Tag Archive: movies


 

It’s my favorite time of year again.

The days are growing shorter, the air cooler, and people are running the streets dressed as all manner of spooky, sexy, scary and silly beings. As if that weren’t enough, there’s candy, turkey, stuffing, and candied yams everywhere you go, and the foliage that the Big Apple is known for is in full glory. And yet, there’s a far more intriguing aroma in the air.

Fresh paper and stale coffee, mixed with the scent of desperation and unwashed bodies.

Oh yes. It’s time for NaNoWriMo 2012.

Writing a fifty-thousand word novel in thirty days may seem like the final circle of Dante’s Inferno to some people, but it is without a doubt my favorite crazy undertaking of the year. Two years ago, in 2010, I completed my first manuscript, and it is impossible to describe how amazing that feels. Even if your book is the worst thing you’ve ever read, seen, or smelled, you can’t help but smile at the stinking mess that you’ve made. Hey, it’s warm and it’s yours, right?

The real magic is, somewhere along the way you actually fall in love with your novel. And maybe it’s really not good. But the entire month works to prime the pump of your creativity. You may have 49,500 words of crap, but even that would leave you with one really good page (1%). We all have better ratios than that. And I’m willing to bet that not many people have ever attempted to really write that much anyway.

Over the last few years, I have consistently made determinations to indulge more frequently in my creative pursuits. None of them are paying the bills right now, and so year after year, those determinations get swept under the rug in the pursuit of more immediate and less artistic goals. But something odd has been happening lately. I’ve noticed a growing sense of sadness that haunts those dusty dreams, and that terrifies me. At twenty-three, I am starting to see how and when people give up on themselves and their dreams. And it starts with paying the bills.

NaNoWriMo is an one-month crash course in learning to carve time out of your schedule—whatever kind of schedule it is—and focus on a goal that is much bigger and ultimately (gasp!) more valuable than your paycheck. Focusing on a creative project in our downtime refreshes us, and it gives us a chance to live our lives fully and free of resentment. We then cease to carry bitterness and baggage with us into our less fun, but necessary endeavors, making us better in every aspect of our lives.

I know, I know: you don’t have time to write a novel. But when will you? Will you ever be able to make the time to pursue something you’ve always wanted and never done? Or will you continue to push it to the side because you’re just too busy/tired/broke?

The same logic stops people from exercising, quitting smoking, going back to school, starting a family, and asking for a raise.

What doors have you closed lately?
If you’re ready to open them again, click here.

Image courtesy of Kaboodle.com.

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If this doesn’t make you smile, nothing will.  This has never failed to make me happy.

Onions Are Good For Your Soul

So I had absolutely no idea what to write about here, being that the only things that have been on my mind recently have been Buddhism, heartbreak, and whether or not I could get away with eating a week-old brownie (answer: emphatically no). I used my only good idea for my post on Lit Drift, the mega awesome literary blog that chose me as a new contributor for the site.

So, at my wit’s end, I went to LiveJournal, the veritable cesspool of ideas, information and curiously enthralling facts that it is.

Sifting through the writer’s block questions from days gone by, I found this query: “If you fall in love with a book or movie, do you tend to watch/read it again and again? If so, what’s your upper limit on repeats?”

I thought to myself, “Self, let’s answer this one!”

It just so happened that I was very near a copy of one of my favorite books, The Hero Of Ages, from Brandon Sanderson’s epically amazing Mistborn trilogy. I haven’t yet reread this one, but I do frequently reread books that I love, as well as re-watch awesome movies. I realized something interesting though, when thinking about this question. A lot of the things I love to watch/read make me really sad. Good examples include Lord of the Rings, Xena, Angel, and of course, Mistborn.

Tears are probably our purest form of connection to literature, music, movies, or any other type of media. But why do we love to cry? I think most people would agree that the best forms of art are the ones that hit you right in that soft spot. Whether we laugh with joy or sorrow, tears are a badge of honor to be conferred upon the highest quality of expression.

Does anyone else have a movie, book, song or limerick that they subject themselves to over and over again, releasing a new flood of tears every single time? I would love to know. I’m overdue for a good cry.