You Bring the Pizza.

Okay, so. Today I’m going to drop a movie recommendation on your desks. It’s not a particularly new movie, so I hope you’ve already seen it.

But if you haven’t you’re missing out, so here it is.

I’ve watched this movie twice now, and it gets more inspirational every time. Even watching the trailer calls out my inner feminist and lets her strut.

The ladies behind it are Katherine, Dorothy, and Mary, and they’re amazing. Take a look.

Also, August 26 (this Saturday) will be Katherine’s 99th birthday, so shoutout for that.

Anyways, like I said, hopefully you’ve already seen this movie, but if you haven’t, well. Time for a movie night, folks. You bring the pizza, I’ll bring the popcorn. It’s on.

Just… ya know… Do yourself a favor and stay out of the YouTube comments. They’ll make you lose brain cells at an accelerated rate, and will most likely make you angry on top of it.

Keep Looking.

I was struggling to find something to blog about today, because the last few days have been long on boring work and short on inspiration. I was almost ready to give up and confess that I had nothing, when I ran across this:

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.”

-Steve Jobs

So there you have it, people. Whatever you’re trying to find, just keep looking. Never settle.

No Isolation.

Another first Wednesday of the month, another #WordsOnWednesday post for Bittersweet Adventures to replace my usual Thursday post.

Today we were encouraged to share our favorite writing quote. Well, mine just happens to be this one, from the ever-wonderful F. Scott Fitzgerald:

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”

This quote is inspiring to me, because it reminds me of the importance of writing stories, whether true or fictional. When done right, storytelling contains thoughts, feelings, and experiences that every human understands and relates to. It also reminds me that THOSE are the types of stories that I want to write. I want to be able to tell stories that make people jump out of their seats and shout “YES!” in the middle of public spaces. I want to tell stories that make people chuckle in half-embarrassed collusion. I want to tell stories that make people cry.

I want to help people see that they’re not isolated from anyone. That they belong.

Even the Geniuses.

Allllrighty folks. Here’s the post that I wanted to share with you last week, if it hadn’t been for my crummy internet.

Essentially, it’s two things that I love:

You know what these are?

That first one is a sample of (as far as we can tell) Shakespeare’s handwriting. The second one is Jane Austen’s.

You know why I love them (apart from the fact that they’re just beautiful, duh)?

Look at how much they both scribbled out. If they’d had computers, they would have worn out the backspace key by now.

If you can’t be encouraged by that, well I just can’t help you.

Tips from Other People, Part 5.

We’re getting ready for Camp NaNoWriMo this July! This month, we’re talking to Wrimos who are using the Camp format to work on non-novel projects. Today, participant Sofie Riis Endahl shares some of her tips for diving into editing work when your manuscript seems like such a mess that you’re not even sure where to…

via 4 Steps to Start Editing a Mess — National Novel Writing Month

Massive shout-out to young writers with wayyyy more experience than me! This post on the NaNoWriMo blog was written by a sixteen-year-old girl who has written 9 (yes, you read that right) YA novels.

Now, there wasn’t really anything new in this blog post… it’s all good, basic advice on what to do with that floppy mass that you WERE calling a novel a couple of months ago while you wrote it. The reason I’m sharing it is more because of how the tips are presented. Sophie writes very calmly and logically about how to look at your work before you plunge into the editing process. It’s a sort of literary equivalent to being told to take ten deep breaths when you can feel panic starting to set in.

Which is good, because I tend to panic a lot when I look at my first drafts.

A Mere Doughnut.

So. I follow this Tumblr blog called Yesterday’s Print. According to their bio, they are “A collection of photographs, newspaper clippings and assorted excerpts highlighting the parallels of past and present.” Some of them are charming, some of them are weird, and some of them are… Well, some of them are like this:

donut

 

I mean, it’s true, right? We all have those random triggers. If you’re stuck somewhere in your writing, why not give your character a trigger like this, and see what happens?

I’d love to hear about it if you do.

Opinion Shows Character.

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Interestingly, I feel like it’s much easier to see this as a truth when we look at other people. When we encounter a doom-preaching nay-sayer, it’s easy to sum them up as a fusty old pessimist, but we often fail to see our own opinions as a result of our character.

Anyway, just something to think about.

Tips from Other People, Part 4.

“I am a writer!” This is one of the most important and freeing statements any of us ever makes. It’s almost a rite of passage. The moment you can look your banker/hairdresser/pastor/aunt in the eye and tell them (without mumbling) that you are writer, hear you type—well, then, congratulations, you’ve crossed an important threshold in claiming…

via Are You a Writer or a Storyteller? — Helping Writers Become Authors

Funny, I never really thought about the difference between being a natural Writer vs. a natural Storyteller… Seems like it should have been an obvious, since I’m constantly bemoaning the fact that I’m not so great at developing plots, but once I have something, getting it down on paper is the easy part. I guess that makes me a Writer, doesn’t it?

This blog post, by the lovely K.M. Weiland, shares good tips for strengthening your weak area, whether it is telling the story or writing it down.

Tips from Other People, Part 3.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m going to mention it again: I love character-driven stories. Stories where the action and plot are determined by the characters; their motivations and hang-ups. In order to write stories like that, it’s important to make sure you’re writing character motivations well.

Fortunately, the lovely folks over at Now Novel have some advice for that:

1: Give each character their own contrasting motivation

2: Use character motivations founded on rational and irrational beliefs

3: Decide how aware your characters will be of their own motivations

4: Let characters’ drives develop as new plot events occur

5: Don’t give characters what they want too easily

6: Try to be subtle in revealing what drives your characters

7. Make motivations complex to increase readers’ interest

Each one of these points is expanded upon in the full post, so head on over and take a look if you’re interested.

Favored Truths.

I discovered a new source of thinkering* last night, by way of Robert Frost’s poem, The Black Cottage. I don’t know why it isn’t one of his famous ones, because as far as I’m concerned, it’s fabulous, and I highly recommend following the link and reading the whole poem.

For the purposes of today’s little inspiration jolt, however, I’m focusing on two lines:

“Most of the change we think we see in life
Is due to truths being in and out of favor.”

Now, I probably should have waited a few weeks to blog about this, because my thoughts haven’t really had enough time to simmer and synthesize. But I’m just too interested in the ideas contained in these lines NOT to share them with you.

The fact is, truths are universal. No matter the time period or culture, what is true is not a matter of opinion. That would belie the whole concept and definition of truth. Truths do, however, go in and out of favor, depending on the reigning zeitgeist.

 

 


*thinkering. It’s a portmanteau of thinking and tinkering. As far as I know, I just invented it. I’m so clever, I know.