like I’m some inanimate, mindless prop!” Madden hopped up and down on top of the stacked boxes, furious. The stack started to tilt dangerously towards Kildare.
Kildare covered his nose with one hand and edged carefully back from the leaning pile. “Now, Madden, calm down,” he said, soothingly.
“I am calm! I haven’t started cursing you yet, have I?”
The man edged another step sideways along the wall. “True,” he said, “and you’ve no idea how much I appreciate that – “
“You’re right! I’ve no idea that you appreciate anything that I do!” the hare spat out. Boxes creaked underneath his shifting weight.
"Well, I do -- "
"You don't show it! I'm not some dumb bunny you pull out of a hat, Kildare! I am a living, thinking, spirit incarnate, and the fact that I happen to be incarnate as something cute and fuzzy doesn't give you the right to treat me like a piece of chalk or a magic book, to be used when convenient and put away when not!" Madden leaned farther forward on the topmost box, his eyes glittering.
A wave of shame flushed Kildare's face to a darker shade of grey. "I'm sorry, Madden," he said, contritely. "I didn't mean -- " At that moment, the stack the hare was perched on finally toppled. Madden gave a squeak of alarm and leapt, barreling towards Kildare's chest. The warlock put out his arms reflexively to catch the furry projectile. The falling stack intersected with another precarious tower, knocking it over, which, domino-like, struck a third. Kildare curled Madden to his chest, ducked his head, and hunched his shoulders, as the office filled with the sound of falling boxes and fluttering papers.
As the dust started to settle, the warlock straightened to observe the damage. Madden poked his head out from the safety of Kildare's arms, his ears back-laid ears sheepish now. "You really ought to unpack and get it over with," the hare remarked.
Kildare sighed and stroked Madden's back. "Yes," he said. "I suppose I should."
Now it's your turn: tell me about one of your works that you are especially fond of!