Getting Lost

Who says “not all who wander are lost”?
Is wandering without direction?  Without goal?
I wanted to get lost.
My goal was awareness.
To not know.
To see for the first time.
To wonder without worrying.
Maybe I wasn’t truly lost.
I could always have found my way back.
I knew that.
But I did not know where I was going, or if I would get to where I eventually wanted to get to.
I was lost for the moment.
And in a moment, I found myself.

MM: Twi-Moms, Mortal Instruments & Female Protagonists

movie_mondaysSophia McDougall recently wrote an explosive article called “I hate Strong Female Characters” for New Statesman.  Her point, targeted at Hollywood, is that in effort to counter claims of sexism, blockbuster films include a token “Strong Female Character” in their action films and allow extreme acts of violence fly from these not-so-delicate flowers to prove the point that they are just as good as any man for any job.  After seeing the latest teen paranormal romance book-turned movie MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES, I might just hop on McDougall’s bandwagon.

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FF: Wildlife (aka children)



The phrase “I love shooting children” definitely comes out wrong but many of my most recent photographic experiences involve photographing children and it is an endless passion of mine.  Photographing children is like photographing wildlife: you have to wait for the right moment and be fast enough to catch it.  There are so many times where I hear the “click” of my shutter and realize, “shit, I just missed it.”  But then there are times when I capture something right as it happens, and it’s never anything you can truly anticipate.  It’s magic.  So here are some of my favorites.

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WW: Openings (the struggle)

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 10.07.19 PMAs I discussed in a recent post, openings are vital to a) getting people to buy your book and b) setting the tone.  I’m struggling with the opening of my novel.  I tend to be a heavy set-up writer.  My first acts are way too long and then by the time the third act rolls around I’m happily skipping ahead.  I tend to get caught up in every detail, every logical step in my first act to make sure that everything feels “real” and makes sense.  And I think all of that is good work, I just don’t think all of it should go into the book itself.  No reader is going to count the days and realize that I scheduled a football game on the wrong day, or count how many days my character is in her menstrual cycle.  And if I’m bogged down in that much detail in the actual writing, I don’t think I’ll keep my reader’s interest anyways.

So here’s the opening of my book, which is currently titled FIREPOWDER but will be getting a new title when I can think of a better one.  It was originally entitled SOULMATES because that’s exactly what it’s about, but I’d like to come up with something less Harlequin Romance.

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movie_mondaysHarmony Korine’s SPRING BREAKERS movie is a contradiction: a visual orgasm of pornographic/pedophiliac imagery that can be interpreted as art, social commentary, or trash.  There is too much artistry in it to be dismissed but it falls short of any kind of social commentary because the story grounding the visual/auditory orgy is so convoluted and fantastical.

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FF: Sugar Mill

I missed my first Foto Friday last week after successfully posting for Movie Mondays and Writing Wednesdays.  But, it is a new day and a new opportunity!  The picture of the “Flying Guy” as I like to call him was a fairly life-sized paper mache sculpture indicating the entrance to a series of shops in my mother’s hometown of Brno, Czech Republic.  It reminds me to always keep an eye out.  You will always find something strange and beautiful.

I think lying in wait for the perfect shot requires patience, luck, knowing yourself, knowing your camera, breath control, and ultimately timing.  Most of the time, though, we don’t have the time to wait but we have the luck to come across something that needs to be captured.  I took the pictures below on my iPhone from the window of my car as I drove past.  This is one of my favorite spots and I’d like to come back when I have time and a better camera to really capture all angles, investigate the site and find secret wonders.  But not today, and that’s okay because I think these images capture the FEELING that I wanted to convey.  Sometimes a picture doesn’t have to be in perfect focus.  Sometimes that humanity coming across the lens is not just the subject but the artist himself or herself.

And yes I know I spelled “photo” wrong in “foto fridays.”


WW: The Idea

I am often asked, as a writer and as a filmmaker, where ideas come from.  It’s a question that I have a very strong reaction to because, where do ideas NOT come from?  Who doesn’t have ideas?  And that reminds me that people think and live and breathe in different ways.  I think visually; I have to SEE it.  I also have words, dialogue, arguments, rants, and other verbal insanity running through my head at all times.  And when there aren’t words there are songs from the radio.  I wish I could write music so that those songs would be original.  I wish I could think musically.  To me, that is true genius and wonder, something I will never ever grasp.  But alas, I think in pictures and words.

So where do ideas come from?  It is very very very easy: ideas come from life.  Ideas come from imagination.  Ideas come from dreams and crazy random juxtapositions that hit you as you drive down the street or stroll through a grocery aisle.

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It’s Movie Mondays and I managed to watch a bunch of movies this past week!  Here’s my review of THE WOLVERINE (2013), directed by James Mangold:


What works really well in the X-MEN Series is how the writers tie in world history/events to give greater meaning to the action.  In THE WOLVERINE, that event is the atomic bomb landing on Nagasaki.  In that opening sequence, US B-52s fly over a Japanese POW camp in Nagasaki and everyone realizes the end is near.  A Japanese soldier, Yashida, frees the prisoners, including Wolverine knowing how dangerous he is.  Wolverine in turn stops Yashida from committing hari-kiri and protects the soldier’s body with his own when the blast goes off.  It is a moment that humanizes the “enemy” and the war and also reminds the audience in stunning visual FX of that horrible time in our world history.  It made me wonder how we will remember these events as time passes and more and more of that generation dies.  There was a young child sitting in front of me who was awed by the A-bomb explosion and it made me cringe a little.  Nevertheless, I think the moment was handled well and while there was no explanation or reason as to why in the hell Wolverine was a prisoner in Nagasaki (I assume based on his history this was one of his many tours of duty in the US Army), it served well as an introduction to Wolverine and Yashida.

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