Iconic Series: Movie-Saturday Night Fever

saturday-night-fever

 

We can’t visit the 1970s without looking at the movie that shaped the decade: Saturday Night Fever.

This movie did several things.  It propelled disco music and dancing to great popularity as well as made actor John Travolta a house-hold name for the upcoming decades.   The soundtrack of the movie featured several songs by the Bees Gees which quickly became one of the top soundtracks of all time.  This did wonders for their singing careers with Staying Alive as one of their most recognized songs.

(A side note: In case you didn’t know, Saturday Night Fever has a sequel, Staying Alive which interestingly enough was co-written and co-produced by none other than-Sylvester Stallone)

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Motionpoems: Short Film & Interviews

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I’m interrupting my usual posts to bring you a special short film: Creased Map of the Underworld

 

This film took a poem written by Kim Addonizio which was then put into motion by film-maker Bryan Michurski.  It’s gritty, and it’s dark.   After watching it, you may never look at the world, or death, quite the same again.   Through Motionpoems, I had the honor of interviewing both Kim and Bryan.  You can read it here.

Reasons Why Christmas Is Great For Writers

magical christmas

If you’re a writer, especially if you write fantasy of any kind, Christmas season is a wonderful time of the year.

 

1. Magic is in the air: there’s something about this particular holiday (out of all holidays) that no matter where you go, you can sense magic in everything. And for the creative souls, the magical feel tends to be extra strong.

2. You’re already a kid-at-heart: with holiday cartoons and movies and music galore, and don’t forget all the yummy sweets that accompany Christmas…how can you not feel like a kid again?

3. Christmas tends to re-awaken the muse: I can only attest this to be true for me.  I love the idea of a man and his elves and reindeer residing in a magical place where we can’t see…as a child I envisioned this place as a beautiful haven in a world that was too focused on “reality.”

 

What about you?  What does Christmas means to you as a writer?

How To Jump-Start Your Muse

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Ever have days when no matter what you do, you just can’t get going?  The harder you try, the more frustrated you get, and still nothing.  There are dirty dishes in the sink, the laundry hamper is over-flowing, and to top it all off, you’re worrying about making your paycheck stretch ’till the next payday.   Recently you lost a loved one to a horrible disease, and one of your siblings is going through a nasty divorce.  Life can be so distracting at times, and all you want to do is write to take your mind off them even if it lasted for only a few minutes, you desperately need that reprieve.distraction

How can you do this when the muse refuses to cooperate?

1.  Take a deep breath.  Sit back in your chair, close your eyes and let yourself be immersed in the sounds around you.

2. Next, acknowledge all the things that are bothering/distracting you, and the reasons behind them.

3. Then write them down in a notebook, or type it on your electronic gadget.

From personal experience, many times these were all that was needed to jump-start my muse; but, not always.

What can you do then?

4. Put on some music.  For me, non-lyrical types work best especially ones from soundtracks for movies.    The “film scores” station on Pandora is  a great place to start (and it’s free!). Tunein (internet radio) is another great (also free) place to check out.

5. Move.  You’ve probably seen this particular one on many writing sites as a possible solution to “writer’s block” and I for one can definitely say that it does work (most of the time).  Go outside and take a walk.  Try some gardening, or mow the grass.  Wash those dishes, or start a load of laundry.  For many, taking a long shower or bath does wonders for them.  Busying your body with an activity other than writing tends to free the muse/mind to wander to wherever it desires to go; many a writer have had an epiphany this way.

 

If all else fail,  pick up a book and lose yourself in it.      Book reading

Five ways to tell you were meant to be a writer (or perhaps admitted to an asylum)

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For those just starting out and even those who’ve been immersed in the writing craft for years, doubts about our true purpose as  writers tend to creep in from time to time.

Are you truly meant to be a writer?

How do you know you’re not toiling in sweat and suffering from constant loss of sleep  for nothing?

Here are some ways to find out:

1. After going a period of time without lifting a pen (or a finger to the keyboard), you find yourself pmsing.

2. After watching a really sappy romance movie, you have an insane urge to pen your own version of the story only that it stars you with a gorgeous eye-candy in hot pursuit.

3. You spend three hours in the bathroom, standing in the dark, acting out a favorite scene in one of your stories over and over and over again.

4. Sleep is optional, coffee is not.

5. Your significant other thinks you have a multi-personality disorder and tries to schedule you an appointment with a shrink.

 

There you go.  If you suffer from any or all of the above, you’re a writer (and a crazy one at that)!

 

(Note: No, you didn’t count wrong.  Challenge number five was to read and comment on at least five different blogs)

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s In A Blog (this one in particular)?

day two

I’m continuing to participate in Jeff Goins’ 21 days of intentional blogging and his challenge today is a doozy for me.  He wants us to identify three particular elements of our blogs:

1. Subject

2. Theme

3. Objective

 

I’ve been blogging for oh, seven or eight years now and I honestly haven’t given much thought to any of these elements.  Well, better late than never…let’s give this challenge a whirl shall we?

Subject

The subject matter for this blog generally bounce between genre and serial writing to poetry/motion poetry to movies and to various issues within the entertainment and writing industries.   This is probably one of the main reasons why I named this blog “A writer and her adolescent muse” since my mind moves all over the place and rarely sticks to just one main subject; or, perhaps my muse has ADHD.  Hmm…

Theme 

The theme for this blog mostly centers around the contemplative/philosophical aspects of the creative life.

Objective

This is probably the easiest element for me to nail down.  I’ve always intended to use this blog  as a way to have open dialogues with other writers.  Being a writer these days tends to be a lonely venture for me so I started this blog so that I can meet and chat with others about issues and topics we are passionate about.

 

What about you?  Do you have any ideas about what your blog is about (in regards to subject, theme and objective)?

 

 

 

 

 

Time To Dream A Little…

Whenever you write a story, have you ever envision it being created into a film?  If so, ever picture in your mind who you would have play your main characters?  This is what I’ve done for my current horror serial; for fun, mind you although I’ve always dreamed of having one of my stories produced into either a short or feature film 🙂

(Click on picture below to see my choice of actors)

zombiehands

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who would you have as actors to play your main characters?  Dream big!  Have fun 🙂

 

 

Plot vs. Characters by G. J. Owens

Please welcome G. J. Owens who is here to talk more about the plot vs. characters in fiction.

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The question of the relative importance of engrossing plot versus engaging and lifelike characters is an age-old one, and not entirely dissimilar to the “skillful writing versus great story” debate.  Of course, neither option pitted on opposing sides of these examples can stand wholly alone without some supportive aspect of the other.  For the latter, I think it a much more rewarding pleasure to read the deft writer, whose every sentence is a joy even if the plot is lacking, than to muddle through a work of poor structure and style in order to “see what happens next” in a masterfully conceived story. For the former, and to the question at hand, I believe memorable fiction rides on the backs of its characters.

It is fully realized characters with whom the reader can establish an empathic connection that will drive a reader page after page. With the only possible exceptions being some sorts of experimental fiction, a great story can only go so far to entice the audience to make the trip if the characters are hollow and uninteresting. Only in the more streamlined fiction of cinema do characters more easily take a backseat to the overall story, but books require a greater investment, and thus greater commitment, from the audience.

Of course, the ideal scenario is for character and plot to bolster one another in equal amounts to the betterment of each. However, if one of the two must be chosen, I would certainly gravitate toward characters that feel as though they live and breathe in my mind–even if they are despicable and irredeemable–over a rich plot that is well thought out and executed. That too is a benefit of great characters; readers can come to comprehend mindsets and deeds we would not otherwise imagine and use them as a mirror for our own, which is the epitome of the human condition.

As a writer, inevitably I would just so happen to have a clever and handy analogy. I like to think of the balance of plot to character as a rat maze. We as observers can view the scientific construction of the empty maze and find appreciation for the obstacles, the twists and turns throughout, but it is a very sterile process. It is absorbed, analyzed, and then set aside. On the other hand, once that confused yet determined rodent is dropped inside, we become invested on a personal level. We root, laugh, jeer, and empathize with the living creature as it struggles to find its way, imagining how we ourselves would react if placed in the same situation. Our investment is transformed from academic to emotional, and I believe this is the most important aspect of literature. It must move the reader on a basic level, and I believe it is through the connection with the characters that these feelings are best achieved.

 

If you would like to add your own opinion or have questions for G. J. Owens, he’d love to hear them!

 

G. J. Owens has been writing in various mediums his entire life. Having dabbled in film and music, he always returns to his first love of telling stories. Check out his website for more!  G. J. Owens is the author of the horror novel, The White Door. GJOwensbookTheWhiteDoor

Be sure to return here next week to read what author Craig Hart has to say on this topic!

Writers, Give Your Opinion In Regards To Actors!

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Your Life and Movies

Is your life strange?  Adventurous?  Boring?  Which movie would you compare your life to?

 

 

Dare to share?  Have fun!

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Exit Humanity (Film Review)

I’ve never written a review of anything before so here goes everything.  🙂

I’m not only a writer and a huge fan of books; but I’m also an aspiring screenwriter (currently in the early stage of learning the craft) who is a lover of films especially if they include zombies.  

Exit Humanity is not your typical zombie movie.   The film is not filled with gruesome gore and killings.  In fact, the storyline involving a zombie outbreak is just one of the subplots of the movie rather than the main one.  The heart of this story centers around Edward Young (brilliantly played by Mark Gibson), a Civil War veteran, who grapples with his own humanity and that of others throughout the film.  How does one remain sane or even benevolent in the midst of so much death and pain?

For those who haven’t seen the movie, don’t worry, there will be no spoilers here.

Exit Humanity is John Geddes’ directorial debut and it is a thing of beauty.   The story is engaging and at times unexpected. The characters are rich and believable. The cinematography is authentic and beautiful.   Geddes working with a low-budget managed to create a masterpiece within the zombie genre.  There are layers to the storyline unlike most zombie movies that are meant to be savored slowly.  It is not something to be watched mindlessly or just for the action.

It was a pleasant surprise to find such a gem among an already saturated genre that wasn’t afraid to take a slightly different approach to where a story was more character-driven rather than plot-driven, and end up actually  being a well-crafted movie.

If this is the kind of quality we can expect from John Geddes as a director in the future, then I can’t wait for his next film 🙂

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Can Artists Change The World? (Poll)

Feel free to add your thoughts in the comment section below!