This is how we celebrate the wearing o’ the green Mike & Trisha style.
YODA: “When ninety-eight years old YOU reach, look as good YOU will not, hmm?”In case you didn’t know, Stuart Freeborn is the makeup artist who created some of the most iconic and magical Star Wars characters…like Yoda & Chewbacca. Stuart enjoyed an incredible career in sci-fi makeup artistry before he walked onto the Star Wars set. I refuse to be sad about this. This is a man who lived his creative dreams and inspired thousands of others…and that’s a long life well-lived. Bravo!
photo credit: Andres Rueda via photopin cc & Andres Rueda via photopin cc
Driving up I-75N after a short vacation in St. Pete’s Beach, FL. Well, to be clear, I’m not driving (she says waving energetically at the 15th highway patrol officer we’ve passed today). I’m backseat driving with two of my best buddies in the world making fun of all the “dumb bunghole” drivers on the road and the crazy billboard messages. (Seriously! Who pays for these nasty, hateful things?)
OK, there’s a gazillion “tips on how to blog” articles out there on the internets, but this list/article was one of the most fresh, original and inspiring that I’ve ever read.
That said, Tip #3 makes me go ZOINKS!
“Force yourself to hit publish after 20 minutes.”
Ugh! Really? Let me just tell you, that fills me with shock and terror. The idea of hitting the “Publish” button after just 20 minutes? But, but, but…there will be typos. There will be unfinished, ill-formed thoughts. There will be no pictures (cause I gotta pick the absolute, bestest picture from hundreds).
Still, the fact that it terrifies me makes me think it’s a great idea. And let me explain why.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that I have not posted anything on this blog for a while? Well, much of that has to do with the fact that I am rewriting NSLA, NSFA like a crazy, maniac obsessive-compulsive writerly person. This is the 15th or 20th rewrite, but it feels so much different this time. Why?
Because this is the indie publishing draft. The one I’m going to submit to Kirkus Indie Reviews. The one that I’m going to send out to advance readers. The one I’m going to make available on Amazon and open up to Amazon Reader Reviews.
This weekend I read an article in the Summer 2012 issue of Brain World Magazine that probably explains it. The focus of the article, entitled The Tortured Artist by Contessa Schexnayder, is to highlight new research that might explain the link between mental illness and creative thinking. In the article, Dr, John Baer (a cognitive psychologist at Rutgers University) mentions something called The Sylvia Plath Effect.
Ever heard of it before? Me neither.
Shuffle aside all the psychological whosits and whatsits, it boils down to this…women’s creativity tends to be depressed (much more than men’s) when they are writing for money OR when they know the work they produce will be evaluated.
What do you think about that?
To me, it feels absolutely true and real and accurate. It also feels like the classic Catch 22 that plagues too many talented writers…but perhaps it affects women more than men. I have no motivation to create stories and hide them away in a drawer. I want to connect. I want to entertain. But neither do I love myself or my writing so much that I think it is perfect and wonderful and must be read by every single person in the world. And what if people hate it? What if even one person hates it and makes it their personal mission to post bad reviews everywhere? Or, more likely, what if readers who are not my Mom read it and think, Meh…not wonderful, not terrible, could have been better.
I know what many of you are thinking…just publish the gall-darned book already. Put us all out of your misery.
Soon. I promise. Before the end of the summer.
But right now I am scared and sick with worry and this is causing me to ignore my blogs (and eat too much and claw at nothing in my sleep). So I’m going to try this 20 minute challenge on both my blogs. It’s one way to flex my writing muscles and get past that perfectionist inner editor who keeps screaming, “You’re gonna make a fool of yourself if one single word is misspelled.”
What do you think?
This commercial has been playing for a few weeks. Of course I love it, but WHO WOULDN’T CHOOSE R2???
- Mechanical failure? R2 can repair anything.
- R2-D2 does not require a 3G signal to be fully functional. Without a signal, the phone is an overpriced digital camera.
- R2 does NOT ”require” a starfighter and millions of $s in gas. He can travel across the desert, scan for life forms in Arctic temperatures, go camping in a swamp…all with no starfighter in sight.
- Sure the phone can show little tiny movies on its little tiny 4.5 inch true HD screen (whatever the bleep that is), but R2 can show 3D holographic projections. And he can even record them for you…in the middle of a laser fight.
- R2-D2 can survive being shot! Your phone won’t survive a hard fall.
- R2 fell in a swamp, got swallowed by a monster, was spit out & he was ready for more action. If you drop that phone in a sink of water, it will fizzle out and die.
- R2 can hide away all sorts of things and get them to you just when you need them: stolen plans, a weapon, your spare keys…even that dumb phone.
- R2 will never buzz with text messages at inappropriate moments or “butt call” your mother.
- Rodent problems? R2 can zap those rats (or a Jehovah’s Witness) right out of your house.
- Most importantly, R2-D2 has saved the galaxy on multiple occasions. How many lives has that phone saved?
- And R2 serves a mean cocktail…balanced on his head!
Choose R2…or choose a mundane existence of unimpressive anonymity.
PS – New post over here:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Now let’s get our spook on…
First, let’s unleash a little Star Wars geek fun. Take a moment to enjoy the winner of the 2011 George Lucas selects Star Wars Fan Movie award: Star Wars: Unlimited Power
Next, let’s enjoy the trailer for Cowboys and Aliens (starring my beloved Harrison Ford):
Wanna love it. Haven’t seen it yet. Maybe it’s wonderful? Please, someone tell me if it’s worth seeing.
Lastly, what does all this have to do with my blog?
Well, I’m not sure. I guess I’m just looking for something to look forward to. Looking for inspiration…or, at the very least, a little pleasant distraction.
I sense a presence like a disturbance in the Force. It has nothing to do with Hollywood. Or the recession. Or even Washington D.C. politics. (I have been avoiding the doomsday countdown clocks and commentary for weeks, but did hear we have finally reached a compromise.) Even if you are not a Star Wars geek, take a moment. Don’t you feel it? Something just feels off.
I wish I could tie everything I’m trying to say together neatly in a bow. I can’t. And yet, there is a deep and meaningful connection between what was happening in the early 1970′s (pre-Star Wars) and what is happening right now.
Instead of trying to do the analysis, let me introduce the first part of Empire of Dreams:
When describing America in the early 70′s, to commentary says, “Americans felt deeply mired in the present.” That is a terrible and oddly beautiful statement.
Do you feel deeply mired in the present?
Greetings from Myrtle Beach, SC. Of all the miles of beaches in all the world, this is probably one of my least favorite vacation destinations. Too crowded, too commercial, too developed for my tastes. Plus I don’t play golf. And yet, the sound of surf, the smell of saltwater, the feel of ocean waves rushing over my toes and the magic of twilight among the tidal pools is still pretty wonderful.
There are people who love this place with a fierce passion. I’ve spotted many cars sporting northern license plates and decorated with multiple Myrtle Beach bumper stickers. Some families come here every year for generations. Many a teenaged heart has found rapture on this stretch of sand, only to be broken in a very short space of time.
This is my second visit. I was last here for spring break during my senior year of high school. Now that was an epic trip that I will not describe on this blog (just in case I ever decide to run for public office or find a way to use that material for a future novel). This trip was more of a last minute whim fueled by two factors: (1) a cancelled trip to Washington DC, and (2) my extended family is vacationing here this week.
I’ve heard it said that there are beach people, and then there’s everyone else. I say it’s not nearly that simple.
Right now I’m looking down at a beach full of vacation beach warriors. Beach warriors come prepared for an extended encampment. They lug chairs, umbrellas, tents, coolers and bags full of supplies over the beach access bridge so that the entire family can soak up every second of the sunniest hours on the beach without leaving. I am not a beach warrior.
There are beach apostles, people who sacrifice and build their entire existence around beach access. Often they struggle in poverty just to live near a beach. Not one of these apostles would trade their meager lifestyle for economic prosperity in the middle of the country. I am not a beach apostle.
There are writers, artists, athletes and even scientists of many specialties who have crafted careers–some lucrative, some not so much–out of a fascination with the coastal ecosystem. I’m a writer, and I would LOVE to write the sort of book that thousands or even millions of Americans take to the beach, but I don’t think I fall into this category either.
Fact is, I’m not sure I am a beach person. I do not feel a full-fledged, undying devotion to this one ecosystem above all others. But I do truly love the beach. I love the sunrise, often jumping out of bed much earlier than I ever would at home to watch the spectacle of a hazy red gumball emerging from the Atlantic. I love the beach at twilight, with all they hues of purple, gray, and blue closing in as the first stars start to twinkle. I love playing in the waves. I love walking along the tide and looking for treasures.
While sitting in the twilight, my guy asked me why so many writers are inspired by the ocean. I babbled something about the ocean being the creative cauldron that gave birth to all life and still bubbles with possibilities. The truth is, I don’t really have a good answer to that question. I love to be here, but the beach rarely inspires me to write.
There’s the tactical nightmare. I prefer to write on my laptop and the beach is not a safe place for a MacBook to hang out. I’ve managed to take my journal out to the beach to write every morning, but it’s not as romantic as it sounds. The sand, it gets everywhere! And the back of my neck is now an angry shade of red. Plus, there’s so many enticing things to pull me away from my own prose.
So, I will sign off for now. The surf and the gulls are calling for my attention.
A mini crisis this morning (missing keys) kicked the holiday clean out of my mind. Then I noticed all the DUI task force vehicles strategically parked along my morning commute to work.
First thought: What in the world are they doing out before noon on a Thursday?
Second thought: Oh! It’s St. Patrick’s Day! Green beer breakfast anyone?
Never fear. There is one frosty beverage that will let you celebrate the wearin’ of the green without posing any danger to public safety or your driving record…
Oh yeah! Do you remember Uncle O’Grimacey?
Personally, I loathe the Shamrock Shake. But I adore the silly McD’s character who used to pitch the toxic green goo. I hear he’s now been labelled as an offensive Irish stereotype. Well, piffle. Granny Slay used to tell me I’m Scotch, Irish, English, German heritage (with a wee pinch of Native American); so I reserve the right to continue my adoration of Uncle O’G…and men in kilts, but that’s a post for another day.
Does anyone know where I might purchase an Uncle O’Grimacey shirt that is not “Adult/Mature” content?