Steal Like an Artist

Jul. 25th, 2017 08:06 pm
[syndicated profile] wwdn_feed

Posted by Wil

I’ve been struggling a lot to keep writing, to keep creating, to find the inspiration and the focus I need to do my job. A lot of it is related to my Depression, but there comes a point when the difference between being a professional and a hobbyist is actually doing the work, even — especially — when it’s hard.

So this weekend, Anne and I took the kids up to Santa Barbara to celebrate our birthdays (which are all in the next two weeks), and to get a change of scenery for a couple of days. It was a gorgeous trip, emotionally and spiritually, and while it didn’t give me the magic bullet to suddenly break through the struggle I’ve been having, I made a ton of progress, because I read a book that I took with me. Here’s my review that I posted to my Goodreads thingy:

Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon, is essential reading for all artists.

It’s a quick read that you can finish in one sitting, but the ideas and advice it contains will stay with you long after you’ve put it down. Some of Austin’s suggestions will validate what you’re already doing, some will challenge you to fundamentally change a creative practice, others will inspire you to grab a notebook and get to work immediately.

Because it’s such a small and accessible book, you’ll want to go back to it from time to time. Just like Stephen King’s On Writing, as you change and grow as an artist, it reveals new ideas and inspirations to you that you may have missed on a previous read.

This is a fantastic addition to your library, and a wonderful gift for any creative person in your life.

I’ve been profoundly inspired by Austin’s book, because he reaffirmed things I’ve already been doing as an artist, but mostly because he gave me permission to think about the entire creative process differently.

For a long time, I have felt like a travel writer who never leaves the house, and Steal Like An Artist helped me find the door so I can get back on the road.

vacation brain

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:51 pm
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
[personal profile] ziparumpazoo

Back at work and in the office today. All that writing and reading I'd planned on doing while I was off did not get done, though it's not unexpected - I'm not very good at sitting still when I'm not on the clock.

Went camping with the express purpose of hiking some trails and getting some kayaking in. Success on both fronts. The weather cooperated nicely, even if the brain didn't. Witness the litany of things I forgot to pack:
- a pot (amazing the number of things you can cook in a single frying pan in a pinch)
- a lid for the non-existent pot to put over the frying pan
- camp chairs (can be attributed to a lack of space)
- a strainer for pasta (used a slotted spatula to pick noodles out of the pan)
- a coffee pot of any sort (see comment #1 regarding the frying pan)(I have three camping perks in a bin under the stairs. There's no excuse for this one)
- pancake syrup (picked wild blueberries and used as substitute with extra bacon grease while cooking. Yum!)
- the dials for the camp stove that fell off and which I found and put in a VERY safe place LAST summer. (Used the pliers in my tackle box to turn the propane up or down - who needs eyebrows anyhow?)
- the frozen pork chops for one night's supper (thank god they never made it out of the freezer and not left sitting on the counter)
-Miscellaneous tongs, oven mitts, and other cooking-over-the-fire paraphernalia (I was a boy scout. I got this one with my eyes closed. Witness me brandishing my marshmallow roasting sticks!)

Books I did finish: The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules (Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg) - The League of Pensioners, unsatisfied with the treatment at their retirement home, plan and execute a series of white collar crimes, escalating in a bank robbery. Tranlated from the original Swedish, it's both a fun read and a clever statement on the invisibility of aging.
Next up on the nightstand: Yiddish for Pirates (Gary Barwin). From the author's website: Set in the years around 1492, Yiddish for Pirates tells the story of Moishe, a young man who, enchanted by maps and seeking adventure, leaves the shtetl to join a ship’s crew. There he meets Aaron, our ribald yet philosophical parrot narrator who becomes his near-constant companion. With a beakful of Yiddish jokes, this wisecracking bird guides us through a swashbuckling world of pirate ships and exploits on the high seas.

Here, have a vacation picture:

panoramic view of rocky shoreline at dusk


New Stargate Series! Stargate Origins

Jul. 23rd, 2017 03:56 am
[syndicated profile] stargate_solutions_feed

Posted by michelle

MGM has announced they are creating a new Stargate series called Stargate Origins. It will be a digital-only series consisting of 10 short episodes that together would form sort of a movie. The focus of the series will be on the early life of Catherine Langford and her early experiences with the Stargate. The series … Continue reading "New Stargate Series! Stargate Origins"

The post New Stargate Series! Stargate Origins appeared first on Solutions Blog.

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:13 am
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
More things I have learnt from physio - mainly notes to self. I suspect [personal profile] hagar_972 and [personal profile] taennyn may have useful experience here, where I'm just starting out on the same journey they've already been on.

Muscles in the thigh - VMO, lateralis, the big quad one, the sartorius one across, adductors on the inside, abductors on the outside. VMO needs extra strengthening due to hypermobility. The small stabilising muscles tend to give up, then the big muscles compensate, and that's why my hamstrings get tight all the time. Then the hip/bum ones like glute max and glute mede also need help, particularly the latter.

Making sure things activate in the right order is hard. If the lateralis activates before the VMO instead of at the same time, then my kneecap slides sideways and that's one of the reasons it hurts. Trying to activate the VMO first will retrain it so they both go at the same time.

making space to be creative

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:32 pm
[syndicated profile] wwdn_feed

Posted by Wil

One week and about ten hours ago, I decided to step away from Twitter for a little bit. The specific details aren’t important, and I suspect that many of you reading this now are already nodding in agreement because you grok why. But I took it off my phone, and I haven’t been to the website on my desktop since. For the first 48 hours, I spent a lot of time wondering if I was making a choice that mattered, and thinking about how I wasn’t habitually looking at Twitter every few minutes to see if I’d missed anything funny, or to see the latest bullshit spewing forth from President Fuckface’s mouthanus. I was, ironically, spending more time thinking about Twitter since I wasn’t using it than I spent thinking about it when I was.

It started out as a 24 hour break, then it was a 48 hour break, then it was the weekend, and here we are one week later and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything important. I feel like I’ve given myself more time to be quiet and alone, more time to reflect on things, and I’ve created space in my life to let my mind wander and get creative.

I’m not creating as much as I want to, and I’m starting to feel like maybe I’ll never be able to create as much as I want to, but I’ve gotten some stuff done this week that probably wouldn’t have gotten done if Twitter had been filling up the space that I needed.

Here’s a little bit from my blog post that became a short story that grew into a novella that is now a novel, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything:

My mother was leaning against her car, talking with one of the other moms, when we arrived. My sister was throwing a Strawberry Shortcake doll into the air and catching it while they watched. I walked out of the bus and across the blazing hot blacktop to meet her.

Willow, catch!” My sister cried, sending Strawberry Shortcake in a low arc toward me. I caught her without enthusiasm and handed her back. “You’re supposed to throw her to me!” Amanda said, demonstrating. Her doll floated in a lazy circle, arms and legs pinwheeling, before falling back down into my sister’s waiting arms. The writer in me wants to make a clever reference to how I was feeling at that moment, about how I could relate to Strawberry Fucking Shortcake, spinning out of control in the air above us, but it feels hacky, so I’ll just talk about how I wanted to make the reference without actually making the reference, thereby giving myself permission to do a hacky writer’s trick without actually doing it. See, there’s nothing tricky about writing, it’s just a little trick!

It’s still in the first draft, and I may not keep all or even any of it, but after putting it aside for months while I was depressed about too many things to look at it, it feels so good to be back into this story.

Oh, speaking of writing, I got notes back from the editors on my Star Wars 40th anthology submission. I thought that, for sure, they’d want me to rework a ton of it, but all they asked me to do is change a name! And they told me it was beautiful! So I’ve been feeling like a Capital-W Writer for a few days.

And speaking of feeling happy for a change, Hasbro and Machinima announced that I’m a voice in the next installment of the Transformers animated series, Titans Return. And it feels silly to care about this particular thing, but Daily Variety put my name in the headline, which made me feel really, really good.I’ve always felt like the only thing that should matter is the work, and that the work should be able to stand on its own … but that’s not the reality even a little bit. Daily Variety is the industry’s paper of record, so when it chooses to put you in the headline of a story, people pay attention and it matters in the way that can make the difference between getting called for a meeting, or the last ten years of my life as an actor.

It’s also a good reminder that, even if I’m not getting the opportunities I want to be an on-camera actor, it is entirely within my power to create the space I need to be a writer.

 

johnny sokko and his flying robot

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:22 pm
[syndicated profile] wwdn_feed

Posted by Wil

A young boy aids in the fight against a mechanized terrorist organization as the sole controller of a prototype giant robot.

I couldn’t sleep, so I wandered into the weird and comforting landscape of UHF television’s modern equivalent, which in this case is a digital antenna station on 56.4 here in Los Angeles, called Comet TV*

For the next half hour, I watched this magnificently bizarre thing called Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot. As far as I can tell, there’s this little kid called Johnny Sokko, and like all the other kids in school were all “Johnny Sokko, you’re a stupid face!” so he was like “h*ck you guys, I’m going to get a giant robot and live on a boat for some reason. Oh, and also, I’m like 8 or whatever, and I’m in charge of a giant flying murder machine. So watch your step, bitches.” Johnny gets this this giant robot who flies, and he controls him by issuing commands into a gold wristwatch. Instead of telling the robot to breakdance for his endless amusement, Johnny cries a lot and makes the robot save the world from a squid guy or something who lives in a sunken spaceship, adjacent to a pineapple under the sea? It’s all a little fuzzy in the translation, I’ll be honest, but I think I got the gist of it.

Anyway, I probably made some of that up, but this is all true: There’s a Flying Robot who is vaguely Egyptian. There’s a Gargoyle Gang, the Emperor Guillotine, a military group of children who are called Team Unicorn and are the only thing between Earth’s survival and intergalactic destruction for some reason, and all the bizarre 1960s Kaiju visual effects you could ever hope for. The music is exactly what you want it to be, and at one point, an entire freeway overpass is destroyed, because who among us hasn’t wanted to do that!

A quick search on a few of the Internets made it clear to me that I was not just way late to the party on this (the short I saw was originally released in Japan in 1967, as Giant Robo because obviously) but I am also discovering this literally decades after it became popular with the cool kids. So if you’re like OH GREAT WIL WHEATON THANKS FOR WASTING MY TIME WITH SOMETHING I ALREADY KNEW ABOUT now you can feel like a jerk because it’s new to me, Roland. It’s new to me!

It’s weird, and fun, and overflowing with potential audio samples, so I thought I would share it with you today. Here’s what I think is the first episode, in which we meet Johnny Sokko, the Flying Robot, an unsettling sea monster, and more:

There are several collections of Johnny Sokko films at the Internet Archive. I guess you can also buy remastered DVDs if you want to go that route (though I strongly believe that the faded and aged look of the originals at archive.org is a significant contributor to the charm of the thing.)

Good luck. We’re all counting on you.

*It’s owned by the profoundly evil Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which is a giant bummer. You can buy evil offsets by supporting ACLU and SPLC, if it makes you feel better.

This week in writing, 7/16

Jul. 17th, 2017 01:39 am
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
Still not great, but better than last week! 

WIPs currently active: 5

Words written this week: 3,259

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 104, still inching along. I probably just need to hit a scene break soon, but then I’m going to have to figure out what happens next, so…?

Born in the Blood: 821, and it is distinctly possible that every one of them is terrible, but I haven’t figured out how to make them less terrible so for now I’m just going with it.

Dragon!Bucky/tribute!Steve and Learning to Be a Good Citizen: 490, including realizing that I needed to insert an entire chapter before where I initially started writing. 

All Eternals Deck #2: 598, possibly all getting deleted when I redo the beginning because i figured out that I was doing it wrong…

Slavefic #6: 1,246, DIRELY in need of a POV change. Soon. Yes. 

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2ute8sm
via IFTTT

virtual garage sale

Jul. 16th, 2017 08:55 pm
sixbeforelunch: movie era spock giving the ta'al salute, text reads, "live long and prosper" (trek - movie era spock)
[personal profile] sixbeforelunch
So it appears that I'm going to be moving again in about two months. I'll save the whys and wherefores for another time, but in order to clear out things I don't feel like moving, and raise moving funds, I'm holding a virtual garage sale. If you're interested in any of the books of DVDs below, comment or PM me.

Marvel comics, literary criticism, and more. )

I am willing to negotiate on everything except the Stargate DVDs, which I have sentimental attachment to and for some reason am willing to part with, but only if they all go out together. Shipping is free in the US. I will send everything USPS Media Mail. If you're outside of the US, we can probably come to an arrangement.

More

Jul. 16th, 2017 07:47 pm
kay_brooke: Stick drawing of a linked adenine and thymine molecule with text "DNA: my OTP" (Default)
[personal profile] kay_brooke
My Tumblr dash is 99% Doctor Who right now even though I only follow like three Doctor Who blogs.

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 04:33 pm
kay_brooke: Stick drawing of a linked adenine and thymine molecule with text "DNA: my OTP" (Default)
[personal profile] kay_brooke
Oh good, I won't have to rage quit Doctor Who.

Profile

aurora_novarum: (Default)
aurora_novarum

January 2014

S M T W T F S
   12 34
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 26th, 2017 12:31 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios