It’s not an original idea that, if you consider creative geniuses like Mozart or Van Gogh or Gabriel Garcia Marquez, that when people who feel passion, emotional highs and lows and all the upset that accompanies passion, are caught up in those kinds of emotions they tend to produce art.

And its no surprise to me that it was during the tail end of high school/college (my most emotionally unstable time) that I had the highest rate of creative output in music, drama, and writing.

Let’s not talk about quality here, just quantity. Quality is a whole ‘nother issue.

And I’ve learned now, in my more stable 30’s, that while I don’t have the same kind of output, I can still harness those bursts of emotional disturbance.

But the problem is I’m happily married (knock on wood) with two fabulous kids surrounded by extremely wonderful friends of all shapes and sizes.

Not alot of emotional disturbance coming my way these days. And this is only a problem when it comes to writing, because in the past three years (since I’ve moved to Portland from Tokyo, what a coincidence…) I’ve had to write from a different place, not an overwhelming urge to work through emotions, but from a kind of thoughtful and mindful place.

Once in a while, though, I get a crush on something. A series, a musician, or sometimes, a community that emits a certain energy, and that crush takes me into a place for a week or two, where I experience the same kind of emotional surges I had in high school/college.

And its weird, feeling those things at the grand old age of 36, with a stable (knock on wood) life and love.

But it also totally lights a fire under my writing. Right now I’m in the grip of a crush (as I’ve said before) on Calexico. And especially on the trumpet player, Jacob Valenzuela.

And they’re coming to Portland! And I’ve got tickets for them in September! And I haven’t been this excited about seeing a concert in a looooooooooooonnnnnnnng time.

And this week I wrote over 3500 words on the current novel. Not just words, but words that kind of tapped into those messy emotional feelings, writing that FELT more interesting than its been in a long time.

Thanks, crushes. Now if there was only a way to plan my crushes so that I could get even more writing done….