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How To Be A Movie Reviewer June 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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38 comments

220px-Poster_-_Tarzan_the_Fearless_01To be a movie reviewer, you need to learn how to say something without saying anything in such a way that people reading the review think you said something worth reading.

Consider these two reviews:

Review #1:  This is a great movie. Everything about it is fantastic.  I am very glad I went to see this movie.  It is the best movie I have ever seen.  Everyone should go see this movie.  This is a must see.

Review #2:  In this delightful comedy, the brilliant director and talented actors work together to create magic on the screen, causing viewers to laugh, cry, and leave the theater in a happier frame of mind than when they arrived.

Assuming you didn’t know the reviewer, which movie would you want to see?

That’s the review you want to write.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote to Ponder:  “I like the word indolence . . . it makes my laziness seem classy.”  ~ Bern Williams

The Extrapolation Temptation June 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Life Lessons, Mindfulness, People, Writing & Writers.
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50 comments

150px-Carlo_Crivelli_052Many people convince themselves that they are putting their time on the planet to good use by postulating that everyone should do as they do:

* People who read novels may feel that everyone should read novels.

* People who enjoy travel may claim that people who don’t travel are missing out on an essential element of life.

* People who have kids may feel that everyone should have kids.

* People who are married may be convinced that everyone should get married.  (Or, perhaps, that no one should.)

It’s understandable that people want to persuade themselves that they’ve made the “right” choices in life.

That’s to be expected.

But if we give in to the temptation of extrapolating from “right for us” to “right for everyone else,” we are apt to lose our footing.

Or cause others to lose theirs.

As a case in point, I don’t regret destroying dozens of journals and diaries I kept as a child, teen, and young adult.  I found the experience of shredding page after page of compulsive thinking liberating ~> letting go of the past to make room for the present.

In the almost 20 years since I relegated them to the recycling bin, I haven’t missed them once.

Shredding those pages was the right decision for me.

But I wouldn’t extrapolate from my experience to encourage others to do the same.  Because I have no idea what’s in their journals.

Maybe their journals include eloquent and elegant memories that are worth saving, whereas mine contained a litany of complaints written when I was unhappy with the state of my world.  I didn’t record wonderful moments filled with joy and delight, because I was too busy having fun at those times.

Mickey-OKOnce I realized that slogging through the pages of my past (as recorded in my now defunct journals) would be a dismal exercise in futility, removed from the uplifting journey that represents the totality of my life, I let them go and breathed a great sigh of relief!

Aah . . . that’s better!

When you know WHO you are, you know HOW to live.

Related posts:  Philip Hensher (Carol Balawyder) * I Destroyed My Best Friend (Life Penned) * 3 Things I Learned This Week * Room To Express Oneself (BB’s Blog) * Where The Flow Leads (SuziCate)

Ayn Rand & Objectivism June 12, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Synchronicity & Mystery, Writing & Writers.
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63 comments

Last week, we watched a fascinating documentary about Ayn Rand ~ the author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

Here’s her philosophy in a nutshell:

And in a slightly larger shell:

To learn more:  Discover Ayn Rand

While I think that Ayn Rand makes some good points, I’m not convinced that Reason is all we have or all we need to make our way in the world.

At times, I’ve known the unknowable, convincing me that there is a vast cosmic web of connection that we tap into with our intuition rather than our intellect.

I also am persuaded that there is more to Reality than meets the eye.

Frankly, I’m surprised Ayn didn’t ever wonder at the unique synchronicity that brought her together with her husband of 50 years ~ Frank O’Connor.

From Ayn Rand ~ A Sense of Life:

* Ayn first saw Frank on a bus and “knew” it was “him.”

* He got off at the same stop and they ended up on the same set location for the filming of “King of Kings.”

* The next day, Ayn positioned herself during filming so that Frank would step on her foot and have to apologize.

* Being a gentleman, he did.

* That was his last day on the set. They hadn’t exchanged numbers and Central Casting wouldn’t give her his number.

* Nevertheless, Ayn “knew” their paths would cross again . . . and they did.

* Early for a meeting in a department store at Hollywood and Vine, Ayn wandered around the corner to the public library, walked in, and saw Frank reading a magazine.  When he saw her, he got up, and they went outside to “start their courtship.”

If Objective Reason and Reality are all we have at our disposal, we must of necessity conclude that her “knowing” and their serendipitous meeting were mere coincidence.

Nothing more than dumb luck.

I don’t believe that.

Do you?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you read Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead?  What did you think?

Related posts: Winks, Whispers, and Nudges *  The Gift of Synchronicity * Synchronicity & Mystery * A Beacon in the Dark * Way of the Peaceful Warrior * I Don’t Know Where I’m Going * Divine Inspiration in Unlikely Place

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary June 10, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in People, Poetry, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , ,
46 comments

220px-TaleofPeterRabbit8Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells
And pretty maids all in a row

Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

According to some scholars, there is a tremendous variance between the actual history that forged these lines and the images I had in my head when I heard them.

To see the rather gruesome history of this nursery rhyme:

Nursery Rhyme Origins & History

At times, we read more into a poem than, perhaps, the poet had in mind.

Other times, the poet had more in mind than we’re able to discern from the words standing alone.

Does the truth lie in what the poet said/meant/intended?

Or in what we take away?

Related posts:  Rosies and Posies (Patricia’s Place) * Seeing Behind The Words (Candid Impressions) * Being Misunderstood (Candid Impressions) * An Imbroglio of Briars & Quicksand (SLTW)

Nobody But Yourself June 1, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Life Lessons, Mindfulness, People, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , , ,
29 comments

RWS_Tarot_01_MagicianAll my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was.

I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory.

I was naïve.

I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer.

It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with:

That I am nobody but myself.

Ralph Ellison
Author of Invisible Man

Aah . . . that’s better!

7 Writing Tips From Real Writers May 21, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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59 comments

200px-RealMotherGooseFor those of you who yearn for fame, fortune, and publication, here are 7 sure fire writing tips from real writers:

1.  Walk.  A lot.  Charles Dickens walked 20-30 miles a day.  And we know that he wrote some good stuff that has withstood the test of time.  My guess: he did his best writing after a long nap.  Same with Carl Sandburg who also walked 20 miles a day.

2.  Never leave the house.  Emily Dickinson wrote 1,800 poems holed up in her hidey hole, a white room, while wearing only white.  She commissioned her sister to address her correspondence.

Of course, only seven of her poems were published during her lifetime.  So this tip might work best for those who seek posthumous publication.

3.  Follow writing rituals.  Edgar Allen Poe wrote with a cat on his shoulder and wore all black, quoth the Raven, “nevermore.”   Charles Dickens touched certain objects three times for good luck and placed objects on his desk with exacting precision.  T.S. Eliot preferred writing with a head cold.  E.B. White did not ~ he wore a surgical mask in public to protect himself against contagious diseases.

448px-Alice_05a-1116x14924.  Choose the right writing posture.  Ernest Hemingway and Lewis Carroll wrote standing up.  Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson wrote lying down.  Benjamin Franklin wrote naked in the bath.

5.  Don’t avoid stimulants.  Mark Twain smoked 40 cigars a day.  W.H Auden and Dr. Johnson preferred tea. Johnson consumed 25 cups in a single sitting.  Honoré de Balzac preferred coffee ~ 50 cups a day. Samuel Taylor Coleridge used opium to invoke his muse.

It’s anyone’s guess what Lewis Carroll was on.

6.  Do it on a dare.  Agatha Christie began writing detective mysteries at age thirty after her sister told her that she could not handle the rules governing that genre.  Christie wrote 30 Poirot mysteries to prove a point.

7.  Write.  A lot.  Upton Sinclair wrote 8,000 words every day, including Sunday.  In the 18 months he spent as a full-time grad student at Columbia, he wrote 1,275,000 words.  Some of them quite good.  Anthony Trollope wrote 47 novels in 27 years before dying of a stroke while laughing out loud at a novel.  Jack London wrote 20 hours a day on 4 hours of sleep.  To make sure he didn’t oversleep, he rigged his alarm to drop a weight on his head.  That’s dedication!

Bonus tip:  Don’t read a lot of books with tips from other writers.  They are not you and you are not them.  Just write.  Let the way teach you the way.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“Some people don’t really bother much with remembering; it seems such a useless activity.  But most writers are addicted to it.” ~ Alice Munro

More fun facts:  A Writer’s Book of Days ~ A Spirited Companion & Lively Muse for the Writing Life, Judy Reeves

 

When We Blunder About May 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , ,
31 comments

237px-Kustodiev_Merchants_WifeFinish each day and be done with it.

You have done what you could.

Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Aah . . . that’s better!

Saving Mr. Banks May 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , ,
40 comments

We enjoyed Saving Mr. Banks, the semi-true account of how Walt Disney obtained the movie rights to Mary Poppins from P.L. Travers.

An arduous journey to say the least.

Travers did NOT want Mary Poppins, her no-nonsense nanny, to do anything as frivolous as singing.

Or dancing.  Or laughing.  Or flirting.

And she didn’t approve of casting Julie Andrews as Ms. Poppins or Dick Van Dyke as Bert.

Travers didn’t like the idea of animated penguins dancing, and she abhorred made up words like  “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” 

Getting Mary Poppins to fly off the pages and onto the big screen was an uphill slog fraught with tension between Travers and Disney Studios.

But it was worth it!

Aah . . . that’s better! 

 

 

A Party for You Know Who! March 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Special Events, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , ,
36 comments

In honor of his Birthday and all the books he wrote . . .

2014-03-01 15-05-47_0017

A party was in order with a favorite poster quote . . .

2014-03-01 15-05-32_0016

Small fans arrived in costume . . . as foxes, fishes, and a goat!

2014-03-01 15-05-05_0015

They decor-ated cupcakes and left with belly bloat.

Aah . . . that’s better!

There’s no end to the things you might know, depending how far beyond Zebra you go. ~ Dr. Seuss

What’s your favorite Seussian book, character, word, rhyme or quote?

 

Häagen-Dazs & Pretzel: A Fairy Tale March 22, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , , ,
38 comments

Once upon a time, an extremely unattractive and petulant misanthrope grew tired of living in close proximity to a bunch of Nosy Parkers.

“Hell is other people,” Mizzie Borden muttered while stirring a cauldron of Cream of Newt Soup.  “Always butting in where they don’t belong.”

She decided to follow Thoreau’s footsteps into the woods.  She surfed MAXEDOUT.com and found a small cottage with a large oven and great curb appeal.  Real eye candy.

Mizzie purchased the cottage without requesting a home inspection.  An army of ants nibbling the gingerbread siding wasn’t the worst of it.

Walden Township raised property taxes, FEMA hiked flood insurance premiums, and subsidies under the Unaffordable Health Care Act never materialized.  

Desperate to make ends meet, Mizzie advertised on Angie’s List as an unlicensed child care provider (a/k/a “a babysitter”).  

The next day, a woodcutter left Häagen-Dazs and Pretzel in Mizzie’s care.

“I’m off to protest mountaintop removal by short-sighted privateers intent on raping the earth of its coal.  Soon, there won’t be any trees left for me to cut.  I’ll be back at 5.”

Häagen-Dazs and Pretzel proved  to be both crude and rude.

“Spoiled brats!”

Impatient for lunch, they pulled the gingerbread siding off her cottage and ate it.  Ants and all.

“Insubordinate beasts!”

When the woodcutter didn’t show on time, Mizzie shoved Häagen-Dazs and Pretzel into the oven for a “time out.”

Unbeknownst to Mizzie, the oven was blazing.

“Oh, well. I warned Häagen-Dazs not to play with matches.”

Following a half-hearted investigation plagued with bureaucratic foul ups, bribery, and corruption, the police dropped all charges.  Mizzie returned home and became a writer (the best occupation for misanthropes).  

Unable to find a publisher for her horror stories and fractured fairy tales, Mizzie self-published.  Fueled by her recent notoriety, Eat Mor’ Children  took off in a blaze of tweets.  

Paparazzi became a nuisance, sitting in trees with long lenses.

“Every blessing is cursed!”

Mizzie stormed the glade, “Get off, the lot of you!  Go shoot Cumberbatch’s bitches!”

When entreaties failed, Mizzie invited them for lunch.  As lunch.

If not for government-sanctioned invasions of privacy, Mizzie would have lived happily-ever-after.

“No one’s gonna miss a few pesky paparazzi.”

Except for other Nosy Parkers.

NSA (National Screening Agents) intercepted Mizzie’s e-mails, including her recipes for “Paparazzi Primavera” and “Children Cacciatore.”

“Hell is other people,” Mizzie muttered, when arrested.  ”Always poking about where they don’t belong.”

* * *

Join the fun ~> Susanna’s March Madness Writing Contest is Here!

Writing is a solitary occupation.  Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer.  He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking. ~ Lawrence Clark Powell

Related post:  A Fairy Tale Tribunal

Illustrations:  Wikipedia ~ Hansel & Gretel (in Public Domain)

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