Tag Archives: writer’s block

Writer’s Block: Too mainstream

I tend to like bands and musical artists long before they do hit the mainstream. I remember Tom Petty when he was a relative “nobody” and getting to see him live in Iowa City in a University setting, with the Fabulous Pink Poodles (a punk band) opening for him. By the time he started getting mainstream radio airplay time, they were playing his songs to death. I still really very much appreciate his music, but the repetition and running songs into the ground by the rest of the world can become really rather annoying.

The same happened with Loreena McKennitt. I loved her music back when she put together her album “The Visit”, which was a dark romp through the mists of Samhain or All Hallows Eve. When “The Mummer’s Dance” was popular I would find myself grinding my teeth by the time I heard the first three notes of the song! Danny Elfman and (The Mystic Nights of the) Oingo Boingo were in my stack of CD’s long before he became THE name in cinema soundtracks. I still remember sitting in a recording studio in 1984 when Oingo Boingo was due to appear at the Orange County Fairgrounds for a concert and saying, “Danny Elfman is GOD!” One of the musicians in attendance, Lanny Cordolla look at me and said, “Who?” Danny still a career. Lanny, on the other hand, is at this writing long-term inductee into the “Where Are They Now” file.

Azam Ali of Vas and Niyaz is probably one of the most unique and beautiful voices on the planet. Her haunting vocals cannot be disguised no matter how many sountracks she does for movies, computer and video games that she does. Personally, I doubt that very many in America could understand or appreciate a decidedly Eastern-style singer. Thankfully, Azam’s voice is far too unique to ever get any real popular airplay. Every song carries the life experiences of this beautifl Persian woman whose family fled Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Her story is an amazing one that continues to unfold and is tied up in the musical artforms that she releases, whether it be a film soundtrack or a solo album.

Just because popular doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s any good. 99.9% of what passes for “talent” on shows like American Idol will follow a particular type of formula that the mainstream has become accustomed to. I wouldn’t walk across the street to see a free sidewalk concert to any of what has made it on the show let alone purchase it, and yet that seems to be the kind of thing that America wants. The last company I worked for, that was the dominant conversation in the break room and over lunch was what was on American Idol and it never interested me in the slightest. Formulaic films, music and entertainment is just meant to generate dollars for the production companies, music executives and investors, it’s not necessarily art.


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Writer’s Block: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

I think every one of my cars has had a name. My first car, a 1970 Toyota Corolla with an engine in it that was about two sizes too big for it, started off white, I had my boyfriend paint it black in auto shop class. The car was named Clyde. Then there was my AMC Eagle (yeah, I owned one) named Sam. My 1984 Vega named Greta. The Geo Metro named Jet. The 1990 Toyota 4Runner named Adventurine. The 1978 Toyota FJ40 Landcruiser named Deshret (Ancient Egyptian for ‘Red’. The 1992 Toyota mini pickup truck named Thurston, and then my current car, a 2009 Chevy Cobalt named Ganesha – the Remover of Obstacles and the Opener of the Way. 😉


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Writer’s Block: Surfin’ Safari

Vacation? What’s that?

Yes. I would. I have and there’s always a time and place for everything. I only need a little bit of time now and again. I think my main reason is that I have to have my laptop for school and for business, especially if I am working on film projects. If I am completely out of pocket, the entire world absolutely goes to hell. I suppose if I didn’t have the laptop the Blackbery would suffice, but I would rather save that for when I cannot plug in with the PC.


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Writer’s Block: It wasn’t me.

Of course I am one of those that believes that nearly everything that happens to us has a reason, and that the experiences we have undergone ultimately helps make us who we are. There is the idea that hindsight is always 20/20, and that is true.

If I had to do it over I would most definitely have not wasted the time I did the first time I went to college. I would have stuck to my guns and gone for a career in the arts. I would have told my mother to go to hell as far as pushing me toward an education and career that I never used and that I had absolutely no desire to be a part of. Come to think of it, I would have taken the advice that I now give to my son and to any of my fellow students that are alongside me this time around. That advice basically is to follow your dreams no matter what. Absolutely DO NOT let any parent, no boyfriend or girlfriend, nor spouse or anyone else ever talk you out of doing whatever it is that makes your spirit sing! Do what you love, the money WILL follow and you will find a way to make it happen. I know it to be true.

Desire may not be an occupation, but it certainly can be a motivator toward finding one. Being a wages slave is not an option – being uninformed and shuffled around by life should not be the reality for the majority of people in this world. But if you don’t sit down, really think about what it is that you want to do that you would be more than happy to do for free, even if you didn’t get paid for it and make that your focus, some coroprate asshole is going to have no problem slipping the chains around your neck and driving you toward their agenda and goals.

If I knew then what I know now I would be doing what I am going to school to do now and that is for a career in film on the production side. I absolutely LOVE it! It may be 20 years after the first thought of it entered my brain, and I may be middle aged and considered a non-traditional student, but by God, I’m here and I will never let anyone talk me out of that dream ever again.

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Writer’s Block: Obama drama

I honestly did not get to see the State of the Union address that President Obama gave last night. I just happen to be one of those displaced workers that is over the age of 40 with no insurance and one that has gone back to school to try to adapt to the world that has obviously changed. I missed the address because I was studying for a test. At any rate, I have to say that I think that the current administration really does not bear responsibility for my lack of a job or the state our current economy is in. It was due to a compounding of many issues, and I realise that. I count myself as fortunate because I do know what my options are and I am going to make the best of what I can with what I have.

I worked for Dow Jones for the last four years and I can say that if people had any idea how incredibly close we came to losing it all, as in it being a far worse economic situation than they realise, I don’t think that there would be nearly as much bitching going on as I have been hearing in every quarter. Given what has happened in the financial sector, and the outright rape and pillage that has been going on here and abroad for at least the last ten to fifteen years on Wall Street and via corporations and the super rich, blaming Obama is like blaming your doctor for you having gotten sick in the first place when you ate the junk food, smoked the cigarettes, and indulged in all the other bad behaviours. Come on! How realistic is that?

It’s far from realistic to expect one man to fix a situation that took more than a decade to create in his first year in office. He’s inherited two wars, a recession, record unemployment due to outsourcing, a real estate bubble that burst big time, trillions of dollars in deficit from Dubya and Dick Cheney. Not to mention how much the U.S. lost its face in the world at large under Bush. And yet, so many of the mis-informed or under-informed people in the U.S. just expect Obama to wave his hand and make all that disappear in the first year. I would like to see someone, ANYONE ELSE in the world go up against those sorts of challenges and do it in a fashion that has everyone having warm fuzzies.

I did vote for Obama this last time, and he was not my first choice. But given the choice between he and the other alternative, I voted for him and am happy that I did. I will most probably vote for him again – especially if Hillary continues with his Cabinet as Secretary of State.

I think people really need to get more informed outside of their own sphere what is going on and really try to understand WHY we are in the current state that we are as a Nation. In this era of constant instant communications and where everything is “on demand” people need to get realistic about what government can and cannot do, how fast it can happen and how much they should be involved and give a damn about the process outside of their own little self-created and self-contained little worlds.


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Writer’s Block: I’d Like to Thank…

A few years ago I was introduced to some phenomenal people who changed my life. I would like to thank my scribe, niankhsekhmet, who is an amazing screenwriter and producer, as well as those who are largely responsible for my being here tonight. To Hsu Danmei –civ_barbarian you may be a ruthless banker and a warlord of a businessman, but you have always been my dearest friend. To allfor_one, Athos, you are amazing and I will always bless you and your talents. And most of all, my thanks go to my husband, all_forme. Sebastien, without you none of these awards that I’ve won over the last few years would mean nearly as much.

*holds up award* Thank you!


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Writer’s Block: Writing: Makes Me A Better Writer

I don’t know that I can put it down to any one single thing. Certainly the more I read, the more I know what makes good writing. Even the non-fiction that I read can feed into my fiction writing. All the elements, good plot, great description, crisp dialogue all can come by observation. Add to this the burning need to write and the simple act of just showing up at the page every single day, throughout the day. This can definitely assist in the process. The carrying around a notebook and writing down snippets as they come – be it dialogue or description or new plot ideas helps to build that foundation toward good writing as well. Above all, when someone asks you what you do, responding with, “I am a writer,” and knowing you are that. It isn’t enough that one wants to be a writer. You have to be one. Putting it in a future tense just disconnects you from your art. You have to acknowledge that you are a writer, right now.

Here on Livejournal, one of the things that probably helped the most is writing with others whose work I admire. I have met so many wonderful people, all of them incredible writers. Through those interactions I have been blessed with ending up working together with these writers on various pieces of fiction. At least three of those people are now my permanent writing partners, and one is now part of a screenwriting partnership with me. Some refer to that sort of interaction as roleplay or RP. I tend to call it collaborative fiction, because we work out a plot, and sometimes run dialogue and work out the details in email. The end product helps both writers, or in some cases a group of writers put together something that is interesting and goes in directions none of us individually imagined that it would go. Usually it all ends up as being a part of some great adventure, which is really why many of us write in the first place, isn’t it?

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