Author looks at obstacles to creativity |

Author looks at obstacles to creativity

Provided to the Tribune
Provided to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Ellen Palestrant will sign copies of her books from 2 to 5 p.m. Aug. 26 at Neighbors Bookstore.

Ellen Palestrant, educated in South Africa and Britain, immigrated with her family to the United States in 1987. She lives in Arizona, and enchanted by the beauty of South Lake Tahoe, she spends an increasing amount of time in the region.

Palestrant works full-time as a writer and artist, but has been a game inventor, hydroponics farmer, special education teacher, TV script writer for adult documentary and children’s animation, college English instructor, humanities and creative writing and co-publisher of a college press. Her published books include “Nosedive,” “Johannesburg One Hundred,” “Remembering Dolores,” “Have You Ever Had a Hunch?,” “The Importance of Creative Thinking,” and “I Touched a Star in My Dreams Last Night.” “Pretzel on Prozac: The Story of an Immigrant Dog” will be published in December.

Palestrant has spoken widely on the subject of creativity and conducted many workshops. Her audiences are diverse: artists, writers, journalists, business people, educator, law enforcement officers and superior court judges.

“We create to enrich our lives and those of others,” Palestrant said. “Creativity is not exclusive. We all have the ability to create in varying degrees, but many have not discovered the capacity within themselves. Sadly, many people seldom attempt something new and outside their domain, believing creativity belongs to others, not to themselves. Yet, they still feel this inner intuition of lost opportunities.”

Palestrant’s fascination with and exploration of the creative process led her to write and illustrate “Have You Ever Had a Hunch? The Importance of Creative Thinking.”

In this book she examines the creative process and the importance of being receptive to ideas that often begin with an intuitive connection to an emotion, before logical thought and analysis succeed.

These hunches or intuitions need to be taken seriously because they lead us into new creative worlds and are the starting points of our creativity. In order to respect the unique material that dwells within us, Palestrant feels we first need to identify the obstacles that stand in the way of us and our creative potential.

Among the obstacles or “hunch-crunchers” Palestrant identifies are fear, severance from dreams and judgmental intrusion. She calls “Have You Ever Had A Hunch?” a “what stands in your way” book rather than a “how-to” one, and feels that identifying and then freeing ourselves of hunch-crunchers is the best path to our creative potential.

A companion book is “I Touched a Star In My Dreams Last Night,” poems and illustrations by Ellen Palestrant. These imaginative poems dealing with the creative process, independent thinking and politics are energetic and humorous and will be enjoyed by all ages.

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