Orna Ross
Orna Ross Header Image
Header pattern
Header pattern


Blog Page Feature Image

I’m the author of How to create Anything and a few other books.

This blog is a scrapbook of stuff I’m creating under the headings

Creative Writing.Creative Publishing.Creative Living.

Creative Writing

A Celtic Creation Story

The first recorded Irish stories were Celtic. They presented our world as eternal, represented by the famous knotwork art produced for centuries in Ireland’s monasteries. There are fewer stories about the moment of creation in Celtic culture than other tribes but one I love is the story of Oran Mór. Once upon a time, there was no time. There were also no Gods and no man or woman to walk the land. There was only the depths of the sea and its dark, eternal quiet. A strain of melody moved across the endless waters, a whisper first. The music was the Oran…

Continue reading
Creative Living

The Creative Brain and Mental Illness

Virginia Woolf, Vincent Van Gogh, Diane Arbus, and Ernest Hemingway were all highly creative people who lost their battle with mental illness through suicide. I’ve long been interested in the links between mental wellness or illness and creative capacity. So has Nancy Coover Andreasen, an American neuroscientist, inspired by a woman who mirrored her own personal, academic and professional life, Sylvia Plath. As literature students and Fullbright scholars, the two had a lot in common but Plath joined the above list, while Andreasen has had what she calls a wonderful life. And her curiosity about why life took them in different directions has shaped her career. Two…

Continue reading
Creative Writing

Moments of Creative Presence on Instagram?

Are you on Instagram? Do you like writing or reading haiku? Instagram is my new toy and I’m now posting a haiku (with picture) there each day. The idea is to capture a moment of creative presence, as outlined in Go Creative! It’s Your Native State. Come join me there?

Continue reading
Creative Living: WB Yeats, Maud Gonne, Iseult Gonne

WB Yeats’s Fanatic Heart Was Not For Ireland But For Love

“It was all ‘father, oh father’,” Bob Geldof says, mimicking a pious female voice addressing a priest. Then in his own voice: “Fuck off, you’re not my father.” Geldof is railing against Irish groveling to the Roman Catholic  church in Fanatic Heart, a documentary about the life and work of Ireland’s great poet (and subject of my most recent novel): William Butler Yeats. Geldof argues that the poet and  literary statesman brought about revolutionary change in Ireland’s struggle for independence, without firing a bullet. Instead of guns, his modus operandi was a poetic national vision, betrayed by the Roman Catholic nation-state that emerged after Irish independence. So it was not…

Continue reading
Related posts
Website Upgrade Continues
June 19, 2016
Love Hurts? No Way
May 26, 2016
What’s Happening in Self-publishing News
February 12, 2016
Creative Living

Creatives and Creativists Cultivate Independence

I saw a documentary about Janis Joplin last night, another great artist who died too young. The film seemed to imply that Janis’s tragic end could be traced back to having been excluded and bullied by her high school classmates but watching with a creativist eye, you can see it was the usual story. Janis Joplin was different and she had all the sensitivity and emotional honesty that creative expression demands. That difference hurt her so long as she stayed’s around Port Talbot, her home town in Texas, trying to fit herself to the beauty myth. But when she moved to  San Francisco, she found her tribe and her own…

Continue reading
Creative Living

Go Creative Guest: Tolstoy’s Rules

Rules don’t work for creatives and creativists, not if work means following them in their entirety. The novelist and political activist, Leo Tolstoy, confided to his diary as a young man: I wrote down a lot of rules all of a sudden, and wanted to follow them all, but I was not strong enough. So now I want to set myself one rule only. And to add another rule to it only when I’ve followed that one. The first rule which I prescribe is as follows: Carry out everything you have resolved must be carried out. [pause for effect] I…

Continue reading
Creative Living

Zen Go Creative! story: Only Time Will Tell

An old zen story tells of a farmer who owned a beautiful mare which was praised far and wide but one day, it disappeared. The people of the village offered sympathy to the farmer for his great misfortune, and were bemused when he said, “Maybe it’s a bad thing, maybe it is good, only time will tell.” A few days later the lost mare returned, bringing with her a powerful, white stallion. The village congratulated the farmer on his good fortune. He said, “Maybe it’s a good thing, maybe it is bad, only time will tell.” Some time later, the farmer’s only…

Continue reading
Creative Living: Creative Living Maps

Creative Mapping: Flight Map: Work, Rest & Play

The flight map (weekly) is the flow funnel that should have most of your focus. Outside of the here-and-now present moment, the easiest measure of time through which to observe what you’re making is the week. Often the doings of a day feel too short.  The nature of creative work is that there will be blind spots, resistance and times when you feel nothing is happening, It is but at the subconscious level and playing around with unsatisfactory work is often necessary to get where  you’re going. If you’ve turned up each day, if you’ve worked well, played well, rested well, week by week you’ll…

Continue reading
Creative Living: Creative Living Maps

Download your Creative Living Maps Here

Click Here for to download all Creative Living Maps, Bundles & Extras And you can find full Instructions for the Creative Living Mapping Method here. You can also download each map separately: YEAR Bird’s Eye View: Year: Work  Bird’s Eye View: Year: Rest Bird’s Eye View: Year: Play MONTH Month: Take Off Map Work Month: Take Off Map Rest Month: Take Off Map Play WEEK Week: Flight Map Work Week: Flight Map Rest Week: Flight Map Play DAY Day: Landing Log: Work Day: Landing Log: Rest Day: Landing Log: Play  

Continue reading

Popular posts

Coming Home For Christmas: A New Poem

Before you take to the shops, the public houses, the clamour of glitz, come home. Step out of the swell into a room where you can hole up with the...

Why The London 2012 Paralympics Are So Inspiring

Are you a book owner or a book reader?

Creative Mapping: Flight Map: This Week's Rest

What I Think Of WB Yeats: Guest Post By Marése O'Sullivan

I’ve always been intrigued by WB Yeats. As an English Literature graduate who specialised in Creative Writing, I suppose it’s only natural that his use of language inspired me....

Crazy Creative Challenge: One Year, 11 Books

Poems on the underground - Yeats2015

One of the 100 Most Influential People in Publishing? Me?

The 4th Stage of The Creative Process: Drafting

You’ve set your intention. You’ve incubated and investigated it. You’ve oodles of information, swirling around your head and in the form of notes and plans. Now it’s time to...