Saturday, February 25, 2012

Will Silence Be Golden?

The Academy Awards ceremony will air tomorrow night,and one of the nominees for Best Original Screenplay is The Artist, a movie with no spoken dialogue. I have not seen the film,but the nomination gave me pause and spiked my curiosity regarding what a screenplay for a "silent" movie is like.

I found a copy here for those who are interested.

For me, to write a story with minimal dialogue seems a painful exercise, as my stories tend to be more dialogue driven. I applaud Mr. Hazanavicius for the accomplishment. The film has received many awards ahead of Oscar night, including Best Original Screenplay at the BAFTA's (the British Oscars).

My question is, does having minimal to no dialogue make it a loftier accomplishment than another story with plenty of dialogue? Is it a gimmick or a piece de resistance?

I have only seen two of the nominees for Best Original Screenplay - Midnight in Paris and Bridesmaids. I'd vote for Bridesmaids. It made me laugh (hard), made me cry, and had a great romantic subplot.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Make today Extordinary and a life changing book

To those of you who are new to this blog. Welcome. You will notice that Blush aka Linda has been carrying us for quite a while. We love her posts and would like to invite you to visit some of the archived posts. Someday I might even do my top ten from last year. There were some good ones.
So what is new this week? Well, if you were at LTUE last weekend then no doubt you have heard James A Owen's keynote address about "The Power of Choice." It was fabulous. Meeting James and having dinner with him and our awesome writing group was even cooler as I was able to discover that he is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. He cares about his readers and he is a crafty marketing guru. Most of all he doesn't sweat the small stuff.

This week on his blog he has made his book "Drawing Out the Dragons..." available on ebook for free for five days. He said to share the link with someone we love. I must say that I would like to share it with everyone I know. My 10 year old read it and he said, "It changed my perspective on the world." He has been drawing dragons every day since.
Here is the link. Go and download the book and read it with your family this weekend.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Advice For Young Writers (and Others)

I found this letter from Mette Ivie Harrison (who I got to talk with over Sushi after LTUE last week) and thought I would share:

Dear Young Writers,
I started writing my first novel when I was in tenth grade. It was a fantasy time-travel book and I sent it out to one publisher. It was rejected with a nice note encouraging me, but saying that the book didn’t fit the publisher’s “list.” I worked on other things on and off, but I think that first experience gave me a good look at the reality of publishing and it frightened me. You could write well, but be rejected by some reason that you had never thought of. You could spend hours working on a book and get nothing but experience out of it. And clearly, as I listened to the adult writers struggling with the business, even if you were published, this was not exactly a career that you could depend on for day-to-day living expenses. So I listened to my father and to all the other sensible voices around me and moved on to what I thought was a more “stable” career.

The only problem is, it turned out that everything else I ever tried to do, I was telegraphing to people that what I “really” wanted to do was to be a writer, and that other things were only “bread and butter” in comparison, until I got up the courage and invested the time necessary to do what I was meant to do. It was a very painful experience for me to finally recognize that it is impossible to hide from yourself and that there is nothing worse than giving up what you really love for something “stable” and ordinary. So I made a leap, admittedly with the help and encouragement of my husband who now supports our family largely, and quit my job. I do not necessarily recommend this route for everyone, but for me at the time it seemed there was no other choice.

I see now, from the inside of the business, that there are many ways to make a living as a writer. There are always publishers who are looking for writers to work on series that have been pitched by someone else and are already selling well. There are Christian publishers, workbook publishers, craft publishers. There are people looking for technical writers, for writers to write newsletters or software manuals, and on and on. But it is also true that working part-time, for two hours a day five days a week, I make as much as I did at my other job. And there are a lot of perks. I write what I want to write. I write stories that I wish I could read. I write fantastic stuff that even I can’t believe, and I write contemporary fiction or picture books or mystery novels, whatever strikes my fancy at the time. I have what I think of as my dream life, the life I never believed I could have when I first tried and failed. My advice—don’t give up on the dream. There is a way to do it. You just have to find the way.

Mette Ivie Harrison

Just the encouragement that I need.  Write On!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Watch Your Mouth!

Inker DJ shared a great word this week:


An unpleasant or harmful odor, secretion, or discharge.

Then Inker Kirk shared another:


1: having the hand on the hip and the elbow turned outward

2: set in a bent position <a tailor sitting with legs akimbo>

Since I've been neglectful of purposely expanding my vocabulary lately, I thought I would share and issue a challenge to use these words in a sentence or share another interesting word here.

So far I have failed in my commitment to manage to use both in conversation at the office, but I'm still keeping them in mind for just the right moment.