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Reviewed by Ayrial King for Readers' Favorite
“The goal is to become intoxicated with life. The tool is the heart. The medium is words.” Writing, as Dr. Patricia Daly-Lipe illustrates time and again in her book Myth, Magic, and Metaphor: A Journey into the Heart of Creativity, is a combination of intuition, desire, and open-mindedness mixed with hard work, long hours, and a solid foundation. Dr. Daly-Lipe presents a solid foundation for creative writing students to start their journeys into writing and any aspiring or veteran writer to use as a springboard for his or her next book. Each chapter provides an opportunity to explore how creativity comes about from inspiration, which feeds the process of writing (the focus here) and any artistic endeavor. From using a word’s etymology to fuel its power to tapping into the rhythmic beat of Mozart, “[w]riting is a way of introducing wonder and surprise to ourselves.” Creativity requires – if not outright demands – that you slow to a halt and let everyone else race past while you take in the sights. Once you have your fill of everything around you, find a way to translate your experiences from your mind and your heart into something people wouldn’t mind slowing down to get more of. Writing is only one of many, and Dr. Daly-Lipe is more than happy to help.
I feel Myth, Magic, and Metaphor is best utilized as a textbook for college and possibly high school students attending creative writing courses. Dr. Daly-Lipe fills the book with lots of quotes from a wide range of influential people, including authors, philosophers, poets, Nobel Prize winners, and musicians. She goes in depth into how words have power, whether that power is for good or for bad, and how those words can give sentences life by the way they are placed together. She argues that an artist being idle is not the same as being lazy; for the artist to be inspired to create and encourage the imagination (both of which are intrinsic to creativity), the artist must be able to relax his or her body and mind deeply to let the images/words come to the forefront. Once in the forefront, the artist will likely feel compelled to express these images/words in the physical world through stories, paintings, or even dance. The sources of inspiration are present all around us – we need to be more childlike in viewing the world, the environment, and ourselves. This can be quite difficult in this fast-paced world, but I believe that makes creativity and being creative so appealing. Many want more creativity for their jobs or careers; out of that many, few will find that creativity extends much further than those confines. Creativity is not creative unless it starts from deep within the creator and reaches out (by way of a medium) to touch another person, inspiring him or her to be a creator as well. Myth, Magic, and Metaphor is Dr. Daly-Lipe’s way of inspiring others to be creators within their own right through the medium of words.