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It’s the age old question. Neil Gaiman says he finds his down the back of the garden in a box in a shed. I find if I cram my head with weird books, songs and conversation an idea will eventually arrive, often fully formed. [Tip: PANIC is never good, but not altogether bad as it forces you to think.]

This past Saturday I was about to go for a run. Instead I opted for a long, long walk. I was about to listen to my typical playlist: Bowie, The Arcs, Tony Allen. Instead I went for Mothership by Led Zepp, something I never listen to. I walked and walked, across Auckland’s new pink cycle bridge and through a cemetery. Sunlight hit the gravestones. ‘Black Dog’ burned my ears.

Ideas spilled out. 90 minutes later I had plot, character, title and all.

So. Switch up the norm. Amble inside that creepy shop. Drive a different route. Watch good movies. Watch shitty movies. Read that Norwegian thriller. Then relax. Empty your head. Fill it again. Repeat. Don’t force the issue. You’re a creative.

Your brain is ready. Give it a chance.

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David_Bowie_-_ChangesOneBowieMy daughter Sophie was 2 months old when my Ellerslie neighbour said, ‘Fuck it, let’s go to the Cake Tin and see Bowie’ On that night it rained so much the Manawatu was flooded for weeks after. Bowie was the only band member who stepped out into the storm and sang. ‘Thanks for coming out on such a shitty night you crazy mothers.’

We stood metres from the man with two different coloured eyes who was my soundtrack to growing up in Raumati South. I always wondered how I’d feel when one of my heroes (we could be) died – and it feels pretty shit.

Thank you Mr. Jones.