Morning & happy Sunday.
While yesterday’s post was a little on the darker side, today’s will be – I hope – a little lighter. While I’m all for baring our souls and sharing our true feelings, I’m not much for wailing or wallowing. So – onward & upward. Acknowledge the challenges, and then get back to the work at hand. The Big Questions never really have black & white answers anyway, do they? They always exist as questions, and we live our lives in pursuit of the answers, which change as we change.
ANYway … I hope you enjoy this weeks selection of blog posts and other reads.
Happy Sunday & happy writing and reading!
Books I’m Reading:
I don’t know why, but I’ve been thinking about the film adaptation of Being There for a few weeks now. In the movie version of Jerzy Kosinski’s 1971 novel, the part of the story’s antihero is played flawlessly by Peter Sellers, probably one of the only actors who could have done justice to the character of Chance the Gardener/Chauncy Gardiner.
Though I haven’t found time to re-watch the movie, I did buy the Audible edition of Being There, which is narrated by Dustin Hoffman. From the website’s description:
Chance, the enigmatic gardener, becomes Chauncey Gardiner after getting hit by a limo belonging to a Wall Street tycoon. The whirlwind that follows brings Chance to his new status of political policy advisor and possible vice presidential candidate. His garden-variety political responses, inspired by television, become heralded as visionary, and he is soon a media icon due to his unknown background and vague, yet appealing, conversational nature.
From what I recall of the movie, it takes some liberties with Kosinski’s original work, but I found both versions to be very enjoyable and thought provoking. The novel has a few slightly racy scenes, though the fact that they are described through Chance’s limited perspective makes them almost clinical in nature. Hoffman was the perfect choice as narrator, moving seamlessly from Chance’s sense of bewilderment to the self-assured perspective of the people who take it upon themselves to interpret Chance’s words in the context of their own self-importance.
Being There is a story that has held up over time. It’s both tragic and hysterical, blending observations on the nature of humanity and the machinations of the worlds of politics and finance. Definitely worth reading. Though, Chance would definitely recommend watching. He likes to watch.
··• )o( •··
My Favorite Blog Reads for the Week:
- 7 Comedy-Writing Techniques Nonfiction Writers Can Use by @MerylWilliams
- The Power of Myth in Fiction by @sarahrcallender
- Writing Wednesdays: Inciting Incident = Hook by @SPressfield
- My best writing tip: William Boyd, Jeanette Winterson, Amit Chaudhuri & more by @hephzibah
- A Problem with Brevity by @lizblocker
- Creative Challenges Within a Single Genre by @elizabethscraig
PUBLISHING & MARKETING
- How to Make Yourself Write an Entire Blog Article Every Single Day by @NeilPatel
- Social media giants tighten their grip on small content producers by @MarsDorian
- The Power of Pods: Ask Your Friends to Lead a Mini-Brigade on Your Behalf by @RobertTWilder
- Get It On The Radio: Taping and Telling by @GuerillaMemoir
- Freelance Writing: Ten Steps, Tons of Resources by @aliventures
- Submitting is Not a Dartboard by @GuerillaMemoir
- 16 Mistakes Bloggers Make When Building an Email List by Yohannes Berhane
- Getting It Done by @DanBlank
- Two Surefire Remedies for Creative Burnout You Need to Try by @TopLinecomms
- The Importance of Storytelling in Turbulent Times by @VaughnRoycroft
THE WRITING LIFE
- Why do you do what you do? by @OneReidReading
- The psychology of mythology: The Otherworld is just as real as this one by @sharonblackie
- 5 lessons I learned while submitting to literary journals by @Icess
- Wrestling With Writer’s Block in the Middle of a Cranberry Bog by Rosamund Stone Zander
- The Wealth of Life – an interview with Ann Patchett by @belindamckeon
Sundry Links and Articles:
It was Roald Dahl’s birthday last week. The acclaimed author would have been 100 years old last Tuesday. I’ve long been a fan of his stories, without really giving much thought to how macabre they are, and without giving any thought to who Dahl was as a man. This piece by Hephzibah Anderson for the BBC provides an interesting look behind the beloved children’s books that have become such a cornerstone of so many childhoods, as both novels and movie adaptations.
There was undoubtedly an element of provocation in much of his nastiness, both on and off the page. As the lives of the likes of Lewis Carroll, Margaret Wise Brown, and CS Lewis illustrate, to write brilliantly for children, an author must retain an element of the childlike. Sometimes, that blurs into childishness. To quote Dahl himself, the children’s author “must like simple tricks and jokes and riddles and other childish things”.
This piece by Dustin Timbrook made me break my personal ban on reading the Huffington Post. The general premise of the article as that we’re headed for a future without jobs, at least without jobs in the traditional sense. Between the automation of so many tasks and the removal of gatekeepers from creative and business models across the globe, Timbrook believes that creativity will become one of, if not the, most valuable commodities anyone can deliver.
Here’s just one thought-provoking excerpt:
No healthy child is born without an innate sense of wonder about their world. However, this childhood compulsion to explore is a bud quickly snipped by adults conditioned to fear the unknown. The tradition of discouraging unusual questions and behavior in children is so pervasive that we have come to view those who survive with their creativity intact as having a “gift.” What is more absurd is our amazement at the correlation of great artists and mental illness, as if the battle for self-expression which artists so tenaciously endure has no causal link to their psychic well-being.
Finally, a quote for the week:
Here’s to making your own way and your own world, facing whatever challenges come your way, and retaining your childlike qualities.
Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.