Monday, November 29, 2010

Hunting the Mighty Chahooahooah

I yammered a bit about dreams last week. Do you ever notice the stuff that triggers your daydreams? Writers - all professional artists, really - are people who've figured out how to make a living from their dreams, which means they need a steady supply. Daydreaming can't be a passive process for them. When you're always looking for the next idea, you start to notice the world differently. Any odd, little thing could be the spark that sets your imagination abuzz: a TV show about graverobbers in 19th century Edinburgh, the way the tools are arranged on your grandpa's work bench, even a bizarre word you've never heard before. Fantasy author John D. Brown calls this zing.

I learned a new word this week: CHAHOOAHOOAH.

I know, right? Zing! Now that's a word. Say it out loud with me: cha-HOO-ah-HOO-ah. Imagine all the various possible meanings for such a word. Chahooahooah could be an undiscovered island, hidden off the coast of Hawaii by some vortex of time and space. Its inhabitants would be plane crash survivors who spend all their time writing the script for a TV show that no one understands. Or, chahooahooah could be the name of Taco Bell's newest dessert item. Or maybe Dwight Schrute's very own patented chicken breed. Then again, I like to think of the Mighty Chahooahooah as the chupacabra's kinder, fuzzier, black sheep cousin. Instead of sucking blood, it wanders the desert in search of its favorite food, the aloe vera plant. I could go on . . .

Now imagine my disappointment/profound embarrassment when I found out that chahooahooah is really just a super-groovy way to say chihuahua.

Ah, well. The point is that it got the creative gears turning. And now, I have a challenge for you: start noticing those things that inspire your dreams. Don't just notice, seek them out. Run and be free, my fellow Gnome Slayers. Go and hunt your own chahooahooahs. Zing happens. Follow your zing!


Donna Banta said...

You're off to a good start -- keep going!

Russo said...

Girl, I love it-chahooahooahs. I especially liked the part where you said, "start noticing those things that inspire your dreams. Don't just notice, seek them out"

Very inspiring post.

indiana weaver said...

Great idea! I love this.