Friday, January 20, 2012

This movie made me want to write again...

Something made me think of this film after a long time...

Link to imdb info

It's probably one of my favorite movies of all time. A very talented teen boy living in a poor neighborhood gets a scholarship to a private school for basketball, but his hidden talent for writing is what makes waves at the preppy school when he discovers an eccentric yet acclaimed novelist living in his hometown. The older man, played by Sean Connery, teaches him about writing in such a grumpy, effective way. It's awesome to behold. The kid, played by Rob Brown, helps the old writer come to terms with his past and the thing that's kept him from writing a second book after his first one made it big. There's so much packed into this film in terms of societal commentary, morals, cheating, plagiarism, relationships, and writing. I loved it all the way through, and I especially loved the hope I felt at the end. 

Some films and books just make you feel like CREATING! Whether you're an artist or a musician, a dancer, or a street performer, or even a writer. Some stories inspire you to create your own. For me, Finding Forrester was that story. It has nothing to do with me or my life, but it was just THAT inspiring.

What books, films, music, poetry, or whatever, have you consumed that made you want to express yourself? What inspires you?

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Puzzle I Can Solve vs. the Puzzle I Can't

I won!! Small victories. So this is what I do when I don't write. I put the headphones on and soak up news and politics while I save the world one Free Cell game at a time.

Why do I waste my time doing this when I feel blocked as a writer?

Easy puzzles. Humans need easy problems to solve every once in a while to keep us from becoming overly frustrated with the puzzles we can't solve.

I'm proud to say that I reviewed and line-edited over 100 pages in my WIP last night, staying up past midnight to do it. It's been a long time since I've done anything so committed to my own writing. But 100 pages is where I hit the invisible wall between where I originally started my story and where it joins with the new 100-page beginning. It doesn't quite mesh like a whole book should, and this has been my great writing puzzle... for a long time.

I haven't even tried to solve it lately because it's so daunting. How do I mesh subtle paranormal world-building discrepancies like how her empathic powers manifest? Because it's a subtle difference, it's noticeable to a reader but really, really hard to edit through. Like if I'd changed somebody's eye-color and had to go through the entire manuscript to make sure there are no more hazel eyes. But at least with that I could do a ctrl-F search-and-destroy for 'hazel.' As it is, I have to go through my manuscript with a fine-tooth comb and try to solve all the other discrepancies I'm sure to find along the way. Sometimes I think I should just rewrite the second half entirely because of what seemed like subtle changes in the new beginning. You've heard the metaphor about the switch at the train tracks. Such a little change of motion, flipping that switch. And yet... the train can end up in a whole new destination miles and miles from where it meant to go.

Which brings me to Free Cell. See the problem, fix the problem. Easy. Fulfilling? Not as much so as finishing a book you can be proud of, but it provides a sliver of fulfillment, yeah. :)

Where do you turn when you need an easy puzzle to banish temporarily the trickier ones?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blog Chain: My Childhood Realm

Outside is a mysterious metal box, deep forest green with the image of an electric man. Jill across the street says if I touch it, it will shock me. But I play on it all the time anyway. I use it as a table for my rock and flower collages, and I stand there to sing my songs. Further up the lawn is the house. My bedroom window stands protected from the outside world by a pair of stalwart rose bushes. Red tea cup roses look so innocent, but nobody can get in or out of my window past those thorns. Is it a fortress or a cage? To the side, mangled branches stem from what used to be a pomegranate sapling. I've seen it shoot up wildly in my short lifetime, and now I smash its fruit on the bricks to see the plump ruby kernels inside. Some days they really are rubies fit for my crown. Before the front door are two red brick pillars, but you can scarcely see the color of the brick behind graceful vines of Star Jasmine, my favorite little white flower. It makes every day smell sweet.

Behind the door is the hallway and the front room with the piano. I practice... sometimes. Besides that, there isn't a lot to do in there. Behind the wall is the family room, and that's where the TV is. My favorite movie is The Little Mermaid. To the right is the kitchen, pantry, and table. But more often, I run to the left, down the narrow hallway decked with family pictures in plain wood frames. Everything is this way. The bathroom, and all the bedrooms. I share with my sisters: bunk bed, trundle bed. Three of us, making up games at night when we can't fall asleep. We get in trouble when we're loud, but if we whisper and close our eyes, we're almost psychically connected. Together we can make another world, and so we do.

This blog chain round was begun by Jonathon Arnston

Imagine the home(s) where you grew up, and start drawing a floor plan. As you draw, memories will surface. Grab onto one of those memories and tell us a story.

You can see I took a little liberty with the assignment. Be sure to check out Cole's pullout couch of dreams before me and Michelle H. tomorrow!

And if you try this writing exercise yourself, link it in the comments. I'd love to see it. 

Happy writing!

Friday, January 6, 2012

First Post of the New Year: list of anticipations

I'm over at Operation Awesome today with my first post of the new year! It's freakin' 2012!!! How did that happen?

Truthfully, I've had one foot in this year since last summer when all my favorite authors suddenly had books coming out in 2012, not to mention The Hunger Games movie coming out in March of this year. Now that the 11 officially switched over to a 12, I'm ecstatic! 

There is so much to look forward to this year! In no particular chronological order:

  • A few of my critique partners have BOOKS COMING OUT!!

  • Some great movies: the first Hunger Games movie, the very last Twilight movie. THE AVENGERS!!!
  • My third child will be born, probably around June sometime.
  • We'll move in the fall.
  • My husband will finish his master's program in February! Woot!!!!
  • My oldest is about to turn FIVE! He's getting so tall...
  • We might get a new president and an economic recovery *crosses fingers*
This year is looking pretty great already! 

What are your big anticipations for 2012?

My boys with daddy and great grandpa in the new year