I’d like to think that I’m a creative guy.

In recent years, I’ve really gotten into woodworking, playing with LEGO and blogging. Plus, I’ve spent the majority of my professional career at advertising agencies working with some of the most creative people around.

Surely, some of that creativity has rubbed off on me, right?

Tonight, I was reminded that I might not be as creative as I thought.

As part of an effort to de-clutter our household, my wife and I are going through boxes of stuff and pitching/donating the stuff we don’t need.

I came across a book that I wrote in elementary school in either the 4th or 5th grade.

The book was part of a creative writing assignment where we had to come up with a story and then create our own physical books. I think there was even a contest and the teacher picked winners.


Here’s what the book looks like. Fancy, huh?

Honestly, all I remember about the book was that I waited until the last minute (as was my style) and my poor mom helped me put it together. I wrote the story and drew the pictures and then she went back and traced all of my writing with a pen.


This is a cross-section of one of the page layouts. My handwriting wasn’t all that bad. I think it’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older.

As I read through my book titled “The Crumb People,” I was blown away by my own creativity.

You can ask my wife. I had a huge smile on my face when I showed her the book.

I have no idea where I came up with the idea that a loaf of bread could turn into crumb people that they would try and take over the world.

Once I finished reading the book, I was proud of my younger self for putting together such a creative story. Immediately following my pride was the realization that my creativity has gone done the proverbial crapper over the years.

I don’t know if it’s work, being a responsible adult or just life in general. I think it’s a combination of all those things.

I just don’t feel creative.

Most of the time, I was just want to sit in my recliner and watch TV or play my Xbox (after my kids are in bed of course).

Take this blog for example. As soon as I get out of the groove of writing, I feel like I don’t have anything to write about and I’m just not as motivated to write. But once I force myself to sit down, write something and then hit the “publish” button, I’m suddenly energized and ready to write.

It’s a great feeling.

I think I’m a happier person when I’m creating things.

I truly want to be a happier person.

Right now, I commit to being more creative in 2015. I’m going to spend more time creating and less time in front of my TV.

Who’s with me?

If you’re so inclined, I’d love to hear how you plan to be more creative in 2015. Please post your comments below.

And now I’d like to share “The Crumb People” with you. I left the story as is but I did add some commentary to the pictures. Enjoy.

The Crumb People by Jay Lane

Once there was a son magician. He went to see his father magician. He was the greatest magician in the whole town.

“Why is that loaf of bread in that large container?” said the son.


This is the glass container containing the gold bread. I guess I went with yellow because you wouldn’t be able to see white bread?

“Because if anyone eats it, it will turn into crumbs,” said his father.

His father left the room. He said, “I better stay away from that loaf of bread. I’ll take one little bite. He’ll never know.”

CRASH!! went the glass.


The young magician is breaking the glass. Apparently, mullets were in style back then. Either that, or I sucked at drawing people. Probably both.

He tried the bread. The bread spread into some crumbs.

I’d better clean that mess up,” he said.

So the (young) magician tried but he saw lots of tiny men.


I guess this was my attempt and showing bread turning into crumb people.

One of the crumbs had a crown on. He said , “Attack!!”

The crumbs threw toothpicks at the little boy. “Ouch! That hurts, please!” said the boy.


The crumb people are throwing toothpicks at the young magician. I have no idea where they got the toothpicks .

“Bow to me now,” said the King Crumb.

“Ok!” said the boy.

“Let’s go find a new kingdom,” said the king.

The crumbs searched and searched and then they saw some mushrooms. That’s where they built their kingdom.


Mushroom houses? At least I was original (not). Okay, I like(d) “The Smurfs.” Who doesn’t?

The boy told his father what he had done.

His father said,” We must find those crumbs. They can destroy the whole town. We better get them fast! They will probably be hard to find.”

“The place where they make their castle is in mushrooms” said the father magician. Here is a machine that can destroy the crumbs.”

The father and son went looking for the crumbs.

“I see some funny mushrooms,” said the son.

“Maybe that is their home,” said his father.

“We better get some sleep. I’m getting tired,” said the boy.

[Side note: What the heck? They find the dangerous crumbs that can destroy their whole town and they decide to go to sleep? What was I thinking?]

“Good night,” said his father.

When it was midnight the crumbs tied them up with spaghetti and they put sausage in their mouths.

When they woke up, the crumbs were pouring cheese on them. Next they threw meatballs at them.

[Side note #2: Apparently I had spaghetti for dinner or I was craving it.]

The father and son used their magic but they couldn’t get out so they had to eat their way out.

They got the machine and sucked all of the crumbs up.

Then they buried the crumbs.

Then the father and son were both happy.

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