NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close, and I’ve realized a few things along the way.
Writing is difficult.
It takes discipline.
It takes time.
It takes fortitude in the face of rejection.
I am not a machine of words.
I think it's time to simply hang up the hat and put fantastic notions to bed.
After several years, an average of 44,000 hits a year on a website (with no real sales or revenue), it's time to stop doing this writing thing. I may put out unfinished works, or finish them off, but I don't expect anything.
All good things must come to an end. And this wasn't the first attempt to become an actual paid writer, so the loss doesn't have quite the same sting.
I must accept that I am not as creative as I think I am.
I have other things to occupy my time and mind: a loving wife, several boys with one on the way, and a household to maintain.
There have been some positive moments, it wasn’t all bitter. The rush of pleasure knowing that there exists some kind of physical evidence that I had a creative idea. I only wish it encapsulated more of my mind than what was displayed.
I think I should stick to reading (if and when I get the chance), and watching lame movies, trying to get a workout in every once in awhile, focusing on my family.
Thank you all for the love and support, the well wishing, and the pats on the back. While I may post from time to time, it’s best to look at this as some kind of pathetic hobby with no real qualitative application other than a passing fancy combined with mild distraction.
For those of you who read but never commented, take this opportunity. It won’t kill you.
Original article here.
I've only seen the trailer for 2oolander, but even I know that Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller play...semi offensive buffoons. I'm sure that Stiller worked the scenes that give his characters a "lesson" in sensitivity.
I find it odd that someone who hasn't seen the full context of a movie can judge it or wants to boycott it. (Then again, I loath most critics for their false participation).
Boycotting something like a film is the equivalent to book burning. It tells me that you are afraid that your message isn't strong enough, or true enough, to withstand mockery.
It tells me that you are afraid of ideas. Ideas can change, or be wrong.
On a different note: If a person that identifies as the gender they were born with isn't allowed to play a transgender in a comedy then the opposite should be true. Trans can't play cis gender people, straights can't play homosexual roles, and homosexuals can't play straight roles (sorry NPH).
And I would still rather watch Cumberbatch play ANY role than some model as was suggested.
I'll see this move regardless of who is in it, because I enjoyed the first one. I'll leave political agenda at the door and judge for myself what I find offensive or not.
I invite you to do the same.
You can read the original article by
Jordan Chariton here.
I had to actually think about all my favorite films, list them in my head, and then go look at who actually directed them. Not many females.
In there, Wayne's World (a guilty pleasure), directed by Penelope Spheeris, directed many films I've seen...and didn't like. While Black Sheep was funny, it was the stars and script that were the best parts, and followed an a-b-c plot that I think almost anyone could have done.
I even went so far as to look up movies by female directors, and surprisingly, I had seen most of them (Thanks IMDB, for keeping track of the movies I've seen and helping me categorize them).
I loathed The Piano, The Hurt Locker, and Lost in Translation. (While they may have been visually compelling, I found them bloated and long winded. I didn't even know they were directed by women until now). Yet they are top rated films. Not by me, but by the general public.
Then I looked at the most financially successful female directors...Twilight. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Yeah. Sorry, not the best flagship.
Some of my favorite films are Cinema Paradiso, Its A Wonderful Life, Amelie, Shawshank Redemption, Pan's Labyrinth, Moonrise Kingdom, and many more, not including the guilty pleasure ones that I can watch constantly such as Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Ghostbusters, Spiderman, Memento, Transformers, etc.
What I did find was that many of my favorite films had female writers. I can always forgive a film for bad directing or poor special effects. Story, plot, dialogue, and character have to be good. Mrs. Doubtfire, Limitless, the Lion King, Julie and Julia, Juno, and a lot more have great stories and characters by female screenwriters.
Sadly, my list of favorite actors was sparse on females, with Tilda Swinton's chameleon-like skills pushing her up. Jodie Foster made the list. Even after looking at the academy awards for best female actor I found myself indifferent towards many of their roles. Kathy Bates and Cate Blanchette are there, but top actors (for me) go to Kevin Spacey, Christoph Waltz, Gary Oldman, Denzel Washington, and Heath Ledger.
Which is odd, because I find my list of favorite books both as an adult and as a child featured strong, charismatic, self possessed and independent women: Sabriel, Matilda, Anne Shirley, Hellen Keller, Princess Cimorene, Lucy Pevensie, V.I. Warshawski, Clarice Starling, Pecola Breedlove, and Susannah Dean are some of the best, well written characters I've ever read who I would want to meet in real life, and if I ever had a daughter, would want her to read about. (I'll be throwing my sons into that, though. I want them to know damsels don't need saving, they need cheering on).
I think the problem might not really be "Hollywood" but the agents that represent females. I think they're selling them short.
From a financial viewpoint it makes a kind of sense: If you have a George Clooney or a Brad Pitt, you get a really healthy cut of their paycheck.
Let's say that you want to make a sustainable income, though. You would then like to have many clients who, though they don't make much, will still garner you a bit of a profit. While not a lot on its own, their salary adds up considerably in a cumulative way.
If you have ten women that you can have a guaranteed "sell" at a lower rate, that means more secure money in your pocket than if you risked going higher and got nothing.
So maybe we need to put pressure on the agents for underselling their clients. It may be more effective if all the agents got together and said "We will not represent these actors for less than this amount, and if you try to find a lookalike or "new" actress due to financial or sexist reasons, we'll make you match the old offer."
Might work, might not.
All I know is: Jennifer Lawrence, Gweneth Paltrow, Emma Thompson, Cate Blanchette, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren, and Kathy Bates (All amazing and versatile actors that I do enjoy watching), won't get me into the movie theater, but Leslie Dixon, Nicole Pearlman, Tina Fey, Jane Goldman, and Diablo Cody might.
(That last one might get some ire, but her dialogue is great, and Evil Dead was better than I expected).
I wrote True Monsters: The Shepherds quiet a while ago. It was intended to be a form of pulp serial with outlandish ideas grounded in reality.
I never got to the sequel.
At the end of Wolf, certain reveals about the characters that should inspire a reread are still very much in place, but I've designed it so that a new reader will have no idea what the twist of the last novel was, while the readers who have read Wolf (as few as they are) will have a bit of a wink and nod as sprinklings and pretty clues regarding the characters are played out.
This novel, currently under the working title of True Monsters: Right Over Clay, will have a different tone and philosophical bent since it features a tangential character as protagonist, and very different circumstances.
In Right, Dr. Adam Manikin, forensic pathologist and city coroner, goes up against a serial killer that is basing their murders on the Salem Witch Trials. The Killer has taken the name Matthew Hopkins, after the famous Witch Hunter General.
In Wolf, nihilism was the true enemy of freedom. In Right, humanism is the Achilles heal against...well, you'll have to read to find out.
This will be a solvable case, with enough evidence for the reader to solve, or just go along for the ride.
Thankfully, this month is also NaNoWriMo, and this always provides me with the kick in the pants and deadline I need to get the work done.
Okay, I'll leave all you alone for a bit while I hit the keyboard.
If you're bored, go ahead and click on some of the ads: it counts as a hit for me which translates as currency. I suggest clicking the ad, and then closing the tab. It's win/win that way: I get money, and you've "paid" me for reading my article.
Recently (actually a while ago) I made contact with someone from my past, and they had some interesting things to say to me.
I will withhold names and situations to protect the innocent as much as possible.
I grew up under various adverse situations, from sexual abuse, bullying, being a latch-key kid, to raising two children from the time I was 11. They weren't as bad as other people who may have grown up living under a window sill dodging bullets, or having a parent beat you.
The problems that have come from this affected other people. Sometimes outside my control, sometimes with 20/20 hindsight of what I did wrong.
The biggest problem that came from this was the expectations that were placed upon me.
I was given responsibilities above my abilities. I had expectations placed upon me that still have repercussions today.
Why "Failed Daily"?
Because I fail to update daily.