Got Creativity? Thinking Outside the Metaphors.

via YouTube

by Denny McCorkle

It matters not what you call it.

1. Thinking outside the box (thanks Walt Disney).

2. Coloring outside the lines.

3. A light bulb.

4. A bolt of lightning.

5. Flying a kite.

6. A whack on the side of the head (thanks @RogervonOech).

7. Thinking naked.

8. Putting on the thinking cap.

9. Putting on the thinking hat (thanks Edward de Bono)

10. Tickling the muse.

11. Waking up the brainchild.

12.  Hatching the egg.

13.  Building a better mousetrap.

14.  Cracking the cerebellum.

15.  Toying with the imagination.

16.  Writing down the bones (thanks Natalie Goldberg).

17.  Tripping the light fantastic.

18.  Drinking from the fountain of you.

19.  Drawing on the right side of the brain (thanks Betty Edwards).

20.  Noshing on an “inspiration sandwich” (thanks @SusanAkaSark).

21.  At one with the right mind.

22.  Letting it all hang out.

23.  Quieting the lizard brain (thanks Seth Godin).

24.  Awakening the inner child.

25.  Flights of fancy.

26.  Capturing lightning in a bottle.

27.  Following the yellow brick road (thanks Wizard of Oz).

28.  Dreaming while awake.

29.  Going Picasso.

30.  Getting into the groove (thanks Madonna).

31.  Knocking the noggin.

32.  Lucy in the sky with diamonds (thanks Beatles).

33.  Dreaming in Technicolor.

34.  Riding on a beam of light (thanks Einstein).

35.  Monkeying with the mind.

36.  Thinking outside the left brain.

37.  Playing with the right brain.

38. Beanstorming (thanks @DonTheIdeaGuy)

39. Journey to aha!

40. Brainstorming the wild and wacky.

41. Brainzooming (thanks @Brainzooming)

It matters most that you just do it.

“An idea is a feat of association, and the height of it is a good metaphor.” Robert Frost
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Aha! Words: from A to Z.

Aha Words by I Geek for Creativity

by Denny McCorkle

We think, write, speak and live with words. Our literacy is reflected in the number of words we know. Our life is reflected in the words we use.

Favorite words can:

Animate a smile.

Tickle the tongue.

Brainstorm a memory.

Sparkle an imagination.

Kaleidoscope the emotions.

Animate a mood.

Echo an attitude.

Dance with the inner child.

Play with the right brain.

Nudge an action.

Or, simply cause us to think or say: aha!

Over a multi-day period I reviewed my blog posts and other creative writings, listened to my thoughts, and jotted down the favorite words or phrases that I associated with inspiration, imagination, curiosity, creativity, or the creative process. I call these my Aha! Words.

Here is my list, from A to Z.


A aha, artist, art, artisan, actor, amaze, animation, astonish, amuse, adventure, analogy, association, ambidextrous, abstract, ambiguity, architect, avant-garde, au contraire, amuck, al fresco

B brainstorm, brainchild, breakthrough, balance, brainwave, brilliant, balderdash, brazen

C curiosity, creative, creativity, creative process, composition, crazy, childlike, cerebral, craft, clever, crisscross, chortle, caboodle, chinwag, carpe diem, catharsis, concoction, crescendo, celebration

D daydream, design, draw, dance, dreams, doodle, discovery, diversions, dare, divergent thinking, dreamtime, dazzling, dolce vita, doppelgänger

E eureka, exploration, exaggeration, esoteric, experiment, enthusiastic, engineer, extraordinary, eccentric, emotions, epiphany

F flow, fluency, fantasy, fairy tale, film, fun, feng shui, fandango, flamboyant, fantastic, fascination

G genius, gullible, game, gaudy, guffaw, gadzooks, gastronomy, giddy

H ha-ha, haiku, hobby, hilarious, happenstance, hodgepodge, hunky-dory, how

I imagination, ideas, innovation, incubation, invention, inspiration, intrigue, innocence, insightful, improvisation, ingenuity, intuition, introspection, illusion, idiosyncratic, impulsive, if, inquisitive, illumination, impromptu

J journey, juxtapose, jot, jester, jumpstart, joi de vive

K kaizen, karma, kismet, karaoke, kinky

L lateral thinking, laugh, learn, love, literature, labyrinth, lucid dreaming

M muse, mastermind, metaphor, musician, meditation, mind’s eye, myth, mind mapping, maestro, mindbender, mantra, mishmash, melodramatic, madcap, muddled, meander, mosaic, mischievous

N naive, nonsense, novelty, nurture, naked, nirvana

O originality, observation, origami, orchestration, outrageous

P play with your right brain, ponder, passionate, peculiarity, perspective, prodigy, poetry, photograph, paint, problem solving, prose, perchance

Q questions, quirky

R right brain, rebel, revolutionary, reinvention, randomness, reflection, resourcefulness, riddle, rhyme, rumination, reengineer, rendezvous, recess

S serendipity, sing, sketch, scribble, subconscious, sculpt, synthesize, synchronicity, spontaneous, sensei

T think outside the left brain, think outside the box, thespian, toys, theatrics, thrive, tai chi

U uninhibited, uniqueness, unexpected, unbelievable, unusual, unconventional, uncommon, unpredictable, unencumbered, uncovered, unabashed, ubiquitous

V visualization, vivid, virtuoso, voilà

W whole brained, write, writer, wonder, wanderlust, weird, wacky, wonderful, wit, whimsical, wabi sabi, wanderjahr, wunderkind, why

X xanadu

Y yin yang, yelp, yarn, yearn, yo-yo, yodel, yoga

Z zen, zeal, zany, zigzag, zoom, zeitgeist

Truman Capote said: ”To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.”


Play With Your Right Brain

View this document on Scribd

by Denny McCorkle

Please share my personal essay about creative discovery, loss, and renewal with your Facebook friends and Twitter Followers.  If you truly believe in the message, then you have my permission to embed it on your blog or website.

Comments are also appreciated and will encourage me to share more of my short stories about a discovering a more happily creative life ever after.  Thanks. Denny McCorkle @TweetRightBrain

Note: use the Full Screen button at the bottom right for easier reading.

Where the Hell is Matt? 2012 – YouTube

You do not have to circle the globe to dance. Dance where you are now.

In a car;
at the office;
while waiting in line;
while standing in an elevator;
at a club;
on top of your bed;
in front of a mirror;
dance where you are.


The Human Bowling Ball

This plays with your right brain in a big way. @TweetRightBrain

Rantapalooza: I want my right brain back!


We live in a left-brained adulthood world of work with:






snooze alarms,








follower counts,





blog comments,




thinking inside the box, and

coloring within the lines. 

Yet, many of us have grown up and out of our right brained childhood world of play that included:


simple fun,



comic books,




hide and seek,

nap time,


active dreaming,






questions, and

creative self-discovery.

The problem.

Forgotten, unpracticed, undervalued, misunderstood, but not lost. My brain, the three pounds of wrinkled, pinkish-gray matter with the consistency of jelly, the central processing unit of all that is I, has become off balance, wobbly, gone askew, prematurely left-brain heavy.

 My life has become overtly logical, ordinarily normal, consciously redundant, excessively off balance. On these all too many days, I am in need of a more balanced brain, an ambidextrous brain.  My yin needs a yang. My negative needs a positive. My passive needs an active. My work needs a play. My left-brain needs a right brain.  I long for the once upon a long time ago when:

imagination was more important than knowledge;

time was more important than money;

the journey was more important than the destination;

questions were more important than answers;

climbing the monkey bars was more important than climbing the corporate ladder;

keeping up with the curiosities of the day was more important than keeping up with the Jones;

and friends were more important than possessions.

The rant.

I long for the innate ability to self-balance, to put things in the right brain perspective.

Damn you school for focusing too harshly on memorization, coloring within the lines, and questions with one answer.

Damn you work for failing to encourage, recognize, or reward innovative thinking or a different perspective.

Damn you left-brained world for being afraid of change, supporting average, and criticizing the right brain of others.

Damn you left-brain for holding dominance among the most of us.

I want my right brain back!


More Aha Lessons.

Enjoy a Creative Bounce with Simple Fun by Denny McCorkle, @TweetRightBrain

Sometimes You Gotta by Denny McCorkle

Do Schools Kill Creativity by Sir Ken Robinson, @SirKenRobinson


“Adults are obsolete children.” Dr. Seuss

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist after he grows up.” Pablo Picasso

“All children have creative power.” Brenda Ueland

“If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.” John Cleese


<< Brainstorming: A Place Where Good Ideas Go to Die || Creativity and the Paradox of Boredom >>

Enjoy a Creative Bounce with Simple Fun

Source: youtube.  Thanks Michael @BoxofCrayons.

Someone on Twitter recently asked: “What was your favorite childhood toy?”  With little hesitation, I replied: “a cardboard box.”

This self-realization set my mind’s thinking about how complicated our lives have become.  Your basement and garage is likely full of cardboard boxes containing things and stuff no longer needed, perhaps never needed.  Yes and all these things were supposed to make our lives less complicated, but instead returned the opposite.

This same perspective applies to our desire for greater creativity.  Sometimes a cardboard box is all that is needed to cultivate a fresh-eyed perspective of simple fun and to bounce back from complicated boredom and creative block.

Awaken the inner child.

Once upon a long time ago, you awakened each day with a smile, a hop, skip, and a jump.  You were early morning up-and-at-em, while the parents were tapping the snooze alarm and sleeping the slumbers of a:

Manic Monday,

Too Busy Tuesday,

Hump Day Wednesday,

Tumultuous Thursday,

Thank Goodness, it’s Friday,

Saturated Saturday, or

OMG it is almost back to work Sunday.

They lived for the weekend, but you, the fresh-eyed and bushy-tailed morning kid lived for every day.  You arose with a bounce off the bed and a dash to the window to open the day to its curiosities and simple fun.

The adult sees the day of responsibilities.
The child sees the day of possibilities.

The adult settles for the comfort of the cocoon.
The child aspires for butterfly wings.

The adult has answers.
The child has questions.

The adult worries.
The child scurries.

The adult works with the left brain.
The child plays with the right brain.

The adult thinks complicated humdrum.
The child thinks simple fun.

I believe that if you make more time for a child like perspective of simple fun, you will dramatically improve your adult perspective toward work and life.

Play with your right brain.

To give yourself a creative bounce, try right brain play: 

  1. Think with the box.  Get the largest empty cardboard box you can find and make something fun.

  2. Get out the crayons and color some refrigerator art.  Do not forget the autograph.

  3. Sit on the floor. Cross your legs. Watch TV.  Write stream of consciousness.  Play a board game or with cards.  Or, simply meditate.

  4. Play with a young child (if you happen to have one around).

  5. Fill up a big bowl of cereal for dinner, with bananas or a favorite fruit.

  6. Go shopping for classic toys for your right brain: ball and jacks, Lego, Silly Putty, Crayons, Yo-Yo, Play-Doh, Tinker Toys, Slinky. Now play with one of these toys and keep one near your work space as an aha reminder.

  7. Watch TV cartoons and laugh as loud as you can (as if your belly was full of jelly).  Try to mimic the cartoon voices.

  8. Add an artistic welcome message to your entranceway or driveway with colorful sidewalk chalk.

  9. Turn on the radio and burn calories with a wild and crazy body dance or a rock and rolling air guitar.

  10. Lay on the ground in your back yard and watch the clouds (if day) or stars (if night).

  11. Find something by Dr. Seuss and read aloud with exaggerated funny voices.

  12. Two simple fun things: bubble bath.  Guys, too.  I won’t tell anyone.

  13. Read a comic book.  Think about your super powers.  Make up a new Super Hero that has your desired super powers.  Do not forget to create a villain, a strange a far away home planet, and the lone weakness (aka kryptonite).

  14. Dress for comfort, not style or conformity (for at least one day a week).  Call it “casual me day.”

  15. Eat dessert first.  And second, if you can afford the calories and the sugar.

  16. Two words: theme dates.  Stir in some mischief.  Add atmosphere, props, and activities.  Monty Python Mondays.  Theatre Tuesdays, Wild and Wacky Wednesdays.  Italian Thursdays. Flip a Coin Fridays.  Game Face Saturdays.  Art Walk Sundays. 
  17. Wear crazy underwear.  Guys, those with holes do not count.

  18. Three requirements: backyard, barefoot, and barbeque.  Add Hawaiian shirts, Jimmy Buffett music, and non-alcoholic fruity drinks.  Perhaps you should wait until summer.

  19. Adopt (or borrow) a pet.

  20. Chug chocolate milk every time Kramer enters Seinfeld’s apartment.

  21. Watch your favorite Disney movie.  Or, watch the Wizard of Oz until you can Karaoke some of the dialogue.

  22. Dress the opposite of color coordination.

  23. Tweet naked (in private, of course).

  24. Make a “My Life” picture story slide show using photos from the web or your personal collection.  No words allowed.

  25. Try something not experienced since childhood.  Brainstorm a list and do one tonight.

  26. Summarize your day using a notepad and crayons for doodles and writing.

  27. Eat Jell-O brand gelatin with your fingers.

  28. Three words: wacky hat day.

  29. Buy pajamas with colorful characters or animals on it.

  30. Two more words: Simpsons marathon.  D’oh, add popcorn and friends.

  31. Find some colored paper.  Design and fold three different paper airplanes. Test them against each other.  Tomorrow, continue to test new designs until you find the unexpected success.  Then challenge others to a “flight off.”

  32. At the next summer rain, stomp barefoot thru mud puddles until your hair is wet.

  33. Bake, shape, and decorate cookies, with no two alike.  Don’t forget the milk, and the nap afterwards.

  34. See how high you can fly a kite or bounce a super ball.

  35. Use a man’s necktie for something otherwise.

  36. Play something requiring water guns or water balloons.

  37. Take photos of smile-shaped objects, things, animals, or people. And, share them on Twitter.

  38. Go bug spotting, bird watching, or leaf peeping.  Sketch or photograph your discoveries.

  39. At the next snow-filled opportunity, make a snowman, snow angel, or snowball.  Throw with the latter; dance with the former.  If snowless, then sketch a unique snowman or snow woman using everyday objects as accessories and facial expressions.

  40. Next Fall, rake those backyard leaves into a big pile then jump into them. And, roll around.

  41. For each day this week, call your voice mail and say something funny and weird and wonderful to your future self.

The take-away.

Think outside the box, on top of the box, under the box, or inside the box.  Better: play with the box or imagine you are the box.  Best:  use the box to express your creativity and make something new. 

This is simple fun.

Reading assignments.

The Top Ten Benefits of Play by Marianne St. Clair, @MarianneStClair

Play: in Body, Mind, and Spirit by Chris Dunmire, @chrisdunmire

The Importance of Play to Innovation by Braden Kelley, @innovate


“The true object of all human life is play.  Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.” Gilbert K. Chesterton

 “The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius.” Rebecca Pepper Sinkler

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” Dr. Seuss



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