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Extreme Creativity: Tentacles Part 1

 In my family, every generation kicks up one wild card and only one. Everyone else is an engineer or in finance or the army — something staid and respectable. In my generation, the wild seed is, yes, me. No one in the family has ever been a science fiction writer, or indeed a writer of fiction. I am the first. In the next generation, my niece is a violinist. We all stood by, awed, as she became a professional musician.

I have three grandsons, and the older two are finally of an age to be … influenced. Is one of them going to be the wild creative one? It’s not too early to find out, and I have decided the way to determine this is with tentacles. Little boys can use tentacles. They can wallop each other. Stick them out of windows. Prop them up in the front yard to terrorize the neighborhood!

I solicited their help to make them. The middle one, Daniel, was far and away the most interested. Alas, at four years old I can’t let him handle a box cutter or spray paint, But he has supervised me closely as I made three tentacles, one for each of them.

The way to begin is with pool noodles. I picked three up in a Houston dollar store. An electric carving knife would actually have been handier to carve them, but one must make do on the road, and I borrowed my son-in-law’s box cutter. This allowed me not only to whittle down one end of each pool noodle into a tentacle-like slenderness. I also cut wedges out of the sides of each noodle, to force them to writhe in an interesting way. It would have been better to thread a straightened coat hanger or two into each pool noodle. Then the tentacles would be bendable! But my daughter forbade this because walloping each other might lead to wounds!

In the picture here is a pool noodle carved into the proper point. The next step is to prepare them to be spray-painted — next post!



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